Bev Schwind's daughters and granddaughters, from left, Cyndy Pasquinelly, Melissa Keohn, Emma Pasquinelly and Joy Koehn look through the book of memories.

Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Bev Schwind is a person most residents of Fairfield Glade have heard of. She writes a popular column for the Glade Sun called "Patches of Life," she has authored and co-authored several books, she is a competition tennis player and an annual winner at the Senior Games. She has even won national acclaim for her healthy and fit lifestyle while aging gracefully.

But that's not all there is to Schwind. She's a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother and a grandmother; in other words, she's an all-around family person.

After her brother and her mother passed away in recent years, she decided she needed to put family memories down in a book for her kids.

"I had recorded my mother, what she would say, because she was so 'family.' I thought, I'm going to make a memory book about grandma because they were all crazy about her."

She got busy going through boxes and albums of photos, digging up hand-written letters, old family records and all the fond memories she could find. "My co-author, Jan, encouraged me to even include my mother's hand-written recipes."

"I've been working on it a couple of months, working to compile it. I gathered my stories and I had two printers to do pictures. One printer, I had to turn the paper one way and the other the other way. I had to make myself little notes. I'd start putting stuff away and then I'd see a picture and think, 'Ah, that's got to go in there.'"

By the time she took the whole thing to the local Staples store to have it bound, she had pages that stacked about an inch high — that was the thickness they had told her they would bind for $10 a copy.

Schwind's "book of memories," very professional looking in a hard-bound black covering with a family photo on the front, was ready for distribution this Christmas.

"What a great gift, Mom. This is really special," said one of her kids. Her son, Scott, received his in the mail, and reported, "We love the cool book we got for Christmas. Thank you for taking time to create such a lasting work. I know we will look through and read and re-read this for a long time!"

Granddaughter Melissa summed it up best, "You did good, Grandma."

Schwind said, "They laughed at some of the articles and pictures and immediately started talking about the past and added their remembrances to the picture and article before them. Some of their stories I had never heard. It was like hearing . . . 'the rest of the story.'"

Each of Schwind's four children received one of the hard copy editions, but she also gave them a loose-leaf copy so they can make heirloom copies for their kids if they want to.

Making a memory book is something Schwind hopes more people will think about doing. "I have encouraged this with the Inspirational Writers group and others.

"Everybody has memories, but many say they can't write," she relates. "But I'll take a picture and ask them to tell me about it, and they will. I tell them to write it down." She insists it's just that easy.

During the past year, Bev and her husband, Jim, have been filling out a grandparents' book their children gave them. It's one of the couple's favorite pastimes when they are on the road traveling around the country. "Answering some of the questions in the book has brought back a lot of family memories." So, Bev has promised the next book she does will be one about her and Jim, who have 14 grandchildren, including 11 girls and three boys.

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