Rural System's


RuraLives is a collection of information about the the people of rural places and conditions. Staff of Rural System realized early on that concern for preserving wild animals and plants and for historic buildings seems a little silly if people do not preserve knowledge about themselves. Conservation has to include conserving knowledge of the people around us. Ancient people, before writing, passed along such knowledge verbally around the campfire. Communities failed when key people with superior memory were lost. "History" has taken on a formal, book-bound connotation. Johnson and Bowker (2004) noted that Halbwachs in 1980 said
GILES, Robert Hayes Sr., 82, of Hudd1eston, passed away Tuesday, March 30, 1993, in the Bedford County Memorial Hospital. He was born September 15, 1910, in Lynchburg, a son of the late Robert H. Giles and Carrie Estelle Pfeiffer Giles. He was a retired real estate broker and was a member of the Old Dominion Episcopal Church, Virginia Beach. He is survived by his wife, Edith Rebecca Parker Giles; two sons, Robert Hayes Giles Jr., Blacksburg, George R. Giles Morristown, Tenn.; a stepdaughter, Susan L. Hudson, Huddleston. Funeral services will be conducted Thursday, April 1, 1993, at 2 p.m. from the Updike Funeral Chapel, Huddleston, by the Rev. Wayne Murphy. Interment will follow in the Patmos United Methodist Church Cemetery. There will be no viewing or visitation. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Saunders Fire Department, Huddleston Rescue Squad or the Huddleston Fire Department. Arrangements are being handled by Updike Funeral Home, Huddleston.
that memory is only retained in communities of people and that for events to withstand the test of time, there must be a mutual sharing of information about such events; otherwise memories die. Now, except for brief remembrances and shared comments, as life around the dinner table declines and TV time consumes conversation time, the life of a person may disappear with little more residual than a death-notice in the local newspaper or a few bought inches of obituary column.

RuraLives provides an option to those unpleasant and unfortunate losses. It provides a place (with backup) for you to present a biography or autobiography. While the obituary is appropriate, we suggest that these are too limiting, too formal, and often of little meaning to families or others. We think that most people know things of value to others, have had experiences that need to be avoided. It may be time after life monitoring for feedback to correct and improve conditions and actions for the future.
We strongly encourage submitting a Real Life entry at major birthdays, a retirement, or any honorary event.
RuraLives is the place to share that knowledge for the good of the people of rural areas. It will become a knowledge base that can be searched for key words, perhaps used in genealogy, perhaps used to further justify study, to acknowledge the invention or originator of an idea. We suspect it will be wonderful reading and may be the source of materials for poems and stories. We know some will be amusing, for many life experiences are...or have to be treated that way.

Life can be better from knowing how others have lived theirs.

We'll include any participant but wish to encourage people with more than 25% of their life lived in rural areas of the world. See the links below for samples. We recommend adding to Rural Lives as part of activities within the Memorial Group.We want the entry on the form but we will scan a typed entry for a modest fee. We'll quickly edit the text and will not allow profanity, libelous, or obscene words. (Note: Our rule, private business, no issues of freedom of speech; take it or leave it.) The material will be copyrighted. You, the author or person described, may copy the materials but fees are charged for permission for others to use the entries. The current cost is 5 cents a word and the text remains indefinitely. We maintain a dual backup and will seek additional backup within national or regional archives. All funds are used to support and improve RuraLives, The Writers' Camp, and the collective objectives of Rural System.

We have a form that you must complete..

We hope that you will include in your writing about yourself (or the person being described) information about the following suggestions (rather than just birth dates, family members, and relocations):

Often poems can express as well, or better, something about the life of a person. You are invited to submit such poems with your RuraLives entry or to make a separate submission to Floats.

Teachers: This can be an excellent class writing and grammar project as well as one for history classes. Contact us for information and discount costs for student submissions.

At the end of each year we shall award a large prize of Rural System cybercatalog coupons for the best entry during the year.

Here are sample entries to RuraLives:

  • Wendy Weisend
  • Mills Everett
  • Tom Walbridge

    See Folktalk .org and a story of the folk lore recording work of the Klines in West Virginia.


    Johnson, C. Y. and J.M. Bowker. 2004. African-American wildland memories, Environmental Ethics 26:59-75.

    September 14, 2004