Who We Are
In 1970, my brother John, fresh out of the Air Force, drove East in his swamp green, '52 Chevrolet Biscayne and persuaded me to quit my job and travel with him to Mexico. We'd find the perfect beach, he said, with white sands and coconut palms, and stay until we felt like coming home. We drove that old car 10,000 miles and never did find our beach, but we had memorable adventures and became best friends.
Our children love to hear that story because it was a family adventure and provided the foundation for the close relationship John and I have today.
As a major in architecture and photography at the Rhode Island School of Design, I have spent the last 40 years translating my clients' idea of home into reality. In doing this, it was necessary to listen carefully in order to understand exactly what home was for each individual. In the process, I was reminded that through our personal history, we each bring a unique point of view to our life. In the process, I became more interested in the people than the buildings.
My job as Camden Writers' graphic designer, is to create a physical context that enhances each person's story through the use of shape, colors, typeface, and material choices. A wide variety of book presentations, creative compilations of photographs and graphic material, and a personalized approach to page design, cover, and end papers, are only some of the ways in which I work to make your book a handsome and representative volume.
Following graduation from Wellesley College, I traveled abroad to live and work, first in Bahrain, and later in Fiji and the United Kingdom. For more than two decades, I profiled individuals from different cultures, both for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers in the United States and Europe, and for the Gulf Air in-flight magazine. A common theme was the way in which people adapt to changing circumstances and the interesting and unique ways in which they shape their lives and create communities.
In telling you something about myself, it is important to describe the event that lent oral history particular significance for me. When I was in my fifties, my husband died suddenly, followed by my mother a few years later. Of course, I knew much about them and their lives, but in their absence I found I lacked the connective tissue that linked the stories they had told me into a meaningful whole. I had not always listened as carefully as I should, believing there was still time to record their memories in detail for our family. The absence of a deep and meaningful narrative for those closest to me was a great loss.
Understanding how important it is for families and organizations to step back and take a look at history, in 1997 I created Camden Writers. Great benefit accrues from reflection, and it is both a great pleasure and an honor for us to be in a position to assist others in this process.
JUDITH FUNCHEON JOYCE
As the youngest of five children in an Ohio family, where the age difference between me and the next child was 12 years, I was fascinated by everything my older family members had to say--especially when I wasn't supposed to hear.
Every time my parents went out of town, my sister, Ann, whose position as youngest I had usurped, threw a party. I was sworn to secrecy and I never told my parents. The amazing thing is that the neighbors never did, either.
Ann died far too young, at age 32. Her two children, now adults, can't hear enough about their mother as a teenager and young woman. I love being able to give them a view of Ann that no one else in the family experienced from my vantage point.
Their eagerness to learn more about their mother and the pleasure I feel in having these stories to tell has given me a great appreciation for the joy of listening and the value of sharing. I wish I had listened even more closely and had more tales to pass along.
For many years, I taught French and Latin to adolescents. During that time, I completed a Masters Degree in Educational Counseling. In both disciplines, it was necessary to listen carefully and bring forward and distill the key elements that shape lives. Community, which is often at the heart of people's stories, is another area that interests me greatly.
The Bill Joyce story began in Brooklyn, New York. As an American with Irish, Italian, Scottish, and Albanian heritage, you can imagine the family stories I have listened to and enjoyed over the course of my life. More than 35 years of marriage to a lovely wife who has more family than many small villages has added volumes to my own stories.
My father was a great storyteller... A regret for me and for my brothers is that we never recorded those stories. We heard some of them dozens of times, and wish we could have looked forward to dozens more.
Boston College added a B.A. in history to my lifelong interest in the richness of the past. Setting people's stories in the context of history is important to me, adding, as it does, a deeper understanding of their joys and successes, trials and tribulations, life choices and decisions.
Forty years in the business world, working with both large and small organizations in the fields of energy, printing, telecommunications, high technology, marketing, sales, and consulting, enables me to bring that perspective to my work with Camden Writers. The importance of life's work and its impact on people's lives cannot be understated.
We all have a story worth telling. Listening to people and helping them pass along that story to family, friends, and the wider world is valuable and mutually fulfilling. I feel honored to be part of that process with both individuals and businesses who choose to share their life experiences.