This is the story of two ordinary people, Harold and Sarah, who lived ordinary lives, each born more than a century ago. Perhaps there are millions of people who have similar stories and fascinating lives. But the lives of Harold and Sarah were preserved not in the memories of others but in the pages of seven scrapbooks, thousands of photographs, letters, postcards, illustrations, and bits of memorabilia from which their lives together may be reconstructed. Harold’s and Sarah’s lives were unusually fascinating because of time and place: the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, World War II, and the emerging supremacy of what came to be known as the American Dream. The story began and thrived in the rough and tumble world of the East Texas oil patch, and this makes it even more compelling.
Preserving Lives is a love story of remarkable simplicity that appeared to be almost perfectly planned and executed. Harold and Sarah became part of the many who worked hard and believed in their dreams, and when, in the mid-1950s, it all came together for them with a good job, their first home, a new car every so often, and an upstairs and downstairs telephone, it was just the natural progression of things. It was also the perfect end of a two-plus decade journey together which they hoped they might continue to enjoy as the years passed. This is the way it was supposed to happen, once upon a time, and it is what Harold and Sarah managed to do.