AARP AARP States Community

#ThrowbackThursday: Unleash the power of your childhood home

house

John Edwards will go down in U.S. history as a disgraced presidential candidate. But before his fall, Edwards left something for all of us to ponder – the value of home.

Edwards’ 2004 bid for the presidential nomination was based on professed values transcending what he saw as the inequities of “two Americas” – one for the rich, one for the not-rich. In retrospect, his real-life values contradicted his professed beliefs. One could say the same about his perception of “home.”

As was revealed in his failed 2008 campaign, home to Edwards was a $6 million, 29,000-square-foot bungalow tucked away on 100 acres or so of North Carolina real estate. But Edwards has also offered up something for the masses in a coffee table book carrying his name as author entitled “Home: The Blueprints of Our Lives.”

The book presents 58 people sharing their recollections of their childhood homes. Most are celebrities from humble backgrounds, sharing the house-related events that helped shape them as they grew up.

The lesson here is that the memories of a childhood home are powerful. Use that power when crafting your own personal history. Mentally go through the rooms of your own childhood home and start recording your memories, room by room.

That's what this blogger did, but by actually visiting her childhood home. You can do it, too.

AARP Iowa volunteer Larry Lehmer is a retired Des Moines Register editor and author of The Day the Music Died: The Last Tour of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens. He is currently working on a book about the Philadelphia years of American Bandstand. You can read his Bandstand blog here.

About AARP States
AARP is active in all 50 states and Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Connect with AARP in your state.