Beth Giard




Beth Giard




Beth Giard


Nola Forbes

Interview Date


Interview sponsor

Moda Fabrics


Essex Junction, Vermont


Edna Curtin


Please note: Beth is not a member of the DAR. While this is a DAR quiltmaker documentation project, membership in the DAR is not required for participation.

Nola Forbes (NF): My name is Nola A. Forbes and today's date is August 11, 2009 at 4:07 p.m. I am conducting an interview with Beth Giard in her home in Essex Junction, Vermont, for the Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories project. We are doing this through the American Heritage Committee of the Vermont State Society Daughters of the American Revolution. Beth is a quilter. Tell me about the quilt you brought in today.

Beth Giard (BG): This is a quilt that I completed in 2002 for my daughter and my son-in-law for their wedding. [Nicole Giard and Scott Jeter.] I had started this quilt, or pieces of this quilt, when my daughter was in second grade. It took me roughly nine years to complete this quilt. The quilt that you're looking at is all hexagons. I had fallen in love with working on hexagons because they're so portable. It allows me to be creative and I can take them wherever I go.

NF: Why did you choose this quilt to bring to the interview instead of one of your others?

BG: Because it has special meaning, because it resides on my daughter's bed and because I made it special for her. The top is all hand pieced and I think it's one of my better pieces. [the small blue print fabric in the close-up photograph was from the dress BG made for her daughter's first day of kindergarten.]

NF: I took a close-up of how you worked on your border. Would you explain what you do for finishing hexagon edges?

BG: First of all let me say that the reason that I do it is that I feel that it gives a more defined, more finished, more polished and more professional look to the edges. I had trouble with doing the edges and cutting them on the straight. I didn't like the way they looked, so I decided to finish them as the quilt top is done. It's simply a matter of taking more hexagons, sewing them together in straight lines and then just whip stitching them across the top of the edge, tucking the backing inside of them, and then just doing a blind stitch to finish off the edge on the back side of the quilt.

NF: So it's like having another whole row on your quilt.

BG: Exactly. So you really need to love what you're doing in order to do this.

NF: What do you think someone viewing your quilt might conclude about you?

BG: That I am extremely meticulous, very what do we want to say?

NF: Precise?

BG: Very precise. Which takes a lot of time. Some would question my sanity in working on this type of a project. But, if you look around my home you will see that there are many, many quilts done the same way.

NF: It looks like you have an attention to detail.

BG: I have very good attention to detail. I spend a lot of time making sure it is just the way I want it to look.

NF: How many pieces do you think you have hanging that are hexagon style?

BG: Probably ninety percent of the quilts in my home. I have very few pieces of anything on my walls that are not quilts. Since we have just recently finished building this house there are many quilts that are just waiting for the proper place to be hung. So, I can't really say how many I have, but I have lots. I have big ones and I have small ones. I have quilts on my beds. I have quilts on my walls. I have quilts on my sofas and my chairs.

NF: So, you've said that this quilt resides on the bed?

BG: Yes, this is my daughter's, it resides on their bed. They use it. It makes me feel good to see it on their bed, because they really, really like and appreciate the time that I put into this quilt because it is all hand done.

NF: What do you think the future plans for that quilt might include?

BG: If I have any idea I would think that it would probably be well worn.

NF: And loved to death?

BG: And loved to death, exactly.

NF: Tell me about your interest in quiltmaking. How did you get started thinking about making quilts?

BG: I started sewing when I was a very young girl. I started quilting after I started having children. I had taken a class in the Recreation center in Bennington [Vermont.]. It was an eight week class. We were supposed to be able to finish a quilt in eight weeks doing two blocks a week. It was a sampler and it was fun. That's where I started and it's just blossomed from there.

NF: About what age did you started?

BG: Probably twenty-five.

NF: Can you remember some of the names of your teachers that you learned from?

BG: There was only one that had taught that particular class and that was Anne Lamy. She was the director of the recreation department at the time. She was just filling in, something to do in her odd hours, in her down time but it really got us motivated, very motivated.

NF: Was it a large class?

BG: I can't remember any more. There may have been ten or twelve of us.

NF: How many hours a week do you quilt?

BG: Now? At least an hour a day. On the weekends it may be more. I get up early in the morning so that I can have quality time to quilt, because I'm a morning person.

NF: Is that about the same amount of time throughout our seasons?

BG: Yes. Although some times I quilt more depending on how much I hope to accomplish. I'm always working on something with hexagons, but that's not the only thing I do. I will do a Nine Patch, or, mostly with squares. I'm not real comfortable working with triangles. For me, sewing and quilting has to be enjoyable. It has to be relaxing. It has to be rewarding. None of us need more stresses in our lives. That's why I choose to do hexagons, because I can control my hexagons and still get enjoyment out of it.

NF: What is your very first quilt memory?

BG: First quilt memory. It would have to be something that my mom had made. A long, long time ago when I was young. It was nothing compared to the quilts that we're making now. It was pieces of fabric that were left over from this and that, things that she had done. There was polyester in it, there was wool in it. It was a real combination of different fabrics. It was very plain. Lots of colors.

NF: Did she make lots of quilts?

BG: No. She was not a quilter, per se. She enjoyed more dress making. Suits, that type of thing.

NF: Are there any other family members who make quilts?

BG: Not that I am aware of. I'm just kind of one of those unique individuals who really took a liking to it when I started doing it and have really developed myself and the things that I do. Although I will say that my daughter [Nicole Giard-Jeter.] has made a couple of quilts. A couple of them that I would not have attempted myself. I'm very, very proud of her. I know that if she wants to, she can do it.

NF: So there may be a future for her?

BG: There may be a future for her.

NF: Do you have some other friends who are quiltmakers that you'd like to tell about?

BG: I have some very special friends. Sharon Shorey. Sharon and I have been friends since she started taking care of my children when I first went back to work. My daughter was not quite a year when she started taking care of her. Sharon and I grew together, as young parents. We started really spending more and more time together. We developed our love of quilting together and spent a lot of time working on quilts together when we didn't have a whole lot of time to do it. It was easier to work on it when the children were young if we did it together.

NF: Would you talk a bit about the quilt guild that you and Sharon are a part of?

BG: Sharon and I started this quilt guild. I understand now it was twenty-five years ago. We were two of the people who really pushed to get the guild started.

NF: That's the Quiet Valley Quilters?

BG: That's the Quiet Valley Quilters. Yes. They just celebrated twenty-five years this past spring, I believe.

NF: Where do they meet?

BG: They're now meeting at the Second Congregational Church in Bennington. [Vermont.] We started meeting in one of the elementary schools. We had our first couple of meetings there. I think we might have had, oh, ten or twelve, maybe fifteen people when we first started. Now I think there's closer to a hundred members in it.

NF: How often do they meet?

BG: They meet the first Wednesday of every month.

NF: Are you able to get back for some of those meetings?

BG: No, I don't make it to the meetings any more, but I always make it a point to do the challenge for the quilt show. And I make it a point to be there to help out and to volunteer at the demonstration table during the quilt show.

NF: You've also gotten involved with the Green Mountain Quilters' Guild [both talk at the same time.] as a member. What experiences do you have there?

BG: Yes, I have. Sharon has gotten me involved with that. I'm trying to think when I actually first started going. It was a long way from Bennington. Sharon would go to a meeting, anywhere. I wasn't quite as adventurous. Once we started moving north six years ago, that was one of the ways that she and I could connect during the year. We would meet at the two meetings a year that Green Mountain met. Sharon was the one who pushed me, finally, to start showing my quilts. I was dead set against anybody critiquing my quilts, and saying things about my quilts, because I was perfectly happy with my quilts, in just being able to make them and show them. So it took me a long time to stick my neck and my work out, and put myself on the line, to let people actually pick my quilt apart.

NF: In reflection on that, do you recommend that others consider doing that, too?

BG: Yes, the reason is that we can always learn something, number one. Number two, the judges who look at our quilts do not always recognize the true value and what you have put into it. I have found that many of the judges may not appreciate our style of quilting. But then there are always some that really look at your quilt and, they can either come up with something constructive, a way for you to improve and make it better, or to just enjoy it. The most important thing is making quilts for our own enjoyment.

NF: It's not just the judges that look at your quilts when you show them.

BG: That's true, that's true. There's a lot of people out there. It gives a lot of enjoyment to different people. Just standing back at a quilt show and listening to the comments and to the people that don't quilt, or just look at our quilts as a form of art, which it definitely is. We use quilts for so many different things.

NF: How does quiltmaking impact your family?

BG: Everybody's looking for the next quilt. Everybody wants to know what's coming up next. My husband is very careful about who I give my quilts to. He wants to make sure that I don't give away the ones that he really likes. So he's very possessive of my work.

NF: And a little selective?

BG: Just a little bit selective, yes.

NF: Tell me if you have ever used quilts to get through a difficult time.

BG: All of my quilts, in one way or another have helped me. I think probably mostly this one. I started working on the hexagons because they were so easy to travel. I could take them wherever I went. I spent a lot of time in doctors' offices, in different meetings. I have a son who is mentally handicapped. Just having that to be able to sit down and bring peace to me was very important. That's the biggest reason that I really enjoy doing hexagons. It just makes any critical time so much easier to deal with. Because the hands are working and the mind is slowing down. It's relaxing and it's comforting.

NF: Could you tell me about an amusing experience that may have occurred during your quiltmaking.

BG: Oh, my goodness. Oh, yes. One of the last quilts that I did for the Quiet Valley Challenge, the criteria was that we needed to create in our quilt a structure that was referenced in a song. What I chose was [pauses 5 seconds.] House of the Rising Sun.

NF: Can you describe the block or the hanging?

BG: It was mountains and it was the House of the Rising Sun. I had taken a piece of cross stitch that I had done with a house and I set it in my hexagons with the mountains and the sunrise and all of the trees in the front. My husband took one look at it and said, 'You do know what the House of the Rising Sun is all about, don't you? Where is the red light? [laughs.] Why don't you put a red light in that window?'

NF: So, did you?

BG: No, I did not. Because that was not my intent.

NF: I do remember seeing some of those at the Green Mountain Quilters' Show and Tell section.

BG: Yes, yes.

NF: They were all very unique and enjoyable.

BG: Yes they are.

NF: You used to do some quilt teaching as well?

BG: After I took my first class I was asked to teach the class. I did. I only taught a couple of classes and what I found out was that Sharon would be a better teacher than I would. I found it a little bit disconcerting to sit in front of a class. I was only twenty six, twenty seven years old, so I was still pretty young. My main comfort level is sitting at a demonstration table, showing people what I do. Instead of trying to get into a whole lot of different things, I just demonstrate what I do best, and that's hexagons.

NF: You like the one-to-one contact [both speak at the same time.] with the other person.

BG: Yes. Much easier and much less--

NF: Traumatic?

BG: Than standing in front of a whole group. Less intimidating, I think, is a better word.

NF: What do you find pleasing about quiltmaking?

BG: I like working with the colors. I love working with all the new fabrics that are out. I love looking at a design and trying to figure out, 'Okay, those are triangles. I don't like triangles. How can I do that design with hexagons?' I find that very, very challenging. Something that I really enjoy doing. I've done Flying Geese with hexagons. It's exciting for me to be able to do that. Because many of the challenges will require the traditional blocks, and I go out of my way to figure out how can I do it, and usually it requires me to go smaller and smaller hexagons. Which is a little bit more challenging. I love looking at the colors and coming up with something different.

NF: What aspects of quiltmaking do you not enjoy?

BG: I don't like finishing my quilts. I have quite a number of quilts upstairs that are just sitting there. They come to the point where the quilt top is done, the quilting needs to be done, the edges need to be finished, and I move on to something else, because it's more fun to start quilts than it is to finish them.

NF: You mentioned for some quilters it's a challenge on, 'How do you quilt a hexagon quilt?' What are some of the things that you do in your quilting?

BG: I find it very challenging myself, but I will look at my quilt and decide what it is that I want to bring out. If my quilt is all flowers I may just do an outline. Sometimes I have done a crosshatch in between to make my flowers pop. Recently, not in the quilting, but in order to change my designs a little bit, I have started doing 3D designs with hexagons which means that I have the hexagons down plus I also do another layer that is not connected, totally. They may only be connected with one edge.

NF: Interesting sounding.

BG: It is. It's fun.

NF: You mentioned the Quiet Valley Quilters and the Green Mountain Quilters' Guild. Have you been involved with any other quilting groups?

BG: No, because I just don't have a whole lot of time. I do work full time.

NF: Do you volunteer at the Vermont Quilt Festival?

BG: Oh, absolutely. I have become more and more involved with the Vermont Quilt Festival, because I like what they're doing. And it's much more convenient now that it's in the area. If I have to travel a distance it's a lot more difficult to find the time and the energy needed to do what needs to be done.

NF: What kinds of areas have you done for volunteer work with them?

BG: Because I spend a lot of time on the computer during the day I have become very proficient with the computers and therefore I try to offer my services in those areas where it's a little bit more behind the scenes type of work.

NF: Which is all important.

BG: There's so much to put together a show, it's unbelievable.

NF: Have advances in technology influenced your work at all?

BG: I have done a little bit of designing with designer software. Not a whole lot because when I'm not at work I really steer away from my computer because I spend seven hours a day on the computer at work. Therefore when I come home I don't want anything to do with it. Something that is advanced in technology is my sewing machine. It has a computer on it. It allows me to do different kinds of designs. It allows me more flexibility, more options in what I am doing on my quilts. Even the little things that I want to create, I can do really nice top stitching. I do a lot of baby quilts. I have found the way to finish them quick and easy using my advanced sewing machine. I can do a nice decorative edge and do it all in one. Where I used to do the hand sewing for the back of the binding. I no longer do it that way. I do it quick and easy. Nice fancy stitch around the edge and it's done.

NF: What are your favorite techniques and materials?

BG: I think it's obvious, my favorite techniques are hexagons. I do have hexagon graph paper so that I can design my own quilts. If you looked around my house you could see that there are any number of quilts that I have designed that are just a little bit different. Sometimes I can do a scene. A lot of times I work with flowers because I really like flowers. I really like blues, so you'll find most of my quilts have a lot of blue in them.

NF: What kinds of materials do you prefer or--

BG: I like to work with cottons. I really like working with the Thimbleberries or the Moda lines [fabric companies.] the browns and the blues and the rust colors. More the Colonial colors. I really like working with those. I've tried working on different kinds of fabrics and I really like the way cotton feels and responds.

NF: What do you choose for your battings?

BG: Usually cotton. It's easier to quilt on. I do very minimal hand quilting. I have done it in the past. I have experienced it. It's not my favorite part of quilting and therefore I do not choose to go that route.

NF: So you do a lot of machine quilting?

BG: I do a lot of machine quilting, yes. And I usually do my smaller quilts; I will quilt them myself on my own machine. My bed quilts, I have come to the point where in order to get them done and to look really nice I will find a machine quilter with a long arm to do it. Somebody who has a lot of experience and who is recommended by others.

NF: Would you describe the place where you create your quilts or hangings?

BG: I have a sewing room in my new house. Right now I don't know that I would want to describe it because it is a total mess. I have not had the time or the energy, to go up and put everything away, yet. When it is done I will have my sewing machine and a large area for cutting. I have my design wall already there because I cannot function without a design wall. As a matter of fact I have three design walls. One is very small that I keep next to my hand sewing. It's only about twelve inches square. But in working with hexagons it's so much easier just to put those little pieces there and work around them. Depending on the size of the quilt that I'm doing, if it's a large quilt that I'm doing, it will go on my wall, per se. I have tried to put as many of my supplies as close to me. The feet for my sewing machine. The threads that I use. All of my fabric. I have the most fantastic closet that was built special just for my fabric. It's part of the knee wall. We have a very tall roof, and we decided to utilize the knee wall space. The carpenter who built the house made me a closet inside the knee wall that has sliding doors on it, with shelves inside. Unfortunately it's not big enough because I have so much fabric. I consider myself to be an artist. There is no artist who could begin to imagine painting without sufficient palette. My palette is my fabric. Just going in, even if I can't sew, pulling my boxes of fabric out and looking at them and feeling them, touching them, just gives me all kinds of good feelings.

NF: It sounds like a very cozy space.

BG: It will be when it gets a little bit more organized.

NF: Tell me how you balance your time.

BG: Balance time. Well, let me tell you. I get up at four o'clock in the morning. I make sure that I have at least an hour for myself to have my coffee, do my thinking for the day. Do my prayers, give Thanksgiving and take time to sew. At five thirty I am in the shower, out the door at quarter after six to exercise, get to work at seven thirty, which is a half an hour before I begin work, I work until four or four thirty, leave work, come home to my grand babies pounding on the door. I frequently have dinner with my daughter and her family. Am in bed by eight o'clock if not seven at night because I am so tired. [both speak at the same time.] But I make the most of my time. My quality time. I am a morning person. It's absolutely vital to me to be able to sew. So I make sure that I have that time before I start my day.

NF: What do you think makes a great quilt?

BG: Color. Design. Detail. Caring. How do you put caring into a quilt? Easy. You spend time and you really put a lot of yourself into it.

NF: What makes a quilt artistically powerful? Anything to add?

BG: Color, design. I guess I'd have to stay with color and design. Because when you first see a quilt it's either going to hit you or it's not. There are some out there that are really spectacular. We really need to encourage, especially our young, to get involved in quilting because we do not want it to be a lost art. And that's why I'm going to start my Noah, [grandson.] who is now four. He's asking me already to pick out fabrics and to make him this and make him that, show him how to do different stuff.

NF: Is he ready to help with basting some of your hexagons?

BG: I don't know about that. I did start him with sewing with a piece of cardboard and yarn and a big needle. Just to give him the feel of doing some hand sewing. He did like that, but I don't know how long he will be able to stay focused on that. He is an extremely active and energetic little boy. But I'm working on it.

NF: There may be hope.

BG: That's right.

NF: What makes a quilt appropriate for a museum or a special collection? If you were to have a collection, what would you look for?

BG: Hexagons. [both laugh.] Those are my favorites. Whenever I go to a museum I always look for the hexagons. You have to have a little bit of everything, I think, to really make a good collection. I have my own personal preferences. I really like hexagons, but I do think you need to have balance.

NF: Have you spotted a lot of hexagon quilts that were prior to the Depression era? In your looking at quilts in museums?

BG: Yes, I have seen them pre-Depression era. Now, that's interesting because I don't always look at those details. I look at the quilt, not when it was made but the actual design of the quilt, and look at it in the perspective of, 'Is this something that I would want to copy? Is this something that I would want to re-create with modern colors, with some of the choices that we have today?'

NF: What makes a great quiltmaker?

BG: You've got to be loving. You've got to be caring. You've got to be attuned to those fine details. You've got to be prepared to do the parts of it that you don't especially care for. You really need to be prepared to go the distance with your quilts. Do it from start to finish. But you also need to be able to walk away from it if it's not giving you the satisfaction that you should be getting from quiltmaking. Which is something that my girlfriend Sharon and I decided long ago that if there are quilts just sitting in our quilt room that we no longer like, if we have a friend who would really like that and would be able and willing to finish it, to give it to a friend. Let them finish it and enjoy it. Rather than hang on to it with the fear that some day somebody's going to take it and throw it away because they're not going to appreciate the time and the energy that went into it.

NF: Whose works are you drawn to and why? Are there some quiltmakers that you really enjoy looking for their next piece of work?

BG: [pauses 5 seconds.] I can't really say that there's anybody specific that I really like. I enjoy looking at quilts. I enjoy looking for different ideas, to see how other people have done things. I don't really have any favorites in the quiltmaker area. I do try to learn something new when I can. If there is a particular teacher at the Vermont Quilt Festival who is offering something that might be something that even I could enjoy, I will take the class. I know that I tend to be pretty narrow minded but I think in my narrow mindedness is a knowledge of myself, of what will give me pleasure because if it's going to frustrate me, I don't want to go there. That's not what quiltmaking is all about. [laughs.]

NF: Are there some specific teachers that come to mind in you're describing ones that you might want to take a class with?

BG: I have heard that Harriet Hargrave is great, because of her actual quilting. I know that that's one area that I would like to get more involved in. But I also know that machine quilting requires a lot of practice. My sewing machine does not bring me the pleasure that it brings to some people. I mean yes, if I want to do a quilt quickly then I will go to my sewing machine. If I want to create a piece of art, then I will sit down with my needle and thread.

NF: Are there any artists in other mediums that have influenced you?

BG: I really like looking at the things that Debbie Mumm has done. She's very, very homey, very simple. Clear designs. I first met up with Debbie Mumm many years ago in doing counted cross stitch. She came up with some really nice designs. I like Thimbleberries design. I like her fabric.

NF: Why is quiltmaking important to your life?

BG: Because it brings me peace. It makes me feel whole. It allows me to be creative in my own little way. It's just a part of who I am. Just like hexagons are a part of me.

NF: And all around us here.

BG: And all around us, that's right.

NF: In what ways do your quilts reflect your community or region?

BG: Well, I just did one on Lake Champlain, with a sailboat on it. As I've said before I've done Flying Geese. I do a lot of flowers. I do some stars. Those I think are all very much a part of my environment and the things that I enjoy.

NF: Was the piece with Lake Champlain to help celebrate their quadra centennial this year?

BG: No, unfortunately it was not. The quilt for Lake Champlain was the challenge for this year's Quiet Valley Quilters, which was basically to be about water. I had a very minimum amount of time this year to come up with a good idea. I saw a design in a magazine that was extremely simple. It was water on the bottom with a sunset on the top and a sailboat in the middle. I said, 'I can do that.' I did it in probably four or five week's time with one-inch hexagons.

NF: Do you work in one size hexagons, predominantly?

BG: Right now, yes. I do basically one-inch. I have done smaller. When I first started working with hexagons I was working with the larger ones because the first hexagon patch that I did was in the sampler. It was the Grandmother's Flower Garden rosette. From there, it was so easy. It's like you just cut millions of them and you cut paper and then you can sit anywhere and work on them. When I first started doing it I had to hand cut every single one of my papers to baste my fabric to. Since then I have found a paper punch that punches out my hexagon papers, to very uniform size. That's one of the things that Sharon usually gives for a present at the end of the year, either for my birthday or for Christmas, is a whole bunch of hexagon papers for my next quilt.

NF: Sounds like a great gift.

BG: Oh, it's wonderful.

NF: What do you think about the importance of quilts in American life?

BG: I think that quilts are very important for what they tell us. So many of our quilters create quilts that speak of themselves and the things that they've seen, the places they've been, and where they want to go. We have so much documented in quilts. It is so important just for the art in itself that we pass these on to our children and pass on the love of quilting to our children.

NF: In what ways do you think quilts have special meaning for women's history in America?

BG: The same reason. They have told so many stories. That was the way for women who did not have a whole lot time for different reasons to be creative, to do something for their families, to be able to ply their needle along with filling a need of having a warm blanket on the bed. Of creating a piece of artwork to give, not so much artwork to hang on the walls, but a quilt to put on the bed for newlyweds. For people to come together, to work together for a common cause.

NF: Have you worked on charity quilts? You speak of a common cause.

BG: Well, I do a lot of baby quilts. The reasons I do baby quilts are because they're small and they're easy. I usually do a number of quilts or baby sweaters in the course of a year to donate to Care-net Pregnancy. It's my quiet way of saying, 'I protest abortion.' There is no reason for abortion. When I donate a quilt to Care-net, there's usually a note on it that says, 'Thank you for giving the gift of life to your child.' That is one of the charities that I feel very, very deeply about.

NF: How do you think quilts can be used?

BG: Oh, come on. Look around my house. They are for warmth. They are for decoration. Every bed in my house has a quilt. Every chair in my house has a quilt. I have quilted pillows. I make sure that my family has all of the quilts that they need and more. My grandbabies have gotten at least two apiece. That's really minimizing what I am doing for my grandbabies.

NF: How do you think quilts can be preserved for the future?

BG: How do we preserve them for the future? We just make sure that they're taken care of. But most of my quilts that are bed quilts and the baby quilts, I don't know that they will be preserved, because they will be so well worn. The quilts that I have given to my nieces and to my sister-in-law, who really appreciates my work, have been worn to threads, because they use them over and over and over again. There are some, my wall hangings will be preserved. Just the fact that they're hung on the wall.

NF: And not handled regularly.

BG: And not handled regularly. Correct.

NF: Quickly, what do you think is the biggest challenge confronting quiltmakers today?

BG: Finding the time to quilt and justifying it to the world around them. That it is a good thing to be doing, that we should be doing.

NF: Beth is there anything that you would like to add to this interview?

BG: I think I have talked plenty. [laughs.] But it has been so much fun, Nola. Thank you so much.

NF: You're welcome. I'd like to thank Beth Giard for allowing me to interview her today as part of the Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories. Our interview concluded at 4:52 p.m. on August 11, 2009.

[interview concludes.]


“Beth Giard,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed May 27, 2024,