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Creating a legacy for tomorrow by cherishing our past and
connecting with our present

Fremont folks star in telling of history
Video interviews spotlight different eras

By Chris De Benedetti, STAFF WRITER
Fremont Argus
April 4, 2006

FREMONT - As the Celebrate Fremont Heritage Team seeks to honor the city during its 50th anniversary, it has turned to an unlikely group to act as town historians: ordinary citizens.

The results will be on display April 19 with an event titled "Fremont Stories: The Oral History Project." Led by Celebrate Fremont Heritage Team members Patricia Schaffarczyk and Nydia Estrada, the presentation will feature video interviews of Fremont residents sharing their memories and stories of the city they call home.

A handful of the more than 30 interviews will be shown, highlighting the different eras and cultures that have comprised Fremont's history, Estrada said.

"Just by listening to these stories, you learn how Fremont came to be and what it means to (its citizens)," she said.

Attendees also are encouraged to share their memories at the program, which will be held at the Fremont Main Library as part of its monthly speaker series in celebration of the city's 50th anniversary.

"You don't have to be in the headlines or be a city official to have a story," Schaffarczyk said. "Everybody has a story."

A team of volunteers from Ohlone College, the Fremont Adult School and area high schools have helped videotape the interviews, said Schaffarczyk, coordinator of the project.

"Everybody sees and remembers their youth and the times in which they lived with their own perspective," Schaffarczyk said, explaining her passion for the oral history project. "Talking to people makes that history seem more alive."

Staff writer Chris De Benedetti covers Fremont issues. He can be reached at (510) 353-7002 or

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