We received the Mary Faye Barnes Award for Excellence in Community History Projects from the Texas Oral History Association in 2009. Here’s what TOHA board member Cynthia Beeman (at right in photo) had to say when she presented us with the award at the Violet Crown Festival on November 14 of that year:

The Texas Oral History Association provides leadership and instruction in the gathering and preservation of individual and community history through the spoken word. It is my pleasure to be here this afternoon to represent the organization’s board of directors.

The value of oral history cannot be understated. The unique perspectives provided by oral interviews and memories enrich the documented history of our communities, and engender a sense of pride and a sense of place that make each neighborhood and community unique.

Our history is the story of shared experiences, and those experiences are often best related by individuals, whose memories together form the mosaic of our lives. The project we honor today exemplifies that commitment to community spirit and preservation of neighborhood history.

Susan and Rob Burneson, through their documentary film A Community Mosaic, have captured the soul and spirit of the Crestview and Brentwood neighborhoods by providing an opportunity for the people who built and live in the communities to tell their stories.

Through careful research, combining historic photographs, music, home movies, and interviews, the Burnesons have created a valuable historical resource that not only provides a source of celebration with their neighbors, but also leaves a priceless legacy for future generations.

As the Burnesons have said, the film “reveals important truths for people of all ages: being a good neighbor and working to keep community spirit alive makes a neighborhood strong and a great place to live.”

You can hardly ask for more than that from your neighbors. It is my honor to present the Texas Oral History Association’s 2009 Mary Faye Barnes Award for Excellence in Community History to your neighbors Rob and Susan Burneson.

Visit the Texas Oral History Association website here.

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