What is it about?

Some experiences in places stick with us. These places, which I call memory anchors, are locations in which a formative portion of a person’s life story is rooted. They provide us with a set of values, a guide for interacting with others, and a foundation for our identity. For some senior citizens who grew up in Scottsbluff, NE, the Eagle Café has worked as a memory anchor as they learned how the traditions and practices of Japanese Americans enhanced their understanding of the world around them. The lessons these individuals learned contributed to their self-described lifelong commitments to expanding their horizons, welcoming others, and forming bonds within and across communities.

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Why is it important?

This article helps us recognize the value of remembered places and the benefits of interacting with others unlike us.


In researching and writing this article, I learned more about my family's history, the history of my hometown, and the power that places have to shape our lives--even decades after we last visited them.

Roger Aden
Ohio University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Memory Anchors in the Great Plains: The Case of the Eagle Café, Great Plains Quarterly, September 2022, Project Muse,
DOI: 10.1353/gpq.2022.0045.
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