Last week, I walked around my old neighborhood and experienced a rush of memories:

  • The tree fort we built in the woods
  • The crazy lady obsessed with her lawn
  • The tree I fell out of requiring an ambulance ride
  • The grass field where we once played sports
  • The retired German couple that taught me life lessons about the harshness of war
  • The place where my friend and I burned out his mom’s washing machine motor (great story!)
  • The family that moved without telling me, costing me a week’s worth of paper route money

Each memory was tied to a place, such as a house, a tree, or a field. Each served as anchors to a personal story.

Anchors are special adaptations of the StoryHow™ PitchDeck Card #57 (Symbolism). They take the form of physical objects or places that hold a particular memory.

Storytellers use anchors to set memories. Perhaps you need an audience to remember something later in a story. Or, maybe you want to encode a message for long-term memory. Carefully placing an object into a scene or an event into a setting can setup a memory for whenever that object or setting is encountered.

Want to make something super memorable? Use an anchor.


Photo Credit: Siegel, Arthur S, photographer. Bethlehem-Fairfield shipyards, Baltimore, Maryland. Stockpile of ships anchors. Baltimore Maryland, 1943. May. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, (Accessed October 20, 2017.)