Afterwards

Now that you've done an oral history, what will you do with it?

Ringing in the New Year with some Resolve

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My new year’s resolutions come in two parts– things I personally resolve to do with my own family history, and things I resolve to do on this website. Ideas for personal resolutions come from that inner nagging or cringe sensation (why is it nag and cringe rather than simple drooling?), and ideas for the site came from a fabulous afteroon this past week brainstorming with a friend about this website. Disclaimer: I don’t know if all of these are resolutions, but here’s my ongoing To-Do list.

Interview Dad. I’m going to sit down with my Dad and interview him. (I’ve done some interviewing of Mom this last year – you mighta seen the 3 minute movie I made from a story my Mom told me.) I interviewed my Mom last Mother’s Day, but I’m not going to wait until Father’s Day to interview my Dad. I did show him the forms and materials for the Veterans’ History Project, so he’s got an idea of what we’ll talk about.

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Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on December 31, 2006 in • AfterwardsDo it: YourselfGenealogyHousekeepingPersonal History
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“I’m so glad you did this. So glad.”

Doc M's mom with her dorm mates at UCLA in the 1940s

Those are the words my boyfriend Doc M said to me as we listened to his mother talk about her life. Two years ago, I recorded an interview with her. Three nights ago, we heard that recording for the first time since I– well, we– made it.

My boyfriend’s mother went into the hospital in early October. She died two weeks later, on October 19.

(This story, in addition to saying something about recording family oral history, is also an explanation why there’s been so little activity on this site recently.)

Over the weekend, Doc M worked on a first draft of the eulogy for his mother’s memorial.

Now, Doc M is an engineer; what comes naturally to him is stuff like reading over my article on analog and digital and then saying, “wait a second. I don’t know if that illustration is correct.” We google the mathematical algorithm for digitizing, and he– right then and there– jots it down, and starts working through the math. Just like that! I’m amazed. But writing? No, that’s what I do. He’s often said, “I’m not a writer.”

But he is a son, and there’s a eulogy that must be written.

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Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on October 30, 2006 in • AfterwardsPersonal History
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