Studs Terkel: Touch and Go

The LA Times reviews the new memoir by Studs Terkel: Touch and Go. It’s about Studs Terkel’s amazing life.

“I have, after a fashion, been celebrated for having celebrated the lives of the uncelebrated among us; for lending voice to the face in the crowd,” Terkel, now 95, writes in “Touch and Go,” his new memoir. In a dozen books of oral history, including “The Good War” (about World War II), “Hard Times” (the Great Depression) and “Working” (the life of people on the job), Terkel has won an enduring place in American letters. “Touch and Go” is, not surprisingly, conversational and impressionistic.

 

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on October 30, 2007 in • General
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This Sunday! Rosie Riveter National Park in Richmond, Ca

image In the SF Bay Area? Visit Rosie Riveter/World War II Homefront National Park this Sunday afternoon, Oct 28. It’s a wandery spot, so here are the definitive times to meet: 12:30 Rosie Memorial, 2:00 SS Red Oak Victory Ship ($5 tour donation).

I discovered this park while doing research for the War Stories Genealogy Carnival. Glad to discover it before a trip to the Bay Area.

The link to the Upcoming site has all the deets, links and way to RSVP (Upcoming uses a Yahoo sign-in). I’ll be in Bay Area for the Oral History Association conference, and will inviting people from the conference, as well as having invited some Bay Area web and software developers in the personal history/digital storytelling realm.

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Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on October 24, 2007 in • General
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A blaze of story

Southern California is burning up. Again. best wishes to Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings. I just saw that evacuations are being issued for Chula Vista, where he lives.

My brother lives in San Diego county; he got a 6am robo-call saying No School and other local news alerts related to fires in the area. I always think about the things I’d take if I had to (bummer about that small car!). In his case, he keeps meaning to unearth a tape he made with our Grandpa. Er, this is a thought I have on his behalf, not a thought he has.

Also, the San Bernardino Mountain fire is threatening the family cabin. I think this is the third alarm. First was in 2003. We keep saying that the only thing worth keeping and saving are the three log books. Each visitor to the cabin writes in them. They date back to 1968.

I remember after the 2003 fires that ravaged San ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on October 22, 2007 in • MemorabiliaPersonal History
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Is it witchcraft?

When I re-read a letter I got from my Dad’s cousin Lainey in 1987, I encountered a family ghost. Well, not exactly, but a couple of family witches. So for the current Hallowe’en themed Carnival of Genealogy, I’ll post the excerpt of her letter.

Now (and here comes a genealogical “goodie”!) take a look at Chart #27. Fine person #1 ... Rebecca Carrington. Boy, oh boy—what a discovery! Her parents were John Carrington, a carpenter by trade, and Joan [__?__]. John was charged with witchcraft 9and so was wife Joan) in 1650. His (and soon after, hers, too) trial was held in Hartford, Connecticut on Feb 20, 1650. the jury came in with a guilty verdict on March 6, 1650 and they were both hanged as witches shortly after in Wethersfield, Conn. where they resided. How their daughter Rebecca survived that awful tragedy, growing up to marry a well-to-do merchant, Abraham Andruss, and settling in Waterbury, Connecticut—would probably ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on October 15, 2007 in • GenealogyPersonal History
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A Grandfather’s War Stories

Kenneth Harbaugh reflects on stories his grandfather told him about World War 2. (links goes to page on NPR with link to 3+ minute audio file). Harbaugh describes being a young kid listening to the humorous twists to his grandfather’s stories (“War, for all I knew, was fun”), and then, as they both got older, the stories took on a different meaning.

When I was nine, my family visited the American Military Cemetery in Luxembourg, near where the Battle of the Bulge took place. I had never seen my grandfather cry before. But watching his face as “Taps” was played, I finally made the connection between the tales he told and the real cost of his war. I began to ask for the other  stories, as much as I knew they might terrify me.

Besides being just a good story about a grandson and grandfather, two other things about this audio essay struck me:

The stories change over time, as the listener grows old enough to hear the more difficult parts of someone’s life story. And, for all I know, the aging witness to past events wants to pass ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on October 10, 2007 in • AudioPersonal History
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Densho Project: Remembering the Japanese Internment

The Densho project is named for the term “to pass on to the next generation,” or to leave a legacy. The Project’s mission is “to preserve the testimonies of Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated during World War II before their memories are extinguished. We offer these irreplaceable firsthand accounts, coupled with historical images and teacher resources, to explore principles of democracy and promote equal justice for all.”

A few highlights of the site:

Sites of shame: A flash site where you can learn more about the different types and locations of internment camps. (link goes to intro page; you click a link on that page to launch Flash app)


They have a learning center with a select sample of interviews from their archives, some of which they just posted to YouTube.

The site has extensive archives; you need to register to get full access. It’s free, and mostly geared toward education, but they want you to read their agreement about the archival materials and understand what you can and cannot do with them. It took about a day for me to receive my username and password from the Densho Project.

...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on October 04, 2007 in • Online Oral History CollectionsOral History Projects
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