[UPDATED] My story about last Saturday’s Storycorps is coming. It’ll be a big photo essay. Lotsa details. Alas, tho, it’s been one of those weeks, so it’s not done yet. Here’s a wee preview – the end product, the disk. (click thumbnail to enlarge)
Update: It’s here!!. Oh, and the L.A. Times did a story on StoryCorps in MacArthur Park
I love the internets. Yesterday, I did a news roundup and saw that a lecture would be taking place today in Syracuse at the Erie Canal Museum. I drooled at the topic: Myth and History. When family or community stories are mythologized – whether by accident or on purpose – and how this isn’t so great for future generations. I’d love to go. Now, I live in the Los Angeles area, so of course I wasn’t able to get there. But I happen to notice that Apple of Apple’s tree recently blogged about a house in Syracuse. Hm. Is Apple close to Syracuse? Does she know about the lecture? Is her schedule free? I sent her an email. Her answers: Yes, She does now, and Yes!!! Color me stoked.
At Creating Lifelong Learners, Mathew kicks off the Digital Storytelling Blog Carnival. The carnival is monthly, and is geared toward video (if you’ve seen my movie, Interviewing my Mom about her Mom, you know that ‘video’ is subject to wider interpretations). A good set of links if you’re interested in telling stories using digital video. Submit entries here.
Here’s a roundup of stories about oral history in the news. One is for an event that takes place in Syracuse, NY, tomorrow at the Erie Canal Museum. Wish I could be there.
Syracuse, NY, Saturday, January 19, 1pm: Erie Canal Museum’s speaker series starts off with a session I’d like to attend: “Robert Arnold kicks off the series with “Myth and History: Distilling the Truth.” Sometimes accidentally and sometimes purposefully we mythologize our family and community histories, offering the future no service by doing so.”
Daily Mail (UK) reviews Studs Terkel’s book, Touch and Go, and gives a bit of profile of the man, telling how interactions with the residents of his parents’ boarding house shaped him: “These waifs and strays were the making of Terkel, teaching him how to listen and how to feel empathy.”
I whiled away a bit of time last night adding tags to photos. At first, I thought, Oh, there’s nothing to add. But then I discovered that there were tags I could add. (in the process, I discovered that there are two ways to spell bandolier/bandoleer, the criss-cross belt worn on the torso that holds ammunition. Who knew?)
I’d love to see more tags added by those who know fashions and can name the style of jacket, or hat. I mean sombrero and bowler I know, but what about the type of caps worn by boys in 1910, or the style of jacket lapels or decorations on a woman’s dress? And tho I found much to admire in outfits worn by people, I certainly didn’t want to add stylin’ as a tag.
January 24, 1pm. Free to public. A workshop to learn how to do oral history at the Snow Hill Library.
New (to me): Express Scribe, software to transcribe audio. Cross platform, Windows and Mac. Works with key commands or keyboard pedal. Worth looking into. Linked post says to watch out for all the upgrade offers: This free software is “bait” to get you to buy other stuff.
Hello, again. It’s been a busy week. More posts to come.
How to Draw a Face: A Mystery. A son asks his father the story behind the face that Dad always drew on cards and birthday cakes. [via boingBoing] A delightful story in three parts, 60 years in the making. “The only reason the internet exists is for this conversation to be on it!”
My father has been drawing this same ‘face’ on my birthday cards and cakes for as long as I remember. I recently started pressing him for info about this face that he’s been drawing for 60 years and it all unfolded with a completely unexpected and satisfying ending.
Photo albums are a thing of beauty. I got to witness an oral history interview about a photo album on my Christmas holiday travels. I was the silent third party, operating the equipment, and asking the occasional question to pull out a few more details. Son brings Father a photo album, put together by Son’s Mother. The album was discovered after Mother’s death. It covers the time in Mother’s and Father’s early life together, before the kids were born, and before the Mother and Father’s divorce. Father is the only one alive who can describe what’s going on in the photos. Here are a few observations I made about interviewing with photo albums.
Photos are a fabulous memory trigger. When sparking a conversation about someone’s recollections, how do you get to the well of memories inside a person’s mind? Questions may trigger… they are words to tap that well, but that recollection-well still resides inside the person’s mind. Pictures are external triggers. They bring back the memories for the interviewee. Plus, being external, the interviewer can make his or her own observations about what’s in the picture, and use them to elicit more information. “Tell me about the car” or “Look at the uniform you wore! When did you get that uniform?” or “Whose house is that?”
Interviewing over photo albums For The Record. It’s wholly ...Read More
A year ago, I wrote an overly ambitious set of goals for the year. I knew at the time that it was overly ambitious. I go back and read it and cringe at some things. And say hooray over some others. My resolution for 2008 is more modest…. it’s illustrated at left, and explained later on, after I review the planned and unplanned accomplishments of the past year.
Goals accomplished (in one form or another)
- Interview Dad. Yep. Did that in 2007. On more than one occasion. Even transcribed a bit from one interview here. And pondered what happens during an interview, too.
- Digitize a certain cassette tape recorded the morning after Great-great-Uncle Frank’s Hundredth Birthday party. Did that. It was actually recorded in 1980. CDs have been distributed to immediate family, one cousin, and —as of a few days ago—a first cousin twice removed (Grandpa’s cousin). This last point is cool. I also know the birth order and names of all family members of that family.
- Letter scanning. I originally set out to scan and digitize them. Decided fooey, forget ...Read More