What happens the person who’s usually the interviewee borrows your fancy digital recorder and becomes the interviewer? What happens when your Mom goes across the country and will see someone you’ve been wanting to interview for, like forever? Do you say, Okay Mom, please ask these questions. Oh, and would you record it? How do you make using the recorder as simple as possible? Will it work out?
The other week, my Mom went from West Coast to East Coast to attend her 60th high school reunion. I loaned her my easiest-to-use recorder with some very basic instruction. And hoped for the best.
Background: The stories I want to hear
My gradmother worked for the General Electric Company twice—in the 1920s before her children were born, and again from 1941 until she retired in 1966. The person I’ve wanted to interview—a woman whose initials are NF—was mentored by my grandmother. They both worked in an industry where women professionals were A Rare Thing.
Here’s something else that’s important: Grandma lived on the other side of the country.
Grandma died a few months ...Read More
Podcast memories of Katrina and the flood, from Louisiana State University’s Oral History Program. This is the second in the Katrina retrospective, using oral histories.
The MP3 audio podcast (playable right in the browser window) contains numerous clips from interviewees.
It was through listening to this podcast that I learned of the Floodwall exhibit and oral history that I wrote about in the previous post.
(Stick through the first minute of audio of the recording—unfortunately, the first 50 seconds of the 27-minute recording is boomy with that icky metallic note of excessive audio compression. It seriously gets much, much better after that. I nearly clicked away a few seconds in, thinking the entire recording would be like the first part, but I was very glad I stuck out the first minute.)
Some highlights from the podcast, with recollections of Katrina:
How memories of Hurricane Betsy (1965) helped one person decide what, exactly, to ...Read More