I’ve been otherwise occupied for a while. As said in Winnie The Pooh, Bizy backson. A while back I mentioned that I might as well name this site Family Medical History Using Offline Tools, and that is so. My father is reaching the end of a long, long road. He is now at home, receiving hospice care. So. Well. suffice it to say, I haven’t been stoking this site with a ton of new posts and articles.
I’m going to be attending the Oral History Association annual meeting in Louisville, KY this month. I’ll be speaking there about doing family oral history (don’t take it personally? But I have to take it personally!)
There’s a part where I’ll talk about what it’s like to listen to oral histories after the interviewee has died. As I’ve been putting together the presentation, I planned to talk about my grandpa, and tell the story of my boyfriend’s Mom. But I don’t know that I want to talk about my reactions to listening to oral histories I’ve recorded with my dad—and my reactions to them—in real time.
I did write some reflections and reactions to interviewing Dad… not long after an interview.
I enjoy reading your blog - the tips and suggestions you offer your readers are truly valuable. More importantly, they make one want to go out there, purchase a recorder and press the red button.
I’m a Video Biographer and a large part of what I do is help families preserve the stories and memories of the important people in their lives by interviewing them on video… so I know how important it is to get people thinking about being active in documenting their own life experiences, as well as those of their family and friends.
Like you mentioned in a recent blog post, I agree that recording life stories is not about thinking someone is about to die… but more about acknowledging their importance in your life by getting them to share more information about themselves, their childhood, the world as it once used to be… so that future generations have a valuable legacy. A legacy of understanding, belonging and roots. I am sorry to hear that your father is unwell and would just like you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.