The Remembering Site
The Remembering Site —Sharing our collective memories— is a website where you can join, and be presented with a host of questions to answer. It’s like writing a personal memoir, in small stages. The site is primarily devoted to text and writing recollections. But the nonprofit foundation offers audio recording services, too. One co-founder, DG Fulford (together with her brother Bob Greene) wrote a book To Our Chidren’s Children, an excellent book of questions to spark memory and recollection.
You sign up for the site, pay $10, and are guided to answer as many or as few of the myriad questions presented. Here are a few from the page of sample questions (that’s 4 of 32; go the page for all of ‘em). I like them for the way that they pull for specifics and sensory details, but if you’re going to be asking questions in a conversation, I wouldn’t ask multiple-point questions:
Did your grandparents live nearby? How often did you visit their homes? Did the house have a special cooking smell? Onions? Cookies? What did their couch feel like? How big was the kitchen?
Do you remember “getting” a concept in school? Cursive writing, maybe? Do you remember the moment when you first learned to read? Was school work hard or easy for you?
How did you get to school? Did you walk? Did you walk with a group of kids from the neighborhood or by yourself?
What have been the personal landmarks in your life? Did you turn at the Sunoco station when you were coming home from your errands? Was there a newsstand you stopped at frequently? What did you see every day on your route to school? To work?