FAMILY: Oral Histories Harvest Family Heritage
Media now provide families with a variety of opportunities to capture the moment. In addition to written journals and photographs, audiocassette recorders and video cameras can preserve family stories and the treasured personas of loved ones. The immediacy of a grandparent or other relative's voice and/or image is special indeed.
All family members can be involved in preparing an oral history. Gather two or more family members (the more the better) around a cassette recorder or video camera. Questions that stimulate stories and detailed recollections will spark the most memories:
Setting aside plenty of time for the recording process will help reassure a nervous older relative. If you relax and let the session unfold at its own pace, the chances are good that everyone involved will forget the equipment. The spontaneity and enjoyment of a family remembering session can become a precious gift for everyone involved.
Memories and shared family heritages are irreplaceable. The process is fun, and it gives a sense of continuity to everyone from age two to 92.