By Kay Whatley
When my Grandmother, Ruth, was in her 90s, we started recording her telling stories of her life. She had written some down during her life. We got her on tape talking about her early life. My aunt even took her to a “legacy” studio and made videos of “Grandma” Ruth’s storytelling.
My Dad recently passed away at an unexpected 75 years old. We had not even begun to work on recording his stories. We hadn’t asked him to tell us about parts of his life which he thought were good stories for passing on. He didn’t talk too much about such things when we were children, at least not as I recall. Dad had been ill, and the last dozen visits he had been too weak to talk much. Things we might have asked him about, he didn’t have the strength for the telling.
He was so much younger than his mother was when we worked to save her-story. We thought there was plenty of time with Dad for talking, asking, listening, recording, and writing things down.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that it is never too early to start. Even if you’re “middle aged”, it may be time to pass stories down for our children, to learn from our parents, and to ensure the family history is passed on. Whether you use video, audio, or paper, now is a good time.