Somewhere, some random place, I have a tape recording of my grandparents from when I interviewed them. I think I was perhaps a senior in high school doing a paper on one of them. Or perhaps I was a bit older and was interviewing them in order to write about them for a creative writing class in junior college. It can't have been as late as senior college as my parents had moved by then to a different house in a different state and distinctly remember the interview taking place around the dining room table in our Santa Cruz Mountain house.
And, really, "interview" is too structured a word. I'd ask a question and get the stories flowing. Stories of their childhoods. Their early memories. The depression years. The war years. The post-war years. Slowly working our way up to when they met...my mom in her early 20s living with my grandmother, a single woman again, by choice. Living in a crazy apartment complex...with the crazy party girl next door (who would later become my aunt when her brother came home from Nam and stayed with her for a time) and the man upstairs who knew how to throw a grand party and make a mean martini and romance a woman who had struck out on her own...who would one day be my grandpa.
Some where is that tape...that should be found and should be transfered to a digital recording, before it and its stories are lost to our family...just as its story-tellers already are.
Thank you to my friend Vivian for posting Roger Egbert's link to his journal posting I Remember You. Maybe I will remember where I put that tape so that my niece and nephew can hear their great-grandparents' voices and hear them tell old family stories before the time comes that no one is left to remember.