Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Children were asked recently if they listened to their grand parents stories. One child said they were too boring, another said their grand parents didn't talk about the past, and two others listened to the stories of living in New Mexico and living during the depression.

The Anderson-Rye branch of my children's family were rich in oral history stories. The children who lived close had a grand mother who could animate to the point one was sitting on the edge of the happening watching the events happen. Her children know those stories well, and some of the great grandchildren also know them because the parents have passed them on.

A typical visit was:

How are you?

How was your trip?

Are you hungry?

General news of the day


Even as one who did not grow up in the family circle, I remember fondly the same stories being told by another member of the family. The slant may be different but the out come was the same. Such as it was with Ralph and Ella or Ella and Cliff. In her last days, Ella and Ralph were captured by Lisa reminiscing about the axe and the cut foot.

Old Trunks is remembering the story about the letters Cliff sent to his sister Ella, when he was a gunner in WWII. What I imagined was Cliff sending her gum wrappers to give her a clue as to how many missions he had flown. After understanding what and how V Mail was moved, I came to realized it was not gum wrappers but pieces or packs of gum he had chewed which was the clue as to the number of missions.

The site of the reminisce was nearly always the same. It took place around a table, generally in the kitchen. It was a cozy grouping which overflowed with chairs around the table and at the corners. Questions and comments were added and asked but the story teller was in charge.

Old Trunks would like you to think about the following questions. Perhaps you have grand children who are intrigued with your past. Perhaps you would like to take the time to reminisce the questions yourself. Either way, it is a good exercise to get away from this thing called January blizzards.

“What are your three top memories?”

“What is your earliest memory?”

“What is your happiest memory?"

“If you’d care to share it, what is your saddest memory?"

“What do you want me to know about you?”•

"If you could talk to anybody again, who would that be and what would you say?"

“What do you want me not to forget about you?”

....and the north wind blows.........


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