I met with a ‘grand-cousin’ Kay (you know, the cousin-of-my-grandmother. Yes, I just made up that term) today to interview her; gently pull out memories of her grandparents and family (the same people I’m writing about) of them back in ‘the day.’
After two hours of talking and eating a delicious dinner at the heath-food store/restaurant she owns, I was struck by how vastly different people’s memories are. My grand-cousin knew details about her grandparents that my grandmother had not a clue of, such as their height, hair color, eye color, how they dressed, the way they walked . . . the little details. The ‘big details’ – the events – Kay had a harder time remembering correctly, while those are the best memories my grandmother has been able to relate to me.
I wish I could just sit and listen all day to stories and memories the older generations have locked away in their wizened minds. It terrifies me that their generation could pass away with stories yet untold, memories left forgotten. It makes me so glad that someone in the church had the forethought to take oral histories of the people that I am writing about so I have their memories and stories to read through now.
With the pieces I gleaned from Kay today I feel almost, almost, ready to begin writing writing.