Monday, August 3, 2009

For the record: Talking with Grandma, Part Deux

So, my cousin Cliff Raynor and I sat down with my grandmother, Mary Cronin Raynor, on Sunday July 19th to talk about genealogy. My cousin, who is just beginning to get sucked into the genealogy vortex, had a lot of questions for my grandmother about what it was like growing up during the Depression, how she and my grandfather met, what Freeport was like when she was a little girl, etc. etc. Some stories I already knew, some I was hearing for the first time. I knew that my grandparents weren't married till my grandmother was 31 (I used to think that was way old, and back then it probably was, but now that I'm almost 30, it seems almost too young, ha ha...), but I didn't know she had a bunch of boyfriends before my grandfather. In fact, apparently, at one point she was dating three of them at the same time, going on all sorts of dates to the city. My grandmother, playing the field!

The conversation wasn't just for our own edification, though; yes, we were curious, but we are also, apparently, genealogists, so before we sat down and talked with Grandma, I told her I was going to record it. Memories can be tricky, and I didn't trust that I would remember everything she said if I went back and wrote it down later. I thought a video camera might have been a little much - I didn't want her to be nervous or self-conscious, but I had a voice recorder, and I was able to record much of the conversation. That will now become another record in my ever expanding collection of records, and one day when I show my children photos of their great-grandmother, I'll also be able to let them hear what she sounded like.

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