Happy Thanksgiving- A Tradition of Recording

by Intern Brooke Connolly

Me and Grandma. Keeping it Positive with a Thumbs Up on Celluloid.

 I have always enjoyed recording family gatherings. I’m sure most of you would agree to this statement. You may record with still images (most popular) or you may record with more involved moving images. Both mediums, suited perfectly and time-tested for documenting life as it happens, but here are a few more memory vehicle suggestions that may spark a new tradition!

·         Have a designated journal that comes out and sits on the table for all the big occasions. Casually inscribe a funny quote you hear in conversation or fun facts you learn, i.e.-that Uncle Mike was the one responsible for burning down Grandma’s house in 1963, while playing with matches in the attic, forcing grandma, widow of seven children, to relocate into a single hotel room at the Howard Johnson’s, in Middletown, New Jersey, for the entire month of December… Less heavy option: you can use it like a yearbook by having everyone sign it!

·         Place a device that records audio in the gathering room. This is my preferred method after learning that my Uncle Bill had in fact been doing this years and years ago with an analog tape recorder. What a treat it was to hear those! Audio can be a less intrusive way to capture the essence of your loved ones, by simply preserving their voice. Get creative and interview people! And, if you’re lucky, maybe you can enhance the experience by getting an expressive relative to visually set the scene. Side note-for the future, it can be easier to share audio with a large group of people because it doesn’t require as much active participation as say, showing a video does.

I just returned from a lovely AND important Thanksgiving dinner. It’s the first one after my mom has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. There are no flashing low battery lights, last page numbers, or a tape’s visible end when it comes to our time here as we know it, so be good to each other, today. And, back up those ethereal memories with some solid tangible datum.

Here is a link to tonight’s holiday interview, with my grandma, who is as sweet as peach pie. Listen as we explore the personification of food. Much Love and Laughter.

Audio Memory-Thanksgiving 2009: Grandma Connolly

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