My mother was an actor. Entertained the troops in the war, entertained 100,000 men on an island in the Pacific. She did a lot of work for the US government. She lived around the corner from Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.
She worked with all these actors. She had a photographic memory, so a lot of times, she would tell the actor what their lines were if they forgot.
But the one thing that is critically important to realize, is I never interviewed her. And I have no excuse. I’ve had a video production company for 30 years, and why I didn’t interview my mother to get the stories, is incredibly stupid.
However, what you can do now, if you have parents or grandparents that are still alive, interview them on tape. I don’t care if it’s with a cell phone. Video camera’s better, but a cell phone works just as well. Get their story on tape. You never know what story they have to tell. It’s something you can leave to your kids and their grandchildren. You know, using their voice, using their visual image. It’s really, really, really important.
But also, work with them. They most likely have photographs in boxes in their closet. Get them to get the boxes of photographs out, put them on a table, and have your parents or grandparents identify those photographs to add relevance to those pictures before you digitize them.
I gave my mother a tape recorder. I said, “Mom, tell me some stories.” After she passed away, there was 10 minutes. But people don’t do it by themselves. It takes an interest on your part to ahead, and help your parents and grandparents get their story out, something that you can be proud of. Something that kids can see. Its important for your family history and I’d love to help you anyway I can save some of the most valuable memories forever.