I have no flowery intro. Too tired. Just requests this time.
I’ve wanted for a while to sit down my old relatives and get the stories of their lives. It’s a nice way to bond, especially because the surge is gonna keep me away from them.now. But I’m not quite sure what to ask!
So I’m going to start making a list of questions and would love any resources or questions that you’d out in this kind of recorded history. I’m going to use voice memos mostly, but video when possible might be good too.
story from your childhood you hid from your parents/your parents never found out about
favourite holiday as a child and why/how it was celebrated
first time really out on your own
road not taken - a decision you look back on and wonder how different your life had been had you done that thing instead
something they are known for now/really good at/a tradition - when and why did you start? why keep going?
A recommendation about another way to approach this, spoilering if not helpful!
Depending on the family member and a person’s willingness/ability to spend $80, I really can’t recommend Storyworth enough for this. I think there is something about sending it to an anonymous email address (vs. to me directly), and it’s a nice pace to have one question/week. I got it for my parent who talks all the time and my parent who never talks or answers direct questions, and I’ve learned a ton about them and their families.
That’s where the above questions come from. And apparently there’s even more questions grouped by phase of life - childhood, adolescence, young adult, etc.
Edit: I do think there’s pros both ways - Storyworth makes everything into a book at the end of the year, but you only get to ask 52 questions and they respond by typing an email. Doing it orally you might run into preservation issues later with file formatting but you can make it more of an interview or conversation. My dad has replied to his first question with just over 100 words, I’d love to hear more but maybe that question just didn’t spark a longer answer in his mind. My mom hasn’t replied to the first question yet despite being really excited about the idea initially (though I think she’s also been busy? I can’t keep track of her social calendar).