Monday, February 6, 2012
The whole of a life: a moment;
A few weeks ago, I launched an oral history series at work. In it, I record (then condense/edit) people talking about memories of Aloha, the unincorporated community I cover. Right now, the county is working on a federally funded study aimed at eventually remaking Aloha. Because the community will likely change considerably in the next few decades, I decided to collect memories to preserve the place Aloha was. Each audio story is accompanied by a portrait of that person.
So far, I've published three. I had an especially fun time recording today's story, wherein a woman remembers her childhood job picking strawberries. She talks about strawberries fights and strawberry shampoos. You can listen to it on Oregonlive: http://www.oregonlive.com/aloha/index.ssf/2012/02/aloha_stories_for_jessica_john.html
Tomorrow I'm heading out to interview a man who has lived there his entire life. I asked him if I could interview him, but he demurred at first, saying:
"To pick apples off the ground and grind and press them into juice with a 90 year old farmer who was born in the house where he would die within a few years, to eat fresh cookies and pies in old fashion kitchens with elderly neighbors you knew as grandma this or uncle that, to search the road side ditches for old beer bottles that we then worked with the retired tent wrestler to sterilize and then fill with home-made root beer that we were free to get from his barn refrigerator seems like a world too good to be true and never again to be enjoyed."
To which I said, Amen, tell me more.