One of the best things about blogs and blogging is that it opens up access to material that would otherwise be lost. While much of political journalism is consumed with “he said” and “she said,” blogs mostly offer the authentic experience of people living their lives. Consider the opening paragraphs of a blog post written by someone who goes by IMABLONDOK. They offer an interesting starting point for exploration…
While rummaging through a box of papers in the bottom of a closet today, I ran across an interview I did for tenth grade History class in 1973 with my Grandparents about the Great Depression. We were allowed to either turn in a tape of the interview or transcribe it, so since the tape revealed that I was woefully unprepared, I chose to drag our 20 pound manual typewriter out of the closet and put it on paper. I was an average student with a short attention span, but on the back of this paper the teacher wrote a note saying, in part: “This is the best written interview that has been turned in” and he goes on to apply part of it to my grade and gave me the rest as extra credit. I don’t know if I saved it because it may have been the only “A” I made that year, or if it was because of the actual content of the interview, but I know that I am happy to have it as the memories of my Grandparents, who have been gone for over 25 years now, fade away and I catch a glimpse of them as people with vastly different lives than the ones they led by the time I came along.
My Grandfather, known as C.H., was probably born in Pittsburgh around 1905. I wish I could say that I knew for sure. To me, he was the guy who drove a Cadillac, who smoked too much, who could talk for hours to my Dad about their business…aluminum siding and storm doors….who would challenge the grandkids to a rubber band (gumband as we say in Pittsburgh) war, who watched Bonanza on Sunday nights and always had one of us wrap aluminum foil around the rabbit ears and hold them until the tv picture was just right….and pretty much stay that way for the entire show. Rumor has it that at one time, he was quite the lady’s man.
My Grandma, Ida, was the woman who prayed for his soul. She was probably born in Pittsburgh a few years after Grandpa was. She attended Mass every morning, gave us Rosary Beads and religious trinkets, sang songs accompanied by some silly dances, took me out of school every few months for a mental health day of going downtown for breakfast and shopping, and burnt the pot roast every Sunday to the point of flames. I know that she quit school when she was 14 because her mother died and she had younger siblings to care for, and I hear that when she did get out for a night on the town, she was quite the dancer.
Read the interviewHERE