I am really excited about the idea of having our kids act as WPA Oral
Historians. Several years ago, my wife met a man who was in the famous
photo of Eisenhower talking to paratroopers on the eve of the Normandy
Invasion. The man was in the hospital (my wife is an RN) and talked about
the photo. My wife let him know I was a historian and he said he'd be
willing to be interviewed.
I was thrilled. What was it like to talk to The General? What did he
say? Where did you land? How did the Germans react? All those questions
went through my head. The problem is that is as far as they went. I
waited too long and the fellow died.
I kick myself for missing a chance like that. What is worse is that this
happens every day. Another potential source is lost. Our kids could help
to make this happen less often. I like the idea of a project where the
kids do the interviewing. I plan on trying to find ways to make it happen.
Two questions: 1) How do you find such interesting people? 2) How do
we train kids to do a competent job of interviewing?
From: Laurawake [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Thursday, November 27, 1997 8:18 PM
To: Multiple recipients of list AMFELLOWS
Subject: Re: Barb and Frances's project
I would like to say "Amen" to your suggestion to set up an archive of
day oral histories. My students' collection surpassed my expectations and
students are very proud of their work. I will be putting some of them on
own school web site but would love to showcase their work more. I am
especially pleased because more than half of my students are classified as
"drop-out prevention" students who are slow readers, below grade
level,discipline problems etc. and they really came through with oral
histories that they and I am pleased to share.