Thursday, April 20, 2006

History Around You

When I ran across this story of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, I recalled that after the disaster, my grandfather got one of the many reconstruction jobs in the city. He worked there for a while and then moved on.

Naturally, being young and convinced that old people had no stories of interest, I failed to discuss it with him.

Are your parents or grandparents still alive? If you don't record or videotape some conversations with them, some day you'll regret it. In my own case, I could have talked to a man who'd ridden the rails as a hobo and had been a vegetable peddler, a laborer, a mailman, and a cotton farmer. I could have questioned a man who'd known people who'd fought in the Civil War and who lived in the South in the wake of that conflict.

But no. I was too busy. What's your excuse?

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