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How would Grandpa tell those great stories today?

by Don Gammill Modified: July 10, 2013 at 2:05 pm •  Published: July 10, 2013

My grandfather loved to share memories and other information he had stored in his mind. Right up until his time on earth ended, his story details were as crisp and clear as if he had had been there when the events happened. Many times, he had been.

Other times, he was sharing something he had been taught or told about when he was a child, things that were so deeply planted into his memory that he could dig them out and  pass them along, using descriptions so vivid you could envision the scene easily.

He kept his family intrigued as he related stories about the early days of  his family’s settlement in Arkansas, how the youngsters and adults worked so hard to grow gardens, tend to cattle, hunt, fish, celebrate special occasions such as the birth of a child, or a holiday, how they survived by helping each other and their neighbors.

Boy (6-8) and grandfather fishing from side of lake
Boy (6-8) and grandfather fishing from side of lake

He talked a lot about survival. He talked a lot about faith.

Like so many other families at that time, we wished we had recorded more wonderful, historical family stories and preserved them. It wouldn’t have been the best, but it would have involved using some of the finest technological advances of the day.

Back then, the most common items for preserving memories were cameras and tape recorders. He died even before video recorders became popular, and consider what developments have come along since then.

For instance …

Today, we could have Grandpa’s digital photographic image in such incredible detail that it would look real.

Sometimes, even a cell phone image can be hundreds of times clearer than it would have been on film years ago.

The video equipment available would produce sound and images for sharp that they would be lifelike.

And, of course, everything is recordable.

close-up of a display of video camera screen
close-up of a display of video camera screen

Imagine having those recordings of a family member who could relate stories and information about your ancestors. Talk about a genealogy boost. And talk about memories.

You could have images you could show bigger than life size, much like a movie.

You could have history.

And as fast as developments are coming, you can bet that even better equipment is in the future.

But I have to wonder how Grandpa would enjoy seeing himself that way. He was always more interested in talking to anyone who was interested. He somewhat liked hearing his own voice. But watching himself talk might have been more than he would have enjoyed.

 

 

 

by Don Gammill
General Assignment Editor and Columnist
Don Gammill is general assignment editor and columnist. A native of Ponca City, he graduated from Central State University (now the University of Central Oklahoma). While in college, he was a sports stringer for The Oklahoma City Times....
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