Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Talk to Old People

When I set out to write this book about my mother and me, I interviewed a lot of people who knew her back in the day. With very few exceptions, these folks are now old people*, and I don’t think they mind me describing them as such.

I accomplished what I set out to do in these interviews. I gained greater insight into what my mother was like before I came along and when I was too young to remember. But these encounters gave me more than just material for my book. I was able to reconnect with folks who were so prominent in my childhood. If not for this project, I wouldn’t have had an excuse to contact many of these people. These conversations were fun, informative, meaningful, and even therapeutic both for them and me.

So, my message in this blog post is to find any pretense to talk to old people, formally or informally. Consider recording the conversations where you ask them to remember details from long ago. If not, you’ll forget what they said, and it will be lost forever.

One more thing – if you have any stories about my mother that you haven’t already shared with me, please shoot me an email and we can correspond, Skype, text, telephone, or meet at a bar and have a drink about it.

*Old People: anyone ten years older than whatever age I am at the time.


  1. This is an exciting project, for sure, and if you continue to torment us with these teasers, we may have to descend on Maine and demand the publication date!

  2. You are 100% correct in advising everyone to speak to "old" people. My dad is 89, my mother-in-law is 85 and they both have unparalleled memories. I find their experiences and stories captivating. Just when I think I know all there is to know about my late mother or father-in-law, I learn of some new nugget of information. Not only do I benefit from this new info, but I know my Dad and mother-in-law derive great joy sharing their stories. Good luck with the book -- can't wait to read it!

  3. Daphne, the creative effort cannot be rushed :-)

    pups, I'm glad you found the opportunity to appreciate speaking with old folks!