Posted Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Thanksgiving is a great time for story telling and for listening. And if you're going to do that, you might as well put it on tape. "But if you do, it is--talk about a treasure," says oral historian John Biewen, "I think it is every bit as precious to pass along as any photograph. Public radio's National Day of Listening is coming up. We'll talk about what it is and how you can participate, and we'll spend some time listening to you. Be sure to join us with your stories and memories, Wednesday morning at 9.
Listen to an interview with John Biewen, the program director at the Center for Documentary studies at Duke University. He has a long track record getting people to open up and tell their stories. We had the chance to talk with him for a few minutes earlier in the week by phone about his experiences collecting his family's precious moments.
Arts and Culture, Other, Aging/The Elderly, Parenting/Child Care
I am currently having a difficult time - last week on StoryCorps a gentleman talked about his grandmother in Alabama. I was moved by his admiration of her, but I was also moved by the remark he said his grandmother often made "if you concentrate on the bad you miss the good." At this time in my life I really need to concentrate on the good. I have repeated this to myself all week. The story he shared did make a difference!
My Thanksgiving Story
I grew up in Detroit Michigan in 1950’s. The Detroit Lions played a traditional football game on Thanksgiving Day. Every year my father and my brothers would go to this one game together. It was quite a production since it included my father and my uncle collaborating to park a car a block or two from old Briggs Stadium as it was called then. My father did this because that way we would not have far to walk us in the cold. Also, I bet he did not want to pay to park the car on a lot. So every year they dropped a car off on a side street in the surrounding neighborhood. There actually was a surrounding neighborhood in those days. We would all be bundled up because it was usually quite cold and the stadium was open to the weather which sometimes included a snow storm. The usual opponent was the Green Bay Packers who were not that good. The Lions on the other hand, were at their peek with Bobby Lane at quarterback. The Lions usually won and by a nice score. Green bay was sent home to nurse its wounds. About the middle of the fourth quarter, the score was such that it was obvious who would win. My father would start us toward the exit to avoid any hint of traffic problems getting home. Miraculously the car would be just where he left it the night before. Once home, dinner would be just about ready to go on the table. My father was a doctor. He was always busy either at the office, at the hospital resulting from a phone call that the contractions were coming closer together, or making house calls. Looking back I realize that going to that game was one of the few times during the year that we children actually had him to ourselves for a few hours. We only went to one game a year. We should have gone more often.
George A. Gilliam
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