This coming weekend my parents and their five children, along with in-laws and grandchildren, will be gathering to celebrate my parents’ 50th anniversary which was earlier this spring. In preparation for a day of sharing memories, I’ve been gathering pictures and scrapbooks and all kinds of memorabilia to take along. As I was getting things together I happened to remember the Granddaddy Tapes.
Among my treasured possessions is a small box of dusty cassette tapes, maybe a couple dozen, that I recorded during the late 1980s and through the 1990s. They are mostly of my Granddaddy Easley telling stories of his life. He had a detailed memory and was more than willing to share his memories with me (and my tape recorder). At the time, I had the intention of writing a book about his and Grandmother’s life story. They were eager for me to do so, but then my children came along. I was busy raising my babies, and then homeschooling, so that project got set aside. In the meantime, my grandparents have gone on to heaven; Grandmother in 1998, and Granddaddy in 2007. They left an amazing heritage for their 10 children, 26 grandchildren, and more great-grandchildren than I can count at the moment.
I still have a cassette deck that I have held onto just because of that box of tapes. Last Saturday I asked Lyle if he would bring it in out of the garage and connect it to my computer so I could digitize the tapes before they deteriorate too badly. Obliging man that he is, he took care of that for me.
For the past few days I’ve been listening to the old stories of my heritage, as I transfer them to MP3 files, and remembering again how blessed I am. I was also reminded how important storytelling is. While many of these family stories are very familiar to me, I realized that my children haven’t necessarily heard them all.
Maybe I should write that book after all.