I'm asking what to ask...
December 16, 2011 11:28 PM Subscribe
If you were talking to a 101-year-old person, what would you want to know?
My great grandma
posted by naturalog to Grab Bag (21 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
is one of the coolest people I know. She is still in really good shape (living on her own in the house my grandpa grew up in) and remains sharp as a tack. Since she isn't getting any younger, though, I've decided to finally follow through with my plans to do some oral history with her.
The stories I've heard of hers have been really interesting -- she had a brother doing some sort of legal thing for the military during WWII, saw Eleanor Roosevelt at the White House Easter Egg roll, and said brother later ended up being an artist and living in Mexico with his black (male) partner. I'm interested as much in the more exciting things (Eleanor Roosevelt) as in the more mundane things (she learned how to bake bread during the Great Depression, because the Red Cross was giving out flour and she had to figure out what to do with it).
So... if you were talking to my great-grandma (or any other Really Old Person), what would you want to know? I'm definitely going to make things more open-ended and let her talk about where her mind goes instead of interrogating her, but I'd like to have a significant list of potential topics. (Also, on an related note, although I am a historian, my knowledge of 20th-century American history isn't as good as it maybe should be. Any good recommendations for a few general histories of the period would be appreciated. Scholarly or popular is fine; more interested in social and cultural history than political/military/diplomatic.)