Sunday, July 09, 2017

A Project 30 Years in the Making

Today I completed a project I first began thirty years ago.

On June 12, 1987, around 12:30 on a Friday afternoon, I sat down with a tape recorder and started making a tape for my children.

I was 12 years old.

On it, I recorded my grandfather singing old hymns that he loved (as well as a rendition of the Jimmy Rodgers yodeling classic "T For Texas" which has been covered by everyone from Johnny Cash to Lynyrd Skynyrd), and telling a few stories from his childhood. I also recorded my grandmother singing a silly kid's song from the 1920s and telling her own childhood story.

This was all designed to be "for my children" and in it I address my future children and tell them that these are their great-grandparents.

I go on to do a walk-through of their house, describing each room, including a priceless description of a "microwave oven" and instructions on how to microwave a hot dog ("Assuming you still have hot dogs in the future"). I talk baseball and UK basketball and describe the Cubs jersey I was wearing at the time. Probably this one:


Later I recorded brief conversations with my father, mother, and sister, so they could greet my children.

Occasionally, throughout the tape, my 13-year-old self from the following year cuts in to tape over certain parts that embarrassed me, continually remarking, in a puberty-deepened voice, about how "stupid and dumb" I was "back then."

In any case, today was the day when I finally introduced this gem to my children. There was nothing special about today, I just decided today was as a good a day as any.

So I have finally completed this 30 year project, having faithfully hung on to the tape for all these years. I plan to digitize it and upload it (privately) to YouTube for family (or friends) who may be interested. It'll be private so it will require a link. Let me know if you want it.





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