A Father's Last Gift to His Son

John McLaughlin had hoped to gather his father’s stories before it was “too late.” He planned to hire me to create an audio memoir. In the meantime John began asking his dad about the old days during their car rides to medical appointments. He was researching and setting the stage for me to record these stories and more, so family and friends could hear Bob’s laugh, the cadence of his voice, his own stories in his own words. But that would never come to pass...

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Like James Dean

"My father started playing hooky and dropped out of school because, in his words, he thought he was 'too cool for school.' He became a kind of early James Dean prototype, a young man about town. He would drive a red 1950 Chevy to weekly dances at all the area Grange halls. At a dance in Mt. Vernon, Maine where there was this pretty and exotic-looking girl (to his eyes) that he just had to dance with..."

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Changing History

“Are you saying you want us to change history?” a man in my oral history workshop asked.  I was encouraging my students to take their recordings a step beyond oral history and craft something interesting with it. To edit. Yes, to change history. The man in my class compared this idea to changing a historic photo in Photoshop. I balked! And yet…

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