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Friday, June 22, 2007

Living history

Here's a pitch for living history or other archival efforts to preserve our past. I was reminded of it while watching a rerun of a PBS special of duets performed by Judy Garland (yes, she of "The Wizard of Oz'') with pop stars of the '60s. It was only black-and-white TV, but it was great to see live performances by long-gone music icons such as Frank Sinatra with Dean Martin, Bobby Darin, Count Basie, Ethel Merman and Peggy Lee and a much younger Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett and Liza Minelli (her daughter). I hope somebody has tapes of the great Broadway plays of the past 30 years or the arena/stadium concerts of the music world's legends.

Living history is a part of Holocaust education as students sit down to interview (and record) the stories of Holocaust survivors. The effort must be accelerated, as the number of survivors is dwindling. So, too, are the number of World War II veterans who can recount their experiences from the Pacific and European theaters. Or even vets from Korea or Vietnam. Theirs are stories that must be told and retold for generations.

Oh, how I wish I had recorded the war tales - or even Depression-era stories - told by my dad, who is gone eight years now. They could have become a priceless heirloom for my sons and, we hope, any grandchildren. All of us have stories to tell. Maybe we should make sure we record them.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you 100 percent.


6:03 AM, June 25, 2007  

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