Interview

I am hoping to spend some time interviewing my living grandparents. Obviously, I guess, though I would love to be able to talk to my late Grandpa Zalewski again. I have tons and tons of factual data; dates, times, places, etc. What I don’t have a lot of are stories and first-hand accounts.

My grandparents are getting old. They are all in their 80s now and you can tell that they have some issues getting around. I know my Grandma (Corrigan) Zalewski asks me the same questions about my house everytime I see her (I bought her house when she moved to assisted living) but she can rattle off stories and names like there is no tomorrow and she loves to do that. I can only assume it’s the same way with my maternal grandparents.

I picked myself up an Olympus audio recorder just for this purpose. It seems to do exactly what I need and nothing more. In my tests, it recorded great audio. I’d like to sit down with them and just start asking small questions and maybe bring up some names just to spark their memory. I picture talking to my Grandma about this like chipping the glass on a large aquarium and just seeing it crack open further before you’re hit with a deluge of water. This is why I want the recorder. I won’t be able to write, or even type for that matter, as fast as she can tell stories.

I know people have done this type of thing before. Does anyone have any tips or good interview questions to ask? Obviously, I know her, so I don’t need any sort of introductory-type questions.