After you have made the effort to save those special memories, be sure to share them with your family—not only children and grandchildren, but remember the nieces and nephews, too.
For me, the tedious task comes after getting family stories recorded on my tape recorder. That’s when I sit down to transcribe the notes into written form. I start by typing in the date and location. It’s best to do this soon after making the recording while you’re still sure who all the speakers are.
I transcribe the recorded notes exactly. Later I can edit them to take out the hmm’s and ah’s or anything else that’s irrelevant. I’ve even written up stories as nonfiction articles and submitted them for publication, such as the one about my grandfather and his brother who were separated a small boys. It took them 65 years to find each other again. They were from Kansas. After a Kansas paper used that story I gave published copies to the family.
In this day of electronics, many people prefer to get away from paper copies. Several options are possible. If you have transcribed the notes from a tape and saved them on your computer, you can also save them to a CD or other external drive. Then anyone with a computer can have a copy. Another way is to send them as e-mail attachments to all e-mail users in your family.
This past Christmas I wanted to give our children and grandchildren the recordings of their deceased grandparents—I wanted them to be able to hear those voices rather than just reading the words. But alas, few people now have tape recorders/players. I went online and found a wonderful little device to convert my audio tapes to audio CD or MP3. I put my audio tape in the converter, plugged it into the USB port on my computer, and recorded on my computer. Once they were on my computer, I put an ordinary blank CD in the drive and completed the transfer. The conversion isn’t difficult, but I am not technically inclined and the company answered my questions by e-mail. They even scheduled a time to call and talk me through the process.
The device is available at Cassette2USB.com for $59.95 (free shipping). I felt it was worth the price for the number of CDs I wanted to make, both now and in the future. The company also has converters for film, photos, vinyl records, and others—all useful for sharing the memories.
Next month: Other types of memories to share