Thursday, December 28, 2006

I got a call from an acquaintance last night, a 93 year old gentleman. He wants to publish a book about his life, and wants me to write it for him. He's sure it will be a bestseller.

I gently explained that I'm a novelist--people pay me to lie to them--and I wouldn't be the right person to collaborate on his autobiography. But I also have no doubt that his story is interesting. How can you live for most of the 20th century and into the 21st and not have some great stories to share?

He did say he was thinking of using a tape recorder to make an oral journal and I strongly endorsed this idea. The University of Florida has an oral history project, and even if he can't find a home for his memoir there, it's still the easiest way for him to tell his life's story.

I was sorry I couldn't help him. As more and more of our elders pass on, I know we're losing a treasure trove of history. Perhaps our blogs will become the journals of our generation, preserving a piece of history to be discovered by future historians and anthropologists.

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