Recording the Stories of Seniors: Can't Begrudge a Good Grudge

As the author videotapes the stories of his grandfather and others, he realizes that with the "golden years" come a lot of bones to pick.

| October/November 1999

  • 176-112-01-good_grudge
    When members of this senior center got the chance to go on record and tell their stories, many had to get out all the gripes they'd been holding in.

  • 176-112-01-good_grudge

The videotape displayed my face, close up, responding compassionately to every nuance of my grandfather's narration.

"... so, that's when my big brother Tony clumped the plate of spaghetti on my head. To this day, every time I see a bowl of pasta I want to scream."

The senior center regulars, gathered in the TV room to watch my grandfather's video memoirs, offered support:

"That's big brothers for you, Iggy."

"Tsk, tsk. A lifetime of Italian dinners ruined."

"Shh," another voice warned, "here comes the good part." The group immediately quieted. Some even mouthed the words before Gramps spoke them.

This was not what I had in mind when I offered to camcord my grandfather's life story.


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