Friday, August 6, 2010

Family History

While I was in Florida last week, I spent two days videotaping my paternal grandfather (Papa) tell stories. All my life I have enjoyed listening to Papa tell stories of his family back in Alabama and all the trouble they got into. Rough and tumble people who did what they had to do to survive, people who broke the law and got away with it, people who protected their land and family at all costs. They were also people who knew how to have fun. I left Florida with about 6 1/2 hours of tape that I hope to use in some way. I have a couple of ideas:

1. A simple book of stories. No running theme or story, just chapter after chapter of crazy stories.
2. A more comprehensive book that would act as a family history include family tree and a breakdown with stories about each person.
3. A DVD of Papa telling stories. Would require some serious editing but would be worth it.

I need more stories to do either. I thankfully got all of my favorite stories told and recorded so that I can correctly re-tell them. Here is just a small taste:

Papa's brother Saxson attended a small technical college where he was learning trade of making corrective lenses. This technical college had a basketball team. Saxson told the coach about how good Papa was and they asked him to play. So papa went down, registered for classes, and began playing with the team. The funny part is that Papa never went to a single day of classes. He worked full time and only showed up to practice and play games. Other coaches would dispute that Papa was enrolled but the coach brought the papers proving Papa was enrolled to every game to prove it. So, he played a whole season of basketball at a college that he never actually attended. Is that wrong? Yep. Do I love the story? Absolutely.

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