Search Results for 'oral history'

On-line history making

How to organize photos and text across time and space (collaboration amongst multiple people, known and unknown, the quick, the will be, and those who came before)?

The Al-Can and Aleutians WWII special project has been interesting for finding the limitations of the the existing “cyberspace” and “virtual communities” of “Web 2.0” that are all the buzz. [Running into the barriers came from day one; inadvertent trouble-shooting is a specialty skill of mine.]

While Flickr and blogs (MySpace, LiveJournal, and the new one for the middle-ageing, eons.com), are by definition solipsist and therefore especially useful for exhibitionism and voyeurism; they aren’t yet easy for creating and retrieving information.

from an E_lder-mailer, RE: On 8/15/06, A social networking Web site for Americans aged 50-plus went live on Monday — complete with an online obituary database that sends out alerts when someone you may know dies and that plans to set up a do-it-yourself funeral service.

http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2006/08/15/ new-social-networking-site-for-age-50-plus-americans/


Indeed precisely what I was looking for. The automatic obituary and the self funeral! All these while the new definition of planet assigns 53 to our solar system. School books re-writers will be in demand [i.e., hire the over-50].

There are speciality websites for recording genealogy and family history. The more extensive ones require an annual fee. Many of the data sites are free, such as the Latter Day Saints archive. The web log might be an ideal venue for people to record anecdotes– one can record brief remembrances or notes as they occur; each post is dated; the text can be archived (a little more difficult, currently); and the postings can be collected into a more polished history or biography later. WordPress.com now allows for private posts. However, as I hope becomes clear, the interaction with others is needed.

Family histories can be done without the Internet, of course— The archival quality rag bond notepaper and Noodler’s permanent ink with “copperplate” script writing, recorded in great detail everyday by great great so-and-so, a nosy Parker with nothing better to do and who didn’t mind answering even the “cheeky” hygiene questions of the great great grandrelations to be — is exciting to look at (unless the fourth cousin thrice removed that one has never heard of lost it in a move or for gambling debts).

Life is interactive (see Erving Goffman’s work on social interaction). It is difficult for most people to conceive of what may be interesting of their lives to others. Strangers tell me they want to read about my “interesting life” but from this side it’s just ordinary and gets overlooked (fish in water, etc. I wouldn’t wish to undo an interesting life, but I’m too thoughtful to wish one on anyone else).

    What’s needed is a personal ethnographer or oral historian. Someone to ask questions.

Charlie King’s son points this out very well in a recent E-mail.

Spent virtually the whole morning reading some of the interviews from 341st ? guys. I copied out a bit that described the difficulty of creating the corduroy roads.

Too bad I never recorded any of Dad’s memories of the experience. He wasn’t one to elaborate greatly but could if he was pressed and I’d bet his would have been as detailed and well spoken as this guy who advanced from private to Master Sargent while up there indicating him to have been a uniquely talented guy:

http://www.livinglandscapes.bc.ca/prnr/alaska/wallace.htm

In this one example, you can see some of the strengths of using the Internet, especially the world-wide web and E-mail. But also look at the Dawson project description,

http://www.livinglandscapes.bc.ca/prnr/alaska/history.htm

The project was done with face-to-face (F2F) collaboration and tangible artifacts (photos) and only then assembled for later on-line use. Other projects come in “jukebox” format, CD-ROM or DVD and/or on-line.

Project Jukebox is the digital branch of the Oral History Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Project Jukebox was originally developed using hypercard in 1988, with initial support from Apple Computer’s Apple Library of Tomorrow program, and is a way to integrate oral history recordings with associated photographs, maps, and text.

http://uaf-db.uaf.edu/Jukebox/PJWeb/pjhome.htm

None of this has solved the problem of linking pictures at Flickr or elsewhere with comments and annotations from others (moderated) and downloadable with metadata intact (unless one has money for a personal website and server). The work-around here doesn’t work — photo index CKing — even if one had highest speed internet, multiple monitors, touch-toe typing, Dragon Naturally Speaking transciption, multi-feed document scanner/fax, a cat that won’t walk the keyboard, ….

Oh, and even with the bestest of tech help 😉


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Reverend David Salmon, Athabascan nonagenarian

The first link to the audio story is quite good. Father Salmon and Peter John (another nonagenarian) were extraordinarily accomplished.
Rev. David Salmon

Flags are at half-staff across Alaska today, following the death of an Athabascan elder and leader. The Reverend David Salmon died yesterday. He was the first traditional chief for the Tanana Chief’s region, and the first Athabascan ordained to the Episcopal ministry.
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
http://aprn.org/2007/10/12/alaska-remembers-tanana-elder-david-salmon/

  • The 95-year-old cherished Gwich’in elder has been first traditional chief since August 2003, following the passing of Chief Peter John of Minto. The position is … held in high esteem.

  • Last Modified: October 12, 2007 at 02:43 PM
    Athabascan traditional chief Salmon dies at 95

    FAIRBANKS — The first traditional chief for the Athabascan people of the Interior died Thursday at his home in Chalkyitsik. The Rev. David Salmon was 95. “He was sitting in his favorite chair when he passed,” Salmon’s granddaughter, Patricia Salmon”

    http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/9374481p-9287881c.html

    Father Salmon’s biography is here, from the Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments,

  • http://www.catg.org/gallery/elders/DavidSalmon.html
  • and another one is here, Tanana Chiefs Conference–

  • Chief Salmon, who was first made Chief of Chalkyitsik at the age of 29, helped shape the community and was instrumental in building a school and starting a store. He introduced the first Christmas tree and potlatch, and built the church by hauling 90 logs at the age of 70, using only a chainsaw.
  • Chief David Salmon – “My father saved my life”
  • He received an honorary degree from the University of Alaska.

    “Athabascan elder Rev. David Salmon, traditional chief of Chalkyitsik and second chief of Interior Alaska villages with the Tanana Chiefs Conference, just celebrated his 90th birthday, was the first Gwich’in to be ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church where he served for more than 42 years.

    Salmon has had a life-long interest in education and sharing his cultural knowledge with others through programs such as UAF’s Elder in Residence program and the Academy of Elders, an intense immersion program for certified teachers intent on developing K-12 curriculum and teacher training programs. Salmon has collaborated extensively with UAF’s anthropology department and has been a Geist lecturer at the University of Alaska Museum for the past five summers. Salmon is considered a master toolmaker and his tools, fish traps and canoes are on display at the museum and in other university buildings. Salmon is a founding member of Denakkanaaga nonprofit elders’ organization. In January, the David Salmon Tribal Hall was opened in Fairbanks and dedicated by TCC in recognition of a lifetime of service. Salmon will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws.”
    http://www.uaf.edu/commencement/2002/hdr.html

    Chief David Salmon 2006
    Chief David Salmon Traditional Athabascan Tool Collection, a new art acquisition purchased jointly by Doyon, Limited and the Doyon Foundation.

    “I knew that if I didn’t make the tools, that they would just stay back there to be forgotten… How can the young people learn without seeing the tool? The Athabascan way is to teach by showing you; then when you see, you will learn. That is why when I speak about a tool, it must be in my hand. That is how it always was; that is how it should be.” — Chief David Salmon

    … in the summer of 1994, Chief David Salmon began to craft a collection of tools, illustrating the pre- and early post-contact technology of theAthabascans of Alaska’s Interior. Most of these tools were used in the Athabascans’ subsistence lifestyle into the 1920s.

    http://www.doyon.com/pdfs/news_august04.pdf

    Both Chief Salmon and Chief Peter John spoke widely about their religious faith.
    “The history of this country is not known,” Salmon explains his reasons for doing that book, plus another on the oral history of his people. “Young people do not know it. Old people die with it. Well, I don’t want to die with it. I want the young people to have it.”O’Brien, Thomas A. 1997. Athabaskan implements from the skin house days as related by Reverend David Salmon. Thesis (M.A.)–University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1997. OCLC: 42066842

    The Gospel according to Peter John
    # Publisher: Alaska Native Knowledge Network (1996)
    # Language: English
    # ASIN: B000BSFGQY

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    Ralph White, MD nonagenarian

    This was a nice surprise in my E-mail, an article about Dr White. Not only is he still contributing to his community (well, duh 😉 ) but he is one of the unique Orange County residents who have seen southern California’s orchards, onion farms, and dairies.

    Retired 97-year-old O.C. doctor is still in the game
    By GREG HARDESTY, The Orange County Register

    …White, two weeks after suffering a minor stroke he diagnosed himself, is touring the $203 million Patient Care Center at St. Joseph Hospital, where he began mending bodies in 1939, in the old hospital building that now houses administrative offices.

    … The sleek operating rooms inside the new St. Joe’s facility, opening in October, have ceiling-mounted surgical lights and voice-activated surgical equipment, flat-screen computer monitors and tiny video recorders to transmit live feeds of procedures… White used to make $15 house calls at a time when Orange County’s population was 130,000 (Irvine alone today has more than 200,000 residents).

    He’s delivered more than 1,500 babies….

    One former patient takes him to lunch every year … on his birthday (June 30, 1910). White diagnosed her breast cancer in the early stages, when she was in her 40s. She’s in her 60s now. Perhaps these connections explain why, after retiring as a family practitioner 31 years ago – the year Jimmy Carter became president – White still hasn’t had his fill of St. Joe’s. Since retiring, White has volunteered more than 11,000 hours at the hospital – the equivalent of working for more than five years, every day, without a day off. […]

    Dr Ralph White, nonagenarian

    http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/life/themorningread/article_1803814.php

    Read the rest, especially his list of the changes he’s seen in healthcare over the years, White titles his list, “From Cradle to Grave Practice.” That would make an exciting oral history or blog. Especially for eldercare from the participant/observer point of view.

    Add this to Bookmarks:

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    More on the Aleutians war (WWII)

    In the comments to the Special Projects page about the Aleutians War and the building the Al-Can highway, I’ve been tracking the newest documentary about the little known battles of Attu Island and others of the Aleutians, including Dutch Harbor / Unalaska.

    However, because comments and pages have separate notifications on the Internet, I thought I would also post a separate notice, especially for those who read this web log with an RSS feed reader.

    The latest published film was televised last week on the US Public Broadcasting System, Independent Lens. The film focuses on intimate interviews with Bill and Andy, the film explores what it means to be a soldier then and now. And for Bill, that means continuing the battle—even at the cost of his own peace of mind. and not on the battle details, per se. However, there is fascinating blended footage from the present day terrain morphing into the WWII terrain (actual footage or photos of the battle).

    It is also a good presentation of the mixed emotions (and some rather unmixed) of veterans of the Pacific war. I had an uncle in Attu (Claude I. Green) who never spoke much of the Aleutian horror– part of the horror was the transfer from the tropical Marshall Islands to Attu without a change in uniforms (he was in the Navy). The monument is dedicated to all in the campaign (the necessity of which is also controversial still, as is the forced removal and internment of Alaskans by the USA.)

    Aleutian Island documentary RED WHITE BLACK and BLUE is going to have a special one-hour broadcast on PBS November 6, and it’s going to be released on home video on November 7. We’re also finishing up some community screenings around the country, mostly in Florida, Michigan, and Indiana.

    You can click the link below to read more about the film, get a list of upcoming local screenings, and broadcast information for your area, as well as information about how to purchase the film.

    Thanks so much, and if you do get a chance to see the film we’d love to hear your thoughts.

    Take care,
    Tom Putnam

    Here’s their website, http://www.alaskainvasion.com/

    The Independent Lens website has a summary, several references to additional information, and a viewer feedback. Read more about the making of RED WHITE BLACK & BLUE »

    See also previous
    John Huston movie from the Aleutians
    Al-Can Highway and the Aleutians War, Alaska in WWII


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    Alphabetical listing (mas o menos)

    2003 what the City’s intentions are

    2004 Nursing Homes: what LTC providers learned from battling four hurricanes

    2004- Elderly in Florida at risk in every hurricane season

    2006 AI/AN data report from US Census 2000

    2006 National Adult Day Services Week

    A push for stay-at-home healthcare

    A say in one’s or other’s life?

    AARP Bulletin: Blogosphere 101

    AGS Foundation for Health in Aging

    AMERICAN INDIAN AND ALASKA NATIVE LONG TERM CARE CONFERENCE 2006

    Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity Awards

    Activism At All Ages

    Activity and exercise

    Administration on Aging Pandemic Preparation

    Administration on Aging Region X: AK, ID, OR, WA

    After Katrina, transplanted Creoles vow to keep culture alive

    Age at retirement and long term survival of an industrial population BMJ

    Age by decade

    Continue reading ‘Alphabetical listing (mas o menos)’


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    Old age isn't a disease.

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