some of the things we do.\"
Even simple things can be interesting,
she said. \"How much do you spend for a candy bar? How often do you go
out to eat? Those answers are very different for your grandparents than
they are for you.\"
There are lots of advantages in starting
early, Shaw said. \"You are young; you are lucky. Most of you still have
grandparents and even great grand-parents. Ask them questions.\"
Plan out interviews
with your parents and grandparents, she advised. Write down a list of
questions. Bring along pictures or documents to help jog their memories.
Listen to and record what they say. Ask more than one person about
particular events. \"You might get a different story. Also ask the same
questions at another time; you might get more details after they've
thought about it.\"
Another important tip, she said: \"Write
down where you got the information, the day and place you did your
Jean Wilcox Hibben, who bills herself as
\"genealogist, folklorist, national speaker, troubadour and educator\"
also sang and talked about family history. \"A lot of songs were used to
tell history,\" she said. Learn about the folk songs your ancestors sang,
she advised; it's a fun way to learn some history.
Also learn family stories, she said.
\"When we went to bed, my mother not only read us nursery rhymes, she
told us 'Rex' stories. Now, Rex was just about the greatest dog in whole
world. Mom would make us tuna casserole with noodles and peas, and Rex
would lick everything off and leave a pile of peas. It didn't work when I
tried it, but Rex could get away with it. Grandfather would take Rex
with him to the druggist/ice cream parlor. Rex would go from table to
table and do tricks and get ice cream. That didn't work for me, either.\"
But Hibben's favorite Rex story was that
her grandfather would open the mail and throw the envelopes to Rex to
play with and tear to pieces. \"One time he threw Rex an envelope, but
Rex wouldn't play with it. Grandfather finally looked at it, and there
was a check inside that he didn't know was there.\"
Everyone has those kinds of stories, she
told the kids, and in fact, she had them share some of their own.
There were stories of a girl who dropped a
flashlight in an outdoor bathroom pit at camp and her father held her
by the feet and lowered her down to get the flashlight; of a boy who put
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