One of the most interesting parts of going out east to interview librarians was talking to someone who had actual war stories to tell. As in from World War 2. They weren’t really relevant to the purpose of why I was in his home, but there was no way I was going to try to get him back on track. He told me about getting rides on military planes and politely bluffing an army dentist from removing his bad teeth so he could get his paratrooper training. His stories were a little self-aggrandizing, sure, but when you’ve had 60 years to get them where you want them to be, they’re also really good tales. Tales that will probably be left out of the book we’re working on because the world has no justice.
Holly had a notion to get into doing oral histories, and I can definitely see the appeal. Just letting people talk to you is kind of amazing. Even if doing all the transcribing is terrible tedious work. The interviews I did are definitely not the most focused things in the world. But I’m learning a lot more about how association work goes, which is kind of a nice use of these final credits.dentist holly ifla interviews librarians oral history paratrooper rambling stories ww2