Friday, May 30, 2008

Coughing, But Keeping Up

Surry asked me to speak with Al for guidance on oral history interviews, and he returned my call last Saturday (5/24). He has a passion for recording oral history, and has taught himself how to do so effectively and efficiently. We spoke briefly about what he has learned, and he provided advice on where to look for more information. He was very kind in speaking with me about what he has done, and even offered assistance with this project.

Charlie and EG

Last Saturday I met Charlie and EG for my first interview. They are such kind people. I enjoyed hearing their stories about living in Vietnam. They had four children while living there for 14 years! Such incredible people! So humble, brave and dignified. And patient with me in my seeking knowledge and understanding about their experiences.

They have agreed to let me return to interview them again, and I am so thankful. I have so many more questions to ask them as my understanding about their time there grows. Charlie wrote a book about his time there, and gave me a copy. I have been reading it and enjoying it very much, and it's helping me keep my time line straight. He has so many great photos, too!

As he shared his black and white prints with me, I longed to beg him to do a photo exhibition. As my business plan for this film continues to develop, I have been thinking about including a photo exhibition as part of the screening.

On Being Sick
My week has been exhausting, as I started getting sick on Sunday. By Monday I started sounding manly, and by Tuesday I was completely under the weather. On Wednesday I went to the doctor, who prescribed $40 cough syrup. That night was the first time I slept through the whole night, and it felt incredible. Today is Friday and I'm just starting to come up for air again. My voice still hasn't gotten back to normal and my head is incredibly foggy. But I have faith that tomorrow I will feel renewed and refreshed so that I can go into the interview with a clear mind.

Tomorrow at 1:30, I will conduct the second interview for the film. George has invited me to interview him at his home, and I'm looking forward to it. George was a civilian province chief adviser, and I hope to learn more about his position and combat experience.

War Stories
I find war stories fascinating, possibly because I have never been exposed to war conditions myself and I am the daughter of an historian. I grew up hearing war stories. My father would talk about great heroes that served in the War Between the States. My grandmother repeats that she and my grandfather had 7 siblings serve in WWII and return safely. My grandmother and grandfather got married on July 5, and he was proudly wearing his Marine uniform. Oh, and my uncle served in the National Guard. So I am constantly fascinated with war stories.

Down to Business
I've got plenty of work to do on this film. So much planning, so much to complete. In the meantime, I will enjoy another day of stories.