The interviews

Each of us has a wealth of history and memories.  

  • In your school days, did you memorize a poem or famous speech that you would like to record?
  • Have you told the same story so many times, that someone suggested that you record it?
  • Did you grow up speaking a language other than English, and would like to share some special expressions with your grandchildren?
  • Do you have some pearls of wisdom you want to give your family?
  • Do you have a famous (or infamous) ancestor whose story has been passed down by an oral tradition, and whose history you want to preserve?
  • Has a family member been pestering you to record your life story?
  • Have you run out of gift ideas, and thought that recording your life story may be the best gift ever?

If you live within a twenty-mile radius of Camarillo CA, a volunteer will meet with you and help you organize your thoughts prior to beginning the interview.  The initial meeting is an opportunity for you to get to know the interviewer and ask any questions about Life Story Recordings.

Click below to hear some sample recordings, all used with permission:

To record a life story, the interviewer will meet with you between three and eight times.  We can schedule one or two meetings each week, depending on our schedules.  Prior to each meeting, it’s helpful if you give some thought about the portion of your story you wish to record that day.  Sometimes photographs from a certain part of your life help to prompt and refresh memories.  We encourage you to do a bit of homework, because it will make your story more complete and accurate.  The story is best told without the aid of notes, because the spontaneity in your voice can be captured.  Remember that the interviewer will ask you questions and help to direct and clarify your story.  If the process of recording your story seems overwhelming, the interviewer can help you make it successful.  

During each meeting, the interviewer will listen and ask questions to draw out your memories.  You may wish to record a single event in your life.  Some of our story tellers wish to record the Gettysburg Address or Hebrew folksongs, and nothing else.  Veterans wish to record only their military experiences.   Other people want to record a more complete life story so that it is preserved for future generations.  This is your story.  We appreciate the opportunity to help you record it and we respect the confidential information you entrust to us.