|SingTel phone booth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Remembering is often a difficult task. We can sift through scrapbooks, photo albums, and other memorabilia in order to gather information about family histories, but occasionally more details are needed. Sometimes those who might know best are no longer with us and cannot be asked to recount stories and other data needed to fill in blanks, but there is always help even if you live far from old family home places.
Long distance phone calls used to be an expensive affair, but now most of us have calling plans that allow for unlimited long distance calling. If we know a phone number--and those numbers are often very easy to find if we don't have them already--we can call relatives, friends and others who can help us find out more about our family history.
Some folks are a bit hesitant to call strangers or people they may not have talked to in years, but in reality it's usually not all that bad. I may have an edge on some in that I spent many years in a job that required me to call people on a regular basis. Sure, I was nervous about it at first, but what's the worst the person you're calling can do to you? After all they can't even see you and if they don't want to talk to you it's not the end of the world.
I've found that most people are more than willing to chat about themselves and the things they've experienced in their past. Often you'll find yourself getting more information than you ever expected. And some of that info can be downright interesting. The stories from others can take you to places you never imagined and provide unexpected details. A good story-teller can hold your interest and provide you with research data that you're looking for.
If you're writing memoir, don't forget those far away people who know part of the story you might need to make the story you're writing more complete. You might just be in for an entertaining as well as educational conversation. And you might also be making new friends or rekindling old relationships that are as good as gold.
Do you like to talk on the phone? Have you ever called a friend or relative who you haven't spoken to in ages? Have you ever called someone you've never met in order to retrieve some research information? How did your conversations go?