My Mom came into town yesterday for a visit, so I took the opportunity to put my interviewing skills to the test. So while we were driving from here to there talking about Walter Cronkite and the stories that he covered over the years, I made sure to ask her what she remembers of those historical events. Where she was... what she was doing... and it was really interesting to see history through her eyes.
She told me about where she was when President Kennedy was shot... She had just dropped my brother Tony off at Meadowlane school and went to pick up my Aunt Carol to go shopping downtown at Gold's. This was back when the only place you could go to shop was downtown. She said that when they got into the department store, there wasn't a single person there. They knew he had been shot, but didn't realize that it would affect so many people that way. They eventually felt so uncomfortable because of the big empty store that they just went home.
When JFK's brother Robert Kennedy was shot, she was big and pregnant with me. We lived in San Jose then, June 5, 1968 BAC (before air conditioners) and she was laid out on the couch trying to keep cool. No such luck. She said that they kept showing story after story about RFK and she was glued to the television. It was 3am before she knew it, so she went to bed. I was born 9 days later.
Remarkably, she doesn't remember the lunar landing! She laughed about how everyone has been saying this week that this event was shared by everyone and how they'll never forget where they were. She has no idea. I was 13 months old then, so it was probably my fault. haha...
I also discovered the details about my parents' marriage. They were living in San Jose back in 1966 and drove to Reno to get hitched. Sep 10th. After the ceremony, they were going to get a hotel room and stay there overnight but my Dad gambled away all of their money, so they had to go right back home. Now that's romance! You won't find a story like that on Ancestry.com! Surprisingly, she doesn't remember when they divorced. I think I was about 21 when she moved out. I'm sure it was a long time coming, though!
I have to keep reminding myself that the best source of family information is going to come from your family members! They might not remember exact dates, but that's what the internet is for, right? Mom told me that I should talk to my Aunt Irene about our family history since she is the one most involved with it. So even though she didn't have the answers to all of my questions, I have another place to turn to. After I talk to Irene, maybe she can send me on down the line to someone else who knows a little more? That works for me!