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I traveled across the United States interviewing people born before 1945 to preserve our analogue history and understand how tech has changed society. Clips are from the interviews with elders and with strangers who are asked "how do you think technology is changing us?", now published in the book "Stories of Elders: What the Greatest Generation Knows about Technology that You Don't."

Stories of Elders Veronica Kirin

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I traveled across the United States interviewing people born before 1945 to preserve our analogue history and understand how tech has changed society. Clips are from the interviews with elders and with strangers who are asked "how do you think technology is changing us?", now published in the book "Stories of Elders: What the Greatest Generation Knows about Technology that You Don't."

    Episode 32 — Chris Smith

    Episode 32 — Chris Smith

    b. 1927
    St. Clair, MI
    Chris Smith is the third generation owner of Chris-Craft, one of the oldest boat manufacturers in Michigan.  His family built several award winning racing boats for the Detroit Cup, the landing boats used in Normandy during World War II, and adapted the first outboard motors.

    • 4 Min.
    Episode 31 — Betty Segal

    Episode 31 — Betty Segal

    b. 1931
    Selma, NC
    Betty Josephine Segal was a pleasure to chat with.  In fact, we continued our conversation over dinner after the interviews, and again over tea when I hosted a book signing at the local library where she lives in Rantoul, IL.  Her manner of conversation and explanation is something to be admired, and her time at the CDC as things changed provides insight into how workplaces were altered by tech.

    • 10 Min.
    Episode 30 — Tito Francona

    Episode 30 — Tito Francona

    b. 1933
    Alliquippa, PA
    Tito Francona is well known as a Major League Baseball player.  He played alongside Hank Aaron, Yogi Berra, and many other greats.  To me, he was a family friend whom I would see at functions and events.  He was always kind, smiling, and curious.  His was one of my first interviews, before I knew this book was about tech, so while I didn’t gather anything relevant to the final topic of the book, I did get to hear some great stories about playing ball in the middle of the century.

    • 15 Min.
    Episode 29 – Carol Ann Lesert

    Episode 29 – Carol Ann Lesert

    b. 1932
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Carol is my friend’s grandmother, and I was fortunate enough to meet her just before the publishing of the Stories of Elders book.  She comments on some things that, today, we may not notice; like the reduced friendliness of police, or poverty.  In this episode, Steve and I discuss what poverty means, what neighborliness means, and some recent laws that changed law enforcement in Carol’s lifetime.
    The q&a article on police laws can be found here.  

    • 33 Min.
    Episode 28 — Bones

    Episode 28 — Bones

    b. 1947
    Pass Cristian, MS
    I met Charles “Bones” Rhodes, his daughter Honey, her husband Roddy, and their son Mark, through a mutual friend.  We had all gotten to know each other soon after Hurricane Katrina, for which I was a relief worker.  I didn’t expect to interview multiple generations at once, but it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
    In this episode, my dear friend Steve joins me to provide an outside perspective on these intimate stories.

    • 16 Min.
    Episode 27 – Bettilew Turk Gaskell

    Episode 27 – Bettilew Turk Gaskell

    Birmingham, AL
    Born 1925
    I met Bettilew on accident the same day I met Ann Veren.  I was sitting in a coffee shop, and Bettilew’s granddaughter complimented my earrings.  We got to talking, and after telling her of the work I was doing, she insisted I interview her grandmother.  I’m so glad it worked out the way it did.  What a pleasure it was to meet both Bettilew and Ann!
    Bettilew tells two stories in this episode.  One endearing, one about the war.  Both are valuable to understanding our past.
    Read the original post I wrote after just having met Bettilew in 2015.

    • 10 Min.

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