SAVE MY LIFE STORY QUESTIONS GUIDE INTRODUCING YOURSELF What is your full name? What are you most commonly called? Where do you currently reside? How long have you lived at this residence? What is your current age to date? What is today’s date? Who is interviewing you and video taping your Life Story? Did anyone assist you in compiling the information in the outline? Who? Did you parents or grandparents emigrate from another country? Where? When? Why? Where did they move? What transportation did they use to get to their final destination? What jobs did they have before they moved? What jobs did they have after they moved? Do you remember your parents or grandparents speaking in another language or with and accent or drawl? What stories did they tell you about this time? REMEMBERING MOTHER What is your mother’s full name, including maiden name and what name was she most commonly called? When and where was your mother born? What did your mother look like? What were her hair, eye, and skin color? Was she short or tall? Was she small or large? What size shoe and ring did she wear? Where did your mother grow up? Where did your mother attend school and for how long? What kinds of jobs did she have? How did your mother impact your life? What special memories do you have of your mother? Where and when did your mother retire? How old was your mother when she died? Did she die of and illness or old age? Where was your mother buried? What type of services were performed in her honor? How did you deal with the loss of your mother? What were your mother’s parent’s full names? When and where were they born? What did you call your mother’s parents? What do you remember about your mother’s parents? What family customs, skills, traditions or talents did your mother’s family have? Who are your mother’s brothers and sisters? When and where were your mother’s brothers and sisters born? What did they look like? What kind of people are your mother’s family? What do you remember about your mother’s family? Where did they reside? When and where did your mother’s parents die? When did your mother’s brothers and sisters die? REMEMBERING FATHER What is your father’s full name? What name was he most commonly called? What did your father look like? What were his hair, eye, and skin color? Was he short or tall? Was he small or large? What size shoe and ring did he wear? Where did your father grow up? Where did your father attend school and for how long? What kinds of jobs did he have? How did your father impact your life? What special memories do you have of your father? Where did your father retire? When and where did your father die? How old was he when he died? Did he die of illness or old age? Where is your father buried? What type of services were performed in his honor? How did you deal with the loss of your father? What were you father’s parents full names? When and where were they born? What name did you call them? What do you remember about your father’s parents? What family customs, skills, traditions or talents did your father’s family have? Who are your father’s brothers and sisters? When and where were your father’s brothers and sisters born? What did they look like? What kind of people are your father’s family? What do you remember about your father’s family? Where did they reside? When and where did your father’s parents die? When did your father’s brother’s and sister’s die? Where are they buried? How when and where did your parent’s meet? How long was their courtship? When and where did they marry? How old were your parents when they married? Did they have a large or small wedding? What do you know about their wedding? Did they go on a honeymoon? Where and for how long? Was it the first marriage for each of them? If not, what do you know about their previous marriage(s)? Where did they live when they were first married? What kind of work did your father do to support his bride? Did your mother work when they were first married? How many brothers and sisters do you have? What are your brothers and sisters full names? When were your brothers and sisters born? Where they born at home or in a hospital? Was there anything unusual or out of the ordinary about and of their births? When were you born? Were you born at home or in a hospital? Was there anything out of the ordinary or unusual about any or their births? When were you born? Were you born at home or in a hospital? Was there anything out of the ordinary or unusual about your birth? What was your weight and length at birth? Do you remember when your brothers or sisters were born? How old were you? How did you feel? What else do you remember about your siblings as a young child? What kind of toys did you play with? What were you favorite toys? What were your favorite nursery rhymes and bedtime stories? What do you remember about the house you lived in as a young child? Were you put down for naps as a young child? What stories do you remember about naps time? What games did you play as a young child? When did you start doing chores around your home? What tasks did you do? Did you have pets or animals around your home as a young child? What do you remember about your favorite pets? What were your favorite holidays as a young child? Did you believe in Santa Claus? How old were you when you stopped believing in Santa Claus? What are your childhood memories of your parents and grandparents? Who was your favorite relative as a young child? What were your favorite and least favorite foods as a young child? What were meals like around your house? On Sundays? What do you remember about your birthdays as a young child? What do you remember about the town you grew up in as a young child? What do you remember about the neighborhood and the neighbors? Who were your best friends as a young child? As a young child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Do you remember special days, like the circus, parades, and sports events? Do you remember trolley cars, rumble seats, buggies, buckboards, etc.? Do you remember milkmen or door to door salesmen? Do you remember wintertime as a young child? What did you do for fun? What illnesses did you have as a young child? Did you ever have any accidents or have to go to the hospital as a young child? Did you ever run away from home as a child? Did you have any fears as a young child? How did you cope with these fears? What did you look like as a young child? Were you shy or outgoing? SCHOOL DAYS AND SUCH How old were you when you started first grade? What was the name of the school? What were your feelings on your first day of school? Were the schools you attended public or private? How did you get to school? How far did you have to travel? What supplies did you use in school? Chalk pencil and slate or lead pencil and paper, etc.? What did you do during recess? What did you have for lunch? What are the most fun times you remember from your early school years? What were your favorite grade school subjects? What kinds of books and learning tools did you use in school? What kinds of grades did you make as a young child? How many students were in your school? How many grades were in your first school? Describe what you did during a school day. Were there any other schools you attended because your family moved? Was I difficult? Describe your feelings Did your parents help you with your homework? Do you remember any special teachers that influenced you as a young child? Did you ever “play hooky” from school? What did you do? Were you ever caught? What happened? How long did you go to school? What did you do during summer vacations? Did you go to camp? Did you have any special talents or interests as a young child? Who were your childhood role models or hero’s? Did you have any childhood special achievements, accomplishments or recognitions? Where did you go to school as a teenager? What were your favorite subjects? What hobbies, sports or social activities were you interested in as a teenager? What did you accomplish? What school activities did you take part in? Did you receive any special honors or recognition? Did you play an instrument, sing, dance or act during this time? Tell about this. What did you look like as a teenager? What did you like or dislike about your appearance? What clothes, hair styles, music and dance were popular during this time? What were your favorite past times as a teenager? How did you get along with your parents during this time? Your brothers or sisters? What were you like as a teenager? How did your family see you as a teenager? Did you go to movies as teenager? How much did it cost? What movies did you see? Were there awkward or embarrassing times you remember as a teenager? Was there a teacher or individual that influenced you in anyway? What jobs did you have as a teenager? What was your pay? What was life like for the women in your family during your teen years? What was life like for the men in your family during your teen years? Did you have any rules or guidelines set by your parents as teenager? When did you first drive a car? What kind? How much did gas cost? When and what was your first romantic kiss like? How old were you when you first became aware of the opposite sex? Did you date much? Anyone special? What were the courting customs while you were dating? What modern conveniences if any, had your family acquired by this time? How did they affect you? By the time you were a young adult, what changes had taken place? How do your teen years compare with how teenagers live today? As a young adult, what plans or dreams did you have for your future? Were there any apparent trends, such as people moving to the cities or another part of the country? REMEMBERING COLLEGE DAYS Did you attend college? Why did you decide to attend college? How did you pay for college? Where and what college did you attend? Describe your college. How large was your college? Why did you choose that particular college? What was your major in college and why did you choose that major? Where did you live while you attended college? How did you feel when you were out on your own? Who were your friends or roommates at college? What were your favorite college courses? What was campus life like? What social activities did you participate in? What clubs or organizations did you join during college? Why? Did you have a job while you attended college? What was your job? How much wee you paid and what did you spend your money on while in college? If you had a minor what was it and why? Did you attend graduate school? Where? What was your graduate specialty? What advanced degrees, if any, did you earn? How did you pay your expenses while in graduate school? Where and how did you live during graduate school? How many years did you attend college? What are your favorite memories of college? What are your thoughts about the value of college in a person’s life? How has your college degree helped in your career? What advice would you give your children or grandchildren regarding college? HISTORICAL EVENTS Where there any historical political events happening nationally or internationally during your young adult years? Were there any wars happening nationally or internationally? Did you or any family members go to war? Were you drafted or did you volunteer? Where were you or your family member stationed during the war? What was your rank? What branch were you in? What stories are there of you or your family during the war? Were there any combat experiences? What did you or your family members learn from your experiences while serving in the military? How many years did you or your family member serve in the military? What family injuries or deaths occurred during the war? How long were you or your family members away at war? How long did you live at home? When did you leave home? Where did you live when you left home? How did you pay your expenses at your new home? STARTING YOUR FAMILY When, where and how did you meet your future spouse? What was your first impression of him/her? Where did you go when you were courting? Were there any special circumstances during your courtship? When did you begin to realize that you were in love? How and when did you become engaged? How did your family feel about your engagement? How long were you engaged? Did you think you had to have a certain amount of savings before you would marry? What day did you choose for your wedding date? What were the reasons for setting that particular date for your wedding? Where were you married? How large was your wedding? Which special friends or family participated in the wedding? How did you feel before, during and after the ceremony? Is there any particular part of the wedding that you especially remember? Describe your wedding clothes. Was there a reception or party after the wedding? Where? What events took place at the reception? Did you go on a honeymoon? Where? What special memories do you have of your honeymoon? Where did you live when you were first married? Describe the house or apartment you first lived in after being married. What kind of furniture, dishes and linens did you have for your new home? How did you obtain these items? What jobs did you have when first married? What jobs did your spouse have when first married? Did you have a budget to live on? What was your budget and how did you manage it? In the early years of marriage what qualities did you most admire in your spouse? What special memories of stories do you have of the early days of marriage? Were there any serious illnesses or economic hardships during your early married years? What was the most difficult part of adjusting to married life? What do you feel helped you cope during the early years of your marriage? What were your biggest marital quarrels about? How did you resolve marital quarrels? What advice do you have on working through marital problems? When did you first suspect that your first child was on the way? How was the news received by your family and your spouse’s family? How did you tell your spouse? Did you go to a doctor right away? How did you get ready for the baby’s arrival? Where did you get baby clothes and necessary baby items? How many children did you want to have? What did you name the children? How did you choose the names? Where and when were your children born? What were the babies’ measurements and weights when born? Was there anything unusual or out of the ordinary about their births? What were your feelings when you first saw each baby? Did you have any extra help in raising your children? What changes did birth of the babies bring into the household? How did each child react to the arrival of another? As your family grew did you move into a larger home? Where? Describe the new home. How long did it take for your new family to settle into comfortable routine? How did you and your spouse manage to feed and clothe your children as they grew? What kinds of chores did your children have to do? What do you remember most about each child’s personality? What were your children’s favorite bedtime stories of books? What were your children’s favorite meals? What were your children’s favorite games or toys? What childhood illnesses did the children have? How did you cope with the illness? What kinds of worries did you have as a parent? Where did you get advice when you had worries about your children? How did you discipline your children? What did you think was important for your children to learn as they were growing up? What kinds of holiday celebrations did your family have? What holiday did the children like most? What kinds of vacations did your family have? What did you want for yourself while your children were growing up? How did you feel when your children began to have ideas of their own? How did you feel when your children reached their teen years? What do you think was the most difficult part of rearing your family? Looking back, what do you think are the best ways of raising children? When did each of your children leave home? How did you feel when each child left? What would you change about how you raised your children? Did you marry more than once? How difficult was your divorce? How did your children cope? How did you cope? While you were single did you have and family obligations? If you were single or widowed, what was life like? Did you travel? Where would you go on vacations? Who did you travel with? What social activities were you interested in? Were there any significant national or international events that affected your family? Were there any wars while your family was growing up? What were your worries about the war? How did the war affect your family life? RETIREMENT YEARS AND SUCH What has been your principal job or way of earning a living? Why did you choose this job? Describe other types of jobs you’ve had. What is important to look for in a job? What do you consider the most valuable things you’ve learned from working? Did you receive any special awards, honors or promotions during your career? What difficult working conditions have you experienced? What technological changes have you experienced in your lifetime? Have you survived any natural disasters? How did you cope during this time? What advice and encouragement would you give young people looking for work today? What sayings thoughts or proverbs have you used to help you throughout your life? Where did you learn or hear those sayings, thoughts or proverbs? Throughout your life, what books have you found to be your favorites? Who have been your best friends over the years? What do you think are the ingredients of true lasting friendships? What was the nicest thing a friend ever did for you? What was the nicest thing you ever did for a friend? Do you like to cook? What dishes do you prepare? What are some of your favorite recipes? What do you think has been your overall guide or formula for living? What do you consider to be your most outstanding talent, craft or skill? What do you think has been your most important accomplishment in life? By what philosophy, guideline or rule should a young person today live? Why? When did you first think about retirement? How old were you when you retired? How did you feel about retiring? How have prices changed from the earlier days? What are some examples? What do you think is the key to happiness? When you think of the future what do you see? Looking back now, what do you consider to be the best time of your life? Looking back now, what do you consider to be the most difficult time or event of your life? How did you deal with that difficult time? Are there any particular hopes or wishes you have for your family? Tell about any favorite stories that have been passed down through the family? What information would you leave your children or grandchildren regarding you or your family’s health history? What advice would you give your children and grandchildren regarding health? Have you ever had a close call with death? How do you see death or dying? What religion do you practice? How have you prepared for your death? Emotionally? Financially? How do you feel about your religion? Do you have any wishes or requests after you have died? What closing message would you like to give?