The pack-rat tendencies in my family are really far too extreme. A couple months ago, Uncle Jim delivered to me four boxes and one bag that had been in the care of my aunts. It seems that these contain nearly everything that ever happened to my dad during his high school and college years, at least in terms of athletics and academics. There are two boxes just of trophies and awards from his track and field competitions. There are also two more boxes of scrapbooks full of newspaper clippings, photos and report cards. The bag contains a few things from earlier years as well, like a stack of birthday cards (some from when he was two years old), a baby book, a bit of schoolwork, and more report cards. Scattered throughout are some more random things, like a paperback copy of Revolution at Berkeley, and an entire binder of Pan American World Airways Teacher magazines.
So anyway, this has all come to me, in a kind of implied apprenticeship to Uncle Jim, the family historian. I'm in the process now of simply figuring out what to do with it all. Tonight I opened everything for the first time, just to see what all is in there and get an idea of what I'll be facing. It looks like it will be interesting to go through piece by piece, but I'm also going to need to somehow archive it all so that it can be safely gotten rid of without upsetting Grandma Jackie (Dad doesn't care what happens to it, and I'm certainly not going to keep it all in my room forever). I'll probably just photograph all the trophies, which should be the easiest part. Scanning in all the photos will probably take a while. When it comes to the hundreds of newspaper articles, I think there's going to have to be some significant selecting and editing involved. I'm not sure what I'll do with the slides. But whatever I do, it'll be a bit of a project for a while.
On the other side of the family, I have a cassette tape from Monee that I want to transcribe, and maybe get into a digital format at some point. It's Uncle Paul talking with Great-Grandma Herdman about Monee's father's "courtship diary." Should be interesting. I'd also like to read some of Great-Grandma Herdman's diaries, if we can ever borrow them from the cousins currently in possession of them. But that's a project for another time.