Back in 1996 I ran around Lopez and recorded interviews (on actual cassette tapes!) with local folks. I have more than 16 of these 90 minute tapes (maybe 18?), and I intended to work on a book on Lopez while in Korea. I started working but then the disk drive (actual disks) was broken on the computer I was working on. I got discouraged (because I'd transcribed several hours of stories and then edited them for clarity) and stopped working.
In years since I have considered donating the tapes to the Lopez Island Historical Museum. However there are some weird politics at the museum that caused Nancy, a woman I've known my whole life who was utterly devoted to Lopez history, to lose her job there several years ago. I have never been quite comfortable to hand over these valuable tapes, mostly because I really love Nancy. Some of the people I recorded are dead, others have left Lopez.
Now I have recently started to transfer these files to MP3 (by playing the tape and being quiet while I record them) and they are GOLD. Amazing! I definitely need to not only make these part of a book, I need to go out and get more of these awesome stories. Through grouping them into several categories I can perhaps make chapters of a book that would have sections for each era (pre-60s, 60s, 70s, 80s or something like that). So far my ideas for sections are
1. Fourth of July
2. Lopez School Sports
3. Phil Hastin
5. Courtship and Marriage
6. Racoons, deer and other pests
7. Dances and social events
8. Fires and disasters
9. Sketchy homesteading
10. Shenanigans of various people
Tons of fun. But a distraction to run around recording new stories instead of working on my other projects?
Photos from 2007 "Uncle Phil Day"