Posts Tagged ‘conversation’

A FRESH APPROACH

September 20, 2011

A different kind of research last week, having an unexpected conversation with an involved person, or even a group of people.  I do enjoy the reading about the way a place grows and developes, but it’s more fun when I’m talking to someone about the place where they live. 

I made the trip to southern Oregon again but this time I visited the Phoenix museum and talked with the three volunteers sho were there.  I came away with pictures and stories.  I especially liked one of a man who shared special memories of his grandfather.   Then there was a story of a couple who left the east coast, visited the major cities and historic sites as  they crossed the country to Oregon with a wagon and oxen more than twenty years after the automobile was invented.  I admit, I wonder how the people caught in the traffic of New York City reacted to that scene.  Or maybe the early trucks coming over the Siskiyou. 

The next day I visited with a long time resident of Talent and added more stories from there.    From the beginning, Talent was a town focused on agriculture rather than business.  Interesting to see pictures and samples of early inventions designed to make farming easier and more profitable.     And to develop better crops. 

A short visit to Ashland to add some details about an old race track, a stop in Medford for suggestions of more contacts and I headed back to Eugene and home with a head full of information and pages of notes to work with. 

I know I’ll find gaps in the stories, things I misunderstood and questions I didn’t ask but this is still the most enjoyable way to do research.  Hearing the stories from the people involved helps me see the picture I’ll try to paint with my words.

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