2013-01-24 / Lifestyles

A lively life story

Lois A. Corcoran

We started the tradition a few months ago. Each Saturday morning, we park ourselves on our bottomless couch whilst I record a chapter in the life of my Better Half.

If you’ve met my husband, you know he’s a born story teller. With his knack for embellishment, Dan the man turns even ho-hum occasions into hilarious tales. Consequently, recording his memoirs means top shelf entertainment.

To assist us, we use a chubby little book called “To Our Children’s Children” (Bob Greene and D.G. Fulford, authors). It holds thousands of questions grouped under such diverse topics as Grade School and Grandparenthood.

They say you don’t really know a person until you write their life story, and so it is with us. I’m discovering data I wish I’d learned when we first tied the knot. No doubt it would have saved us some spats over the years.

Some of the least likely questions yield the funniest anecdotes. When I asked him, “Did company often come for dinner?” he told me about one guest in particular he loved to watch because “she ate like a buzz saw.”

My husband has a very unique way of wording things. When I asked if he knew any foreign tongues, he paused for a moment before replying, “The blue air language.”

He retains few memories of his maternal grandmother, who passed away when Dan was five. His other grandparents “were planted before I was born,” he said.

I began this project the old fashioned way, with paper and pen, writing as fast as my fingers could go. It was hard keeping pace with Dan, especially when he got excited and talked faster.

His tendency to insert funny sound effects further complicated matters. When he imitated a faulty doorbell, I halted. “How do you spell that?” I asked. “DG G-G-H,” he replied, though it didn’t look right on paper. In the interests of efficiency, we switched to a vintage cassette recorder.

Sessions last about an hour before his brain gets “tired of thinking.” By then, our noisy machine lets us know with a loud CLACK that we reached the end of the tape.

Though the session stops, memories continue to flow through the floodgates, and I hear tales of adventure long afterward. Then I jot down a flurry of notes for the next chapter of “Life According to Dan”.

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