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ORAL HISTORY NEWSLETTER XIX,
FALL 2013

Editors: Erin Tiernan and Henry Paige

Photo Editor: Christine R.C. Ross

It was a cold and gloomy day in New Hampshire on October 6th, 2013. The rain spit sideways and a fine layer of fog settled in the nooks of the valleys in the mountains. .Despite the gray skies and chilly breezes , the temperament of those in attendance at the 19th annual Oral History Circle hosted by Harvey and Myrna Frommer was anything but sullen.

Students, parents, friends, and supporters gathered together at the beautiful home of Neda Nobari to celebrate the art and practice of oral history. Delicious drinks and bountiful food, including homemade sweet potato pie and flan, delighted everyone and made any memory of the dark day outside disappear.

Following a tour through the house and barn, current students were honored to learn of “life after oral history” from students and individuals both past and present who used or are using the medium of oral history in their current works. Among these presenters was Tom Onaki, a second year MALS student and veteran of the oral history class, who found a deep appreciation for the medium and is using it as the basis for his thesis in which he is researching the art of making music in homeless shelters. Erin Tiernan, another second year MALS student and past student of the oral history class, used oral history to research Glacier National Park and the growing impact of issues such as global warming on the ecosystem of the park. She is currently working with Harvey on an independent study involving the cultural importance of baseball in America. Motivated by stories his grandparents told him as a child, the third presenter, Naersong, a MALS alum from inner Mongolia, used the positive experience he had with oral history to influence his thesis regarding the preservation of personal histories of the Japanese Invasion in China. Naersong’s research greatly impacted him and it was easy to see the immense pride he had upon completion of his project.

Finally, everyone had the pleasure and great honor to hear from Wey Lundquist, also known as the “godfather of Oral History.” A Dartmouth alumn, Wey, along with his wife, Kay, remains close, personal friends with the Frommers and spoke very fondly of both his time at Dartmouth and his experience with oral history. Having used oral history during his time in both Alaska and Russia, Wey feels an intense, personal connection with the medium and ended his speech by saying, “Thank God for this Oral History Circle.

The real thanks must go to Harvey and Myrna Frommer, not only for organizing such an event, but for instilling in each of us the importance of hearing and preserving stories. Thanks must also be extended to Neda Nobari for hosting our gathering at her wonderful home for the third fabulous year. All in all it was one gloomy day that will be remembered as something much brighter.

Written by Erin Tiernan and Henry Paige

View more pictures from this year’s Oral History Circle

Read previous Oral History Circle Newsletters

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