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Posted: 2/14/2013 5:15:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2013 5:30:43 AM EDT by TontoGoldstein]
I am quite a pack rat. I have kept all kinds of little items from my life. There are things from when my children were young. There are mementoes of friends long passed and a son who has been gone almost as long as he was alive. There are zip lock bags of perfectly good paper clips and nut and bolts that were just too good to throw away. There are business cards and ID tags and pictures of nephews and nieces. There are bits from very happy times. Not more than a wash tub full, but many little things. I am going through boxes getting rid of those things which are actually junk.

I came across an audio casette. It was a taped letter my mother made in 73-74 time period to send to her grandchildren who were living in Europe at the time. My sister had kept it for years and then given it to me at least a decade ago. For the first time ever I put it into a casette player and listened.

Mom died in 1975. She was only 53. I was only 19. I had not heard her voice since the day she slipped into a coma very early May, 1975.

She sounds young. The thing that surprised me the most was that mom had a German accept. I could remember that when mom got mad (she did have three sons) her voice had a certain tone to it not normally there, but it passed once she calmed down. She was born in a German-speaking village in Kansas in 1921. She spoke exclusively German until she entered first grade in about 1927. Yet after all that time 1927-1975, she had maintained an accent. I can only guess that when mom spoke we heard what she was saying and not how she said it. Her parents spoke with heavy German accents, but we kids didn't have a problem understanding them.

It is the slightest of accents, but it is there. Having been around Germans for most of my life and having studied it in HS and college, there is no mistaking it. Mom did not want us to learn German and always told us that she could no longer speak it. I'm thinking that she wasn't entirely truthful. The anti-German feelings in the US from WWI on fell heavily on Mom and her 13 brothers and sisters. It wasn't cool to be German so much so that less than a handful of my nearly 50 cousins ever learned to speak it.

I had started the tape in the middle. When I rewound it, it came off one of the little reels because the glue that had held it for decades finally gave out. I'll have it repaired and then transfered to another medium. I'll make copies for my brothers and sister.

When I get that done I'm going to sit down and listen to what my mother has to say. It won't be one of those "fairwell" tapes. It is just a tape of a woman gossiping about work and family. It will be a big thing even though it came from a spark-plug of a little 5 foot tall woman who commanded our respect and attention.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:16:29 AM EDT
Cool story bro
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:20:19 AM EDT
That is awesome. My parents have both made videos for members of the family for after they're gone.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:21:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2013 5:26:00 AM EDT by pale_pony]
Please get that digitized as soon as you can. There are even places like Ancestry.com where you can upload the audio file for future generations.

The media (tape itself) will decay quickly. I'm suprised that you got it to play if it was recorded 40 years ago.

God bless you and your family as you're dealing with this. I can only imagine the emotions this has stirred up.


Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:22:59 AM EDT
That's cool OP!!
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:23:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By redseacraft:
Cool story bro


Get the fuck out with that shit.

OP, Thanks for the good read. Things like that always seem to bring back a rush of memories, both good and bad. I hope they were good.

Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:23:25 AM EDT
Originally Posted By redseacraft:
Cool story bro


dont be childish a dick.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:23:56 AM EDT
Originally Posted By redseacraft:
Cool story bro


Don't be a dick.


OP, that is awesome. I couldn't even imagine it. I would love to hear my Grandparent's voices again.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:24:28 AM EDT
Originally Posted By kaneroy:
Originally Posted By redseacraft:
Cool story bro


dont be childish a dick.


Oh, when people type that response they are really being derogatory?
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:24:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2013 5:25:22 AM EDT by husker77c]
Originally Posted By redseacraft:
Cool story bro



Yep but not in the normal snarky GD way.

That's really cool
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:25:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RDak:
Originally Posted By kaneroy:
Originally Posted By redseacraft:
Cool story bro


dont be childish a dick.


Oh, when people type that response they are really being derogatory?


Yes. No question about it.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:25:28 AM EDT
Originally Posted By redseacraft:
Cool story bro


Can't tell if you meant it to be insightful or an asshole. I'll assume the former.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:25:48 AM EDT
Originally Posted By JINXR:
Originally Posted By RDak:
Originally Posted By kaneroy:
Originally Posted By redseacraft:
Cool story bro


dont be childish a dick.


Oh, when people type that response they are really being derogatory?


Yes. No question about it.


Thanks for the info............always wondered about that type of post.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:25:57 AM EDT
Awesome story. I can relate to you op about accents. Being from the Deep South marshes of louisiana my parents and grand parents speak French and have very thick accents. It's to the point where my wife can't understand my grand pa. To me they sound normal and I understand them just fine. Don't get too upset about not learning German. The French language has been killed off by the school systems of the 40's and 50's.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:26:05 AM EDT
I'm very happy you found this. It is priceless. I have been looking for something like that of my wife who passed away this past Sept. just short of our 40th anniversary. We had talked of making videos but just never got around to it. But, last Christmas the grandkids found a Frosty the Snowman kids book my wife had bought for them. It was one of those that you can record your voice and read the story to the kids who can't read yet. My wife recorded her reading the Frosty story. I copied the recording and have preserved it.

It is nice to hear their voices again.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:26:28 AM EDT
Originally Posted By redseacraft:
Cool story bro


Go fuck yourself.

Op thats gotta be an awesome experience. Glad you found it and get that copied.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:26:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RDak:
Originally Posted By JINXR:
Originally Posted By RDak:
Originally Posted By kaneroy:
Originally Posted By redseacraft:
Cool story bro


dont be childish a dick.


Oh, when people type that response they are really being derogatory?


Yes. No question about it.


Thanks for the info............always wondered about that type of post.


http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/cool-story-bro
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:27:00 AM EDT
I wish I had a tape of my mom's voice.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:27:42 AM EDT
Originally Posted By redseacraft:
Cool story bro

Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:28:25 AM EDT
Very cool.

Several months after my Father passed away from Brain Cancer I was cleaning out the old voice mails on my phone and found a voice message from him. It was just weird listening to it from a time when he was healthy and able to speak.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:29:16 AM EDT
That's a great story.

I wish that I had more video of my grandparents and my wife's grandmother with our daughters. They were wonderful people, and I miss them all. Hell, my wife's grandmother used to wash and iron our clothes when we came to visit. The woman was 90 years old at the time, and was as energetic as most 60 year olds

I hope you can get the tape repaired and transferred without any problems. That's a great memento for you and your siblings.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:29:40 AM EDT
I enjoyed reading that, thank you.

My Dad's family spoke Low German (Plattdeutsch) at home, even into the 1930s. I can easily recall my grandpa sitting on the porch of my elderly neighbor's house on warm summer evenings, gossiping in Low German.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:29:40 AM EDT
My mom passed three years ago this sunday(2/17) and i will charge up my old cell phone and play some of the messages she has left with her corny inside jokes and laugh and cry.



That really is a cool story and hope you can get it saved so you can listen to it and share some of your memories with family.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:29:53 AM EDT


Excellent story!

Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:30:16 AM EDT
Originally Posted By redseacraft:
Cool story bro


Go the fuck away don't be a fucking asshole.


But that's really awesome OP, wish I had that of some relatives.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:30:19 AM EDT
An amazing find.

Transfer the recordings to disc or computer files or something. That way, they can live on.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:30:20 AM EDT
That really is a cool story. Makes you think of the things we take for granted. I always bitch about how my mother nags me all the time. I can't imagine not hearing her voice again.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:33:04 AM EDT
Sorry left the window open and some damn dust got stuck in my eye.

This thread is a great way to start the day

Thanks for sharing this. I sure wish I had an audio or video tape of my Grandfather.
He will be gone this May for 20 years. I hate that I cannot remember his voice
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:34:00 AM EDT
That's pretty cool. The only voice recording of my mom was the answering machine tape, and I have no idea what happened to that
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:34:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2013 5:36:29 AM EDT by pale_pony]
Originally Posted By RDak:
I wish I had a tape of my mom's voice.


Me too, I lost my mom when I was 8. I feel your pain, bro.


Now, if y'all will excuse me it's getting kind of dusty in here...

Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:35:11 AM EDT
Memories.

OP, you sound rather melancholy. You doing ok?
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:38:39 AM EDT
Originally Posted By redseacraft:
Cool story bro


How old are you? Shouldn't you be in school today?
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:40:19 AM EDT
Cool.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:42:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By USMCTanker:
Memories.

OP, you sound rather melancholy. You doing ok?


Thanks for asking. I have a wonderful wife. We talked about this last night. We keep things for a variety of reasons. We keep some things because they remind us of happy times. We keep others so that we have something to remember someone by. Sometimes we keep things to convince ourselves and others that we really did care.

Lots of times we keep stuff that is really junk....like perfectly good nuts and bolts to something we can't remember. I was raised by parents who grew up in poverty. We didn't throw things out if they were salvageable.

Last night I tossed out those nuts and bolts and kept the hand-made ashtray my daughter made 25 years ago. I'll let my family toss that out when the time comes.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:46:31 AM EDT
Wow how awesome is that.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:50:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2013 5:52:38 AM EDT by Fulton1]
There is something both haunting and magical about hearing the voice of a deceased friend or family member. My MIL passed away suddenly almost seven years ago now. One day my wife found one of her old recorded voicemail messages and it brought back a ton of memories. That unique way that she would always say "Hi guys, it's me..."

My mom was born in Germany back in the 1930's and she met my dad over there while he was in the Air Force. We moved back to the States in 1975 (when I was three or four years old) right before he retired. Even though she's now been in the US longer than she was in Germany she still has a pronounced accent. Boy, I remember when she got sufficiently mad she would pull out that wooden cooking spoon and the German would fly. You knew to get the heck out of the room! Actually, it still blows my mind that I couldn't really speak or understand English until I started school.

Anyway, OP, this is a wonderful find. Definitely get it digitized as soon as possible and thanks for sharing.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:51:46 AM EDT
That is awesome. I can only imagine the emotions you must have been flooded with when you heard her voice.

Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:57:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2013 5:57:35 AM EDT by James23]
Originally Posted By redseacraft:
Cool story bro



How easy it is to expose a small mind and a lack of character.


OP, that was in fact a very heartfelt and inspiring story.

Thanks for your post.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:58:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2013 5:59:06 AM EDT by Turboguy1]
Originally Posted By redseacraft:
Cool story bro


Idiot.

Welcome to the ignore list.

I hope your tape turns out OP. That's a cool deal to find a treasure like that.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 5:58:27 AM EDT
Originally Posted By TontoGoldstein:
Originally Posted By USMCTanker:
Memories.

OP, you sound rather melancholy. You doing ok?


Thanks for asking. I have a wonderful wife. We talked about this last night. We keep things for a variety of reasons. We keep some things because they remind us of happy times. We keep others so that we have something to remember someone by. Sometimes we keep things to convince ourselves and others that we really did care.

Lots of times we keep stuff that is really junk....like perfectly good nuts and bolts to something we can't remember. I was raised by parents who grew up in poverty. We didn't throw things out if they were salvageable.

Last night I tossed out those nuts and bolts and kept the hand-made ashtray my daughter made 25 years ago. I'll let my family toss that out when the time comes.


Ok, understood. You sounded kind of isolated and alone. Sometimes, we find ourselves the "last man standing" suddenly when we reflect on our lives and those that we grew up and made memories with are gone. That can be a lonely feeling, and I thought that was what you were getting at. Glad your wife with is there with you.

Happy Valentine's Day to you both.

Oh, and I understand not throwing things away that connect you with the past. I've kept a lot of useless stuff that reminds me of a very happy childhood with a loving family. I'm not ready to let those memories go either.

I enjoyed your post, too BTW. I didn't know there were German-speaking communities in KS. I knew it was common in the upper mid-west and TX, but I guess there were more German immigrants spread out over the U.S. than I realized.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 6:00:16 AM EDT
Wow reading all these posts of people whose families were American but had a tradition of speaking German or French is amazing. You'd think there would be a lot more of that since so many American settlers were German. I guess society has pretty much stamped it out though
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 6:00:36 AM EDT
Wow, rerecord it into a CD
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 7:02:54 AM EDT
My mom passed on 28 December. The kids took it very hard. Wish I'd have had the foresight to sit my mom down to make some recorded messages a couple of years ago.

Definitely digitize and save on CD at least.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 7:04:53 AM EDT
Originally Posted By redseacraft:
Cool story bro


really...you are being that guy...

to the OP...good find
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 7:23:45 AM EDT
A lil dusty in here right now too.... I really miss mine and my wife's folks...
OP, I hope you get a great copy of that recording!
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 7:27:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2013 7:29:13 AM EDT by 6winchester2]
OP: Make sure you digitally remaster that tape, because it will start to decay.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 7:30:58 AM EDT
Stories like the OP's are why I always take video footage when visiting my parents during
the holidays. Very cool story OP.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 7:37:16 AM EDT
Very cool story, thank you for sharing!
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 7:38:37 AM EDT
Sometimes God uses the simplest and unexpected things. That tape has no material value, yet it is priceless.

Little dusty over here.
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 7:39:54 AM EDT
Awesome. I hope it brought back many happy memories for you!!!
Link Posted: 2/14/2013 7:42:16 AM EDT
That's an awesome story op! What part of Kansas? My grandmother was born in Rooks County. Phillipsburg/Stockton area.

I would love to find something like that. Mom passed in 1981 when I was 21. She didn't speak German but her paternal grandfather came over from Austria in 1868 with his dad and brother. I figure my grandpa grew up in a bilingual house but didn't/wouldn't teach his kids German.
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