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  • Martha Rasche

I Want to Know More


I am gearing up for fall Life Stories classes. This means I have times and locations set, and now I go through my list of prospective participants and start calling them to fill the seats.

Yesterday I spoke with an 82-year-old man who lives in the same house he was born in (literally). I want to know more about his growing up there in the 1940s and later raising his six children there.

He has "played music" for 60-some years. In the 1940s, before he was even a teenager, he had someone drive him to and from southern Indiana to Indianapolis and Nashville, Tenn., for gigs. I want to know more about how that came about and how it progressed and, by the way, did he meet any stars?

His wife died some years ago. He nursed her through cancer. He said she was beautiful, a better person than he deserved, a good mother and someone who "could cook and do just anything." I want to know more about their love story.

Not long ago this gentleman and a couple of his friends went to the local Denny's restaurant to eat. It was a slow time of day and the men started reminiscing. Suddenly they realized several employees were surrounding them. Had they stayed too long, the men wondered. "No," one of the waitresses told them. "We just want to hear your stories."

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