My grandparents are really neat people. Not that I didn't think that before, but they just have some really interesting stories.
From listening to the recorded interview and transcribing it all, I realized that older people are so much more welll-spoken than our generation. They never say "like" and I say it like a million times ;) But seriously, they just are more poised in their language selection. Does that make sense?
Also, I think it would be really neat to do regular recorded interviews with my grandparents for posterity's sake. Like I said, they have so many cool stories and who actually knows if they're recorded anywhere? I think my grandpa has done a really good job of recording his life history, but there's something about hearing their voices that makes it special.
I love my grandparents and the good example they have set for me about the value of hard work and sacrifice. They built the home they still live in with their own hands. And then they built a cabin in the woods. It is one of my most favorite places in all the world. The best story Grandpa told me in our interview was that when my dad (their oldest of 3 kids) was serving a mission, Grandpa milked cows to earn some extra money to support my dad on his mission in Taiwan. Grandpa was a schoolteacher so it wasn't like he was raking in the dough. But he took on extra work so that he could help my dad out. I admire him and respect him for that. I know how much my dad's mission meant to him and I'm sure he was grateful for the support.
Although Grandpa is a little quirky and Grandma snores really loud, I'm so glad I have them in my life. They always came to major life events and they're planning on coming to my college graduation in April. They told me their only worry is that Chantel (my cousin) and I might be walking at the same time! They are so sweet and I love them!
Here is the transcript (for my assignment's sake, but also for posterity.)
David Storey and Audrey Bell Bean Oral History Project
Interview with Dave and Audrey Bean
Date of Interview: December 6, 2010; Interviewer in Provo, Utah; Interviewees in LaGrande, Oregon (done by telephone)
Interviewer: Courtney Bready
Transcriber: Courtney Bready
Begin Recording 1
Courtney: It’s Monday, December 6th and I’m talking with Dave and Audrey Bean, my grandparents about their experiences with the media. Before I began recording, I just asked them to share what their memories are as far as their exposure to the media is concerned. Now say that again, Grandma.
Audrey: Well when I first, when we first had TV, I was a kid and it was black and white and it was rather fuzzy I should say, you know it wasn’t really clear.
Dave: And about an 8 inch screen.
Audrey: And it was… boy were we tickled to death.
Dave: It doesn’t get any better than this.
Courtney: Do you remember how old you were?
Courtney: Do you remember how old you were?
Dave: Oh gosh
Audrey: I was in high school.
Dave: Yeah, 18 maybe, 17.
Dave: Now radio programs. Years ago they used to have some radio programs like, uh, The Shadow, and they’d say “The Shadow knows” and it was a mystery. And they had Sam Spade who was a detective. What was the show Audrey where they had the creaking door? They’d always open the door and it squacked? It’d make your blood run cold.
Audrey: I can’t remember.
Dave: But then on TV there is a program that’s been running for years, which we still enjoy watching and that’s Perry Mason.
Courtney: Oh yeah!
Dave: Haha. But television now, I think they’re trying to do something which has been needful for a long time. You can be sitting watching TV and half asleep and all of a sudden they kick into an ad and the sound level about three times as many decibels as you were getting before
Courtney: Mm hmm
Dave: And that is very irritating.
Courtney: Yes it is, I agree. Eric and I were just talking about that the other day.
Dave: Yeah. Oh, what else?
Courtney: Do you remember, like, any major events that you heard about on the radio or saw on TV?
Dave: Well, starting out major events on the radio was the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Courtney: Mm hmm
Dave: I was five years old when that happened and I didn’t know why my parents were listening to the radio on Sunday, because they never did that.
Dave: And uh, why my mother was crying, I didn’t realize that, uh, gee I had an 18-year-old brother that was gonna be subject to the draft and so on and so I well remember that.
Audrey: So do I. I remember going in and sitting in. We were, as I remember we were in Boise, living in Boise at the time and then mother had uh room that had sliding glass doors where the living room was and us kids couldn’t go in there unless we were nice and clean
Courtney: mm hmm
Dave: SO you never went in there huh?
Audrey: Oh yeah, we did. But uh, you opened those doors and we went into this radio and all sat down around the on the floor and listened to that. And that was really quite a big event. A very big event.
Dave: Well another thing, since you didn’t limit the media, I guess we can cover anything.
Courtney: Yeah, anything.
Dave: Uh, when we were kids, we would go to the theater where they showed movies and before they would show them, they always had news reels. And I remember lots and lots of news reels that uh, showed exactly what was going on and where in the second World War and when we were fighting in the Pacific and fighting in Eurpoe and so on and they’d run the news reels always before they would show the movie.
Courtney: That’s cool. I didn’t know that.
Dave: And uh, that you know, we didn’t have television at that time so that was the only way we got to really see what was going on. Do you remember those Audrey?
Audrey: Oh yes.
Courtney: So would people, did people ever go to the movies just to watch the news reels?
Dave: Oh probably. But at least, and see since we didn’t have television, the movie theaters were extremely popular. We had oh three or four here in LaGrande.
Courtney: Oh really?
Dave: Let’s see, we had the Liberty, the State, the Grenada, and then we put in the drive-in theater so I guess we had four.
Dave: And uh, people went to the movies a lot because there wasn’t any television so that was the best source of visual entertainment.
Dave: And besides, you could get a sack of popcorn for a dime, you could get a 12 ounce soda pop for a nickel, and a good sized candy bar for a nickel.
Courtney: Well that’s certainly changed, hasn’t it?
Dave: Uh yeah. Only now I get my popcorn free because I get it at Bronson’s Lumber when I go.
Audrey: Well and another thing about the movies Courtney is that if you were ever to see a movie with a couple uh, and if they ever went into the bedroom, it was twin beds. I mean, it’s noth—the movies were not like they are today.
Dave: You hardly ever saw people smoking and drinking in the movies either.
Courtney: Oh really?
Dave: Way back when. And kissing was very limited, shall we say. They weren’t trying to slobber all over each other or chew on each other, anything like that.
Dave: Like you see now.
Audrey: Does that help you any?
Courtney: Yeah, keep going.
Dave: Or does that add to the confusion?
Courtney: No, I, I like it. Um, do you remember, let’s see what was I gonna ask? Um, did you, you guys had a TV when you had kids, right?
Corutney: Did you always have it?
Dave: I don’t remember.
Audrey: What was the question again?
Dave: If we had a TV when we had kids. Whether we always had it.
Audrey: Uh, no we got our first TV. I had a camera, that I had bought when I was working. A real nice camera. And I was able to sell that camera, or trade that camera for a TV set to go into our 10 by 55 foot trailer. And that was back when Jeff and Jeanette were babies. And that was about our first TV.
Courtney: OH, OK.
Dave: And it seems to me that way back when that the news media was a lot less biased than what you see now.
Courtney: Oh yeah
Dave: That you could pick up a newspaper and you could count on learning what was going on and you’d get it from a, more or less a neutral viewpoint.
Courtney: Mm hmm
Dave: Rather than trying to scew it right or elft or who knows which way.
Audrey: They just reported the news, that’s exactly what they did, they didn’t try to embellish it or anything, they just reported the news.
Dave: But to give you an example, uh, we have a good friend here in LaGrande who has a son who is Jim’s age and he worked for a big newspaper back East, Chicago I think. Anyway, he told his father, very proudly, “We don’t report the news, we make the news.”
Dave: And that is what is so irritating and probably why very few people really trust the news media.
Courtney: Yeah, that’s true.
Dave: By the way, he got fired.
Courtney: Oh really?
Dave: For plagiarism.
Courtney: Oh, I thought he was supposed to be making the news.
Dave: Well, he made the news alright, but he made somebody else’s news.
Dave: And he got canned.
Courtney: That’s funny. Um do you remember, you talked about Pearl Harbor, do you remember, and you listened to that on the radio, right?
Courtney: Do you remember any wars, war coverage or anything on TV?
Dave: We didn’t have TV
Courtney: Not that one, but like, later.
Dave: Which war?
Courtney: Um, any of them, later.
Dave: There was no television coverage of the Second World War.
Dave: So I don’t know… the first TV coverage I may have seen of the wars, probably, I don’t even remember if we had any TV coverage of the Korean war. The Vietnamese War, yes.
Courtney: I think it was Vietnam that was the first one.
Dave: Yeah. Now here’s just a little footnote. Television was invented by Philo Farnsworth.
Courtney: Mm hmm. We talked about him
Dave: Who was, I believe the uncle of my favorite missionary companion.
Courtney: Oh really?
Dave: Yep. Lynn Farnsworth who married Mary Smith, J. Reuben Clark’s granddaughter.
Dave: Mary, Mary Clark, J. Reuben Clark’s granddaughter.
Courtney: That’s cool.
Dave: Yeah, I thought so too. I got to go to the wedding. Anyway, and my, my missionary companion never mentioned that, never bragged about it or anything. He was just cool.
Courtney: That’s cool. We actually get to go visit Philo Farnsworth’s grave for some extra credit points, so
Dave: Ah. Where is it?
Courtney: It’s in Provo—the Provo Cemetery
Dave: Uh huh. Because uh, Lynn Farsworth grew up in Beaver, Utah.
Courtney: Oh, OK
Dave: Yeah and there’s lots of Farnsworths around. He’s currently in uh, I think Scottsdale, Arizona. In fact, when we picked your father up from his mission, we came through that area and stopped in and visited Lynn Farnsworth and his wife.
Courtney: That’s neat.
Dave: Anyhow. OK. Going back years ago, there were comic strips in the newspapers, the Sunday funnies and what have you. One of them was Dick Tracy. Well, Dick Tracy had cute little wrist radios that they could communicate with back and forth to find out what was going on in town you know where they needed the police and what have you. I thought, man that’s cool. Won’t get any better than that. And then years later in Dick Tracy they had little picket sized televisions on their wrists and I thought, that’ll never happen. But uh, consider what we have now in the world of technology and Dick Tracy was just ahead of his time.
Courtney: That’s true.
Audrey : And there was Flash Gordon.
Dave: Oh yeah. That’s another comic strip. OK now here’s one for you talking about media… You didn’t say we had to limit it to the US.
Dave: In Russia, during the Cold War, there were two major newspapers: Pravda and Itsvestsa I think or Itsvestia. Anyway, one of them, translated means “The Truth” and the other one translated means “The News.” I had a Russian landlady in Berlin and she told me that the saying in Russia behind closed doors was, “there is no news in The Truth and there is no truth in The News.”
Dave: That’s how much they thought of their media because it was totally controlled and in many nations of the world, that’s the case: the news media are controlled by the government and they tell you what they want you to hear and it’s just plain, flat-out brainwashing. I went to a, a movie in Leisig, which is 175 miles behind the Iron Curtain. I went there in 1979, I sat in an audience amidst a bunch of uh, young men who were Russians, Russian Tank Corp, and they were showing a movie which was primarily propaganda about Mother Russia and how wonderful and how beautiful it is and they were all cheering, “Oh go Mother Russia, oh tremendous.” I thought, “how can you swallow this?” The answer is because they never heard anything else.
Dave: In fact, when they had Russian troops in Germany, and in East Germany and East Berlin and so on, we were told that when they sent those troops home, that they had to spend time in Siberia to be re-trained and re-programmed because even though the East Germany economy was terrible, it was so much better than what they had in Russia that they didn’t dare send them straight home and let them talk about what they had seen.
Dave: Like, running water, indoors.
Dave: Flushing toilets, things like that. So the news media in many nations of the world is totally controlled by the government that controls the country.
Dave: Fortunately, we’re not at that point in this country, but there sure is a lot of news media that is controlled by somebody that I don’t care for.
Dave: So as long as we still have news media that puts out both sides, we’ve got some hope. Once that ends, we’re in trouble.
Courtney: Yeah. Well there’s so many more sources now for news that it’s easier to get both sides I think.
Dave: Well, they want to put an end to people like Rush Limbaugh and uh, Bill O’Reilly, Fox News, things like that because they’re very conservative and far right and “we don’t want that”
Courtney: of course. Well, can you think of anything else?
Dave: I don’t know, can we think of anything else Audrey?
Audrey: No I can’t, really. Unless you ask a question and we can come up with something.
Dave: I do, OK I’ll tell you a story about something that I vividly remember.
Dave: I was teaching a class, a ninth grade, low level math class, it was the bottom of the bottom of the ninth grade in math ability. When we heard about the assassination of President Kennedy, so I just happened to have a radio in my room and we stopped talking about math and I turned on the radio and we listened and talked about it and so on. And it really had quite an effect on those kids. So even though they had very low ability in math, they still had an understanding of what was going on and what was happening.
Courtney: Mm hmm.
Dave: Now, here’s one, you probably can’t use this. When your father was on a mission, I milked cows to help support him on a mission. And you go out in the barn and the cows don’t talk to you very much, they’re just kind of boring and I had a radio that I would take out there and I played the radio in the barn and as long as I was listening to news or whatever, things were OK. But when they started playing the kind of music that is on our local radio stations, the cows would get nervous and milk production went down. So the media has an effect, not only on people, but on animals. And so I stopped playing the local radio stations and I took a small cassette player out there and I played Book of Mormon tapes and things like that and, or I would play classical or semi-classical or easy-listening music and the cows were fine. I don’t know what would have happened if I had tried country western, they might have gotten all excited. But anyway, it just pointed out to me that the tempo and the beat of the music coming across the media had an effect on the cows and on milk production.
Courtney: That’s interesting.
Dave: And so, they say, music calms the beast. Well, it depends on what kind of music.
Dave: And it depends on whether you’re talking about a two-legged or a four-legged beast. Because I’ve seen kids get so hyper and stirred-up because of the type of music they’re listening to.
Courtney: Mm hmm.
Dave: And in the Church, we’re cautioned to be careful what you listen to. And with good reason.