I live with my parents in my grandparents’ old house. We inherited the house many years ago and my mother wanted to keep it in the family. It’s a gorgeous old three-story brownstone just outside of Boston. Despite being in school, with the lockdown in effect I spend most of my time here now.
I live in the attic, back in the 80’s before I was born, my dad renovated it so it’s a pretty comfortable space despite it being a bit creepy at times. Attics, ya know? No? Maybe you’ll get why I’m freaking out in a second…
My grandad died long before I had a chance to meet him, back in the 50’s. No big deal, he was a great guy by all account but you can’t miss what you never met. The weird thing was that he died two weeks after my grandmother. It makes the ordeal more unfortunate but not really that odd, the two were very close and it seemed fitting.
That was the tale I knew for the longest time. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I actually got at least a piece of the picture. The way my mom tells it; grandma died in a car accident. My grandfather was driving and some car came at them head on, just swerved out of its lane and plowed into them – it was just a fluke that grandpa survived.
Horrible, unfortunate, my mother was a wreck. Luckily, she wasn’t living at the house at the time, she was pretty early to move out leaving my grandad all alone in this big empty home without here. What’s worse is that, as I said, two weeks later he was found in the attic, dead.
I suppose the family always saw it as his way of being with her. It was natural by all accounts, and I always found that extremely sad. It tore my mother up and a big reason why we still live in that house. It never really bothered me all that much that we lived in the house my grandpa died in… at least, not until today.
The college course I’m taking is journalism-based and for an assignment last week they’ve asked us to interview our grandparents. Record them, edit the interview and publish an MP3 for the professor. Obviously, I am unlucky in this regard but spoke to the professor seeing as I have no grandparents to speak to.
After a bit of convincing, they’ve allowed me to form a story from things they’ve left behind. The same level of journalism – just a different approach. I would just record it like a documentary rather than an interview. So, I decided to root through a few old boxes at a storage locker my parents kept. Lots of nice photos, trinkets and… a tape recorder.
At first, I thought I had struck gold, maybe I could get my grandparents voices on tape for the assignment…. In a way I did.
I started listening to it right there in the locker and just after a few minutes in I was intrigued enough to take it home, buy some software, and convert it to mp3.
A few minutes ago, I finished converting it and listened.
This is the recording.