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  • Writer's picturePam Newton

Mill Town Oral Histories

Our interviewing team is putting joy into the winter months of 2019 by completing extra interviews for the MILL TOWN Project. We are getting more comfortable with the ZOOM audio recording device and really enjoying the process of learning about the stories of local individuals and how their experiences of living in Maynard, MA have developed. Hearing about the person and giving him or her permission to choose and created the questions they want to answer is fascinating.

We are looking for a diverse group for MILL TOWN oral histories: varied ethnicities, ages, sexual preferences, education, work experiences, immigrants or children of immigrants, people who live or have lived or worked here, or have spent a lot of time exploring the town’s offerings.

I have even approached a person who has been in Maynard for three months, not long after I interviewed a man who lived in Maynard all of his life. Tino is now 95.

The scariest part is approaching people we don’t know for permission to do an interview. Passing out the flyers and description of the MILL TOWN may seem a no-brainer, but each of our team members carries concerns and taboos in their personal story too! The truth of the matter is that we don’t want to make anyone feel pushed into agreeing to being part of the project. We are happy to protect your identity or to use your story as part of the context of this small town’s past, present, and future. There are permission sheets to sign, and the interviewee can ask to have parts deleted at any point.

This process has a life of its own. I feel that each unique journey that is shared with me is a treasure. It is awe-inspiring to hear about someone’s background, challenges, and memories of growth and success.

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