Thursday, October 18, 2012
Searching for Tomorrow: Stories of Family
When I talk to strangers about genealogy, I often spend time reflecting on how lucky I have been to have known some of my grandparents and to have listened to their stories (and remembered them). But, there are stories of family all around us and it happens so often that we may not even notice it!
My grandmother and mother were stay-at-home moms. They took a break from their housework to listen to their "stories". Today, we call those TV programs, "Soap Operas". If you don't know why, then you should look that up.
One of my earliest memories is of lying in my crib, watching the blue curtains in my chiildhood bedroom, moving in the breeze with the sounds of the music and conversations of the TV (this one pictured here) while Love of Life and Search for Tomorrow were on. The comings and goings of the characters in these programs were topics of comversation in my family, just as if they were real stories about people in our family or in the neighborhood.
My mother told me that she was shopping in Macy's in New York and got on the elevator to go to another floor and met soap actor Larry Haines. She said hello to him but couldn't quite place who he was until her got off at his floor. I guess my mother was always "Searching for Tomorrow". Well, aren't we all?
Serial stories were popular in print and on the radio. Many TV soaps began on radio and moved to TV. I can't imagine how excitied people must have been to be part of that. But, folks, many of the story themes were about family and society. (Think: Dickens and Little Orphan Annie)