Hello! Today I listened to portions of oral history recordings from the Shenandoah National Park collection and the Shenandoah Valley Oral History Project collection. The first collection is quite interesting because it delves into the history, life, and customs of Valley residents before the creation of the Shenandoah National Park in the 1930s. These interviews were conducted mostly between the mid-1960s and early 1980s by Dorothy Noble Smith. In addition to the anecdotes and details about the Valley the interviewees provide, simply listening to the recordings is in itself a unique experience. For example, I listened to an interview from Feb. 1966 with two sisters (Mamie Clarice and Betsey Jane Johnson) who were born in 1883 and 1893, respectively. The interviewer was a nephew of theirs, and he brought along his six-year-old son to the session. On a single recording I heard from three generations of the Johnson family, streamed seamlessly through my computer in 2013. Another recording focused on cattle, specifically cattle drives. As someone who travels up and down highways 81 and 64 frequently, the thought of driving cattle twenty miles through Powell’s Gap on horseback is quite intimidating. Even if history isn’t something you’re interested in, you Continue reading Listen up!