After debating it, I finally decided to do the interview to see how it would go and see if I had anything to work with. I drew up a list of about 20 questions, some about before the war, some during, and most of the questions were about after the war. Lacking technology, I opted to use what I learned in journalism during high school and write down notes and quotes on a note pad, making sure to get the dates and spelling correct on everything he said. The interview ran pretty smoothly with only a little bumps when I had to say slow down or say that again. My first presumption was correct, the interview was pretty dull. It wasn’t something out of the diary of Alvin York to say the least. However, my fear of things getting emotional was completely off base. There was no tears but there was one part that was sad, when he talked about the loss of his brother during the war. After I got past my uncertainty, I started to realize that this interview gave me a look into my grandfather’s life when he was just a little bit older than me. I found this inspiring because I found parallels between his life back then and mine. I took several lessons away from the interview. The first and most important was that hard work will be rewarded. The other lessons he expressed was college related and I found it very relevant as a freshman in college. I expected my grandfather to diverge and give me some lectures but I did not expect that the interview would be a non-stop flood of stories that he wanted me to include in the paper. Most of the stories were irrelevant to the topic of the paper but it was nice to learn new things about my grandfathers life. After the interview took place I decided to put off doing the paper to November. I don’t recommend anyone do this because there was several times I had to ask questions to clear up what he said, and getting a 84 year old man to remember what he meant when he said something a month ago was very difficult.
My interview with my grandfather was easier than I thought it was going to be and I enjoyed the process. I learned new things about veterans and my grandfather at the same time. I recommend interviewing a relative because it is easy to get in contact with them and you know what to expect.