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History Speaks
Suzi Resnik | Crest Road

 

Suzi Resnik, Tensia Trejo, Annie Duval at Hilton Doubletree,
Tempe, AZ. Photo by Barbara Tabach.
Click on image to enlarge.

 

Bravo! Bravo! Cheers resounded throughout the meeting room. An audience member representing the University of Nevada Las Vegas stood up and said, “Can we come to Del Mar for next year’s annual meeting?” Four representatives from the Del Mar Historical Society’s (DMHS) Oral History Project: Tensia Trejo, Annie Duval, Rob Healey, and myself as moderator, had just completed a 90-minute presentation on our oral history project: “An Update on a Community Model “at the 2014 Southwest Oral History Association (SOHA) annual meeting “The Courage to Ask and the Courage to Tell.”

Tensia kicked off the presentation with an overview of Del Mar‘s history and the genesis of the Del Mar Historical Society. Rob’s visuals including photos of our seaside paradise and of times past drew “oohs” and “ahhhs.” Annie traced the history of the Oral History Project beginning with Swede Throneson’s early steps to capture the history of our community with amusing tales such as the original DMHS office perched on top of the roof of the Kockritz (Stratford Square) building, not a very accessible location for viewing historical artifacts or reading and listening to oral histories.

She described working with the Del Mar Library to house our oral history binders and catalogue our stories in the San Diego County Library system. She noted that the original interviewer team of Don Terwilliger and Suzi Resnik was formed in 1995 and continue to work together with Tensia, the album expert, continuing to produce them. Annie discussed her oral history interviewer experiences - particularly with Jock Jocoy and Pat Welsh. She described the digitization of all our oral histories and plans to post them on the DMHS website.

Rob discussed the use of new technology in our current projects and credited the City of Del Mar, Lynn Gaylord, and recently the Del Mar Foundation for funding that furthers our projects using new modalities. He showed how we developed a “script” working with Jan McMillan, former mayor of Del Mar, so that her additions and changes could be seamlessly integrated into the audio portion as well as into the transcript.

We explained the Beach Stories Project, an idea created by Lynn Gaylord and developed into roundtable sessions by Susie Good Stevenson, who grew up on the beach and reached out to groups of old-timers to discuss what life was like then. Rob illustrated how we can record up to eight voices with our new audio equipment identifying each speaker. A photo was shown of Larry Brooks, our DMHS President with Lauren Bridges, volunteer who has made enormous contributions to further DMHS for the future.

I concluded by emphasizing that the role of our oral history project is to foster discussions focusing on historical developments using a community roundtable idea - and that by sharing perceptions from the past - new thoughts and conclusions may emerge, and old divisions healed.

 

 

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