Last Generation Sneak Peek

Edgar Dreyer - 11-13-2013I mentioned my Last Generation project on March 26. I’ve been working like crazy to get a video presentation done so I can talk with a SEMO historical preservation about shooting regional history (or something like that. I usually don’t know what I’m going to talk about until I get in front of a group).

I finally got it whipped into passable shape this afternoon. Some of the transitions between clips are a little rougher than what I like, but I think the stories Dorothy, Edgar and Myrtle are more important than the technical stuff.

Shooting video is a whole different ballgame than shooting stills, even if you have been shooting picture stories for years. For one thing, the audio is as important, if not MORE important than the images. The best segment of the three was with Edgar Dryer (shown above when he was 8 or 10). He was 78 last fall when I photographed him. I couldn’t have asked for better natural lighting. He was also the first person I used a wireless mike on. That made a world of difference.

The biggest challenge was getting all the audio levels to match when you are shooting different subjects in different places. Watching tutorials and reading the manuals to figure out how to do it was mega-nap-inducing. I got the levels within acceptable levels, but I’m sure someone who knows what he or she is doing could have saved me hours of work.

The Last Generation video

I hope you enjoy the video. I have at least another dozen Perry County folks to work on before the Perry County Lutheran Historical Society’s Third Biennial Immigration History Conference in Altenburg October 23-25.

By the way, if you want to enlarge the video, hover your mouse over the bottom right-hand side of the vido screen. You’ll see a square box that says Full Screen. That will make the video fill your monitor screen. Press ESC to get it back to normal size.

21 Replies to “Last Generation Sneak Peek”

  1. What a remarkable video, Ken. It was an honor to hear it. It made me think of my Grandmother Mae Stein, who grew up with Only German spoken on a farm in that area. My father, Harry Stein, often spoke of the elders speaking only in German. Thank you for a priceless glimpse back in time!

  2. Ken, this video stirred so many emotions within me, because my Dad’s family was also German. My Grandfather and his sons would linger at the dining table and lapse into German as they reminisced about family life on the farm in Treloar, MO. Edgar’s subtle accent and German inserts made me long for those days. Due to the happenings of WWII, German lineage was not something one could boast about in the 1950’s, but to this day, it is comforting to be surrounded by Germans or people of German descent. It always reminds me of family.

  3. Excellent work, Ken! On this rainy, dreary day in Montana you took me back to my childhood and wonderful memories. Thanks for you work at preservation of a history that is my life.

  4. Love this, thank you so much for getting this history in a video. Love hearing my Dad tell the stories of him growing up.

  5. Excellent work Ken and this is a subject video is perfect for, saving the memories and experiences of a passing generation. Good luck on this an s share with the class your experience please. Good on you Ken.

  6. Hi, Ken. I enjoyed that. Some of those stories sound familiar, as I’ve heard some like that in my family and Myra’s. It’s good that you have preserved them so well. I would have liked to hear more about what Edgar Dryer had to say about the effect the death his sister had on his parents. (Again, it’s a familiar story, sort of, though probably not one that’s easy to tell.) Like you say, the stories are what’s important, but it’s good that you’ve made them very watchable and listenable.

  7. These are wonderful stories, Ken! I want to see more. Any chance your finished product will be available?

    1. Susan, at this point, I’m working toward doing an exhibit and presentation at a conference at the Altenburg museum in October. I’m not sure what else I’m going to do with it. The raw, unedited interviews will go to the museum for future historians. The idea was museum director Carla Jordan’s. I’ve had to rephrase the way I describe the project: “I’m going up to Perry County to shoot some old Germans” got me too many strange looks.

  8. What a wonderful video. I found Altenburg and extended family while doing genealogy several years back. How fantastic it is to see people I know and hear their stories. It reminds me of how grateful I am to have found the area and it’s wonderful people. It also reminds me of how good it will be to visit again.

  9. Ken,

    More – please make more!! These were some good choices and I’m certain that you will be able to find some more “old Germans” as you put it and preserve these precious oral histories for the rest of us who aren’t as privileged as you are to talk to them in person.

  10. Glad to have seen this video and have watched it several times. My mother was from Frohna and also had to walk a long distance to school. She learned the catechism in English and German. Thank you Ken.

  11. Thank you so much for doing this project! You did a wonderful job of capturing the legacy of these 3 people! I especially will treasure my Dad’s part!

  12. I had forgotten about these videos and enjoyed them the second time around. Better be quick to get some more before everyone is gone. Please…..

  13. Wow! Thank you so much. I had no idea about this history in Missouri. I’m going to have to find my way to Altenburg in a big hurry just to see with my own eyes and maybe hear with my own ears. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    P.S. I came across this after reading a 10-06-2018 story on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website.

    1. While you are in Altenburg, make sure you go to the Lutheran Heritage Museum, particularly if you are interested in German genealogy. If you are there in the morning, go to the bakery in the old bank building on the main drag. In the afternoon and evenings, stop at Grayson’s Tavern for some excellent eats. Their Saturday night ribeye special is one of the best steaks I’ve ever eaten. The regulars will treat you like they’ve known you all their lives.

      East Perry County is one of my favorite places.

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