The urge to write is upon me; the subject, however, is elusive. I have been working on transcription of the material in Leona's second package, the interviews which Betty Ward, author of The Quakers at Borden, did with various of my kin in preparation for the book. There have been many surprises. I lived in that community or near it for all of my childhood and youth, and it seems I knew my Quaker kin only superficially. There were some suggestions in the 2004 book of levels of knowledge that I had not been party to in my youth, but transcribing the interviews has revealed the depths of my ignorance.
Betty Ward, in assembling her information for the book, asked people questions I never thought to ask, being then a part of the community, so she received answers that were surprising. I have to wonder to that extent she heard what had not been freely discussed earlier in the community because she was an interested stranger, and had a talent for encouraging people to be open with her.
My present transcription effort involves several interviews Betty Ward had with the mother of Uncle Billie, the object of my previous post; she was my father's first cousin, and well-known to me - as I thought - in my younger days. These interviews, it seems, were conducted without tape-recording; Betty Ward took notes, then later expanded her notes into a tape recorder, and later still, transcribed on a typewriter. This suggests a fairly high level of "processing" of the information received. It is also clear Betty Ward had in advance put together a list of questions to be asked at the interviews. In one case certain questions were forgotten as the interviewer told his or her story and a later letter asks for those factual details.
I see that I have hundreds of hours of effort to put into the overall project of the "Betty Ward Archives, and that several books will result. At the moment I feel daunted, intimidated by the prospect, but also excited. I will have deeper and wider knowledge of the Quaker side of my family as a consequence of this. Extending my understanding of my kin has its own rewards.