Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Oral History

I belong to a Bunko group. I’ve been in it about twenty years. That’s a long time, but I’m actually one of the “newer” members. The group’s been around much longer. Kids have been born; they’ve grown; and got kids of their own. I think I’m the only non-grandmother or grandmother-to-be in the group.

This is all to say, we have history. Stories. Hi-jinks … and low-jinks. Luckily, we have an historian. She has a notebook.

A blank notebook.

Every time something happens we all yell for the historian to put it in the book. Every time a past escapade comes up in conversation, we call on the historian. Like the time one member was late to Bunko. Very unusual for her. The host called and found out the member had totally forgotten about us. She jumped up and raced across town … sat down, rolled a few times, then made the realization and sudden announcement that she’d forgotten to put on her panties.

Or the time two women, after a long drive across town, arrived at Bunko, careened through the front door, and hit the stairs running, hollering they’d chat after they visited the bathroom. Only to stop mid-way, realizing they didn’t recognize a single face in the house.

Or my own tale of being new to the group. It was, I believe, my first time to host Bunko. Nowadays I’m very relaxed about Bunko. Back then, it was stressful, especially for the first time -- cleaning house, preparing a full dinner for twelve, buying presents. After we gathered, chatted and had drinks, ate dinner, played Bunko, gave out presents, had coffee and dessert, and were sitting around talking, someone asked if I was happy my first Bunko was over. I told her I was so happy, I could dance. And I did. A silly little dance as I sang, “Bunko’s over. Bunko’s over. My Bunko’s over.” Whereupon, everyone stood up and left.

Luckily, we have a historian to record all of these tales. Luckily, she has a good memory. If she could just remember where she put the notebook.

But that’s okay. Oral history is a time honored way of passing on stories. And we’re a group of women who do love to talk.

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