I belong to a Bunco group. I’ve been in it about twenty-five 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 two women, after a long drive across town, arrived at Bunco, 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 even the house interior.
Or my own tale of being new to the group. It was, I believe, my first time to host Bunco. Nowadays I’m very relaxed about Bunco. 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 Bunco, gave out presents, had coffee and dessert, and were sitting around talking, someone asked if I was happy my first Bunco was over. I told her I was so happy, I could dance. And I did. A silly little dance as I sang, “Bunco’s over. Bunco’s over. My Bunco’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 or to write anything in it.
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. As writers we often pass on true stories in our books and tales. Sometimes they are recorded as they happened. Sometimes we change things to fit the book or to protect the real people.
Do you put real events in your books? Do you usually change them slightly? Or not?
6 months ago