In August of 2012 I spent hours listening to Bill Overstreet tell his life story, from birth in a small Oklahoma town to current projects — the man was 86 and still had current projects! Tonight I answered the phone after hours to the news that he had died this afternoon.
It's super intimidating to write about someone who has done so much in a long life. It took me more than a month to process the three-hour recording from our interviews and, though I had written about him before, I was intimidated to write about his death. I knew it had to be a lot shorter than the two-parter printed last September!
I feel lucky I got a chance to meet Bill when I did, that I got a chance to hear his stories. I think Amy, Arts editor, must have felt similarly when, after interviewing and writing about Dean Williams, he died not long thereafter. It makes me want to grab anyone with gray hair on the street and say, "Tell me your story now, before it's too late!" because I know most everyone has a tale worth sharing, or about a million.
My grandma died just before Christmas and I regret that I don't know as much about her as I learned about Bill or some of the others I've interviewed. I wanted to get down to visit but I got so caught up with work and by the time I was looking at plane tickets, my dad said I was better off remembering her as I last saw her a few years ago. Today would have been her 79th birthday.
I guess one reason I love this job is because I get to chase these stories and meet the people who make this community great. I only wish I had the ability to meet more people and share more stories. Any recommendations?