Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More Volcano on the radio

Here follows transcript of author interview with Sandy Hausman, Charlottesville Bureau Chief, WVTF Public Radio, Charlottesville, Virginia, on January 6, 2010:
WVTFWhat got you started on this family history and how did you pull it together?
Gatins:  In 1983, when my dad died, we found an old photo that I’d never seen before of a one-armed gentleman holding a baby in the crook of his good arm.  And I said, “Who is this?”  And it turned out the baby was my father and the one-armed man my grandfather who no one in the family had ever really ever talked about.  So, I decided then, even before I retired, to look into the family history a little bit more.  I had the chance beginning in ’96 and spent an awful lot of time accumulating at old letters and convincing my brothers and sisters to provide what they had in their attics and old files.  And we accumulated a great treasure trove of material, multiple old photo albums and letters that were frankly priceless.   My dad was a prisoner of war during World War II and sent 26 postcards and letters to back to my mom before they were married, which she saved, which gave me a road map to where he’d been, which gave me a road map to what the Red Cross in Geneva was doing to inspect those camps – and I managed to get hold of those reports, as well as basically a lot of e-mails back and forth with brothers and sisters to recollect what did they remember about whom.   There were also a variety of standard sources: Microfilm files, computer files, old newspaper files, many of which are now on computer, and those proved useful as well. So, I started the project off as a project just for my family. I was going to write this up for the children, the grandchildren, the nieces and nephews. But as I got into it, there were enough adventures and misadventures that maybe the public might be interested.  And we’re now testing the waters to find out if the public will buy the book.
WVTF: Well, your timing is pretty darn good, I must say.  Tell me about your grandfather – why he was such an interesting character.