Intimate Interview

I administered The Presence of the Past survey questions to my husband of 40 years.  His recent retirement as Materials Manager at a large national factory has forced him to look back at his working life history.  As Valerie Yow argues, in an oral history interview, the researcher and the subject will share equally in the process of discovery, and I found this to be the case.  This survey hit a verve with my husband. He felt the answers to the questions revealed part of himself he had never shown to me.  The follow up questions in the survey worked the best. In these questions , he found experiences he had fit into the history motif and he wanted to embellish on them.  Scaled questions did not work well, he lost interest in the shortness of the question. There was nowhere on the format to ask for more information when the subject wanted to tell a story on a topic that excited him.  On the randomly selected sample question of Part IV, he gave some deep and soul searched answers that I would have liked to have more prompts in order to get him to give more spontaneous and unexpected answers.

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