NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

October 7, 2013

Connecting through the human voice

(Continued)

And does anyone not recognize the voice of a George Clooney or a James Earl Jones in a commercial, even when it is not labeled as such? Obviously the advertisers are aware of this.

One little hitch, or sidebar, to all this is siblings, who share the same genetics and upbringing. Both my wife and I have difficulty distinguishing between the voices of our two grandsons, aged 9 and 8. Which one are we talking to on the phone?

I once read a piece about the special harmony of the voices of sibling musical groups, such as the Everly Brothers or Pointer Sisters or the Jackson Five. Somehow the similarities in backgrounds make for a special blend of voices that reinforce each other in a way that is not matched by unrelated voices.

But other than that and random chance, we are one of a kind. Throw in physical appearance and personality, and the uniqueness is even more special.

For the past few years I have been putting together Powerpoint slide shows of ancestors and offspring. In addition to cradle-to-grave photographs, I have included old film clips, documents, quotations, signatures and, as much as possible, audio clips.

Fortunately, I made a cassette tape recording of my father talking about sports a few years before he died way back in 1974. Descendants will always know how he sounded. “I didn’t know he had such a Massachusetts accent,” commented my older son, who was born just three months before his grandfather died.

I have a more recent video interview with my mother in which she comments on assorted members of the family. The warmth of those insights, in her own voice, will live on forever despite her death in 2005.

For the sake of my wife and two sons, I also made it a point years ago to tape record the reflections of my mother- and father-in-law before they, too, were gone.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Reggie Jackson's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Are Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon Breaking Up? Motorcyclist Sticks Landing This 'Breaking Bad' Reunion is the Most Hilarious Thing You'll See All Day! President Obama talks about who James Foley was Nicki Minaj Unleashes Her 'Anaconda' On the World Watch Helicopter Perform Aerial Ballet Can Buckeyes fill Miller's void? Victoria's Secret Models Prove They're in Fighting Shape How Brian Hoyer Stacks Up With Johnny Manziel Taylor Swift Reveals New Album 1989 is Full-On Pop Crews rescue elderly woman trapped inside flooded minivan Man Poses for New Mugshot Photo Wearing Shirt with Old Mugshot Photo On It Disquieting times for Malaysia's 'fish listeners' Caught On Camera: Johnny Manziel Obscene Gesture Rita Ora Embraces the Ice Bucket Challenge Bird surprises soccer player Ashley Young during game Chapter Two: Never too late to become an artist Ice Bucket Challenge Goes Viral, Raises Over $15M For ALS
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans