, Newburyport, MA


October 7, 2013

Connecting through the human voice


This will be much easier into the future with all the cellphone technology, but I have been deliberate in the meantime in putting my older son’s acceptance speech for his grandfather’s induction into the Athol High School Sports Hall of Fame into, actually, both of their biographies, and my younger son’s wedding toast to his brother, again, into both biographies.

As for my grandparents, I have only a cassette recording of my mother’s mother, which has a hint of a Northern Vermont/Canadian accent. I remember my grandfather’s voice and expressions distinctly, but he died before I started recording family history. For my grandparents on my father’s side, I have no recordings and really no voice memories. I would love to discover a long-missing or forgotten clip. Just a snippet would be priceless.

Something in a voice connects us to others in an almost primordial way. It’s probably our most powerful form of communication. That’s what makes the preservation of a voice, whether recorded or in memory, so precious. And the loss so sad.

An acquaintance once commented on the possibility of losing his wife to Alzheimer’s, “All I need is to be able to hear her voice.”


Stuart Deane lives in Newburyport.

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