Oral History: Ashley Cole

The interview process actually went a lot better for me than I expected it to. I thought that I was going to have to do most of the talking in order to prompt my dad to answer the questions as thoroughly as I wanted him to; however, he was more than happy to elaborate extensively on everything that I asked him. I would say that the interview took on more of a question-and-answer format rather than a conversation, but I think that this is good because I was able to soak up more information that way. I think that things would have gone a lot differently if he was not interested in the topic that we were discussing, and I would have had to do a lot more talking.

I was definitely surprised about some of the things that I learned in the interview. Since I was interviewing my dad, I thought that I would have already known everything that he was going to tell me. However, he told me all about how he had a car phone when he was eighteen or nineteen which is something that I never knew about. I asked him to explain to me what this was and how it worked because this was something that I had actually never even heard of. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to learn something new.

The most prominent theme that surfaced during the interview was communication in relation to technological devices and how it can change a person’s day to day habits. My dad talked a lot about how much time it would take out of his day to stop at a payphone to check his messages which is something that he obviously no longer has to do anymore since he has a cell phone.

When I first conducted this interview, I made sure that it was pretty long and extensive to ensure that I would have enough material to go in and compose a really interesting audio story out of it. After recording the interview and going back and listening to it, I saw a theme emerging. This theme was the progression of cellphones throughout my dad’s life and the ways in which that affected him. I edited out anything that did not match up with this theme and was left with a really great result.

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