How to unlock your family history |

that’s said before dinner came to be.” 3. What are your most vivid memories of school? This question might unlock tales from a one-room schoolhouse, or even a school in another country. Understanding how schools worked in the past can help younger questioners understand more about their present — and future. “I heard an interview last night with a dad who’s a cop talking to his daughter about how he struggled in school,” says Isay. Through their conversation, she got to see that bullying and the pressure to succeed are nothing new. “This question allows a young person to get out of their head and see the experience through someone else’s eyes,” says Isay. “That’s important when you’re sticking a toe in the waters of being an adult.” 4. How did you meet your wife/husband/partner? This question can give you a deeper understanding of where you came from. “People have great love stories,” says Isay. “But unless you’ve explicitly asked, there are often things people haven’t been comfortable talking about.” Isay remembers interviewing his great-uncle Sandy. “He told the story of his first date with my Aunt Birdie. He’s this quiet person, and he just came alive sharing this,” he says. “He had asked her to meet him on a stoop on 14th Street in New York City, but as he saw her walking down the street, he panicked. He tried to hi

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