One of my earliest childhood memories is of spending a warm spring day with my paternal grandfather. I was a fanciful child, I always wanted to play games based on "imagination." The influence of Sesame Street no doubt. My parents tired of these imaginary exercises, since a young boy's notion of what a submarine or spaceship might be like is not very entertaining to an adult. But my grandfather indulged me, as grandparents will. That afternoon we were playing "Time Machine." We set the imaginary dial, and off we went to the sixties, or the forties, or the thirties, and with each stop my Grandfather would tell me stories of his experience in that time, tell me what it had been like to live through the depression, through the war, through the boom-time afterward. I remember being astounded at the long thread of living memory he possessed, and the ease and joy with which he wove that thread into tales and anecdotes.
That thread is broken now.
Like any good post-modern child of the mediated age, I have recorded images of my grandfather. Squeezed some small portion of the man's vast memory into patterns of bits, in the latest iteration of what must be a human tradition dating back to when we first became able to speak, but the full richness of his experience, and the funny, vibrant, sometimes bawdy man who lived it - that's all gone now.