One year ago, Ninety Over Ninety came to life on the web with our first interview of Mary Potter Taylor (b. 1921). At the time, our goal was to interview 10 nonagenarians by 2016. We learned, however, that there are a lot of 90-year olds out there. And they have lots to say. We ended the year with 16 interviews and several more in the works.
Last year, we wrote to Ken Burns to share our website. He returned our letter, referencing an ancient proverb, “When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground.” We have never felt this more keenly than now. Requests for interviews have come from far and wide. There are many great stories out there. In fact, we have learned that all stories are worth telling, but time is short and resources are limited. Our task is urgent as we look ahead into 2016.
All of this to say, exciting things are coming this year. We are working to broaden our geographical reach by soliciting video “self portraits” from around the country. Ninety year olds and up, wherever they live, will be able to submit a short video through our website and share it with family and friends. There are also a number of local interviews in the works, including another centenarian and an unbelievable war story. At the same time, we are working to improve the production value of our interviews as resources allow.
Many folks assume that the 90+ population does not understand the internet, but we have a hunch that they understand its implications more than anyone. It may be a mysterious and unknown thing to some, but our guests fully realize the ability of the internet to reach future generations. So listen up, future generations. History is speaking.