This audio-archive item from a private collection may be one
of the earliest home recordings of a domestic milieu over a five year period,
documenting the development of children born at the peak of the post-war Baby
Boom in Canada (Baby Boomers/Me Generation) shortly before the premature death
of their father. The focus is on two boys ages five and three growing up to
ages ten and eight in a professional/upper-class Baptist home in Vancouver,
British Columbia, Canada, mostly recorded at Christmas—apparently a typical
happy family. It includes singing, reciting, interviewing, learning to read,
parents reading storybooks, and a prayer. The family lived in Kerrisdale, then
Oakridge. The mother (see photo PDF) was born in 1930 (Silent Generation/Lucky
Few) in West Vancouver (of a Yorkshire England immigrant and a 5th
generation Canadian—the great granddaughter of the first white woman born in BC,
in Fort Victoria). The father (see photo PDF) was a dentist. He was born in
1920 (the Greatest/G.I. Generation) in Morse Saskatchewan (of an Austrian mother
and a father from Nova Scotia). In World War II he was a lieutenant and
operated on German prisoners. He was raised in the Church of the Nazarene. He died of cancer in 1966, one year after making
these recordings (foreshadowed at the very end of the audio). The first-born
child became an atheist at age eleven.
Total duration: 4.5 hours. Possibly useful for ethnographic
research or a new-historicist essay. Originally recorded on consumer ¼-inch reel-to-reel tape (similar to the JPEG photo). Digitized by Stephen Arthur to MP3 (MPEG layer-3 audio) 173 MB (takes only one minute to download).
In this compilation, the years are not presented in strict sequence.
The order is roughly: 1959; Christmas 1960; New Year’s Day 1961; Christmas
1962; anatomy lesson 1961; harmonica; Christmas 1962 continued; harmonica;
Christmas 1961; prayer; 1963; 1964 third son, age one, learning to talk; 1965.