Friday, October 1, 2010

What would you ask ?

Two weeks ago, I spoke with one of the descendents of Visey Conder. Visey was the youngest daughter of Jim and Malinda Conder at whose home the Cane Creek Massacre occured. It was a delightful conversation, but it got me thinking about what sort of questions I should be asking. Some details came out in the course of the phone call. Visey is pronounce "Vie-See" with the emphasis on the first sylable. At some point Visey became a Methodist, married a Methodist, and raised all her children as Methodist. Rachel, who never married, remained committed to the LDS church. She had a cupboard in which she kept all the "pamphlets" she received from the church in the mail. She lived with Visey and her family until she died. And when she did Visey's husband took the whole cupboard out and burned it with all it's contents.

I have more questions I didn't think to ask, like "What ever happened to Martin's violin?" and I have some photos which show the Conder sisters with others I'd like to identify. But most of all, I'd love to learn which sister was which in the photos I have.

I offered to let her write up something for a guest post about what she was told about her family. She seemed very interested. If she decide not to, I'll put together more of my notes from our phone call.

But I am a little too close to think of everything. What kind of questions would you think of asking?


Ardis E. Parshall said...

I'd ask if there were any family stories or memories that reflected the personalities of Jim and Malinda and their children. Were the boys patient or excitable? peacemakers or quick to take offense? (when guns aren't already being fired, that is). Were the parents talkative, or taciturn? Details like that would help me guess how they reacted and why, to the massacre and to their lives later.

How badly was Malinda injured? Did she need that cane only because of a persistent limp, or was she in pain?

And since your contact may be the only one who has any inherited knowledge of Rachel, I'd pick her brain for every detail she should share, whether or not it had anything to do with the massacre or even with her Mormonism. Rachel's the "forgotten Latter-day Saint" whose story I'd like to have preserved.

Sometime you'll have to tell us how you found this person to interview. Thank her? him? on behalf of us all, will you?

BruceCrow said...

Excellent ideas, Ardis. I'll add them to my list for our next conversation.

I am not very good a tracking down living people. In each case, they came to me, my blog acting as a lightning rod of sorts, an effect I am sure you are familiar with.