November 29, 2013 @ 11:28 PM

    Rounding things off

By Tim Bowden


So, eight years after the first editions of The Way My Father Tells It were published, my father John Bowden was still around, having not yet been carried out or led away from his Hobart house!

The ABC approached me to bring the book up to date for a new edition. I wasn't sure whether he could still handle tape recording by himself, and I went down to Tasmania to talk to him. He was quite keen on the idea. As we sat down to dinner he said:

'Do you know how old dogs go to sleep every time they lie down?.........

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November 16, 2013 @ 12:08 AM

In this fourth part of his Musings on the Art of Oral History, Australian broadcaster Tim Bowden discusses the recording and editing of his father's autobiography The Way My Father Tells It.


Telling it like it was...

By Tim Bowden

One of the traps of autobiography is a tendency to gild the lily, particularly when famous people – ‘tall poppies’ if you like – are concerned. All too often they use this opportunity as a platform for self-aggrandisement, sanitised of all unpleasant happenings or personal mistakes.

It never occurred to my father, John Bowden, that anyone other than family would be interested in reading about his life. And his self-deprecating humour came to the fore, as I knew it would.


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November 1, 2013 @ 10:36 PM

In this third of his series of five articles, broadcaster Tim Bowden writes on a very personal form of recording a family history ... something from which I think we could all learn.

 A different oral history

By Tim Bowden

Like many Australian families, I did not really know a great deal about our own family history. 

My father was the youngest of six children, and the last of them alive.  He was born in 1906 and lived for nine decades. But I suppose in many ways the writing of The Way My Father Tells It can be seen as the ultimate indulgence for someone working in the field of oral history.  I do plead, however, some mitigating circumstances. When I worked in the Social History Unit of the ABC we were continually .........

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