Eunice Lillian's Video Diaries

My grandma often said living in her 90s felt like living on an island.

Everywhere she went she recognized no one. She didn’t just mean her friends who were gone. She meant people in general. There was no one left in the store, at the restaurant or on the street who shared the experiences of her generation. No one in a crowd who danced to the same songs she once did.

Given how long my grandma lived, most of us only knew her as old. We only saw her as old. Maybe we didn’t really see her at all. But she experienced the same hopes and dreams we have. She loved and cursed, explored and discovered, made mistakes and amends, too.

Some of the stories in this multimedia life celebration might not be told in a traditional eulogy. But these are the stories Eunice Lillian Haynes Engardio wanted to tell. I started interviewing Eunice on videotape when I was 20 and she was 79.

The interviews span 16 years, and now I’ve edited them into short compilations. They are her video diaries. Eunice talks about:

  • Ballrooms, Elevators and Low-Cut Wedding Dresses
  • Religion, Face Lifts, Cigarettes and Cadillacs
  • Accepting Life’s Surprises
  • “Learn Your Chords!”
  • Hillary for President