While cleaning around my desk I stumbled upon my grandfathers phone book from 1972 and READ all of it. I felt like some NSA writer of XX century history. Check why and restore your faith in humanity.
Reading a bunch of names in a phone book of someone you know is a window into their social graph and one of those side-views that shed extra light to what you knew. It’s even more suggestive than browsing through someones library.
The names that my ancestor mainly copied in one session were the ones that remained relevant in the life of a seventy year old guy, in the last ten years of his life. While Bunuel only added crosses next to deceased friends my granddad obviously preferred clean updates. Rather unpoetic.
The guy was a lawyer turned diplomat during the IIWW. Here’s a nano-glimpse of him with Tito and Nehru in Dubrovnik in 1955, the tall guy in light color suit in the first few seconds of the clip:
I have no intention to harass you with family legends. Let me just show you a page or two from the notebook:
In the same little bag was this tiny piece of paper of my own from 1987:
So that was a brief demo of archaeology of privacy, or self-spying if you prefer. Since some of the entries in both phone books are nick names, I have decided to show to you what Catherine Soussloff teaches us about them: