This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please inquire about permissions.
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Researchers will understand that:
Dee Keegan is a fifth generation antique furniture restorer, trained in the guild system of her native Ireland. She was born in Tallagh, Dublin, and moved to New York City in the 1980s in order to work at Sotheby’s. She came to the Hudson area later in the decade, and has been here ever since. She has seen the town change and decline, as has the American economy. She discussed her pride, frustrations, and disappointments as an immigrant and small business owner, and as a worker and teacher in her trade, and how she understands her own experiences in the context of American work, economics, and politics (including corruption). She said outside of the interview that she is an investigative person by nature, and always wants to find things out; she is working several books based on this expertise – about the banking system, and the antiques appraisal and insurance system -- that she describes in the interview.
Dee is also a psychic medium and spiritual healer. She described her work as a medium and also as a teacher of other healers, and reflected on how her gifts have been part of her life, including holding séances and giving readings, and working with a teaching guide. She believes that nothing happens in life by chance, as her coming to America demonstrated to her, and encouraged the interviewer as she encourages others to visualize the future that they want and to pursue it. The desire to teach and share her knowledge was a theme throughout the interview.
This interview would be of particular interest to anyone wanting to know about the antique industry in Hudson, but also to listeners who are drawn to narrators with a deep, specific expertise that animates their speech and suffuses their life story. Listeners interested in paganism, ghosts in Hudson, and the practice of spiritual, psychic healing would also be interested. In addition, those wanting to learn about the recent history of Ireland or the Irish immigrant experience in the United States would be interested in this interview.
Diana Lempel is a 29 year old who lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, though she grew up in Oakland, California. She is a PhD student in Urban and Landscape Studies, and she is especially interested in the every day, sensory experiences of place. She became very interested in the ghosts in Hudson during her visit.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.
Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”