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.
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This interview with Peggy Ahwesh was conducted on June 29th 2016 in Hudson, New York. The interviewer was previously acquainted and enamored with Peggy Ahwesh. In the interview Peggy discusses the impact that her various homes have had on her life including growing up in Pittsburgh, living in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn and eventually buying a home in Catskill, New York. She reflects on her position as a faculty member at Bard College and her life as a filmmaker in relation to these locations. She mentions her partner Keith Sanborn and their collective love of mushroom hunting in the Hudson Valley area. She discusses her personal collecting habits at junk shops as well as her interest in archives and historical societies. At several points throughout the interview she points to and describes several photographs, copies of which she brought with her that were made by a previous owner of her Catskill home named Paul Morrison who lived there in the 1920’s and her feeling of connection to him and his heirs. She describes her home as having a ghostly aura, lingering spirits, and a feeling of being connected to the past.
This interview may be of interest to those who want to learn more about mushroom hunting, found footage, Catskill history, Tivoli New York, filmmaking, photography, arts communities, Williamsburg in Brooklyn, Bard College, archives, home ownership, historical societies, dishware, junk shops and garage sales.
Anna Gurton-Wachter is a writer, editor and archivist. She studied photography at Bard College, library science at Long Island University and the history and theory of archives at New York University. Anna continues to live in Brooklyn, New York, where she was born and raised.
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.”