After some 50 years of asking his paternal grandmother questions regarding their family history and recording her responses in notes, the early wire recorders, a Sony reel-to-reel recorder, and later cassettes, Fredrick Zydek has finally selected some of those conversations in this memoir of those sessions.
The reader will quickly appreciate that his grandmother, Bertha Zydek, could be poignant, evasive, opinionated, funny and sometimes disapproving of the family history she related him. To her credit, his grandmother refused to answer some of his questions because she felt the answers were none of his business but neither was she intimidated by some of the scandal that rippled through the family over the years.
Through the years she would even talk about some of the disappointments she experienced because of her children and an in-law or two she didn't really care for.
But overall, The Button Box is a celebration of an American family so typical it will often remind you of your own clan.