“Always do your best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment, it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.” ~ Don Miguel Ruiz
Jeff Suchanek is one of my all-time favorite people. Years ago, when he was the Director of the Nunn Center for Oral History, Eric Weig and I helped him get the digitization program off the ground. He always treated me like an equal. He was, and still is, an excellent mentor, but more importantly, he’s a great friend. I’ve had the chance to lend him a hand again by filming some of his video interviews. It’s given me a chance to see him work first-hand. No longer a director, Jeff now spends his time interviewing a variety of folks, mostly politicians and veterans. In 2017, he conducted a staggering 123 interviews. That’s more than two interviews a week. To put that in perspective, most folks do interviews in projects, and at most, they might do 70 interviews over two or three years (it’s usually less than half that). Jeff has multiple projects going at the same time. I can think of eight off the top of my head that he has going right now. He does extensive research beforehand, crafting his questions, and reviewing previous interviews with repeat interviewees. He’s an oral history beast, and there just aren’t many people out there like him. It’s been a privilege working with him, and it’s an honor to be his friend.