A series of audio recordings
made between 1974 and 1980
Andrew Gemeny
of Brandywine, Maryland

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A possible new origin for the GEMINI line... Italy via England

Family History,
Complete Story in PDF,

For generations the history of a family was passed down by word of mouth through a series of stories, tales, or, as my brother and I used to call them, lectures. As young boys growing up in Maryland, and visiting our Grandfather, Andrew Gemeny (Pop, to us) on the farm, we used to hear these stories quite regularly.

I’m not sure why – whether it was a way to not have to hear them so frequently, or as a way to preserve them so I could continue to hear then, I was part of an effort to encourage Pop to record some of his stories on cassette tape in 1974.

It must have been sometime in the late ‘90s, perhaps around Pop’s 100th birthday, or maybe around the 10 year anniversary of his passing, I decided to re-record his tapes. At that time I realized how fragile they were and the poor audio quality that had been recorded. I realized that I had neither the time, nor the equipment at my disposal to do the job right. The tapes went back into the box, safely stored for another decade as my kids grew up, jobs came and went, technology changed…

In the fall of 2007 I was discussing the condition of the tapes with a new co-worker, a friend from my early career who shared my interest in restoring old audio (in his case music). He pointed me in the direction of an appropriate tape deck, a Tandberg 330 - 3 motor cassette deck. He referred to it as being among the cream of the crop from the area when cassettes were the best most audiophiles had to work with. Oddly enough, I never owned a deck of this quality “Back in the day” because of the expense.

Suffering the curse, again (You will find everything you seek on E-Bay…) I was successful in finding one of these decks for a reasonable price. Aside from being packaged for shipment by an idiot, I received it (no longer in the advertised condition). I was also able to locate a service manual and repair the damaged deck sufficiently to safely play the 30 year old tapes without any further degradation.

As I begin the process, I have inventoried the dozen or so tapes and begin recording them to WAVe files using GoldWave software. After saving the original files, I filter them to reduce extraneous noise, compress them a bit to level the variations in speaking level, and apply a pop and click filter to try to reduce the microphone handling noise a bit. Finally I merge the left and right tracks to get from mono- one channel to “both ear listenable” and save the file as an MP3.

It was interesting foreshadowing when I listened to Pop lament the lack of order and structure in his ramblings. He goes on to suggest that I, or perhaps my brother may, one day, find some way to re-order the tapes into a better sequence by some method that he felt was beyond his grasp…

Now some 34 years later, I find myself preparing to do just what he suggests.

I hope to post the files here in, initially as complete sides of the tapes, but eventually as indexed and rearranged files of Andrew telling his story in a logical cohesive progression.

I hope you enjoy listening to Pop as much as I have - both then, and again…


Tape 1 Side A Part 1 . . . . Tape 1 Side A Part 2
Tape 1 Side B Part 1 . . . . Tape 1 Side B Part 2
. . . Tape 2 Side A . . . . . . . Tape 2 Side B

All material on this page is protected under United States Copyright Law.
Copyright 2008 by Steven E. Gemeny

License is hereby granted for personal use only.
All other use, commercial or otherwise is prohibited without written permission.