Heritage, 2009, Volume 3 Page: 23
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In 1976, Herb Skoog, general manager of radio station KGNB
in New Braunfels, had the idea of conducting a series of interviews
with local citizens who talked about growing up in New Braunfels
and Comal County. Originally conceived as part of the nation's
sesquicentennial celebration, the program began small; Skoog
planned to record six weeks' worth of interviews that would be
played on the radio. However, the response from the community
was so positive that Skoog approached the Sophienburg Museum
and Archives about continuing this oral history program. The mu-
seum's board of directors approved the plan, and the Reflections
program was born. With Skoog's guidance and technical exper-
tise, the recordings continued-first at the radio station and then
later in the basement of the museum's archives building. When the
museum planned for a newer, larger facility, a generous gift from
Joel Karl Erben in memory of his parents, supported the installa-
tion of a state-of-the-art recording studio at the Sophienburg.
The early, first interviews were recorded on reel-to-reel tapes.
Those were later converted to cassette, and as technology pro-
gressed, they were transferred to digital audio tape. Today the
museum uses a computer to create a CD of the interviews. Be-
cause many of the recordings are still on cassette, museum vol-
unteers come in weekly to transfer those onto a computer hard
drive and then create a CD. Even though technology has moved
on to include other types of recording capabilities, financial con-
straints prohibit the museum from changing their procedures as
In addition to providing a link to the past, the Reflections pro-
gram is also a source of income for the museum, which sells the
CDs. According to Linda Dietert, director of the museum, "Any-
one who has had a relative record their recollections wants a copy
of the interview."
Including Skoog, the originator of the program, three volun-
teers conduct the interviews. However, Dietert says that the pro-
gram "practically runs itself, as we get many recommendations of
possible subjects to interview." While coming up with interviewees
is not a problem, Dietert notes that sometimes it takes a lot of
continued on page 28
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Volume 3 2009
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, 2009, Volume 3, periodical, 2009; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth254214/m1/23/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.