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It's Friday morning which is when we take the time to listen in as Americans ask their loved ones about each other's lives. The project is called StoryCorps. We don't ask the questions, people ask each other. You get questioned by someone who knows you best like Carly Dreher. She interviewed her grandfather. This conversation took place in Milwaukee, and Dreher's grandfather Lyle Link is 90-years old. He grew up on his family's dairy farm in Wisconsin. But as he told his granddaughter, he never quite fit in there.

Mr. LYLE LINK: My father believed that any man that needed a vacation should get a different job because for him, those 110 acres was the whole world and he needed nothing else. But farming wasn't for me. I wasn't happy picking corn or shoveling manure, although milking cows was good because I could sing opera while milking cows and that was great.

Ms. CARLY DREHER (Granddaughter to Mr. Link): It sounds like you were the black sheep.

Mr. LINK: Yeah, I drove my poor father nuts. He couldn't understand me. I remember his saying one day, son, you cannot think the thoughts you think. My brother was totally a farmer. He never made another foot step that my father hadn't made before, and I couldn't walk in my father's footsteps to save my soul. So I've - the day came, I left.

Ms. DREHER: Tell me about how you met Grandma.

Mr. LINK: She came to the church that we attended and I said to her, someday I'm going to ask you to marry me. And I took her hand and it went from there.

Ms. DREHER: You and Grandma had so many adventures in your lives.

Mr. LINK: You bet.

Ms. DREHER: Your honeymoon was just driving across the country.

Mr. LINK: Yes, I had a '36 Chevy and I was able to lay a mattress in the backseat and we spent our first night in that car on a bluff over the Mississippi River. My father, by the way, did not approve of that kind of outrageous living, but I was willing to break new ground, and your grandma really was ready to break new ground.

Ms. DREHER: Yes. I know that it's hard to talk about Grandma, but what made you love her so much?

Mr. LINK: I don't know.

Ms. DREHER: Hum.

MR. LINK: I don't know. It was something I couldn't help.

Ms. DREHER: Hum.

Mr. LINK: We had been in love for almost 70 years and she now died and all I can say is that life was so beautiful.


Mr. LINK: It is so beautiful. I'm terribly, terribly lonesome.

Ms. DREHER: She was pretty amazing.

Mr. LINK: Very, yeah.

Ms. DREHER: Do you have any regrets, Grandpa?

Mr. LINK: No. You know, we lived a wonderful life. I think when we got married, we made all new tracks and we never stepped in any old tracks. I want you to do the same thing, live with courage.

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INSKEEP: That's Lyle Link at the age of 90 speaking with his granddaughter Carly Dreher in Milwaukee. Their story will be archived along with all StoryCorps interviews at the Library of Congress and you can subscribe to this project's Podcast at npr.org.

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