Episode 217 - Football Great Steve Young Talks Ancestry and Autobiography

podcast episode Dec 10, 2017

Host Scott Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org.  David begins with what has to be called “Thanksgiving Leftovers.” It’s a page on the NEHGS site that gives bios on each of the passengers of the Mayflower, and gives descendants a chance to share a photo of themselves along with which passenger they descend from.  Next, the guys talk about one renowned descendant of the Mayflower, former President George H. W. Bush, who comes down from John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley (as does Fisher). President Bush recently became the oldest surviving president, at 93 years and 166 days, surpassing Gerald R. Ford. Then, there’s word that Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wants the government to look into what the DNA companies may or may not be doing with your data. Also, a recent article brings up the question about whether or not your DNA sample might draw you into a criminal case, just by being related to a perpetrator. David’s blogger spotlight this week is shining on Jennifer “Peace” Willis of plowandanchorgenealogy.wordpress.com. There, Jennifer frequently posts on her Irish research. See what she has to say!

Next, Fisher catches up with a guy he first came to know in the early 1980s… 49ers and NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young. In the first of this two parter, Fisher and Steve talk about Steve’s renowned ancestor, Brigham Young. Fisher also fills in Steve on the names of numerous historical figures Steve is related to. (Plus a certain genealogical broadcaster!)

In the second segment, Steve talks about the unusual motivation he had to write his autobiography. He had a very specific audience in mind, and it didn’t include the public. Learn what motivated Steve to make it available to everyone, and see what you can learn about the best reasons for writing your story.

Then, Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, The Preservation Authority, answers more listener questions.

That’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!

Transcript of Episode 217

Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Segment 1 Episode 217

Fisher: Oh, have we got a show for you today! Hey, it’s nice to have you along. It is Fisher here your Radio Roots Sleuth on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show, the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. And this segment is brought to you by LegacyTree.com. I’m very excited to have an old friend on the show, somebody I knew years ago, and we’d run into each other along the way once in a while, but it’s been a long time. We’re going to talk to football Hall of Famer Steve Young today for two segments, about his ancestry, about his dilemma in writing his autobiography. It is good stuff and you are going to want to hear this coming up, starting in about eight minutes. I’ve also got to give a shout out to our new Patron Club members from ExtremeGenes.com who have come on, Tom Skinner, James Lee Foster, Karen Ramon and Steve Lindsey, Randy McKenna. All of you, thanks so much for coming on and supporting the show. And of course, there are lot of benefits for Patron Club members including early access to podcasts, bonus podcasts and live “Ask Us Anything” YouTube sessions once a month as well. So, you can sign up on the Patron Club link at ExtremeGenes.com or at Patreon.com/ExtremeGenes...  we’d love to have you as part of the show. Hey, don’t forget also to sign up for our “Weekly Genie” Newsletter. It is available through ExtremeGenes.com absolutely free. No, we don’t share your email address. We just like to stay in touch. We’ve got thousands of people already a part of it, lots of great stories and articles. We’d love to have you on that as well. Right now, let us head out to Boston and talk to my good friend the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. That’s a lot to fit on a business card. It is David Allen Lambert. How are you Dave?

David: I’m good, friend. How are you doing?

Fisher: Awesome! Boy, this is going to be a big day today, and I’m really looking forward to talking to Steve Young here in a few minutes.

David: Now that’s excellent. It’s great to hear in the back story of how you knew him many, many years ago and how you reconnected. That’s a family history story right there for the next generation.

Fisher: That’s right. Yeah, we will share that coming up here a little bit. Let us get to our Family Histoire News because we’ve got a lot of ground to cover today.

David: We do in fact. My first story is actually a leftover Thanksgiving treat from NEHGS. NEHGS now, put out an online gallery for Pilgrim descendants on a website called Mayflower.AmericanAncestors.org. This is a place where you can place your own name, photograph and identifiers on an online gallery connecting you with other descendants of the Mayflower and just put your face in, it’s free. I know you’re a Howland descendant, Fish, so you need to get on there too.

Fisher: I have already done it.

David: Oh, excellent. Well done.

Fisher: I have done it, yes, absolutely. And speaking of Howland descendants by the way, George Herbert Walker Bush, he is one of them and obviously George W. Bush. But George Herbert Walker Bush affectionately known as “Bush 41” within the family, he made a little news this past week.

David: He did in fact. He is now the oldest living, of all time, American president. He surpassed Gerald Ford who died in 2006 when he reached 93 years and 167 days old.

Fisher: And right behind him by the way on his heels is Jimmy Carter who’s just a couple of months behind him, I think.

David: Yeah, Jimmy was born October 1st of ’24 and George was born in June 12th so they were babies around the same time, and now very “long in the tooth” former presidents. [Laughs]

Fisher: Yes.

David: My next story deals with your DNA and police. Now, you know all these people that are testing, and if you get into trouble with the law, well, they have an easy way of getting hold of you. But the big thing is, do you need to fear that and does it happen? I mean, I don’t see this happening a lot.

Fisher: No.

David: I don’t find people saying all of a sudden. It would maybe help for a criminal case of maybe you were sadly killed and your body was not found and maybe DNA will help with that in a C.S.I sort of sense. But have you heard of anybody or have you had any guests that have had their DNA sequestered for a court case?

Fisher: No, I have not. And I know this is an interesting article and all that and I think it is just stirring a lot of things up, but it is very, very rare. Most of the companies resist it and the authorities essentially don’t look for it too often. I don’t think it’s necessarily that they’re going to find the DNA of the criminals themselves, but what they might do is match somebody who is tied to that person. So for instance, maybe there’s an aunt who is tested and the nephew gets into trouble and they’re able to match to the aunt and maybe investigate within that family circle to find who they’re looking for. That kind of thing I could see happening. But, I know the companies themselves are resisting this vigorously just to protect the privacy of their customers, you know.

David: That’s very true. In fact, I know a lot of times that you hear about the stories about people who have been imprisoned for decades and then because of DNA they find out that they weren’t the person who is the criminal to begin with.

Fisher: Yeah, it happens all the time now.

David: Well, you know, speaking about that, what leads me to my next story was Senator Chuck Schumer who recently spoke out to the press. He says he wants to see the Federal Trade Commission look into these DNA companies. He believes that the sensitive information that ends up in third party companies, he wants to know what they’re doing with it, if they’re reselling it etc., so it was an interesting article that was in the New York Times recently.

Fisher: Well, I think they’re talking about the idea that if the companies are sharing your raw information. By the way, it wouldn’t have any identity associated with it. It’s just raw information, perhaps to try to determine health issues that may be tied to your DNA. So, we’re going to see where this goes. And of course all of us have privacy concerns these days, but to be honest with you, I’m not that worried about it. [Laughs]

David: No, neither am I. In fact, if you actually submit your DNA to GEDMatch.com you can sign off and not allow scientists to look at it. If something in my DNA can help somebody in my family or reconnect somebody, go for it.

Fisher: Yes, exactly, exactly. I think he’s just saying that a lot of people don’t realize that that’s there, but I think with most of the companies you need to opt in to make that happen.

David: Well, and speaking of my DNA which happens to be 39% Irish, it leads me to my blogger spotlight with Jennifer Peace Willis who has a great blog called PloughandAnchorGenealogy.wordpress.com. She talks about her investigations in her Irish genealogy which is fascinating. It gives some great examples of what you can do and some of her successes in the field of genealogy. Well, that’s about all I have for you for this week, but remember if you’re looking for that holiday gift, being a member of the American Ancestors, you can save $20 on your membership by using the checkout code “Extreme” from Extreme Genes and get that gift under the tree virtually that they can use all year long. I’ll talk to you soon my friend. Thanks for letting me share the Family Histoire News with our audience once again.

Fisher: All right, good to talk to you David. Thanks so much. And coming up next, he was an all-pro quarterback. In fact, he’s the greatest left handed quarterback in the history of the National Football League. He’s a member of the Football Hall of Fame. We’re going to talk genealogy with Steve Young coming up next in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.

Segment 2 Episode 217

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Steve Young

Fisher: You know, it was back in 1982 that I was starting a career as a morning radio host in a little town in Utah called “Provo” and learning that there was a new quarterback at the university there, Brigham Young University, from my hometown in Greenwich, Connecticut, and I thought, “I’ve got to find out who this guy is.” So I reached out to him and over time he became kind of a regular cast member on our morning show, and we became friends and he’d bring his linemen over and eat us out of house and home [Laughs] and I have that quarterback on the phone with me right now. He is a member of the National Football Hall of Fame, Steve Young... welcome to Extreme Genes!

Steve: Scott it’s been a long time, great to be with you, great to hear your voice. Your voice is as silky as ever!

Fisher: Well, thank you Steve!

Steve: Time has treated you well and it’s fun to see what you’re doing and reconnect. I appreciate you calling in.

Fisher: It’s great to hear your voice, too, Steve, and Steve, the influence that I had on you becoming a broadcaster. [Laughs]

Steve: Yeah, there you go. Who knew that all those tips that you gave me would pay off? I don’t mean to be a broadcaster but I don’t get to talk much football at home. My one boy is an entertainer you know, he loves singing.

Fisher: Really?

Steve: He’s like Dick Van Dyke.   

Fisher: [Laughs]

Steve: And he’s awesome. He’s a lead in a play this year again and he wants to make it a profession, so it’s really cool. And then my other boy loves gaming and he plays some basketball but no one plays football so I don’t get to talk much football at home. So it’s nice to be able to go talk for a minute about the game that I loved and enjoyed and especially all the drama around it today.

Fisher: And still do. You know, you’ve carved such a niche for yourself Steve, and it was a very proud moment for all of us who knew you at that time when you made it into the Hall of Fame and your great moments in the Super Bowl, and I thought, this is a great time to sit back and reflect a little bit. I mean, they made a big deal at the time and it’s still a big deal, you were the third great grandson of the man who your school was named after.

Steve: Yeah. Brigham Young.

Fisher: Brigham Young. How did that influence you or affect you at that time?

Steve: You know, I grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut like you just mentioned, and, you know, only one Mormons and three thousand kids. So it wasn’t like oh, “Mormon history,” Brigham Young’s pioneers going west. I mean these are kids who grew up in New York City and around, so it didn’t really matter.

Fisher: Right.

Steve: So it wasn’t a topic of discussion. I didn’t think about it that much to be honest with you. I thought it was a neat thing that I was connected, and my dad would talk about it every once in a while, have a story or two about Brigham Young when the pioneers would come across the west and come to Salt Lake, no job, no clothes, nothing, and Brigham would try to teach them accountability. There was nothing for them to do so he had a pile of rocks in his backyard and he would tell them, “I need that pile of rocks moved over to the other corner.” And they’d go move them and he’d give them some money and make like they’d accomplished something. I always remembered that because my Dad used to do that all the time. He’s like, “We’ve got to move the rocks, Steve. Come on. We’ve got to do this. We’ve got to do the work.”

Fisher: [Laughs]

Steve: So in that way he was an influence, you know, and I don’t even know if that story was even true or if my dad made it up.

Fisher: No. No I’ve heard that myself out there. That was one of the things. He didn’t want to give money to any beggar. He’d make them work for it. Give them a little dignity.

Steve: Yeah. Well, as far as that time, the west had not been settled and he sent families all over the west looking for water, coming out of the mountains, and they would establish a community and then pick governors and obviously it was a religious thing as well. From northern Idaho into Wyoming, west to Colorado, Nevada, all through Arizona into Mexico. I mean a lot of those towns were settled by Brigham Young.

Fisher: Yeah, that’s right.

Steve: Forget about the religious, spiritual part of it, just a fundamental what America looks like today and the cities that are there is very much what Brigham Young was able to accomplish.

Fisher: Absolutely. Now, does that mean more to you now as you’re older and you have your own family as you look back on your ancestry?

Steve: Yeah. I think that connections are important, you know? Because what you realize is that kids come, well developed in their personalities and their interests, who they are.

Fisher: Yep.

Steve: It’s my theology that we lived before as spirits in heaven and we develop. We don’t just wander around, we actually get developed. That’s why we come with some sense of personality. So, having kids shows you that there’s a connection, there’s genes that you pass on and there’s genes that are good and not so good. You know in my book I talk a lot about anxiety. I mean anxiety that was genetic in my mom’s family, who knew?

Fisher: Yeah. I wanted to get into that with you because you had a separation disorder kind of thing, right?

Steve: Well, when I was a kid, you know you self medicate right. I just didn’t sleep over at other people’s houses. Every time it came up to go to scout camp I was like, “Ah I can’t. I‘ve got practice,” you know? And so, you don’t really think much about it because you just don’t allow it to be a part of your life. When you finally have to go away from home to college, that’s where the truth comes out.

Fisher: Yeah.

Steve: And that’s when the truth came out for me and I was like, “Whoa!” I’m telling you it’s inside of you. And I didn’t know what it was until I was in my mid-thirties. I had to live with this thing for a long time and it has challenging aspects to it. So we found out that it was genetic in our family, in my mom’s family. And now knowledge is power. In some ways that’s what genealogy really is. One of the great things about genealogy is the knowledge of maybe some things have happened in the genetics of a family that can help the genetics today, let alone the connections and the stories and all the histories that can influence you that you’re connected with. People that you wish ten generations back could all be sitting in a room you know?

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]

Steve: And say, “Oh my gosh, this is great.” What a treat that would be, of course.

Fisher: Where do you think all your athleticism came from?

Steve: You know, I think it was both my mom and dad. My mom you know, she has tremendous tenacity and she also was pretty coordinated, and my dad played football in college, and I always tell him that he was tougher than he was good. [Laughs] It might be a fuel for his whole life.

Fisher: [Laughs] How does he take that? I mean his nickname is “Grit.” So how does he take that little shot from his son?

Steve: He says, “Yeah you’re right. I’m tougher than I’m good.” [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs]

Steve: I think in a lot of ways we share genetics on that one. No one can claim it. But you know, my family, my wife is kind of a great athlete so with the kids they’ve chosen all different kinds of things so there’s a lot more things today, football, and baseball, and basketball were things you did. Now a days, holy cow, there’s thousands of sports and thousands of things you can be interested in, so.

Fisher: Well, it’s interesting. I know our parents knew each other back in Greenwich, back in the day. But you and I are like eight years apart so we really didn’t have any reason to interact at that point until we both wound up in Provo, Utah at the same time for very different reasons. And it was fun. We had a lot of fun back in those days and you were at the center of an awful lot of it because I remember the opening day at Cougar Stadium at that time. Unfortunately you lost that game.

Steve: I do remember that very well, oh boy.

Fisher: But there were a lot of thrills. So I was looking through here, Steve, you know one of the great benefits I think of being famous is the fact that there are sites that will start to link people, who is related to who. So I looked up your page on here and maybe these are folks you know about and maybe not... Clara Barton, is your third cousin six times removed, founder of the American Red Cross.

Steve: Okay. There we go.

Fisher: Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton gin.

Steve: Yeah I knew I was smart.

Fisher: [Laughs] Let’s see, President Franklin Pierce, 5th cousin six times removed. 

Steve: Okay.

Fisher: I’m trying to see if there are any other athletes on here. I’m not seeing a lot of them at this point.

Steve: [Laughs]

Fisher: Oh, Lizzie Borden!

Steve: Oh great.

Fisher: Yes, the axe murderess!

Steve: Thanks so much, Scott. That’s wonderful. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that. [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs] And in a different mindset, Wild Bill Hickok, he was a gunfighter in the old west. So you know, obviously very competitive. That’s got to come down your line somewhere.

Steve: Well, at some place we’re all related Scott. So I just, you know, Wild Bill Hickok, I’ll remember that. I’ll remember that.

Fisher: [Laughs] Humphrey Bogart is one of your guys.

Steve: There you go. Wow, look at that.

Fisher: Yeah. And let’s see, the Bushes, George HW.

Steve: Oh, there you go. See. All that western blood I guess.

Fisher: Well no, this is actually Eastern. It’s a guy named Robert Cross who came to Massachusetts in 1634 was your common ancestor there. And with me, you and I are apparently ninth cousins!

Steve: Ninth cousins. I knew we were tight!

Fisher: We were very tight. [Laughs] I think we were tighter than ninth cousins.

Steve: [Laughs]

Fisher: But nonetheless, maybe it’s time we actually plan a family reunion and I’ll put you in charge of the food.

Steve: Can you imagine the numbers of people if we had to connect everyone in Salt Lake.

Fisher: Well, and you know that’s what happens, you go back three or four hundred years there’s always a way to find a connection, and that’s what should bring more people together than I think that has happened.

Steve: Yeah. I think what you’re doing is great. I’ve seen some TV shows that are doing it. I think that people want a sense of connection, that’s just so natural. There are so many people that aren’t connected in today’s world and displaced away from family. They don’t have a nuclear family that they’ve grown up with or been around, so that sense of connection is huge.

Fisher: Well, it would make a whole different in the world right now especially when you look at the political divisions in our country and the ethnic racial divisions around the world. When you get down to it, it’s just like AJ Jacobs’s new book talks about. I mean, the difference between one person and another no matter where they are in the world, is like one in a thousand because our DNA is 99.9% the same.

Steve: Right.

Fisher: It was that one thing that allowed you to throw a football left handed as far as you were able to. [Laughs]

Steve: What was that all about?

Fisher: I don’t know. You got lucky, my friend.

Steve: Someone told me the other day that there’s not a left handed quarterback anywhere in the NFL, and I just don’t get it. That’s crazy.

Fisher: That’s nuts. Right now? Really?

Steve: Right now. There’s not a lefty in the league. When I was at BYU the coach told me, it was crazy, Doug Scoville, he’s since passed away, he said, “I will not coach lefties.”

Fisher: [Laughs]

Steve: But that’s how weird it was. So you can understand why there weren’t any lefties back then.

Fisher: Sure.

Steve: But today, where are the lefties, Scott? What’s going on?

Fisher: That’s a good question. You know what, let’s take a break here, Steve. I want to talk about your book “QB: My Life Behind the Spiral” when we return with Steve Young from the Football Hall of Fame coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show. This segment has been brought to you by FamilySearch.org

Segment 3 Episode 217

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Steve Young

Fisher: And we are back, it’s America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here your Radio Roots Sleuth and this segment of the show is brought to you by MyHeritage.com. And I’m talking with my good friend, football quarterback, Hall of Famer Steve Young. And Steve, you’ve written a book about your life called, “QB: My Life Behind the Spiral.” Let’s talk a little about that.

Steve: Well Scott, you know I’d finished playing in 2000 and got married in 2000 and immediately had our first son. And by about 2010 he was in elementary school and he’d come home and say, “Hey Dad, I heard a story today that you and Joe Montana punched each other in the face. And I’m like, ‘No we didn’t.’”

Fisher: [Laughs]

Steve: And he just kept coming home with story after story and I’m like, “Brandon, that’s not right.” I’ll kind of be honest with you, I panicked. I’m like, if I don’t do something then everyone else gets to tell the story and I don’t get to tell the truth.

Fisher: That becomes the record, yeah.

Steve: Right, that’s the record.

Fisher: Yep.

Steve: So I engaged a friend of mine Jeff Benedict who had written some things and I said, “Look Jeff, will you just spend the next few years let’s not do it real fast, interview me, interview friends, just put together a narrative around what my life was.” And he said, “Sure.” So we just kind of slowly pecked away at it. And the more he did it the more interested he was in it and the more I was because it would bring up other stories and things that I’d forgotten. So we just kind of had this great time putting this together and then when he finally called and said, “Hey, I’m done.” I’m like, “Great!” I thought he’s hand me a box full of papers.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Steve: But he handed me chapters of a book. And I said, “Wow! Jeff that’s great. Thank you.” and you know, “We’ll see you later.” And so that was it. I had my chapters and I was going to hand it to the kids when it was time.

Fisher: Oh, so you were keeping this as your own personal history for your family.

Steve: Exactly, hundred percent.

Fisher: You weren’t going to share that?

Steve: I didn’t keep a journal. I think the anxiety had something to do with it. You know as we found out in this process I had like twenty journals, they all had like five or six entries and it would always be the same, “Hi, life is hard and I’m feeling a lot of anxiety.” But they wouldn’t keep up.

Fisher: Yeah.

Steve: Because it was like a broken record every day. And so this was the replacement for it. And so I had it in my closet and I was going to hand it to the kids at some point when they got a little older. And then he said, “Hey, do you mind if I send out a few chapters to some friends?” I said, “No, you know, it’s fine, whatever.” He did that, some common friends and I started getting calls, “Hey Steve, you’ve got to publish this. You have to.”

Fisher: Yeah.

Steve: And I said, “Nah, no, no, no, no, no.”

Fisher: [Laughs] Was it too personal for you?

Steve: No, it wasn’t that. I just thought it was too stupid. Not stupid, my wife says I over say things.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Steve: I thought it was inane. I thought it was great for my kids but I had seen athletes write books, and it was, you know, “In Detroit, it rained and I threw four touchdowns.” It’s like uh, you know, it doesn’t matter. If I was ever going to do something I wanted it to be useful. I wanted it to be something that people would say, “You know I appreciated that. That helped me.”

Fisher: Um hmm.

Steve: Not you know, “Oh wow, Steve was a great player.” I was just not interested. And so finally there was a call I got from a good friend named Bob Gay. We’ve been in business together, in philanthropy together, and I really respected him. He was just one of those guys that really made a big impact on my life and as a mentor.

Fisher: Yeah.

Steve: He called me and said, “I’ve seen these chapters. You’ve got to do it.” At that moment I knew that I was going to do it. You know how you have those feelings?

Fisher: Yeah. Well, don’t you think, I mean you’ve always been a compassionate person, and being a public person as you’ve become and have been for so many decades now... I mean, don’t you feel especially dealing with the anxiety issue, which I wasn’t aware of back in the day, that you had that issue.

Steve: Yeah.

Fisher: Don’t you think that helps a lot of people to know that despite a very difficult problem that you didn’t really share with anybody and still you were able to accomplish all that you were able to accomplish, despite it.

Steve: Scott, I think that’s true. But I shared it with people I lived with. I didn’t know what I was sharing.

Fisher: Right.

Steve: I mean, I was just living it out. My friends “Herm” [Jim Herman], “L.J.” [kicker Lee Johnson, later an All Star for the Cincinnati Bengals], guys at college, good friends they look back and go, “Oh yeah!” [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs]

Steve: They didn’t know what to call it either. So I was not, not interested in publishing it because of the personal parts of it. I had no problem with it.

Fisher: Yeah.

Steve: People who knew me I was glad to tell them about it. So I had no problem telling the story, I just wanted it to be useful. And that’s what’s been nice. People who read it and you know parents it happens all the time people say, “Thanks so much because my son has really struggled with anxiety and he felt like a loser. Your story told him that it was okay, like, ‘you can do this.’”

Fisher: Um hmm.

Steve: And so when I published it I had no idea that would be so useful to people and I’m grateful for that because then it makes it worthwhile to me because I did not want to publish it so that you could say, “Oh, Steve Young is a great football player.”

Fisher: [Laughs] Right.

Steve: That was not what I was looking for. So I’m gratified that I think there are people that have felt like it was helpful. And it includes the last couple of chapters of meeting Barb and having the kids, and the kids are part of the book. So you know that’s fun to connect essentially two separate lives, my life as a football player and my life as a dad and a husband. So that was nice.

Fisher: And how was that division? I mean you retired in 2000 and your whole life had been playing football. Did that help everything? I mean you met Barb at that point...say “Okay, my football life is done now I’m moving forward.” Was there an adjustment period?

Steve: Well, I didn’t mean to have it happen this way. We got engaged when I was playing the 1999 season and then I decided to retire. And so we got married in March and I retired in June. It just happened. I didn’t mean for that to happen or plan it.

Fisher: Wow. But wasn’t that around the concussions at that point, right?

Steve: Yeah, but I felt... I still feel the same way. I felt fine but yet people were so concerned about me I was like, why be foolish.

Fisher: Right.

Steve: And I’m glad. I’m glad I did that. You know, why be foolish? I’ve been foolish long enough and so that was fine. And then we had children right away so then you’re all in. And then I was doing some ESPN work and around the game and so the challenge for me was not as great as others were... just cold turkey, there was nothing else new. Like for me there were all these new things to deal with, young kids and taking care of them full time and I was still around football with ESPN and so I felt less of that burden of “Falling off the cliff,” I call it, when you retire.

Fisher: Yeah, right. And it would happen for an athlete much sooner than for the rest of us.

Steve: Yeah.

Fisher: But still you really make a good case there that no matter when you retire, you’ve got to have something to retire to.

Steve: Yeah. My dad always says “You have a dream and a plan.” And I would say, “Well dad, I’m going to be Roger Staubach,” He goes, “Well, that’s a dream, not a plan!”

Fisher: [Laughs]

Steve: Then, when I went pro I told him, “Hey dad, look at that! The dream and the plan came together!”

Fisher: [Laughs]

Steve: And he said, “No, no, no, no because the average career is three years you still need a plan.” And so that’s why I went to law school while I played.

Fisher: Yeah.

Steve: I went through three Super Bowls during the years I was going to law school because even when I retired at 38 years old, my dad said “What’s the plan?”

Fisher: Yep.

Steve: And I said, “Well, the plan is that I have my law degree I’m going to go get something done.” And it was really true, I played for 17, 18 years and I still needed a plan. And so I’m really grateful to my dad. My one boy wants to be a professional gamer. “I’m going to make millions of dollars playing video games.”

Fisher: [Laughs]

Steve: And the sad thing is this really does happen. Like there are guys that are doing that.

Fisher: Yes I know.

Steve: And I said, “Well, that son is what you call the ultimate dream.” All right, you sit in your basement and make millions of dollars.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Steve: But that’s a dream and I use the same what my dad used to say, “What’s the plan?” So my kids are so sick of me talking about dreams and plans.

Fisher: Yeah because you’ve turned into your father, right?

Steve: I have turned into my father. I am “Grit.”

Fisher: [Laughs]

Steve: I am much tougher than I am good!

Fisher: He is Steve Young. He is the Football Hall of Famer. He is the author of the book, “QB: My Life Behind the Spiral.” You can find it on Amazon.com and all other great places too like Barnes and Noble. And Steve, I’m disappointed that we just don’t have more time because we’ve got a lot to catch up on.

Steve: Yeah. Yes we do.

Fisher: It’s been a long time, but thank you so much for your time and sharing it with us. You know I think what you say here about writing your own story being a benefit to others, that’s the reason, that’s the motivation that people need to do that.

Steve: I know.

Fisher: So that you can be a benefit to your descendants, not just your kids but your grandkids down the line.

Steve: Yeah, yeah it’s funny you mention that, Scott, because I’d never thought about that till that second you just said it, five seconds ago. That, oh my gosh, this book, maybe, in a couple of generations it will be useful.

Fisher: Oh absolutely.

Steve: I’ve had such a myopic view of just kind of “right now.” I mean think about that, so you’re right I’m so glad to have that in place for even further generations. That’s great.

Fisher: Well, awesome to talk to you. Well, you take care.

Steve: All right buddy, thank for inspiring me. Great show! All right, bud!

Fisher: [Laughs] Thank you so much, Steve Young on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.

Segment 4 Episode 217

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: And we are back talking preservation with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, your Preservation Authority on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. My name is Fisher, the Radio Roots Sleuth. And this segment is brought to you by 23andMe.comDNA. And Tom, it’s good to see you again.

Tom: Good to be here.

Fisher: We have an email from Howard Long. And Howard's saying, "I've got a VHS tape that has come loose from the core." And I think he's meaning hub, right? Isn't that the word?

Tom: Yeah, it’s a hub, exactly.

Fisher: For these old VHS tapes way back in the 1980s and 1990s!

Tom: Yeah, the old VHS tapes, they degrade. There's nothing you can do about it. When things were made back in those days, they didn't know that the mylar tape they were going to use would crack so easily and pull off so easily. So a lot of times you can play the tape, everything's fine, then you fast rewind it or fast forward it and it just snaps. You have to bring it in to us to let us fix it for you. If you want to try and do it yourself, you can. However, this isn't for the faint of heart.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: You need to really know what you're doing. You need to be really good with your hands. If you're not good at doing models and things like that, you don't want to touch this.

Fisher: Really?

Tom: Oh yeah. People end up ruining them.

Fisher: Is this the thing where you basically replace it with an empty shell?

Tom: Sometimes you use a new shell. If the shell's in good condition, we don't. We take it apart real carefully, and if it’s got screws in it, then it’s usually not a problem. And what we have to do is, we have to usually reattach the leader to the hub. And you can't take out the pin, put the tape in and put the pin back in, because the machine does that under high pressure. So you can't do it. We actually double tape it. We tape the leader back to the hub, then we bend the tape around and tape the other side too, because otherwise if it’s pulling too much, it’s just going to pull the tape right off. So we have to put tape on both sides. So it’s probably over everybody's head by now already.

Fisher: Yes! [Laughs]

Tom: So it’s something you don't want to do yourself unless you're really, really handy. And if it’s something you're going to do yourself and you are handy, send me an email at [email protected] and I'll teach you how you can do it. But it’s not for the faint of heart. Like I say, you need to make sure you're doing it right or you could totally damage your tape. And once you damage the control track, the tapes worthless.

Fisher: So you're saying then if you took the tape out, you couldn't like a cassette audio tape transfer it over to some other shell very easily.

Tom: Well you can, but the problem is, it’s come off the hub. So if you just put it in another shell, you have the same thing. You have a brand new shell, but you're still not attached to a hub.

Fisher: Um hmm.

Tom: If something's been smashed and the shell's damaged, then you'll have to replace the shell. And if the hub's damaged, then you've got to replace that too. And it just gets more and more and more complicated. But if it’s something you want to tackle yourself, knock yourself out. If you're in the situation where the tape's actually broken and it hasn't come off the hub, make sure when you splice it, you splice on the inside of the tape, not the tape that's facing you.

Fisher: Right.

Tom: Because otherwise it can get caught on the heads in your VCR and ruin your VCR by breaking the heads.

Fisher: There's a lot of danger here!

Tom: Oh it is!

Fisher: “Warning, Will Robinson!” [Laughs]

Tom: [Laughs] Exactly!

Fisher: Yes.

Tom: Exactly. It’s something, you know, step away from the tape if you don't know what you're doing. Send it to us or somebody you know you can trust. It’s not something like, "Oh, I think I can fix this old wristwatch," and you open it, springs go everywhere!

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: Sometime's people bring us a tape, not telling us there's anything wrong with it. And it’s like, "But the door's not opening. Something's weird here." So we call them and say, "Hey, there's something wrong with your tape." "Oh yeah, sure if you can fix it, fix it,” still not telling us anything. We open it and things are missing. And then obviously we know the customer's got into it. So if you do that, tough it out!

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: Tell the people, "This is what I did, I'm sorry."

Fisher: "I screwed it up."

Tom: Exactly.

Fisher: Okay.

Tom: So we won't damage your tape any further.

Fisher: And this is really illustrative of how early, how quickly you want to get this stuff done, because as time goes on, more and more of these things will degrade, right?

Tom: Oh absolutely. In fact, that's a good point that you brought up. You know, we're always searching for new equipment, and it’s really funny, we see stuff that when we bought them when they were brand new were maybe like $1200, and now they're $3000 for the same machine now, used, because they're rare.

Fisher: Right.

Tom: And now we're finding we can't even get them for parts. We buy ones that say “parts only,” which is fine, we might steal some things off of it, but we can't even find them now. So one day, you're not going to be able to do a Grade A transfer like we do nowadays. So in ten, twenty years, you'll have to go through a computer system, which isn't anywhere as near as good.

Fisher: Oh boy! Hopefully they'll get better with that over time. All right, more questions from our listeners coming up for you next in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.

Segment 5 Episode 217

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: And we're back for our final segment of Extreme Genes for this week, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. And we love talking preservation, because that's really where your family history all begins. And we heard from Dan Prichard. And Dan says he's not sure what dpi to use when he scans and also wants to know about getting a scanner, but no more than $300. Because the wife's just put her foot down, Tom.

Tom: Kaboom!

Fisher: Kaboom.

Tom: [Laughs]

Fisher: And you know, I think if that's the case, they'd probably be better off renting, wouldn’t you think?

Tom: Oh absolutely. Because you can go to EZ Photo Scan and rent a unit for about $400, only $100 more and its super high quality. It’s got the flatbed scanner, it’s got the auto feeder, it will go in and do your scrap books where you have a whole bunch of photos together and it'll go and separate them. So just get yourself organized and just rent one of these.

Fisher: It’s like for a week, right?

Tom: Oh yeah!

Fisher: And so you do that, you get your cousins in there, your siblings in there, your parents in there and everybody splits the cost and it could be $100 a piece.

Tom: Oh yeah! If you only have four people involved, you know, you're looking at $100 a person and that give you a whole week. And EZ Photo Scan is really good. They don't charge you for the day it arrives and the day you ship it back. So you get it for a full seven days. And you can do a lot of scanning in seven days. This is a great opportunity to really help yourself, help others and it’s going to cost you probably less. If this isn't going to work for you, then you need to buy a better one and then resell it on eBay when you're done and maybe find a good used one on eBay. But don't cut yourself short and spend $300 on a scanner from Office Depot or something.

Fisher: I think this all kind of ties into what Lisa Garcia asked us in an email here too. She lives in Dallas, Texas and would love to organize a scanning party there. And she and her husband are celebrating their 40th anniversary, coming up on May 6th of next year. Congratulations Lisa, that's an accomplishment in these days, right. And she talked about using Google Photos to store them. Now what are your thoughts on storage?

Tom: I always tell people, I always want to overcompensate. I want to have things on a disk, I want to have things on a hard drive, I want to have even a portable USB drive and I want to have two clouds. And most people have two clouds now. And most people don't have enough storage, it’s going to cost them. You can go to Dropbox, you can go to Google Drive, all these different things, and with small enough accounts, there's not even a charge for it. And she also mentioned organizing it. And I've said this many times, I preach the gospel of Heritage Collectors. It is the best software in the world if you're PC based!

Fisher: Yes.

Tom: It is so awesome! They have free webinars every month to teach you how to do things. I've had so many people call me, giddy, and say, "Oh, I got my Heritage Collector! Its, you know, it’s so much better than you even said it was. It does all these kinds of cool things." And it’s amazing and you don't have to spend a ton of money. You can get a basic system for under $100. In fact, they'll even send you a free introduction, which you can actually click on our website and find it. And they'll send you disks to try it, see what you like. And then you buy modules as you need them or what you want. You don't have to buy the whole Cadillac. If you just need leather seats, get leather seats.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: It’s really, really awesome. I mean, we're in Christmas season right now, but think, "Oh, it’s too late for Christmas." So, big deal! You're going to be taking a lot of pictures at Christmas, people are going to show up at your different festivities and have photos that they want to get scanned. And for a lot of people that want to do scanning and don't have a ton of stuff and don't want to buy an expensive scanner, don't forget that you can use a Shotbox as a scanner. Get a Shotbox for $200, and then you can not only take pictures of your photos that you want to scan, it'll automatically crop them. You can shoot three dimensional things of, you know, grandpa's golden booties or whatever.

Fisher: [Laughs] His what?? [Laughs]

Tom: In the old days, I remember my grandparents had their booties and they had them bronzed.

Fisher: Oh, that's it, okay. I had a completely different picture in my mind.

Tom: [Laughs]

Fisher: I'm really glad we went there. Tom, great to see you again, we're out of time. We'll see you again next week.

Tom: My pleasure.

Fisher: Well genies that is it for this week. And thanks once again to Football Hall of Famer Steve Young for coming on and doing two segments with us this week, talking about his autobiography, some of his ancestry, a lot of fun. If you missed any of it or you want to hear it again or share it with your friends, just listen to the podcast. And of course our Patron Club Members get it first. You can sign up at ExtremeGenes.com. Just click on the Patron's Club. It costs you less than like a pair of men's socks. Talk to you again next week. Thanks for joining us. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!

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