I was very fortunate to have a grandmother and great-grandmother alive during my childhood. Since history has always interested me, I used to ask them questions about stuff, like their own childhoods, when they saw their first automobile, when they remember first having electricity in their homes, and stuff like that. Each question brought out their memories and tied them to a past I couldn't experience.
They were always ready to tell me their stories, share something about their own lives when they were my age, or tell me a story that I could relate to. My one living grandfather was more taciturn, but could sometimes be convinced to talk about his life as well. It was a high point of my memory of those ancestors.
It was also an introduction to the idea of asking others similar questions, and I always got a story in return from older people.
All of that stimulated my interest in times before I was born, and led to my reading of hundreds of old non-fiction books from various periods of history. I'm glad for it.