Sunday, August 14, 2005

Story Corps

This is amazing, just amazing. You really need to listen for yourself. Story Corps has brought me to tears and caused infectious laughter in our house merely through little 60 second clips of life.

Modeled after the Works Progress Administration (WPA) of the 1930's, today's recording studio on wheels is also crisscrossing the country in search of stories from everyday Americans. Their recording are housed in the StoryCorps Archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. To me, listening to the oral histories of Americans in the 1930's is fascinating, perhaps someday people will listen to us! Story Corps' vision
"To us, StoryCorps celebrates our shared humanity and collective identity. It captures and defines the stories that bond us. We've found that the process of interviewing a friend, neighbor, or family member can have a profound impact on both the interviewer and interviewee. We've seen people change, friendships grow, families walk away feeling closer, understanding each other better. Listening, after all, is an act of love."

I reccomend that you find time to listen to all of the featured clips, but be sure to check out these favorites of mine is you can....

Front page..Judy and Phillip Frabosilo, how they got married.

"If you could do anything again, would you raise me differently?"

11-year-old Connor Murphy interviews his mother Patricia.

"So I ran back to the bus and I said, 'Sweetie, your restaurant is right here.'"

New York City bus operator Ronald Ruiz remembers one of his passengers on the City Island line in the Bronx. (MP3, 1:05 min.)

This is humanity, amazing! This is the story that got me started.

"Don't ever let anybody tell you they can do something to you. You're free, man. You don't have to take that."

Ralph Tremonte and Donald Weiss, who spent their childhood together in a psychiatric hospital, are reunited after 40 years. (MP3, 1:50 min.)

"So this is the ring that my father gave to my mother..."

Michael Wolmetz and Debora Brakarz, boyfriend and girlfriend, interview each other. (MP3, 1:44 min.)

"My grandmother was very buoyant in the water she was a big woman and she was a good swimmer."

Myra Schegloff remembers going to the Coney Island schvitz baths with her grandmother. (MP3, 0:41 min.)

Check out NPR for more Story Corps each Friday


Judy said...

WAH! My computer is being all funkified tonight and won't let me access these - I'll have to fire up my hubby's dinosaur tomorrow and see if I can get to them!

Goldy said...

OK, so I don't know If I ever told you this, but on the day you two got married, the "so this is the ring my father gave my mother" was on NPR that morning. I totally remember this, because it was such a beautiful story, and you two were getting married, and you know, my dad was sick at the time. Anyway, it was one of the most incredible things I had heard and really well timed for my life.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that anytime I've heard that story (which I have a couple of times now) I think of you two. Of course, I think the doughnut that Jon gave you was way more meaningful than some stupid ring.

Jonathan said...

You hadn't mentioned this, I am really glad to hear the story. You're right that it is incredibly moving, like so many of the Story Corps pieces. It's funny how some of our greatest stresses produce incredibly beautiful stories.

Incidentally, my bubby gave me her engagement ring to give to Lauren. We designed a new setting for the stone, so it's ours and Bubby's at the same time. Bubby's marriage always seemed so good that the ring encapsulated a lot of the hopes I had for my own, and I was so happy to be able to give that to Lauren. Sometimes the best things we give people are mental, here we're lucky enough to have a physical manifestation. Thanks for the comment.

Lauren said...

This is really ironic because when I heard the guy speak and saw his picture, I said to Jon, something reminds me of Goldie. This was a day before my post on Story Corps. It's weird sometimes how things connect between friends in such magic ways. The story, the wedding, you. Humanity and the cosmos are amazing things!