After spending a month exploring the northern part of the state, facilitator Rachel Falcone was itching to see the landscape of southern Utah that had been recommended by many of the fine folks of Logan. So on the long drive from Logan, UT to Las Cruces, NM, Rachel and co-facilitator Hilary Marshall stopped to stretch their legs at Arches National Park near Moab.
This national park preserves more than 2,000 naturally occurring sandstone arches. It’s also home to some lovely desert plants and even a few animals, some of whom are very good at hiding.
Rachel and Hilary were in awe of the vast, open spaces and the grand scale of the rock formations. The Southwest exists in an entirely different palette of colors than the rest of our United States, and we were happy to get a closer glimpse before going deeper into this beautiful land.
As Rachel took it all in, Hilary encouraged her to pose for the cheesy photo above, which made Hilary smile.
We started off in Indy with a breakfast hosted by our parter radio station, WFYI and friends at the Indianapolis Historical Society where the booth is parked. Our first participant of the day was Dorothy Mengering, mother of a certain successful former Indianapolis weatherman who has done pretty well for himself in StoryCorps’ native NYC. Dorothy did a very sweet interview with her granddaughter Bryn, who grew up visiting Dorothy in her home in Indy’s Broad Ripple neighborhood. Bryn learned how to can veggies from her grandmother at the end of every summer. It was a great opening day–here’s to a month full of Indy stories!
The time has come to say goodbye to both Logan, UT and outgoing facilitator Daniel Littlewood. The ever wide-eyed and always bushy-tailed Hilary Marshall arrived fresh from StoryCorps’ Milwaukee Outpost to replace him. Once she’s recovered from the hazing she received, she and facilitator Rachel Falcone will bid a fond farewell to the beautiful Cache Valley and head south.
Thanks to Daniel for teaching Hilary what facilitating is really about: noogies. We wish him well on his travels. May he survive the western desert’s Burning Man Arts Festival unscathed.
Andy Zimmer (right) and Tod Apedaike (left) had never met before their visit to StoryCorps. What was obvious as they settled in at MobileBooth West was that neither of them walks; they roll. Tod has used a wheelchair his whole life and Andy has used his wheelchair since a bike accident two years ago. Across the StoryCorps table from one another, however, they discovered that they have a lot more than wheels in common. They share a passion for extreme sports, a “similar outlook on life,” and desire to be and remain fully independent. “Something like this doesn’t change who you are,” said Andy, and what these two guys are is strong stuff. Skiing, rugby and sled hockey are some of their favorite pastimes. Andy also works to make local hiking trails accessible to people of all abilities (parents with strollers, visually impaired individuals, anybody and everybody).
A big thank you to the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University for bringing Tod and Andy together for their interview–and for a tremendous partnership while we were in Logan.
Above, the splendid simplicity of the Cleveland Browns helmet; not to be partial, but we like their colors. Cleveland was a great Storycorps stop, thanks to the vivid storytelling chops of Clevelanders, and the top-shelf support the East Booth received from our partners at Ideastream, the coolest radio/TV hybrid station in the country.
Once back on land the facilitators readied the booth for its drive south to Indianapolis, where it will stay through September. Best of luck to Brady Quinn and everyone else in C-Town!
This past week in Oakland has seen some especially nice weather, filled with sunshine and heart-warming stories at the Friends of Peralta Hacienda Historical Park and at Harrison Street’s Stagebridge offices.
Our first Door to Door with Stagebridge, a senior theater company, was held at the South Berkeley Senior Center. We had the pleasure of working with Marijo, a premiere storyteller, teacher and performer in the Oakland community. She is a true StoryCorps Griot Superstar, interviewing 5 participants in one day! Talk about dedication… she even made her own StoryCorps Griot button (pictured above). Thanks Marijo!
Our first Door-to-Door in Oakland was hosted by the Chapel of the Chimes, a crematory and columbarium nearly 100 years old. In addition to providing cremation services and bereavement programs to the Bay Area, Chapel of the Chimes is also a prime venue for theater and musical performances.
Harold Logwood, StoryCorps Griot’s first Oakland D2D storyteller, is a former attorney and Oakland resident. This week Harold shared his trials of becoming a lawyer in the 1970s and his memories of Oakland’s historic McClymonds High School.
Pictures courtesy Melvin Reeves
We know it’s been a while since our last Griot Update, so lets play catch-up, shall we?THE ROAD TRIP
On Tuesday, July 31st we began our cross-country driving trip from Chicago to Oakland, CA. The booth, driven by a professional driver, made a pit stop for repairs and cleaning before meeting us in Oakland on August 6th.
Welcome to Logan, Utah. StoryCorps MobileBooth West pulled in and set up beside the lawn of the Logan LDS Tabernacle, just off Main Street. We quickly became accustomed to one of the local traditions here in Logan. We are located directly over an irrigation channel, with a steady stream of water heading into the city, bound for lawns and gardens.
While the Booth enjoyed cool water lapping at its heels for the first time, we had a smashing opening day with Logan Mayor Randy Watts interviewing his father Cal Watts. Afterward, Cathy Ives (center) and Lee Austin (left) from Utah Public Radio spoke to the crowd of reporters, volunteers, and passers-by, welcoming StoryCorps to its first-ever Utah stop. The Mayor (right) added a few words of his own.>
We made the headlines, with Facilitator Rachel Falcone highlighted in a picture and interview.
A hearty thank you to all of our volunteers. Here, hard at work, are Yi Ching Fedkenheuer and Georgiana Banellis. Logan it is!
Advance Coordinator Eliza Bettinger and Facilitators Daniel Littlewood and Rachel Falcone took full advantage of their day off in the beautiful Cache Valley. We rose early and took a hike up the Wind Cave trail on the north side of Logan Canyon. We were blessed with cool morning clouds and a quiet trail as we ascended.
We were slowed by the delicate finds only the way – curious snail shells and woodwork. What are snail shells doing several thousand feet up anyway?
Resting was necessary too. In one of the natural caves, Daniel took in the view.
Eliza thought this was a good idea too.
And 6000ft later?
Ah, we have arrived.
Facilitators Rachel Falcone and Daniel Littlewood spent their last afternoon in Montana taking a trip to Norris Hot Springs. We soaked while surrounded by rolling hills dotted with these stunning flowers and listening to the sweet tunes of the Spring’s live bluegrass band Thermal Grass.
Montana, we’ll miss you. On to Utah!
All good things must come to an end, and Butte, Montana, sure is a good thing. As July came to a close, Mitra Bonshahi transfered her commission to new Facilitator Rachel Falcone, and Facilitator Daniel Littlewood salutes farewell also. Time to get ready to head to Logan, Utah, for the next step on the StoryCorps MobileBooth West tour.
But we couldn’t leave without thanking our gracious hosts, Barb and Johnny, who provided housing for the Facilitators for the entire month. Visit the Uptown Cafe next time you find yourself in Butte, and tell them Mitra sent you. We’re on the move!
After an early rising in New York, Quentin Weld joined Mobile Booth East in Concord, New Hampshire. The air was cleaner, the people nicer and it seemed Quentin was on top of the world.
As the day wore on, things turned sour for our new arrival. Quentin spent a few hours in the same cell as the infamous Toothbrush Twins, two rascals who dug their way out of an Iowa prison only to be captured in Concord, NH. The building is now home to an authentic Mexican restaurant so Quentin’s escape was far less daunting. The facilitators paid the restaurant bill and quietly left.
At Concord’s “Market Days” Street Fair
We sensed some buffalo in the air.
In a covered wagon the fresh meat sat
And we wanted to try this meat, low fat.
A burger and sausage are what we ate.
And now we know that buffalo is great!
We wanted to wash the buffalo down
With something delicious, bubbly and brown.
We saw the writing on this cup
and knew we had to fill it up.
$1 refills, not just for the day
not just for the fair where the children play
$1 refills FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE
So your thirst will never cause you strife
‘Cause you can always fill your cup with sasparilla beer.
New Hampshire’s great! I’m moving here!
High above the skyline rise the headframes of mines, dotting the landscape as reminders of Butte’s past.
Thanks to the work of several miners, artists, and community-minded folks, the headframes are iconic at night, too. They are visible for miles thanks to the donated red lighting.
John T. Shea worked for years in the mines as a ropesman and driver, along with a host of other jobs. He is a moving force behind Lighten UP, Butte! which aims to preserve the heritage of Butte’s mines while beautifying the city. He and Barbara Kornet told the story of how the headframes were lit. One of Barb’s favorite memories is of being hundreds of feet up in the air with the old Butte miners, getting a headframe ready for its makeover.
For a field recording, we visited the Ageless Dreamer Foundation in lovely Dover, New Hampshire. The mission of the foundation is to make dreams come true for older generations who are unable to do so for themselves, and our mission as StoryCorps facilitators was to record some of the stories of the realizations of those dreams.
Speaking of dreams coming true, Winthrop (R) and Alice Loring (L) came with their son, Steven (center) to talk about their 69-year marriage. Although Alice said she would never marry Winthrop, his charm won her over and the two have been inseparable ever since (literally–they held hands throughout the entire interview).
Beth Fischer, the Executive Director of Ageless Dreamer, in her charming glass-blown office.
Laurie Widmark (L), founder of the Ageless Dreamer Foundation, brought her fellow dreamer, Elaine Carlo (R) in for an interview. When Laurie asked what advice Elaine would give to young couples, she simply said “don’t go too fast,” in the bedroom or in a sports car.
Jenna Weiss-Berman, ageless dreamer that she is, has come to the East booth to facilitate interviews for a few days. Above, she rocks the latest fashion trend here in Dover: the Ageless Dreamer Foundation sticker.
Today was a busy, muggy Wednesday, chock-full of back-to-back interviews. Were it not for the constant bustle of participants in and out of the Booth today, our patch of Chicago mulch would have been pretty quiet. You’d never think that such a shady space of calm, elegant history was the host of a weekend of family, sun, and blues cover bands. Only three short days ago the DuSable Museum held its Annual Arts & Crafts Festival, complete with jerk catfish (that stares at you while you eat it), fruity smoothies, and shopping galore…
The Girl Scouts of Camp Farnsworth came to the StoryCorps booth to share some of their great camping experiences. The camp has served as a ‘home away from home’ for young women for nearly 100 years. And even though many of these ladies are Girl Scouts, you don’t have to sell cookies to be part of the fun at Camp Farnsworth.