For three weeks this summer, since Opening Day on August 4 which marked our first day of interviews, StoryCorps’ West Mobile Booth has recorded stories in Tri-Cities, WA, in partnership with Northwest Public Radio. Our recording Booth was stationed in front of the Pasco branch of the Mid-Columbia Libraries and residents of the three neighboring cities, Pasco, Kennewick and Richland, as well as of nearby communities came to share their personal stories. Many people talked about growing up in the area and reflected on the growth and changes they’ve seen it undergo. Others have shared stories of how they found their way to the Columbia Basin and have since come to call this place home.
During Opening Week, Sheri Solomon came to our Mobile Booth with her mother, Lola Yale. Lola has lived in 21 different places since first leaving her home near Walla Walla, WA, and finally settled in Kennewick. She told the story of going on a family trip with her seven children before they lived in the Tri-Cities and having to stop in Kennewick to get gas.
Sheri remembers that it was 113 degrees that day: “We were all sweating and thought this was the worst place. We were in hell.” To console her children at the time Lola assured them that there would never be a reason for them to live in Kennewick.
“When your father said we were transferred here how many years later, it just caught me off guard! And, it ends up that, not only did all seven of you, children, find your spouses in the Tri-Cities, when your father died and I remarried, I found him [my second husband] here in the Tri Cities… It was so prophetic. And you’ve never let me forget it. This is home now. It’s home.”
MobileBooth West recorded more than 100 stories while in the Tri-Cities. Northwest Public Radio has been airing locally edited segments every Wednesday morning. Tune in to hear more voices from Eastern Washington!
Tri-Cities, here are your photos! Feel free to download and print your high quality portrait, or email your photo to anyone you’d like. Visit StoryCorps’ Flickr album to find and download your photo directly.