In an ongoing partnership with Cities of Service, an organization that finds “new and innovative ways to harness the power of volunteers,” StoryCorps Door-to-Door traveled to Baltimore, Maryland, to record a day of interviews with former addicts who volunteer their time and experience as peer recovery advocates.
This week facilitators Jason Reynolds and Jonah Engle brought their field recording equipment to Govans Manor, a senior’s center in Baltimore.
It was a full day of stories rich with wisdom, insight and Baltimore history.
Thanks to all who participated and helped make the visit a great success.
Here are some of the participants who shared their stories, Ms. Ballard, Ms. Childs, Mr. Wiggins, Ms. Brown and Ms. Murrill.
Jack Mayer Willen was interviewed at the StoryCorps booth by grandson Bruce Willen.
In the 1920ies, Jack was an aspiring actor, but then came the Great Depression and Jack needed to find other means of income.
76 years after passing the bar, Jack is still practicing law, but he’s lost none of his passion for storytelling, in the booth, he recited word for word the poem “The Shooting of Dan McGrew” which he used to declaim over 80 years ago.
At 97, looking back on a rich life blessed with 3 children and several grandchildren, Jack says “Someone up there was looking out for me”.
A few paces down the waterfront promenade from the StoryCorps booth, Herman Heyn has a powerful telescope set up. Passersby are invited to gaze up at the sky and Herman, a self described “Street Corner Astronomer”, explains what they are seeing. He sets up his telescope at Harbor Place year-round and tonight marks the end of his 19th year of doing this. Herman also travels to schools and clubs to share his passion for astronomy.
Baltimore’s World Trade Center stands watch over the Inner Harbor where the StoryCorps mobile booth is parked. Designed by architect I.M. Pei, the Center is the world’s tallest pentagonal buidling and the vistas from its observations deck span the whole city.
Enjoy the view!
We arrived safely this week in Baltimore, aka "Charm City." We will be parked in the Inner Harbor until November 20th, listening to the stories of Maryland. It certainly is beautiful here, as you can see in the pictures below!