Having received the National Medal, the highest honor awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Stark County District Library in Canton, OH, invited StoryCorps to record the stories of its patrons. During our visit, Sarah Elizabeth Studer interviewed her grandfather, Paul “Juni” Studer, about his life and some of the lessons he’s learned in the business of sign making.
Paul, called “Juni” by those who know him, began making signs while working in his father’s restaurant in Massillon, OH. While speaking to his granddaughter, Juni described the town’s local culture. “You have to like football. It’s the thing that makes the whole place go.” While working for his father, Juni made signs that listed each local Friday night football game, along with the rival team. His work became known throughout the community, and soon, Juni landed a job at Adam’s Sign Company.
In the beginning, Juni loved his work at the company, but as his job changed, so did his love for his work. After a misunderstanding with an important sign order, Juni and his wife, Dolores, decided to go into business for themselves and opened Studer Sign Shop in the garage of their small home in 1962.
After almost forty years in business for himself, Juni has learned one thing. “You’ve got to like what you do,” he told his granddaughter. “Your future depends on your attitude on Sunday evening. You probably had a party on Friday, went to the movies on Saturday, and now it’s Sunday evening. Are you gonna say ‘Oh no! Another week’ or are you gonna say ‘Wow! Tomorrow is Monday and I’m gonna accomplish this. If you can end up doing something you like, then you’ll be a success.”
Kyle and Sally Hartman love to collect. They own about 80 cars, and decided drive Sally’s stylish mustang to Canton for their interview today.
StoryCorps has dedicated MobileBooth East to a champion of oral history (and our hero): Studs Terkel. In 2005, when this MobileBooth was in Chicago, IL, 94 year old Studs came inside and recorded his story. We are proud to have a beautiful new plaque on the wall of the MobileBooth to commemorate his great work.
We had a last-minute cancellation here in Canton, but thanks to Connie Meng (on-air host at North Country Public Radio), who announced the opening during her radio show, the slot was filled– by the honorable Ruth Finnegan Garner. Ruth was mayor of Potsdam, NY for 16 years. She has recently retired from her post, but remains deputy mayor. And she always wears a hat. On the right is Connie, who in addition to announcing open slots for us, has been a valiant volunteer. Thanks, ladies!
Lynde Ostrander is an 86-year-old farmer from Canton, NY, and a veritable expert on the history of farms in this area. He was interviewed today by his grandson, Neil Seeger.
This is Kyle Hartman. He stopped by the Booth today to check things out (he has a reservation to do an interview next week), show off his 1956 Ford truck, and make fun of our Chevy.
That guy in the center is Radio Bob. He’s the Chief Engineer at North Country Public Radio, husband of Jackie Sauter, and, just in case it’s not obvious from this photograph, a total rockstar.
We spent our first Friday night in the North Country at the Potsdam Summer Festival, dancing in the street while the Radio Bob Band lit up the stage. That’s Sarah Kramer tearing up the asphalt with Steven Sauter, son of Jackie and Bob.
We were invited to a lovely Barbeque in Canton, NY to celebrate the 4th of July.
Facilitator Lisa Janicki takes a swing at a croquet ball on the lawn of our hosts.
Jackie Sauter, Program Director at NCPR, baked a delicious cake for the party.
With help from the good people at North Country Public Radio, the StoryCorps MobileBooth East opened for business on July 6th. Many of our new neighbors came by to say hello and find out just what the silver airstream was doing in their town.
Two of North Country Public Radio’s finest: Ellen Rocco (Station Manager) and Jackie Sauter (Program Director), on Opening Day.
Sarah van de Water, the first participant of the day. Sarah is 92, and a retired teacher and librarian.
The StoryCorps MobileBooth has arrived in beautiful Canton, NY! We are parked in a great location, right on the Village Green.