Micanopy, Florida is a small town in Alachua County, just outside Gainesville, and is known for being the home of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of the young adult novel, The Yearling. It is also the current home of Ginny Beam, another woman devoted to her love of storytelling. Ginny was interviewed by her friend, Sally Stein, during StoryCorps Door-to-Door’s visit to the Alachua County Library District in Gainesville.
This trip was a result of the Alachua library’s being awarded the National Medal by the Institute of Museum and Library Services as one of ten outstanding institutions in the country that excel in community service and outreach. Dedicated librarians like as Ginny are the reason libraries like this thrive and remain a hub for all members of the community.
Alisa Guthrie, 30, brought her husband Christopher Cogle, 36, to the StoryCorps MobileBooth and interviewed him about living with Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy.
Christopher explained that as a student in medical school he learned he could die suddenly of his type of muscular dystrophy. However, thanks to his heart donor, he has about another 30 years to raise a family with Alisa and continue putting his medical expertise to work with his cancer patients.
When asked about meeting Alisa for the first time, Christopher recalled, “I was instantly in love with you. I actually felt like it was irresponsible of me because I didn’t want you to hang your hat on someone who wasn’t going to live.”
Alisa assured Christopher that she wouldn’t want it any other way responding. “I don’t see it as a burden. I feel like I live fully and wholly with you. I thank you for that.”
Sometimes people have the misconception that StoryCorps is just for “old people.” While it is priceless to record the memories of those older and wiser than us, it can also be equally valuable to record the voices and thoughts of the young. We believe everyone has a story to tell, and sharing a personal story can be worthwhile for both the young and the young at heart. 10-year-old Jose and his mom, Yvette (who wouldn’t divulge her age), came into the StoryCorps booth in Gainesville after spending a morning at the Alachua County Public Library.
This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.- Elmer Davis
On November 11, the MobileEast team facilitated a very special Door-to-Door recording at the VA Medical Center in Lake City, Florida. I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that it was the first Veterans Day when I have ever done anything to honor our servicemen and women. But having spent the day with a few of them, I now feel committed to recognize their bravery, sacrifice, and their stories every year.
At the VA Medical Center I heard the story of former World War II POW Arthur Chadwick and the emotional first visit that Robert “Bobcat” Pate made to the Wall, years after his own return from Vietnam and his long journey out of homelessness. I also heard stories from Rob Marietta and Paul Gibson who credit their friendship and their survival to their strong faith in God. Of course, anyone familiar with StoryCorps knows that you do not have to go to a VA hospital in order to hear the stories of men and women who have made sacrifices for our country through their involvement in the military. We hear from fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, daughters and sons, and sisters and brothers who have all been affected in some way by their own service or the service of a loved one. Sometimes the first conversation these men and women have with loved ones about their experiences during times of war take place in a StoryCorps booth. No matter what those conversations reveal, what pride or pain, what sadness or joy, it is an honor and a privilege to help those conversations take place.
The Jewish community in Florida is largely stereotyped as a legion of Northeastern bubbies and zeydies transplanted to the warm, south Florida climate. However, the swampy wilds of north Florida have been home to a growing Jewish community for hundreds of years.
The first few weeks in Gainesville have been eventful! We had a great opening day on the University of Florida campus that was the subject of quite a bit of coverage from the local press. Opening day was followed by the Gator Growl and the thorough trouncing of the Kentucky Wildcats by the Florida Gators (Kentucky 5, Florida 63! CHOMP!). After a week of fun on campus MobileEast moved to the Alachua County Public Library on October 31, just in time for Halloween. Thanks to the Alachua County Commissioners, the holiday is now also known as “StoryCorps WUFT-FM Day.”
Alachua County Commissioner Cynthia Moore Chestnut did the honors by announcing the official proclamation before stepping into the booth with her son Christopher.
“From the moment it begins beating until the moment it stops, the human heart works tirelessly. In an average lifetime, the heart beats more than two and a half billion times, without ever pausing to rest.“ -The Human Heart
“What did it feel like touching death?” Alisa Guthrie asks her husband, Dr. Christopher Cogle.
During his medical fellowship, Chris remembers walking quickly with other fellows from a lecture hall to the hospital. Chris had a pacemaker. “Being shocked by a pacemaker feels like Mike Tyson or Mohommad Ali coming up to you and punching you in the chest. It’s so powerful it drops you to your knees. It could happen at any time.”
Gator Nation: ?g?-t?r ?n?-sh?n noun. 1) a community of people composed of multi-ethnic, religious, political, socio-economic backgrounds that are bound together by a mutual love of University of Florida football, tailgating, Florida sunshine, and all things blue and orange. 2) a collection of folks who know how to have a good time and perhaps how to do a keg stand.
I am sitting in the booth on our first full day of interviews. The sun is shining, as it does constantly here in lovely Florida,? and a slight breeze is blowing when two UF students walk past the booth. This is what I hear: