The 2011 Summer National Senior Games came to Houston, TX, last month, and thanks to Humana, StoryCorps Door-to-Door recorded the stories of athletes, caregivers, and the Houston community for ten days. In a MobileBooth parked at the George R. Brown Convention Center, the term senior was redefined. We met 93-year-old triathletes and 70-year-old competitors who began their sports at age 60. The Summer National Senior Games are open to adults, age 50 and up, who qualify for their sports in the States and Canada. Several athletes stopped by to share their stories after seeing the Booth parked near the Athlete Village, and we were excited when Patsy Lillehei was one of them (pictured in the first slide below).
After a long, long, long drive through the peaceful prairie of the Midwest, Mobile West headed south to the great state of Texas. Finally, we pulled into downtown Houston to begin our first Historias stop of the Mobile Tour! We will be parked at Discovery Green Park until December 19th recording the stories of Houston’s Latino/a community. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, some of our first storytellers came to share their favorite holiday foods:
Lizbeth Colocho, 9 (left), and Kierra Palmer, 9 (right), both love helping their mothers cook for the holidays. Lizbeth’s family tradition is making tamales for la Navidad. They remind her of her grandmother who lives in El Salvador. Kierra helps her mother make crawfish dressing every Thanksgiving. Kierra has helped her mother make crawfish dressing forever — that is, since she was seven years old. It takes a really, really, really long time to make–Kierra was emphatic. More than a hour!
We arrived in Houston just in time for some cold weather and an ice storm. Here, StoryCorps facilitators Emily Janssen and Andrew Wilson take a chilly rest after eating participant-recommended tacos. Inside, we practiced our Spanish and saw this huge pot of tasty food:
StoryCorps participants Guy and Christi Weismantel join their StoryCorps facilitator, Emily Janssen, in giving their StoryCorps experience a thumbs up.
StoryCorps participant Jessie Essie and her grandson Janathain listen to some stories before coming to share their own.
For about $15, Emily got more than a taste of a Gulf Coast delightÃ³our lovely waiter at the Cajun Greek Diner brought her 3lb. of these ugly ocean dwellers, with butter sauce, of course. When’s the last time you pulled the head right off your dinner?
On our way to Galveston last Wednesday, we decided to detour at the Space Center of “Houston, we have a problem” fame. Man, these shuttles are going to my head!
No Appointment? No Problem!
On last Saturday, StoryCorps wasn’t the only recording project in town. Our gracious host and sponsor, KUHF, offered Houstonians a chance to record their thoughts and feelings about their beloved hometown. They had two booths in which individuals or couples could come in and record their answers to such questions as: “If you were mayor for a day, what would you do?” They also served free popcorn, offered arts & crafts for the kiddies and gave out some nice swag. Selected interviews will air on KUHF’s “Houston, One Minute at A Time.” Cool, huh?
We’ve made it to Houston!! We’re parked in front of the super popular Houston Museum of Natural Science, which, reportedly, is the 3rd most visited museum in the United States.
LIONS AND TIGERS AND INSECTS, OH MY!!
We met many fine people that first day–the mayor’s wife and mother, the kid curator of the Houston Museum of Natural Science and later that night, Jimbob, a large, as yet unidentified insect that is apparently attracted to light and can both jump and fly. He flew into our booth and we didn’t have the heart (or the guts) to kill him. He comes and goes as he pleases. Say hi to Jimbob!! Do you know the name of this insect? Write back and let us know.