This June, the MobileBooth is recording stories in Indianapolis, thanks to local radio station partner WFYI.We will be recording voices and stories of various Indianapolis neighborhoods until June 30, 2012. You can make a reservation to record by clicking here and tune in to WFYI 90.1 FM during the summer to hear stories from the Indy community. (more…)
In Indianapolis, Indiana, Dan Taylor, who is affiliated with Teach Plus Indianapolis, recorded a StoryCorps interview with Aaron Wallace, 13. Aaron was Dan’s student at the Tindley School last school year. At Tindley, Aaron and other students attended Saturday school with Dan whenever he thought they needed extra attention.
Dan and Aaron talked about Dan’s teaching, which Aaron says is “strict but fun.” Dan confessed that he tries to emulate the teaching style of his 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Lewis, who sang and danced in her classroom. Dan says that with Mrs. Lewis, “every day in the classroom felt like an educational Mardi Gras.”
Toward the end of their interview, Aaron told his former teacher of the difference his methods have made in his life. Aaron used to have trouble with reading and writing, but teachers like Dan have helped him make progress. Aaron recalled Saturdays spent in Dan’s classroom playing learning games, which have fueled his desire to become an engineer. Dan told Aaron that “caring and work make a great classroom.”
Tom and Jean Gaunt recorded a StoryCorps interview in Indianapolis, Indiana, in partnership with The New Teacher Project and Indianapolis Teaching Fellows. Jean shared that teaching had been a lifelong interest she put off while raising a family. At 55 years old, though, she realized that her experience raising their children and foster children was a crucial asset in her goal of becoming a teacher.
When Jean was accepted by ITF, she worried that she would not connect with her mostly African-American, special education students. However, during her first year year in the classroom, Jean quickly learned the power of playfulness on her students.
If you have ever been fascinated with Little House on the Prairie, wanted to live on the open frontier or wondered how early American settlers lived, then the Conner Prairie Interactive History Park in Fishers, IN, is the place for you. With its innovative approach to preserving and sharing United States history, Conner Prairie is a much deserving recipient of a 2011 National Medal from the Institute for Museum and Library Services. My co-facilitator and I had the pleasure of visiting Fisher, IN, to record the stories of the staff and volunteers who make Conner Prairie more than just a place where history comes alive. Check out the slide show below for photos from our trip.
On June 6 and 7, 2008 more than 10 inches of rain fell in parts of central and southern Indiana. The rain overwhelmed the already saturated soil and quickly caused rivers and streams to rise dramatically.
The Columbus Regional Hospital was hit especially hard as the usually calm Haw Creek couldn’t handle the huge amount of runoff that was flowing from the north. The entire basement and part of the first floor of the hospital was flooded.
Power, computers, and phones for the whole building were quickly knocked out. Soon after, the decision was made to evacuate the 157 patients at the hospital.
Video via YouTube
Last week, to help commemorate the one year anniversary of the flood, StoryCorps Door-to-Door recorded interviews with hospital employees who were there on the night of the flood and participated in the ongoing recovery, cleanup, and rebuilding efforts.
When David Lenart, Director of Facilities and Materials Management, arrived at the hospital, he said, “it looked like a bad movie. Six hours felt like three days.”
After the patients were taken to safety at other area hospitals, the recovery and cleanup began. Don Michael, a hospital trustee remembered: âEveryone made it up as we went along. There were disaster plans in place, but none contemplated losing the whole hospital for months.”
The hospital re-opened, after a challenging summer, on October 27, 2008. Some of the hospital facilities are still in temporary buildings, and memories of the flood are just beginning to fade, but the community and the hospital have definitely come away stronger from the experience. Nearly everyone recounted the way the disaster brought staff closer together and demonstrated what was truly possible to achieve together.
Below are the hospital employees and community leaders who shared their stories last week. You can read more about the rebuilding efforts and see photos and video on the Columbus Regional Hospital Recovery site.
Besides boasting the spirit of the Fighting Irish, South Bend, Indiana, is teeming with stories and history in its branch of Memorial Health Hospital. Last week StoryCorps Door-to-Door’s team was hosted for two days by the Memorial Health Foundation in the hospital’s Health Discovery Center, where Facilitators witnessed conversations between pairs of the facility’s staff. Doctors, nurses, loading personnel, security guards, and St. Joseph County Health Department representatives described their work experiences at Memorial Health, shared their memories of South Bend from the 1950s to the present, and discussed solutions to the leading health issues of their community.
above: The Booth takes a final lap around Monument Circle before our ace driver Rocky tows it south to Louisville.
below: some last looks at downtown Indianapolis.
Storycorps had a great September in Naptown, and we echo the sentiments on the giant Chinese food takeout carton pictured above! On to Kentucky!
Here are some of our favorite shots of StoryCorps participants who came by to record an interview this September in Indianapolis:
Pictured last is the Thompson family: Robert, Sloane, and pint-size participant Matthew Thompson, two months. Waking up just as his parents’ interview was finishing up, Matthew was able to dispense some wise gurgles to his future self, who will no doubt appreciate it!
On their day off, facilitators Yuki & Quentin took a Segway tour of Indianapolis’ Canal Walk, courtesy of our generous partners at WFYI. Indy’s canals are the real deal, complete with gondoliers, carp, and beautiful bridges.
Reverend Chen (left) came to the Booth on Monday with his son, Paul, to talk about surviving the 228 Incident of 1947 in Taiwan. He had lost his voice that morning but managed to half-whisper a remarkable life story. He was 19 when Taiwanese University students rebelled against the Chinese Nationalist forces that had been granted control (by the UN) of Taiwan. His older brother was one of the students who took back control of the of the island on February 28th (aka 228 Massacre), and continued to keep power for one month. There was a lot of bloodshed, but Chen described the day they took power of their own island as a “miracle.” When the Chinese military came back in after several weeks, Chen’s brother and fellow students hid in the mountains with the aboriginal people, who agreed to protect them. The Chinese established martial law and Chen, who worked for the weather bureau, was arrested and locked up in an old Buddhist temple, (left over from the years of the Japanese occupation,) which had been converted into a prison. He was held there for 50 days along with hundreds of others, many of whom were lawyers and academics, and tortured for 6 hours every day. On the 31st day of imprisonment, Chen said he had a vision of Christ telling him he would be released in 19 days. His name was called on the 19th day, and though most prisoners were shot when their name was called, Chen was set free. After his release he dedicated his life to spreading Christianity. He came to America in the 1950s and was one of the first Asians to minister in churches in the rural Midwest. Despite everything he had been through, Chen was one of the most loving and sweet-natured people to come to the Booth that day. At 79, Chen is retired but works everyday as the Chaplain in the Indianapolis Airport. Say Hi to Rev. Chen if you fly into Indy!
The sandwich Yuki ate:
The stand where it was made:
And the he trophies it had won:
Well played, sandwich, well played.
We started off in Indy with a breakfast hosted by our parter radio station, WFYI and friends at the Indianapolis Historical Society where the booth is parked. Our first participant of the day was Dorothy Mengering, mother of a certain successful former Indianapolis weatherman who has done pretty well for himself in StoryCorps’ native NYC. Dorothy did a very sweet interview with her granddaughter Bryn, who grew up visiting Dorothy in her home in Indy’s Broad Ripple neighborhood. Bryn learned how to can veggies from her grandmother at the end of every summer. It was a great opening day–here’s to a month full of Indy stories!
StoryCorps participant and dear friend Fred Holdridge came by the booth this evening while we were cleaning and preparing for tomorrow’s journey to
Laura, a local organic farmer, dropped off fresh produce at the booth. She and facilitator Brett Myers pose with a yellow cucumber, which was later eaten with lunch.
With skillful driving from StoryCorps Advance Coordinator Zac Barr, we eased by this potential peril unscaithed and into our beautiful home on the Statehouse grounds in Columbus, Ohio.