StoryCorps Door-to-Door traveled to the City of Roses to record stories of the area’s teachers for our National Teachers Initiative. While in Portland, StoryCorps Facilitator Gaspar Caro and I spent a day at a middle school operated by Self Enhancement, Inc., which has grown from an after-school basketball camp into an agency that serves thousands of students. The next day, we drove down the street to Jefferson High School, where we spent two days recording the stories of teachers who have participated in the Oregon Writing Project at Lewis & Clark. OWP trains teachers to help their students explore and gain a critical understanding of the world through writing.
Two OWP teachers we met were Chrysanthius Lathan and her former professor, Thomas McKenna. According to Chrysanthius, she began standing up for herself in class as a result of her brief interaction with Tom six years ago.
This July, people from the Warm Springs Indian Reservation and nearby communities came to StoryCorps’ MobileBooth to record their stories and conversations.
We’ve heard from children and elders, cowboys, cowgirls, and ranchers, firemen, teachers, and writers. We’ve heard stories about corralling wild horses and picking huckleberries, stories of journeys and of coming home, of struggles and reconciliation.
HERE ARE YOUR PHOTOS: Feel free to visit StoryCorps’ Flickr album to download and print your portrait, or email your link to anyone you’d like.
Some of these stories will be aired on KWSO, and all will be archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
From the StoryCorps team: THANK YOU! It has been a pleasure and an honor to hear your stories.
A special thanks goes to our hosts, KWSO and the Warm Springs Fire and Safety Department, as well as our community partners, the Art Adventure Gallery, the Des Chutes County Historical Society, the Jefferson County Historical Society, the Jefferson County Library, Kah-Nee-Ta Resort and Casino, the Latino Community Association, Madras High School, Madras Senior Center, the Tribal Youth Program, the Warm Springs Community Action Team, and the Warm Springs Senior Center.
On July 8th, StoryCorps began a new year of the Mobile Tour with its Opening Day in Warm Springs, OR–its first stop on a Native American reservation. The reservation, created in an 1855 treaty, is a confederation of the Warm Springs, Wasco, and Paiute tribes (the latter joined the confederation 1879). In Warm Springs, we partnered with KWSO 91.9 FM Warm Springs Radio, the tribal radio station, with the Warm Springs Fire and Safety Department as our site host. Between fighting range and structure fires, the cadets and firemen and women would often stop by to check out the MobileBooth.
On Opening Day, Sylvester “Sal” Sahme, Director of Business and Economic Development for the tribes, spoke to his friend Adam Haas. He described having two educations: a formal, “white man’s” education, and a cultural “Indian” education.
During his interview, Sal told Adam that he didn’t learn anything at all about his own history until he went to college at the University of Minnesota–his coursework and political activism there inspired him to research the past of his people, and to ask his elders about their history and their religion, the Washat. He said of his religion, and its parameters of behavior: “A lot of that is almost intrinsic. It’s a given that you’re going to grow up with it and be surrounded by it, but there’s no formal process of educating you in it because you’re immersed in the society and the culture…But it wasn’t until Minnesota that I got to really learn about some things that distinctly affect not only me personally, but our people.”
Community is a big buzz word these days. It seems that any people are looking around this rapidly changing world and redefining what community means, and building new ones for themselves. Not only did I notice this poster here in Eugene, but we have also felt very welcomed into the Eugene community by many of our temporary neighbors who have shared with us their stories (and the occasional casserole). As I take a look around and think about who and what make up my own communities, I start to think about who my neighbors are.
Edwin Coleman (L) came in the MobileBooth to speak with his neighbor Jim Newton (R). Edwin’s life is full of stories. He spoke about meeting Robert Kennedy, touring as a bassist with Peter, Paul, and Mary, meeting his wife, and his years as a theater teacher at the University of Oregon. Jim and Edwin also discussed their relationship as neighbors. Luckily, being neighbors oftentimes means more than fences and lawn disputes. Jim and Edwin connected over their love of the written word and their mutual appreciation for the poetry of Langston Hughes. They spoke of the poems “A Dream Deferred,” and “I, Too, Sing America”. Edwin recited the poem, “Cross“, and when he forgot some words, Jim was there to help him out. Their conversations often involve “a glass of wine and poem.” As for their relationship, Edwin said, “It’s been said that fences make good neighbors. I’m glad we don’t have a fence.”
A neighbor may live next door to you, but I love Miriam Webster’s additional definition, “fellow man.” May we all have neighbors who can help us complete poems we forget.
StoryCorps Facilitators Cindy Murphy and Kate Wingate traveled to Portland, Oregon this week to conduct two days of Door-to-Door interviews in partnership with the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Cancer Institute. Ten years after the introduction of a drug used to treat gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), OHSU sponsored StoryCorps’ visit in coordination with their GIST patient awareness week. As OHSU is a major center for the development of this drug, Kate and Cindy had the opportunity to record not only the stories of GIST and CML survivors, but also of the doctors and researchers who helped make their survival possible.
World record holder and phonebook ripper, Edward Charon, demonstrates his skill before participating in StoryCorps.
Facilitator Karen DiMattia is dwarfed by the redwoods in northern California.
Facilitator Sarah Kramer, a born and raised New Yorker, becomes a tree hugger.
En route to see the redwood forest, Mobilebooth facilitators stopped to check out the “burl” furniture and art gallery in Kerby, OR. (A burl is a large rounded outgrowth on the trunk or branch of a tree). If you’re ever driving on the redwood highway, it’s worth a stop.
We’re not the only Airstream in Oregon!
Facilitator Karen DiMattia reverted to her college days as a rock star and partied with Elvis in downtown Ashland, OR.
Sarah Kramer transformed into a medieval superhero, on the lookout for STORIES!
It was a family affair at the mobilebooth when John and Marguerite Black, married for 72 years, were interviewed in Medford, OR.
On a day off, mobilebooth facilitator Sarah Kramer traveled solo to one of the wonders of the world: Crater Lake, the deepest lake in America created by a volcano that blew its top 6,600 years ago. Her fellow facilitator, Karen DiMattia, stayed in bed.
The mobilebooth is parked across the street from Medford’s new library.
Jacksonville, OR is a small town near Medford, where the booth is parked. You can see remnants of its history as a busy gold mining community.
The western mobilebooth travels to southern Oregon. We got a bird’s eye view of the landscape from Table Rock.
We enjoy running into fellow mobilers.
We spent a day recording the stories of inmates at the Oregon State Penitentiary.
The mobilebooth team couldn’t resist stopping at Burgerville for huckleberry milkshakes. Only in Oregon!
The mobilebooth reaches the pacific coast.