On Saturday, we said goodbye to Providence and all of the great stories we heard there. Our last day of interviews was a full one. In addition to being visited by a local Congressman and his mother, and a State Representative and friend, we bid farewell to the city with some other great Rhode Island stories, like these:
Husband and wife, Doug(R) and Patty(L), came into the booth to talk about their
relationship. After getting married right out of college, their
adventures began during their honeymoon in France. When Patty fell ill,
they had to change their travel plans, but their luggage arrived in the
States before they did. However, they were able to rescue it before the
airport personnel were set to destroy all abandoned luggage. After 10
years of marriage, Doug and Patty discovered they were going to have a
baby. Due to the difficulties of her birth, Doug believes that he and
Patty had a guardian angel looking over their shoulder the day their
daughter was born.
Lillian (middle) brought her mother Iris (R) and friend, Janet (L), to the StoryCorps booth to have one of their classic conversations. The women told of a fool-proof
way to tell whether a couple is really in love: look at the way they eat.
If a couple sit across from one another and watches their significant
other chew, they made not stay together for long. However, if they sit
next to each other, they really love each other and have a good chance of
On their day off, facilitators Naomi Greene and Francesca Levy took a morning hike in the trails surrounding the Audobon Society of Rhode Island headquarters. It took a little doing to find their way there, which should have tipped the ladies off that the theme of the day would be "getting lost". The Audobon Society of Rhode Island has a number of different preserves, and a wide variety of flora and fauna for the intrepid explorer to spot. Naomi and Francesca were just hoping to take in some fresh air and green space after days spent in the cozy airstream at Burnside Park. They chose the Powder Mill Ledges Wildlife Refuge for their walk. Audobon Society staff described the trail options and provided a map, and your hearty facilitators were off. They started off following signs for the "blue trail."
At a clearing, Francesca studied the map.
In the end, the facilitators made it out in one piece, ready for lunch and a shower, and happy to have gotten a taste of the great outdoors in Rhode Island.
Mobile Booth East is proud to welcome our newest facilitator, Francesca Levy. After a very early train ride from NewYork City, Francesca arrived in Providence ready to tackle the road. After just one day, the booth has become her second home.
StoryCorps bids a fond farewell to veteran mobiler, Nick Pumilia, who agreed to tackle to road once more in Providence, RI. We thank Nick for all his hard work and dedication.
On a tip, provided by David Reville and his wife Tina, co-facilitators Nick Pumilia
and Naomi Greene head out out of the city for some home-grown
handpicked strawberries. Naomi (pictured above) searches vainly for a
good spot to start picking.
Naomi quickly fills her bin with delicious vine-ripened berries. She had to really pack them in so they would all fit.
Nick proudly displays the fruits of his labor (bad pun intended).
Father’s Day brought in a handful of father/child pairings, including Jonathan Pitts-Wiley and his father, Ricardo. Jonathan came in to ask Ricardo about his experience in the theatre, and how acting has shaped his life. Ricardo founded the Mixed Magic Theatre with his wife, Bernadet, and currently serves as the artistic director. Mixed Magic’s message is, in part, to "create new works and performing arts experiences that bring people together to share their history." The two also talked about their relationship, and what being father and son means to each of them. At the end of the interview, Ricardo told Jonathan that "families need to be on great journeys together, and realize that the leader of the family changes over time."
Another family came in for a surprise Father’s Day interview. David Reville, former Director of StoryCorps, was interviewed by his wife Tina Tryforos and their five year-old son, Eli. Tina considered purchasing David a boat, but figured that a StoryCorps interview would last longer. After a breakfast of over-sized pancakes, Tina and Eli put David in the car and surprised him with a trip to the very airstream he helped design. Tina and Eli interviewd him about some StoryCorps history, but more importantly, about the joys of being a father. David sang the "Long, long time ago song," better known as "American Pie," by Don McLean, which is one of Eli’s favorite lullabyes. Thank you to the Revilles for not only sharing their stories, but also for showing the facilitors great hospitalty in Providence and a great list of fun places to go.
It’s been one festival after another here in Providence, RI. First it was Portugal, now it’s Pride, as Providence holds its annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life in Rhode Island, hosted by RI Pride. Burnside Park was full of vendors and surrounded by food stands, and the nearby outdoor skating rink featured a performance space.
Burnside Park, with vendors.
Above, facilitator Naomi Greene enjoys the music.
Providence is not only a place for great festivities, but also a place where great friendships are born. Candy (right) and Claudia (left) have been friends for over ten years, despite racial, social and economic differences. Candy describes herself as “a victim to creator” who, after surviving abuse and crack addiction, went on to found Destiny House, a non-profit dedicated to helping women of color who are victims of domestic violence. Both women have overcome obstacles, but have supported and empowered each other throughout the years. What is the key to a great friendship? Both Candy and Claudia agree the answer is honesty.
Sunday June 10th marked the 30th Anniversary of the Day of Portugal Parade and festival in Providence, RI. Scott MacKay, of The Providence Journal, writes: “Rhode Island has been a destination for Portuguese immigrants since the 17th century. While Portuguese Rhode Islanders are proud of their contributions to the state and of assimilation as Americans, the links to the old country are still strong for many of the roughly 100,000 state citizens who listed Portuguese as their ethnicity in the 2000 U.S. Census.” (Read the entire article here).
The parade started just as we stepped out of the booth for lunch, and wound around two blocks before participants congregated in an ice skating rink attached to Burnside Park.
Here, an unidentified civilian looks on.
After dancing through the streets, members of an elite dance troupe take a break and watch as the festival unfolds.
After a short, rainy drive from Cape Cod, the booth opened in Providence, RI, to incredible sunshine. We’re parked downtown along Burnside Park and across the street from Kennedy Plaza, the main bus depot in Providence.