As outgoing facilitator Lisa Janicki rambles off towards Lake Champlain, incoming facilitator Maddy Nussbaum arrives to join the MobileBooth East as it bids farewell to Burlington and heads on to Portland, Maine.
(Legal note: The above photo is a reenactment. All rambling by Storycorps staff is conducted safely on the sidewalk.)
That’s one of the quotes in the Participant Comments notebook that we keep outside the Booth– a notion that’s nicely complemented by the world map embedded in the Church Street sidewalk, on which the Airstream is perched.
25 years after taking the stage alongside his hero Pete Seeger (see left), Rik Palieri came to the MobileBooth and shared stories of his adventures as a local folk singer (see right). After the interview Rik and his wife Marianna Holzer also gave us a copy of his autobiography, complete with quite a snazzy autograph:
On November 18, 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court legalized same sex marriage in the state. It didn’t take long for Vermonters Bobbi and Sandi Cote-Whitacre, who had already committed to one another in a civil union ceremony in Vermont, to drive to Provincetown, MA, and get married. However, soon after their wedding day, the Executive branch of Massachusetts government denied to honor same sex marriages of couples who were non-Massachusetts residents. Being the fighters that they are, Bobbi and Sandi contacted GLAD (Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders), and subsequently became the lead plaintiff couple in a case against the State (Cote-Whitacre vs. Dept of Health of Massachusetts). They came to StoryCorps to tell this story, as well as the story of their relationship, which started in 1967. They’re pictured here holding a portrait of themselves from over thirty years ago. At a time when discrimination against gays and lesbians went largely unchallenged, Bobbi and Sandi were giving out copies of this portrait as Christmas presents.
Stephanie and Linden met through the Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS), where Stephanie came as a homeless woman, and Linden as an Americorps volunteer. The work they’ve done together at COTS includes staging a production of the Harold Pinter play, “The Dwarfs.”
Ted Kuhar and Don Boniface, life partners, interviewed each other on Sunday, August 13th. Lucky for us, this was not our only chance to enjoy the company of this delightful pair– Ted’s a volunteer with VPR, and Don lives just on the other side of City Hall.
This August brings the 12th Annual Vermont Latino Festival to Burlington. At the end of one of our shifts, we were delighted to stumble upon an impromptu performance outside City Hall by this Zumba Aerobics troupe. This teaser was a pre-cursor to a Zumba Aerobics workshop, held inside City Hall. Despite much encouragement from these Zumba stars, facilitator John Randolph did not join in, but opted to take pictures instead.
Beth Peloquin is one of our spirited volunteers from Vermont Public Radio. For a recent shift at the StoryCorps table, she brought back-up: her dogs, Rex and Cokie (named after Cokie Roberts). Cokie’s the camera-shy one, in the back.
One of our opening day interviews was Madeleine May Kunin, with her brother, Edgar May. Madeleine is the former governor of Vermont, former US Deputy Secretary of Education under Clinton, and former US Ambassador to Switzerland. Edgar is the former CEO of Special Olympics, and served in the Vermont Senate from 1983 to 1991. In their interview, the pair talked about fleeing their native Switzerland as children in 1940. Here they speak with Andy Potter, from WCAX, Channel 3, Burlington.
As Storycorps bids farewell to Watertown NY and arrives at Burlington City Hall, outgoing facilitator Sarah Kramer gallops off into the sunset, and new facilitator John Randolph prepares to enter the fray.
The MobileBooth East is now stationed in Burlington’s Church Street Marketplace, where a steady stream of Vermonters are stopping by with the warmest of welcomes.