Arlene Yousey (left), StoryCorps participant in Watertown, is the author of "Strangers and Pilgrims," a book that documents the history of the Mennonite Church in Lewis County. She was interviewed by Bernice Zehr (right) about the experience of writing the book, and about the influences that led her to do so.
The Antique Boat Museum, in Clayton, NY, was very helpful to MobileBooth East during our stop in Watertown. Not only did they invite a number of "River Rats" to participate in StoryCorps interviews, they also gave us a lovely tour of the St. Lawrence River and the 1000 islands. Pictured is facilitator Lisa Janicki contemplating whether or not to take the advice of a particpant and drink the water straight from the river. (She opted not to).
Warren Mathis and Chester Kwasniewski are long-time residents of the Tug Hill region of New York State, and they’re both loggers/ lumberers. They came to the Booth to share their experiences of logging (and living) in the area.
The Watertown Farmers Market brings a lot of foot traffic by the MobileBooth each Wednesday. These lucky youngsters got a chance to listen to a few stories and be outfitted with StoryCorps stickers. In the background you can see our trusty volunteer, Susan Sweeney-Smith of North Country Public Radio, who encouraged them to start documenting their family stories!
At the western edge of the Adirondacks, where the mountains become foothills, is a town called Croghan. It’s one of the many gems of Lewis County.
On the main street, you’ll find some enduring storefronts, including that of Croghan Bologna (though we cannot attest, apparently Crogan produces some mean lunch meat), and this soda fountain, lovingly preserved.
Captain Honk "Damn" Johnson is a found-object sculptor, a fisherman, and a demolition derby driver (ergo the name ‘Honk’). He and his friend, photographer Gary Walts, came to the booth and discussed their artistic processes, their ways of seeing the world, and Kafka, among other things. That’s Gary on the left, and Honk on the right.
Captain Honk presented facilitators Sarah Kramer and Lisa Janicki with signed copies of demolition derby posters from the recent Jefferson County Fair. This made Sarah and Lisa deliriously happy. In the background, that’s Jim Bettinger (Eliza’s dad!), StoryCorps Advance Coordinator Eliza Bettinger (she popped by for a visit), and NCPR Program Director Jackie Sauter.
Anna Wagler came to the booth today to discuss her 97 years on this planet. She was interviewed by her daughter, Lois Zehr. After their interview, the pair spoke with a reporter from a local TV station.
The MobileBooth will be parked in front of the beautiful Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library, through the end of July.
MobileBooth East landed in Watertown, NY today– the second stop in our North Country visit.