Hartford Archives - StoryCorps

A Daughter Comes to Terms with Her Father’s Time in Prison

In this conversation recorded in Hartford, Connecticut, Abby Gagliardo sat down with her dad, Ralph, to talk about a confusing time for their family.

Abby knew her dad was sent to prison for larceny when she was a kid. But she didn’t understand why. 

When they came to StoryCorps, Ralph had been out of prison for five years, and Abby came to understand more fully what happened.


Photo: Ralph Gagliardo, holding his daughter, Abby, the day after she was born in 2000. Courtesy Ralph Gagliardo.

In 2018, Abby is 17 and Ralph has been sober since 2012. He is also pursuing his bachelor’s degree, with plans to attend law school.

Ralph and Abby’s conversation was recorded through the StoryCorps Justice Project, which preserves and amplifies the stories of people who have been directly impacted by mass incarceration. Original support for the Justice Project was provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Safety and Justice Challenge, #RethinkJails and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation.

Originally aired April, 20, 2018, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Roberta Vincent and Robert Howard II

Many people come to StoryCorps to tell the stories that have shaped their lives. Robert Howard’s story starts during the Vietnam war.

Robert grew up in Norwich, Connecticut in the shadow of his father, a larger-than-life character and celebrated athlete in town who was killed in action during the Vietnam War in 1969.

When Robert came to StoryCorps with his mother, Roberta Vincent, he spoke about saying goodbye to his dad.


This interview was recorded in partnership with the Otis Library in Norwich, Connecticut. The Otis Library’s recordings were made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Originally aired May 19, 2017, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Bottom photo: A picture from a local newspaper of Robert Howard II accepting the medals awarded to his father posthumously the year of his death, while his mother Roberta Vincent looks on. Courtesy of Roberta Vincent.

StoryCorps Legacy: John Carlson

“I think one of the happiest moments is truly when I got my Star Scout.”

John Carlson recorded this Legacy interview with his mother, Patricia Carlson, in partnership with Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut. In this clip, John talks about his involvement in Boy Scouts and what he is most proud of.

Listen to an excerpt from John’s interview:

Click here to download a PDF transcript of this conversation.

lsk000730_sta1Recorded in January 2014, John discusses the support he received from his Boy Scout troop during his medical treatments, “They don’t do anything if I’m not able to do it. They want me to be able to do everything they are able to do. And it really means a lot.”

He also speaks about becoming friends with Dr. Christopher Carroll, a physician at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and getting to know Dr. Carroll’s children. John recalls how playing video games with Dr. Carroll’s son before his cancer treatments has helped him feel okay, “That’s one of the things I’m able to look forward to and make it possible for me to do this.”

At the end of the clip, John talks about how Dr. Carroll is also a Scoutmaster in the same council as John, and that one of his happiest moments since his diagnosis was when Dr. Carroll presented him with the Star Scout rank, “I was able to go to my troop meeting and have it presented to me. And I don’t remember a time since I got diagnosed that I was so happy. I plan on becoming an Eagle Scout and choosing Dr. Carroll as the person to present me with my Eagle Scout badge in my ceremony.”

Click here to learn more about Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

Click here to learn more about StoryCorps Legacy.

Disclaimer: All material within the StoryCorps collection is copyrighted by StoryCorps. StoryCorps encourages use of material on this site by educators and students without prior permission, provided appropriate credit is given. This interview has not been fact-checked, and may contain sensitive personal information about living persons.

Starr Cookman and Kylee Moreland Fenton

Starr Cookman (left) and Kylee Moreland Fenton (right) have been best friends since they were children—even trying to become blood sisters. And today, they remain just as close, living on the same street as each other with their families.

Kylee is a nurse and soon after Starr’s son Rowan was born, he began breathing rapidly and spitting up food. This concerned Kylee and she recommended getting him to a doctor immediately. It turned out there was something wrong with his heart and he was rushed into surgery, saving his life.

At StoryCorps, Starr and Kylee discuss the bond between them that has only grown stronger over time.

Originally aired October 18, 2013, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Mark Sullivan

Mark Sullivan remembers summers working on tobacco farms in Connecticut during the late 1950s, and the lessons learned from doing this backbreaking work.

Originally aired July 11, 2008, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Gloria Mengual and Charles Gregory

Gloria Mengual tells her partner, Charles Gregory, about growing up with epilepsy and her family’s strong reactions to her episodes. “My mother would often be praying over me or putting holy water on my forehead. She was determined to find me the best in terms of medicine.”

Originally aired July 20, 2007, on NPR’s Morning Edition. 

Maureen Krekian, Lynn Everett, and Joanne Krekian

Maureen Krekian (center) talks with her daughters, Lynn Everett (left) and Joanne Krekian (right), about a deadly fire that struck a circus she was attending in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1944 when she was 11 years old. The fire claimed 167 lives, about one-third of them children.

Originally broadcast on July 6, 2007, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Stacy Cooper and Karen Smith

Stacy Cooper (left) and Karen Smith (right) talk about Anna, the girl Karen adopted after Stacy gave birth to her. They agreed to an open adoption and together they discuss how the process began, what has occurred between them since, and their hopes for Anna in the future.

Originally aired May 18, 2007, on NPR’s Morning Edition.