“I Knew At That Moment That I Was Hooked:” Reflections On Love And Support
Julianne Larsen was diagnosed with schizophrenia in her early twenties, and she lived for a long time feeling alone in her struggle.
Until one evening, in 2008, when she walked into a support group for people living with mental illness in Logan, Utah. She laid eyes on Mar Fenix Nauta, who had been attending these meetings to manage her bipolar disorder and PTSD.
They came to StoryCorps in May 2023 to remember that night.
Photo: Julianne Larsen and Mar Fenix Nauta at their StoryCorps interview in Logan, Utah on May 3, 2023. By Delilah Righter for StoryCorps.
This broadcast is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Originally aired June 2, 2023, on NPR’s Morning Edition.
Saboor Sahely and Jessica Sahely
Saboor Sahely grew up in eastern Afghanistan’s Laghman province. He remembers the village in which he was raised as being like a big family, with neighbors coming and going freely from each other’s homes, sharing food, and attending one another’s celebrations. On hot summer nights they would sleep on their roofs entertaining each other with stories late into the night. That is also where he first heard about America, planting a desire to one day come to the United States.
In 1978, a long Afghani civil war began, and Saboor’s family, fearing that he would be unable to soon leave the country, urged him to go to the United States. He had already been accepted to Utah State University, and when he arrived in New York City, he only had with him a suitcase, the phone number of a relative he had never met, and a few hundred dollars. He used the money to purchase a bus ticket to Logan, Utah.
In Logan, he got a job as at a restaurant as a dishwasher and quickly moved up to cook, eventually becoming a district manager. But the restaurant ran into financial problems and closed. Saboor used the money he had saved to purchase the building, and in 1983 he opened Angie’s Restaurant—named after his then 2-year-old daughter.
Starting 26 years ago, Angie’s Restaurant began offering free meals to the Logan community on Thanksgiving. Saboor came to StoryCorps with his younger daughter, Jessica, to talk about his life in Afghanistan, and how the lessons he learned continue to inspire him.
Originally aired November 25, 2016, on NPR’s Morning Edition.
Jean Thackeray and Susan Thackeray
Jean Thackeray (left) tells her daughter-in-law Susan about a German POW who worked on her father’s Utah farm during World War II. She recounts coming across him crying over his lost Bible one day, and after she found it for him in the field, he carved her a necklace which she still has today as a thank-you.
Originally aired October 12, 2007, on NPR’s Morning Edition.