Milwaukee – StoryCorps
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Remembering Their Quiet Mornings Together, This Granddaughter Honors Her “Gentle Giant”

Growing up in rural Wisconsin, Libby Stroik remembered she liked to pass her days reading, playing the piano, or writing; finding solace in the peacefulness of these solo activities.

But Libby was adopted into a large family, so it could be hard to find these moments of quiet. 

But there was one person with whom Libby always felt comfortable: her grandfather, Harry Golomski. Visiting him and Grandma on their farm in rural Wisconsin was somewhat of an occasion for Libby as they lived a few hours away.

Harry Golomski with Libby Stroik and one of her siblings in 1991. (Courtesy of Libby Stroik).

Decades later, when Libby sat down with StoryCorps for this conversation, Harry was living in an assisted living facility and losing his memory. So she came alone to honor Harry’s quietly joyful soul, and remember how he always made her feel special.

Toddler Libby Stroik stomping around in her grandpa’s boots in 1993. (Courtesy of Libby Stroik).
Top Photo: A recent photo of Libby Stroik at home in Milwaukee in 2019. (Courtesy of Libby Stroik).

Originally aired August 13, 2021, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Their Love for Each Other Grew into a Love for their Community

In 1997, Sharon Adams felt a call. After 30 years away from her hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she moved back into the house where she grew up. As Sharon was fixing up her family home, she needed an electrician. That’s when she met her now-husband, Larry Adams.

They’ve since completed several projects around the house, but the couple’s biggest undertaking came when they turned to the area outside of their home.

Inspired by Sharon’s memories of her once close-knit community, they established Walnut Way, a nonprofit dedicated to revitalizing their neighborhood.In the two decades since, they’ve built and restored more than 100 homes and transformed over 20 lots into gardens and orchards.

AdamsExtra1_Peach_16x9

At StoryCorps, they remembered how as their relationship grew, so did their involvement in the community.

Top Photo: Sharon and Larry Adams in the house where their nonprofit, Walnut Way, is based. Photo by Adam Carr.
Bottom Photo: Sharon and Larry Adams in front of their peach trees. Photo by Sara Stathas.

Originally aired February 15, 2019, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Jim Krawczyk

Jim Krawczyk recalls a trip he made to New Hampshire in the 1960s to meet reclusive author J.D. Salinger. After being told by Salinger’s ex-wife, “Anything he says, he says in his books,” Jim eventually tracked down Salinger in person and got a handshake.

Originally aired June 8, 2007, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Lyle Link and Carly Dreher

Lyle Link tells his granddaughter Carly Dreher about growing up on his family’s farm and how he couldn’t wait to leave, and the adventures he went on with his wife Marion and the pain of living without her.

Originally aired May 2, 2008, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Tomas Kubrican and Carol Mittlesteadt

Tomas Kubrican had only recently arrived in the United States from Slovakia when he met Carol Mittlesteadt, a waitress at the restaurant where he was a cook. Despite his limited grasp of the English language, Tomas found a way to communicate with the woman who he would one day marry.

Originally aired March 9, 2007, on NPR’s Morning Edition.