St. Louis – StoryCorps

Balancing Risk: Doctor Makes Tough Calls Between COVID-19 And Family

Dr. Joseph Kras works in hospice and palliative care in St. Louis, Missouri. After long days treating many COVID-19 patients, he goes home to his 18-year-old daughter Sophie, who has a condition that makes her vulnerable to the virus.

They spoke through StoryCorps Connect about the tough choices the coronavirus pandemic demands. 

Top Photo: Dr. Joseph Kras and his daughter, Sophie Kras, at their StoryCorps interview in Olivette, Missouri on June 13th, 2020. Photo courtesy of the Kras family.

Originally aired June 26, 2020, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Five Years Later, Two Ferguson Protestors Reflect on the Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photo that Captured their Anguish — and Connection

Five years ago, when news of Michael Brown Jr.’s police shooting death spread, two strangers made their way to the Ferguson Police Department to protest. A local photographer, Robert Cohen, captured the moment.

In the photo, a young African American man’s face is twisted in anguish, tears streaming down his cheeks. Next to him, an older woman extends her hand to his shoulder in comfort.

The photo would go on the win the Pulitzer Prize, along with 18 other photos taken by photographers with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Earlier this summer, those two strangers, Jamell Spann and Elizabeth Vega, came to StoryCorps to remember that pivotal moment, and the friendship that grew out of it.


Top photo: Jamell Spann and Elizabeth Vega are photographed on Monday, August 11, 2014 as police officers in riot gear clear demonstrators from the area surrounding the Ferguson Police Department. Hundreds had arrived to protest the police shooting of Michael Brown Jr. AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Robert Cohen
Bottom photo: Elizabeth Vega and Jamell Spann at their StoryCorps interview in St. Louis, Missouri on June 27, 2019. By Dupe Oyebolu for StoryCorps.

Originally aired on August 9, 2019 on NPR’s Morning Edition. 

Michael Brown Jr.’s Sisters Remember Their Brother on the Fifth Anniversary of His Police Shooting Death

Five years have passed since the death of Michael Brown Jr. on August 9, 2014. 

He was killed in Ferguson, Missouri by police officer Darren Wilson and lay in the street where he was shot for four hours, sparking protests across the country. 

In the media frenzy that followed, few people heard the story of Michael Brown Jr. from those who knew him.

Earlier this year, two of his sisters, Triniya and Trinity Walker, ages 17 and 18, came to StoryCorps in St. Louis to remember him.


Top photo: Trinity and Triniya Walker pose at their StoryCorps interview in St. Louis, Missouri on June 27, 2019. By Dupe Oyebolu for StoryCorps.
Middle photo: Michael Brown Jr. poses in his graduation cap and gown in March 2014, several months before his death. By Elcardo Anthony.

A Father-Daughter Beatboxing Duo on Making Music

Ed Cage and Nicole Paris are a father-daughter beatboxing duo.

Back during the 1980s, Ed immersed himself in the St. Louis hip hop scene and fell in love with beatboxing. Fast-forward a couple decades and that love is now firmly planted in 26-year-old Nicole as well.

At StoryCorps, they talk about how it all began.

Top photo: Ed Cage and Nicole Paris at StoryCorps. Today, the beatboxing duo travels the world performing on stage together.

Originally aired July 13, 2018, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Shane Fairchild and Sayer Johnson

blue-and-shaneShane Fairchild (above left), a transgender man, lived with his wife, Blue Bauer, a transgender woman (pictured at left), for almost six years.

Blue transitioned when she was 54 years old. She and Shane met at a bar and were inseparable. But then Blue got lung cancer. She died on April 12, 2013.

Shane sat down with their friend, Sayer Johnson (top right), to remember Blue.

Originally aired January 25, 2015, on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday.

Photo Courtesy of Shane Fairchild.

Meaghan Starkloff Breitenstein and Colleen Kelly Starkloff

In his early 20s, Max Starkloff was in a near-fatal car accident, which left him quadriplegic and living in a nursing home.

One day he came across a young woman who worked there, named Colleen. At StoryCorps in St. Louis, Colleen Kelly Starkloff (right) sat down with her daughter, Meaghan Starkloff Breitenstein (left), to remember Max.


Originally aired January 16, 2015, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Top photo of Max Starkloff courtesy of Colleen Kelly Starkloff.

Jerald Collman

Jerald Collman, who served in Vietnam, remembers receiving the bodies of fallen soldiers as an Army Graves Registration collection point officer.

Sarafina Viviano and Dana Viviano

Ten-year-old Sarafina Viviano asks her mother, Dana, about what motivated her to become a cancer nurse, and about her relationships with her patients.

Originally aired August 7, 2009, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Tina Nelson and Dottie Copeland

Dottie Copeland tells her daughter Tina Nelson about her breast cancer diagnosis, how she decided to fight the disease like Sylvester Stallone in Rocky, and how beating it changed her life.

Originally aired June 12, 2009, on NPR’s Morning Edition.