New York City Archives - StoryCorps
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Helping The Dogs Of Chernobyl

When the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, exploded in 1986, dozens died, and hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated from a 1,000 square mile radius. 

But people’s pets were impacted as well. Dogs, cats, and other domestic animals were killed or abandoned, and for more than 30 years those that survived have continued to reproduce in this radioactive forest. 

Stephen Quandt, an animal welfare worker in New York City, came to StoryCorps to talk about a humanitarian trip he took to Ukraine in 2019, and how the work he does ties back to his childhood.

Top Photo: Stephen Quandt at the Clean Futures Fund clinic in Slavutych, Ukraine—a city built for those evacuated after the nuclear power plant disaster—in June of 2019. Photo courtesy of Stephen Quandt.
Middle Photo: One of an estimated 250 stray dogs living in the forests of Chernobyl, Ukraine. Photo courtesy of Stephen Quandt.
Bottom Photo: Pripyat Amusement Park in Pripyat, Ukraine. Photo by Stephen Quandt.

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 July 28, 2023, on NPR’s Morning Edition. 

‘Honey, You Got A Terrific Nose;’ Two Siblings Reflect On Their Father’s Legacy

David Hedison grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, as the son of Armenian immigrants. In 2005 he recorded a conversation with his youngest daughter, Serena, at the flagship StoryCorps booth at Grand Central Terminal.  There, he spoke candidly for the first time about how he got cosmetic surgery — a nose job — as a young man in order to achieve his dream of becoming an actor.  He went on to have a prolific career as a television, film, and stage actor. Most notably, he starred in the American sci-fi television series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea from the 1960s and was cast in two James Bond movies (Live and Let Die, 1973 and License to Kill, 1989).
David Hedison in London, 2019. Courtesy of Alex Hedison.
He died in 2019 at the age of 92. Recently his daughters, Serena and Alex, came back to StoryCorps to reflect on the secret he shared, and the legacy he left behind.
Alex Hedison and Serena Hedison at their StoryCorps interview in Los Angeles on January 24, 2023. By Garden of Sound studio for StoryCorps.
 
Top Photo: Alex, David and Serena Hedison in Malibu, CA, circa 1975. Courtesy of Alex Hedison.
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 Feb. 10, 2023, on NPR’s Morning Edition. 

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“You’re My Forever Love”: Reflections On Over 30 Years Of Friendship

In the late 1980s, Julaina Glass had moved from her childhood home in Washington Heights, NY, to a small studio in Harlem. Julaina was 19 and living alone, but she found a fast friend in her upstairs neighbor, Beau McCall.

Beau was an artist and older than Julaina by about 10 years. His apartment became like a second home to her and they soon became inseparable.

Nearly 35 years after they first met, Beau and Julaina came to StoryCorps to reminisce about some of their happiest memories together, and to look back on how it all began.

Top Photo: Beau McCall and Julaina Glass at their StoryCorps interview in New York, NY on June 3, 2017. By Jhaleh Akhavan for StoryCorps.

This interview was recorded in partnership with the I, Too Arts Collective. It is part of the Anwar Collection of Muslim Voices through StoryCorps’ American Pathways initiative. This initiative is made possible by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art and an Anonymous Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Stuart Family Foundation. It will be archived at the Library of Congress.

Originally aired May 14, 2021, on NPR’s Morning Edition. 

‘Just the Two of Us’: A Grandfather’s Musical Legacy

William Salter, 84, helped write one of America’s most iconic love songs, ‘Just the Two of Us’ — made famous by Grover Washington Jr. in 1981. But before he became a renowned musician, William was “just another kid on the block,” trying to find himself. He grew up in New York City, the child of a single working mother, and learned that music would be his greatest companion.

Decades later, after building a successful music career, William became a proud grandfather. He and his eldest granddaughter Jada spent most of their summers together, bonding over music and playtime.

Photo: (R) William Salter, his granddaughter Jada and her father (L) Jamal Salter. Courtesy of Jada Salter.

In January of 2021, using StoryCorps Connect, Jada, 25, asked her grandfather how he first found his sound.

Top Photo: Young Jada Salter and her grandfather William in 2002. Courtesy of Jamal Salter.

Originally aired February 12, 2021 on NPR’s Morning Edition.

For Teachers And Staff In New York City Schools, Work Is An Act Of Love

In 1999, Debra Fisher worked in film and TV in New York City. But when her father became ill and required occupational therapy as part of his treatment, Fisher was impressed by the care that his therapists brought to their work. That’s when she decided to make a major career change.

Twenty-one years later, Fisher works in New York City public schools, providing occupational therapy to a wide range of students in elementary and middle school. 

Fisher met Emma Pelosi, a special education teacher, on social media during the COVID-19 pandemic. They came to rely on each other for support and friendship as they invented new ways to do their jobs. 

Fisher and Pelosi recorded a conversation through StoryCorps Connect in September 2020, just as schools were preparing to reopen their doors to more than one million school children. In their interview, they talk about how it feels to work in the country’s largest school system during this unprecedented moment.   

Top Photo: Emma Pelosi and Debra Fisher after their StoryCorps interview in New York City on September 18, 2020. Courtesy of Debra Fisher and Emma Pelosi for StoryCorps.

Originally aired September 25th, 2020, on NPR’s Morning Edition.