All season long, we’ve heard from trailblazers at the top of their game in every field. In this episode, we mean that literally.
First we meet Rob Maiden, who is six feet five inches tall. When Rob was a kid, he was a little bigger than some of his classmates. Rob was also the tallest one in his family by far, and his father — a huge football enthusiast — couldn’t wait to have Rob play football. But football wasn’t really his thing.
Rob came to StoryCorps with his friend Daniel Jacob, to talk about the dance group that changed both of their lives.
Daniel Jacob and Rob Maiden at their StoryCorps interview in Dallas, TX. Photo by Liyna Anwar for StoryCorps.
Daniel and Rob are both part of the Mavs ManiAACs, an all male hip hop dance group of, self proclaimed, beefy men who perform during Dallas Mavericks games.
Mavs ManiAACs at a Dallas Mavericks game performance.
Our next story comes from someone who also found their place on the basketball court. Yolanda Johnson grew up in Pennsylvania with her grandparents, and she spent a huge amount of time playing basketball — one of the only places where she could find solace.
When things were at their worst, Yolanda looked to the one person who could help her through it — her coach. Yolanda came to StoryCorps with her wife, LaTausha Bonner-Johsnon, to remember that time.
Yolanda and LaTausha on their wedding day in 2010. Courtesy of LaTausha.
LaTausha Bonner-Johnson and Yolanda Johnson at their StoryCorps interview in Pittsburgh, PA. By Aisha Turner for StoryCorps.
Finally, we head to a baseball field in Baltimore, MD, where there are usually two games happening at once. The one on the field, and the one in the stands. Vendors compete in the stands during the game, seeing who can sell the most snacks and beer.
One of the all-time greats is a man known as “Fancy Clancy.” As a teenager, Clarence Haskett began selling soda at Baltimore Orioles games back in 1978. Over the years, he worked his way up to the vendor’s most prized offering: beer.
Fancy Clancy at the Orioles stadium.
During his 43-year-long career, Fancy Clancy has used his speed and his immense charisma to sell more than one million beers to baseball fans. He came to StoryCorps with his friend and former coworker, Jerry Collier, to talk about their work and how he got started.
Clarence Haskett and Jerome Collier at their StoryCorps interview in Baltimore, MD. By Cristina Stanton for StoryCorps.
We also check in on how Fancy Clancy’s been since his last conversation in 2014, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected his beloved job.
Top photo: Artwork by Lyne Lucien.
Released on January 18th, 2022.