Over Thanksgiving weekend 2016, StoryCorps celebrated our second annual Great Thanksgiving Listen. In this episode, we hear a sampling of stories recorded this year, along with a special request for your help in finishing one of those stories.
StoryCorps’ Digital Editor, Andrew Goldberg, guides us through the recordings, highlighting what makes the StoryCorps app interviews unique. In one example, a 16-year-old interviews her younger brother who is autistic and communicates using sign language. During their conversation, she asked him questions, he signs back his answers, and she translates them for those listening to their recording.
Many of these interviews were recorded just weeks after a very contentious presidential election, so we offered some questions in the app for people to choose from on the topics of voting and the elections. These elicited a number of conversations about race, and people talking about how changes in this country will affect their lives moving forward as well as how past changes in the country affected their lives. One high school student in West Virginia learned that the first time her grandmother voted was when that state was still segregated, in 1960, and she cast her vote for John F. Kennedy. While a grandmother recounts for her granddaughter the first time she experienced racism growing up in Texas.
Our final story features 94-year-old Dr. Joseph Linsk who shares a painful memory from his childhood. When he was 8 years old, he stole money meant for his family’s maid, Pearl, and when the money was not found, she was fired and could not find another job to support herself and her children. But Dr. Linsk’s account is only half of the story and it left us wanting to know what happened to Pearl following the incident. Dr. Linsk does not remember her last name nor does not know what happened to her or her family. We do know that Dr. Linsk grew up on Atlantic Avenue in the Uptown section of Atlantic City, New Jersey, in the early 1930s, and that Pearl had children so we assume that she was of a certain age, but without more information about her, we unable to track her down.
So that is where you, our listeners, come in. If you think you know who Pearl is, or know someone related to her, please get in touch with us. We hope to find someone willing to talk to us about her, and if we do we will share that story with you in a future episode.
Contact us at: [email protected] or call us at 301-744-TALK. Any leads will help.