Ellaraino, 72, grew up in Los Angeles in the 1950s. When was 16 she had one thing on her mind: boys. Her parents thought that was trouble, so they sent her to Louisiana to live with her great-grandmother Silvia for the summer. They’d never met before and Ellaraino didn’t want to spend her time with a senile old woman. But as she tells her friend Baki AnNur, she was soon enthralled by Silvia’s stories. She came to StoryCorps in Los Angeles to talk about what she learned that summer.

Watch an animated version of Ellaraino’s story:

Originally aired September 16, 2011, on NPR’s Morning Edition. Rebroadcast on November 6, 2020, on the same program.