Friday, February 15, 2008

Grab Bag Friday: Oral History through StoryCorps

For Christmas this year, my mom got me a copy of the StoryCorps book, Listening is an Act of Love. StoryCorps is a project to preserve the tradition of oral history, or more plainly, to keep people telling and listening to stories.

There are mobile & permanent StoryBooths all over the country...where people can walk in and record their stories. Anything they want to tell. A daughter interviewing her 96 year old mother about her first date, two sons remembering their father's baseball career, a child interviewing his mentor, Hurricane Katrina stories, 911 stories, stories about miracles, stories about love, fear, and hope. Real stories from real people.

Well, yesterday, for Valentine's Day, Amy (illustrator extraordinaire) over at Red Fish Circle sent me a note that she had posted the Danny and Annie Perasa StoryCorps segment in honor of the day. There are two short clips, one recorded in 2004, and one recorded just a few days before Danny passed away. It's just a couple of regular people talking about love, but I found it so profound and moving.

You could easily spend hours at the StoryCorps site, for exactly that reason. It's the small stories, the real stories, the everyday simple stories that are the most profound. This is real life. As the StoryCorps tagline goes, it's "the conversation of a lifetime."

2 comments:

Susan Kitchens said...

I really loved the Listening is an Act of Love book. It's basic and profound and simple and complex. Last fall, I went to hear David Isay speak in Pasadena CA when he was on book tour (my book is signed!). Made an audio recording of it and so I'll (one of these days) make a podcast out of it on my site.

In January, I finally got to do "The StoryCorps Experience" (missed the signups from when the booth came to the L.A. area two years ago), and wrote about it in a huge photo essay on my site, Family Oral History Using Digital Tools (yes, you can see why I'm into the StoryCorps experience; it goes with the territory I cover).

If you're curious to see what the experience is like (complete with shots of all the equipment -- oh, what an audiogeek!), please check it out.

Cheers,

Susan

Josephine Cameron said...

Thanks, Susan. It's really neat to see all those pictures of the mobile booth & the equipment & the mic getting set up for your mom. And cool to know that they burn you a cd in realtime & you get to take it with you. I didn't know about that! Thanks so much for sharing your story. It sounds like time well spent!