Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tell Me A Story

I was doing some research on digital storytelling for a class I'm taking, and I came across this amazing project called StoryCorps. StoryCorps, whose motto is "Every Life Matters", is one of the largest oral history projects ever undertaken. The heart of StoryCorp's mission is to give ordinary Americans a chance to tell a piece of their own story. These brief snippets of life, which are broadcast weekly on NPR's Morning Edition, are then archived at the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress. Since 2003, more than 30,ooo interviews have been archived. But here's what I think makes the StoryCorps program something really special: the stories are conversations between two people who matter to each other: husbands and wives, parents and children, friends, and lovers.

What was the happiest moment of your life?
What are you most proud of?
What are the most important lessons you've learned in life?
What is your earliest memory?
How would you like to be remembered?

These are the moments: funny, bittersweet, some heartbreakingly sad - all touching in their everyday humanity - that are being recorded. Here's one I loved: Marty Smith asks her 93 year old dad, Paul Wilson, to tell her about how he met her mother. He tells Marty how she was the elevator operator at the building where he worked, just before WWII: “The door slid aside and there she stood -- the prettiest girl I had ever seen.”

Paul Wilson and his daughter Marty

You can listen to hundreds of recorded stories here, or subsribe to the podcasts here. Several books, including the one pictured above, are available here.
Would you like to record a story with someone who matters to you? You can make a reservation here. Because you know what? Every life does matter. And I'd like to hear your story.