Maybe it’s the nosy parker in me, but I can’t resist a good story. In fact, I’ve come to realize that gathering and repeating stories is my calling. I wrote about it for a wonderful Web site that will soon join the growing numbers of reasons for hope on this blog: What’s Your Calling?
So when a project called Story Corps launched in 2003, I was thrilled. I loved the whole idea of a nonprofit whose sole purpose is “to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.”
It’s such a simple concept, but it has grown to an archive of more than 30,000 stories. The StoryCorps bus arrives in town with a fully equipped recording studio and records up to six 40-minute interviews in a day. The stories are archived in the American Folklife Center. Participants receive a broadcast-quality CD.
You don’t even have to hop on the bus to record your stories. Story Corps has made its excellent Do-It-Yourself Instruction Guide available for download. You can even rent studio-quality equipment from them.
And the stories! I was reduced to a puddle of tears when I listened to Joshua Littman. He was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when he was five. His last question tipped me over: “Have I met the expectations you had for me when I was born?” Then there was Retired Sgt. 1st Class Max Voelz whose wife was killed trying to disarm an IED in Iraq. Heartbreak is in the title: “She died on an incident that I sent her on.”
Fundraising keeps the bus rolling so hop on. This is a fabulous project.