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Playlist: 'Discovery'

Compiled By: StoryCorps

Tony Perri (R) tells his grandson, Jeffrey (L) about coming out as a gay man. <a href="http://www.prx.org/pieces/43204-storycorps-tony-perri-and-jeffrey-perri">Listen here</a>. Credit:
Tony Perri (R) tells his grandson, Jeffrey (L) about coming out as a gay man. Listen here.

Tales about that moment when something clicks.

StoryCorps: Patrick Haggerty and Robin Bolland

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:49

70-year-old Patrick Haggerty tells his daughter, Robin, about the day he first had a conversation with his father about being gay.

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Patrick Haggerty grew up the son of a dairy farmer in rural Washington during the 1950s.

As a teenager, Patrick began to understand he was gay–something he thought he was hiding well.

But as he told his daughter Robin, one day, when he went to perform at a school assembly, his father Charles Edward Haggerty, decided to have a serious talk with him.

StoryCorps: Rita Fischer and Jay Fischer

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:29

Rita Fischer (90) and Jay Fischer (65) recall the moment that Jay came out as...

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90-year-old Rita Fischer and her son Jay interviewed each another at a StoryCorps booth in New York City.

They recalled a conversation they had back in the 1980s, when Jay first told Rita he was gay.

Warning: This clip features senior citizens dropping ‘f’ bombs.

Rita Fischer has walked in New York’s AIDS Walk since 1986. She has raised more than $800,000 in that time. 

StoryCorps: Marilyn Hillerman and Andrea Crook

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:33

When Andrea Crook was 24, she began having paranoid thoughts, delusions, and her behavior became erratic. She picked up the phone and called her mother, Marilyn Hillerman. In their interview, they reflect back almost 20 years to that call and its aftermath.

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After graduating high school, Andrea Crook moved from her parent’s home in Northern California to Los Angeles. She was on her own for the first time in her life and had never before knowingly experienced the symptoms of mental illness.

A few years later, when she was 24, Andrea began having paranoid thoughts, delusions, and her behavior became erratic. One day she picked up the phone and called her mother, Marilyn Hillerman, who knew by the tone of her voice that Andrea needed her help.

Almost 20 years later, the two of them sat down for StoryCorps in Sacramento, California, to discuss that call and its aftermath.

StoryCorps: Erik Booker and Jenna Power

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:36

Eighth grader Jenna Power talks with her seventh grade social studies teacher, Erik Booker, about his military service and his deployment to Iraq.

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Erik Booker is a seventh grade social studies teacher at Bates Middle School in Sumter, South Carolina. He served more than 20 years in the United States Army, including two deployments to Iraq.

Last year Jenna Power was a student in Mr. Booker’s class. Like Mr. Booker, her father also served in Iraq as a member of the Army. Without it ever having been spoken, Jenna immediately recognized traits in Mr. Booker that connected him to her father and their shared service.

The two of them sat down at StoryCorps so Jenna could interview her teacher about his time at war.

StoryCorps: Paul Nilsen and Tom Graziano

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:26

Tom Graziano remembers how his son’s elementary school principal and the community responded when they learned that his son was HIV positive.

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In the early 1980s, Tom Graziano and his wife adopted an almost 2-year-old boy named John. As a child, he was constantly sick, but doctors where never able to determine why.

In 1986, when John was in the second grade at Central Elementary School in Wilmette, Illinois, his parents discovered the reason for his health problems—John was HIV positive having contracted the disease from his biological mother.

At StoryCorps, Tom sat down with John’s elementary school principal, Paul Nilsen, to discuss the reaction of other students attending the school and among members of their suburban Chicago community to John during the AIDS epidemic in America.

John died in May 1989, just days shy of his 10th birthday.

StoryCorps: Sharon Long and Steve Sutter

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:20

Enrolling in college at 40 to study art, Sharon Long had no idea an anthropology class would put her on a path to a career as a forensic artist.

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Throughout the 1970s, Sharon Long, a single mother raising two kids on her own, worked four and five jobs a day, seven days a week. She hated all the work and was worn out.

When she went to enroll her older daughter in college, she mentioned to a financial aid officer that she wished she could enroll as well, but that she was probably too old. The woman convinced her that it wasn’t too late, and then helped her fill out the paperwork. At 40 years old, Sharon entered the University of Wyoming and began taking classes toward a degree in art.

In order to graduate, Sharon was required to take a course in science, a subject she believed she was not particularly good at. But with guidance from an adviser, she signed up for a physical anthropology class, and started on a path that led her to find her calling as a forensic artist—using her skills as a sculptor to recreate human faces from skulls.

Over the course of her career, Sharon has worked for museums—she once constructed a face from a skull that was more than 9,000 years old, and for numerous law enforcement agencies, using found skulls to help put a face to unidentified remains. She has also made busts for the National Geographic Society and the Smithsonian, and her work has been featured on the History channel and the television show America’s Most Wanted.

Now 75, Sharon retired about four years ago, but hasn’t been able to bring herself to completely stop working. She focuses her energy now on the protection of archaeological sites through her work at the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office.

Sharon came to StoryCorps with her friend and colleague Steven Sutter (pictured together above) to talk about her passion for forensic art.

Sharon’s story is one of 53 work stories featured in our new book, Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work. Click here to order Callings today.

StoryCorps Griot: Alice Mitchell and Ibukun Owolabi

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:45

Alice Mitchell and her 10-year-old brother, Ibukun, came to StoryCorps to talk for the first time about their mother who died just weeks after his birth.

Owolabinpr_small Growing up, Alice Mitchell was always very close with her mother Rosemary Owolabi. A Nigerian immigrant as proud of her heritage as she was of her children, Rosemary would pick Alice up from school dressed in vibrantly colored garments and head-wraps.

When Alice was 14, her mother died unexpectedly from cardiac arrest just two weeks after giving birth to her youngest child, a boy she named Ibukunoluwa, which translates to “Blessing from God.”

Alice was immediately forced to become both sister and mother to her new brother, who they call Ibukun, and took the lead in raising him the way she believed her mother would have wanted him brought up.

Now 10 years old, Ibukun lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his father and stepmother. Over the years he has seen pictures and heard stories about his mother, but came to StoryCorps with Alice to talk for the first time about losing their mother.

Originally aired July 1, 2016 on NPR’s Morning Edition.

StoryCorps: Jenn Stanley and Peter Stanley

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 04:46

A conservative father and his self-described liberal daughter try to put their political differences aside and listen to each other’s points of view.

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During the 2016 presidential race, many families are finding their viewpoints incompatible with those of even their closest relatives. So rather than spend their time constantly arguing, they have agreed to just avoid discussing politics all together.

Jenn Stanley, 29, and her father, Peter, have experienced a strain on their relationship for years. Political discussions regularly leave them angry and frustrated with each other. Jenn, a self-described liberal who turns to yoga to clear her head, writes about feminist issues for various publications and produces a podcast about women’s rights. Peter, who relaxes by shooting his guns, works in construction and began voting Republican in 1980 during the Reagan revolution.

Whenever they are together and the news comes on the television, they argue.

When Jenn was younger, she considered Peter to be her best friend. She played softball--which she hated--because Peter liked baseball; he coached her team because he thought she wanted to play. But as she got older and left for college, their views grew further apart, making it difficult for them to talk about many of the things that are most important to each of them.

They came to StoryCorps to try to put their differences aside, and listen to each other’s points of view.

Originally aired November 4, 2016, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

StoryCorps: Ronald Clark and Jamilah Clark

From StoryCorps | 02:11

During the 1940s, custodians who worked for the New York Public Library often lived inside the buildings they tended. In exchange for cleaning and keeping the building secure at night, the library provided an apartment for the custodian and their families.

Ronald Clark’s father, Raymond, was one of those custodians. For three decades he lived with his family on the top floor of the Washington Heights branch on St. Nicholas Avenue in upper Manhattan. Three generations of the Clark family resided in that library until Ronald’s father retired in the late 1970s.

After college, Ronald got a position as a professor teaching history at Cape Cod Community College.

At StoryCorps, Ronald told his daughter, Jamilah Clark, how living inside the library shaped the man he would become.

Clarksquare_small During the 1940s, custodians who worked for the New York Public Library often lived inside the buildings they tended. In exchange for cleaning and keeping the building secure at night, the library provided an apartment for the custodian and their families. Ronald Clark’s father, Raymond, was one of those custodians. For three decades he lived with his family on the top floor of the Washington Heights branch on St. Nicholas Avenue in upper Manhattan. Three generations of the Clark family resided in that library until Ronald’s father retired in the late 1970s. After college, Ronald got a position as a professor teaching history at Cape Cod Community College. At StoryCorps, Ronald told his daughter, Jamilah Clark, how living inside the library shaped the man he would become.