%s1 / %s2

We're working on a new version of PRX. Want a sneak peek?

Playlist: 'Growing Up'

Compiled By: StoryCorps

Larry Hoover tells his granddaughter Anastacia Garcia about his time at The New Mexico Boys' School in Springer, New Mexico. <a href="http://www.prx.org/pieces/56618-storycorps-historias-larry-hoover-and-anastacia-g">Listen Here</a>. Credit:
Larry Hoover tells his granddaughter Anastacia Garcia about his time at The New Mexico Boys' School in Springer, New Mexico. Listen Here.

Stories about dealing with growing pains, no matter how old you are.

StoryCorps: Rob Littlefield

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:03

Rob Littlefield remembers being bullied in junior high school for being gay.

Littlefield_small

Rob Littlefield, now 55, was in high school when his classmates began bullying him for being gay.

Here, Rob tells how this abuse affected him and his family.

StoryCorps: Laura and Rebecca Greenberg

From StoryCorps | 02:52

Laura Greenberg tells her daughter, Rebecca, about growing up in Queens during the 1950s.

Greenberg_small Laura Greenberg came to StoryCorps with her daughter Rebecca. Laura grew up in Queens, New York during the 1950s.

Here, Laura tells her daughter about some of her family's eccentricities.

StoryCorps: Mary and Charles Van Beke

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 01:52

94-year-old Mary Van Beke tells her son, Charles, about growing up in the 1920s.

Vanbeke_small Mary Van Beke grew up in Newark, N.J., in the 1920s. Her father died when she was a young girl, leaving her mother to raise four children by herself.

Here, Mary tells her son, Charles, about her childhood.

StoryCorps: Lee Mottern and Linda Eldredge

From StoryCorps | 01:44

Lee Mottern tells his girlfriend, Linda Eldredge, a story about his Uncle Abe.

Mottern_small As children, Lee Mottern and his cousin would visit his Uncle Abraham and Aunt Hatti during the summer. 

Here, Lee tells his girlfriend, Linda Eldredge, one of his childhood memories of that time.

StoryCorps: George Lengel

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:31

George Lengel remembers growing up in the company town of Roebling, NJ.

Lengel_small George Lengel was born in Roebling, NJ, where his entire family made steel wire at the John A. Roebling's Sons Company.

Here, Lengel remembers growing up in Roebling and the influence his father had on his future.

StoryCorps Historias: Noe Rueda and Alex Fernandez

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:30

19-year-old Noe Rueda (R) talks to his high school economics teacher, Alex Fernandez (L), about growing up poor in Chicago.

Rueda_small 19-year-old Noe Rueda grew up the eldest of four siblings on Chicago’s West Side.

Here he tells his high school economics teacher, Alex Fernandez, how he started his own business at the age of eight to help his single mother get by.

StoryCorps: Steven and Jennifer Wells

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

Steven Wells tells his daughter, Jennifer, how it felt to become a dad.

Wells_small Steven Wells came to StoryCorps in Macon, Geogia with his daughter, Jennifer.

Here Steven tells Jennifer how he felt about fatherhood.

StoryCorps Griot: James and Dwight Thompson

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 03:47

James Hanover Thompson tells his brother Dwight about his involvement in the "Kissing Case" of 1958.

Thompson_small In 1958, two African-American children, James Hanover Thompson and David Simpson, were arrested for allegedly kissing a girl who was white.

Here, James Hanover Thompson and his siblings Dwight and Brenda remember their involvement in the now-infamous "Kissing Case."

StoryCorps Griot: William Anthony Cobb

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 05:08

William Anthony Cobb tells his mother, Mary, about the influence she had on him. William Anthony also talks with his sister, Valerie Foster, about their mother.

Cobb1_small William Anthony Cobb came to StoryCorps with his mother, Mary Cobb, and told her about the influence she had on him.

A few months after their interview, Mary passed away of pancreatic cancer at the age of 67. William Anthony then returned to StoryCorps with his sister, Valerie Foster, to remember their mother.

StoryCorps: Marat and Leon Kogut

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 04:26

Leon Kogut talks with his son, Marat Kogut, an NBA referee.

Kogut_small Leon Kogut and his family moved to the United States from Ukraine more than 30 years ago.

Here,  he and his son, Marat, talk about Marat's decision to pursue a career as an NBA referee. 

StoryCorps Griot: Walter Dean and Christopher Myers

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 01:46

Author Walter Dean Myers talks about his father in an interview with his son Christopher Myers.

Myers_small Author Walter Dean Myers grew up in Harlem, the son of a janitor. Myers began writing as a teenager, but always failed to impress his father with his writing.

Here, Myers talks about his father with his own son, Christopher.

StoryCorps: Bob and Aimee Gerold

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 01:50

Aimee Gerold speaks with her father, Bob, about her adoption from China.

Gerold_small After finding out that they could not conceive children, Bob Gerold and his wife Alice decided to adopt a child from China. They were matched with a baby girl named Aimee.

Here, Aimee talks to her father, Bob, about her adoption.

StoryCorps: Betsy Brooks and John Grecsek

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:17

Betsy Brooks tells her boyfriend, John Grecsek, about her father.

Brooks_small Growing up, Betsy Brooks had a turbulent relationship with her father, Charles. He was a military man and ruled his household with a firm hand. Years later, when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, their relationship took a turn.

Here, Brooks tells her boyfriend, John Grecsek, about her relationship with her father.

StoryCorps: Julian Walker and Julia Walker Jewell

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 03:06

75-year-old Julian Walker tells his daughter, Julia Walker Jewell, about an accident his father had as a young boy.

Walker_small Julian Walker's father, Robert Walker, grew up in a small farming town in North Carolina. At the age of 5, Robert was severely injured in a farming accident.

Here, Walker tells his daughter, Julia Walker Jewell, one of his lasting memories of his father.  

StoryCorps: Mort Segal and Joan Feldman

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 01:58

Mort Segal and his sister, Joan Feldman, remember their father, Jack Segal, a booking agent for novelty acts in the Catskills.

Segal_small From the 1940s through the 1960s, the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York were a popular summer escape from New York City. The resorts needed entertainment, and talent agents like Jack Segal made their living booking comedians, singers, and novelty acts there.

Here, Jack’s son, Mort Segal, and daughter, Joan Feldman, remember their dad.

StoryCorps Griot: Andrea and Jay McKnight

From StoryCorps | 02:19

Andrea McKnight and her husband, Jay, remember meeting as teenagers in the 1950s.

Mcknight_small James "Jay" McKnight and his wife, Andrea, met as teenagers in Brooklyn, New York. Jay and his friends used to sing on the street corner, and Andrea was an admirer.

Here, Jay and Andrea talk about how their early romance turned into a marriage that has lasted for more than 50 years.

StoryCorps Griot: George and Katie Robinson

From StoryCorps | 02:21

George Robinson tells his daughter, Katie, about meeting his biological father after searching for more than 40 years.

Robinson_small George Robinson grew up not knowing his biological father, but always wondered what he was like. For more than 40 years George searched for his dad and eventually tracked him down on the internet.

Here, George tells his daughter, Katie, about first meeting his dad.

StoryCorps: Frank Kovac

From StoryCorps | 02:24

Frank Kovac talks about building the world's largest rotating-globe planetarium.

Kovac_small Deep in the North Woods of Wisconsin sits the world’s largest rotating-globe planetarium. It’s the brainchild of Frank Kovac, a former paper mill storeroom clerk, who built this roadside attraction in his backyard over a ten-year period.

Here, Frank talks about how his lifelong fascination turned into a life-size project.

StoryCorps: Warren, Robin and Jason Weems

From StoryCorps | 02:01

Warren Weems (R), who is a teacher's aide in his wife, Robin's, first-grade classroom, is interviewed by his son Jason (L).

Weems_small Warren Weems, a retired Marine, is now a classroom assistant in his wife, Robin's, first-grade class.

Here, Warren talks with Robin and his son Jason, who is a kindergarten teacher in the same school.

StoryCorps: Robert Stover and Valerie Anderson

From StoryCorps | 02:18

Robert Stover tells his daughter, Valerie Anderson about growing up in the 1930's.

Stover_small Robert Stover grew up in the 1930s. His father was a traveling salesman, so his family moved often.

Here, Robert tells his daughter, Valerie Anderson, how he grew up without a hometown.

StoryCorps Griot: Ellaraino and Baki AnNur

From StoryCorps | 02:22

72-year-old Ellaraino tells her friend Baki AnNur about meeting her great-grandmother for the first time.

Ellaraino_small 72-year-old Ellaraino tells her friend Baki AnNur about being sent away for the summer to a small town in Louisiana, where she met her great-grandmother for the first time.

StoryCorps Griot: Earl and Ashley Reynolds

From StoryCorps | 02:40

Earl Reynolds Jr. tells his daughter, Ashley, about meeting James Brown at his father's barbershop in Roanoke, Virginia.

Reynolds_small When Earl Reynolds Jr. was 11 years old, he shined shoes at his father's barbershop in Roanoke, Va.  Here he tells his daughter, Ashley, about a valuable lesson he learned from a customer -- the late James Brown. 

StoryCorps: Harvey Sherman

From StoryCorps | 01:29

Harvey Sherman remembers October 3, 1951, when the Brooklyn Dodgers lost the pennant on a home run known as the "shot heard 'round the world."

Sherman2_small Harvey Sherman tells his friend Alex Reisner about the "shot heard 'round the world," when the Brooklyn Dodgers lost the pennant to the New York Giants on Oct. 3, 1951. Sherman was a teenager at the time and was rooting for the Dodgers. 

StoryCorps Griot: A.P. Tureaud Jr. and Steven Walkley

From StoryCorps | 01:58

A.P. Tureaud Jr. tells his friend Steven Walkley about becoming the first African-American undergraduate at Louisiana State University in 1953.

Tureaud_small A.P. Tureaud Jr. tells his friend Steven Walkley about becoming the first African-American undergraduate at Louisiana State University in 1953.

StoryCorps: Gloria and Lou Del Bianco

From StoryCorps | 01:55

Gloria Del Bianco and her nephew, Lou, remember her father, Luigi Del Bianco, one of the chief stone carvers of Mt. Rushmore.

Delbianco_small Gloria Del Bianco and her nephew, Lou, remember her father, Luigi Del Bianco, one of the chief stone carvers of Mt. Rushmore.

StoryCorps: Sarah and Joshua Littman

From StoryCorps | 02:43

Sarah Littman interviews her son, Joshua, who has Asperger's syndrome, about his first semester at college.

Littman2_small Sarah Littman interviews her son, Joshua, who has Asperger's syndrome, about his first semester at college.

StoryCorps NTI: Sarah Benko and Meliza Arellano

From StoryCorps | 01:46

Meliza Arellano tells Sarah Benko, her former seventh-grade teacher, about how she became a serious student.

Benko_small Meliza Arellano tells Sarah Benko, her former seventh-grade teacher, about how she became a serious student.

StoryCorps: Penelope Simmons and Suzanne Wayne

From StoryCorps | 02:23

Penelope Simmons remembers her mother, Cora Lee "Sug" Collins, in an interview with her daughter Suzanne Wayne.

Simmons_small Penelope Simmons remembers her mother, Cora Lee "Sug" Collins, in an interview with her daughter Suzanne Wayne.

StoryCorps NTI: John Hunter, Julianne Swope and Irene Newman

From StoryCorps | 02:53

John Hunter talks with two former students about what they learned playing the World Peace Game, which he created.

Hunterj_small When John Hunter started teaching more than 30 years ago, he wanted to get his students to think about major world issues.

So he invented the World Peace Game. Students are divided into countries, then Hunter gives them a series of global crises — natural disasters, political conflicts — that they solve by collaborating with each other.

Hunter’s classes are remarkably successful at resolving the crises peacefully, a fact made all the more remarkable because his students are in 4th grade.

Hunter recently sat down for StoryCorps with a two former World Peace Game players: 11-year-old Julianne Swope and 20-year-old Irene Newman.

StoryCorps: Martin Levin, Jennifer Goebel and Zoe Crowe

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 01:41

92-year-old Martin Levin tells his granddaughters Jennifer Goebel and Zoe Crowe about a college classmate he didn't like.

Levin_small  Martin Levin is 92 years old.

Here, he tells his granddaughters about meeting their mother, and about how he has dealt with her passing.

StoryCorps: Nathan Hoskins and Sally Evans

From StoryCorps | 02:37

Nathan Hoskins tells his friend Sally Evans how his family first learned that he was gay.

Hoskins_small

Nathan Hoskins knew from an early age that he was gay. But he quickly learned to keep that a secret. Nathan grew up in rural Kentucky, in a family that didn’t tolerate homosexuality. At StoryCorps, he told his friend Sally Evans just how dangerous it was to be himself.

StoryCorps: Jennifer and Grant Coursey

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:30

Jennifer Coursey speaks with her 12-year-old son, Grant, who was diagnosed with cancer as a toddler.

Coursey_small

As a toddler, Grant Coursey was diagnosed with neuroblastoma — a cancer often found in young children.

A tumor was wrapped around his spinal cord and pushing against his lungs.

It took three surgeries — including one that lasted 10 hours — but in March of 2002 doctors declared Grant cancer-free.

At StoryCorps, Grant interviewed his mother, Jennifer, about that time.

StoryCorps: Phil Donney and Abby Leibman

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:11

Phil Donney talks with his aunt Abby Leibman about raising Phil and his sister, Laura, after their mother was murdered.

Leibman_small

One night in 1995, 7-year-old Phil Donney and his 4-year-old sister, Laura, heard their parents arguing.

That fight ended when their father murdered their mother.

Phil and Laura went to live with their mom’s sisters, Abby Leibman and Marjorie Shaw.

They all lived together in a two bedroom condo, and began rebuilding their family.

Phil, who is now 23, came to StoryCorps with his aunt Abby to look back on that time.

StoryCorps NTI: Clairene Terry and Raul Bravo

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:00

Raul Bravo tells his former high school automotive teacher, Clairene Terry, how she inspired him to stay in school.

Bravo_small

21-year-old Raul Bravo is an auto mechanic at a car dealership in Chicago.

Back when he started high school, Raul never thought he’d have a career working on cars.

But then Raul met Clairene Terry, an Automotive Technology teacher at Schurz high school.

At StoryCorps, Raul told Clairene just how close to dropping out he was when he enrolled in her class.

StoryCorps: David Plant and Frank Lilley

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:34

Frank Lilley interviews his stepfather, David Plant, about approaching the end of his life.

Plant_small

This is a story about reaching the end of life.

It was recorded as part of StoryCorps’ Legacy Initiative–an effort to collect interviews with people who have life-threatening conditions.

In 2010, David Plant was diagnosed with skin cancer. Since then, the cancer has metastasized in other parts of his body.

David sat down for a StoryCorps Legacy interview with his stepson, Frank Lilley.

StoryCorps: Kenneth and Gaye Honeycutt

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:03

Kenneth Honeycutt tells his wife Gaye about witnessing the New London School Explosion of 1937.

Honeycutt_small

On March 18, 1937, a gas leak at The Consolidated School of New London, Texas, led to an explosion that claimed the lives of nearly 300 students and teachers.

It remains one of the worst school disasters in US history.

Kenneth Honeycutt was playing near the school when the explosion happened. At StoryCorps, he shared memories of the tragedy with his wife, Gaye.

StoryCorps NTI: Kate Musick and Harleé Patrick, Jose Catalan and Carlos Vizcarra

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:50

Two stories about teachers who went beyond the classroom to help their kids.

Patrick_small

For students who are struggling, sometimes the difference between success and failure can start when a teacher takes the time to listen.

In these two stories from our National Teacher’s Initiative, teachers go beyond the classroom to help their kids.

In 2004, Kate Musick was teaching third grade at T.C. Walker Elementary school in Gloucester, Virginia. When Harleé Patrick walked into the room, Musick saw a troubled child.

Harleé is now a teenager, and the two came to StoryCorps to talk about how she made it through that year.

The second story comes from Los Angeles, where 19-year-old Jose Catalan, who is studying to become a math teacher, sat down with his former high school teacher Carlos Vizcarra to talk about how they became friends.

StoryCorps: Theresa and Dennis McLaughlin

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:16

Theresa McLaughlin speaks about raising her son, Dennis, who was born with spina bifida, leaving him unable to use his legs.

Mclaughlin_small

Dennis McLaughlin was born in 1948 with spina bifida, a birth defect that left him unable to use his legs.

But his mother, Theresa McLaughlin — a single mom who worked at a local paper mill– knew that “from the neck up, he’s just fine.” So she treated Dennis just like any other kid.

At a StoryCorps mobile booth, Dennis payed tribute to the way Theresa raised him.

StoryCorps: Van and Shirley Harris

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:17

Van Harris and his wife, Shirley, remember being young in Brooklyn during the 1940s.

Harris_small

Van Harris and his wife, Shirley, grew up a block away from each other in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn.

They met in the late 1930s, and at StoryCorps, they looked back on their old neighborhood and the characters who congregated at Dubrow’s Cafeteria on Eastern Parkway.

StoryCorps: José Rodriguez and Charles Zelinsky

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 01:57

José Rodriguez tells his former coach Charles Zelinsky how he got involved in the Special Olympics.

Rodriguez_small

When he was a teenager, José Rodriguez was kicked out of public school.

He was diagnosed with a learning disability and sent to a school for students with special needs.

This qualified him to participate in the New Jersey Special Olympics -- any child or adult with an intellectual disability can take part.

At StoryCorps, José told his former coach Charles Zelinsky what his life was like before he found the games.

José is now a Special Olympics basketball coach -- and will be coaching during the 2012 New Jersey Summer Games.

StoryCorps: Adrian Hawkins and Horace Atwater Jr.

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:00

Adrian Hawkins talks to his foster father, Horace Atwater Jr.

Hawkins_small

Adrian Hawkins spent his childhood bouncing between foster families.

It wasn’t until 2004, when he was a teenager, that he found a home with Horace Atwater Jr.

The two came to StoryCorps to remember when they first met.

StoryCorps: Samuel Taylor & Connie Casey

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

Samuel Taylor tells his mom, Connie Casey, about being in "ex-gay" conversion therapy as a teenager.

Taylors_small

When he was 15, Samuel Taylor came out to his mother, Connie Casey.

In an attempt to “fix” her son, Connie sent Samuel to a series of conversion therapy ministries affiliated with Exodus International -- The “ex-gay” Christian organization that folded in June 2013 and apologized for promoting reparative therapies.

Now, 22, Samuel came to StoryCorps with his mom to talk about that experience.

StoryCorps: Paul and James Bizzaro

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 01:40

Paul Bizzaro and his brother James remember growing up on Liberty Island--home of the Statue of Liberty.

Bizzaro_small

During the summer of 1938, Paul and James Bizzaro moved with their family to Liberty Island, in the middle of New York Harbor. Their family’s new home was right behind the Statue of Liberty.

At StoryCorps, the brothers sat down to talk about how they ended up spending their childhood in the shadow of Lady Liberty.

StoryCorps MVI: Monica Velez and Christopher Hernandez

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:43

Monica Velez talks to her fiancé, Christopher Hernandez about her two brothers, Army Corporal José "Freddy" Velez and Army Specialist Andrew Velez.

Velez_small

Corporal José “Freddy” Velez joined the U.S. Army when he was 18 and deployed to Iraq. Two years later, his brother, Specialist Andrew Velez, enlisted and was sent to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Their older sister, Monica, came to StoryCorps with her fiancé, Christopher Hernandez, to remember them.

StoryCorps: Ondelee and Deetreena Perteet

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:12

Ondelee Perteet talks to his mother, Deetreena, about getting shot when he was 14 years old.

Perteet_small

In 2009, Ondelee Perteet got into an argument at a party in Chicago and was shot in the face. He was 14 years old.

He survived, but his recovery has been long and uncertain.

At StoryCorps, he sat down with his mother, Deetreena, who has been his caretaker since the shooting.

StoryCorps: Liza Long and her son

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

Liza Long talks to her son about his experiences living with mental illness.

Walton_small

Liza Long’s 13--year--old son was first diagnosed with mental illness when he was 8 years old. He struggles with rage and violent outbursts.

In late December 2012, in the wake of the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, Liza wrote a blogpost, “I am Adam Lanza's Mother,” in which she urged the country to focus on treatment for mentally ill youth.

She wrote, “I love my son, but he terrifies me.”

At StoryCorps, Liza sat down with her son. (His real name and image have been withheld to protect his privacy.)

StoryCorps: Rowan Allen and Bryan Lindsay

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:32

Paramedic Rowan Allen talks to Bryan Lindsay about the day he saved his life.

Allenr_small

In the summer of 1991, Bryan Lindsay was riding his bike on a Brooklyn street when he was hit by a van and almost killed.

He was seven years old at the time.

Rowan Allen was the paramedic on the scene, and recently the two men sat down at StoryCorps to remember that day.

StoryCorps: Faith and Jerris Marr

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

Jerris Marr interviews his 10-year-old daughter Faith about surviving bone cancer on her spine.

Marr_small

When Faith Marr was four years old, she was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer on her spine. At the time, doctors were uncertain if she would survive.

She had eight major surgeries and some of her vertebrae were replaced with titanium rods.

Faith is now 10 and came to StoryCorps with her father, Jerris Marr, to reflect on her fight against cancer.

StoryCorps: Thompson Williams and Kiamichi-tet Williams

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:09

Thompson Williams talks about his father's legacy with his son, Kiamichi-tet Williams.

Sc_williamsthnpr_small

Thompson Williams grew up in Oklahoma as one of eight children. His father, Melford Williams, was a tribal leader of the Caddo Nation and a World War II veteran who had a big impact on Thompson’s life.

At StoryCorps, Thompson’s son, Kiamichi-tet, sat down with his dad to learn more about his grandfather.

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.

Haggerty_2_small

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: Dekalb Walcott Jr. and Dekalb Walcott III

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:04

Dekalb Walcott III talks to his dad, retired Chicago Fire Chief Dekalb Walcott Jr., about...

Walcott_small

Dekalb Walcott Jr. spent more than 30 years as a firefighter for the Chicago Fire Department.

He’s now retired--but his son, Dekalb Walcott III, is following in his dad’s line of work.

They recently sat down for a conversation at StoryCorps.

StoryCorps: Antero Garcia and Roger Alvarez

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:00

Antero Garcia (R) talks to his former student Roger Alvarez (L) who dropped out...

Garciaa_small

Antero Garcia (R) taught Roger Alvarez (L) in his 9th grade English class at Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles.

That year, the school’s graduation rate was just 42 percent, and Roger was one of the students who didn’t make it through his senior year.

Roger dropped out in 2007 and hadn’t seen his former teacher until the two of them sat down together at StoryCorps.

When they recorded this interview, Roger was working the night shift at a loading dock, and he said he hopes to get his GED one day. Antero Garcia is now an Assistant Professor of English at Colorado State University. 

StoryCorps: Kai Leigh Harriott and Aja David

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

Aja David and her younger sister, Kai Leigh Harriott, remember the night Kai was hit...

Harriott_small

Fourteen-year-old Kai Leigh Harriott is paralyzed from the chest down, the result of a stray bullet that hit her when she was three.

She was sitting outside on her porch in Dorchester, Massachusetts with her older sister Aja David, who was babysitting at the time.

The family is still dealing with the aftermath of the shooting a decade later.

StoryCorps: Kris Kalberer and Erika Kalberer

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:37

Kris Kalberer and her teenage daughter, Erika, talk about being homeless.

Kalberer_small

In 2003, Kris Kalberer left her job as a retail manager to raise her kids and care for her elderly mother. The family did well on her husband’s income from his job at Countrywide. But he lost his job in the mortgage crisis. Their finances spiraled out of control, and they lost their house in 2011.

Since then they’ve lived with friends and in motels. Currently, the family lives in their car.

At StoryCorps, Kris sat down with her teenage daughter, Erika Kalberer, to talk about their situation.

This interview is part of Finding Our Way: Stories of Family Homelessness in the Puget Sound, a project supported by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

StoryCorps: Darnell Moore and Bryan Epps

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 03:43

Darnell Moore (R) tells his friend Bryan Epps (L) about an incident that shaped his...

Moore_small

When Darnell Moore (R) was a teenager in Camden, New Jersey, he didn’t know he was gay, but he did know he was an outcast.

It was the late 1980s and Darnell was a mild-mannered A-student in a city where kids were expected to be tough.

He told his longtime friend Brian Epps (L) about growing up in his neighborhood–and about an incident that shaped his youth.

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...

Fischer_small

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: Storm Reyes and Jeremy Hagquist

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 04:01

Storm Reyes tells her son, Jeremy Hagquist, about growing up in migrant farm worker camps during the early 1960s.

Reyes1_small

Storm Reyes grew up in migrant farm worker camps outside Tacoma, Washington during the early 1960s. Most of the laborers were, like Storm, Native Americans. They were paid less than one dollar per hour for their work in berry patches and apple orchards throughout the state.

Storm started working as a full-time laborer herself when she was 8 years old. Her family lived without electricity or running water. But at StoryCorps she told her son, Jeremy Hagquist, about the day something arrived in camp that changed the course of her life.

StoryCorps: Kenny Thompson, Gary Barber and Dakota Gibson

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:12

Kenny Thompson, a volunteer mentor, tells students Gary Barber and Dakota Gibson about discovering that...

Thompson_small

Some students in the Spring Branch Independent School District in Texas dreaded lunchtime. The school cafeteria meant humiliation because their parents couldn’t afford a hot lunch.

The alternative for these kids was a cold cheese sandwich. Anyone seen leaving the lunch line with that on their plate was marked as being poor.

But that changed when school volunteer Kenny Thompson saw it happen. Kenny recently told that story to kids he works with, 13-year-old Gary Barber and 15-year-old Dakota Gibson.

Thanks to Kenny’s efforts, two school districts in Houston have changed their lunch policy. Now all kids receive the same lunch, whether or not they can afford it. 

StoryCorps: Tina Vasquez and Sonia Vasquez

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 01:59

Tina Vasquez tells her mother, Sonia Vasquez, about what it was like to grow up...

Vasquez_small

Tina Vasquez grew up just outside of New York City in the 1990s.

Her mother, Sonia, raised her with little help, and money was often tight for their family.

At StoryCorps, Sonia told Tina about how she’d take on several jobs to pay the bills.

StoryCorps: Phil Mortillaro and Philip Mortillaro Jr.

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:16

Phil and Philip Mortillaro, a father-and-son locksmith team, talk about the family business.

Mortillaro_small

For Phil Mortillaro, locksmithing was a summer job that turned into a lifelong passion. He started in the trade shortly after he left school in the 8th grade.

All five of his children grew up in his shop in Greenwich Village, but it was his youngest son, Philip, who has followed in his father’s footsteps.

Father and son sat down for a conversation at StoryCorps.

StoryCorps: Joanna and Bob Ebenstein

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:04

Joanna Ebenstein, founder of the Morbid Anatomy Museum, tells her father, Bob, about the childhood...

Ebenstein4_small

Since she was a child, Joanna Ebenstein has been fascinated with things that make most people squirm.

As an adult, she founded the Morbid Anatomy Museum, where visitors can see a pickled opossum and a two-headed duckling, among other unusual and grotesque objects.

At StoryCorps, Joanna sat down with her father, Bob Ebenstein, to talk about the childhood origins of her current career, including a hunt for black widow spiders in their backyard.

StoryCorps: Ron Riveira and Jason Deitch

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 03:58

Hospice nurse and Retired Navy Corpsman Ron Riveira tells his friend, retired Army Medic Jason...

Riveira_small

Ron Riveira is a hospice nurse in California.

He’s also a veteran who served as a Navy corpsman and medic for the Marines during the 1990s.

While deployed overseas, he crossed paths with Jason Deitch, who was an Army medic. They reconnected years later back in the States, and recently had a conversation for StoryCorps.

Here, Ron remembers his grandmother and grandfather -- a Korean War vet -- who helped raise him.

StoryCorps: Lucille Horn and Barbara Horn

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 01:52

Lucille Horn, 95, tells her daughter, Barbara, about the baby incubator exhibit at Coney Island that saved her life.

Hornnpr_small

For decades, Brooklyn’s Coney Island was known for sideshows featuring tattooed ladies, sword swallowers, and Dr. Martin Couney’s incubator babies.

Dr. Couney pioneered the use of incubators to keep premature infants alive in the late 1800s. But the medical establishment initially rejected the practice. So, each summer for 40 years, Dr. Couney funded his work by setting up an exhibition of the babies and charging the public admission.

Parents didn’t have to pay for the medical care, and many children survived who would have never had a chance otherwise.

Ninety-five-year-old Lucille Horn was one of them. Here, she tells her daughter, Barbara, about spending the summer of 1920 in an incubator on Coney Island.

StoryCorps: Donnie Dunagan and Dana Dunagan

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

Retired Marine Corps Major Donnie Dunagan, who was the voice of Bambi in the 1942 Disney film, tells his wife, Dana, about hiding his acting credits during his military career.

Dunagannpr_small

By the end of his 25-year military career, Donnie Dunagan was a highly decorated Major who received two awards for Valor in Combat as well a Purple Heart.

He says the Marines were a perfect fit for him — as long as no one found out about his past.

As a youngster, Dunagan was briefly a child actor who was tapped by Walt Disney to be the voice of Bambi in the 1942 animated film.

Here, he speaks with his wife, Dana.

StoryCorps: Roberto Olivera and Debra Olivera

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

Roberto Olivera tells his wife, Debra, about growing up with an abusive stepfather and how his mother helped him escape.

Oliveranpr_small

Roberto Olivera grew up in the 1960s just outside of Los Angeles, California.

As a teenager, he worked multiple jobs to support his family, but would come home to a physically and verbally abusive stepfather.

At StoryCorps, Roberto tells his wife, Debra, about how his mother helped him escape.

StoryCorps: James Kennicott and Kara Masteller

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:52

Recorded using the StoryCorps app, a granddaughter learns about a difficult upbringing, loved ones lost, and gets advice on growing older.

Photo_1445971842000_small

Since 2003, we have broadcast hundreds of conversations that were recorded in booths across the country, but this week, for the first time, we present one recorded in the front seat of a 1994 Buick.

Last month, Kara Masteller, 21, and her grandfather James Kennicott, sat together in a Waterloo, Iowa, mall parking lot and conducted a StoryCorps interview. They chose this location because James, who is 86 and resides in a local senior living facility, had no interested in sharing his business with any of the other people who live alongside him.

Their 16-minute long interview begins simply with Kara saying to her grandfather, “Tell me about yourself, where did you grow up?”

From there, Kara, the youngest of James’ 10 grandchildren, was able to get a man she described as unaccustomed to opening up about his life to briefly discuss his difficult upbringing. He then talked in greater detail about his beloved wife, Annie, who passed away in 2012, his work as a supervisor at the John Deere factory, the loss of his eldest son Chuck who suffered with Lou Gehrig’s disease, as well as his thoughts on life and advice for others as they age.

In a separate interview with StoryCorps, Kara, a senior at the University of Iowa, remembered her grandfather as once being an intimidating figure in her life, but as they have both grown older and maintained their close relationship, she now sees him as fun, protective, and loving. He’s a man who enjoys joking around, dancing, shooting pool, and playing the penny slots at a local casino.

During their conversation, James also offers Kara advice on a happy marriage, “You gotta kinda like each other…if something happened just say ‘I’m sorry’ and get it over with and make up,” because “when you get married, it’s kind of like the two of you are one. You think the same.” And on life in general, advising her to “keep it so the days don’t just go by and that’s all there is, a boring old day…let life roll on…it goes fast.” You need to “roll with age, don’t worry about it, it’s coming. Enjoy life, it’s wonderful.”

According to Kara, after their recording ended, James continued to share memories with her about Annie before they grabbed a cup of coffee and headed over to the casino to play the penny slots together.

StoryCorps: Chloe Longfellow

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:22

Chloe Longfellow came to StoryCorps to remember some of the life lessons she learned as a kid, while spending time in her grandmother’s kitchen.

Longfellownpr_small

With her mother away, Chloe spent a great deal of time at her grandparents’ home becoming especially close with her grandmother, Doris Louise Rolison.

Despite living in the Arizona desert, Doris, who died in May, 1988, at the age of 67, maintained a lush garden of herbs and vegetables. Chloe would help harvest the food to make dishes from recipes found in one of her grandmother’s treasured cookbooks.

At StoryCorps, Chloe remembers the happy memories and life lessons taught to her by her grandmother, many of which took place while cooking in Doris’ kitchen.

StoryCorps SCU: Akiva Johnson and Henry Jimenez

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 01:29

High school juniors Akiva Johnson and Henry Jimenez talk about the friendship they developed while taking part in the StoryCorpsU educational program.

Jimeneznpr_small

Henry Jimenez and Akiva Johnson, both 17, are classmates and close friends at the High School for Youth and Community Development in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. Now juniors, they met freshman year while participating in StoryCorpsU.

StoryCorpsU is an interactive year-long program for high school students that utilizes StoryCorps interviewing techniques, radio broadcasts, and animated shorts to support the development of identity and social intelligence in students. One aim is to help teachers better appreciate and understand students as whole people by encouraging teens to share their experiences outside of the classroom with those in the classroom.

In their StoryCorps conversation, Akiva and Henry discuss the challenges they have had to confront in their daily lives, and how grateful they both are for the support—often unknowingly—they have provided each other, by sharing stories they have never before told.

While they were talking, Akiva revealed that in October 2012, after Hurricane Sandy devastated much of the eastern coast of the United States, he and his mother were displaced from their home. They spent parts of the next three years in homeless shelters across New York City—including last Christmas—something Henry was unaware of.

Henry has also had to overcome difficulties. When he was 13 he left Mexico and came to the United States to live with an aunt, leaving behind his parents and younger brother. The challenges faced by a young boy coming to an unfamiliar country were eased by the support he received from Akiva.

They both expect that their friendship, which was forged in school by having the opportunity to open up and share personal stories, will endure—even after Henry follows his dream and enlists in the Marine Corps.

Click here to learn more about StoryCorpsU.

StoryCorps: Benny Smith and Christine Ristaino

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:37

Last year, 11--year--old Benny Smith started having seizures which kept him out of school, he talks to his mom about life with the disorder.

Ristainonpr_small

Last year, 11--year--old Benny Smith began feeling strange sensations in his body that felt like small electrical jolts. Soon after, the jolts began lasting longer and growing more intense--Benny was suffering with grand mal seizures (a condition characterized by loss of consciousness and muscle spasms).
 
The seizures would come at various times, including during the school day where the resulting falls led to multiple concussions.
Often, his mother, Christine Ristaino, would have to pick him up in the middle of the day and bring him home since his condition made it unsafe for him to be in a classroom. Soon after the beginning of sixth grade, Benny was forced to remain at home, being taught by a tutor. An outgoing social kid who loved being around his friends, to him this was one of the most difficult parts of the illness.
 
But more recently, his condition has begun to improve, and in January, he was able to return to the classroom. Benny and his mom, Christine, came to StoryCorps to mark the occasion and discuss how he has lived with the seizures.
 
Originally aired February 12, 2016 on NPR’s Morning Edition.

StoryCorps: Susan Kaphammer and Joshua Myers

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:58

Joshua Myers and his mother, Susan Kaphammer, discuss his life living with Down syndrome, and how he has overcome some early difficulties.

Myersnpr_small

Joshua Myers, 29, was born with Down syndrome. Growing up, he often felt overwhelmed by his condition and struggled with depression.
 
Once, when he was a teenager, Joshua attempted suicide by walking into the middle of a busy intersection, but was saved by a passing motorist.
 
For his mother, Susan Kaphammer, it was difficult to watch her son suffer and know that there was very little that she could do to make his pain go away.
 
With those tough times behind them, Joshua and Susan came to StoryCorps to discuss what he now loves about his life, and his dreams for the future.

StoryCorps: Sean Smith and Lee Smith

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 03:53

In June 1989, Sean Smith, 10, fatally shot his younger sister while playing with his father’s gun. He talks to his mother, Lee, about that devastating day.

Smithsnpr_small

On June 5, 1989, Sean Smith, 10, and his younger sister Erin, 8, returned home together from school. Alone in their empty house, they went into their parents’ bedroom in search of video game cartridges that their mother had previously hidden away.
 
But instead of finding the games, Sean came across a .38-caliber revolver that was being kept in his father’s dresser drawer. Sean began playing with the gun, and unaware that it was loaded, he pulled the trigger, fatally shooting Erin in the chest. Sean immediately called 911, and that recording of him–pleading for help for his dying sister–was played repeatedly on news stations across the country. (Note: the audio contains a segment of the 911 call.)
 
Within two weeks of Erin’s shooting, a total of five Florida children were accidentally shot with their parents’ guns, leading the state legislature to pass a gun safety bill punishing anyone who leaves a firearm within reach of a child.
 
Sean, now 36, has lived with constant pain and guilt as a result of what happened that day. His parents have also had a difficult time coming to terms with the loss of their youngest child. Sean came to StoryCorps with his mother, Lee (seen together above), to discuss the day of the shooting, and how they have tried to cope with the burden of going on with their lives following an unimaginable personal tragedy.

StoryCorps: Vito de la Cruz and Maria Sefchick-Del Paso

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:58

Civil rights lawyer Vito de la Cruz grew up in a family of migrant farmworkers. He describes his childhood and the loving aunt who raised him.

Delacruznpr_small

Vito de la Cruz’s parents were already separated when he was born, and when he was 6 months old, his father left him in the care of his 19-year-old aunt, Iris de la Cruz, a woman he called Nena.

Vito’s extended family traveled the migrant trail, finding work on farms across the United States. At 5 years old, Vito joined them in the fields. He remembers the excitement of traveling in the summers with his aunts, uncles, and grandmother from tomato fields in South Texas, to cherry orchards in Ohio, and sugar beet farms in North Dakota. During the days, they worked side-by-side, and in the evenings, they gathered together for dinner.

But their family’s migrant lifestyle was not easy; it was “equal parts hardship and poverty.” When he was 13, Border Patrol agents raided the farm where Vito and his family were working and rounded up undocumented workers. Witnessing workers’ fear of law enforcement struck a “profound chord in his being” and changed the course of his life.

Vito had always excelled in school, with Nena’s encouragement. She, herself, was the first person in the de la Cruz family to graduate high school, and she later went on to college. Following Nena’s example, Vito left South Texas for Yale University and then went on to attend law school at the University of California, Berkeley.

After law school, Vito began volunteering with the United Farm Workers union and focused the early part of his legal career on immigrant and farmworker rights. Years later, he became a federal public defender in Nevada before moving to Bellevue, Washington, where he continues to practice civil rights law.

Vito came to StoryCorps with his wife, Maria Sefchick-Del Paso, to remember how his childhood and his loving Nena shaped his future.

Vito’s story is one of 53 work stories featured in our new book, Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Worknow available in bookstores.

StoryCorps: Chris López and Gabe López

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:25

Gabe López, assigned female at birth, always felt like he was a boy. He came to StoryCorps with his mom to talk about growing up transgender.

Lopezg_npr_small

Chris López always knew there was something different about her youngest child Gabe. Assigned female at birth, Gabe always felt like he was a boy.

Gabe was always more comfortable in clothes traditionally worn by little boys (cargo pants and superhero shirts), but often switched back and forth between those and outfits often worn by little girls. Just after his seventh birthday, he convinced his parents to let him cut off his long hair and get a Mohawk—a haircut he had been wanting for years. This is also about the time that Gabe started dressing only as a boy and answering exclusively to “he” and not “she.”

At first, Chris was concerned that Gabe, being so young, might change his mind. She was scared of how people would treat him as he transitioned. But after seeing how Gabe responded to the changes in his hair and clothing, she felt confident that he had made the right decision.

Last summer, their family attended a camp for transgender, gender creative, and gender non-conforming youth in Tucson, Arizona. There, Gabe met similar kids and made three new best friends—Luke, Cooper, and Brock (who among other things taught Gabe how to pee standing up).

Gabe, who will soon be nine years old, has been attending the same school since kindergarten, and this past August when he started third grade, for the first time, he began having others refer to him by his preferred gender pronouns—”he” and “him.”

Gabe and his mother (pictured in the player above) recently came to the StoryCorps MobileBooth to talk about what it’s been like for him to be transgender, and his fears about the future.

StoryCorps: Francisco and Frankie Preciado

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:06

Frankie Preciado talks with his father, Francisco, a groundskeeper at Stanford University, about the time they shared together on campus.

Preciadonpr2_small

When Francisco Preciado was six years old, his family moved from Mexico to the California. They entered the United States through the Bracero program, which, starting in 1942 and lasting more than 20 years, allowed Mexican workers to come to the U.S. to take temporary agricultural jobs.

At the time, Francisco spoke only Spanish, but he quickly learned English with the help of his teachers. This led him to dream of one day becoming a teacher himself, but financial demands and the need to support his family forced him to drop out of school and begin working full-time.

In the early 1980s, he took a job as a groundskeeper at Stanford University and was often accompanied to the college by his young son Frankie. Francisco hoped that one day Frankie would become a student at Stanford, and his dream came true with Frankie graduating from the university in 2007 with degrees in political science and Chicano(a) Studies.

Now 31 years old, Frankie is the executive director of the union that represents Stanford’s service and technical workers, and whose membership also includes his father.

Francisco and Frankie came to StoryCorps to talk about their relationship and their time together at Stanford—one as a maintenance man, the other as a student.

StoryCorps: Bill Sayenga and Ellen Riek

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:30

Bill Sayenga remembers his mother, a woman who saw the need for change and ran for office—winning in 1953 and holding her seat for six terms.

Sayenganpr_small

Bill Sayenga’s father died when he was just four years old leaving behind his mother, Marie, and his older sister Louise.

In order to support her family, Marie found a job with the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, recorder of deeds office as a secretary, but her pay—about a dollar an hour and just over $2,000 a year—was miserable. Although it allowed her to provide a home for her family, the money was only enough for them to just get by.

For 11 years Marie worked at the recorder of deeds’ office, and according to Louise, she hated it. But for all that the job lacked, it did provide Marie with insights into the inner workings of her local government. She recognized the need for change and in 1949, Marie ran for tax collector in the borough of Bethel.

Being both a woman and a Democrat made her a long shot. For over 50 years, men had been elected tax collector, and for the previous 24, Merle Long held the office. Marie lost that first race, but in 1953 she made a second run and unseated Long by just nine votes.

Marie would hold onto the job for the next 24 years, winning five subsequent elections. In 1973, in her final race, she received more votes than anyone else on the ballot running for any office in the borough.

Marie died in February 1993 at the age of 83.

Bill came to StoryCorps with Marie’s granddaughter, Ellen Riek (pictured above), to remember their family’s influential and powerful matriarch.

StoryCorps: Jim Stockdale and Jasey Schnaars

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:46

Vice Admiral James Stockdale was a Vietnam War POW for more than seven years. His son, Jim, recalls the family’s difficult wait for his father’s return.

Stockdalenpr_small

Many Americans remember Vice Admiral James Stockdale as H. Ross Perot’s running mate during the 1992 presidential campaign. Standing on stage between Dan Quayle and Al Gore during the vice-presidential debate, Admiral Stockdale opened by rhetorically asking: “Who am I? Why am I here?”

Those questions immediately became a sound bite and a punchline for late night comedians, and for millions of Americans, they defined a man they knew little about.

Adm. Stockdale’s legacy goes far beyond a few sentences spoken at a debate. Over the course of his Naval career, he earned 26 combat awards including two Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Distinguished Service Medals, two Purple Hearts, four Silver Stars, and in 1976 President Gerald Ford presented him with our nation’s highest military honor, the Medal of Honor.

In 1947, Adm. Stockdale graduated from the United States Naval Academy, and in 1965, then-Captain Stockdale’s plane was shot down over North Vietnam. He was then captured and brought to the Hoa Lo Prison, infamously referred to as the Hanoi Hilton.

Being the highest-ranking Naval officer held prisoner of war, he became a leader among the other POWs establishing a code of conduct to help keep them from being used by the North Vietnamese for propaganda purposes. Adm. Stockdale, who was forced to wear leg irons for two years while held captive, at one point slashed his own face with a razor to keep from being put on camera, and according to his Medal of Honor citation, he once used glass from a broken window to slit his own wrist in order to “convince his captors of his willingness to give up his life rather than capitulate.”

During his seven and a half years as a POW, Adm. Stockdale was able to send letters to his wife, Sybil, in California. Quickly, she figured out his correspondences contained coded messages and she coordinated with the CIA to continue their communications while her husband was held captive.

Sybil herself was a force to be reckoned with. She was a vocal advocate for the families of POWs and soldiers missing in action at a time when the United States government followed a “keep quiet” policy, asking relatives of POWs not to call attention to their family members (this policy was primarily for public relations purposes). And as a response, she helped found the National League of Families of American Prisoners Missing in Southeast Asia, a nonprofit organization that is still active today as The National League of POW/MIA Families.

In 1979, Sybil was awarded the U.S. Navy Department’s Distinguished Public Service Award, presented to civilians for specific courageous or heroic acts. The citation that accompanied the honor noted, “Her actions and indomitable spirit in the face of many adversities contributed immeasurably to the successful safe return of American prisoners, gave hope, solace and support to their families in a time of need and reflected the finest traditions of the Naval service and of the United States of America.”

In July 2005, Adm. Stockdale died at the age of 81, and in October 2015, Sybil died at the age of 90. They are buried alongside each other at the United States Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland.

Their son, Jim, who was a teenager at the time of his father’s capture, came to StoryCorps with his friend, Jasey Schnaars, to talk about his mother’s strength as they waited for his father’s return home.

StoryCorps: Hans Walters and Martha Hiatt

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:43

Hans Walters talks to his wife, Martha Hiatt, about going from heavy metal frontman to shark researcher and supervisor at the New York Aquarium.

Waltersnpr_small As far back as he can recall Hans Walters loved sharks. As a child growing up just outside of New Orleans, Louisiana, in the 1970s, he would spend hours flipping through the encyclopedia memorizing details about the many different types of sharks.

Hans’ love of sharks led him to attend college in Florida at the University of Miami where he earned his degree in Marine Biology, ZToyz live in NYCbut that career was put on hold when, in 1982, he became the lead singer of the Miami-based metal band ZToyz.

Hans spent the next nine years fronting ZToyz as they opened for huge stars like Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, the Ramones, and Humble Pie. The video for their song, “Miami Breakdown,” played on MTV, and Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider covered one of their songs on a solo album.

In the early 1990s, ZToyz broke up and Hans decided it was time to do something new with his life. Putting his degree to use, he applied for a job at the Wildlife Conservation Society, and his love for sharks was rekindled. He went on to earn his Masters degree in Marine Biology and is now a shark researcher and supervisor at the New York Aquarium on Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York.

But Hans hasn’t left rock and roll entirely behind, before he arrived at the aquarium, the sharks were given names like Sand Tiger Shark 1, Sand Tiger Shark 2, and Sand Tiger Shark 3. Hans started referring to them as “dirty stinkin’ rock and rollers,” and these days they’re named a bit differently. Visitors now spend time with Axl, Duff, and the rest of Guns N’ Roses as well as Janis Joplin and members of AC/DC and Bad Company.

Years ago, hanging out on the Coney Island boardwalk with Dee Snider, Dee told him he always admired that Hans had a backup plan if his career in music didn’t work out. Hans’ response: “Music was the backup plan. Marine biology was the original plan.”

The New York Aquarium is also where Hans met animal behaviorist Martha Hiatt, now his wife. They came to StoryCorps to talk about his unusual career trajectory and how much of his life was actually motivated by his love of sharks.

Originally aired June 10, 2016 on NPR’s Morning Edition.

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: William Chambers and Ceceley Chambers

From StoryCorps | 03:23

William’s mother is a chaplain providing spiritual support to seniors and hospice patients. At StoryCorps they discuss how her work affects them both.

Chambersnpr_small

William Chambers’ mother, Ceceley, is an interfaith chaplain who has provided spiritual support to seniors and hospice patients suffering from memory loss and dementia. Her work involves talking with people about their faith, listening to their stories, and praying with them--sometimes up to ten times a day.

Last year William, 9, went to work with his mother while she was visiting with residents of the Boston-area Hebrew Rehabilitation Center. Ceceley knew that many of the residents liked having children around, and they were thrilled to have William there.

At first William was afraid to go to the center, but his experience there left him pleasantly surprised. Among the residents he spent time with was a woman with end-stage Alzheimer’s disease who carried a baby doll with her that she treated like a real child. This didn’t faze William who told his mother, “I think people are free to think whatever they want to think.”

Since his initial visit, William has returned to work with his mother several more times. While Ceceley finds it difficult to say goodbye to the residents at the end of the day, they have taught her the “importance of being present, and the beauty of just little small moments.” William says that his time going to work with his mother has changed how he sees things as well: “They made me think, you should enjoy life as much as you can cause it doesn’t happen forever.”

They came to StoryCorps to discuss the affect Ceceley’s work has had on them both.

[Of the many residents Ceceley has counseled, she felt particularly connected to one man who would sing her love songs and tell her dirty jokes. Listen below to hear one of the love songs.]

Originally aired September 2, 2016 on NPR’s Morning Edition.

StoryCorps: Jasmine Pacheco and Carmen Pacheco-Jones

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:30

A mother talks to her daughter about what it was like to reconnect with her children after her years of drug and alcohol abuse tore their family apart.

Pacheco-jonesnpr_small

Carmen Pacheco-Jones grew up in an unstable home and had stopped attending school by the time she was 13 years old. She was abusing drugs and alcohol, and throughout her childhood, she spent time in and out of more than a dozen foster homes.

Her drug and alcohol dependence continued into adulthood--even as Carmen started her own family. Her five children remember being raised in a chaotic home; that changed nearly 20 years ago when police in Washington state raided the house where the family was living. Following her arrest, the children were separated and placed in different foster homes.

At StoryCorps, Carmen sat down with her 27-year-old daughter, Jasmine, who was 10 years old when the raid took place, to remember what it was like when their family reconnected after being torn apart.

Today Carmen has been alcohol and drug free for 17 years and is a part of all of her children and grandchildren’s lives. This winter Jasmine is on track to graduate from Eastern Washington University with a degree in psychology and a minor in art.

Originally aired October 28, 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.

Stanleynpr_small

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: Alicia Beltrán-Castañeda and Serena Castañeda

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 01:49

A mother tells her daughter about growing up in California in the late 1960s, and the lesson learned after her mother gave her beloved bed away.

Storycorps_small

Alicia Beltrán-Castañeda grew up in Salinas, California, in the late 1960s. Her mother, Beatriz Béltran, was an immigrant from Mexico, and her father, Manuel, worked both as a foreman at a food packing plant and as an overseer of migrant farm workers.

Their family of seven lived in a small trailer, but by working multiple jobs, Manuel was able to save enough money to buy a plot of land on which he built a house. Alicia vividly recalls sitting on a 1950s metal stool in their living room, watching her father paint some of the walls goldenrod, and others Pepto-Bismol pink.

Manuel died when Alicia was 13, leaving their mother to raise the children alone.

Beatriz began working for the Salinas City Elementary School District as a bilingual liaison for Spanish-speaking families and the administration, and later became a coordinator for migrant worker families. Through her job, she saw the poverty many migrant families lived in.

Alicia was not as familiar with the lives of migrant farmworkers until she came home one day to find that her bed was missing--she was furious. With all of her older siblings away at college, Alicia had finally gotten her own room, and she loved her bed, which had a pink cover and lace dust ruffle. When she confronted her mother, Beatriz explained that she had given the bed to a family that had recently arrived in California from Mexico, and Alicia remembers telling her mother that she did not understanding why that was her problem. Without explanation, Beatriz told her to fill shopping bags with canned food from their pantry.

Together they drove to a house where Alicia’s bed now was, a one-room shack with a dirt floor like the ones occupied by so many other migrant worker families. There they met a woman who was laying on Alicia’s bed with her newborn baby surrounded by her four other children.

At StoryCorps, Alicia told her own daughter, Serena, 13, how meaningful that experience was for her.

Originally aired November 18, 2016, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

StoryCorps: Francisco and Kaya Ortega

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:43

A father tells his daughter about growing up in Tijuana, Mexico, after his parents left to find work in the U.S., and the day he was reunited with them.

Ortegafnpr_small When he was a young boy, Francisco Ortega’s parents left him and his siblings in Mexico and moved to the U.S. to find work. He did not reunite with them for three and a half years, joining them in Los Angeles in 1978 when he was 9 years old. At StoryCorps he talks with his daughter Kaya about his time in Tijuana, and the day he left.

StoryCorps: Judy Charest and Harold Hogue

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:31

A woman speaks with one of the men who saved her life on Christmas Eve 1956, after her mother jumped with her off a bridge and into the river below.

Charestnpr_small On Christmas Eve 1956, Judy Charest’s mother drove with her to a bridge and jumped off into the cold waters of the river below. One of the men who helped rescue them that day was Harold Hogue. At StoryCorps, Judy and Harold discuss their first meeting -- when Judy was 3-months-old-- and their second almost 60 years later.

StoryCorps: Kayla Wilson and Wendy Founds

From StoryCorps | Part of the StoryCorps series | 02:57

A story told in two parts: Kayla Wilson came to StoryCorps in 2006 to talk about her mom’s drug addition and incarceration. Ten years later, she returned with her mother, Wendy Founds.

Wilsonnpr_small Kayla Wilson came to StoryCorps with her grandmother Teri Lyn Coulter-Colclasure in 2006 to talk about the impact of addiction and incarceration on their family. Ten years later, Kayla and her mother, Wendy Founds, released from prison, to talk about her return home.  

StoryCorps: Anthony "Tony Bees" Planakis

From StoryCorps | 01:56

When bee season in New York City begins in early spring, that means retired police detective (and unofficial NYPD beekeeper) Anthony “Tony Bees” Planakis gets busy tending to his hives and rescuing swarms.

Tony Bees didn’t always love bees. In fact, it took a long time for his beekeeper father to convince him of their beauty. Ultimately, Tony became enamored with honey bees and even has a tattoo dedicated to his affection for them. He says it’s in his blood; he’s a fourth generation beekeeper whose family hails from Crete.

At StoryCorps, Anthony talked about what drew him to working with bees, and what he’s learned from them.

Tony retired from the NYPD in 2014. He now works as a private consultant and contractor removing hives and swarms all over the New York City region.

Planakisdiptych_small When bee season in New York City begins in early spring, that means retired police detective (and unofficial NYPD beekeeper) Anthony “Tony Bees” Planakis gets busy tending to his hives and rescuing swarms. Tony Bees didn’t always love bees. In fact, it took a long time for his beekeeper father to convince him of their beauty. Ultimately, Tony became enamored with honey bees and even has a tattoo dedicated to his affection for them. He says it’s in his blood; he’s a fourth generation beekeeper whose family hails from Crete. At StoryCorps, Anthony talked about what drew him to working with bees, and what he’s learned from them. Tony retired from the NYPD in 2014. He now works as a private consultant and contractor removing hives and swarms all over the New York City region.

StoryCorps: Five Mualimm-ak and Omar Mualimmak

From StoryCorps | 02:52

StoryCorps gives people the chance to sit down together and have a conversation they’ve never had before. Five Mualimm-ak did just that with his son, Omar, who was five years old when his father was first incarcerated.

By the time Mr. Mualimm-ak was finished serving his sentence for weapons charges, he had been in prison for nearly a dozen years, many of those spent in solitary confinement. When he was released in 2012, Omar was a senior in high school. The two have had difficulty connecting since then. They came to StoryCorps together to talk about their relationship for the first time.

Mualimm-aksquare_small StoryCorps gives people the chance to sit down together and have a conversation they’ve never had before. Five Mualimm-ak did just that with his son, Omar, who was five years old when his father was first incarcerated. By the time Mr. Mualimm-ak was finished serving his sentence for weapons charges, he had been in prison for nearly a dozen years, many of those spent in solitary confinement. When he was released in 2012, Omar was a senior in high school. The two have had difficulty connecting since then. They came to StoryCorps together to talk about their relationship for the first time.

StoryCorps: Sylvia Bullock and Marcus Bullock

From StoryCorps | 02:44

In the mid-1990s, Reverend Sylvia Bullock was raising two kids on her own near Washington, D.C. while working and going to college full-time.

Her teenage son, Marcus, saw how hard his mother was working — and how little they had — and decided to take matters into his own hands. He and a friend committed a carjacking, and although he was 15 years old, Marcus was tried as an adult. He served eight years for the crime.

Marcus was released in 2004. Since then he has created an app, called Flikshop, that makes it easier for inmates and their families to stay in touch. His mom works for his tech company as Fulfillment Manager and Mom-in-Chief. She received her Doctor of Ministry in 2008.

Bullocksquare_small In the mid-1990s, Reverend Sylvia Bullock was raising two kids on her own near Washington, D.C. while working and going to college full-time. Her teenage son, Marcus, saw how hard his mother was working — and how little they had — and decided to take matters into his own hands. He and a friend committed a carjacking, and although he was 15 years old, Marcus was tried as an adult. He served eight years for the crime. Marcus was released in 2004. Since then he has created an app, called Flikshop, that makes it easier for inmates and their families to stay in touch. His mom works for his tech company as Fulfillment Manager and Mom-in-Chief. She received her Doctor of Ministry in 2008.

StoryCorps: Francine Anderson

From StoryCorps | 02:46

Francine Anderson grew up in rural Virginia during the 1950s. It was the Jim Crow South and “Whites Only” signs punctuated the windows of many businesses. Francine came to StoryCorps to talk about one night when she became aware of what those signs meant for her family.

Editor’s note: This story contains a quote where a racial slur is used.

Andersonsquare_small Francine Anderson grew up in rural Virginia during the 1950s. It was the Jim Crow South and “Whites Only” signs punctuated the windows of many businesses. Francine came to StoryCorps to talk about one night when she became aware of what those signs meant for her family. Editor’s note: This story contains a quote where a racial slur is used.

StoryCorps: William Lynn Weaver

From StoryCorps | 03:04

You may recall the voice of Dr. William “Lynn” Weaver from a StoryCorps interview he did back in 2007, where he talked about his father, Ted Weaver — the most important man in his life.

He later came back to StoryCorps to remember someone else who had a huge influence on him: his 7th grade science teacher, Mr. Edward O. Hill.
In the fall of 1964, Weaver was 14 years old and about to start his sophomore year of high school in Knoxville, Tennessee, when, along with 13 other black students, he integrated previously all-white West High School.

At StoryCorps, he talks about what happened on his first day at West High.

Weaversquare_small You may recall the voice of Dr. William “Lynn” Weaver from a StoryCorps interview he did back in 2007, where he talked about his father, Ted Weaver — the most important man in his life. He later came back to StoryCorps to remember someone else who had a huge influence on him: his 7th grade science teacher, Mr. Edward O. Hill. In the fall of 1964, Weaver was 14 years old and about to start his sophomore year of high school in Knoxville, Tennessee, when, along with 13 other black students, he integrated previously all-white West High School. At StoryCorps, he talks about what happened on his first day at West High.

StoryCorps: Max Hanagarne and Josh Hanagarne

From StoryCorps | 02:51

StoryCorps gives people the chance to talk to each other about the events that have helped shape who they are. Josh Hanagarne did just that with his nine-year-old son in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Josh has an extreme form of Tourette’s syndrome, in which his tics — or involuntary movements and noises — have been so severe, they’ve put him in the hospital. He first started showing symptoms of Tourette’s when he was around the age his son is now.

One thing that helps Josh minimize his tics is when he is talking to someone. At StoryCorps, he sat down for this conversation with his son, Max.

Hanagarnesquare_small StoryCorps gives people the chance to talk to each other about the events that have helped shape who they are. Josh Hanagarne did just that with his nine-year-old son in Salt Lake City, Utah. Josh has an extreme form of Tourette’s syndrome, in which his tics — or involuntary movements and noises — have been so severe, they’ve put him in the hospital. He first started showing symptoms of Tourette’s when he was around the age his son is now. One thing that helps Josh minimize his tics is when he is talking to someone. At StoryCorps, he sat down for this conversation with his son, Max.