people talk to storycorps

Everybody has a story and there’s a unique opportunity to share yours and listen to stories from others. StoryCorps is a deeply moving project that brings to light the real stories of very real people. Young, old, rich or poor, some are quite eloquent storytellers while others’ dialogue is movingly simplistic and heartfelt.
StoryCorps, a national initiative to document the stories of everyday Americans, is camping in Jacksonville to collect the stories of First Coast residents as part of its cross-country tour. StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit project whose mission is to honor and celebrate one another’s lives through listening.
By recording the stories of our lives with the people we care about, we experience our history, hopes and humanity. Since 2003, tens of thousands of everyday people have interviewed family and friends through StoryCorps. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to take home and share, and is archived for generations to come at the Library of Congress.
In Jacksonville, StoryCorps is partnering with 89.9 WJCT-FM, Jacksonville’s NPR station, which will air a selection of the local stories and create special programs around the project. Selected segments may also air nationally on NPR’s Morning Edition. WJCT is proud to partner with the City of Jacksonville on the StoryCorps project.
At the MobileBooth, interviews are conducted between two people who know and care about each other. A trained facilitator guides the participants through the interview process and handles the technical aspects of the recording.
Anna Walters, who is StoryCorps mobile booth site supervisor while their recordings are being held in our area recounted some of her experiences while traveling the highways of America. “When we were in Northern California, where there’s a large number of Hispanic migrant workers, one timid teen set out to interview his hard-working, and reluctant father. The kid was so nervous, you can hear him practicing the questions in a whisper before he asked each one. When his father gave a quick response, he would ask it again and again, until the hardness of his Dad faded into the warmth of a father.” Another story Anna recalled was in the Mid West when a pair of lifelong old friends reminisced about their childhood Sunday school teacher, Mrs. Pease, who was a tyrant on Bible verses. Anna said everyone on the production team was laughing hysterically.
At the end of a 40-minute session, the participants walk away with a CD of their interview. With their permission, a second copy becomes part of an archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for future generations to hear.