Got a story to tell? Thatâ€™s what the StoryCorps wants to hear. Itâ€™s a national oral history project started by award winning radio producer Dave Isay.Â Almost three years ago, Isay built a booth in Grand Central Terminal in New York with the aim to interview anyone and everyone. Now you can stop being nervous about interviewing Great-Grandma Ethel. The StoryCorps will help you. Itâ€™s a great way to keep those kids from driving you crazy on school vacation. What are you waiting for?
If you live near a StoryCorp booth or one of their mobile trailers is in your area then make a reservation and stop by with your Granny to see how easy it is. Go to their website www.storycorps.net, click on Participate, followed by Record an Interview and set up an appointment. In February StoryCorps began a six month 10 city tour. A list of cities being visited by their mobile studio is on their website. More than 5, 000 people have participated in the tour thus far. Thatâ€™s a lot of tales.
When you arrive a facilitator will get you started and explain the interview process. For forty minutes you can talk about anything you want with your Grandma. Itâ€™s your chance to ask her all the questions youâ€™d like answers to-from the serious genealogical inquiry (What was your motherâ€™s maiden name?) to the mundane (What was your favorite type of candy as a kid?). Youâ€™ll leave a piece of history behind. A CD of the recording will go home with you and another goes to the American Folk Life Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps preserves the memories of the nation through the stories of each and every one of us.
StoryCorps website also includes instructions for a do-it-yourself interview. All the information you need is there from recording equipment to questions to ask. This is a great summer activity for the teens in your family. A minimal investment in a tape recorder gets them started. A more expensive option is to rent a Storykit from StoryCorps. Itâ€™s $100.00 for a seven day rental plus a security deposit. Each kit comes with a MiniDisc recorder, two MiniDiscs, a professional-quality microphone, studio-grade headphones, and a StoryKit User’s Guide. Itâ€™s enough for two interviews but you can add more for an additional fee.Â
Saving your family history usually focuses on documents, photographs and data, but recording the words of relatives who wonâ€™t always be with you keeps their memories alive. Getting teens involved is one way to maintain a connection during those difficult years. Theyâ€™ll see their elderly relatives in a different way when they recount their war experiences or talk about the love of their lives. When your teen turns the mic on you itâ€™s a chance to tell the story of their life through your recollections. Who knows what youâ€™ll learn about each other?
The motto of the StoryCorps is â€œListening is An Act of Love.â€ All across the country their volunteers are busy documenting the early twenty-first century not in words and pictures but in sound. If you listen closely, youâ€™ll hear the nation talking.