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Story Corps helps create a legacy for families

By Staff | Sep 8, 2010

I had a great opportunity last week to participate in a little piece of history; at least it was a little piece of our family history. My husband recently read an article in the Sun-Gazette about “StoryCorps”. He also listens to the StoryCorps broadcasts on National Public Radio. StoryCorps is the largest oral history project ever undertaken. It gives a pair of participants the opportunity to leave a legacy, in sound, for future generations. Across the country people have visited the StoryCorps sound proof booths to record a 40-minute interview with a loved one. One copy of the interview goes home with the participants on a CD, and a second copy goes to the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Many of the stories are also broadcast on NPR and online each week. The great thing about it is that everyday people are telling powerful stories and sharing conversations of a lifetime.

The StoryCorps booth was taping in Bellefonte, so my husband suggested that we go and that I interview my father, James Ritter. We had a conversation about his early life in Eagles Mere and about how he began the Hughesville High School Marching Band.

I knew many of the stories, but found out a few more things as well. His story is now preserved, in his own voice, for his grandchildren’s grandchildren.

StoryCorps is an independent, nonprofit organization that teaches us that everyone’s story matters and that every life counts. I highly encourage everyone to take a part in this amazing experience. More information can be found at www.storycorps.org