KERA and the AT&T Performing Arts Center will host StoryCorps’ mobile recording studio, which has captured more than 50,000 gut-wrenching, hilarious, tearful and inspiring tales from real-life Americans. From caveman-era campfires to internet chat rooms, individuals who recount oral histories are not just artists, but critically important historians who create the essence of a society, one story at a time.
Please consider joining the Center in telling our region’s story when the StoryCorps MobileBooth rolls into town and lands at the Center’s gorgeous Sammons Park. We love bringing people together on our campus to experience the rarest and raddest cultural experiences that Dallas has to offer!
To inspire your inner Griot, we’ve compiled three must-read accounts from StoryCorps to help activate your mind.
Danny and Annie – A Love Letter a Day (Source)
If you’re disenchanted with relationships, allow Danny and Annie’s marriage to grow your heart three sizes. Over the course of their joyous 25-year union, Danny wrote a love letter to his beloved wife every single morning, telling her how she is the light of his life. That’s just one indication of the incredible bond between these love birds, whose multiple interviews with StoryCorps are filled with laughter and good-natured ribbing.
When Danny was diagnosed with a fast-moving terminal illness, he returned to StoryCorps one final time to record a tribute to his bride. In his interview, he tells her “There’s a thing in life where you have to come to terms with dying. Well, I haven’t come to terms with dying yet. I want to come to terms with being sure that you understand that my love for you up to this point was as much as it could be and it’ll be as much as it could be for eternity.”
In his final StoryCorps interview, Danny asked listeners to take care of Annie for him. After Danny passed, Annie received condolences from more than 1,300 people, living all over the world. She’s reading the letters a day at a time, to help replace the daily love notes she used to receive from her husband. Even in death, he’s making sure she knows she’s loved, every day.
Tim and Keith – Combatting Prejudice with Entrepreneurship (Source)
Tim has Down Syndrome, but that’s hardly what defines him. Instead, the first word that springs to mind is “entrepreneur.” Even as a young man, Tim dreamed of owning his own restaurant. To realize his goal, Tim knew what he had to do: go to college and learn how to become a businessman. His parents worked tirelessly to ensure he would have the same opportunity that his peers would, helping him gain entrance into college, which many thought impossible.
When he arrived at Eastern New Mexico University, Tim said that he cried into his pillow because he missed his “superhero parents.” Fortunately, Tim has never been one to wallow. He explains that he got tired of crying and “decided to knock it off and make friends.”
Tim became a popular man on his university campus and earned certificates in hotel and restaurant management, which was the final step to living his dream. Together with his father, Tim opened Tim’s Place in Albuquerque, where he works six days a week greeting guests. Tim makes the restaurant a place where the customers’ body and soul are fed. “When they come through the front door and when they see me, they just melt into my arms for a hug.”
Today, Tim has started his own nonprofit, helping others with disabilities start their own businesses. He believes that with the right support, anyone can achieve their dreams.
Happy and Taz – Bikers with Heart (Source)
If your impression of bikers is booze and fighting, you’ve never met Happy and Taz. They’re members of an organization called Bikers Against Child Abuse, who roam neighborhoods in (civic-minded) gangs, reaching out to kids who have been or are at risk of being abused. Far too many children keep quiet about abuse, because they are afraid of the repercussions of outing their abusers.
However, as Happy explains, the bikers are “scarier than the person that’s abusing them.”
Happy and Taz share a story about giving one of their vests to a girl who felt unsafe. According to her mom, the little girl wore it every day for a week straight, even sleeping in it.
Feeling taken care of is very close to Taz’s heart. He was a victim of child abuse growing up, and explains the toll it can take on a young person. “You’re going to bed with this burden every single night, and you wake up knowing exactly what’s going to happen the next day. You’re so scared that you don’t know how to go about talking to somebody about it.”
For the kids in Happy and Taz’s area, they will never have to feel alone or afraid, because they’ve got two Big Bads on their side.
Please join KERA and the AT&T Performing Arts Center to Celebrate StoryCorps’ Opening Day event on November 20 in the Information Center at Sammons Park. If you would like to record your oral history, reservations will be available at 10 a.m. on November 21 and can be made by calling StoryCorps’ 24-hour toll-free reservation line at 1-800-850-4406 or visiting storycorps.org. To help offset its operating costs, StoryCorps suggests a donation of at least $25 for each MobileBooth interview. If participants cannot afford to meet the suggested donation, they may participate at no cost to ensure that StoryCorps remains a free public service.