On Fridays, when I drive to school in the morning, there’s one program that comes on for about seven minutes or so, and usually leaves me crying by the end. It’s called StoryCorps (link). The people behind StoryCorps have, over the past ten years, conducted over 50,000 interviews. The people being interviewed can range from young kids to elderly people. Usually a person close to the person being interviewed is the one who conducts the interview. I think this is so people feel more comfortable talking about what can sometimes be extremely painful and personal memories.
Over the past ten years, Story Corps has collected stories from people about everything from the love between a couple in a long lasting marriage, to a firefighter who tells his story about how he couldn’t save two children from a fire. Even though the interviews are short, they are almost always emotional, sometimes both for the people giving the interview, and for the people listening.
I am fascinated with people’s stories and experiences so StoryCorps has grown to mean a lot to me. Every single interview that is completed gets stored in the Library of Congress, in the American Folklife Center (as long as the person giving the interview wants it to be archived). It’s a brilliant, and very important curated collection. It’s impossible to hear every story that every person has on the planet, so it makes me happy to think that a small fraction of them are being told and preserved. While the entire collection of StoryCorps interviews is not available online, they do feature stories from their collection on their website.