If you haven’t give Storyville a listen, you should. So far, I’ve only found the high-quality podcasts here at the Blue Banner, UNCA’s student newspaper. There are just two episodes up, as far as I can tell. Gillian Coates of the Readers Corner bookshop is helping to produce this series.
The wonderful audio stories come in the same vein of NPR’s StoryCorps, a project to collect very personal stories of regular people. StoryCorps stopped here in Asheville just last month:
ASHEVILLE – For more than 30 years, Fred Buch worked as an actor in Miami. He has been in movies, commercials and on the radio.
Four years ago, his acting career ended when he began having trouble memorizing lines, something that was usually effortless for him. Three years later, Buch, now 72, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Buch and his wife, Anne-Lise, were one of seven Western North Carolina families who participated in StoryCorps national oral history project. The nonprofit organization, based out of Brooklyn, N.Y., travels the country recording the stories of people’s lives.
As part of its Memory Loss Initiative, last week the organization visited MemoryCare, a local agency that serves memory-impaired individuals and their families.
“It’s a chance to tell their story,” said Dr. Virginia Templeton, associate director of MemoryCare. “It’s real poignant when you have a person with memory loss whose memory is changing to tell their story. So often, when you talk about memory loss and dementia, its something negative. This is just a very positive project.”
Since 2006, StoryCorps has been reaching out to people affected by memory loss, encouraging them to tell their stories. The participants are usually interviewed for 40 minutes by a member of their family or close friend, with a facilitator sitting in.
The interviewers typically come up with their own questions to ask. Most of the stories revolve around love, relationships and family.
With the participant’s permission, the stories will be archived in the Library of Congress with abbreviated versions of posted on StoryCorps’ Web site. Some are edited for national broadcast on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition.” The participants also get to take a copy of their interview home.