If you've ever listened to National Public Radio's Morning Edition and been awoken from its lulling, information-feeding spell by a heartfelt talk between a woman and her granddaughter, you've been introduced to StoryCorps. The oral history project turns ordinary people into interviewers and interviewees for recordings that have been broadcast on NPR and placed in the Library of Congress. Husbands interview wives, kids interview parents and friends interview friends in two trailers that collect stories across the country. One will soon be parked at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
Creator Dave Isay calls the project "an underground history of day-to-day life." "The idea is that everyday people are as interesting as Paris Hilton or anyone the news media pays a lot of attention to," he says, adding that there is no typical StoryCorps interview, but "the big themes of love and death" often come up. "When someone knows this will be in the Library of Congress and can be heard by their great-great grandchildren, they tend to get to the important things." One of Isay's favorites is a series of interviews a wife did with her husband as his cancer progressed. Cross-generational dialogues are common and often touch on historical events like World War II, the Civil Rights Movement and 9/11. Isay hopes the stop in Houston will yield a few Hurricane Katrina stories. -- Nick Keppler
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
To find out how you can get into the StoryCorps booth and onto KUHF, check out this week's Night & Day� section, which also gives you the lowdown on the world's hippest kid's show, a deity called the Song Keeper and the subversive undertones in the play that inspired Bewitched.