StoryCorps Arizona Stories Jun - Aug 2011

June 27, 2011
KJZZ StoryCorps Project: Sharing and preserving stories that define who we are

Most of us keep old photographs, videos, cards and letters to remember and share precious moments in our lives. This summer, KJZZ is sharing a collection of StoryCorps features that beautifully capture some of the memories, passions, hopes and dreams of a diverse group of people who call Arizona home.

The 13 features provide excerpts from hour-long interviews conducted by the national StoryCorps team during its visit to Arizona Jan. 6 – 29. The StoryCorps team conducted 120 interviews from its MobileBooth—an Airstream trailer outfitted with a recording studio. The MobileBooth was parked in front of the Phoenix Public Library’s Burton Barr Central Library throughout the month of January. 

All of the interviews will be archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and at the Burton Barr Central Library as part of its City of Memory collection, which will be available to the public in the library’s Arizona Room.

You can listen to these stories now online:

Mary Jo WestMary Jo West looks back on what it was like to be a female pioneer in broadcasting in the 70s and Arizona's first female news anchor. Wasnaa Adnam and Daughter Aysar Jaber Wasnaa Adnam reminisces with her daughter Aysar Jaber about the struggles they faced while fleeing Baghdad in 2003, their journey to the U.S. and hopes for the future.
John Fullam and daughter Lisa FullamJohn Fullam  and his daughter Lisa Fullam recall memorable moments from their childhoods and talk about the special bonds that develop between children and their parents.  German Audies Cadenas and fried Pedro LopezGerman Audies Cadenas talks with his friend Pedro Lopez about his determination to graduate from ASU in spite of numerous obstacles.
Cassie Campa and Heather WalshCassie Campa has a candid discussion with her friend and mentor Heather Walsh about escaping abusive relationships and self-loathing to discover purpose and love. Governor Jan Brewer and son Michael BrewerGovernor Jan Brewer talks to her son Michael Brewer about the loss of her father during childhood and the special influence her mother has had in her life.
Mary Juergens and Joan SaundersSiblings  Mary Juergens and Joan Saunders reminisce about growing up in a family with nine girls and finding strength in numbers when it came time to care for their ailing father. Joseph and Debra KearnsDebra and Joseph Kearns talk about the moment they first met, when they realized they were meant to be together and how their love for one another still sparkles.
Jacqueline LaPat and her daughter Lori LaPat Polasko and granddaughter Alexandrea PolaskoJacqueline LaPat talks to her daughter Lori and granddaughter Alexandrea  about raising her son Robert, the challenges they faced, and a special moment that still fills her heart with joy.  Jose Luis Leal and his friend and mentor Chris WilliamsJose Luis Leal and his friend and mentor Chris Williams retrace Jose's journey from poverty and despair to college with a promising future.
Michael Nazario and his friend Susan HaslettMichael Nazario talks to his friend Susan Haslett about a moment that nearly changed his way of life and continues to haunt him.

Coy C. Payne with wife WillieCoy C. Payne, the first African American mayor in Arizona, recalls applying for a teaching job when segregation was still legal in a conversation with his wife Willie.
Henry Salinas and friend Edward UpshawHenry Salinas talks to his friend Edward Upshaw about why he chose to start an organization to stop gang violence and the legacy of his work. StoryCorps Logo

This KJZZ special project is made possible with the help of StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs.  StoryCorps currently has one of the largest collections of American voices ever gathered, with interviews collected from more than 60,000 Americans in all 50 states. 

Interviews were conducted by the StoryCorps team.  Segments were produced by KJZZ’s Brian Nissen with help from Jennifer Gaie Hellum.

Mayo Clinic logoFunding for this project was made possible by a generous contribution from presenting sponsor, Mayo Clinic of Arizona.
City of Phoenix Public Library logo
Many thanks to the City of Phoenix, Phoenix Public Library and Burton Barr Central Library for their support and participation in this project.

KJZZ would also like to extend a special thank you to all of the interviewees for sharing their stories and creating memorable moments for the rest of the world to remember for years to come.

To view photos from the StoryCorps January MobileBooth tour, visit KJZZ’s Facebook page.  To learn more, watch this YouTube video produced by MCTV.