Saturday, November 22, 2008

StoryCorps is declaring November 28, 2008 the first annual National Day of Listening.

from StoryCorps
This Thanksgiving, StoryCorps asks you to start a new holiday tradition—set aside one hour on Friday, November 28th, to record a conversation with someone important to you. You can interview anyone you choose: an older relative, a friend, a teacher, or a familiar face from the neighborhood.

You can preserve the interview using recording equipment readily available in most homes, such as tape recorders, computers, video cameras or a pen and paper. Our free Do-It-Yourself Guide is easy to use and will prepare you and your interview partner to record a memorable conversation, no matter which method of recording you prefer.

We hope that you’ll make a yearly tradition of listening to and preserving a loved one’s story. The stories you collect will surely become treasured keepsakes, growing more valuable with each passing generation.

I'm reminded of the wonderful stories my grandfather Brian used to tell me. How I wish I had recorded them as a youngster. I plan on having Ben and Shira call their grandparents and great grandmother this Friday and record a story from each of them. They are both entranced by the stories Marc and I tell them and they love the story that their great grandmother tells of how the doctor wrote out her birth and death certificates at the same time, 94 years ago. She was born prematurely, in a blizzard in rural Maryland and weighed a scant 2lbs. The doctor wrote out the death certificate because he said there was no way she was going to survive and no way he was coming out in the blizzard again. Her aunt put her in a shoebox and placed her at the back of the coal stove. It worked! Two weeks ago we celebrated her 94th birthday.

I think that this is a great project for the kids. This is a project with legs. Seeing as my parents live half a world away, we'll wait until we see them again so that the children can video tape them telling more of their stories.


neal said...

StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit project whose mission is to honor and celebrate one another's lives through listening. StoryCorp is a nonprofit project that allows everyday people to record stories from their lives through being interviewed.



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Kathleen said...

A big thank you from StoryCorps for posting about the National Day of Listening! We're hoping to pass on a last minute holiday gift idea: For everyone who has done a personal interview with a loved one (or are thinking about it), make a copy of the interview and pair it with a paperback copy of the New York Times bestseller Listening is an Act of Love, a compilation of just some of StoryCorps' amazing, touching stories. This provides a meaningful addition to the holiday season, and gives that special someone even more incredible stories to read! The book can be linked to (as well as recording tips) at

Best wishes for the new year,