More than 100 people took part in StoryCorps, a national oral history project, when it stopped in downtown Minneapolis this summer. A 26-foot trailer served as a mobile recording booth, where everyday people interviewed friends and relatives about their lives. Those stories will eventually end up in the Library of Congress. The project started in New York's Grand Central Station, and was at Peavey Plaza in downtown Minneapolis for nearly three weeks. Here are some of the Minnesota stories that were collected.
Amy Amundsen interviewed her husband, Jeff Amundsen. He grew up with deaf parents and two deaf sisters. He talked about what it was like to be the only person in his family who could hear. (7/18/2005)
Charles and William Davidson
Charles Davidson, 86, was interviewed by his son, William Davidson. The elder Davidson is a World War II veteran who served in France shortly after the German occupation. A poor French family invited Charles and his friend Hank to stay in their home, so they wouldn't have to sleep outside on the ground. Charles recalled what happened after he shared his military rations with the family's two children. (7/15/2005)
R.T. Rybak and Lorraine Mesken
R.T. Rybak, the mayor of Minneapolis, interviewed his mother Lorraine Mesken. One of the first things he asked about was about his father, who died when Rybak was a young boy.
Lorraine talked about owning a drug store in Minneapolis, near the intersection of Chicago and Franklin. The store was often held up by robbers. (07/15/2005)
Verena and Linde Getahun
Linde Getahun was interviewed by her daughter Verena. Linde grew up in Austria and later moved to Ethiopia. She told her daughter about living in Austria during World War II.
Linde told the story of a "miraculous" experience, getting out of Ethiopia in the late 1970s with her husband and son.
Linde told a story about her father, and fire salamanders. (07/11/2005)
Claudia Egelhoff and Sirad Osman
Sirad Osman is a native of Somalia. Now he is director of New Americans Community Services in St. Paul. Osman was interviewed by his colleague, Claudia Egelhoff, and told her about growing up as a nomad in Somalia.
Sirad described his journey from Somalia to Minnesota (07/08/2005)
StoryCorps creator David Isay
Independent radio producer and documentarian David Isay is the creator of StoryCorps. The goal of the project is to record 250,000 interviews by 2014. He talked with MPR's Steven John about why he's launched StoryCorps. (All Things Considered, 06/29/2005)
Kristina De Sacramento and Barbara Stuart
Two of the first people to enter the booth were Kristina De Sacramento, a flamenco dancer in the Twin Cities, and her best friend Barbara Stuart. Kristina told Barbara a story about growing up, and wanting to please her mother.
Kristina talked about her decision to get married (06/24/2005)
Carei Thomas and Louis Alemayehu
Two local artists stopped by the booth — jazz musican Carei Thomas and poet Louis Alemayehu. They call each other "brother-friends," and they talked about the time Carei had an illness that left him unable to play the piano.
Thomas remembered growing up in Pittsburgh, and Alemayehu talked about growing up in Chicago. (06/27/2005)
Amy Trojanowski and Hal Studholme
Amy Trojanowski and Hal Studholme live in the Twin Cities. They've been partners for three years. Amy told a story about being in the Peace Corps in Poland during the reign of Pope John Paul II. (06/29/2005)