StoryCorps

Joshua Myers, 29, has Down syndrome. These days, he considers it a gift — but he didn't always.

"At first," he says, "I thought it was a curse."

In fact, the condition proved so overwhelming for Myers that, once, he even walked out into the middle of a busy intersection, hoping that a car would hit him and end his life. But a stranger stopped for him. She brought him into her car to talk things through.

Myers hasn't seen her since.

StoryCorps

Kristi and Geoff Trickett both grew up in divorced families, so when they married they were determined to make their relationship strong and positive. Now married for eight years, Kristi and Geoff moved to Yakima so Kristi could attend medical school. They headed to the StoryCorps mobile recording booth to talk about the experience that shaped their union.

Copyright 2013 Northwest Public Radio 

To some observers, many people take jobs in Yakima with a two-year plan in mind. That was the case for Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital's CEO, Rick Linneweh, and also for the hospital’s senior vice president and chief operating officer, Russ Myers. But Rick decided to forgo the two-year plan, and in this excerpt from StoryCorps Northwest, he tells Russ why he ended up staying at his job for 38 years.

Copyright 2013 Northwest Public Radio 

Air The StoryCorps Theme, Cue The Tears

Oct 21, 2013

NPR's Steve Inskeep has a confession to make. In order to remain composed as the host of Morning Edition, he sometimes has to turn the volume down in the studio when the StoryCorps segment airs on Fridays.

"I just wait for the clock to run down so I know when to talk at the end because otherwise I know I'm going to lose it if I listen to that story," Inskeep tells StoryCorps founder Dave Isay. "It's deeply moving."

StoryCorps

When John Baule accepted the job of Yakima Valley Museum Director, he thought he’d give it a couple of years. But his two-year plan became a ten-year passion. On StoryCorps Northwest, John tells his friend, Ralph Thompson, about the museum embracing minority stories of the Yakima Valley.

Copyright 2013 Northwest Public Radio 

Polo Aguilera lived for his community. He participated in 10 Yakima council boards, funded local sports teams and was the founder of Yakima's first Mexican bakery, La Petunia. He was known as a man who loved to help others. When Polo’s health started to fail, it didn't come as a surprise that the community came to his family's aid. Polo's wife, Terry Aguilera  talked to her co-worker and friend, Cherokee Frazier about Polo's struggle with cancer and the help their family received after his death.

StoryCorps

Senior citizen Howard Kelly Prentice Jr. decided he needed a little activity. So he signed up for an Elderhostel vacation. He ended up with quite a souvenir, his future wife, Dotty Prentice, proving it's never too late to fall in love.

Copyright 2013 Northwest Public Radio 

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Imagine leaving your children with relatives while you look for jobs in another country. This is the case for many migrant workers who come to Washington state to harvest crops. In StoryCorps Northwest, hear Trinidad Rivera shares the painful memory of being left behind in Mexico for 3 years while her parents worked in the US with her daughter, Keila.

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Inspired by the life and activism of a friend, Jan Michelle Lowell and Mike Isaacs of Yakima decided to work together on a community project. They raised funds to replicate the town's only public statue, the 110-year old Spanish-American War memorial of Colonel J.J. Weisenberger, a much loved military leader and a signer of the Washington State Constitution. Jan and Mike want to move the statue from its current location on Yakima Avenue, to the Yakima Valley Museum for preservation.

StoryCorps

When you think of farming in America, you may think of golden fields, red barns and abundant orchards.        You may imagine a  farmer in overalls, sitting on a tractor. But what about a farmer sitting in class -- at a university? Cragg Gilbert and his cousin Charlie de la Chapelle discuss how education and research are today's tools in farming.

Copyright 2013 StoryCorps and  Northwest Public Radio 

StoryCorps

KDNA, the country's first Spanish-lanuage community radio station, was founded by Ricardo Garcia of Yakima. Garcia worked with Cesar Chavez, and established the Yakima Valley Farm Worker’s Clinic.

Copyright 2013 Northwest Public Radio 

Millions died under Cambodia's communist regime. Sinoun Hem, of Tacoma, was a young girl when the Khmer Rouge came to power. She tells her friend Fauluaina Pritchard her about how she was taken from her family and forced into a child work camp.

Northwest Public Radio

Dion Cole's father loved speed. He shared his love of fast cars and the rev of engines with his two sons, and his adopted daughter, Dion. She shares some of the memories of fast times with her father. She also shares how he took his own life.
 

Imagine an idyllic childhood. You play in the woods and climb trees, or splash in the creek and catch frogs. You're surrounded by a dozen homes that look  just like yours, and inside each one are kids to play with, or adults who give you ice cream. But about 400 yards away is a uranium mill. For StoryCorps Northwest, Doug Sly tells his friend Terry Kinzel about growing up near a yellow cake mill in Ford, Washington.

Photo source: StoryCorps

Romantic relationships can be difficult to maintain, especially if they're long distance relationships. Avery Green and Tim Toerber of Tacoma share how they met, and how they manage to keep their relationship going during Tim's many deployments to Afghanistan. 
 

La Dona Madison worked at the "Big Pasco" military base in Washington during World War II. It was a busy place with soldiers eveywhere but not just American soldiers. She tells her son, Michael Madison, about some unusual guests at the base.

StoryCorps Northwest

Life in Seward, Alaska wasn't easy for English major Amy Buckler and her husband. They had a tough time making ends meet. One day, they decided to leave and start a new life in Oregon with their young daughter. In today's StoryCorps Amy tells her now 10-year-old daughter, Mina Black, about a trip that would prove tougher than they'd ever expected.

StoryCorps / StoryCorps

Holocaust Remembrance Day is January 27. During World War II, Sweden offered asylum to more than eight thousand Danish Jews. Holocaust Remembrance Day is January 27.  During World War II, Sweden offered asylum to more than eight thousand Danish Jews.  Kerstin Ringdahl, born in in Sweden in 1935, tells her friend Fran Lane Rasmus about her own family's experience taking in a Jewish refugee.
 

StoryCorps Northwest

In the United States there are an estimated 5.4 million people with Alzheimer's disease. Two thirds of those are women over the age of 65. Dorothee Lundgren was diagnosed with the disease at much younger age, she was 49. In this StoryCorps excerpt, her husband, Richard Lundgren talks with their son, David, about how the disease changed the marriage.

StoryCorps Northwest

Growing up with an alternate gender or sexual identity isn't easy for many young people. Oasis, a GLBTQ youth group in Tacoma, Washington, provides support and assistance. Lori Bundrock is the Prevention Director for the Pierce County Aids Foundation, and former director of Oasis. She spoke to her best friend and current Oasis director Seth Kirby about a young man who came to Tacoma from the deep South, and became one of the Oasis "superstars."

StoryCorps Northwest

Have you or a loved one struggled to overcome illness?  Walla Walla teacher Deborah L. Smith watched her husband Troy battle brain cancer for several years.  Smith tells Troy's childhood friend, Jack Tollefson, about Troy's efforts to be part of the 2002 Olympic torch run despite his cancer, and the help his family gave him.

StoryCorps Northwest

In any era, tough times call for families to use resourcefulness and plenty of resilience to transcend their struggles. Today we hear from retired librarian Mary Ann Olson who grew up poor in a Sumner, Washington. Her family had a rather unusual housing situation until Mary Ann took matters into her own hands. She shares the story with her daughter, Lynn Olson.

StoryCorps Northwest

It's Christmas vacation for many kids, and there are probably students who wish they wouldn't have to go back to school, ever. A kid's dream, right? For 24-year-old James Thames that was a reality, but as he explains to his case manager, Jason Scales, it was anything but a dream come true.

StoryCorps Northwest

Imagine having two birthdays. One, the actual day of your birth. The other, the day you could have died. This is the case for Cambodian-American Sok-Khieng Lim. Her friend, T.J. Pietz of Tacoma, interviewed her for StoryCorps Northwest about her two birthdays.

StoryCorps Northwest

Today is the 70th Anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Kenneth Merrill Sr., or Mudhole as his fellow marines call him, was a junior in high school then. In today's StoryCorps Northwest he talks with his nephew, Vernon Lott, about that day, and how he got his nickname.

StoryCorps Northwest

When you were a little kid, did you want a pony? Many little girls have wished for a pony. Tacoma sisters Denise Nichols and Claudia Casebolt they got their wish, but sometimes what you wish for is a lot of work!

With Thanksgiving coming up, we're all thinking of some of our best family stories. Every family has those tales that come up around the dinner table every year. For Celest Allen, it's a family vacation gone awry.

StoryCorps Northwest

Kerstin Ringdahl was born in Sweden in 1935. In her 30s she emigrated to the United States. She applied for a position as special collections archivist at Pacific Lutheran University, where she was a perfect fit. Her Scandinavian image helped a lot. Here she talks with her friend and colleague, Fran Lane Rasmus, about the early years of PLU and her job.

StoryCorps Northwest

Muffin, sweet pea, munchkin, these are some nicknames given to children, if you’re a parent, what nicknames did you come up with? For Dani and Adam Small, it’s “Monkey Pumpkin.” Six months ago, the Tacoma residents had their first child: Sophia. Adam talks about his favorite fatherhood duty.

StoryCorps Northwest

Many think the family farm is disappearing, but the USDA says more than 97% of U.S. farms are family operated.  One such farm belongs to Randy Mullen in Pasco, Washington. Randy has been an independent farmer since 1984, but his farming roots go back much further.

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