Stories form the fabric of who we are — they inspire us to be better people, help us find common ground through shared experience, and remind us where we came from. Storytelling is an art that connects generations. That’s why the White House Conference on Aging and StoryCorps are working together to help older Americans document and share their stories.
To get things started, StoryCorps pulled together an inspiring set of interviews featuring older Americans from their archives. The stories are those of sweetness and sorrow, laughter and tears.
- Sisters Priya Morganstern and Bhavani Jaroff interview their father, Ken Morganstern, about what it’s like to live with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Frank Curre recalls the attack on Pearl Harbor, memories he says are tattooed on his soul.
- Bobbi Cote-Whitacre tells the story of the joyous day she was finally able to marry her wife, Sandi.
- Betty Jenkins, 94, tells a story about the early days of commercial air travel and a wardrobe malfunction at 30,000 feet.
Stories are timeless and can be enjoyed by generations to come.
In celebration of the 2015 White House Conference on Aging, I encourage you to interview somebody from a different generation. Interview an older adult, or somebody who is making a difference for older Americans in your community. This year, we are celebrating the 50th anniversaries of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security. Tell us about the difference these programs have made in your life or the lives of your family, friends and neighbors. All of these stories together are patches in the quilt that is the great American story.
You can use the StoryCorps app to record your interview, then post it on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #WHCOA.