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June 29, 2006

Iowans will tell their stories when StoryCorps visits

by Diana Pounds

Iowans will interview each other, tell stories and offer personal observations when StoryCorps comes to Ames in July.

The WOI Radio Group is sponsoring the visit by StoryCorps, a national project to build an oral history of America. Public radio listeners likely have heard parts of StoryCorps interviews on National Public Radio. The stories range from veterans talking about their military experiences to a birth mother explaining why she gave up a child for adoption.

"It's never what people think it's going to be," WOI producer Katherine Perkins said of the StoryCorps excerpts aired by NPR. "It's the everyday personal moments -- a grandmother giving advice to her granddaughter or a father interviewing his son -- that you'll hear on the national program." Visit the StoryCorps Web site ( to hear stories.

Recording booth in Ames

Two StoryCorps mobile recording booths are visiting communities across the country to gather stories, and one of the booths will be in Ames, at the corner of Main and Burnett, from July 6-31.

StoryCorps interviews are designed to be a conversation between two people who are part of each other's lives. Two participants, one acting as interviewer and the other as interviewee, will come to the booth to record each story. A StoryCorps facilitator will be on hand to help with the process and handle the recording.

Participants can sign up for a 40-minute slot in the recording booth by visiting or calling (800) 850-4406. There is a suggested donation of $10.

Perkins said 125 interviews will be conducted in the recording booth during the Ames visit.