My Mom’s StoryCorps recording

A while back I told you that my mom and my sister had made a Storycorps recording. Well, lo and behold, among our Christmas presents in the package that my sister sent us this year was the completed recording. The picture up above was the cover of the paper jacket that the CD was in. I’d guess my mom was in her mid-20’s when the picture was taken. It appears to have been taken in the backyard of the house we lived in when I was a very small child (looks like the addition they put on just after they were married isn’t quite completed).

Here’s what my sister wrote as liner notes:

This recording of Ann inverviewing Colleen about her life experiences was made on September 24, 2005 at a traveling recording booth (a very cool Airstream trailer) which made a stop at St. Louis’s History Museum during its cross-country summer 2005 tour. The process was really fun—a hoot, really! I was concerned at the outset that I wouldn’t know what to ask—no need for this, becuase Mom talked non-stop for 45 minutes, and didn’t stop a minute. I found the experience deeply moving, and was totally in awe of our Mom—her trademark moxie, her marvelous sense of fun, her love of drama, the gentleness of her nature, her apparent sense of awe at the legnth and scope of her story—the quickness with which she would move between the memories of a 5-year-old and the grown woman wanting to shield her parents’ privacy. She is really a very deep person.

As you’ll hear, I was kind of smarmy—It’s embarassing, but this is the effect she has—after all, she is our Mom, and we all love her. “Listen closely” (the StoryCorps slogan) and enjoy.

So now this is my Christmas present to all of my friends and family in blog-o-land: you can hear my wonderful sister and my truly remarkable mother talking about my mom’s childhood, what it was like growing up in vaudeville, childhood in St. Louis in the first quarter of the 20th century, and how my parents met.

Merry Christmas!

3 comments… add one
  • What a great pic! She looks like a hoot & a holler

  • That’s about right, Jeff. I heard an interview once with one of Ruby Keeler’s kids who had grown up not knowing about her mom’s movies and what a star she had been. She said “I thought that everybody’s mom time-stepped in the kitchen”. That’s what I thought, too.

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