StoryCorps

11:39pm

Thu July 4, 2013
StoryCorps

Two Brothers Remember Lives Spent With Liberty

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 2:51 am

The Bizzaro brothers — James, 81 (left) and Paul, 82 — spent their childhoods living in a house right behind the Statue of Liberty.
StoryCorps

Brothers Paul and James Bizzaro, both in their 80s, spent their childhoods living in a house right behind the Statue of Liberty. Their family moved to the same small island in New York Harbor as Lady Liberty 75 years ago this summer, not long after their father, also James, became a guard at the statue.

When the Bizzaros moved to what's now called Liberty Island in 1937, Paul was 8 and James was 6.

"Half of the island was for the visitors. The half that we lived in, we had that whole half to us," says James.

Read more

8:00pm

Thu June 27, 2013
StoryCorps

For A Mom, Learning To Accept A Gay Son Was 'Nonnegotiable'

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 5:13 am

After Samuel Taylor came out to his mother, Connie Casey, the pair had several very difficult years. But in time, Connie realized she had to re-examine her feelings about homosexuality.
StoryCorps

Samuel Taylor was raised in a religious family. When he came out to his mother, Connie Casey, she sent him to a series of conversion therapy ministries affiliated with Exodus International, the Christian organization that folded this month and apologized to the gay community for trying to "correct" same-sex attraction.

Read more
Tags: 

5:46am

Fri June 21, 2013
StoryCorps

For A Boy With Little, Learning To Love A Castoff Trombone

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 8:57 am

On a visit to StoryCorps in Phoenix, Gilbert Zermeno told his wife, Pat Powers-Zermeno, about what it was like to grow up poor while yearning to join the school band.
StoryCorps

Gilbert Zermeno came from a big family who didn't have much. They lived on the plains of West Texas and got by on the $100 a week that Gilbert's father made working the cotton fields.

So when Gilbert wanted to join the school band in sixth grade, his parents had to get creative, as he explained to his wife, Pat Powers-Zermeno, during a recent visit to StoryCorps in Phoenix.

Read more
Tags: 

3:38am

Fri June 14, 2013
StoryCorps

A Second Chance For A Father And Foster Son

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 8:50 am

Adrian Hawkins (left) with his foster father, Horace Atwater Jr., at a visit to StoryCorps in Atlanta. Horace took in Adrian when he was 14 years old.
StoryCorps

In 2004, Horace Atwater Jr. took in Adrian Hawkins as a foster child. Adrian was a teenager at the time, "this little, skinny kid, about 14," Horace recalls. "You didn't really have any clothes. You had mismatched socks."

Adrian had lived a difficult life as a child. He lived in several group and foster homes before moving in with Horace. "I remember times being hungry, seeing drugs and all kinds of stuff," Adrian tells Horace at StoryCorps in Atlanta. "I mean, some things had to happen for me to be in foster care."

Read more
Tags: 

12:16am

Fri June 7, 2013
StoryCorps

Finding An Anchor For A Life Set Adrift By A Shipwreck

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 11:57 am

Shengqiao Chen spent two and a half years at York County prison while his asylum case was pending. He has been living in the United States for longer than he lived in China, and has no immediate family left in his native Fujian Province. Few people call him by his Chinese given name any longer — his wife and children know him only as Sean.
Diptych by Katja Heinemann for NPR

In 1993, a freighter ran aground off Queens, N.Y. The Golden Venture had nearly 300 people on it who were being smuggled into the U.S. from China.

Passengers cited China's forced-sterilization program and governmental persecution from political expression as reasons to climb aboard the Golden Venture. Some paid the smugglers $30,000 to board the ship. An organized crime syndicate would front the money, and the passengers would have to work off the debt, often in restaurants like indentured servants.

Read more

Pages