Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:46 am
Reginald Mason was 11 when his father died, so his mother raised him in Harlem by herself.
"She made me and shaped me as a man," Mason, now 47, told StoryCorps, "which, to me, was very difficult for a woman to do without a father being around."
She did a good job, Mason said — despite her toughness.
"The first time my mother told me that she actually loved me, I was 32," he said.
Mason recalls watching his mother struggle financially.
Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 5:45 am
John Cruitt, 62, spent decades tracking down his third-grade teacher.
He wanted to talk with Cecile Doyle about 1958 — the year his mother, who was seriously ill with multiple sclerosis, passed away.
Her death came just days before Christmas. Cruitt had been expecting to go home from school and decorate the Christmas tree.
"But I walked into the living room, and my aunt was there, and she said, 'Well, honey, Mommy passed away this morning.' "
Cruitt remembers seeing his teacher, Doyle, at his mother's wake.
Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 9:16 am
Boyd Applegate never set out to become a real bearded Santa Claus. No, the calling found him.
The 56-year-old, who was last on StoryCorps talking about volunteering at the polls on Election Day, is a big-rig truck driver. He's logged nearly 5 million miles on the road.
"Santa Claus was a byproduct of truck driving," he explained to his sister, Rhonda Dixon, at StoryCorps. "Because I drive a truck, I can have a beard that's a little bit longer than most people."
Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 7:25 am
Forty-six-year-old Jeff Ingram has a rare type of amnesia called dissociative fugue. When he has an attack, his memory is wiped clean and he doesn't remember who he is or where he's from.
To chronicle their memories in case he forgets again, Jeff and his wife, Penny, came to StoryCorps in Olympia, Wash.
"You and I were talking on the phone," Penny recalls. "You said, 'Well, I have a medical condition that I probably should share with you.' "
Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 7:52 am
Sarah Avant and her 12-year-old son, Anand Hernandez, rarely get a lot of one-on-one time. Anand has two younger siblings, and his parents are divorced.
So it was a big deal when they decided to spend a whole week together — just the two of them. During that time, they visited StoryCorps in Washington state to record an interview together.
"How do you think you are different because your dad and I got divorced?" Sarah asks her son.