The StoryCorps Mobile booth is at New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, recording the stories of our Colorado community until May 19. All this month, KUNC will bring you just some of the stories recorded at the booth.
Sara Frazier came to record memories for her two daughters, Amy and Jenny. Sara was interviewed by her younger daughter, Jenny Sundstedt, about her life on the plains of Colorado and Kansas, and her late husband, Jimmie Frazier.
Jenny Sundstedt: Should we talk about where you were born?
Sara Frazier: Yes, I was born in Kansas. As I grew up we gradually moved farther west in Kansas. I was interested in that geography. I was interested in that flat land. Some people say there's nothing to see; well, there isn't if you don't look for it. I think one of the things I really did enjoy was the horizons. You could see the sun from sunrise to sunset. That, I missed when I left Kansas.
Another thing you could see was the tumbleweeds, rolling across the prairie — and they didn't just roll, they leaped and they danced across the prairie.
Sundstedt: So I know you met dad when you were in high school...
Frazier: Yes. We were — I'm not going to say "alley rats," just because we lived across the alley from one another, but we did! We lived across the alley from one another and we walked to school together. And so then we started dating our senior year, we went to the prom together, and then we went to junior college together in Garden City, two years. Then the third year of college, he went to Kansas State, and I went to Los Angeles to live with my older sister. We wrote and we just really felt, you know, we were together, we were separate, we wanted to be together for the rest of our lives.
He was baptized as Jimmie Lee Frazier, and I thought, "Jimmie, that's a little boys name! That's not a man's name." Well that was before Jimmy Carter and a few other Jimmys. I talked him into changing the spelling of his name to James instead of Jimmie. Now that's one of my regrets, I love the name Jimmie. Jimmy, James, I don't care.
He had brown eyes, had a wonderful smile, had a wonderful sense of humor. He was interested in many things, and I think that's one of the things that interested me so much in him, was that he was interested and interesting, and our life together was.
When he died, of course there was this big void and emptiness. The first night, he came to me in a dream, and he said, "Sara, it's OK. Everything's OK."
At first I thought, "Great, we can go on with our life," and then I said, "No, you're dead."
So he left, and he came back the second night, and he said the same thing, and I said the same thing. So now, when I go through the regrets and the remorse, and those times, I think about that message, that it's OK.
Sundstet: It is OK.
Sundstet: People talk about Eastern Colorado and Western Kansas as though there's nothing to see, but I think the world is interesting to look at no matter where where you are — I think I must get that from you.
Frazier: Well your dad, one time I said to him, "It's so boring! Everything is brown!"
And he said to me, "Yes, but look at all the shades of brown."
Hear more from the StoryCorps MobileBooth on our website. Join KUNC & StoryCorps for a special Listening Party at New Belgium Brewing on Tuesday, May 15th from 7-8 pm. StoryCorps is sponsored locally by Kaiser Permanente