Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friends and Memories

Yesterday, I had an absolutely wonderful experience

Earlier in the week I was asked by my long-time and dear friend Debbie Macon to interview her for StoryCorps.   StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.  The organization was here at our Township Library as a result of winning the National Medal for Museum and Library Science. 

I was thrilled when Debbie called to ask me to be her partner in this.  Deb and I have known each other for over 25 years.  We told our story of first meeting and beginning our friendship when the interview began.

But before we even started, things got a little emotional.  The StoryCorps person, Naomi, asked me what was my favorite thing in the Township.  Without hesitation I told her that when I think about leaving West Bloomfield, I know that what I would miss most is our wonderful Library.  Debbie started tearing up and then replied that her answer is the same.

We both think of the Library as a place of safety and refuge.  Both of us grew up in large cities: Deb in St Louis and myself on the edge of Detroit.  She walked or took the streetcar to the library; I rode the bus or took my bike there.

The library opened windows on the world to me.  In books, I saw foreign places and dreamt dreams of traveling there.  In books, I sought out my future.  I decided that I would become a Registered Medical Technologist after reading a novel about a young woman studying to become one.  Otherwise, I do not think I would have ever heard of the profession.

During the interview, we discovered that we both have in interest in Greek mythology.  An 'I had no idea' moment.  We talked about living here, our families, our shared experiences, both in and out of government.

Our interview will be archived at the Library of Congress.  Because Deb is African-American, it will also be archived at the Smithsonian and the Museum of African American History.  If you are interested in preserving a bit of your history, I suggest you check out the website.

And a BIG 'Thank you' to Deb for allowing me to be part of this experience.  It is one I truly will not forget and will treasure for a long time.

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