Miami Valley StoryCorps

Miami Valley StoryCorps interviews are the result of WYSO’s collaboration with StoryCorps, the national oral history collection project that visited Dayton in the spring of 2010 and 2014. All the Miami Valley StoryCorps segments consist of interviews between two local residents.

Miami Valley StoryCorps: Erica Fowler & Melissa Fowler

Jun 22, 2011
Erica Fowler and Melissa Fowler
StoryCorps

"Soapbox racing gave me so much more confidence in who I am."

When Erica and Melissa Fowler became soap box derby racers in 1985, they were joining a Dayton tradition. The sport was founded by Dayton Daily News photographer Myron Scott in 1933.

Fifty-five years later Erica Fowler was the champion of the Dayton Soap Box Derby, raced that year in its original location at Burkhardt Hill.

Erica brought her sister Melissa to the StoryCorps booth to reminisce about that final race, and the impact soap box racing had on them as young women.

Miami Valley StoryCorps: Dan Carl & Michael Castle

Jun 15, 2011
Dan Carl and Michael Castle
StoryCorps

Dan Carl and Michael Castle have been together for fifteen years. The Centerville couple says they are religiously married, just not legally. Castle is the Pastor at Cross Creek Community Church in Dayton. His partner, Dan Carl, works in the medical field. Mike and Dan came to the StoryCorps booth to share the story of the birth of their first child, Gideon.

This interview was edited by WYSO's Sarah Buckingham and posted to the website by volunteer David Neely. To find out more about volunteering at WYSO, click here.

Miami Valley StoryCorps: Bruce Geiger & Sarah Hewitt

Jun 8, 2011
Bruce Geiger & Sarah Hewitt
StoryCorps

“I have early onset of Alzheimer’s, and what that means is that I don’t always remember what I’ve just said. You could say that it’s tragic, or you could think it’s wonderful.”

There's an evident bond between father-daughter duo Bruce Geiger, of Dayton, and Sarah Hewitt, of Centerville. Bruce was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease at age 69. He is happy to reflect with his daughter on his life before the disease erases his memory. Sarah has the opportunity to ask her father all the questions she has always wondered about.

Miami Valley StoryCorps: Frank Porter & Frank Dixon

Jun 1, 2011
Frank Porter and Frank Dixon
StoryCorps

“When I play on the street corner, I’m trying my best to tug at someone’s heartstrings, to bring them back to a love that they remember or a love that they had. It’s to inspire and give away my love, ‘cause I love Dayton. We shootin’ kinda bad right now, but we will come back.”

Anne Branning and Rani Deighe Crowe
StoryCorps

Rani Deighe Crowe of Brookville brought her long time friend Anne Branning to the StoryCorps booth just before Anne left Yellow Springs for New York City. In this very emotional interview, Anne shared memories of her brother David - a Marine who died in Fallujah on November 12th, 2004. He was 21 years old.

Miami Valley StoryCorps: Wayne Baker & David Fogerty

May 18, 2011
David Fogerty and Wayne Baker
StoryCorps

"I can’t imagine one kid having a negative thing to say about their experience at Burkes' Barbershop…”

Wayne Baker and David Fogarty have been friends since 1970, when Baker's family moved to Yellow Springs - right next door to the Fogartys. Baker's strongest memories of his childhood in the village are of Burkes Barbershop. And of wisdom passed down from the proprietor, known as "Brother Burkes."

This interview was edited by WYSO Volunteer Sehvilla Mann. To find out more about volunteering at WYSO, click here.

Miami Valley StoryCorps: Bing Davis & Margaret Peters

May 11, 2011
Bing Davis and Margaret Peters
StoryCorps

"I've been blessed with many blessings...two of my blessings are being born black and growing up in East Dayton."

Bing Davis is an artist, educator and cultural leader in Dayton. Born the son of North Carolina sharecroppers, his family moved to Dayton when he was just two weeks old. Bing Davis and his friend and associate – Margaret Peters – went to the StoryCorps booth to talk about growing up on Dayton's east side, and how Bing is using the lessons he's learned in life – to teach others.

Danny Rodriguez and Yetunde Rodriguez
StoryCorps

“You’re an atheist, and this is something you came out with a few months ago. I guess I kind of worry if you don’t believe in God you’re gonna start throwing everything else out the window.”

Yetunde Rodriguez and her husband Danny share their childhood memories of their mothers and reflect on how those memories have influenced their own growing family. Yetunde and Danny live in Dayton. They have three children.

Miami Valley StoryCorps: Philip & Andrew Maurer

Apr 27, 2011
Philip Maurer and Andrew Maurer
StoryCorps

"Ever since he died and I knew I would never see him, I’ve been rehashing all these memories. That trip was important because it was one of the few times I got to interact with this man who I loved, who loved me, who I had fun with."

There's a unifying bond between siblings who are close in age, and the Maurer brothers of Findlay, Ohio have only two years separating them. Philip is 24, and Andrew is 26. They came to StoryCorps to discuss their shared childhood experiences, and try to make sense of what they still remember.

(Originally broadcast January 24, 2011)

Dorothy Harback and Fred Bartenstein
StoryCorps

“There was a great feeling of loss in the community and that was the context in which tearing down the Victory Theater seemed like one more nail in the coffin of a dying city.”

The Victoria Theater in downtown Dayton has survived two fires and a flood. But in the early 1970's an economic downturn threatened the theater. Citizens rallied to Save The Victory, as it was known at the time. Yellow Springs resident Fred Bartenstein and Dorothy Harback of Lebanon remember how the community pulled together to save the Victoria Theater from demolition.

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