WYSO

Senior Voices: Honoring the Stories of Dayton’s Elders

WYSO, the Dayton Metro Library and local social service agency, Rebuilding Together Dayton, have come together for a very special project. We’ve gathered the memories and wise words of Dayton’s elders for Senior Voices, a new series that is airing throughout 2018.

Along with Dayton Metro Library staff, we trained nearly three dozen area residents to use digital recording equipment to interview local elders. Interviews took place at branch libraries, at selected Lobby Stop locations (Lobby Stop is a sort of book mobile for seniors), community centers, and in the homes of seniors who participated in the Rebuilding Together Dayton Fixit Kit program.

We held three trainings at the DML Northwest branch this summer, and shortly after the new main branch opened in August, the volunteers began gathering stories. The full interviews will be accessible for generations to come at the Dayton Metro Library. At WYSO, Community Voices producers have been editing the interviews for broadcast. We present them to you in honor of the life experiences and wisdom of Dayton elders.

This series is made possible through the generous support of the Del Mar Healthcare Fund of the Dayton Foundation.

Jocelyn Robinson coordinated this series for WYSO. Janine Kinnison is the Project Liaison for Dayton Metro Library.

Editors include: Dave Barber, William Brown, Tess Cortes, Patti Gehred, Javis Heberling, Kateri Kosta, Zebedee Reichert, Jason Reynolds, David Seitz, Alan Staiger, Chris Welter. 

Interviewers include: Dana Kragick, Tess Cortes, Anna Omulo, Doug Bowers, Hadley Drodge, M. Alice Callier, Barbra Gerla, Jason Coatney Schuler, Linda Pitzer, Carol Jackson, Audrey Ingram, Susan Brenner, Nancy Messer, Christian Davell, Ken Standifer, Liz Anderson, Cynthia Wallace-King, Karen Maner, David Murphy Sr., Cynthia Rush, Alan Stagier, Debra Root, Pamela Waltrip, Jennifer Hicks, Brandon Ulman, Karah Power  

  

Senior Voices: Millie Lyons

May 9, 2018
Millie Lyons
Senior Voices

Millie Lyons was just a year old when her dad died in 1923. Her mom was left with five young  children. There was no social security system back then, and Millie’s mom needed to work to support the family. Millie says her earliest memory is being in a crib at the Pythian Children’s Home in Springfield. It was a tough start, but she and her siblings found plenty of ways to have fun, as she told Community Voices interviewer Alan Staiger.

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Senior Voices: Cheryl Grimes

May 2, 2018

Today on Senior Voices, we meet Cheryl Grimes, who moved to Dayton in the late ‘60s after graduating college. She remembers the businesses owned by her entrepreneurial family in the small town of Laurel, Mississippi, where she began working in 1950, at the tender age of three. Cheryl spoke with Metro Library volunteer interviewer, Jason Coatney-Schuler.

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Senior Voices: Veda Renshaw

Apr 25, 2018

Today on Senior Voices, we meet 87-year-old Veda Renshaw who lives in West Dayton and took part in Rebuilding Together Dayton’s Fixit Kit Program, a project that provides home rehabilitation for low-income seniors, so they can stay in their homes and live in warmth, safety and independence.  Veda who moved to Dayton from Springfield in 1978, and she’s staying put, as she told Dayton Metro Library volunteer interviewer Alan Staiger.

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Senior Voices: Viola Wheeler

Apr 25, 2018

Today on Senior Voices, we need Viola Wheeler who wants to remain in her home on Dayton’s West Side, where she’s lived for over four decades. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Viola came to Dayton in 1955. She spoke with Dayton Metro Library volunteer interviewer Audrey Ingram about why she wants to stay in her home.

Transcript:

Audrey Ingram (AI): Did you raise your kids in this home we’re in today? So how long have you been in this house then?

Senior Voices: Dorothy Johnson

Apr 18, 2018

This week on Senior Voices we meet Dorothy Johnson, born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in 1938. She moved her family to Dayton in 1967, and spoke with Dayton Metro Library volunteer interviewer, Ken Standifer, about her many years working at the Dayton VA.

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Senior Voices: Rev. Boise Miliner

Apr 11, 2018

Rev. Boise Miliner was born in rural Alabama in 1938, and as a young man, he migrated north to Dayton to look for work. Three decades later, he found his calling. Today on Senior Voices, he shares the story of how he went from being a Deacon at Omega Missionary Baptist Church, to becoming the Pastor, overnight. He spoke with Dayton Metro Library volunteer interviewer, Cynthia Wallace-King.

Transcript:

Boise Miliner: The Bible says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and righteousness and all these other things will be added unto to you.”

Senior Voices: Mary Ellen Graham

Apr 4, 2018

Mary Ellen Graham has lived in Dayton her entire life. She grew up on the East side, attended the University of Dayton, and worked as a middle school teacher for 34 years, retiring in 2001. And she loves reading. Today on Senior Voices, Mary Ellen shares her story with Dayton Metro Library volunteer interviewer, Nancy Messer.

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Sharon Christian
Senior Voices

This week on Senior Voices, Sharon Christian remembers growing up in Dayton’s Westwood neighborhood during the 1960s and 70s. Sharon spoke with volunteer interviewer Barbara Gerla at the Wesley Community Center, near where she grew up.

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This week on Senior Voices we meet lifelong Daytonian Andy Heins, who grew up in North Dayton, near Hara Arena and the Salem Mall. He remembers being a student at Meadowdale junior high when the Dayton City Schools were desegregated. Andy talked with Dayton Metro Library volunteer interviewer, Nancy Messer.

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Senior Voices: Shirley Hoerner

Mar 14, 2018

Shirley Hoerner grew up on Shannon Avenue in the 1940s, back when West Carrollton was more rural. Today on Senior Voices, Shirley reminisces about her loving grandmother and the important role she played in her young life. She shared her story with Dayton Metro Library volunteer interviewer, Nancy Messer.

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