StoryCorps Atlanta | WABE 90.1 FM

StoryCorps Atlanta

StoryCorps’ mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share and preserve the stories of our lives. We do this to remind one another of our shared humanity, to strengthen and build the connections between people, to teach the value of listening, and to weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that everyone’s story matters.

Make your StoryCorps Reservation today!

StoryCorps is partnering with the Atlanta History Center and Public Broadcasting Atlanta to record, preserve, and share the stories of communities in Atlanta. Our mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.

Since 2003, over 80,000 people have shared life stories with family and friends through StoryCorps. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our broadcasts on public radio and the web.

I'd like to participate!

Great! Visit our Reservations page to learn how you can become a part of StoryCorps in Atlanta.

When can I hear StoryCorps on WABE? 

  • Tuesday during Morning Edition at 7:43 a.m. and 9:43 a.m.
  • Friday during Morning Edition at 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.

Where can I find out more about StoryCorps Atlanta?

Listen to more stories from Atlanta, and get news and updates about local StoryCorps events and recordings here.

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Atlanta Woman Finds 'Opportunity No. 3' In A Letter

Jun 6, 2017
StoryCorps Atlanta

81-year-old Anna Belle Illien is admittedly “not one to pass up opportunities.” She has had several careers throughout the decades — from a French teacher, to an art gallery owner, to an adoption agent. The adoption agency she runs began after her own successful adoption of a child from India in the late '70s.

She has three adopted children and recently sat down with her youngest, 33-year-old Juliana, whose birth parents approached Anna Belle’s agency.

Here is Anna Belle describing the formation of their unique family.

94-Year-Old Native Atlantan Remembers Old Downtown

May 30, 2017
storycorps atlanta

Margaret Jacobs was born in a small hospital on Mitchell Street in Downtown Atlanta in 1922.

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Now 94 years old and with a razor-sharp memory, she and her younger cousin Cecelya Taylor went to the StoryCorps Atlanta booth to talk about Jacobs' childhood and her parents. 

This story was recorded in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, which hosts Atlanta's StoryCorps Booth.

StoryCorps Atlanta

On Sunday families across the country celebrated moms near and far, both present and those that have passed.

In the StoryCorps Atlanta booth, Bill Hagan talks with his middle son, Mark Hagen, about his late wife of 62 years, Mary Ellen Hagen. He lovingly recalls stories about Mark's mother and begins with his fondest memory back from his senior year at Notre Dame in 1951.

This story was recorded in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, which hosts Atlanta's StoryCorps Booth.

StoryCorps Atlanta

This past weekend marked the start of National Nurses Week, and with that, StoryCorps bring you the story of Brandi Lowe.

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For most of Lowe's career, she’s been both a nurse and a patient. At 22 she was diagnosed with an autoimmune deficiency. Because of the deficiency that last summer she contracted a very rare – and potentially fatal – fungal infection in her lungs and respiratory system.

StoryCorps Atlanta

Boyfriends Shawn Moore and Daniel Edwards have been together for about a year and a half. Recently, the couple went to see the movie "Moonlight," about an impoverished boy growing up amidst substance abuse. Seeing the film stirred Moore, and compelled him to open up in a way he never had before.

This prompted a trip to the StoryCorps Atlanta booth, where the couple discussed how Shawn’s relationship with his parents has affected him as an adult. 

This story was recorded in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, which hosts Atlanta's StoryCorps Booth.

Atlanta Woman Witnessed History During Cuban Election

Apr 18, 2017
StoryCorps Atlanta

Connie Alonso was living in Cuba, when a chance encounter made her a witness to history. It was 1952, an election year in Cuba, but a coup left Fulgencio Batista in power until the Cuban Revolution in 1959.

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At the time, Connie worked overnight as a switchboard operator at the National Hotel in Havana before heading to her part time job with the Carlos Hevia, the Cuban foreign minister who was running for president.

StoryCorps Atlanta

When Will Reynolds was growing up – around 3rd grade – his mom noticed he seemed less happy and more anxious. She took him to different doctors and therapists, but it wasn't until he was 16 years old that he was diagnosed with Schizoaffective disorder.

Reynolds remembered what those early teenage years were like with his mom, Terri Sellers, in the StoryCorps Atlanta booth.

This story was recorded in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, which hosts Atlanta's StoryCorps Booth.

Keeping Up The Fight In The Face Of Chemo

Mar 28, 2017
StoryCorps Atlanta

Just before the Thanksgiving holiday of 2014, Scott Davis found out he had colorectal cancer. On New Year's Eve he underwent surgery that led to a series of unforeseen events. 

Today he speaks with his wife of 17 years as they look back on a pretty trying time. 

This story was recorded in partnership with the Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

StoryCorps Atlanta

LaKayla Edwards and her spouse, Kylin Edwards, ran in the same circle of friends at Fort Valley State University for about a year before officially meeting in early 2006.

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Now, over 10 years later and with toddler named Kingston in tow – you'll hear from him, too – the couple discuss the early years and what it meant to lack full familial support at the time.

Ishbir Singh and Maithili Appalwar talked about Singh's experience studying abroad in the StoryCorps Atlanta booth.
StoryCorps Atlanta

This past summer, Ishbir Singh, an international student from India, returned from a 5-month study-abroad program in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is now back at Georgia Tech working on his degree in Computer Engineering.

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When he met up with his close friend and fellow Yellow Jacket, Maithili Appalwar, he told her a little bit about how he grew as a person as a result of his experience, especially after he set a personal challenge for himself.

StoryCorps Atlanta

Last year when Yeo-Eun Lee was 9 years old, she brought her grandfather, Sook Kim, to the StoryCorps Atlanta booth. He was visiting from Korea at the time and the two of them talked about life, happiness and growing up as a Korean citizen in the United States.

This story was recorded in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, which hosts Atlanta's StoryCorps Booth

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StoryCorps Atlanta

Today, another quick look back at our partnership with StoryCorps.

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It was 10 years ago this month that WABE partnered with StoryCorps Griot to record the voices, experiences, and life stories of African Americans here in Atlanta. Here is one of those conversations with Muriel Durley, who spoke with her husband, Gerald.

NASA, File / Associated Press

For StoryCorps Atlanta we're doing something a bit different today, we're celebrating a milestone. It was 10 years ago this month that WABE partnered with StoryCorps Griot to record the voices, experiences and life stories of African-Americans here in Atlanta.

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Today, a look back to a story we recorded in 2007 about the young life of Ronald McNair. He was a physicist and NASA astronaut. He was killed aboard the space shuttle Challenger when it exploded in 1986.

StoryCorps Atlanta

This is a story about love, loss and second chances.

Michelle Foster and Kirk Smith both lost their spouses to cancer within about a year of each other. They went about their lives without any knowledge of one another, but it would not continue that way. Michelle, now Michelle Foster-Smith, told the couple's story in the StoryCorps Atlanta booth.

This story was recorded in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, which hosts Atlanta's StoryCorps Booth

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StoryCorps Atlanta

Last week we aired a story that was recorded six years ago by Adrian Sasine and his then 87-year-old grandfather, Stanley. The conversation they had there was the first time Stanley had ever spoken about his service in Asia during WWII and what he had gone through.

Opening up to his grandson that day brought an immediate sense of peace to Stanley. Today we catch up with them as they reflect on how life has changed since that fateful chat. Adrian begins the conversation.

Adrian Sasine and Stanley Sasine spoke in the StoryCorps Atlanta booth.
StoryCorps Atlanta

Stanley Sasine was part of a group of World War II soldiers called Merrill's Marauders. They were tasked with getting the Japanese out of Burma, now Myanmar. Sasine was one among the group who survived to see their last battle and was 86 when he first spoke of this story. He visited the StoryCorps Atlanta booth to talk with his grandson, Adrian Sasine, about it.

NOTE: Parts of this conversation recall a violent scene, which may be unsettling to some listeners.

StoryCorps Atlanta

Sisters Jen Geist and Mary Beth Hebert grew up in Louisiana. They cherish each other in a way that only siblings of a shared experience can.

When talking about their father, who passed away when they were young, they describe him as loving and warm. Their mother, though, they say suffered from a borderline personality disorder, admittedly never wanted children.

When they got together in the StoryCorps Atlanta booth, they share some revealing facts about their upbringing and talk about Geist's own motherhood.

StoryCorps Atlanta

Sickle cell anemia is a rare disorder that targets red blood cells. It causes extreme fatigue, physical pain, and an array of infections. Currently there is no cure, but symptoms can be managed.

Lakiea Bailey was diagnosed with it when she was just 3 years old. Now at 38, she has achieved what many might think is impossible for someone with her condition.

In the StoryCorps Atlanta booth, she tells her mother, Doris Bailey, about the power of perseverance and is reminded about her mother’s approach to keeping her healthy following the diagnosis.

StoryCorps Atlanta

Anne Peterle realized her love for puppeteering back in college as a theater major. Since then, her passion has made for some pretty memorable experiences.

One such occasion was auditioning in New York City and subsequently spending a month workshopping in one of the industry’s most coveted environments. Here she is talking with her daughter, Margaret Brooks.

This story was recorded in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, which hosts Atlanta's StoryCorps Booth.

StoryCorps Atlanta

As we step into 2017, we think back to the successful 10-year affiliation we’ve had with StoryCorps.

It began back in 2006 when WABE brought the StoryCorps mobile booth to Atlanta. Then came the StoryCorps Griot initiative in 2007. Today we’re one of three public radio stations in the country with a permanent booth, hosted by our partners over at the Atlanta History Center.

Early in the history of StoryCorps Atlanta, we were warmed by the presence of Lillie Love. She was a StoryCorps facilitator sitting in and helping as needed as participants told their stories.

StoryCorps Atlanta

Brothers Paul and Hank Barnes – 87 and 95 years old respectively – grew up on a 1,000-acre farm in Warm Springs, Georgia that has been in their family since 1832.

Paul's grandson, Clifford, brought the brothers to the StoryCorps Atlanta booth to learn more about the workings of the family farm and what Christmas was like for them in this bygone era.

This story was recorded in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, which hosts Atlanta's StoryCorps Booth.

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StoryCorps Atlanta: The Value Of Twenty Years

Dec 13, 2016
StoryCorps Atlanta

Myrna and Samuel Myers were married for a half-century.  But in 2012, at the age of 73, Myrna passed away. 

In the StoryCorps Booth, Samuel sat down with one of his daughters, Caren, to reflect on the life and influence of her mother and to talk about an illness that first surfaced 20 years prior to her death.   

This story was recorded in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, which hosts Atlanta's StoryCorps Booth.

StoryCorps Atlanta: Little Life Lessons From Mom

Dec 6, 2016
StoryCorps Atlanta

When Ella Hsiao turned 65 just a few months ago, her daughter, Sandy Hsiao, thought it would be fun to talk with her in the StoryCorps Atlanta booth.

Sandy asked her mom all kinds of questions about life in general, what it means to be a good friend, and also how she met her father in college back in Hong Kong in 1972.   

This story was recorded in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, which hosts Atlanta's StoryCorps Booth.

StoryCorps Atlanta

When Joy Borra turned 60, instead of celebrating the old-fashioned way, she wanted give something back.  The end result was more than anything she’d first imagined.

Here she is in the StoryCorps Atlanta booth talking to her husband, Tony Borra.   

**This story originally aired on June 2nd, 2015. Since then, we have learned that the library Joy helped facilitate and stock is now serving 10 additional villages with the elementary students next door using it every day. 

StoryCorps Atlanta

Today: 8-year-old Allie Slipakoff. She loves dancing – both ballet and jazz – she loves shopping at Justice, and she loves playing with the app musical.ly.

Allie is a transgender girl in the third grade. As she explains in the StoryCorps Atlanta booth, her gender identity is something she has been working through since an early age.

For her parents, Jen and Adam, there were signs along the way as well.  

This story was recorded in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, which hosts Atlanta's StoryCorps Booth.

StoryCorps Atlanta

Nov. 14 through 18 is International Education Week, a joint initiative of the U.S. State Department and the US Department of Education.

To celebrate that week, here is the story of 23-year-old Alex Berry and 21-year-old Ai "Anna" He who are both studying Industrial Engineering at Georgia Tech. Berry is from Albany, Georgia and He is from the Sichuan province of China. While they did have some classes together, they didn't really get to know each other until they arrived in Singapore as part of the Singapore-Beijing Program.

StoryCorps Atlanta

Steve Wolf, 72, is a local physical therapist and neuroscientist and has the utmost respect for his parents. They were Jews who narrowly escaped from Germany in the late 1930s only to face more hardships upon arriving in the United States.

At StoryCorps Atlanta, he tells a colleague about how everything changed for his parents after what is known as Kristallnacht  – or Night of Broken Glass – where thousands of Jewish-owned establishments, homes and synagogues were ransacked, vandalized destroyed or burned. It took place on Nov. 8 and 9, 78-years ago. 

StoryCorps Atlanta

Oct. 29 is World Stroke Day, a day to raise awareness of the condition and to underscore high stroke rates. Close to 800,000 Americans have a stroke per year, with one in six of those occurrences resulting in a fatality.

At StoryCorps Atlanta, Les Garber describes to his wife, June, the shadowy initial details of the day he suffered a stroke almost 8 years ago and how he is coping with his new-found incapacitation.

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StoryCorps Atlanta: 'HIV Is Not Going To Stop Me'

Oct 11, 2016
StoryCorps Atlanta

October is National AIDS Awareness Month and today we bring you the story of 30-year-old Dwain Bridges.

Coming out of the closet can be tough. It can be harder when you fear – and then realize – that your family sometimes just won’t understand.

Such was the case for Detroit native Dwain Bridges. But, as he told his friend Jerome Hughes in the StoryCorps booth, it doesn’t mean the misunderstanding will linger.

This story was recorded in partnership with AID Atlanta.

StoryCorps Atlanta

When Sonny Helmer was growing up in the frigid Minnesota winters, he played and dreamed of hot jazz. A Naval ROTC scholarship landed him in sunny California where things really began to take off.

In the StoryCorps Atlanta booth, the now 85-year-old told friend Norah MacLeod about some candid times from Hollywood Boulevard to Bourbon Street.  

In a special web-extra. Sonny recalls a time where he was hired – and tricked – by the one and only Jackie Gleason in Miami.

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