Final Update on StoryCorps Unalaska!

Our "homemade" sign by the lovely Kristine.
Our "homemade" sign by the lovely Kristine.

Well, the Alaska Initiative of StoryCorps has officially ended.  Our equipment is boxed up, ready for shipment, and we are finishing up the paperwork that needs to accompany the last recordings.  A little snafu with the mailing – apparently for the way we want to mail the boxes, we should have used paper tape instead of reinforced tape.  Well…I am sure Kristine will get to the bottom of this!

We recorded 119 stories in Unalaska and Akutan.  That was 14 more than our official quota of 105.  When Kristine and I were first training, we thought that 105 was a number that we would surpass in a matter of weeks!  How wrong we were.  I have to give credit to my partner – the best – Kristine King – for her tenacity in enticing folks into the recording seats – week after week and month after month. 

The one and only!
The one and only!

We want to give a big thank you to KUCB, our partner in crime, who agreed to accept local recordings for editing and broadcast.  We thank the director and staff of the Unalaska City Library, for agreeing to be a local repository for the recordings, and for allowing us to use the Alaskana Room, on occasion, for recordings.  We are thankful for all of the help from April Pelkey and Darryl Pelkey in setting up our recordings in Akutan.  A huge THANK YOU to the groups who allowed us access and use of the AA room at the Burma Road Chapel.  Without your generousity of the use of the site, our goals would have been much harder to obtain.  We appreciate each and every minute that we spent there.  (Can you believe that on the last night of recording, we ran behind schedule, and actually were still there recording when our time ran out?  And we had such a perfect record!)  The use of the room was also a surprise icebreaker, as folks peeked their heads in the door, expecting an impromtu intervention.  Thanks for the laughs and the thought provoking decor.


We thank our families for allowing us the freedom to take on this important project.  Especially, kids, grandkids, and husbands.  We thank our families, also, for those guilt and pity recordings that helped get us off to a great start!!  We thank Dave Isay and all of the staff at StoryCorps for hiring and working with us…yes we know we were a little unorthodox, but we can blame that on me and my bad influence on Kristine!  We met some incredible people through this project.  A huge shout out and thanks to the Unalaska blogging community for taking on the StoryCorps challenge early on in the project!

Last, and certainly not least, we thank each storyteller and their partner for braving the unknown and facing those obnoxious, intimidating microphones!  Thanks also for allowing Kristine and I the opportunity to get to know you a little better.  The tag line for StoryCorps is that listening is an act of love, and I have to say that our bonds to this community are even stronger (as if they weren’t strong before) for having been given your gifts of stories.

Kristine King, the strongarm, and Sharon Svarny-Livingston, the databaser.

6 thoughts on “Final Update on StoryCorps Unalaska!

  1. these stories are so appreciated by teachers (such as myself).
    The stories are a high interest tool to pass on history.

    DOnna Mattingly Wasneski

  2. You two were a JOY to work with! Thank you for your dedication, hard work, and LAUGHTER! I’ll be thinking of you both, every thursday morning! See you in Unalaska!! 🙂

  3. Thank you ladies for doing such a great job on an important project, you have me hooked on the process and I want to arrange a portable for when I’m back east on vacation so I can record my Dad and brother.

    1. It is funny how a new project can change the dynamics of your life. I was so lucky to be able to work with Kristine, plus I got to meet people who were just starting to bump the periphery of my life – like you and Goldfish. How lucky is that?!!

      I hope you are able to do the recording of your brother and dad.

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