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Locals take part in national archiving project

SARANAC LAKE StoryCorps rolled into town last week, and kicked off its two-week stay by welcoming local legend Forrest Dew Drop Morgan and his youngest son, Dermott. As a survivor of World War II and a bobsledding champion, Dew Drop had no shortage of tales to tell. However, Yuki Aizawa, who represents the national production company, stressed that every story counts. Some of the people that come here just want to record an experience that they want to remember, she said. They bring in someone special to sort of commerorate that persons life. Stacey Annis, a 25-year resident of Saranac Lake, did exactly that. On Friday, she invited her mother, Judy Martin of Elizabethtown, into the air-conditioned trailer to ask her what it was like to be a teenager in the Adirondacks. My grandmother passed away in April, and my daughter turned 16 recently, she said. Thats four generations of women who grew up in the Adirondacks. I wanted to talk to my mom about what her experience as a teen was like, to sort of compare it to mine. Annis said that she and her mother were nervous when the first entered the recording studio. Upon exiting the 40-minute session, the two discovered a sheet of paper containing sample questions. That would have made everything much easier, exclaimed Martin. According to Aizawa, each session lasts 40 minutes and the participants leave the booth with thier own copy of the interview. With permission, Storycorps will submit a second CD to the Library of Congress to be archived forever. In her travels, Aizawa noted that certain areas have stories that share common bonds. For the Adirondacks, many stories reflect upon the wilderness, winter sports, and in Saranac Lake, tuberculosis. Overall, though, Aizawa has found that the stories she hears share many common themes. There are overarching themes all across the country, she said. People talk about the importance of family, the importance of remembering, and most of all, they talk about over-coming struggle.

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