Podcast: StoryCorp Tampa Bay Archives

"Is it Hard Getting Old?"
This installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay is the final one of the series that started in May 2014. As we sunset this vast collection of local stories, what more appropriate conversation to have is there than one about aging? John Hoopes asks his dad...
Reflections
Kyesha Robinson asks her mother, Rene Robinson-Flowers about her childhood-- being a St. Petersburg native. She also asks her mother what it was like to go through school during the start of integration.                             The riots at...
Ageless Friends
Friends Patricia Bailey and Norris Comer talk about their friendship transcending generational barriers—there’s almost 50 years of age difference between them. They tell us the story of how they met and what they think of the other. 
StoryCorps Tampa Bay: Childhood Innocence
In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Cora Royal tells her friend Clarice Pennington about her childhood—her favorite memory and the experience of segregation in St. Petersburg.
StoryCorps Tampa Bay: Escape
In this installment, we hear from mother and daughter, Lucia and Alma Ayala, about the day Lucia decided to leave her abusive husband and travel with four little kids from Connecticut to Miami, Florida. Alma shares with her mom what that trip was...
Sacrifices
In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Michael and Amy Facundo tell the story of how they met at a high school football game, and how their love grew out of the sacrifices they’ve had to make for each other.
Humor & Little Things
In this installment, we hear from married couple Jesus Benjamin and Anita May Flores.They met right before Ben went into the military. They kept in contact and fell in love through a year of letter-writing. They’re still together after 31 years and...
Gradual Love
In this installment, Ann Roberts asks her mother, Doris Bowen about her late husband and Ann’s father—Jim Elmer Bowen. Bowen talks about her late husband in terms of gradual love, high blood pressure and motorcycle adventures.  
Fighting For the Underdogs
In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, friends Cory Adler and Alizza Punzalan-Randle  talk about diversity. Punzalan-Randle is Filipino-American and she shares one particular incident where she had to come to terms with what that meant. 
Classroom Lessons
In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Gail Diederich tells us about one of her early lessons in life. Diederich went on to be a school teacher but she learned a lesson about compassion when she was just a student in the first grade. 
Brothers & Buddies
In this installment, brothers Joshua and Zachary who were 12 and 15 years old last year, respectfully, stopped by the Storycorps booth last year to talk about their childhoods and each of their plans for when they grow up. 
Military Life
In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Sheila Rue talks with her mom Beatrice, about her father when he was in the military. Roger Rue was in the Vietnam War in the late 60s and they talk about how being a military family at that time affected...
Coming Home
In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, James Cole tells his wife Renet Cole a few of the happiest moments of his life including the time he returned home from the Vietnam War. Cole could have skipped out on the draft as his younger brother was...
Lost Son
In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Deb and Michael Gilbert talk about their son Sean. Sean died 8 years ago in 2007 from alcohol and drug addiction. Deb and Michael stepped into the storycorps booth last year in St. Petersburg and...
The Boy Next Door
In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Roseanne Van Deln Castro along with her husband of 65 years, Albert Castro tell the story of how they met. They waited three years before tying the knot and have been married for 65 years.
A Young Man's Lessons
In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, then-12-year-old Omari Isaiah Booker talks with his grandma, Theresa Lassiter. Omari and Theresa talk about the lessons he’s learned about money management, character, and love. 
A Sisters Bond
There is no bond like a bond between sisters. In this installment of Storycorps Tampa Bay, Alina Lezcano tells her younger sister, Elaine Lezcano-Perez, about her own unusual entry into this world and what it meant to her 14 years later when her...
Classroom Troubles & Inspirations
In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, public school teachers and godsisters Dr. Wendell Norton and Izella McCree talk about the differences, similarities, and challenges in education - dating back to their time as students to becoming...
A Sisters Bond
Classroom Troubles & Inspirations
Stay For Awhile
Homeschooled Philanthropist-in-the-Making
In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, a mother and son discuss his homeschooling experience. Denise Ford had 10 children, some of which were homeschooled so she could incorporate religion into the curriculum. Nykko Ford tells us about the...
'Cause You're a Girl'
In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Carol Albernathy talks about overcoming inconveniences and challenges in college and at law school because she was a woman. She attended Stetson University in the 1950s and later law school in the ‘70s....
Wonders Up Close
In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Renata Schwartz tells us about her trip to Africa. As a part of the English commonwealth, she was able to easily travel overseas. There, she encountered wild elephants, a tribe of Pygmy people, and found...
Love: All You Need
In our next installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Rita Dudley talks about raising nine children in St. Petersburg with her third-oldest child, son Dwight. They talk about how Rita and her late husband, Bob, didn’t have much money, but still found...
Small Town Childhood
In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Esther Parker tells her daughter, Chrissy Jackson, about growing up in a small town in Ohio. Parker talks about growing up without electricity, playing games with the neighborhood kids, working with...
Airport Karma
In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, married couple Victoria Hewitt and Donald Harvey tell the story of karma and one amazing flying experience. While pregnant, Hewitt and her husband encountered a not-so-good traveler aboard their flight…...
Adventures in Writing
In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Robinson Sterling talks with her friend, Theresa Rush Richardson about her memoir. Sterling has lived in various places around the world including Mexico and Israel. She’s had many adventures in life, but...
Making Tough Decisions
In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Pat Spencer talks about her time volunteering in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s office in Montgomery, Alabama. She has been an active member of the NAACP since she was seven years old. During the time...
A Love Between Cat, Prince
In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Mary and Lewis Key recall the first time they met at a Halloween Party. Mary dressed up as a cat while Lewis was in a Phantom of the Opera costume and he became her prince. The magic happened over a...
A Heritage Festival is Born
Dr. Samuel Wright had always been involved in cultural promotion and community affairs, but creating a black heritage festival for Tampa Bay took his skills and vision to a whole new level. In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, history buff...
Growing Up in Ybor City
In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, we meet Rigoberto Garcia. He was born in Tampa’s Ybor City in 1930. He recalls what it was like growing up with immigrant parents who worked in the cigar factories, and the importance of the Martí-Maceo...
An Escape from Nazi Invasion
In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Marietta Drucker tells her daughter, Debbie, of her escape from the Nazis when they invaded her native Austria. Drucker was just eight years old. Her parents were not able to get out in time but she was,...
A Child's Journey to the Promised Land
In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Cleto “Sundy” Chazares, Principal of the Simmons Career Center in Plant City, tells his friend of 40 years, Ron Wardlow, of his dangerous journey from his tiny Mexican village to the Tampa Bay area and of...
'Reflecting the Queen She Was'
In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, 23-year-old Kalima Haneef remembers her grandmother, Najiyyah Shaheed, with her uncle Shalaby Shaheed. Her grandmother went from dropping out of school at a young age to pick cotton in order to survive,...
The Ballad of Banjo Dan
On this week's StoryCorps Tampa Bay, ”Banjo” Dan Lindner and his wife, Jaye, look back over 30 years to the origin of his interest in rural mountain music and their work singing and playing together.
Friends by Chance, Family by Choice
In this week's edition of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, lifelong friends Debra Woodard and Arthurene Williams reminisce about growing up in the church and how that informed their careers as educators and child and family advocates in Pinellas County.
Life, Love and Lipstick
Ruth Parrish has lived to be 94 years old. In her nine decades alive, she’s learned a few things. In this edition of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Ruth talks with her daughter Paula Parrish about life, lipstick, and how to be happy.
A Historic Beach Trip
Gregory Porter brought his cousin Betty Harden to the StoryCorps Booth at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg to share her story. Betty became a part of St. Pete history one June day in 1958 when she and her friends went swimming at Spa Beach...
A Pioneering Police Officer
Edgar Pickett, Jr. was the first black police officer on the force in Lakeland, a job he held for over 29 years. But there was one day 50 years ago his career was almost cut short. He shared the story - along with other stories from his career and...
The Language of the Birds
Michael Dalton has done many things in his life – he’s been a teacher, an engineer, and a business owner. But about 20 years ago he stumbled into a new passion: training parrots to speak. Dalton didn’t have much experience with animals, so he came...
Young Actors Follow Their Dreams
Not every friendship starts on the set of a movie. But that’s how Tampa teen Shelby Ronea and fellow actor Noah Diggs of St. Petersburg met. The pair was among the actors tapped for the Haley Joel Osment film, “Sex Ed,” filmed during the summer of...
Baseball Pioneers Share Their Memories
Every Monday, WUSF 89.7 presents Story Corps Tampa Bay, and this week’s story comes from a recording at the John F. Germany Public Library in Tampa as part of the “StoryCorps @ your library” series. Today we meet two professional baseball players...
His Parents Live On
Ronald Porter is a 30-year-old educator whose parents were a huge influence on him both personally and professionally, even though his mother died when he was just 12 years old. In this edition of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Porter talks about his mother...
A Dream Realized
Jose Manuel Godinez-Samperio came to the United States with his parents when he was 9 years old. His parents overstayed their visas, and he lived the majority of his life in Tampa, where he would eventually become known as “a dreamer,” after the...
A Second Life after 9/11
Christina Hoskin and Robert "Bob" Rogan are best friends and life partners - but it hasn’t always been that way. The two met in New Jersey while both were in previous marriages. On this week's StoryCorps Tampa Bay, she says everything started to...
'This Little Light of Mine'
Performers are often tasked with walking a thin line: how does someone express oneself while also embodying another character? In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, playwright, director, and co-founder of St. Petersburg’s Studio@620, Bob...
Meet One of St. Petersburg's 'Courageous 12'
In the 1960’s, black police officers in St. Petersburg faced barriers when it came to promotion, what beats they could cover, even the ability to arrest certain people. Nearly 50 years ago, in 1965, twelve of those officers sued the city of St....
The Feeling of Liberty
In 1980, the Cuban government opened its doors, allowing citizens to leave the country in what would become a mass exodus. The country's economy had suffered a serious downturn, and political unrest and mass incarceration was making aspects of...
Two Siblings, Two Schools, Two Stories
Lou and Lolita Brown are brother and sister, born about eight years apart - just a big enough separation to give them very different life experiences. Lolita was one of the last students to go through the Pinellas County School system prior to...

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