Today we’re featuring Adrienne Possenti on the Voices of Saranac Lake! Adrienne's parents, Elizabeth and Joseph Glick had recently bought a diner in Glens Falls when Elizabeth began showing symptoms of tuberculosis. The family moved to Saranac Lake with their two children and Elizabeth’s father. Adrienne grew up in Saranac Lake while her mother took the cure. In a 2018 interview, Adrienne shared her memories of Saranac Lake, from her mother’s long struggle with TB, to the poverty in their neighborhood, too hula-hooping in the 50s. Visit our website to read some of Adrienne's memoirs and listen to the interview!
Today we’re featuring Helen Morgan Munn on the Voices of Saranac Lake! Helen (1931 - 2010) spent most of her life in Saranac Lake, where her mother took the fresh air cure for TB. In an interview with Tammy Morgan, Hellen talked about her mother’s experience with TB at Gabriel's Sanatorium and the State Sanatorium at Ray Brook. She shared about some of the misadventures of her brother Dewdrop Morgan and spoke about the family farm. Helen’s parents ran the Morgan family farm. They had 426 acres and milked 40 cows, by hand and by machine, and delivered to restaurants, cure cottages, and Fish Creek campground. To read the transcript of our interview with Helen visit https://www.hslstories.org/munn-helen.html
Today we are featuring William F. Madden Jr. (1928 - 2013) on the Voices of Saranac Lake! We interviewed Bill for the Oral History Project back in 2010. The conversation, which ranged from bootlegging to tuberculosis, centered around the family business. Bill’s grandfather ran a delivery business that grew into Madden’s Transfer and Storage. Bill spoke about the early days of the business and its expansion when his father bought a Model T Ford in 1914. When Bill was a junior in high school, Madden’s bought the 1931 Curling Rink on River Street for use as a storage facility. In the interview, which takes place in that facility, he describes the dances that used to be held at the curling rink and talks about some of the antiques there at the time of the interview.
To listen to the interview and read the transcript visit https://www.hslstories.org/madden-william-jr.html
Introducing: The Voices of Saranac Lake! Historic Saranac Lake’s oral history project works to preserve the voices of our community. Every Saturday we will be featuring a different community member on our facebook page! Read a little about them here and head over to our website www.hslstories.org to listen to their interview!
Today we’re featuring Nancy Howard Heath! We interviewed Nancy in May of this year, as part of our Saranac Lake in the Time of COVID project. Nancy was one of the many volunteers who helped sew personal protective equipment for medical workers Adirondack Health. “I figure that’s the least I can do. … This is how I can help.” She sewed some 88 PPE head covering for Adirondack Health in addition to many masks.
Nancy is also the 2020 Winter Carnival Queen! She has always loved Winter Carnival. When Nancy was 11, she met the Winter Carnival Queen, Miss New York, in the ladies room at the Pontiac Theater. “I couldn’t believe my sisters were talking to the Queen just like she was a regular person.” Of her own experience as Queen, Nancy said, “It’s truly been an honor. I have loved every minute of it. I don’t know if I can say thank you enough. … It will be one of those wonderful memories that will be with me always.”
Listen to Nancy’s interview on our website: https://www.hslstories.org/heath-nancy-howard.html
Today’s Talking Points is all about using oral history to capture history as it happens! Oral history is a great tool to preserve primary source accounts. Many organizations (including Historic Saranac Lake!) are currently using oral history as a tool to document the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their communities. Today’s video explores some things to keep in mind when documenting an ongoing event.
Welcome back to Talking Points! Today we’re sharing some advice for interviewing folks experiencing memory loss. These interviews are absolutely worthwhile! Check out the video below for some tips to help make an interview a positive experience.
StoryCorps has published a fantastic guide for conducting interviews with people living with memory loss as part of their Memory Loss initiative. You can check it out here: https://storycorps.org/discover/memory-loss-initiative/
Historic Saranac Lake is launching a new documentation project, “Saranac Lake in the Time of COVID.” To help document local history, we’re asking community members to send in responses to two questions: 1) How has the pandemic affected your life? 2) What have you learned during this experience? Email your written response or send a voice recording to email@example.com. As part of the project we will be collecting responses in person at pop-up stations, while maintaining social distance. Fill out our online survey here.
Have more to share about the impact of the pandemic on life in Saranac Lake? We are conducting full-length oral history interviews over the phone. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in participating in an interview.
Today on Talking Points we're covering the subject of silence in an interview. Silences can be uncomfortable, but they play an important role in interviews! Our instinct is to fill up silence with speech, but people need time to reflect and remember. You both need time to breath! Slowing down is especially important during difficult or emotional subjects. Watch below for some tricks to using silence to create a more thoughtful interview.
Welcome to another Story Saturday! Today's story is from this March, when the Fish and Game Club hosted their 36th annual Colby Classic Fishing Derby. We brought the Cure Porch on Wheels to the shores of Lake Colby and interviewed local fishermen to help document this Adirondack tradition.
Charlie Jessie, who has helped with all 36 derbies, was the one who put the first ever tagged fish into Lake Colby. A few hours later we interviewed Alyssa and her father, Henry. Alyssa (11 years old) had just caught an 8.5 lb northern pike, and Henry shared that his father was the one who caught the first tagged trout in Lake Colby!
From the Porch
We're posting all the latest news, videos, and stories from Historic Saranac Lake's oral history project and Cure Porch on Wheels here. Stay tuned for Talking Points on Sunday, Live from the Porch on Tuesday and Saturdays, and other weekly offerings!