Sunday, February 05, 2006
Storycorps, NPR and Olvera Street
When I lived in Chicago (a mere 8 months ago) my favorite radio station was WGN. I loved the quasi-liberal banter and the frequent, but not too frequent news and traffic reports. Having moved to Philadelphia, I have found no replacement, so I have returned to NPR, my favorite station when I lived in the Ozarks. This year, NPR has been engaged in a wonderful activity they call "Storycorps." People from across the country are doing brief interviews with friends and family members- one on ones- that shine like little gems in an otherwise bleak radio landscape. I encourage you to tune in to your local station or check out NPR's website to listen to a few of these pieces. (Please excuse the run on nature of this post as I am having trouble with my "carriage return" for some reason.) Tonight I went on NPR's site to see if I could track down a "Storycorps" piece I heard on Friday. One quote stuck with me in particular. The woman was remembering her mother's last months and said that as she left one day, her mother said, "It's been nice knowing you." Not a flip comment but a heartfelt, genuine reflection on how good it had been to know her daughter. It came to mind again tonight as I read RevBirdSong's post on her own mother. (See http://revsongbird.typepad.com/set_free/) Unfortunately, I could not find the story I was looking for, but instead found a piece on Olvera Street in Los Angeles. Oh, Olvera Street! As a child, this was the place they took you for a fifth grade field trip. Our family also went several times and it is like no other place I know. It's just one street, several blocks. The oldest street in Los Angeles. But what amazed me the most, is that when I returned there after 30 years- it smelled the same! A wonderful smell of leather goods and really good Mexican food. My sister and I could hardly wait to find an open restaurant! The food was so good we refused to swap tastes and I think we scraped the plates clean! There are days I long to go back there just to have one more taste. It was that good. Or maybe it is the memories that make it taste that good.