Last July 3, I went to a small mobile recording studio in Grand Central Station and spent a very special hour making a CD. No, I wasn't making any music. I went there to record a tribute to my late friend Joyce with a special group called "StoryCorps". They are group that records tributes that people wish to make for a loved one, mostly to those who have passed on.
I spent that one hour with an interviewer named Chris Heaney, and he asked me all types of questions about my friend. It was an emotional hour, as many nice memories, as well as sad ones, came back to me. Chris and his recording engineer could not have been any kinder or more sensitive toward me and what we were attempting to accomplish. The CD came out so beautifully.
Many loved ones of 9/11 victims have done this, and every one are given a CD of the memories they record. There is also another CD that is sent to the Library of Congress, and that will forever be archived there. It is so nice to know my words about Joyce will be kept for eternity there, for future generations to listen to. Later that July, a second mobile booth was opened, this one at the World Trade Center site.
This past February, the good folks at StoryCorps contacted me and told me that the booth at the WTC would be closing this year unless they could receive a grant from the Cultural Enhancement Fund to keep going there. They asked me to write a letter of support for them, basically telling the LMDC (who controls the grants) that the booth needed to stay there for the benefit of the 9/11 victims and their loved ones. (Even though I actually recorded my tribute up at Grand Central, I felt that didn't really matter.) It was such a wonderful experience that I happily did so for them.
On Saturday I received a letter from StoryCorps saying that they did indeed receive a $1 million grant from the LMDC to continue to keep the downtown booth open for the next three years. I was so happy to hear that they got it, and they also told me that the letters that I and many other 9/11 families sent in convinced the LMDC that keeping the booth downtown was an important thing for the continued recovery of Lower Manhattan.
It really made my day knowing that my positive experience with StoryCorps helped keep the booth open downtown.
If you'd like to know more about StoryCorps and are interested in recording a tribute to someone you love, please check out their web site at: http://www.storycorps.net.