For Veteran’s Day we have a StoryCorps segment of veteran Ted Gostas telling his wife Jody Gostas about being taken as a prisoner of war in the Vietnam War and his years in solitary confinement. Gostas remained a P-O-W for 5 years, 5 months, and 15 days. Of those captured in Northern Vietnam, he was one of only four POWs to stay in solitary confinement for more than four years.
We’re going to hear now from a woman who was blind for the first 38 years of her life. At that point, a doctor told her he could make her see. After four surgeries, she finally gained her vision.
The woman’s name is Pat Logan, and we’ll hear a conversation she had with Dave Stratton, the chaplain for the Program for All Inclusive Care for the Elderly, in Cheyenne. The interview was recorded as part of StoryCorps, a project that records conversations between loved ones.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and we’re going to hear a story about abuse that stemmed from alcoholism. This interview was recorded as part of Story Corps, a project that records conversations between loved ones. In this case, 89-year-old Myrtle Forney talks with her grandson, Nate Swinton. After her first husband (Nate’s grandfather) passed away, she married another man, named Ken.
In this installment of Wyoming Stories, Stephanie Reutner interviews her neighbor Noel Richardson, both residents of Jelm. Richardson worked for the Forest Service in 1957, spraying trees against beetle kill around Cody and Yellowstone. He remembers a chef that cooked for the camp.
The chef, named Phonograph Jones, was in his 80s then and had also cooked for Buffalo Bill Cody and Prince Albert I on his trip to Wyoming 100 years ago. His great great grandson, Prince Albert II, is in Wyoming this week.
Shigeru Yabu of Camarillo spent his childhood years during World War II at a Japanese American internment camp in Wyoming, where he cared for a magpie. He told his bird tale to the Wyoming Stories oral-history project.
During World War II, thousands of Japanese Americans were incarcerated at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center, near Cody. Heart Mountain was one of 10 internment camps across the U.S.
There is now a museum on the site, and each year, the Heart Mountain Foundation hosts a pilgrimage. During this year’s pilgrimage, Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden sat down with several former internees and produced this piece.
Click here to listen to other pieces in our Wyoming Stories series.
Raymond Uno is a former judge from Salt Lake City. He was one of thousands of Japanese Americans who were incarcerated at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center, near Cody, during World War II. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden interviewed Uno and produced this Wyoming Stories piece.
Takashi Hoshizaki and his family were confined at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center during World War II. While confined there, he received his draft notice, and decided not to report. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden interviewed Hoshizaki and produced this Wyoming Stories piece.
LaDonna Zall is the acting curator for the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation. Her family moved to Powell when she was 10. That was during World War II, when thousands of Japanese Americans were confined at the nearby Heart Mountain Relocation Center. Zall and her parents didn’t know much about what was going on at the camp, but she vividly remembers internees leaving after the war ended. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden interviewed Zall and produced this Wyoming Stories piece.
Shigeru Yabu and his family were incarcerated at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center when he was 10. While there, he strove to make pets out of insects, worms, amphibians, and finally a bird. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden interviewed Yabu and produced this Wyoming Stories piece.
Sam Mihara is a rocket scientist who worked for Boeing and later started his own high-tech consulting firm. He was incarcerated at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center during World War II, and he now travels around the country speaking about that experience. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden interviewed Mihara and produced this Wyoming Stories piece.
In May of 2013, members of The Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund board announced that Wyoming Public Media’s new oral histories project had been awarded a $25,000 grant to build its Wyoming Stories program. The program will kick off in July with StoryCorps' MobileBooth’s stop in Wyoming as its launching point.
Wyoming Public Media captured the oral history of Wyoming’s families, farms and ranches during the 2012 Wyoming State Fair. WPM set up a booth giving away fans for the hot summer day and did a live broadcast with Grady Kirkpatrick’s Morning Music featuring an acoustic performance from Wyoming’s Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band. WPM recorded Wyoming Oral Histories of fairgoers that stopped by to chat. Enjoy a few of these engaging stories on the link below…
Nothing captures the flavor of Wyoming like a well-told story! Wyoming Stories was created to capture the history of Wyoming, though the memories of those who live here, often through generations. It’s the tale of a woman whose great-grandparents braved the elements to eke out a living on the grasslands, or the story of a young Slovenian immigrant who came to Wyoming to work in the coal fields in Rock Springs. It’s stories of our state, the people who came here, their hopes, and their ambitions.