WBEZ | StoryCorps http://www.wbez.org/tags/storycorps Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Black firefighter follows in the footsteps of his father http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/black-firefighter-follows-footsteps-his-father-110019 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/140411 StoryCorps DeKalb Wolcotts (1).JPG" alt="" /><p><p><em>Dekalb Walcott III and Dekalb Walcott Jr. (Photo courtesy of StoryCorps)</em></p><p>For more than three decades Dekalb Walcott Jr was one of the few African Americans in the Chicago Fire Department.</p><p>His son, Dekalb Walcott III, always dreamed of following in his footsteps.</p><p>&quot;A lot of young black people didn&rsquo;t really get the pleasure of growing up with a father,&quot; Dekalb Walcott III said. &quot;You know, I&rsquo;m from Chicago where we had the Bulls back in the &rsquo;90s and Michael Jordan was famous.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;Everybody wanted to be like Mike, but for me, myself, I wanted Dekalb Walcott Jr. &mdash; that was my Michael Jordan.&rdquo;</p><p>To hear more about their family history and the importance of father figures in the black community, click on the audio above.</p><p><em>Meredith Zielke is a WBEZ producer.&nbsp;</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F6250422" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 10:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/black-firefighter-follows-footsteps-his-father-110019 Chicago man loses 200 pounds to give back to Little Village http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/chicago-man-loses-200-pounds-give-back-little-village-109972 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/storycorps.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>Miguel Blancarte, Jr. is a proud resident of Chicago&#39;s Little Village neighborhood. A first generation college graduate from Brown University, he now works at a law firm specializing in immigration.</p><p>Miguel says the one thing he&rsquo;s always struggled with is his weight. It wasn&rsquo;t until his doctor warned him that he wouldn&rsquo;t live past his mid-40s that he knew something had to change:</p><p>&ldquo;Honestly the thought of losing anything more than 30 pounds was just not a reality to me,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>But Miguel managed to lose not just 30, but 200 pounds in all. He then ran his first ever 5k race to to raise money for Enlace, the local community center that provides health and social services in Little Village.</p><p>To hear how he lost all that weight so he could give back to his community, check out the audio above.</p><p><em>Meredith Zielke is a WBEZ producer.</em><br />&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F6250422" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 16:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/chicago-man-loses-200-pounds-give-back-little-village-109972 After suicide attempt, college student helps others deal with mental illness http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/after-suicide-attempt-college-student-helps-others-deal-mental-illness-109943 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 1.43.50 PM.png" alt="" /><p><p>Three years ago, Wesleyan college student Molly Jenkins tried to take her own life&mdash;twice.</p><p>Molly told her mom that her suicidal thoughts first began while recovering from a major surgery that left her bedridden.</p><p>After 6 months of therapy at Chicago&rsquo;s Rush Hospital, she returned to college and became a mental health advocate.</p><p><strong>Molly: &ldquo;It was really important for me to come out with this stamp on my forehead that said, &lsquo;I&rsquo;ve attempted suicide and I don&rsquo;t care what you guys think&rsquo; because I knew there were other people who, like me, were suffering in silence.&rdquo;</strong></p><p>To hear Molly and her mother discuss this trying period in their lives for the first time, check out the audio above.</p><p><em>Meredith Zielke is a WBEZ producer. </em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F6250422" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 14:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/after-suicide-attempt-college-student-helps-others-deal-mental-illness-109943 On day of his bond, Chicago man's actions lead to 25 more years in prison http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/day-his-bond-chicago-mans-actions-lead-25-more-years-prison-109861 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/DSC_9918.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Twelve years ago, gang member Carlos &ldquo;Bear&rdquo; Rocha of Chicago&rsquo;s Southwest Side was imprisoned for possession of a weapon. On the day of his bond, he and another inmate had a disagreement that turned tragically violent. Bear was sentenced to another 25 years behind bars. It wasn&rsquo;t until Bear&rsquo;s brother suffered a similar fate&mdash;in prison on the day of his own release&mdash;that Bear realized the full consequences of his actions.</p><p><strong>CARLOS:</strong> I broke down because I thought that it was karma for what I had done. I thought that it was punishment for taking some else&rsquo;s life here.</p><p dir="ltr">To find out how Bear is trying to mend his ways and reckon with the past, check out the audio above.</p><p><em>Meredith Zielke is a WBEZ producer.&nbsp;</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F6250422" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 12:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/day-his-bond-chicago-mans-actions-lead-25-more-years-prison-109861 Daughter tries to come to terms with father's suicide http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/daughter-tries-come-terms-fathers-suicide-109826 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/storycorps ann tom.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>A few years ago Anne Emerson decided to visit her mom in Boston while on break from law school. One early morning during her stay they got a phone call. It was about her father &hellip; and the news wasn&rsquo;t good. What happened next gave Anne a greater perspective on illness, abandonment, and the will to live. She shared her experience with partner Tom Gallagher at the Chicago StoryCorps booth.</p><p><strong>ANNE:</strong> Everyone has something, that if they had to live without it, it wouldn&rsquo;t be life anymore.</p><p>For her father, she said, it was losing his mental faculties after developing dementia. Anne already had abandonment issues with her dad from an early age.</p><p><strong>ANNE: </strong>The only really big problem I have with his &lsquo;method of exit&rsquo; if you will, is that&hellip; just when you think someone can&rsquo;t find a new way to leave you&hellip; they do.</p><p>To find out how Anne grapples with her loss, listen to the audio above.</p><p><em>Meredith Zielke is a WBEZ producer. </em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F6250422" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 19:21:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/daughter-tries-come-terms-fathers-suicide-109826 Near tragedy tests young love http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/near-tragedy-tests-young-love-109793 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/storycorps molly drew_140228_lk.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>This week, our StoryCorps segment brings a special update.</p><p>The first time they came to the Chicago StoryCorps booth, Molly Timm and Drew Burke were in a long-distance relationship.</p><p>They&rsquo;d never lived in the same city. They were full of joy and hope for their first summer together in Chicago.</p><p>Drew and Molly returned to StoryCorps to fill us in on what happened next, because it wasn&rsquo;t part of their plan.</p><p><strong>MOLLY: </strong>We planned July to be an adventure.</p><p><strong>DREW: </strong>An experience</p><p><strong>MOLLY: </strong>An experience to see how well we could handle being in the same place at the same time for more than a weekend.</p><p><strong>DREW:</strong> I was grocery shopping &hellip; and I got outside and I got a phone call from you. Your parents were in a bad motorcycle accident that day.</p><p>To hear about how the couple handled this tough time (and how Molly&rsquo;s Dad tried to talk Drew into busting him out of rehab after the accident), listen to the audio above.</p><p><em>Lynette Kalsnes is a reporter/producer covering religion, culture and science at WBEZ. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/LynetteKalsnes" target="_blank">@LynetteKalsnes</a>.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F6250422" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 28 Feb 2014 14:28:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/near-tragedy-tests-young-love-109793 Yo Sally! Remembering the late University of Chicago math professor Paul Sally http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/yo-sally-remembering-late-university-chicago-math-professor-paul-sally-109738 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS7426_chi000416_g1-scr (1).JPG" alt="" /><p><p>A University of Chicago math legend affectionately called &ldquo;Professor Pirate&rdquo; died recently at age 80. Professor Paul Sally was known as much for his teaching as his research.</p><p>Sally learned he had diabetes at age 15. The disease eventually took both legs and most of his eyesight, requiring him to wear a signature black eye patch.</p><p>Shortly before he died on Dec. 30, 2013, Sally visited the Chicago StoryCorps booth with colleague, Kim Ransom, who heads the University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars Program.</p><p>SALLY: It turned out that one of the easiest subjects for me to deal with in school was mathematics. I never had to study and I loved learning it &hellip; I loved to tell people&nbsp; about mathematics until I was blue in the face, and they were so tired they couldn&#39;t stand it anymore.</p><p><em>To hear more, and to find out what sport helped fuel Sally&rsquo;s love of math, check out the audio above.</em></p><p><em>Lynette Kalsnes is a reporter/producer covering religion, science and culture for WBEZ. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/LynetteKalsnes">@LynetteKalsnes</a></em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F6250422" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 21 Feb 2014 08:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/yo-sally-remembering-late-university-chicago-math-professor-paul-sally-109738 Former Weather Underground leader shares tips on raising feminist boys http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/former-weather-underground-leader-shares-tips-raising-feminist-boys-109701 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS7425_chi000500_g2-scr (1).JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Bernardine Dohrn is perhaps best known for her role as a leader of a militant anti-war group in the &lsquo;60s and &lsquo;70s. After a decade in hiding, she turned herself in to face charges.</p><p>She went on to a career as a prominent legal advocate for children, founding Northwestern&rsquo;s Children and Family Justice Center.</p><p>Dohrn came to the Chicago StoryCorps booth with longtime friend, Julie Biehl, who now leads the justice center, to talk about the challenges they face in raising feminist sons, and dealing with some of the boys&#39; interest in guns.</p><p>BERNARDINE: I thought that I wasn&rsquo;t going to have children. I was kind of adamant that the only way to make it OK for women to grow up in a patriarchal society and fight that was that lots of women would choose not to have children.</p><p>She and Biehl each ended up raising three sons.&nbsp;</p><p>BERNARDINE: I&nbsp;kind of always joked about the feminist mothers of boys club.</p><p><em>To hear how they worked to raise socially aware young men (and Rosa Parks&#39; surprise visit!), check out the audio above.</em></p><p><em>Lynette Kalsnes is a reporter/producer at WBEZ. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/LynetteKalsnes">@LynetteKalsnes</a>.&nbsp;</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F6250422" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 14 Feb 2014 08:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/former-weather-underground-leader-shares-tips-raising-feminist-boys-109701 Couple survives year full of cancer http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/couple-survives-year-full-cancer-109661 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS7424_chi000469_g2-scr.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The year 2002 was difficult for both Carly and Larry Zabinski.</p><p>The year before the couple started dating, Carly learned her mother had brain cancer. And months later, Larry found out he had a form of cancer himself.</p><p>Carly said while she was attending college, she and her parents noticed her Mom was growing forgetful. They didn&rsquo;t make much of it at first &ndash; they just joked that her Mom was getting older.</p><p>Then one day, her Mom woke up screaming: She&rsquo;d lost her sight in one eye. Carly was really sick herself, so her Dad came home from work and took her Mom to the emergency room.</p><p>CARLY: About two hours later, I got a phone call that woke me up out of my sleep, and there was no sound on the other line &hellip;.And then I heard my Dad crying &hellip;. I remember telling myself, &lsquo;This is the start of something big, and it&rsquo;s not good.&rsquo;</p><p><em>To hear how Carly and Larry Zabinski dealt with double cases of cancer in a year, and how humor helped them get through, check out the audio above.</em></p><p><em>WBEZ&rsquo;s Lynette Kalsnes produced this edited excerpt. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/LynetteKalsnes">@LynetteKalsnes</a>.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F6250422" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 07 Feb 2014 16:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/couple-survives-year-full-cancer-109661 Young Chicago man finds personal growth in face of family tragedy http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/young-chicago-man-finds-personal-growth-face-family-tragedy-109614 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS7423_chi000471_g1-scr.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>For many young people, the teenage years are a time of rebellion, and Stephen Marrone was no different. But after he entered the University of Chicago, both of his parents suffered serious health problems.</p><p>Marrone came to the Chicago StoryCorps booth with his friend, Katie Lettie, to reflect on how those experiences gave him a greater appreciation of his parents and friends.</p><p>STEPHEN: About this time first year, my dad had a heart attack, I had to talk him into going to the hospital &hellip; Nobody in my dad&rsquo;s family has lived past 60. Everybody died of a heart attack. So I was like, &ldquo;Dad, we have to go to the hospital.&rdquo; And he&rsquo;s like, &ldquo;No, I don&rsquo;t have the money for that.&rdquo; And I said, &ldquo;It doesn&rsquo;t matter how much it costs if you&rsquo;re dead.&rdquo;</p><p>Stephen said they prevailed on his Dad and got him to the hospital, where he was rushed into surgery and survived.</p><p>KATIE: I remember, like a few years ago, you were like really dismissive of your parents, and that&rsquo;s totally changed over the past few years.</p><p>Stephen said he used to have a poor attitude toward his upbringing. As the son of a working-class family, he said he spent most of his high school years aspiring to something different. Then he experienced his dad&rsquo;s heart attack and yet another family health crisis.</p><p><em>To hear how he grew in the face of so much personal tragedy, check out the audio above.</em></p><p><em>Lynette Kalsnes is a WBEZ reporter/producer. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/LynetteKalsnes">@lynettekalsnes</a>.</em><br />&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F6250422" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 31 Jan 2014 11:51:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/young-chicago-man-finds-personal-growth-face-family-tragedy-109614