Stories of Elders
Episode 30 — Tito Francona

b. 1933
Alliquippa, PA

Tito Francona is well known as a Major League Baseball player.  He played alongside Hank Aaron, Yogi Berra, and many other greats.  To me, he was a family friend whom I would see at functions and events.  He was always kind, smiling, and curious.  His was one of my first interviews, before I knew this book was about tech, so while I didn’t gather anything relevant to the final topic of the book, I did get to hear some great stories about playing ball in the middle of the century.

Stories of Elders
Episode 29 - Carol Ann Lesert

b. 1932
Grand Rapids, MI

Carol is my friend’s grandmother, and I was fortunate enough to meet her just before the publishing of the Stories of Elders book.  She comments on some things that, today, we may not notice; like the reduced friendliness of police, or poverty.  In this episode, Steve and I discuss what poverty means, what neighborliness means, and some recent laws that changed law enforcement in Carol’s lifetime.

The q&a article on police laws can be found here.  

Stories of Elders
Episode 28 — Bones

b. 1947
Pass Cristian, MS

I met Charles “Bones” Rhodes, his daughter Honey, her husband Roddy, and their son Mark, through a mutual friend.  We had all gotten to know each other soon after Hurricane Katrina, for which I was a relief worker.  I didn’t expect to interview multiple generations at once, but it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

In this episode, my dear friend Steve joins me to provide an outside perspective on these intimate stories.

Stories of Elders
Episode 27 - Bettilew Turk Gaskell

Birmingham, AL
Born 1925

I met Bettilew on accident the same day I met Ann Veren.  I was sitting in a coffee shop, and Bettilew’s granddaughter complimented my earrings.  We got to talking, and after telling her of the work I was doing, she insisted I interview her grandmother.  I’m so glad it worked out the way it did.  What a pleasure it was to meet both Bettilew and Ann!

Bettilew tells two stories in this episode.  One endearing, one about the war.  Both are valuable to understanding our past.

Read the original post I wrote after just having met Bettilew in 2015.

Stories of Elders
Episode 26 — Ida Mae Harris

Conway, SC
Born 1920

Ida Mae Harris passed away last week, only days before I was to meet her again at a signing event in her city.  This is a special podcast edition to honor her life.  She speaks about the Depression, and gives very good advice for enjoying the richness of life.