This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please inquire about permissions.
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Nora is in her late 30s and works as a journalist in Portland, Maine in the podcast department for the public radio station WBUR. She spoke about her current position as well as her previous work at Montana Public Radio. Nora also spoke about her childhood in Rockville, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC, where she grew up with her parents and one brother. She described a particularly impactful experience from her high school years when she attended a summer conservation and wilderness program in New Mexico as a 16-year old. She spoke of how she has remained committed to learning about and protecting the environment in both her personal and professional life. She went on to study environmental studies in college at the University of Toronto and, before becoming a journalist, worked as an organic farmer and educator. She spoke about her search for a place that she wanted to settle in and call home, and she expressed her current feeling that Maine is that place. She spoke of never having had a strong connection to her Maryland hometown, where her mother still resides (her father died when Nora was 27).Her current desire is to buy a farmhouse and some land, perhaps further north in Maine, and settle into a community. Her connection to the state is strengthened by the fact that one set of her grandparents were Jewish immigrants who settled in Maine and worked in the shoe industry. Nora wants to dig deeper into this part of her history and learn more about her Maine roots. Nora also spoke about her goal of one day writing books to help children – and their adults – understand and appreciate the environment. She spoke fondly of a story she cherished from her own childhood about a woman who follows her path to do three things: see the world, do something to make it more beautiful and find a home by the sea.
Ellen Harris is a former civil rights lawyer who has worked as an advocate for justice and full participation in community life for people who are often left out because they experience poverty, discrimination or neglect. She has a longstanding interest in the power of audio storytelling and oral history, and has recently been working to develop her skills in these areas. She grew up in Cartersville, Georgia, but has spent her entire adult life in cities, spending time in New York and Los Angeles before settling near Washington, DC.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.
Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”