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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This interview with Emily Truitt was conducted in Hudson, New York as part of the Oral History Summer School. Emily is a former farm worker and aspiring therapist who lives in upstate New York, on the border between the United States and Canada, not far from Montreal. In the interview, she discusses the ten years she spent in the Pacific Northwest in her 20s and 30s, as a farm worker, a volunteer firefighter in her community, as well as a builder of luxury treehouses. She reflects on how the community and support network she was able to build during her time in the Pacific Northwest came to shape her sense of self: from the chief firefighter in her department and Buddy, her supervisor at the treehouse mill, to her two close friends Alicia and Olivier, a couple who offered for her to stay in a school bus in their backyard (and where she lived for three years). Emily also reflects on leaving the Pacific Northwest for upstate New York and what it was like to leave a place that was so formative to her. She talks a bit about her life now, as a mother of Simone, a four-year-old, and how the experience of mothering has symbolized a new season of life for her. And she reflects on her aspirations for the future, particularly in feeling galvanized to work with individuals who have experienced trauma.
This interview may be of interest to anyone who wants to learn about mentorship and friendship; as well as how community formation happens for an individual who moved to a part of the country that was new to her; the rhythm of life for a farm worker; the experience of being in your 20s/30s as a woman; the emotional experience and journey of becoming a mother; agricultural therapy.
Kristin Lin is a journalist and editor at the On Being Project, a public media organization in Minneapolis. She grew up in Dallas, Texas in a Buddhist/Taiwanese family and has since called Chicago and San Francisco home. She’s interested in how oral history can be a methodology to offer narrators more agency over their story.
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.”