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Helen Garrisson

June 16, 2019


Hudson, NY


Recorded by

Natalie Galpern

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Helen Garrison has lived in Hudson, NY her whole life, and until recently, there were four generations of her family living in her current residence. In her oral history interview, Helen recalls her early Childhood years and discusses the challenges of moving homes around the city, which required her to change schools regularly. She and her mother worked at the old Pocketbook factory, where they would sew the frames onto pocketbooks. This iconic building has since then been repurposed as an arts and events space. Helen reminisces about the places in Hudson that are no longer around: Moxie’s Urban Italian Bistro where her parents would eat dinner most weekends, Columbia Diner famous for its Yankee Pot Roast Sandwiches, and Vasilow’s which has been converted from an ice cream shop into a candy store. She notes the influx of tourists from the availability of b&bs, which have disrupted the tranquility of her street. Helen reflects on time spent with her father where they would go fishing down by the Hudson River and catch eels which he shared with the locals. Her husband, Doug, is a member of the Hudson Power Boat Association, and they often celebrate the fourth of July on the boat with her family. Helen shares the memory of meeting Doug for the first time at the Half Moon on Thanksgiving evening. Finally, she discusses the importance of her children and grandchildren in her life.

This interview would be of interest to those curious to hear more about the institutions that were once popular in Hudson, NY that are no longer around.

Interviewer Bio:
Natalie Galpern

Natalie Galpern is a vocalist, performer and sound artist from New York City. She’s interested in ethnographic sound, particularly how the human voice is tied to place, memory, and personal history. In 2018 Natalie founded Women in Sound, a growing community of women sharing knowledge and skills in music technology, sound art, and performance. She holds an MMus in Sonic Arts from Goldsmiths, University of London.

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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.

Part of this interview may be played in a radio broadcast or podcast.

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.”

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