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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The interview with Sharon Rouse was conducted on June 27, 2016 in the Solaris building of Hudson, New York, amidst the looms and thread of the third floor's art room. Sharon, a life-long Hudson resident approximately 60 years old, has worked in the operating room of the Columbia Memorial Hospital for over 30 years. She spoke at length about her life in Hudson, specifically what Hudson looked and felt like as a child, including shops and churches and community centers that populated Warren St and the downtown area. Sharon spoke about when Hudson was a "ghost town" and the period of revitalization that followed. Sharon was interested particularly in the architecture of the town and the renovations of buildings. Sharon spoke briefly about what Hudson may be like in future years. Sharon talked about her job in the hospital operating room, where she works as a general assistant, including some history of the hospital and her personal reflections on her career and relationships with colleagues. Sharon spoke briefly about her involvement with volunteer community organizations - including fire houses and the local school - and the work of other community organizations such as the youth commission. Sharon's tone was reflective, focusing largely on Hudson history and having witnessed so much change in the city. She also spoke reflectively about how it feels to look back on her life in Hudson, and what specific periods in time felt like as she lived them. Sharon spoke about her family - including a brief family history - and how witnessing the near-death hospitalization of her grandson as a pre-mature new born changed her life perspective. This interview may be of interested to: a) those interested in a visually-oriented history of Hudson from the perspective of a woman who has lived her life in this town, raised a family in this town, and has been involved in the community throughout her life; b) a discussion of water-shed//life-change moments; and c) a narrative from inside the community hospital.
Sammy Sass is a Boston-based artist, teacher, and activist. She is passionate about the practice of storytelling and connecting through word, both spoken and written. Sammy is the interviewer and curator of Gathering Voices, a community interview project collecting the stories and histories of young adults raised by LGBTQ parents. When not talking, she can be found writing creative non-fiction, poetry, and personal narrative. To this particular interview she brought an interest in (working) women's voices, and a family history of living in a rust-belt city that nearly collapsed after the closing of factories in the mid-1900s.
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.”