The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

StoryCorps gathering local tales


March 16, 2018

Eamon Scarbrough

Morgan Feigal-Stickles, holding the scissors, poses for a photo Thursday with a group of Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce ambassadors.

PORTALES - In a world saturated with technology and communication, what stories are being lost in the shuffle? A national non-profit organization hopes to bring that number down significantly.

StoryCorps kicked off a month of storytelling Thursday at its Airstream trailer, which will be parked in front of the Eastern New Mexico University Administration Building daily until April 13.

At Thursday's press event, Morgan Feigal-Stickles, site manager for the StoryCorps mobile tour, explained that his organization works with communities to "gather stories of people who aren't normally in the history books, because we recognize that everybody has a story, and every story is important."

Portales-area residents can sign up for 40-minute one-on-one interviews with each other, discussing anything they want in any language they want, though it's ideal that the two individuals know each other, Feigal-Stickles said.

After the audio interview is complete, the involved parties will receive a copy, and can choose to archive the conversation in the American Folk Life Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Aside from preserving stories, Feigal-Stickles said, "Listening in that time is such a validation of that person's humanity and their story."

KENW TV Director Duane Ryan said that archiving each person's story is a vital service to future generations.

"We have all these telephones now that we could make oral histories ourselves, but lots of times, we don't get around to doing it, and I think it's great," he said.

Feigal-Stickles noted that in the short time the StoryCorps crew has been in Portales, it has been made clear that eastern New Mexico has a wealth of stories to share.

"We got posters printed at the Print Shop here in town, and I was talking to the woman behind the counter, and she was like, 'Oh yeah, we've been around for 47 years, and 40 years ago there was a big fire, and the owners of the Print Shop are gonna come in and talk about it,'" he said.

While he has heard many similarities between the stories he has collected in his time at StoryCorps, he said he is excited to discover what Portales has to offer.


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