Life is like a garden. Some moments are perfect, but cannot last forever except in our memory. - Leonard Nimoy
Clio Associates has recorded hundreds of oral histories over the past 20 years. Please meet a few of our interviewees.
Carrie L. Orcutt
In this photo, Carrie holds a videotape of her life story that her family, behind her, gave to her as a gift for her 90th birthday. A retired teacher, Carrie also owned and operated a popular summer day camp, Camp Bonnie Brae in Otis, MA, with her late husband. Her video history includes a photograph of Carrie meeting Eleanor Roosevelt when she visited their summer camp in the Berkshire Mountains in the early 1940's. Carrie recalls Mrs. Roosevelt as "very warm and down to earth."
Edna tells the story of her mother immigrating to the United States by herself from Poland at the turn of the late 19th century and working as a weaver in the Amoskeag (NH) textile mills. Edna's birth name in Polish is Waldysalwa, but when she began school as a little American girl, someone gave her the name Edna and her new name has lasted a lifetime. Married in 1937, Edna describes their honeymoon where her husband drove a black Ford all the way from New England to Virginia, and they were excited to ride on a new highway called the Skyline Drive.
Carol and Raymond Fleury
Ray recalls in the late 1930's when he was a boy, his father took him to see the Quabbin Reservoir being built and also to Westover Field to see the first plane land. Later after serving in the Marine Corps, Ray also signed on with the U.S. Navy. He witnessed the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Island in 1946. "We were eight miles from the center." Carol and Ray grew up near each other and dated for four years. But they had to wait until Carol was 21 to be married. "That was one of my father's rules," Carol recalls. They danced a lot back when Big Band music was popular, and they continue to enjoy dancing today.
Evelyn L. Sharpe
Evelyn was raised in Florida in a segregated South during the decades before Civil Rights legislation was passed. She recalls separate schools, separate stores and entirely separate communities for whites and blacks. Evelyn's husband had a military career that took them and their eight children on numerous assignments to American bases throughout this country and Guam. Today Evelyn continues her work as a public school teacher in New England and serves her church as organist and choir director. She is the heart of her family of 19 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.
Anna is a beloved aunt and matriarch of a large family of nieces, nephews and their offspring. For many years she owned and managed a popular restaurant in western MA. During her oral history, Anna even shared some of her famous Polish recipes. A few weeks later she surprised us with a gift of several dozen of her delicious handmade pierogis, which we eagerly divided (and devoured!). At 90, Anna still wielded a snow shovel and drove her own car.
Edward A. Markey
Ed received the gift of a recorded oral history as a Christmas present from his daughter. Already a special person in the hearts of his family, Ed became a celebrity when he was featured in a major article that appeared in the Boston Globe about Clio Associates. Click here for more about Ed’s story.
Louise Finn, RN
Louise worked for over 50 years as a maternal and infant care nurse at the Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, MA. Her experiences and reflections on the changes in her profession were important contributions to the award winning video, "A Look Back: Reflections on 20th Century Premature Infant Care Nursing", produced by Clio Associates for Mead Johnson Nutritionals, a division of Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Before retiring to West Palm Beach, FL, Dave was a longtime resident of Great Neck, NY. A pioneer in the early years of the television and broadcasting industry, Dave narrates many interesting stories of growing up in the Depression and achieving personal and professional success throughout his life. But most important, Dave said, was that he enjoyed recording his oral history in celebration of his 80th birthday “because I want my children and grandchildren to know I love them."
A British citizen from West Yorkshire, England, during WW II May was able to send her children to safety in the English countryside while she and her husband remained in London, including throughout The Blitz of 1940, an intense six months of devastating bombing by Germany. May recorded her oral history for her family when she traveled to the U.S. for a grandson’s wedding. Her extended American family always looked forward every two years to her return visits to this country.
Jim and Kay Higgins
Kay and Jim celebrated more than a half century of marriage and recorded their oral histories for their 52nd anniversary. They raised 6 children during Jim's lengthy military career. His last assignment was Gander AFB, Newfoundland. He next embarked on a rewarding second career as an elementary school reading teacher. For many years Kay managed extensive gardens and operated a popular herb business in western Massachusetts.
Peter C. Kenny, Jr.
A retired U.S. Merchant Marine Captain living on Shelter Island, NY, Pete was interviewed for his alma mater’s alumni history project. His videotaped recollections of World War II are among the collection archived at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in King's Point, NY. Pete first went to sea at the young age of 15. Throughout his sailing career he traveled the world numerous times. During WW II Pete participated in many dangerous convoys, including the famous Murmansk run to Russia on the Barents Sea above the Arctic Circle. One of his most memorable projects was building a sailboat with his children and teaching them to sail. Pete embraced a lifelong love of the sea, second only to his enduring devotion to his wife and sons.