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WYSO, the Dayton Metro Library and local social service agency, Rebuilding Together Dayton, have come together for a very special project. We’ve gathered the memories and wise words of Dayton’s elders for Senior Voices, a new series that is airing throughout 2018.Along with Dayton Metro Library staff, we trained nearly three dozen area residents to use digital recording equipment to interview local elders. Interviews took place at branch libraries, at selected Lobby Stop locations (Lobby Stop is a sort of book mobile for seniors), community centers, and in the homes of seniors who participated in the Rebuilding Together Dayton Fixit Kit program.We held three trainings at the DML Northwest branch this summer, and shortly after the new main branch opened in August, the volunteers began gathering stories. The full interviews will be accessible for generations to come at the Dayton Metro Library. At WYSO, Community Voices producers have been editing the interviews for broadcast. We present them to you in honor of the life experiences and wisdom of Dayton elders.This series is made possible through the generous support of the Del Mar Healthcare Fund of the Dayton Foundation.Jocelyn Robinson coordinated this series for WYSO. Janine Kinnison is the Project Liaison for Dayton Metro Library.Editors include: Dave Barber, William Brown, Tess Cortes, Patti Gehred, Javis Heberling, Kateri Kosta, Zebedee Reichert, Jason Reynolds, David Seitz, Alan Staiger, Chris Welter. Interviewers include: Dana Kragick, Tess Cortes, Anna Omulo, Doug Bowers, Hadley Drodge, M. Alice Callier, Barbra Gerla, Jason Coatney Schuler, Linda Pitzer, Carol Jackson, Audrey Ingram, Susan Brenner, Nancy Messer, Christian Davell, Ken Standifer, Liz Anderson, Cynthia Wallace-King, Karen Maner, David Murphy Sr., Cynthia Rush, Alan Stagier, Debra Root, Pamela Waltrip, Jennifer Hicks, Brandon Ulman, Karah Power

Senior Voices: Connie Cole

Connie Cole
Senior Voices

This week on Senior Voices, we meet 84-year old Connie Cole. Born in Minnesota and raised in Washington, DC, she came to the Dayton area in the early 1960s when her husband got a job at Wright-Patt. Together, they built a house and raised their three kids in a neighborhood called Saville in Riverside, where she’s lived ever since. Connie shared her memories with Dayton Metro Library volunteer interviewer, Jason Coatney-Schuler.

Transcript:

Connie Cole (CC): Well, we build the house in an area that was brand new, so they were all young families just like us, and you know, like I was Boy Scout and Girl Scout leader, and for the Boy Scouts, you know, they all lived in the neighborhood, it was wonderful, I’d give my son a note and the teacher would announce it and save me all the calling and so forth, because they were all in the same school. That was nice.

Jason Coatney-Schuler (JCS): That’s great. Tell me a little bit about what downtown was like if you could remember that in the Sixties.

CC: Right, that used to be my treat. While my husband watched the children, I would take the bus downtown and just you know, there was a dime store down there, and I’d have lunch there, and then go to the Elder-Beerman, and what is now, I guess I think it was called Rike’s at the time, and there was one other, there were three large stores downtown, and that was my Saturday treat, to get away from the youngsters.

JCS: What is your favorite thing about living in Dayton?

CC: Let’s see, the favorite thing…there are just so many opportunities, I mean you know, I think that, looking back I enjoyed my little trips downtown, but my daughter and I have season to the opera, and we have a, I do water aerobics three times a week, we have a nice recreation center, and I just think they have opportunities for everything.

This interview was edited by Community Voices producer and Senior Voices project coordinator Jocelyn Robinson. Senior Voices is a collaboration between the Dayton Metro Library, Rebuilding Together Dayton, and WYSO. This series is made possible through the generous support of the Del Mar Healthcare Fund of the Dayton Foundation.