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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: Norma Adams

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In this Senior Voices web extra, Norma Adams shares memories of Roosevelt High School, and NCR’s Old River Park. She spoke with Dayton Metro Library interviewer, Kara Power.

Transcript: 

Kara Power (KP): So, do you remember where you went to elementary school and high school?

Norma Adams (NA): Edison in Dayton, and high school was Roosevelt. And they’ve torn the whole building down now, it’s gone. Yeah, and it was a fabulous building, it had two huge pools.

KP: You don’t get that very often…

NA: I doubt that they build schools around here with that kind of facilities anymore, so when they tore it down I thought it was just a disaster, but they had tried to make it a I think a neighborhood building, and one day my daughter called and said that my grandson was playing in an orchestra and they were going to play for the reopening of the Roosevelt Center and did I want to go and I said I have really mixed feelings about that ‘cause I was in that building for six years, ‘cause I went to junior high school and high school there. So, I did go, and it wasn’t anything like I remembered it. You know, really, I thought the library was huge when I was there, the library was a little dinky, probably about as big as this apartment, but when you’re a teenager, you don’t remember that stuff, it doesn’t matter.

KP: Do you have any proud moments in your life?

NA: Lots of those, too, probably. I think children’s accomplishments over time, grandchildren’s accomplishments. My grandson was in the band at Old River, and since Old River is gone now, that kinda gives me chill down my back. You had to, if you know about Old River, it belonged to NCR and you had to have a pass to go in, and I had a friend at school whose father had a pass, he didn’t work there but her had a pass, so we could go. And then when my grandson was playing there, and I had been there for so many summers before, and to watch them, they marched from a parking lot up on one end and the seats were all around…been there, uh huh, as they came marching in they would play the Washington and Lee Swing or something to march fast and bring them in, and I was just so proud of him. It was beautiful.

This interview was edited by Community Voices producer Javis Heberling. 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.