Road stories

Illustration by Brian Breneman

The idea behind StoryCorps doesn't sound particularly revolutionary on the surface: Two people—typically family, friends or acquaintances—sit down and have a personal conversation that is recorded and then shared. But in an age where the information stream is near constant in the form of out-of-context soundbites, 140-character tweets and clickbait headlines, the humanity of two people talking—of sharing experiences that are harrowing, uplifting, funny and just about every other emotion—can be striking in comparison. Which is good news for Sacramentans hankering for some of that humanity: The StoryCorps MobileBooth is coming to Sacramento from September 10 through October 9, and they want to hear your story.

Here's how it works: On Thursday, August 27, and Friday, September 11, reservations will be open for a session in the MobileBooth at Then, during your allotted appointment time, the decked-out Airstream will be parked at 5600 South Land Park Drive. A moderator will be there to help facilitate conversation, which will then be recorded onto a CD and archived on the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Some stories are featured on NPR and its affiliates (Capital Public Radio is Sac's partner, natch) and the StoryCorps website. Participants are asked to make a donation of $50 or more.

The result of over 10 years of StoryCorps is breathtaking portraits of life in America: Maurice Rowland and Miguel Alvarez, the cook and janitor who continued to work at an assisted-living facility after it was shut down; Yusor Abu-Salha, a survivor of the Chapel Hill shooting from earlier this year; blind 14-year-old triplets raised by a single mother and eventually befriended by another blind man in the community; President Barack Obama in conversation with an 18-year-old who spent time in juvenile detention. StoryCorps has recorded more than 50,000 stories since 2003; will you be adding yours to the chorus?