“A story is the shortest distance between people.”
— Pat Speight

This Thanksgiving, let’s bridge that distance and remind each other we all have stories worth listening to. Dave Isay and StoryCorps – the nonprofit he founded to collect and preserve oral histories – is promoting this Friday – the day after Thanksgiving – as a “National Day of Listening.” Along with National Public Radio, StoryCorps is encouraging a new tradition: set aside an hour in the day or weekend following Thanksgiving to record a meaningful conversation with someone important to you.

With this event as the impetus, Holly and I are bringing our full recording setup (along with four pies and a casserole dish of mashed sweet potatoes) to my sister’s house for our annual Thanksgiving visit. We’re hoping to get a short story from everyone -– from my 77-year-old mother down to our 7-year-old daughter. If you need tips to record your stories on the National Day of Listening, or a complete “do-it-yourself guide,” click below: Join StoryCorps in the National Day of Listening even if you don’t have the ideal equipment setup – use what you have to get started. A video camera, cassette recorder or a digital voice recorder will work fine — and attach an external microphone if you have one.

In promotion for the event, NPR has been featuring interviews this week between its hosts and correspondents and their own family members and friends. Listen to Scott Simon ask his mother about an incident before he was born – worth it just to hear Scott’s laugh! Or Steve Inskeep asking his mother about attending college. Listen to Liane Hansen tell her son how she got started in radio. Or Renee Montagne talking to the subject of one of her first NPR reports. Other stories to come from Frank Deford, Noah Adams, Susan Stamberg and Michel Martin, among others!

Wishing you all a happy, healthy Thanksgiving — full of stories.

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