Arts & Culture

Some adopted kids want to know their birth parents, some don’t.

For Gary Anderson, it was his own kids who finally persuaded him to ask questions. One even bought him a DNA kit from ancestry.com. That’s when he discovered he has nine half siblings.

He told the story to his niece Cathryn Sprynczynatyk at the StoryCorps mobile recording booth in Bismarck of how he figured out who his parents were, based on a report from what was “technically” a closed adoption.

In a war torn country, life is fraught with hardship.  Paul and Lydia Zondo grew up in Liberia during the First Liberian Civil War, a conflict that killed a quarter of a million people from 1989 to 1997.

They’ve moved many times in their lives, first as refugees, later to find good jobs and a safe place to raise their children. Between them they’ve lived in Liberia, Ghana, New York, Maryland, Ohio, Minnesota, Nebraska, Missouri, Montana, and both Dakotas.

Deep in the heart of the sauerkraut triangle, you know your bratwurst from your bockwurst, and strudel from your streusel. And you know your polka from your two-step.  

Victor Schwahn has been playing the accordion for 73 years. He visited the StoryCorps MobileBooth in Bismarck with friend Harvey Schilling to talk about how he got his start.

Kevin Locke tells StoryCorps Facilitator, Madison Mullen, about a promise and gift made by his friend and benefactor, Arlo Good Bear, shortly before his death. He describes Good Bear's lessons and gift of the hoop dance, which Locke has since shared with people all over the world.

Dina Butcher talks with her daughter, Marnie Piehl, and grandson, Owen Piehl, about her political leanings, involvement, and concerns, and how they are directly influenced by her family history as Jewish refugees in United States who fled Nazi Germany in 1939. Dina reflects on her parents' history, both in the US and in Germany, and no matter the climate, the importance of speaking up.

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