storycorps

Ronald Avila, 27, and his sister, Belinda, 29, honor their cultural ties with their family's ancestry in Honduras. Belinda was born in the United States, while her father studied agronomy at the University of Florida in Gainsville. Ronald was born two years later in Honduras. Their mother later brought them to the U.S., where she encouraged their higher education.

Elizabeth Claudet and her husband, Joseph, sat down with her father, Charles Costello, on March 29 to talk about his experiences while living most of his 96 years in Louisiana. He grew up in DeRidder in western Louisiana, where as a boy he delivered groceries in a cart pulled by a goat.

Martha Ward and Frank Aseron had a long acquaintance. It began in the mid-1970s when she was married and had a daughter, Marlowe. Frank did some carpentry work at her home, and they saw each other around New Orleans for years. She later divorced, and enjoyed her career an anthropology professor at the University of New Orleans. Frank became involved in mortgage banking and construction lending.

Marilyn Barbarin knew from a very early age that she would be a singer. It began when a priest at her school in New Orleans heard her singing in the girls' bathroom, where she was taking an unapproved break from class. But instead of facing punishment, she was taken to a recording session at the now-shuttered Nola Studios.

Ann Asprodites has always referred to Janet Wallfisch as her aunt, but the 91-year-old is actually related a bit further down ancestral lines. Ann's grandfather was Janet's mother's brother. The two remain close. They have lunch about twice a month, when Janet can book some spare time between exercise classes, opera and other activities.

Trampus Butler has lived all of his 32 years on the grounds of Angola State Prison. On April 14, he sat down for a chat on prison grounds with StoryCorps facilitator Jeremy Helton.

Andrew Condon and his wife Megan came to New Orleans from Rhode Island for a vacation, and a chance to re-energize and refocus their lives. Megan convinced Andrew that an interview session at StoryCorps' booth set up outside the World War II museum would be a great forum for taking stock of their seven-year marriage, and a focal point for looking toward the future.

Rachel Martin remembers just about everything about her family's ordeal when Hurricane Katrina hit. She remembers packing up camping gear to ride out the storm at a friend's house that was out of harm's way. She remembers those plans changing dramatically after Katrina left. She and her husband and son, Zeke Martin, were off to Houston for several weeks.

Paul Slattery has been in the New Orleans area since shortly after Hurricane Katrina. He volunteered for several months with Habitat for Humanity, and helped clear out the homes that were covered in mud and debris. He's been here ever since.

Joe and Gay DiGiovanni were in the final stages of planning a wedding in August 2005. His close family in St. Bernard Parish would be attending. Gay moved everything but her wedding dress into Joe's three-story house while the final arrangements were being set and they looked forward to a honeymoon in Las Vegas.

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