Friday, May 4, 2012

Minnesota Veteran Stories

Plains Story Share is operating out of Minnesota now - unfortunately, the plains are not where we live but something I will always carry in my heart.
Soon, after settling in, I will be working with the local libraries to collect stories for the Veterans History Project. Any ideas for story collecting in the extended twin cities area and beyond the suburbs shoot me an email! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Stories from Fort Sisseton Festival

This year Plains Story Share had a 'booth' at the Ft. Sisseton Historic festival and used it as an opportunity to spread the word about the Veterans History Project and collect stories from willing folks. This year turned out to be more of an experiment on how to approach the future of PSS projects than a success story, but we did find a few wonderful people who shared a part of their lives with us.

 Stuart Surma Ft. Sisseton, June 2011 E by Plains Story Share

Stuart Surma of Java, South Dakota talks about his time in the Vietnam War.

 Diana MacKenzie, First Female OC in Army National Guard - Ft. Sisseton June 2011 by Plains Story Share

Diana MacKenzie shares her experience as the first female Officer Candidate in the Army National Guard.

 Rene Omlid, Ft. Sisseton June, 2011 E by Plains Story Share

Rene Omlid of North Dakota shares her journey to selling baskets from Ghana.

 Lincoln Gibbs, Ft. Sisseton Historic Festival - June 2011 by Plains Story Share

Lincoln Gibbs, and up and coming middle school student of Claremont, South Dakota talks about a scary day of snowmobiling.

 Anastasia Bush, Ft. Sisseton - June 2011 by Plains Story Share

Anastasia Bush from Watertown, SD introduces us to her world of anime and art.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Veterans History Project

The Library of Congress in conjunction with the American Folklife Center has been working for the last 11 years to compile the history of American veterans and civilians involved in war efforts.

Plains Story Share will be volunteering to facilitate interviews to donate to the Library of Congress archives and is looking for anyone who is a veteran, a family member or friend of a veteran who is interested in recording their wartime experiences. Please look over the information on this site and contact me for more information about how to proceed. We can conduct the interview or simply be there to record and hand over the donation.

This is really an incredible project and I believe stories should live on! Support each other by listening - check out their website to hear examples of recorded stories, subscribe to their RSS or podcast.

Fort Sisseton Festival!

Since I was a young girl, my mother would take me to the Fort Sisseton Festival for a day in June for some great mother and daughter time. I have always loved spending time at the state park and cherished the memories created from visiting the festival and this year I may get to engage within the community of participants!
Plains Story Share may have a booth at the festival to record stories of festival goers and staff, to work towards new creative projects and capture memories from an endless variety of people. In the best situation, we may be able to work with the park to help them capture stories of their own to archive to help support the park. I don't know what it is, but I love this state park. If you would like to know more information about the festival, and the park, go here.
We will keep you up to date on the specifics of our involvement, but for now, plan to make it to the Fort Sisseton Festival on June 3-5, 2011 and we hope to see you there! (p.s. we will be dressed like frontiers....)

The Turtle Wins

Plains Story Share has not held a meeting of storytelling since October, but I wanted to let you all know that we are still alive. Creative audio journalism and storytelling will remain at the heart of this site and the concept will only grow. Currently, we are looking at several creative pieces over the next six months that will be developing as time permits.

As a side project, I have created a service called Living Voice Audio that I will be using to record the lives and oral history of people on an endlessly custom basis - I will serve as an 'Interview Facilitator and Archivist' in the audio format. This is all very new and exciting, please check out my website and keep me in mind to get down those stories of your loved ones. Hear their voices for ages to come!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lefse! One family's story

Makin' lefse Thanksgiving 2010 by Plains Story Share

Last weekend I worked with my mother, Kathy Fryslie, to follow through on a lapsed tradition - making lefse. I wanted to take this opportunity to share the history and presence of lefse in our life with all of you and wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.

Please take the time to listen to our audio journal - an 18 minute piece for background to your browsing.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Spooky is Relative. Goosebumps will ensue.

I love love love ghost stories and all of the shapes, sizes and forms they come in. Seven of us met at the Brookings Public Library on Wednesday night and had a great time talking and telling stories. Every one of these meetings, I walk away having thoroughly enjoyed myself - aware that it is not common enough to be sitting around with a group of people and just sharing, laughing and learning about each other. Listen in to the stories below, which include: Sleep paralysis, two different Poltergeists, an angel of death, a ghost that cuddles, a phantom in the countryside of India and a shelter belt scare.

Jess Fryslie. Sleep Paralysis. 10/27/10 by Katie, PSS Admin

Katie Huff. A Poltergeist in MN. 10/27/10 by Katie, PSS Admin

Lindee Waba. Angel of death. 10/27/10 by Katie, PSS Admin

Sarah Temme. A Poltergeist in SD. 10/27/10 by Katie, PSS Admin

Kelly Smidt. Ghost Cuddle. 10/27/10 by Katie, PSS Admin

Kathy Fryslie. Scaredy-Bird. 10/27/10 by Katie, PSS Admin

Harsha Mistry. India Village Phantom. 10/27/10 by Katie, PSS Admin

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Daughters perspective - Growing up with Veterans

(Above photo by Victor Grubbs)

I've never been a fan of 'wondering'. I do it a lot, though. When I was a little girl, I spent a lot of time wondering why my parents did the things they did, felt the way they felt. As I have become an adult myself, a lot of these wondering's were resolved as I followed in the footsteps of everyone who is lucky enough to grow older. I know now, though, that I will have to keep wondering about the experiences I don't share with my parents, my friends, my family - and as an exercise to decrease this wondering, I get to ask questions and listen.
I had an opportunity to re-live parts of my childhood last month when the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Codington County hosted a weekend of events memorializing the fallen soldiers from that war and re-dedicated the memorial after 25 years. I asked, listened and thought a lot about how to portray what I learned and what it means to me to have these people in my life, in everyone's lives.
Listen in to hear Steve Fryslie (my father), Jim Fortin, Jim Elkins, Britt Small and Gordy West share some of their experiences and wisdom with me.

Vietnam Vet Memorial Piece by Katie, PSS Admin

Please share this audio piece with anyone you think might enjoy it. Soundcloud publishes through facebook and a lot of other social media.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Old Notes, A couch, Bird droppings and Learning to ride a scooter.

We had our second Plains Story Share event last night at the Library, upstairs in a very unpopulated room. Luckily, we had one intentional participant (Mr. Engelmann) and Harsha was willing to step away from her coffee shop and share a story of her own. Though it seems harder than I originally believed to draw people to share stories with each other, when they show up it is worth it. In a time when we are all comfortable keeping our distance, it serves as a great reminder: I love feeling close to others. Plains Story Share will march on and next month will be incredible! Bring us the Ghost Stories.....Hello, Halloween!

I want to note that I do not intend to post my stories continuously. My hope is that soon there will be more recordings from the events and I can leave mine out, lest this becomes a personal depository of my voice. No one wants that. Story 5 : Speaker Katie Huff, September 8 by Katie, PSS Admin
A story of an old note, written as a way to prevent personal sabotage.
Story 6 : Speaker Jess Fryslie, September 8 by Katie, PSS Admin
It's this couch. All about the couch.
Story 7: Speaker Brian K. Engelmann, September 8 by Katie, PSS Admin
The things we do and the birds that drop things on our heads.
Story 8 : Speaker Harsha Mistry, September 8 by Katie, PSS Admin
You get to hear Harsha's great laugh and the mishaps of learning to balance on 2 wheels.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Natural Life: Hillside Prairie Gardens, Brookings S.D.

Above, the backyard next to the gardens

*** Please note***
As of 10/10/2010 the recordings from this meeting will be marked as downloadable.

I will be removing the audio files from streaming at the end of October. If you would like to remain able to hear the recordings, please download the files. If you are reading this after October, you can contact me through email and I can send you the files. Thank you!

I have a vested interest in twins, as I am busy raising a pair myself. I was excited to sit with twin brothers Andrew and Jacob Helling, and their partners Kirsten Hansen and Hanna Fetzer, at their house and learn a little about them. As Kirsten mentioned regarding the brothers relationship, when they talk on the phone "the conversation just continues... there is no hello." This is similar to the life of the garden their parents started twenty years ago. Hillside Prairie Gardens has moved to the next generation with Andrew and Jacob. I visited a beautiful self made home filled with delicious smells, friendly people and several kind, hungry-for-love dogs. This home was surrounded by the aptly named hillside gardens where the delicious (confidently written, as they handed me a basket full of vegetables to take and I ate tomatoes on the way home) fresh vegetables and fruit are grown. I continue to learn that the people whose stories I love capturing the most have the most humility and are the most reserved; all good things in life are worth working for. Please listen...

Hillside Prairie Garden visit Aug. 26, 2010 by Katie, PSS Admin

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. A farm that offers a CSA will usually provide a certain amount of ripe fresh vegetables and/or fruit to the people who subscribe to the farms program. A subscription would be a set amount of money per week or month paid for a set amount of time, during which the member gets weekly boxes of produce. For more information on CSA's, see

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Want To Get Involved?

Plains Story Share is looking for people who have ideas and are inspired to get involved in capturing stories in their community. Do you know a person who has a great story? Would you like to host a gathering, in your community or home, where people could share stories?

We are open to all possibilities! Please send and email to and let us know your thoughts and questions!

Plains Story Share Gathering, September 8th!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Vienna, South Dakota; Post Office Coffee Hour

*** Please note***
As of 10/10/2010 the recordings from this meeting will be marked as downloadable.

I will be removing the audio files from streaming at the end of October. If you would like to remain able to hear the recordings, please download the files. If you are reading this after October, you can contact me through email and I can send you the files. Thank you!

Jess and I spent Saturday morning with people from the rural area around Vienna, SD. Each morning, the Vienna Post Office is open and stocked with sweets and fresh coffee by Myra Cluts, the local Postmaster. Twice a day locals come to the post office with cash for the donation can, ready to touch base with people in their community. We recorded a couple of conversational stories to share, as well as an interview with Myra about how the post office came to be the local coffee spot. Listen in to learn about South Dakota square dancing, getting stuck on water locked roads, territorial farmers and jackrabbit hunting in the '70s.