As part of Easton’s 175th Anniversary celebration, the Easton Public Library is hosting an Oral History Project. The purpose of the project is to preserve the town’s history as seen through the eyes of its residents and to celebrate the histories and accomplishments of those who made Easton what it is today.
“The idea for the project actually came from Nanette DeWester,” said Lynn Zaffino, Easton Public Library director. “She reached out to me at the beginning of the pandemic and asked if the library would be interested in doing this project. I had thought of doing something like this in the past, so I figured, why not? I think our main goal is to have people talk about their Easton experiences and memories, as well as the way the Town has changed over the years.”
Students in grades five and up, as well as adults, are paired up with longtime residents of Easton. The student and adult interviewers ask the residents about their lives, their favorite Easton memories, and their thoughts about the town.
The interviews are conducted by phone, Zoom, or in-person (with social distancing measures in place). Students who wish to participate must submit a signed parent/guardian permission form. The interviewee will complete and sign a release form, giving permission for the interview to be archived by the library and published in various media outlets and their websites.
In addition, radio mainstay Dolly Curtis has conducted a number of interviews, with Sheila Weaver handling the recording. Dolly is well known in the region’s arts community for her involvement and passion. In addition to the radio show, she hosted the cable-TV show “Dolly Curtis Interviews” for 28 years.
“A few months ago, I approached Lynn and said I would love to be involved for the sheer pleasure of it,” Dolly said. She has interviewed, Bill Kupinse, a former Easton first selectman; Dick Greiser, a longtime friend of Curtis and owner of Greiser’s, and Mary Ann Freeman, another long time friend, who is currently on the Easton Senior Center Advisory Board and was previously director of the Discovery Museum.
To view, listen to, or read the interviews that have been completed, visit the library’s Oral History page on their website at https://www.eastonlibrary.org/easton-oral-history-project. On this page, you can also view the library’s promotional video for the project, featuring staff member Kristine Oulman.
If you would like to participate in this historic project, email Kevin Krug at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay tuned for more lively interviews to come!