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"I like to give to people. This is my heart."

In Olga’s living room, teacup sized cream puffs sit on a plate on a redwood coffee table under a large, gold-framed family portrait on the wall. A stack of pictures and papers splays across the couch between us. We sort through pictures, and stories sift out: a photograph of her English teacher, citizenship papers, Olga as a young girl in Ukraine, her sons—twins who were 14 when they moved to the States, one who was 8, another who was six; a picture with Goshen’s mayor, Alan Kauffman, English class certificates, a photo of a day cleaning fish with her sister […]

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"My biggest motivation right now is my youngest daughter and my grandkids."

Phil has had a job every year since he was nine. That is, until 2007. That year, NISCO laid off one fourth of its workforce; he was one of them. So, he and his wife started a five-year trek through unemployment, bankruptcy and foreclosure, and the loss of 80% of their income.  His activity shifted from hard physical labor to online job-searching.  I went from working 12 hours a day to sitting at a computer all day long. When I lost my job I was 170 pounds lighter than I am now. This (he pats his belly), this is unemployment. […]

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"I love being on stage in shows. It’s like you can go into a different world and be someone you’re not and escape your everyday drama and trouble."

If your life was a story what would be its title? Probably… well, what would you say? ME? I’m not asking me!  Well, I’m asking you. Right now, the title is Story Collector. But let’s get back to you, this isn’t about me.  What was the happiest moment of your life? I don’t know if I’ve had a really stand out moment that’s been the happiest, but I love being on stage in shows. What shows have you been in? Sweeney Todd, Wizard of Oz, Fiddler on the Roof and right now I’m in Willy Wonka. What do you love […]

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"I try to communicate with a lot of people. If we work together, if we help people, we can live better."

How long have you been living in Goshen? I came from Guatemala almost 13 years ago. I’ve been living here a long time. What brought you here? My brother was here and he asked if I want to come. So, I came. Do you have other family here besides your brother? I have two brothers here now. Is that your whole family or are there others still in Guatemala? Yeah, my whole family, my father, they are in Guatemala. Do you see them? I have not seen them in a long time, but I talk with them. Right now I’m […]

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Who have you met who has been really important in your life?

"Alice Cooper.

He was nice. He was tall. My dream is to play drums for him some day. His wife said that I might be able to…"

Who have you met who has been really important in your life? Alice Cooper.  He was nice. He was tall. My dream is to play drums for him some day. His wife said that I might be able to… I met him in South Bend. I know Tommy the guitar player and he told me I could meet him and his wife. I just went to a concert and Tommy took me back stage. Did Alice Cooper give you any advice? Yeah, “Look for new musicians.” What does that mean for you? Look for new people to listen to, new kinds […]

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What was the happiest moment of your life?

"I can’t think of one. I’m happy all the time."

What makes you happy? Everything. What was the happiest moment of your life? I can’t think of one. I’m happy all the time. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Never date. Why is that the best advice? I don’t know. It seems reasonable. If you could give advice to a whole bunch of people what would you say? Do whatever you want.  

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What was the happiest moment of your life?

"I kissed a girl today. That’s not one of the happiest, happiest moments of my life. I got these new shoes."

If your life was a story what would be its title? Big Life Why? Because I have a big life. I do a lot things. I’m athletic. A lot of weird things, sad things, mean things, of drama. Like what? Like arguments with girls. But, I deal with it. What was the happiest moment of your life? I kissed a girl today. That’s not one of the happiest, happiest moments of my life. I got these new shoes. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Conversate. With girls. If you could give advice to a bunch of people what […]

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What would you say would be the title of your life if it was a story?

"Getting Lost.

That’s kind of how I explore life. I don’t really follow maps or anything. I kind of have to do it myself."

What was the happiest moment of your life? The day I got married. Could you tell me more about that day? Well, I was making a commitment to the woman I loved, a lifetime commitment. And I was looking forward to spending the rest of my life with her. What would you say would be the title of your life if it was a story? Getting Lost. Why is that? That’s kind of how I explore life. I don’t really follow maps or anything. I kind of have to do it myself.  What’s the best advice you’ve been given? To […]

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What was your saddest moment?

"The death of my grandmother. I’ve never knew anybody close to me who has died before that. I was sort of naive to the situation. I didn’t really understand how serious it was. Then when it happened it was sort of shocking and hard for a while."

What was your saddest moment? The death of my grandmother. I’ve never knew anybody close to me who has died before that. I was sort of naive to the situation. I didn’t really understand how serious it was. Then when it happened it was sort of shocking and hard for a while. If your life was a story what would be its title? Hope and Courage. I like to do things that are a little more adventurous and sometimes out of my comfort zone. I think that takes courage and not being afraid to get out of your comfort zone. […]

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If your life was a story what would be it’s title?