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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on witf’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays.

Hosted by: Scott LaMar



Smart Talk Friday is a fast-paced program featuring thoughtful and engaging conversations about the politics, policy and people who are shaping Pennsylvania’s future. Host Matt Paul and witf Capitol Bureau Chief Mary Wilson invite your multimedia interaction before, during and after the program.

Hosted by: Matt Paul and Mary Wilson



witf introduces 'Smart Talk Friday' radio program

Radio Smart Talk: Storycorps -- National Day of Listening

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Nov 16, 2012 3:03 PM

Radio Smart Talk for Monday, November 19:

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My father, Don LaMar, died just over three years ago.  We have many, many photographs and videos of my dad.  However, almost immediately after he passed away, I thought to myself that I wished I had sat down and recorded an interview with Dad about his life.  It would have been informative and funny because my dad was the best storyteller I ever encountered. (I don't think I'm biased).  

The stories he would have told would have been the most cherished keepsake in our family's history.

Oral histories have been around since man first was able to communicate.  Even though technology provides options for recording those histories, hearing stories from a loved one or friend is just as powerful as they've always been.

Friday, November 23, 2012 is The National Day of Listening -- a day set aside for everyone to do what I didn't get the opportunity to do -- record an oral history or story with a family member or friend.

On Monday's Radio Smart Talk Krisi Packer and Jeremy Helton of Storycorps join us to discuss ways to record an interview or conversation to be saved for generations to come.  They'll have tips on questions to ask and how to set up the best interview you can.

They'll also have examples.  Be sure to tune in.

Listen to the program:

Below is an example interview from StoryCorps: "Sundays at Rocco's."

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Comments: 3

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-11-19 09:28

    Email from Pam,
    For Father's Day in 2000, I gave my dad, Dutch Platts, a tape recorder and several blank tapes with a note saying I wished to sit with him and interview him about his life. Time passed too quickly and before I was able to do it, my dad passed away less than a year later. I'm so sorry that I never got those stories. Do it now!!

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-11-19 09:38

    Email from Ralph:

    As a pastor for over 37 years, when visiting in the homes of people of any age, but especially older folks, I often looked at the pictures on the wall and asked the question, "Tell me about this picture or photo."

    It never failed to facilitate a great conversation.

  • Eve img 2012-11-19 09:52

    One Christmas we gave family members a journal along with a mason jar with strips of colorful paper. Each strip had a question. We asked that they choose a strip daily or now and then and answer the question in the journal. We were especially interested that the more reserved elderly family members take opportunity to record some memories they might not normally talk about in conversation. Some questions were as simple as "what was your favorite flavor of ice cream as a child?" Other questions went a bit deeper. We thought it would be good for those using the journals and jars as well as those who would eventually receive the journals. We've been told that my 90 yr old parents have completed the challenge and we're waiting to see the results.

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