Our older buds have been to The Moth a couple of times, so when I heard that The Moth was doing their story slams remotely, I let all the older buds know. Of course, technology is always a bit complicated, and most socially distant things take a few tries before everyone's able to join. Eleanor and I joined a slam last Monday, and we had a great time. There was a new intimacy that came from everyone telling stories on screens mere inches from our faces and speakers mere inches from our ears. Since everyone muted themselves out of courtesy, it felt like each storyteller was speaking directly to each listener. Of course, The Moth still provided a room full of applause for each storyteller, captured live from their story slam in March. Eleanor chose not to tell a story that night, but the format isn't much different from Best Day's. I'm looking forward to seeing more older buds on The Moth's virtual stage, and for theme to have one-on-one storytelling moments with people all over Philly (maybe even the world.)
I don't have any stories to share from The Moth, but I've sure got plenty of stories to share from older buds who had gone to The Moth:
She Is My Sister and She Is My Friend
I am fortunate because my friends said there ain’t no such thing as luck, but mainly I think that I am blessed. I grew up crazy. We were in foster care from that time I probably they gave that book up to my mother and I didn’t come back until I think it was about 10 to stay with a stepfather who was sort of nuts. I wasn’t really…my sister and I were together was my two brothers who died, my sister and I, and I had other sisters in this life. They’re dead. The oldest one is alive, the youngest one is alive. And I was never really…I was close to Pat, who died. I met up with her because I used to hang around the barbershop and they thought that was terrible and then I was hanging around the soda fountain and that was terrible because we moved all over the place. So I met up with Pat and I sort of got myself together but I’ve never really been close to women. I do not like women, I’m telling you all. I tolerate people, I treat you the way you treat me. But, I’m afraid of women. That’s why I don’t like them so much. My mother left us, gave us whole story, and I live with that, but that’s why I’m not crazy about women, okay?
But I have a friend Delores. We met in college, a hundred years ago. Delores is my, I’m blessed. I am truly, truly blessed. When I asked a question if I’m wrong girl you better get it together, you know that ain’t right, or you know you’re absolutely right. She doesn’t tell a bunch of lies, she is my sister and she is my friend and I think I am fortunate enough to have met up with her. She was sitting down when we were in college in this bench, on the end of a bench, and she had this hat on and I said, “That’s the funniest looking hat,” to myself and I kept looking at her. She said, “Oh this is my uncle his name was Pete,” and they used to call my father Pete, and I said, “Oh, my father’s name was Pete, my real father.” We started talking and we talked ever since. She now has cancer and I’m gonna lose my friend, but I had the best memories, and I’m still going to be asking her questions when she go and I expect an answer.
One Experience Two Perspectives
I'm amazed about how an early experience can be so permanent and how at the same time, the person involved in it can be so distant. When I was 7 years old, even being almost a total introverted kid, I loved to visit my neighbor friends. On this particular day, my mother gave me as a present, a Mickey Mouse clock. Oh it was so neat! It surpassed all my worldly possessions that were some marbles and some plastic little trucks and one ball, . So happy I was with my MM clock that I decided to visit my friend Marino Rios who lived 2 blocks away. He was impressed about my clock and suddenly he went to his room and returned bringing a shoe box full of plastic toys and told me, "Pepe, I change you my toys for your clock, think about it." Playing for me, was more important than counting the time so I accepted. So proud, I immediately showed my mother the super acquisition and explained the big deal I just made and the fun those plastic toys will give me. "You have been robbed!" She responded impatiently, almost mad. "But it will give you a less of the value of things." She explained to me a huge comparison of prices, money, dollars, and fairness. At the end, I felt more like a stupid kid than a happy kid. But later I felt that such experience was funny and I spoke about it freely. Until one day 67 years later, I found Marino Rios again, now a prominent physician. Believing he would remember the Mickey Mouse of my infancy, I tried to make a deal to refresh his memory. He told me, "I have no idea what you are saying." I looked at his face and he was uncomfortable being spotted and ended, "I think you are confusing the person. I will never take advantage of nobody" specifically an innocent kid.
Planning a trip to France to celebrate a milestone birthday in October has gotten me reminiscing about my first trip to Paris.
It was 1969 and my friend Kathy and I had gone on our first trip to Europe for 3 ½ months, backpack and Eurail Pass in hand. We landed in London, spent a week there before heading to Paris. Kathy and I were both Francophiles and made a pact that we would speak only French in Paris. Getting off the train we were walking on air through this exotic station where everyone seemed exotic and romantic, smoking Gitanes and drinking espresso. In those days there was a Kiosk in every train station where you could book a hotel. We easily got one on the Left Bank for $5.00 a night.
The hotel was run by a cute older couple. Our walk-up room was on the 4th floor. Every morning at 7:00 there was a knock at our door and Madame delivered a tray with big bowls of coffee, fresh croissants, and homemade jam. The hotel doors were locked at 11:00 PM. But the cute couple slept by the door so they could let people in after hours. They warned me and Kathy not to let guys up to our room.
One night Kathy and I went to a discotheque where we met 2 French guys. My guy and I really hit it off, and walked around the streets of Paris for hours. When I looked at my watch it was midnight. I felt embarrassed to go back to the hotel so late, so my petit ami and I stayed out all night on our romantically innocent escapade. Kathy and I met up in the morning. She and her petit ami had stayed out all night as well!
help share our older buds future histories, biographies, and memoirs by donating to Best Day, subscribing to our newsletter, sending a note to our older buds, or following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you want to volunteer yourself, then email us at email@example.com. And if you know older buds with stories,
then you or they can submit them through our portal right here. We're
especially interested to stories from Black older buds, but we're
always looking for stories from older buds of color, older buds with
disabilities, LGBTQIA+ older buds, older buds of any gender or sex,
older buds of any religion, and older buds who just plain break the
And don't forget to maintain contact with the older buds in your life. If you can't be there in person, please call them, email them, or message them on social media. And if they're using teleconferencing or remote events for the first time, give them a call and help them set things up. Check in on them to see how well they're getting used to these programs. Buy them a computer or an internet package if they don't have one of their own. It's a human right, after all.
Curated by Caitlin Cieri