Memoir

Kelly Moffitt, Wikimedia Commons

Everybody has that one song — that one song that immediately takes you back to a time, a place, a friend, a poignant memory. Now, try to imagine your life as told by a whole series of such important songs. That’s exactly what St. Louisan Dave Holmes, the runner-up in MTV’s inaugural “Wanna Be a VJ” contest in 1998, has done.

Storyteller Bobby Norfolk's 'Take the A Train' opens Jan. 10, 2015.
Courtesy of Bobby Norfolk

To Bobby Norfolk, three-time Emmy Award-winning television host, standup comedian, living history park ranger with the National Park Service and storyteller on the national scene, storytelling is no laughing matter.

“It is missionary work,” Norfolk told Steve Potter on Thursday’s “St. Louis on the Air.” If you go into storytelling, it is a serious, serious endeavor.”

U.S. Department of Defense via Wikimedia Commons

Kenan Trebinčević was 11 years old when the Bosnian War arrived in his hometown of Brcko on May 1, 1992. He remembers going to buy bread at the store and being told by a neighbor not to come back because “pretty soon you Turks won’t need to be eating anymore.”

In the introduction to his book, The Other Wes Moore, author Wes Moore says:

This is the story of two boys living in Baltimore with similar histories and an identical name: Wes Moore.  One of us is free and has experienced things he never even knew to dream about as a kid.  The other will spend every day until his death behind bars for an armed robbery that left a police officer and father of five dead.  The chilling truth is that his story could have been mine.  The tragedy is that my story could have been his.