Category Archives: Post by Mary

Amazing how quickly 6 strangers became such good friends…

MARY 004

The six of us hard at work at the OHMAR conference in Maryland.

It is amazing how quickly the six of us grew to love one another.  We each had a passion for our project and our class.  At the OHMAR conference, each one of us added something to our panel discussion, and I was so proud of how well our presentation went.

Each and every week I looked forward to getting to see and talk with my friends who happened to also be my classmates. . I was genuinely touched by this entire experience and am extremely grateful to know five people this awesome.

I look forward to the future of this project and what it has in store for us!

Port Monmouth

This is the sign that lets drivers know that the bridge on my road is closed. This bridge was compromised by Hurricane Sandy and as a result, I have to go down and around to get to the highway on my commute to college everyday.  Nearly every day it is moved into another location because people continue to run into it, even though it has been in that position for months.

Port Monmouth


This sign has now become a permanent fixture in my everyday life. I am forced to pass it, as I leave the my street. It tells drivers to go down Highway 36 in order to get to the other side of my street. The bridge was closed as a result of Hurricane Sandy and the repair work has not been started.

Getting their voices heard…

It is hard to truly express how I am feeling about this entire process. While it was only two months ago that our project was born, it has been an adventure from day one. Not only was I able to meet five interesting and captivating classmates, but also a professor with an impressive resume and a passion for our project. As a resident of Port Monmouth my entire life, I felt a strong connection to Super Storm Sandy. While each of us is learning the process of interviewing and the methods of capturing the oral histories, it has been an enlightening and overwhelming process all at once.  Each classmate offers a different perspective and insight into the project.  Working together every step of the way, we have started down the road of capturing the stories of the Bayshore area residents. Utilizing my connections to my hometown, I have worked to set my classmates up with interviewees.  My family, friends and neighbors have the stories and my classmates and I are able to preserve their voice and include them in history. What we are doing is important and we are aware of how hard and trying this process is, but we are committed to creating an archive. We are committed to preserving the stories of how one day forever impacted the lives of these residents.

On the 21st of March 2013, a meeting was held in Port Monmouth entitled “The Port Monmouth Flood Project”.  Hearing of this meeting, I extended the invitation to my professor and my classmates.  While it was meant to be an informational meeting about a great deal of money allocated to the rebuilding process of Port Monmouth, it did run off track at times with questions and comments from understandably upset and emotional residents.  While it was interesting to experience this meeting as a resident of Port Monmouth my entire life, I found seeing the reactions of my classmates and professor to be more intriguing.  This meeting offered an insight into the raw emotion and anger of the residents and the frustrations they are still feeling as a result of Sandy.

With my professor speaking to the meeting coordinator ahead of time, we were given a few minutes to speak in front of the residents about our project.  With my professor introducing our project and handing the microphone off to me, I was given a chance to not only explain the project but also exhibit my passion for such an important process.  I was received well and even given a round of applause by the residents, with the coordinator remarking about how touching it was to see a young lady have so much to say about capturing history.  As a result of our brief presentation (if you will), we were approached by several residents who wished to be included in our project, offering both their stories and their pictures. It is quite hard to capture the emotion I was feeling as these residents approached me and knowing that I had the power to make their voices heard. I intend to include all of these residents, and whoever else wishes to be involved in our project.  While we have merely started down this road, my classmates and I are committed to our project and will work to make our interviewees heard.

Tagged , , , , , , ,