Conneaut library continues ‘oral history’

30 July 2011

Six more members of “America’ Greatest Generation” will share stories of World War II next week, part of Conneaut Public Library’s effort to compile an oral history of the era.
“Family members are asking us to do this,” said Kathy Pape, the library’s executive director. “That’s the motivation behind this.”
Ken Keidel, Louis Murtha, Roy Pratt Sr., John Price, Cleo Rhodes and John Zappitello responded to a request for veterans willing to add their stories to the library’s collection of first-person accounts. They will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Villa at the Lake, 48 Parrish Road, and the public is welcome to attend.
Two students — Rebecca Sallade, a 10th-grader at Collegiate Academy in Erie, Pa., and her brother Lyle, a seventh-grader at Girard, Pa., Middle School — will serve as the evening’s facilitators.
The vets’ accounts will be recorded and videotaped for posterity. Their comments will be added to the stories told last summer by five other local residents. Like the initial event, the event will be transferred to a DVD and offered for sale, with proceeds benefiting the annual D-Day re-enactment at Conneaut’s Township Park, Pape said.
“The first DVD sold very well,” she said.
As it happened, Wednesday’s second installment, dubbed “An Evening to Remember II, will be held nearly one year after the inaugural event. The library, however, would like to hold the get-togethers more often, Pape said.
“So far, it worked out to be an annual thing,” she said. “But we would hold them whenever we get a panel of five or six people together. It seems to be something people want.”


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