Here Say: Your Stories about Transformation, Told at JT's Cutz
Here Say is a project in community storytelling. We travel to a new place each week and ask people to share true stories about things we all experience: love, family, learning and more. To see where we've been, check out our interactive map. And to hear your favorite stories from last season, you can find our free podcast on iTunes.
We met Jermon Lambert Sr., who told us about how a change of scenery helped him and his family of seven.
“I spent roughly the last 12 years in Wichita, Kansas. So I moved here with the hope that things would be better for me than what they were. And I mean it really has. I love it. I’ve never been in the situation I am now, and been able to provide for my family with just doing barbering. So there’s been a change that I recognize that has been for the better.”
We met Oluwaseun Olaleye, who came to America from Nigeria when he was only eight years old.
“It was a different cultural experience because people were just different. And it was my first time seeing snow, also. The food was different, the way people talked was different. It was just a different culture. It’s been a life-changing experience.”
Cadilac Derrick told us about how a tragic accident has affected his whole family.
“We drove to Chicago in my car. It was time to leave, and the car wouldn’t start. So we had to come up with a different way to get home and I had to leave my car. I get back home to Missouri, my brother he comes to visit. And then when it was time for him to leave he says “Hey bro, can I buy that car from you that you left in Chicago?” So I sell him the car. He gets the car fixed at a shop in Chicago, and somebody had done something wrong to where the accelerator had some type of glitch in it. So when my brother had left the shop and was on the highway, the car started accelerating but it wouldn’t stop. And they had no other choice but to jump out the car on the highway while it was speeding. My brother, he actually broke his spinal cord and he’s paralyzed to this day. And now we have to pretty much to do everything for him and it’s changed everyone’s life around me.”
Maurice Strickland told us about how the barbershop found a new home.
“Our customer flow got too much for Parquet Plaza. We had to relocate twice in the last two years just to find a place that would accept a lot of black males at one time, I’ll say it like that. I’m not saying it was a racist thing, it’s just what we had to go through. We’ve been here for two years now. We’re kind of glad it happened that way. Really, I mean it’s the landlord. He let us make money, I’d say, without a hassle. He’s a good guy. We don’t get harassed, we just come to work and go home. Makes you want to come to work now.”
Devin Jones told us about how he’s had to adapt to brand new social norms – twice.
“So after getting incarcerated like several times back to back, I don’t know, I guess I figured out that the way to function in society seems to be the opposite of the ways that I learned to survive in prison. I had become so accustomed to the ways of an inmate. Now I’m attending school for business administration.”
Daniel Cappuccitti told us about how his engagement has him looking forward to a new chapter in his life.
“We were dating for about 3 months now, and then just this past weekend I asked her to marry me in St. Louis on Valentine’s Day. So that was a huge change for me. I have no kids but she has some so I’m a stepdad now. Which I love, I love kids and stuff.”