It’s time again for Utah StoryCorps!


The StoryCorps mobile recording booth and Utah Public Radio visited the Uintah Basin to gather local stories. Each week, we'll bring you a new episode of StoryCorps. Tune in during All Things Considered every Wednesday and Morning Edition every Thursday.





Ways to Connect

'Crossed The Plains' In A Greyhound Bus

Mar 2, 2016

Uintah Basin resident Kerry Mitchell tells her daughter, Jessica Purcell, how racial violence in her New Jersey high school and a brush with the mafia led her to "cross the plains" in a Greyhound bus and settle in Utah.


Feb 29, 2016

John Hatch talks to his mother, Jennifer Adams, about recovering from drug addiction and tells her things he has learned in the 12 step program that could benefit her.

Flying School Flag And Other Lifetime Memories

Feb 17, 2016

While traveling to St. George, father and son, Michael and Adam Christiansen stopped at the StoryCorps booth in Vernal, where they reminisce about Adam’s challenges and triumphs growing up with Downs Syndrome.

Santa Visits Children With Chicken Pox

Jan 27, 2016

Growing up in Vernal and a favorite Christmas memory.

Identity Shaped by Motherhood & Experiences with Autism

Jan 27, 2016

Motherhood and service shaped the identity of Kristen Remington.  Hear how her son's autism and her mother's example helped define her purpose. 

Love And Music

Jan 27, 2016

Christopher Davis pathway to love was through music.  Hear his story of falling in love.

Two self-proclaimed Basin Boys, Reed Abplanalp Cowan and Gregory Abplanalp Cowan, share the experiences that led up to the making of a documentary film that was featured in the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.  

In 1998 Randy and Lana Fullbright bought an old gas station on Vernal’s main street, painted it blue and orange, and turned it into an art gallery.

Dennis and Deborah Higginson talk about the importance of love and marriage in battling MS.   A chance meeting at a church in Colorado brought the couple together and besides each other the couple finds strength from their beliefs. 

The Christensen family talks about loving Vernal and Logan as places that helped them become who they are today.


Native American siblings, Sawsheen and Joshua, talk about how having a Caucasian mother and Native American father has complicated their sense of identity and how not being federally recognized as Native Americans has been hard.

Lilo Hatfield tells her Granddaughter, Molly, about the connection she felt to her before she was born.  As many family members were concentrating on Molly's mother's health, Lilo found herself drawn to the welfare of her yet to be born granddaughter. 

Listen to Debbie Cook's life changing experiences as a dental hygienist in Africa.  An inspiring story of how giving of herself brought so many good things into her own life.

A Family History Of Boating

Jan 5, 2016

Dinosaur River Expedition owner, Tyler Callantine,  talks about the joy of having a river rafting business.  Listen to what happens when two older ladies cross river rafting off their Bucket list.

Growing Up In The Uintah Basin

Jan 4, 2016

Shane and Chad Hamblin talk to their father, Delmar, about his childhood in the Uintah Basin, being a missionary among the Papago Indians, and becoming a teacher.

Brother Matt Foley joined with his sisters Kendra Embelton and Danika Foley during the National StoryCorps booth stop in Vernal this past July. The siblings shared stories of time spent together eating ice cream and taking family trips to Arizona.

Love & Loss On The Uintah Basin

Nov 19, 2015

This week, a story about falling in love and living with loss on the Uintah Basin. Verdan Manwearing speaks with his wife Marilyn about his first marriage in Vernal, decades ago. He shares a powerful story about the death of his first wife, raising seven children and finding love once again. 

After serving more than 27 years as a public servant, Vernal City Council Member JoAnn Cowan has announced she will not be running in 2015. Cowan began her public service as a way to encourage her Uintah High School students to engage in their community.  One of her former social studies students, Kerry Bringhurst, asked her about her time volunteering.

StoryCorps/Utah Public Radio

Larry Cesspooch is a Native American historian and storyteller, knowledgeable in the ways in which the coming of Europeans to the Americas affected his people. He also discusses how this 400 year history contributed to his own spirituality.

StoryCorps/Utah Public Radio

11 year old Eliza Tonnies interviews her parents Matthew and Carol about the liver transplant she received a month after birth. Eliza’s brother Eddie, at age 21, became her liver donor.

StoryCorps/Utah Public Radio

Brothers Rich and Cory Etchberger discuss the mystery surrounding the death of their father, a national Vietnam War hero.

StoryCorps/Utah Public Radio

Lynn Smuin is a lifetime resident of Vernal, and is a seemingly invincible man who has given his body over to the land through years. At 73 he has five stints in his heart from two heart attacks, and a grocery list of various injuries sustained while working hard and fast in the oil field and at home on the farm. He sat down for an interview with his daughter, and Mayor of Vernal, Sonja Norton to discuss his story of success and personal loss.



StoryCorps/Utah Public Radio

Vernal attorney and former Utah State Representative, Gayle McKeachnie, also served as Utah’s Lt Gov. He shares a history of the Uintah Basin and why it was one of the last areas in the state to be settled. 

This Christmas Eve people all over the world will log on to the official Santa Tracker to follow his progress through U.S. military radar. This all started in 1955, with a misprint in a Colorado Springs newspaper and a call to Col. Harry Shoup's secret hotline at the Continental Air Defense Command, now known as NORAD.

Shoup's children, Terri Van Keuren, 65, Rick Shoup, 59, and Pam Farrell, 70, recently visited StoryCorps to talk about how the tradition began.