If you listen to NPR, you probably have heard of StoryCorps: the independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to record, share, and preserve the stories of ordinary American lives, stories that prove that there really is no such thing as ‘ordinary.’
Over the past seven years, StoryCorps has collected oral histories by conducting upwards of 30,000 interviews with more than 60,000 people, all of which are preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. And of course, you can find them online.
Which is where I stumbled across this beautiful little six minute piece called “Danny & Annie”. It’s remarkably romantic and at times pretty funny, but it’s essentially the anti-romantic comedy. The characters aren’t glamorous, their situation is not contrived, the storyline is simple and unadorned. In fact, this short is nothing more than simple cel animation recreating two interviews with an elderly couple: the Perasa’s of Brooklyn. The Perasa’s themselves are no one special–they have no claim to fame, no stunning successes of note…aside from their relationship.
But by the end of this clip, just like the end of that hoary Holiday chestnut “It’s A Wonderful Life”, that relationship is shown to be the greatest accomplishment of all. At least to my sentimental sensibilities.
Enjoy the movie. Enjoy this Labor Day Weekend. And try to find time to recognize the amazing stories in your ordinary life. Because there is no such thing as ‘ordinary.’
By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79