A few weeks ago, I was in Kodiak working on a project called “Children of the Spills” to compile and share the stories of young people affected by oil spills. The project focuses specifically on the memories of Alaskans who were kids at the time of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill and the experiences of young people along the Gulf of Mexico affected by the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
I just wanted to take a moment to thank all those in Kodiak who made my trip a success. First of all, thanks to Switgard Duesterloh, Stephen Bodnar and their son Lars for providing a cozy place to stay and repeatedly including me in family dinner. I also am grateful to the members of the Kodiak community who suggested people I should try to interview, and to everyone who smiled or waved to me while I was in town.
And finally, my sincere thanks to the local “kids” (almost all older than me) who took time out of their busy lives to sit down and share their stories of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. I was amazed by how open people were and how willing they were to participate, even if that meant inviting me to their home to conduct the interview over dinner with their kids, or having me come to their place of work when they had a free moment, or bouncing a baby on their knee while telling of their experiences with the oil spill. Thank you all!
If you are interested in participating in the project, we can try to arrange a phone or email interview. If you’d simply like to learn more about the project or make suggestions, you can check it out at http://childrenofthespills.org.