Carolyn Russo

January 16, 2016

Hudson, NY


Alanna Medlock

Alanna Medlock
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The interview was conducted with Carolyn Russo at her home on Warren Street in Hudson. She is 85 years old and has lived in Hudson all her life. She discusses growing up in the Italian and Polish community of Parade Hill, Lower Warren Street Historic District and her memories of neighborhood life, and the small family-run businesses there. She describes her family life and talks about the community garden where her father and other Italian immigrants grew produce for their families, and the grape arbor where he made his own wine.

She also describes some of her early school and work experiences and her lifelong career working for IBM in Kingston, carpooling with other workers across the river, and traveling for company-sponsored events. She reflects upon the devastating impact on the area when the IBM plant closed, and the dramatic changes in Hudson and the culture of the city since her childhood. She also describes the atmosphere of the red-light district, the early bar scene, pool halls, community funerals, churches, street festivals, ferry rides to Athens, and her long commitment to volunteering for the Hudson Area Library after her retirement.

Interviewer Bio:

Alanna Medlock

Alanna Medlock was born in New Haven, CT in 1971 and raised in Chicago, IL. After spending college and early 20s in Philadelphia, and a year in London, she lived in New York City for 15 years and moved to the Hudson Valley in 2011. She has a background as a theater actor and copy editor, and has been learning about audio production and editing. She studied Oral History & Radio at Oral History Winter School in Hudson and has volunteered for Wave Farm’s transmission arts residency program in Greene County and community radio station, WGXC. She is interested in improving her interviewing skills and exploring ways oral history can be incorporated into narrative & documentary performance and radio stories.

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