STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It is Friday morning, when we hear from StoryCorps, recording conversations between everyday people, and today we'll find out how an unlikely friendship got its start. It was 2008 and 70-year-old Boston Bill Hansbury had recently lost his leg, was learning to live with a prosthetic. Jake Bainter was seven and about to have his leg amputated when their paths crossed.

JAKE BAINTER: Boston Bill, tell me about the day that we met.

BOSTON BILL HANSBURY: Well, that day I had just regained the ability to ride my bike, and here I am coming up to a stop sign. I don't know what happened, but I could not get my feet out of the pedals, so I took the bicycle over to the curb and that's when the car pulled up.

BAINTER: That was four hours before my amputation. We were driving to the hospital, and we saw on the side of the road a guy with a prosthetic leg. And I remember pulling around up to the curb and meeting you.

HANSBURY: Your mother and father got out. They introduced me to you and explained the situation about what you had gone through, the countless surgeries, and we talked. I remember saying that if I could do it at my age, and I was 70, and you were seven, you were going to do this so fast and so well. And I was trying to give you some hope because I knew what was coming, having been there. And when we parted, all I could think about was where you were going and how brave you were in doing it.

BAINTER: Thank you. That day that we met, that will always be implanted in my mind.

HANSBURY: Yeah, I know what you mean. A lot of people think that miracles are big things, and they are big things, but they can have very, very small beginnings.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: That's Boston Bill Hansbury with Jake Bainter at StoryCorps in St. Petersburg, Florida. Their conversation will be archived at the American Folk Life Center at the Library of Congress. The StoryCorps podcast is at npr.org.

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