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Big Mamma Revisited
Produced by Jay Allison

Catie Vance, age 4. Courtesy Steven Vance.

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    Every phone call we received on the Quest for Sound voicemail this year was recorded onto a DAT. Notes were taken and entered into a database. We named that database "Big Mamma."

    Big Mamma holds 1500 records of your calls. Phone calls where you described in detail your most precious possessions. Grandmothers singing, fathers sending letters home from the war, an interview you conducted with your great-grandfather, strangers telling stories, weddings, and speeches. Although we weren't able to put every recording on the air, we loved hearing them.

    In this final segment of our weekly Lost & Found Sound series, Quest for Sound curator Jay Allison takes a look back over the year and revisits Big Mamma.

    Michael Castellana
    Michael Castellana as a newborn with his family, including mother Anna, 1955. Courtesy Michael Castellana.
    And in the process, he plays some new Quest calls and recordings: Cameron Dokey's grandmother Mabel singing; Hoover the talking seal; Bill Murphy describing a tape he made for his daughter at college; Steven Vance's daughter talking to a sick relative; Trudy Avi's late husband on an answering machine message; Michelangelo Castellana's mother singing "Happy Birthday" even though she has throat cancer.

    By the way, Lost & Found Sound doesn't end today, it continues once a month on All Things Considered for the year 2000. And the Web pages will be up for a while yet, too, but we must close down our Quest for Sound voicemail box. Thank you for all of your contributions - they have been wonderful.

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    Copyright 1999 The Kitchen Sisters