Remembering Family on the Fourth The Fourth of July brings to mind fireworks, celebration and summer. For 85-year-old Miriam Kerpen, something she discovered hidden in the pages of her great-uncle's dictionary created some sparks when she went to summer camp at 13.
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Remembering Family on the Fourth

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Remembering Family on the Fourth

Remembering Family on the Fourth

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Time now to eavesdrop on another conversation from StoryCorps.

StoryCorps is the oral history project that's touring the country. Family members and friends step inside a mobile recording booth and interview each other about their lives. Copies of the interviews go the Library of Congress, and the best of them are heard Fridays on MORNING EDITION. Today, as we head into the Fourth of July weekend, a story about some personal fireworks. Eighty-five-year-old Miriam Kerpen of New York tells her daughter, Lisa Shufro, about the sparks set off when she discovered something hidden between the pages of her great uncle's dictionary.

Ms. MIRIAM KERPEN: I was 13 at the time, so this was 1933.

Ms. LISA SHUFRO: '33.

Ms. KERPEN: I went into Uncle Jake's room and opened up the dictionary, and in the middle of the dictionary was hidden a magazine called Spicy Stories. And Spicy Stories was pictures--I guess it qualifies as porn. I'm not sure. But it was mostly pictures of naked ladies dressed in jewelry and high heels, and it absolutely was astonishing to me, and I wrote down the name of the publisher, and I wrote to them and said, `Please, I'm going away to camp this summer, but I would appreciate a subscription, and I would appreciate it if you'd send it in plain covers.' It was a dollar for a subscription. I sent the dollar and then forgot about it. It was--you know, it was over and done, and I went to camp, and one day, I was called in front of the head counselor, who said, `This came in the mail for you,' and there was Spicy Stories.

Ms. SHUFRO: No plain cover.

Ms. KERPEN: No plain cover.

MONTAGNE: Miriam Kerpen and her daughter, Lisa Shufro, recorded their conversation in a StoryCorps booth in New York. To hear additional Fourth of July stories and find out when a StoryCorps booth is coming to your town, go to npr.org.

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

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