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'Women hold the culture': Storyteller event showcases emotional side of local history

women storytellers from menasha senior center
Posted at 6:57 PM, Oct 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-28 15:07:39-04
  • Stacy Parish is the host of the Full Spirals podcast, in which she features women from Menasha Senior Center in a "Sages Series."
  • Stacy says that men may tell the facts of history, but it is important to hear from women because they hold the emotional, descriptive details in their memories.
  • The women who record with Stacy say it's been a great opportunity to bond with one another and form relationships with one another.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Here at UWO Fox Cities Campus on Saturday night, the culmination of unique project will be introducing you to some untold stories made right here in Wisconsin.

“Is that loud enough?”

“Yeah it’s fine”

And at Menasha Senior Center, a group of women have come together to celebrate humanity.

“Will my outstretched hand fit in yours? And won't you be my neighbor?”

It all started with Stacy Parish...

“Because my background is radio. I love hearing myself.”

…who had an idea.

“So I have a podcast called Full Spirals. And what this is about is a series on my podcast called The Sages Series.”

"Okay, now don't be nervous."

The Sages Series involves Stacy talking to women who live at Menasha Senior Center.

“Tell me whatever you want to tell me.”


Stacy got a grant from the Community Foundation to develop this project. Sometimes they talk about painful memories...

“She had traveled the road I was now on and she understood there's nothing that takes away the pain. Sometimes grief just needs a companion.”

And sometimes they share joy.

“What else matters?”

Stacy knew after 11 years working in broadcast that she wanted to use her skills to do something important.

“Everybody has this, but it's particularly true with older women. You ask if they have a story to tell and they say, ‘I don't really have any stories. But if I did have one, this is the one I would tell.’”

“As women especially we're often taught like just be quiet, be quiet, you know or your stories don't matter”

And she thought that it was especially important to hear stories told from the perspective of women.

“Women hold the culture. Women hold, ‘Yes, but what did you eat?’ ‘What did you wear?’ ‘Who did you talk to?’ ‘How did you celebrate?’”

The women who record with Stacy say the project is exponentially meaningful to them too.

“I cannot wait for this group. You all continue to just fascinate me. It's just so inspiring to me. And I enjoy it very much.”

The women who work together on this project say they have found friendship, empathy, and insight unlike they could have ever imagined.