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Waking Planet


Projects Waking the World

By Barbara Upton

Waking Planet will be highlighting local and global programs that bridge differences, enhance empathy and create new models for collaboration, justice and peace in the world.

It is, with pleasure, that I highlight the first in the series of Projects Waking the World with “Harvesting a Lifetime, Living History Project.” a program that successfully ran in Kingston this past summer.

harvesting a lifetime, intergenerational program, intergenerational program kingston,ny
Linda Joseph, David Cory, Rose Lunski, and Carol Pepper,
“Harvesting a Lifetime” participants

“It was great seeing the benefits these kids got looking at old, wrinkled folks a whole lot differently. It was excellent,” said Linda Joseph, a retired college professor and one of the seniors interviewed by teens as part of “Harvesting a Lifetime”.

The program was a venture of Ulster Corps, an organization that connects people with local volunteer opportunities and Jewish Family Services. Thirty-nine volunteers, including 20 teens, interviewed 68 seniors, recording their most treasured memories and the wisdom garnered by a lifetime of experience.


harvesting a lifetime, lou spina, second chance 4 me, ilene cutlerLou Spina being presented with a photo montage for generously donating space at Second Chance 4 Me, (in Kingston’s beautifully renovated Seven 21 Building) by Ilene Cutler, a videographer who volunteered for the program. She said the kids picked it up fast and “In fact, they taught us too.”


Rose Grett was a little reluctant to be interviewed at first, but said, “these beautiful, young people made it easy on me; They are so sweet, like a family.” Rose grew up in Germany during WWII and the young interviewers learned how frightening that was. Rose recalled spending days in the basement of her home, or if going to school, never knowing if she would be able to return.

Skye Liberace Simon called her “inspirational” and Kirk Berry said the interview was “insightful” and marveled how one who had gone through so much could be so happy and full of energy. Chris Norstrand said it helped him to appreciate the freedom we have here. He said simply, “She opened me up!”

harvesting a lifetime
Left to right: Chris Norstrand, Skye L. Simon, Rose Grett, Alex Simon
and Kirk Berry

harvesting a lifetime
David Cory, on right, worked with Tibor Spitz, a holocaust survivor
and artist.

“He was one of my favorites to interview. His history was so revealing. What a man! He has so much energy. Hopefully, I can mimic that,” said David Cory about his new friend Mr. Spitz. Right after the photo above was taken, David told him, “I can’t emphasize enough what an inspiration you are to me.”

Beth Mc Lendon, director of Ulster Corps and Board member Lin Sakai devoted up to four days a week over the Summer to make the program work. They both said that what transpired was “magic”.

You could see it in the smiling faces and in the bonds forged between the young and old. In addition to learning video production skills, these teens have had new worlds opened to them that they will never forget. And we will not forget the rich stories of these generous elders. Ulster Corps will begin building a Virtual Archive of Ulster County’s Living History at Our community has been strengthened by this wonderful intergenerational program. Kudos to all involved!

harvesting a lifetime
Kevin Caputo also worked with Mr. Spitz
All photos and Waking Planet World Peace Flag © by Barbara Upton. All rights reserved.