In 2008, Richard Bennett had been out of the Marines for nearly three years after being injured in Iraq. That's when he caught the attention of Craig Williams, who was looking for a partner to help expand his successful construction business in Norristown, Pa.
"I had developed a pretty solid construction company, and I wanted a partner," says Williams, 44. "As an African-American businessman, I wanted a young African-American soldier coming home. It seemed like a great opportunity to provide an opportunity."
Everybody loved Cora Lee Collins — known to all, including her children, as Sug.
"Oh, I called her Mama, too, but I called her Sug," her daughter, Penelope Simmons, tells her own daughter, Suzanne Wayne. "When she was a little kid, she would climb up on the kitchen table and eat sugar out of the sugar bowl, and so they started calling her Sugar."
Simmons grew up in Lake Charles, La., with two brothers, Otis and Jamie. "Sug loved us, but she was nowhere near a hovering mother. I mean, we did run wild."
The day after Thanksgiving was StoryCorps National Day of Listening – a day when people across America took some time to interview someone special in their lives. Ryan Thompson, Operations Manager at KUNC, spoke to his high-school music teacher, Bill Loper. Bill recalled his long-time piano accompanist, Doris Bohling.
Queen Jackson has been homeless for about a year. As she recently told her case manager, Debra MacKillop, it all started in 2009, when she was laid off from her job as an administrative assistant.
"I was working for the state of Colorado," says Jackson, 60. "I had all these great ideas of retiring and sitting back and enjoying my life. But, as the budget was becoming very strained, I was one of the first to be laid off."
At the time, Jackson wasn't worried. She had saved some money, and she was sure she'd be able to find another job quickly.
Jim and MaryAnn Fletcher met when they were just children, in the first grade. Later, they became high school sweethearts. But then they split up — until they found each other again, more than 20 years later.
Both Jim and MaryAnn are now 50 years old. And they spoke recently about how they met, and the twists and turns their lives have taken since that day. Jim started by recalling the first time he laid eyes on MaryAnn.
"It was the first day of first grade. And there was this kid who said to me, 'That's MaryAnn Lando. She can read.'"