Peter and Jacqueline Headen's courtship story is one of ups and downs — spanning one war, three countries and four decades. It all started in 1958, at a roller-skating rink on the Indian Head naval base in Maryland.
"I was there one night, and I saw this young lady skating around," Peter says. "And I waited for her to take a break and go get a Coke, before I made my move."
"He just grabbed my hand, rolled me around, and said, 'I'm Peter Headen. Who are you?' " says Jacqueline, who's now 68.
Roger Alvarez (left) did not graduate from high school, despite the efforts of his former English teacher, Antero Garcia. At 22, Alvarez still hopes to get his GED.
Roger Alvarez, 22, was one of the 52 percent of students who didn't make it through his senior year at Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles.
He dropped out in 2007, but by the time he was in ninth grade, Alvarez says he already knew he wasn't going to graduate.
"There's a certain amount of knowledge you have to have when you enter in a specific grade, and I didn't have it," Alvarez says. "Every class I used to go in, I was like, 'Do I know this? I don't know this. Nah, I'm not going to pass this class.' "
Nearly 21 years ago, Dennis Apple and his wife, Buelah, were thrust into a situation parents dread. Their son Denny had come down with mononucleosis. And as they recall, just before bed one night, Denny took his medicine and then talked about where he wanted to sleep.
At the time, Denny was 18; he had begun competing in triathlons near the family's home in Olathe, Kan., outside Kansas City.
In 1999, Rene Foreman was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. She underwent surgery that saved her life; it also took her voice box. To speak, Rene now uses an electrolarynx — a small device that she holds against her throat to produce her voice, electronically.
Discussing how having a synthesized voice has changed her life, Rene, 70, told her daughter Michelle that the electrolarynx helps her to enjoy each day, even if it also makes her stand out in some ways.
Of those times, Michelle asks, "How do you feel when people turn around and look at you?"
[Audio updated 01/15/2012, 3pm] 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. One of those people was Deborah Wagner of Windsor, who interviewed her son Jordan.