“I have always found that when I see snow descending, my spirits rise.”
Thus does Uncle Polky begin a series of taped, autobiographical sessions with the Post-Dispatch journalist John Curley in Jan 2000. Ultimately these tapes were distilled into the delightful essay “Uncle Polky – Memories of St Louis” (Wm Julius Polk and John W. Curley, Virginia Publishing Company, 2002). I have been meaning for some time to archive digitally the unedited recordings of these interviews. This post provides below an audio link to the first installment. It is wonderful to hear Polky reflect on his family, his childhood, his days at Barat Hall, and his city. His lucid recollections and wry self-deprecating humor are more accessible here than on the printed page.
John Curley and W Julius Polk, Racquet Club, in 2000
We owe John Curley a posthumous debt of gratitude for his work in doing these recordings. John died of lung cancer in July 2003. His obituary can be found here.
During the next year I will attempt to archive/post all 14 sessions (recorded Jan – Oct 2000). It seems somehow appropriate to have his voice preserved “in the cloud”. Stay tuned…