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Story Corps

Catherine, Barney and Charlie Giesen

Catherine Giesen has experienced a lot during her life. She admits the greatest personal moments were the marriage to her husband of 55 years and the births of her three sons. She’s outlived her husband and her youngest son. Her surviving sons, Charlie and Barney, make the most of this interview and capture, in great detail, the significant moments in their mother’s life.


This conversation between Catherine Giesen and her two sons, Charlie and Barney is an interesting stroll through their family history. At times it’s painfully sad and awkwardly honest and other times, it’s laugh-out-loud funny. Ms. Giesen’s first hand account of the loss of her youngest son to AIDS is straight-forward and matter-of-fact. In a totally separate event, suicide played a role in shaping this family. Catherine’s recount of how they overcame that pain is compelling. But don’t think this is a dark and depressing interview. It’s not at all. Catherine is quick to have some fun when her oldest son Barney asks if she thought he was a good looking baby. It’s about 6:30 into the extended web interview. I’ve listened to it several times and am still unsure if she’s simply having fun or recalling the real story in a light hearted manner. In any event, it’s an interesting and loving conversation between a mother and her sons and we thank them for sharing it.

For more information or if you would like to tell your story to KUHF, contact Paul Pendergraft at


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