West Side Story: PBS focuses on Little Village student for Thanksgiving Day showcase

Written By Sun-Times Wire Posted: 11/27/2013, 04:46pm


If you are not in the mood for football, give PBS a holiday TV try.

In “Listening is an Act of Love: A StoryCorps Special,” the producers behind the lauded series’ use animation to illustrate an array of everyday tales from their oral history archives. This is the first time the storytellers, who specialize in highlighting America’s untold stories, have ventured into animation.

That said, it makes sense that the West Side’s Little Village figures prominently in the first portion of Thursday’s 10 p.m. showing on WTTW. In it, high school economics teacher Alex Fernandez interviews his student Noe Rueda (now a college student in Fond du Lac) about growing up poor and how economic necessity fueled his foray into entrepreneurism at eight years old. StoryCorps founder Dave Isay has oft said “you find wisdom and poetry” in the words of everyday people. And it’s true.

The viewing takes places one day before the National Day of Listening, a day created by the documentarians to encourage all of us to take the time to interview and record the stories of our loved ones.