10 cent stories at Rochester Public Market

For less than a dime, a man will write your story

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC-TV) - Karl Smith, a PhD student at the University of Rochester, hand-types 10 cent stories on a typewriter for passersby at the Rochester Public Market.

Here is Karl's story, as edited by Photojournalist, Bryan McIndoe.

"So  I  came to grad school, I've been in the PhD program at the University of Rochester for four years now.  I had previously been a historical interpreter at a boy scout camp. And so when I came to grad school I really missed, you know, performing and story telling especially. It was really hard for me to kinda do that with in science."
"So I cast about for a way to keep the creative side of myself alive and this was one of my favorite ideas that I hit upon I guess."
"I've had some wonderful experiences with writing stories that really seem to help people a little bit."
"I think that because I'm a stranger and because I'm interested in stories, that people feel like they can tell me anything about their lives. They can open up to me, like I have some kind of special insight into it."
"A woman came up to me and had heard me writing about pretty intense stuff, normally I write about whales or mermaids or whatever, but she said that her husband had died two years ago. Ever since that had happened she had really been struggling to find that joy in life. You know she had two kids and she was really invested in them, just ever since her husband had passed away you know thing just didn't taste as good anymore. She wanted a story about where she should find the joy in life"
"You know I'm a 26 year old dude with a typewriter , and at the same time I felt honored that somebody would ask that of me. Like why. It was such a weird position to be in and it was wonderful in a way."
"You know I feel like narrative has so much power. Story telling has been, I mean its what makes us human. We tell stories to each other and it what makes us have communities and have shared experiences, Its what brings us together."

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