History Alive On Air And Stage


Retired history teacher Gary Ford created the Oral History Project to preserve the stories of World War II veterans.


Ford, of Deansboro, will share those stories in a one-man play this month. The former Rome City School District teacher is both the playwright and star of ‘Soldiers’ Stories of War’ which will be performed Oct. 29 and Oct. 20 at the Rome Community Theater.


Ford has written the play as three conversations based on one of the Oral History reports done by his students at Rome Free Academy. “He had told my students about being a little boy and hearing the stories of the last Civil War veterans,’’ Ford said. “I expanded on that idea.’’


Pearl Harbor survivor John Koenig of West Winfield connected with Ford’s students, he said. “He was a great story teller.


“At the end of the semester we invited all the veterans and their families who spoke to us to a reception. John was surrounded by students the entire time,’’ Ford said.


Koenig’s memories of World War II and others shared through the project forms the basis of one of the conversations. That fictitious soldier’s account will include…



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