Stephanie, the daughter of former volunteer Emma Barton, recently reached out on Facebook to share photos and memories of her mother’s time as a volunteer. We’re so happy to share these lovely remembrances in Stephanie’s own words:
“My mom, Emma Barton, was a longtime volunteer for MindsEye when we knew it as Radio Information Service. It was a huge part of my life as a kid. My brother and I would hand out at the shrine each summer every Wednesday morning while Mom was reading and recording.
Today [October 10th] is the anniversary of my Mom’s birth (She passed in 2014), and I came across a couple of fun pictures of her there that I thought I would share with you.
In addition to reading for the RIS, my Mom went on to learn to transcribe books in Braille, even being approved by the Library of Congress. She was helped in her studies by a woman who was a listener to RIS and who became a very dear friend. Ethel McGinnis was her name, I believe, and Mom first met her when she delivered one of the special RIS radios to her. Ethel McGinnis was a proofreader for the Library of Congress and was an amazing teacher for Mom.
Regarding the Jack Buck picture– I believe he was there being interviewed and Mom wanted a picture with him. Not sure how she wound up in his lap! I don’t remember if it was on a day she just happened to be there or if she went in because she knew he was there. But I know that picture has delighted our family for many years.
Mom loved going in to read and the friendships she made. She had to stop recording sometime in the 90s, I believe, because she had MS and was unable to drive that distance on her own. (She lived in Hartford.) For a while, she tried to record from her home but was not able to find a quiet enough space.
Reading and helping through RIS was important to my Mom, and it was such a sadness in her life when she could no longer contribute in that way.
Thank you so much for all you do.”
Thank YOU, Stephanie, for sharing these wonderful memories with us! Friends of Emma, feel free to leave your favorite memories in the comments below.