Walking with the Voses

Wes Vose, two years before his death in an automobile accident. (Photo courtesy the Vose family via Jakob Lewis.)
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Listen to “Walking with the Voses”

Wes Vose was well-loved by his family and by the community where he grew up in Woods Hole, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. Everyone was stunned when Wes died late at night in an automobile accident in 2012. He was twenty-two.

Wes’ burial was moving and memorable. The family prepared his body and built his casket. Dozens of people walked along side the pick-up truck carrying Wes and his mother as they made their way to the funeral. Hundreds of people attended — an overflowing crowd. When Wes died, a part of Woods Hole died, too.

Then Jakob Lewis showed up, about a year-and-a-half later. A stranger with a microphone.

Jakob was a student at the Transom Story Workshop in Woods Hole in the spring of 2014. He learned about the funeral soon after he arrived. Jakob was simultaneously fascinated by the way the Voses and the community grieved yet wary of trespassing on the family’s privacy.

Ultimately, Jakob’s curiosity won out and the result is “Bringing Wes Home.”

Jakob’s approach to the story offers valuable insight for others “parachuting” into a community to report on a traumatic event. He says he “walked with” the Voses into their fear and sadness and anger. “I felt like a counselor or pastor.”

After listening to this edition of HowSound, listen to Jakob’s podcast, “Neighbors.”

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