Book: Oral histories of Oberlin

By Laurie Hamame -



How did you get to Oberlin? What keeps you here?

These are the questions Peter Comings has asked more than 50 people in an effort to collect an oral history for his podcast “Oh, Oberlin.”

Now he wants to share the stories by transcribing them for print.

Hour-long interviews in the form of informal conversations show how people are connected to one another and how their lives have helped to create the historic Ohio town we live in, Comings said.

After speaking with ministers, high school teachers, local politicians, and business owners, he found that he could connect the dots between all his interviews. Discussions on economic development, the International Baccalaureate program at the Oberlin City Schools, and a first-hand account of Lou Gehrig’s disease have intertwined to give Oberlin a voice, Comings said.

“Wherever you go, if you say you’re from Oberlin, people get a look on their face,” he said. “Even if they don’t say the words, they’re thinking, ‘Oh, Oberlin.’ There’s something about the place that makes it unique, especially for the people who live here.”

Born and raised in Oberlin, Comings is a former journalist who ran for Oberlin city council in 2015. He now works in the grocery business.

Those wishing to assist with transcription and publication costs can do so at through .

The money will be used to publish a book version of “Oh, Oberlin,” hopefully by the end of next year.

Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter.


By Laurie Hamame