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November 09, 2009

Behind The Wall


Today marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Birgit Lindemann grew up behind the Wall. Her uncle would cross the border from West Germany, risking detection by the Stasi, in order to see Birgit's grandmother in the East. Birgit remembers sneaking to her grandmother's house to see her uncle and to take in the smells of cologne and chocolate - things that could not be bought easily in the East. 

Birgit played by all the rules, always striving to be a good East German "young pioneer." But when she wasn't permitted to follow the path in life she wanted, Birgit became disillusioned. When the wall fell, Birgit grabbed her parents, drove to the border and breathed in the wondrous scents of freedom. But Birgit soon learned there were new challenges ahead for her and her family after the wall came down. Birgit talks with Dick Gordon about life before, and after, the fall of the Berlin Wall.



Mary Seymour made a big change in her life almost exactly as the financial crisis began. She moved from New England, where she'd lived and had a successful career as a writer and editor, to Greensboro, N.C., where all the job possibilities she'd lined up fell through. Mary looked into everything from working at UPS to becoming a prison guard before she finally ended up at the mall. She got two jobs - one at a high end women's boutique, and another at a major department store. Mary still works at the department store. As she tells Dick Gordon, taking a job in retail wrecked her self confidence - for a time. But she does love aspects of the job, and she has emerged with a game plan of what to do next in her professional life. Mary is planning to start a graduate program in counseling.


Estro Armonico performed by Rondo Veneziano

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