There is something about a harmonica. It’s an instrument that evokes distance, and travel. Perhaps it’s because you can slip a harmonica in your shirt pocket. Today, a trip with the musician Howard Levy and his harmonica, produced by David Schulman.
For Leslie Scott, barbecue is a way of life. As she tells Dick Gordon, making great ribs can make someone fall in love with you. Leslie comes from a family with a barbecue sauce that goes back five generations.
Ching Yeung Russell is a writer. Her breakthrough book is called "First Apple." It tells the story of a young girl in China who's never tasted an apple, and sets her mind to do just that. It's pretty close to a true story about her own upbringing.
Singer Kathy Mattea grew up in West Virginia. She remembers a mining disaster in 1968. She and her parents were glued to the television as news of 78 trapped Sago miners came across the screen. Rescuers eventually had to give up. After another Sago mine disaster in 2006, Kathy became convinced the time had come to understand her family's roots in coal. So she set aside the country singing she's famous for and embraced the mountain music of her heritage. The result is her album Coal. Kathy tells Dick Gordon how this musical journey helped her find the story of her own life.
Ame Gilbert studied fine arts, but when she got married and had children, she found her life defined by the kitchen. Cooking became her primary means of communicating with her husband, and once they separated Ame realized that she didn't have anyone to talk to about food. So she created a whole new voice for herself, and that meant a whole new language of cooking.
Alessandro Portelli may be best known for oral history work in his native Italy, but in many ways, his heart is in Harlan County, Kentucky. He first heard about Appalachian culture in 1960s folk songs, but he didn't get a chance to visit Kentucky until 1973. That's when he first met Annie Napier, a woman he'd later consider family. Alessandro joins Dick to talk about the people he met in Harlan County and what they taught him about the importance of listening to one another.
Ailyn Perez and Stephen Costello are husband-and-wife opera singers. They talk with Dick about the peculiarity of their relationship, which includes competing to see who can hold the longest notes, and trying to get cast in the same productions so that they can spend time together.
Lauren Swedlow took a job as a waitress at the Marriott in downtown Chicago to help support her life as an artist. She struggled with splitting her time between her passion and her reality until something extraordinary happened. A customer at the restaurant left Lauren a tip that was so substantial, she could quit her job for a year and do what she loved.