Two Italian filmmakers, Gustav Hofer (left) and Luca Ragazzi, travel around their country trying to decide whether they should leave, given the economic crisis, or stay. Dick speaks with Gustav about what frustrates him about his country and what he loves about it.
Fifty-one years ago, Ellery Schempp protested his high school's mandatory morning prayer by bringing a Koran to class. He was asked to leave the classroom, but his protest led to the watershed case Abington School District v. Schempp. Also in this episode: After Dick's interview with L.A. Times writer William Lobdell about how William lost his faith while on the religion beat, one listener wrote to The Story, asking: "Why do we not hear the wonderful stories about the ways faith has enabled people to live joyfully, abundantly, and gratefully; lives where miracles can and do happen, and the future is full of hope?"
Andrea Richardson Stowers was 7 years old when her father Dale left on a Cold War military mission from which he never returned. Dale’s work was classified, so Andrea never found out how he died. Andrea’s mother believed it was a government cover-up and convinced herself that Dale was still alive.
Mary Viehland's son Josh found himself mixed up with the wrong crowd in high school. He was doing drugs. But when he fathered a child, Josh decided to turn his life around. Then one day Josh heard that his friends had bought drugs from a drug dealer and not paid their tab. Josh began to nag them to pay up. Inexplicably, his friends saw Josh as the threat, and decided to kill him. Mary's story, though, is more than the loss of her son. It is about how she found the strength in herself to visit his former "friends" in prison, and even forgive them. Also in this episode: dismantling the darkroom.
Many families have packed off the kids to camp this summer. Sarah Sobel is heading to camp again this year, but this time she'll be a counselor at the weight-loss camp she attended as a camper. Sarah chose to attend the camp thinking that she would simply lose some weight. But after a couple of tough weeks, she was chosen to be one of two "generals" in the camp's annual color war. That moment made Sarah see herself in a new light.
One of the last things Victor Anderson's older brother Ron did before he was killed in World War II was write to Victor, then 17. He asked that Vic write to an 11-year-old Jewish girl named Marianne Baum whom he had met while visiting her parents in Tel Aviv. Victor and Marianne stayed pen pals for 12 years before they finally met, and eventually fell in love. Also on the show: after 30 years of segregated class reunions, black and white alums hold a reunion together.
Okay, the holidays are over. Is your tree still up? Karen Warner loves Christmas. She remembers one year when she had an especially beautiful tree that sat in the bay window of her fabulous San Francisco apartment. Karen loved it so much, that she left it up too long - well into April. Embarrassed by what her landlords would think, and scared that they might not like the fire hazard aspect, Karen came up with an innovative plan to discard her Christmas tree.
Four years ago a tornado tore into Greensburg, Kansas, flattening the town. Greensburg is now back, stronger and greener, but the more private story is that it’s a lot harder to bounce back when the people you love are gone. Dick Gordon speaks with two residents of the town, Bob Dixson and Norm Volz, about how to rebuild when all seems lost. Also in this episode, a musical memory from Nanci Griffith, plus Delsie Bailey shares the story of her daughter Faith.
In May, Lindaleigh Irvin-Portner came on the program to tell her story. She became pregnant as a teenager and her mother sent her to a home for "wayward girls" to deliver her baby, Monique. Soon after, the baby was taken away. Lindaleigh says it was not her intention to give her daughter up for adoption, and she has never stopped looking for her. A listener to The Story heard Lindaleigh on the radio, and there’s been an intriguing development.
In America, nursing homes are in high demand - there are only 17,000 slots for the 1.6 million seniors who can no longer live on their own. Overcrowding is common. Patients often talk of insensitive staff. Staff, on the other hand, talk of low pay and high stress.
But Cordelia Taylor has found a way to offer care to seniors that is like being home.