Producer Phoebe Judge speaks with Alex Stone, who knows the back rooms of the magic scene in New York City. He learns tricks from old-timers and uses his knowledge of math and physics for his own card tricks. Alex is the author of Fooling Houdini.
Matthew Stoneman moved to Los Angeles with dreams of rock 'n' roll stardom. Instead he became a thief, and landed in prison. To pass the time, he got a guitar and learned more than a hundred classic songs, in Spanish, from the Mexican inmates. When he got out he became an unlikely troubadour. Also: the origins of the Heisman Trophy.
Saxophonist Kevin Brown travels the world playing jazz. And as for many people, music has been Kevin's companion through the ups and downs of his life. Kevin was born totally blind, but doctors restored some of his vision when he was 6. He fully used his partial sight - even playing football as a kid and teaching himself to play the saxophone. Kevin talks with Dick Gordon about the how jazz revived him when he needed it the most, when he lost his eyesight permanently.
Jack Mullowney is 91 years old, and has vivid memories of the Great Depression. He shares some of those memories with Dick Gordon, along with one of his favorite stories from his career. Jack worked for the company that came up with the Green Giant advertising campaign. Jack was the one who suggested the giant should become a little more jolly. Jack now works as a commodities trader - he has no interest in retiring.
Selma Yablonick Constant graduated from the City College of New York in 1950. She'd planned to become a teacher. However, she was asked to leave the school of education because she walked with a cane. Selma had polio as a kid and was considered disabled. Also in this episode, poet Paul Guest.