On a July afternoon in 1937, 15-year-old Betty Klenck Brown was listening to her family's shortwave radio. She had her journal and was writing down the lyrics to popular songs when she turned the dial and heard the unimaginable: "This is Amelia Earhart. This is Amelia Earhart." Also in this episode, a photograph recently caused some controversy and a few smirks in Europe: a nude photograph of Simone de Beauvoir. The photo was taken by Art Shay. Art was a paparazzi before the term was even invented. In 1952, he took the nude shot of Simone de Beauvoir, who didn't know he'd taken it.
Cassandra Ormiston has been fighting for her right to divorce in the state of Rhode Island. Cassandra talks with Dick Gordon about the challenges facing gay and lesbian couples who want the right to divorce in states that don't recognize same-sex marriages. Also in this episode, Sy Safransky is editor and publisher of The Sun Magazine, a monthly literary magazine out of Chapel Hill, N.C. Last summer, after an issue of the magazine was printed and ready to be sent out, Sy realized it contained a serious mistake: the magazine had printed the name of a contributing writer who had asked for his name to be withheld.
Luca Turin moved to Nice, France when he was a young man. He was entranced by the region's beauty, and by the strange, dusty bottles of perfume he found at local flea markets. It was one perfume - the evocatively-named Nombre Noir - that initiated Luca into what would become his career. He spent the next 15 years studying the secret of smell. Also in this episode, Sy Montgomery traveled all over the world writing about nature, and thought she knew about animals. Then she was given a sickly runt of a pig. She named him Christopher Hogwood and, as she tells Dick, remained infatuated with Christopher even after he became a 750-pound eating machine.
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.