This is the time of year when ice fishing begins in earnest. Imagine this: a brutal winter in Minnesota, 35 degrees below zero, winds howling. And there are 30 men pulling a seine fishing net a mile long and 12 feet deep by hand under the ice. Curt Piechowski is one of the last surviving members of a hardy Polish immigrant family that developed that thriving business.
Ritsuko Robinson grew up in her family’s inn on the bay in Kesennuma, in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. She lives in the U.S. now, but she was planning to go back for an important family ceremony this April. Since the tsunami, though, she’s had only spotty contact with family members, and she’s sure the most cherished family possession - the inn - has been destroyed.
The fields of Immokalee, in Florida are infamous for the way agricultural workers are treated. Some make $10,000 a year. Gerardo Reyes is a fruit picker and organizer there who is helping to change Florida’s tomato industry. Also in this episode, when the massive Texas wildfires came to their ranch, Diane and Chris Lacy were, as they put it, "an hour from pavement" branding some cattle.
Leon Fleisher was a pianist from early on. As a child prodigy, he played Carnegie Hall at the age of 16. Then, at his prime, he lost the use of two fingers on his right hand. He thought his career was over. Now, back at the piano, he’s redefined the meaning of perfection.
Pius Gabriel grew up in Sri Lanka, and then moved to the US to attend college. He had just retired from a career in the US military when he heard the news of the tsunami. In late December 2006 -- the anniversary of the disaster -- Pius joined Dick to talk about "his" orphans, and his work there.Since that interview, Pius has returned to Sri Lanka. He managed to survive what embassy officials called a suicide mission.
Tara Bellando’s summer job gave her an unforgettable chance to “be” a Kennedy for a day. Tara was working as a maid at an inn, when she got the word that a Kennedy wedding was happening on the premises. Soon Tara wrangled a way through the gates as a guest.
Dave Lefkow and Justin Esch were just two regular guys with regular jobs, until one of them mentioned that everything should taste like bacon. Justin had a conversation with his brother at a Jewish-military wedding where he suggested that everyone, including the kosher, should be able to taste delicious bacon.
Six months ago, Dick interviewed Jill Hollis and her doctor, Rick Bedlack, about ALS. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, affects about 30,000 Americans. She is now approaching 3 years with the disease. She can still walk, although not as well. She loves swimming, and she spends as much time as she possibly can with friends and family. Dick talks with Jill about what has changed in her life and what she is learning about ALS.