Selected Radio Stories

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Tragedy

Breaking Away
Vox Tablet

Luzer Twersky spent the first twenty-three years of his life in Hasidic enclaves. For much of that time, he struggled to square his own beliefs and desires with those of his family and community. Ultimately, he gave up and left. It was a painful decision, and one for which he paid dearly—his family now considers him as good as dead. This is a portrait of his first year on his own.

Tragedy

Tragedy Minus Time Equals
Happily Ever After

This American Life

Ron Mallet was ten years old when his father died unexpectedly of a heart attack. A year later, he concocted perhaps the world's most complicated plan to try and see his dad again - and spent the next 40 years trying to carry it out.

The story appears in the second half of the show. Open the player and scroll to 36:35.

Still Astral After All These Years
Weekend Edition

Originally released in 1968, Van Morrison's Astral Weeks has routinely been named in music polls as one of the best records of all time. But while the record is breathlessly beloved by admirers, its meaning to Morrison seems far different.

The Great Escape
Weekend America

From the time he was very young, Paul Szauter dreamed of becoming a magician. There was just one problem - he didn't like the idea of tricking people. This is the story of how a lover of illusion figured out a way to practice something other than deception.

The Moxie Man
Weekend America

Frank Anicetti was a mild-mannered clerk at the family store until a strange sequence of events put him on a path to save a dying soda. Now he's taking on a popular taste, and maybe even common sense, to make sure that you've got Moxie.

All the Colonel's Ballerinas
All Things Considered

The small mill town of Pittsfield, Maine is an unlikely place for a ballet. And retired Marine colonel Michael Wyly is not the guy you would expect to found a ballet company. That he did is a testament to fatherly devotion so remarkable it compelled him to lure a Russian star to the hinterlands.

Tragedy

A Christmas Story
Day to Day

Ever since she was in high school, Christmas has been tough for Amanda Pleau. She never quite got over that first sad holiday following her parents' divorce. But after years of feeling bad around Christmas, she came up with a plan - an ambitious, obsessive plan.

Doves

The Faithful Doves of My Father
Day to Day

She was just seven years old, living in the midst of a civil war. But Aquila still remembers how, despite the bombings, her father went outside to tend to his fifteen white doves - and, when tragedy came, how they tended to him.

Tragedy

Less Rock, More Talk
Weekend America

In 2002, hard rocker Andrew W.K. released I Get Wet. It was seemingly the ultimate endorsement of getting wasted. But these days, Andrew isn't singing party anthems - he's giving new age-style motivational speeches.

Hammer Time
All Things Considered

John Bisbee has made all his art with what most people use to hang it up: nails. Recently, after decades of oxidizing, welding, bending and cutting nails of all sizes, he realized that he was overlooking the most obvious thing he could do to them.

A Motorcycle Diary
All Things Considered

For the past 15 years, the people at Reynolds Motorsports in Gorham, Maine have celebrated a unique form of conspicuous consumption. As part of their annual openhouse they take a beat-up old motorcycle, tie the throttle wide open, and bet on how long it takes the machine to die.

PHOTO CREDITS:
Breaking Away: David Berkowitz
Tragedy Minus Time Equals Happily Ever After: Ron Mallet
Still Astral After All These Years: Rick Lomas
The Great Escape: Amanda Kowalski
The Moxie Man: Joe Shlabotnik
All the Colonel's Ballerinas: Austin Williams
A Christmas Story: Sea Turtle
The Faithful Doves of My Father: David Campbell
Less Rock, More Talk: Amber Santos
Hammer Time: Luc Demers
The Junk King: Alexandra Marvar
A Motorcycle Diary: Andrew Plumb