Don Byles, 65, is a funeral director in New London, Conn. His grandfather started the family's business, Byles-MacDougall Funeral Service, in 1904. Now, Byles is getting ready to hand it over to his 25-year-old daughter Mackenzie.
"You have to teach me a lot of stuff before you can retire," Mackenzie tells her dad during a recent visit to StoryCorps. "I'm a little nervous about being on my own here. I've got big shoes to fill with you."
Click on the audio link above to hear their StoryCorps conversation.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 11:47 am
Sure, color film existed in 1963. And sure, there are probably color photos of this day in history. But the vast majority of the imagery we're used to seeing is black-and-white — such as, for example, the digitized photos in the Library of Congress (LOC).
Conan O'Brien has probably had the most unusual career trajectory of any current late-night host. When he joined NBC's Late Night in 1993, replacing David Letterman, he had virtually no on-air experience. He did, however, have comedy-writing chops: O'Brien edited the humor magazine The Harvard Lampoon as a student, then wrote for Saturday Night Live and was a writer and producer for The Simpsons.
In 1992, when Jay Leno took over from Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, he was already a familiar presence, having served as one of Carson's regular substitute hosts. Despite that experience, Leno's first few years on Tonight were rocky.
"When he started, when he was up against Letterman, Letterman beat him for the first couple of years," critic David Bianculli tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "But once Leno came ahead, he was unstoppable. He never lost that audience."
Patina Miller first got noticed on the theater scene in 2009 as the star of Sister Act: A Divine Musical Comedy. She earned rave reviews for playing the accidental nun who led a choir to stardom. Now she's center stage again in the Broadway revival of Pippin, the musical first launched in 1972. Miller takes on the role of Leading Player, the circus artist who guides a young prince in finding meaning and magic in his life. She won this year's Tony Award for best leading actress in a musical. You can also hear her on the newly released CD of the show's songs.
Gerald Bundy of Philadelphia was 13 when his older cousin convinced him to go to the March on Washington in 1963. Bundy returned 50 years later to celebrate the anniversary. When he looks back on it now he believes the experience, "made me more cognizant of social justice; made me an activist."
Originally published on Sun August 25, 2013 10:23 pm
Tens of thousands of people congregated in Washington, D.C., on Saturday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom — one of the largest civil rights rallies in American history, and the day that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his indelible "I Have A Dream" speech.
The new FX series The Bridge begins with the discovery of a body on a bridge that connects El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico. In it, a Mexican detective, played by Mexican actor Demian Bichir, has to work with an El Paso homicide cop to solve what turns out to be a serial murder case.
Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 9:54 am
Okay, background information first.
As an apartment-dweller, I have lived for 20 years in a series of white-walled boxes with neutral carpets. I have assembled and eventually ripped apart the kind of furniture that comes with an Allen wrench. And I have had my adventures. When leaving an apartment in Brooklyn, I tore a sofa bed apart with my bare hands and feet — broke it and destroyed it — because it was old and I knew I'd never get it through the door again.
Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 11:41 am
For all you royal watchers:
"Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge have bypassed professional photographers and chosen family snapshots for the first official images of their new son, Prince George," as The Associated Press writes.
On-air challenge:You're given two words starting with the letter S. For each pair, give a third word — also starting with S — that can follow the first one and precede the second one, in each case to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase.
Last week's challenge: A logic puzzle: "Nieces and nephews have I none, but that man's father is my father's son." What is the gender of the speaker? And who is the speaker referring to?
Answer: Male, the speaker is referring to his own son.
On-air challenge:Every answer is an anagram of a word that has the letters A-B-C in it.
Last week's challenge: Name a foreign make of automobile. Cross out several letters in its name. The remaining letters, reading in order from left to right, will spell a food that comes from the country where the car is made. What is the country, and what is the food?
Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 8:31 am
Perhaps you heard that last night, a plucky little drug dealer named Walter White returned to television for his last eight episodes of the award-hoarding Breaking Bad.
But before he began his life of crime, Walter White was a chemistry teacher, and chemistry is what originally made him such a great meth cook. Breaking Bad has always included a lot of science talk, especially in the early days, and the time has come for someone to see whether it holds up.
D-Day soldiers landing on Omaha Beach. A naked Vietnamese girl running from napalm. A Spanish loyalist, collapsing to the ground in death. These images of war, and some 300 others, are on view at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., in an exhibition called WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath. Pictures from the mid-19th century to today, taken by commercial photographers, military photographers, amateurs and artists capture 165 years of conflict.
On a hot summer afternoon in Albuquerque, N.M., the setting for the hit TV show Breaking Bad, a trolley that resembles a roving adobe house is packed with tourists.
The series follows Walter White, a chemistry teacher who turns to cooking methamphetamine to provide for his family after he gets cancer. The show, which begins its final season Sunday, has attracted critical acclaim, a slew of awards and rabid fans — some of whom have crammed onto the trolley for a tour of Breaking Bad filming sites.
If you like mysteries, thrillers or zombie flicks, you'll probably like Abigail Goldman's art.
Goldman takes the fake grass, dirt and tiny plastic people used in model railroad layouts, and turns them into imaginary crime scenes. She's been making the macabre art for four years, and it's become so popular there's a waiting list for her work.
Credit Carlos Javier Ortiz / Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Ondelee at home before his prom. In Chicago, prom night is a big deal. Fifty percent of African-American Chicago high school students end up dropping out of high school before senior year. Ondelee graduated from Wendell Phillips Academy High School in Chicago on June 15, and is planning to attend college.
Ondelee and Detreena visited StoryCorps in Chicago.
Credit Carlos Javier Ortiz / Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Ondelee Perteet and his mother, Detreena, at their home in Chicago. In 2009, then-14-year-old Ondelee was shot in the jaw at a birthday party on Chicago's West Side. The bullet severed his spine, paralyzing him from the neck down. His doctors told him that he would never walk again, but three years later, he is walking with the help of crutches.
One night in 2009, Ondelee Perteet and a friend went to a party in his hometown of Chicago.
"A lot of people, they started throwing gang signs. And, you know, I got into an argument with somebody in the party, and that's when I got shot in the face," Ondelee said during a recent visit to StoryCorps with his mother, Detreena.
He was 14.
"I got to the hospital, and the doctor came back, and he said, 'We're sorry, but he's never going to move his arms and legs again,' " said Detreena, 47. "It just tore me apart."