Rebecca was 16 years old when her mother Elizabeth died of cancer. But before she died, she wrote letters to Rebecca, to be given to her on her birthday each year for thirteen years.
Harry Brakeman University.
The Erie Canal.
When Wells Tower started to try to fix up and save his dad's house, he knew it'd be incredibly hard. Lots of people told him not to.
Producer Sarah Koenig tells the story of her father, Julian Koenig, the legendary advertising copywriter whose work includes the slogan "Timex takes a licking and keeps on ticking" and Volkswagen's "Think Small" ads. For years Sarah has heard her dad accuse a former partner of stealing some of his best ideas, but until recently she never paid much attention.
Host Ira Glass speaks with Harold Wilshinsky about a piece of advice he gave to his daughter and son-in-law over 15 years ago: Take your money out of the hands of Bernie Madoff, and diversify. Reluctantly, they listened to Harold, even though his son-in-law's family was making a fortune investing with Madoff.
When David Ellis Dickerson was 12, he got a new bike, and his father decided to use the occasion to teach David a lesson. But the lesson David learned wasn't the one his father intended.
Veronica Chater's mother wants to go to a resort in Mexico with a friend. Her father, a former cop with an extravagant sense of security, prepares as if she's headed for a war zone.
When Jack Hitt was 11, he did the worst thing his father could have imagined. Neither Jack nor his four siblings will ever forget the punishment.
Regular This American Life contributor Dan Savage, a syndicated sex columnist with possibly the filthiest mouth of anyone you could ever meet, finds a TV program so dirty, so weird, and so perverted that he won't let his son watch it—even though it's a kids' show, made for kids, and broadcast on a network for kids.
Ron Mallett was ten years old when his father died unexpectedly of a heart attack. A year later, after picking up a comic book based on H.G.
Alex Kotlowitz reports on a woman with the power to change two people's lives...and at the height of her power, she doesn't even know she has it. Alex is the author of Never a City So Real and other books.
When Emily Helfgot was ten, her dad was a sex therapist on a call-in radio show, which thoroughly embarrassed her. He also kept a stack of Playboy magazines in their house, in plain sight.
When Elspeth was a girl, she wanted nothing more than her father's attention. He was busy, a doctor, and distant.
Jonathan Goldstein decides to find out—once and for all—if his dad Buzz thinks he's manly enough.
Julie Hill explains how she's going to remake all the ideas her son has about his father, using a very simple tactic.
When Aric Knuth was a little kid, his dad would leave for six months at a time. He was a merchant marine.
Lennard Davis grew up hearing from his parents that he should, at all costs, avoid being like his good-for-nothing Uncle Abie. Later, after his father died, that very same uncle told him that his father was not, in fact, his father.
Paul Tough's father was a mild-mannered professor. And then one day he left his family and went on a quest.
Starlee Kine gets answers about her parents marriage from her dad...after a lifetime of mystery. She and her sister had wanted her parents to divorce since they were little.
An excerpt of Bernard Cooper's story about the bill he got from his own father, for the entire cost of his childhood. Actor Josh Hamilton reads.
We hear the story of the Persian Gulf war, as told by Issam Shukri, a family man from Bagdad who was drafted into Saddam's army against his will. He had to explain to his three-year-old son why those usually civilized Americans were bombing their city night after night.