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Act One: Breakfast

A story by Jay Allison and Annie Cheney, from Jay's Life Stories series. Annie tells a story of eating and not eating, and a life seen through one meal.

Act Four: Ritual

Camp Lake of the Woods holds a fake Indian powwow during the summer. This kind of fake Native American-ness has been a part of camping in America since organized camping began a century ago.

Act One: I, Danny

In this special half-hour story produced by Jay Allison as part of his Life Stories series, Dan Gediman tracks down the original Zoom cast members to find out what his life would've been like if he had achieved his childhood dream of being on Zoom.

Act One

Sarah Vowell and her twin sister Amy re-trace the Trail of Tears. They visit the town in Georgia that was the capital of the Cherokee Nation before the Cherokee were expelled.

Act Two: Toccata and Fugue In Me, a Minor

As a teenager, Sarah Vowell was not casual about music lessons — music became her life. She was in marching band, jazz band, Band One, symphony band, pep band and the Bozeman Recorder Ensemble.

Prologue

The modern history of Niagara Falls can be divided roughly into three phases: Schemers who came in trying to exploit the Falls for tourism and failed; schemers who came in and tried to exploit the Falls for hydroelectric power, who've all gone; and the people who are left in Niagara today. Our show is about this last group: People who live in the aftermath.

Act Two: Fists And Guns

Geoffrey Canada, author of the book Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America, talks about what it's like to carry a gun. He also talks about what poor neighborhoods in New York were like before the proliferation of handguns among young people.  When he grew up in the South Bronx, kids had fistfights in a very formal arrangement with formal rules that everyone lived by. He reads from his book and talks with Ira.

Act Three: Shooter

Chicago Playwright Bryn Magnus with a quintessential gun story from his childhood in Wisconsin.  It contains both the fear of guns and the pleasure of shooting one.

Act Two: Gangster's Daughter

Susan Berman, author of the memoir Easy Street, the True Story of a Gangster's Daugher, reads from her book about her father Davie Berman, a Jewish gangster and one of the men — with Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel — who created modern Las Vegas. (7 minutes) Act Two continues after the break.