Monday, May 21, 2007

Happy Birthday Fresh Air

NPR/Fresh Air has been celebrating Fresh Air's 20th anniversary as a daily national show for the last week or so. Today they had another retrospective where Terry and the Fresh Air staff picked snippets of their favorite interview moments and I listened to it during my lunch hour.

I was so glad to hear part of the interview with Father Greg Boyle who founded Homeboy Industries, an LA program to help gang members get off the streets and out of a life of crime. I was so moved the first time I heard that interview that I listened to it two more times, blogged it and even called my mom to make sure that she had heard it.

There is one other interview that I've heard on Fresh Air that made such an impression, and that was a replay of Terry's interview with Gretchen Worden, the former curator of Philadelphia's Mutter Museum. Worden had just passed away, so Terry was rebroadcasting the interview. I can't really tell you what it was about that interview, but it touched me very deeply and I just remember the tears that streamed down my cheeks. That was another interview that I listened to several times, blogged, and demanded that my mother listen to. :)

Fresh Air is by far my favorite show. On the radio, on TV, anywhere. I've learned a lot about people, events, history, and communities. I admire Terry Gross's style, and just like anyone who is a master at their craft, she makes it look so easy. I've heard that she spends hours upon hours reading everything her guests may have written, listening to their recordings, watching their movies, and reading any commentary made about the guest. I've heard she works something like 16+ hours a day, every day.

Who knows if that is an exaggeration. Probably not. But I bet she loves it. And her love for her profession shows and makes Fresh Air what it is. A way to connect to other people, to open your eyes to what is going on in the world, or just to laugh along with a comedian, find a new musician to love, or find the next book you want to buy.

Here are links to the two interviews I mentioned above:
» Father Greg Doyle, Homeboy Industries
» Gretchen Worden, Mutter Museum &
» Remembering Gretchen Worden (I think this is the one that got me)

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