Since I was 12 years-old, I always thought I would die by the age of 30. Here’s the story of how I didn’t, and why I spent my ‘last few days’ preparing, with my sister, in Austin, Texas.
On the first day of school I shadowed Eric Bookstrom, who teaches at Louisville’s Newcomer Academy, which enrolls many refugee and immigrant students learning English.
Listen to the raw 138th Kentucky Derby call by Mark Johnson. My recorder was plugged into a mult-box so there’s no external sound.
A series of stories I produced in Chicago featured the street performers that played in the “L” (EL) train stops. Here’s the drums.
—It's June in 2010
I found an old mini-cassette player with tape inside and plugged it into my digital recorder. This was recorded a few years ago. I have no idea what I was referring to.
Brandon Morrison, 20, is homeless and hopping trains when I meet him on the streets in downtown Chicago. He stole his sweatpants from the college shop across the street, he says, and he put “God bless you” on his sign because another homeless man said people would help out even more.
"I don’t believe in God. I can do it myself," he says.
Here’s why he’s homeless.
A series of stories I produced in Chicago featured the street performers that played in the “L” (EL) train stops. Here’s the saxophone.
—I never knew Lisa
While in Chicago, I received a call from a blocked number at 11 pm from someone who said they were from New York—she said her name was Lisa. My cell phone area code is 917, so I figured, ok. I couldn’t tell who it was, but they seemed to know me. I played along thinking it was an old classmate or acquaintance from my NYC days and that eventually it would come to me.
We spoke for five minutes, catching up on our lives.
She was well. Worked at a bank. Lived in the Bronx. Since New York I had moved back to the West Coast - San Francisco, then Portland and now Chicago.
I realized after these five minutes that I didn’t actually know Lisa. That this was a scam. She asked for my address to send a letter. I told her I was in the process of moving and that she should give me hers.
She hung up.
Over the next several months I would receive calls from Lisa around 11 pm on random nights, my last one I got was here in Louisville. We’d talk for as long as she allowed, which was always brief after that first conversation.
In Chicago, I set my recorder up to record these conversations. This is the only one I was able to get. From Feb. 2011.
My earliest audio/radio projects sound much like short stories with sound effects and pop music added just because. Titled: “Somewhere in Dial Up” - about a young man who asks out an Ikea operator.
Recorded via my computer on February 3, 2009. Titled “C and G”