Week of December 8, 2013
Segment 1: A Stroke and the Language of Love
Paul West was a retired English professor and the author of 50-plus books, when he was struck by a massive stroke. It left "a small wasteland" in his brain, especially in the key language areas. His sudden inability to formulate language was a shock to him and his wife, bestselling author Diane Ackerman. Her memoir, One Hundred Names for Love: A Stroke, a Marriage, and the Language of Healing records the victories and setbacks, and her ability to tailor her husband's speech therapy to match his immense vocabulary and unique intelligence.
"Don’t give up hope. The brain is a mystery that has a lot of possibility built into it. Try everything."
Segment 2: A 35-year Hunt for an Assassin
On a warm Saturday night in 1973, a gunman stepped out from behind a tree and fired five point-blank shots into Joe Alon, an Israeli Air Force pilot and family man in Bethesda, Maryland. Fred Burton, Chasing Ghosts: A Special Agent's Lifelong Hunt to Bring a Cold War Assassin to Justice was Alon's sixteen-year-old neighbor. He was deeply shocked by this crime that rocked his sleepy suburban neighborhood. As it turned out, Alon wasn't just a pilot—he was a high-ranking military official with intelligence ties. The assassin was never found and the case was closed. But, Fred Burton, who had since become a State Department counterterrorism special agent, reopened the case. He spent 35 years hunting the assassin to bring him to justice.
Week of December 1, 2013
Segment 1: Stephen Kellogg - "Blunderstone Rookery"
Singer and songwriter Stephen Kellogg didn't set out to become a recording artist. His bio says: "The thing is…I fell into this job. I like people. I like sharing a world-view. I don’t mind singing and playing guitar, but I never expected that I’d do it for a living." After his band, The Sixers took a hiatus, he released a solo album called Blunderstone Rookery. He performs the song "Thanksgiving" in the studio.
"It's just what's really important to me. If there was no tomorrow what would I have wanted to have said. And that's what I try to make my music about."
Segment 2: Second Chances - Finding Happiness at Starbucks
You've heard the expression, "when life hands you a lemon, make lemonade"? Well, Michael Gates Gill, How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else made coffee instead. Fired from his high-powered advertising job, he was broke, divorced, and diagnosed with a brain tumor. At the age of 63, he donned the green apron and black cap.