A Midwestern family records a "letter on tape" to their son, who is in medical school in California. Three decades later, the recording somehow ends up in a thrift store. The tape gives a complicated portrait of what goes on among the family members. Mother wishes that Father were more religious. Daughter is miffed because Dad won't help her solve her financial problems. Dad tells corny jokes and talks enthusiastically about machines, extrusions and drills used for the family business run from the basement — a business everyone else in the family resents. And after the old tapes, Ira interviews the son they were sending these to, Arthur Davis, who's now a doctor in California. (26 minutes)
Feb 21, 1996
What unites these stories on the surface is that they're all made from old tapes, recordings found in attics and thrift stores. What unites them under that surface — and not far under it — is that they all end up being stories about fathers and the legacies that fathers leave their children.