May 22, 1998

Road Trip!

With so many songs, movies, and books about the joy of the open road, it's hard to take just a normal road trip without huge expectations.



Host Ira Glass talks with a guy who hit the road after his mother's death, hoping for some experience that would change him and shed light on what just happened. This never happens to him, or to most of us. (4 minutes)

Act One

Road Trip in a Tuxedo

What happens when being on the road is your job, and has been your job for decades? Reporter Margy Rochlin recalls a trip she took with 92-year-old George Burns and his tiny entourage. (17 minutes)

Act Two


A road trip can be a profound test of any relationship. It can save a marriage or destroy it. We have this example of a road trip in Europe. Playwrights Candido Tirado and Carmen Rivera told the story at the Nuyorican Cafe in New York City as part of an evening of "traveling stories" organized by The Moth. (14 minutes)

Act Three

Busman's Holiday

Dishwasher Pete, an itinerant dishwasher and author of the book Dishwasher: One Man's Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States, loves taking the bus as he moves from city to city every few weeks. In this act, he takes a tape recorder with him, hoping to capture the stories he always hears from his fellow passengers. It completely ruins his feelings about the bus. (16 minutes)


“Greyhound Theme in E-Minor” by Ian Lynam and Paul Iannott (Podcast Only)
Act Four

Paw Paw for Jesus

What we want on the road — many of us — is adventure. And what is adventure but a moment you never could've predicted before you left home? Chicago writer Cheryl Trykv tells the story of one such moment. (7 minutes)

Songs: "Happy Trails" and "One More Mile," Dave Dudley