June 19, 1998

Father’s Day ‘98

For this Father's Day, stories in which fathers and their kids sit down and try to have an honest moment together. And stories about fathers who aren't close with their kids.


We ask 18-year-old Chana Wiliford and her father in Texas if they'd be willing to have a conversation on tape in which each of them gets to ask the other the questions they've never asked before. In the conversation, Chana is half his child, half his peer. (4 minutes)
Act One

Pandora's Box

More tape of Chana and her father Bob Wiliford discussing all the things they've never talked about before. Though Chana grew up in Waco, Texas, she left to go to college in Philadelphia. Her dad works for the phone company. Her parents have been married and divorced and re-married to each other three times, but she doesn't understand why. In this interview, she gets to ask about it. (7 minutes)

Act Two

Mack Daddies

In this part of the show, stories about fathers who haven't gotten quite so close with their children. Two-thirds of all African American children are raised in single parent homes, usually by mothers and/or grandmothers. Sanantonio Brooks is 18 and lives in a big Chicago public housing project. He wanted to interview some of the young fathers in his building, guys his age who he's known since he was a kid — guys who had kids as teenagers. He wanted to talk about whether they are better fathers than their own fathers were. (12 minutes)


“Daddy's Home” by Shep & The Limelights
Act Three

Bond, Dammit, Bond

Another case study of a dad who's waiting to feel closer to his kid. Writer Dan Savage writes the syndicated sex advice column Savage Love. He and his boyfriend Terry spent months trying to adopt and finally adopted a baby boy. Terry, who has a heart of gold, bonded right away. For Dan, it's taking longer. And to people who fear the very idea of gay couples bringing up a baby boy, Dan has this message: he and Terry are like a traditional 1950's couple. Dan goes off to earn the money; Terry stays at home and raises the kid. (10 minutes)
Act Four

Age Of Enchantment

This is a story about an odd breach of trust between father and child, done unintentionally, and what happens next. Lawrence Weschler is an author and journalist. He and his 11-year-old daughter Sara tell the tale. She believed that she saw a four-inch tall human being, a little girl, like she read about in the children's books The Borrowers. She began leaving treats and notes for this girl. She was upset when the girl didn't seem to take them, and, finally, her father took them and wrote her a note back, pretending to be the 4-inch-tall girl. (23 minutes)