August 6, 2004

Family Legend

How, one might wonder, could a simple hunk of cheese drive a wedge between an aging aunt and her devoted niece? Sure, every family has its share of grudges, secrets and bad behavior. What's harder to understand is how those things end up changing family relationships in ways no one could have predicted. Three stories about family legends that have either been kicking around for years or been completely suppressed.


Host Ira Glass talks to Eddie Schmidt about his Aunt Mary, the source of the best stories in his family—including how she was so cheap she stole azalea bushes from the side of the highway. (7 minutes)
Act Two

We Don't Talk About That

Some family legends are most notable for their absence. They're too disturbing or scandalous to tell. Kevin O'Leary's family specialized in those. He tells the story of trying to find out the truth about his great grandfather—a man his relatives never, ever talked about. When he finds out, his family's reaction is almost as shocking as the story itself. (23 minutes)
Act Three


The story of a prank that the family was building up to for years. But when the youngest sister executes it—perfectly—her mother can't forgive her. Katia Dunn tells the story of the worst college acceptance letter ever written. (15 minutes)