This American Life producer Nancy Updike takes some personal questions about death and dying to a place where they're happening all the time.
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A man has a very clear vision of how he always stood up to his father,protected his mother and fought hard for the truth. Until one day hediscovers actual raw data — secretly recorded conversations — thatthreaten to change his picture of everything.
In this act we hear several stories that happened during the daylight hours of the diner's operation. The first is from Nancy Updike, who talks with several early morning customers, including one guy who comes in mornings to play his accordion, and another who at the age of 8 was the youngest butcher in Illinois.
Ellery Eskelin never met his father but always heard he was a musical genius. Years after his father's death, Ellery started finding recordings of his musical output: he was the king of "song-poems." These are the songs that result when people answer those ads in the backs of magazines that say, "Send us your lyrics, and we'll write and record your song." Ellery's father's musical output was prodigious — and very odd.
This American Life producer Nancy Updike on a family where the father was one kind of sissy and the son was another kind, and how the family was destroyed despite the fact that no one wanted it to be.