My love affair with books and an engrossing story can be traced directly to my mother who began reading to me in utero. She continued reading, everything from The Sneetches to Black Beauty, to the Bible. She even taped herself reading–first on the old reel-to-reel with a mic, then onto cassettes–so that we could listen to her as we played during the day or drifted to sleep at night.
My favorite stories were my mother’s tales of her years as a novice in an Indiana convent. My little sister and I sat, spellbound, as our mother recalled adventures that involved her, in full habit, breaking rank to chase after a mother skunk and her babies, defying her Mother Superior on account of a garden spider, and, always our favorite, her theft of chocolates and pop from huge walk-in coolers. Who knew nuns could be so naughty?
I still love a being told stories which is why I enjoy listening to This American Life. So as not to miss a single episode I subscribe to their podcast on my Blackberry and listen when I’m at the gym, on a walk, in the car, or as I putter about my house.
My favorite episode is Act III from Classifieds. You know how in the classified ads one person is often looking for something and in the next ad you’ll see another person who’s offering it? Well, it turns out this is especially true where musicians are concerned. So the show’s producer decided to play matchmaker and create a one-day band from the classifieds.
I dare you to listen to their story unfold without tearing up.