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a crack in your ear through which sound surreptitiously slips, or an illicit substance which gives your ears immense pleasure while enslaving them to a crippling addiction

Sunday, June 11, 2006

lincoln memorialized


An hour-long radio documentary I've been working on for the past few months finally aired this weekend. It's about the Lincoln Memorial, and it aired as part of Studio 360's American Icons series.

Clicking on this sentence will take you to the show's webpage.

Abraham Lincoln is a subject near to my heart. I grew up in Springfield, Illinois, where Lincoln lived before he became president, and where he's now buried. Growing up there, one tends to take Lincoln for granted, because his name is the kind of thing you see on street signs and in the name of auto parts stores.

But in the period after college and before grad school, I worked for the Illinois State Historical Society, as an assistant to Tom Schwartz, who at that time was the curator of the Lincoln collection. He's now the historian for the State of Illinois, and I interviewed him for this documentary. Working for him was one of the most memorable work experiences I've ever had (surpassed only by the time I worked with Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, but I digress...) During the time I was there, I got to hold -- in my very hands -- manuscripts written by Lincoln, and historical objects like the spoon that he ate his last meal with. Yeah. I know. Pretty powerful stuff. So it was really satifying for me to have had the chance to interview my old boss. It felt as though I'd come full circle in a way.

This past month has been crazy, because on top of the Lincoln Memorial doc, I also just finished working on a pilot for PRI and WNYC. We're all very excited about it, and hopefully I'll be able to talk about it in more detail very soon...


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