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On Being with Krista Tippett is a public radio project delving into the human side of news stories + issues. Curated + edited by senior editor Trent Gilliss.

We publish guest contributions. We edit long; we scrapbook. We do big ideas + deep meaning. We answer questions.

We've even won a couple of Webbys + a Peabody Award.
Someone in Eight Million Nancy Rosenbaum, associate producer
The New York Times recently concluded its "One in Eight Million" series. It’s a lyrical compendium of 54 audio-visual stories that shine a light on ordinary (and not so ordinary) New Yorkers — from an urban taxidermist to a "Type-A" teenager. These sound-rich features are all told in the first person and provide a window into the intimacies of people’s lived experiences across the five boroughs of New York City’s eight-million-thick metropolis.

The series’ concluding segment featuring a 57-year-old grandfather of four named Joseph Cotton took my breath away. He cares for his “grandbabies” with such love, attention, devotion, and patience in a way that’s tender but not possessive. He knows the time will come when he’ll need to let them go. He says:

"Eventually I’m gonna lose them. Eventually they’re going to get to be 15, 16 years old. They’re going to be: ‘I ain’t hanging with pop-pop. Because they’re going to have other interests, they’re going to be doing other things. I’m looking for greatness from them. So they can’t hang around me and find greatness."


I recently attended an improv workshop with a professional actor who commented that he’s known artists who are masterful at their craft but aren’t so masterful at being loving partners or caregivers. People who love well don’t necessarily get noticed or celebrated for their particular artistry; I immediately thought of Mr. Cotton when I heard this. I’m grateful to the series for noticing him.
(photos: Todd Heisler/The New York Times)

Someone in Eight Million
Nancy Rosenbaum, associate producer

The New York Times recently concluded its "One in Eight Million" series. It’s a lyrical compendium of 54 audio-visual stories that shine a light on ordinary (and not so ordinary) New Yorkers — from an urban taxidermist to a "Type-A" teenager. These sound-rich features are all told in the first person and provide a window into the intimacies of people’s lived experiences across the five boroughs of New York City’s eight-million-thick metropolis.

Joseph Cotton: One in Eight Million

The series’ concluding segment featuring a 57-year-old grandfather of four named Joseph Cotton took my breath away. He cares for his “grandbabies” with such love, attention, devotion, and patience in a way that’s tender but not possessive. He knows the time will come when he’ll need to let them go. He says:

"Eventually I’m gonna lose them. Eventually they’re going to get to be 15, 16 years old. They’re going to be: ‘I ain’t hanging with pop-pop. Because they’re going to have other interests, they’re going to be doing other things. I’m looking for greatness from them. So they can’t hang around me and find greatness."

Joseph Cotton: One in Eight Million

I recently attended an improv workshop with a professional actor who commented that he’s known artists who are masterful at their craft but aren’t so masterful at being loving partners or caregivers. People who love well don’t necessarily get noticed or celebrated for their particular artistry; I immediately thought of Mr. Cotton when I heard this. I’m grateful to the series for noticing him.

(photos: Todd Heisler/The New York Times)

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An Ethos Informed by Displaced Identity
Trent Gilliss, Online Editor

Shortly before heading out of town for my first vacation in nearly five years, I was able to squeak in some action from behind the glass. I shot this clip of Krista (from Studio P in St. Paul) conducting a remote interview with Jonathan Greenblatt (from APM’s studios in L.A.).

More often than not, a guest’s response to Krista’s opening question about his/her religious and family background makes for good listening. And, more often than not, that part of the interview doesn’t make it into the final production for the radio or podcast. I used to lobby for including these preambles, but now I see the wisdom of cutting most of these stories. The show’s narrative arc wouldn’t hold up because we’d have to cut another interesting section.

Nevertheless, we have a blog now; we release Krista’s interviews in their entirety for you to download. But, this time, I thought Greenblatt’s description of how his grandparents’ flight from Nazi Germany informs his sense of service today was worth isolating.

Even after five years here, I find these long-distance interviews utterly fascinating. Do you like these SoundSeen videos from behind the glass? Are they worth your while?

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Grand CentralKate Moos, Managing ProducerWhen I was a kid, when our household would turn, as it very often did, into a chaotic, bustling place, my mother would make an analogy. Loudly.  There were 6 kids and 2 parents, and, domestic life was chaotic and busy much of the time. This would cause my Mom to announce to the crowd: “This place is like GRAND CENTRAL STATION!”  She was being descriptive and simultaneously issuing a mild warning to settle down.In fact, I grew up in a small town, and nothing there ever resembled Grand Central Station, even remotely.  All the more reason, then, that I took great pleasure, while strolling down the main concourse, in announcing to whomever might be within ear shot, “This Place Is Like Grand Central Station.”

Grand Central
Kate Moos, Managing Producer

When I was a kid, when our household would turn, as it very often did, into a chaotic, bustling place, my mother would make an analogy. Loudly.

There were 6 kids and 2 parents, and, domestic life was chaotic and busy much of the time. This would cause my Mom to announce to the crowd: “This place is like GRAND CENTRAL STATION!” She was being descriptive and simultaneously issuing a mild warning to settle down.

In fact, I grew up in a small town, and nothing there ever resembled Grand Central Station, even remotely.

All the more reason, then, that I took great pleasure, while strolling down the main concourse, in announcing to whomever might be within ear shot, “This Place Is Like Grand Central Station.”

Comments