2012 Round-up: Catching Us With NPR Stories From The Past Year
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
We do a lot of interviews throughout the course of a year: politicians, economists, musicians, actors, authors, professors.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
But we also talk to people across the country who aren't normally newsmakers because they've done something we find noteworthy and we wanted to ask them all about it.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
How big was your world record setting cabbage?
SCOTT ROBB: 138.25 pounds.
CORNISH: That's Scott Robb of Palmer, Alaska, a champion grower of giant vegetables and fruits, talking with our co-host Melissa Block. Robb's held records for the biggest turnips and kale. And this year at the Alaska State Fair, he set the world record for biggest cabbage.
ROBB: The overall size of the cabbage from outside leaf to outside leaf measured seven feet, three inches.
SIEGEL: Wow, that would make a lot of coleslaw. We decided to call Robb to find out what he'll be growing in 2013. Giant cabbage is once more on the agenda, and he's going back to an old favorite.
ROBB: My first world record was the rutabaga back in 1999. I lost it, regained it, lost it, regained it. Now, a gentleman in Wales has it. And he actually did it with seeds that I made available.
SIEGEL: The key to Scott Robb's success with these giant veggies, Alaska's long summer days with lots of sunlight, as much as 19 hours a day, during the month of June.
CORNISH: In Pasadena, California, one family decided to make the most of the long summer days this year. The Ohs - David, Bryn and their three kids - put themselves on Mars time, meaning they had an extra 40 minutes a day, meaning after three weeks, their daily routines had flip-flopped around the clock.
DAVID OH: We were having lunch at midnight yesterday.
OH: We had lunch at 1 a.m. this morning.
CORNISH: That's David Oh, who needed to be on Mars time to do his job. He's a flight director for the Mars rover.
OH: The biggest reason that we wanted to bring the whole family together on this is because they're joining in the adventure of exploring Mars.
CORNISH: Any adventure of everyday life on a different clock. They went to the beach at midnight. They bowled at 4 a.m., and they had a lot of fun.
SIEGEL: Until school started. The kids went back to Earth time, and Dad stayed on Mars time for two more months.
OH: It was tough. It was definitely tough.
SIEGEL: When we checked in with David Oh, he said toggling between work and family - Mars time and Earth time - left him in a state of continual jet lag. But he thinks being on Mars time as a family was worth it.
OH: We've been a closer together family ever since we did that. We work together better. We actually know each other better. I think we got to appreciate a unique experience together as a family, and the kids enjoyed that.
CORNISH: Finally, we wanted to see how Mrs. Lena Henderson of Buffalo, New York, was doing. She got married in August at the age of 85 to Roland Davis. The man she divorced 48 years ago.
LENA HENDERSON-DAVIS: I never thought that I'd get married again.
SIEGEL: Long story short, they were high school sweethearts, had four children, then divorced after 20 years. Both remarried, he moved to Colorado, and the years went by. They reconnected after one of their sons died. Mr. Davis and his second wife started calling regularly to see how she was doing, and both women became friends. Then last winter, Mr. Davis' second wife died, and his children convinced him to move from Colorado to Buffalo closer to them and their mother. By this spring, Mr. Davis had proposed again to his first wife.
HENDERSON-DAVIS: He said: Would you marry me? I said: What? Would you marry me? I said: Well, hmm. And then I said: Yes, I will.
CORNISH: Mrs. Lena Henderson now goes by Mrs. Lena Davis. In the four months since they've been married, they've both celebrated their 86th birthdays. Mrs. Davis says that after being a widow for so long, it's taken her time to get used to having a husband again. But one of her biggest joys has been watching Mr. Davis getting to know his large, close-knit, close-by family.
HENDERSON-DAVIS: During the birthdays, he had a lot of gifts brought to him, and he just sat up and looked. He said: This is something. And I said: Yep, you missed all that. I said: Now, you can sit down and enjoy because you got your children, your great-grandchildren all around. I don't think we can make it any better, you know? The Lord has been good to us. And he's still being good to us.
SIEGEL: Mrs. Lena Davis of Buffalo, New York, just one of the many noteworthy people we spoke to in 2012. Happy New Year.
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