Packing Up Old Memories At NPR

As NPR changes headquarters in Washington, D.C., and moves to a new building, a few hosts reflect on the mementos they've accumulated over the years.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Here at NPR, we've been doing a bit of excavating, too. Today's show is our last at our current headquarters in Washington, D.C. We've been working in this building since 1994. And in that time, we've all managed to accumulate a lot of treasure and a lot of trash.

With any move, it's not very easy to pare down. Especially not for some of the NPR hosts we caught packing up.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

OK, it's almost all out of here.

I'm Linda Wertheimer. I've been here for a very long time. They've already told me that I can't take my Barcalounger. What kind of a deal is that? For a person who works nights, as I do, you know, needs a little place to curl up.

(LAUGHTER)

WERTHEIMER: But you can see all these bookshelves were just full and, in many cases, with double layers of books. And taking it apart, you know, just, ugh, so sad. I decided I'd take the poetry to the new office. I figure I may need some poetry.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I do not want to move a book from one room to the next. I hate moving. It messes up my flow.

This is Michel Martin, I'm host of TELL ME MORE. I'm not being the model of cheerful acceptance that I hoped to be. I'm sorry - I'm just telling you that's how it is. Those press passes are definitely going. But these go back to, you know, prehistoric times. Like, I have a press pass here from election night, 1988. That's definitely coming with me.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC AND RUSTLING PAPER)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Oh, wow. Yeah, salad, mango, empanadas, Ecuador, short ribs - no clue.

I'm David Greene from MORNING EDITION and we're standing in my office, which is a giant mess and I'm going to have to start going through all this stuff...

(LAUGHTER)

GREENE: ...and figuring out what to throw away and what to bring over to our new, glorious building. But since MORNING EDITION moves over last, I have a little more time, which is awesome.

This is a Guinness Extra Stout coffee mug and you can see the coffee residue right there from my lips. That's really kind of unpleasant.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Let's put it this way, if I were on death row and I'd been there for like 25 years, and they came to me and said: Good news, Mr. Simon, the governor of Illinois has pardoned you. I'd go, oh, that's gr-- wait a minute, does this mean that I have to pack? It's been painful. Been painful.

My name is Scott Simon and nobody can quite figure out what I do here.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC AND PAPER CLIPS)

SIMON: A little tray that holds paper clips that I got from the Professional Bowlers Association of America.

(SOUNDBITE OF PAPER CLIPS)

SIMON: I can't let go of this.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Hi, I'm Audie Cornish, host of ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I've been given four crates but so far I think I'm only going to use two. So priorities, my very elaborate three-hole punch - I'm very committed to organization and...

(LAUGHTER)

CORNISH: ...things like that. And my own Clorox wipes 'cause I have issues.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GUY RAZ, HOST:

These are old clothes.

My name is Guy Raz and I'm the host of the TED RADIO HOUR on NPR. My favorite thing is this chair. It was a chair that was owned by Dan Schorr. My first job at NPR was Dan's assistant. He used to work in this chair. And when he died, his wife, Lee, asked me if I would like his chair. And I got special permission to bring this chair to the new building because we're not allowed to bring any furniture. But there was an exception made for this chair 'cause it was Dan's chair.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm almost all packed.

I'm Robert Siegel. I'm one of the hosts of ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I have been for a very long time - that's my main virtue, is simply enduring. I'm eager to take what I assume will be my last move at NPR.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIEGEL: This is kind of a very hip clock from Dwell magazine. It's so hip it only has a five. That's the only number on it.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIEGEL: This is a sort of a Chinese ceramic and I think Scott Simon gave this to me. And so, right now, I'm trying to figure out what I could do, 'cause my wife would never let me take that home. This was on the bottom of one of my file cabinets. It's the - it's a vinyl LP of Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I'M NOT A JUVENILE DELINQUENT")

FRANKIE LYMON & THE TEENAGERS: (Singing) No-no-no-no, no-no-no-no-no-no...

SIEGEL: I'll probably take the Frankie Lymon album with me. I'm not ready to part with that one yet.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I'M NOT A JUVENILE DELINQUENT")

FRANKIE LYMON & THE TEENAGERS: (Singing) No-no-no, I'm not a juvenile delinquent. Oh, wah-oh wah-oh wah-oh wah-oh wah...

MARTIN: As for me, my office is empty. Desk is cleared except for an unopened bottle of Blue Moon beer one of our producers gave me pretty soon after I started this job. And well, I am running out of room in these boxes, so here goes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BOTTLE OPENING)

MARTIN: Here's to the history in these halls and another new beginning.

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I'M NOT A JUVENILE DELINQUENT")

FRANKIE LYMON & THE TEENAGERS: (Singing) You need not be blue. And life is what you make of it. All depends on you. I know because I'm not a juvenile delinquent...

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