Homework: Sidekicks

Listeners share their sidekick stories, including a partially sighted woman who describes how her guide dog helped her escape a bear.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

ANDREA SEABROOK, host:

It's Andrea Seabrook. It's NPR's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.

And now it's your turn to talk. It's our homework segment where we ask you to tell your stories. This week - sidekicks, tales of adventure with a trusty friend by your side. Marilyn Kirschner(ph) of Elephant Butte, New Mexico has had three great sidekicks in her life, Baylor, Larissa, and Picket(ph), all of them seeing eye dogs. Marilyn is legally blind, though she can see a little bit and she remembers a camping trip with her first dog Baylor.

Ms. MARILYN KIRSCHNER (Listener): And I went walking and we got to this place that said beaver dam. You know, I get close enough, I can read these signs, but then I saw a sign, nuisance bear in area. And I said, Baylor, we better get out of here. And we start walking back towards the campground down this trail. And, and I heard something thrashing in the forest and he kind of scented on it or something and I thought it was a deer. I said, oh, it's probably just a deer.

SEABROOK: Well it wasn't a deer. It was a bear.

(Soundbite of Bear Growling)

Ms. KIRSCHNER: He knew and we walked real fast going back to the campground away from that one.

SEABROOK: Luckily Marilyn and Baylor survived that adventure and many more together. Sidekicks definitely seem to drive together, judging from your emails and calls.

Kate Chute(ph) of Clinton, New York remembers long drives with her husband while he was learning to play the banjo and the old song "The Erie Canal."

Ms. KATE CHUTE (Listener): I was driving and giving him lyrics and he was playing from here to Ottawa, Canada.

(Singing) Fifteen miles on Erie Canal. And on and on and on.

SEABROOK: Now, says Kate, it's something she remembers fondly about her late husband. Although at the time, she wanted to hit him with the banjo. Janice Surati(ph) of San Luis Obispo, California called into the homework hotline.

Ms. JANICE SURATI (Listener): The very best sidekick adventure that I ever had was going with my sister Gerine(ph) not once but two times to Nebraska to try to find every Nebraska relative we had, living or dead. And we would stop at every cemetery and every tiny little town that had ever any connection to either of our parents or grandparents.

SEABROOK: Janice told us her sister was unstoppable driving and walking for hours, befriending strangers, going to their houses, and in the end it paid off. Those sidekicks finally tracked down the very house and the room where their mother was born. Thanks to everyone for their wonderful stories. Well, this week we want to hear your Olympic memories.

What were you doing when Greg Louganis whacked his head on that diving board? Did you and your friends tumble around for weeks after Nadia Comaneci got the first perfect ten in Olympic gymnastics history? Did an Olympic moment ever become a milestone in your life? Send your stories to Homework@npr.org. Or call the homework hotline: 202-408-5183. Don't forget to give us a callback number.

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