In honor of Father's Day, we have the story of Bobbie and Steafan Hanvey, a father and son from Northern Ireland. Bobbie is a well-known news photographer and broadcaster there, the longtime host of "The Ramblin' Man" radio program.


BOBBIE HANVEY: I'm very delighted that Sean Garland is my guest tonight. I'm Bobbie Hanvey, "The Ramblin' Man," and as always, you're very welcome to our program.


For over 30 years, in photographs and radio interviews, Bobbie Hanvey has documented life in Northern Ireland. He's captured the faces of poets and priests, inventors and distillers, scholars and Ireland's gypsies - even the homes of Irish ghosts.

WERTHEIMER: His subjects also include some of the turbulent events and polarizing figures of The Troubles: the period of violent upheaval in Northern Ireland's recent past.

MONTAGNE: As a young boy, Steafan Hanvey tagged along with his father to early-morning scenes of violence - the aftermath of bus-bombings and arson-attacks - as well as marches, protests and funerals.

WERTHEIMER: The son is now grown up and an accomplished musician. Ahead of Father's Day, both men spoke to NPR's Coburn Dukehart. With music from Steafan Hanvey, here is their story.


STEAFAN HANVEY: Everybody used to ask me, you know, do you want to be like your daddy when you grow up? From a very early age, I got the impression that, you know, this was somebody very important. My name is Steafan Hanvey. I'm from Down Patrick in County Down, Northern Ireland.

BOBBIE HANVEY: Bobbie Hanvey, Down Patrick, County Down, Northern Ireland. Living through Northern Ireland in The Troubles was a very nervous time. The fact that I was taking photographs of The Troubles and recording the people involved in The Troubles, it did keep me sane because it gave me something else to think about other than myself.


BOBBIE HANVEY: I used to listen to the radio all the time. I had a scanner, and I used to end up in places before the police even got there.

STEAFAN HANVEY: I would hear my dad getting up and running down the stairs. And sometimes, you know, if I heard him, I would meet him in the stairs and he'd say, come on with me here. He'd be out on the way to the aftermath of a fire or a bomb - you know, an explosion that had gone off.


STEAFAN HANVEY: It was exciting, you know. And then I would get up the next morning and go to school. And while all my peers had been sound asleep dreaming, I'd been out on this adventure, you know?


STEAFAN HANVEY: He's an accomplished photographer, radio celebrity, character, eccentric and...

BOBBIE HANVEY: I'm not eccentric.

STEAFAN HANVEY: I was being polite.



STEAFAN HANVEY: I think you're chosen, really, by whatever it is that drives you. In my father's case, his mode of expression was the microphone and the camera. And mine is through singing and writing songs. There's a catharsis involved, of course, in creating all of those things.


STEAFAN HANVEY: I think he is an artist.

BOBBIE HANVEY: No, I'm not an artist. No.

STEAFAN HANVEY: It's my turn.

BOBBIE HANVEY: Art is something that is - it's a repackaging thing and a sanitizing thing, a part of history that wasn't very nice. And it makes it more acceptable to people later on. You know, I just think that they're just photographs of a time that happened, and I was there. I was - if you like, it was like being a sniper. You look through the camera the same way as a sniper looks through a gun. You press the shutter, he presses the trigger, and you hope to get something. You know, I don't think there's much else involved to it. I think it's mainly mechanical. There's no way I could call it art.


BOBBIE HANVEY: Steafan has come through it all right. He's learned the guitar. He can sing great. He can write good songs. I think he's carrying on the torch. If he was in the Olympics, he'd be carrying the torch for me. You live as long as you have to live, and I reckon that I've got five to seven years left. But I really had a great time here in Northern Ireland.


WERTHEIMER: Photographer and radio host Bobbie Hanvey, with his son, Steafan.

MONTAGNE: Steafan Hanvey is now touring the U.S. with his father's work, a show called "Look Behind You: A Father and Son's Impression of Northern Ireland through Photograph and Song." You can see them together, discussing their work, at


THE CORRIB FOLK: (singing) I am a ramblin' Irish man. And Ulster I was born in, and many's a happy hours I spent...

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