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Moment of Anger Haunts Father

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Moment of Anger Haunts Father

Moment of Anger Haunts Father

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(Soundbite of StoryCorps theme)

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Now to a different kind of a story. Each Friday we hear from StoryCorps, the project that encourages everyday Americans to talk to one another about their lives. Here's how it works. You record a long interview at one of StoryCorps' soundproof booths and talk about anything you want. Often people talk about life-changing events, but sometimes we hear small intimate moments like this one. Eighty-eight-year-old Bob Chase came to StoryCorps with his son, Bob Chase, Jr. In the 1950s they lived in Levittown on Long Island. Bob, Jr. asked his father about being a parent.

Mr. BOB CHASE, Jr.: When you think about your kids, what makes you happy, what makes you sad?

Mr. BOB CHASE, Sr.: Well, I can tell you one of the greatest failings in my life involved you. Constantly in my mind is the fact that I mistreated you over a very stupid incident that occurred when you were young. We lived in Levittown and I'm sure you know the incident, of your not wearing a raincoat to going to a guitar lesson. And I was for some reason incensed and I beat you. And that incident has stayed with me for the rest of my life.

Mr. BOB CHASE, Jr.: You know that, of course I remember that incident. But I wish you wouldn't think of that constantly, because when I think of all the good that you did for me, that just so pales in terms of everything else.

Mr. BOB CHASE, Sr.: I know it happened 50 years ago, but the memory, I can't erase it. It's still there, it's still present in my mind.

Mr. BOB CHASE, Jr.: I've said, and maybe I've never said it to you, but I've said this to many people. If I am good in what I do, no one in the world deserves more credit than you.

Mr. BOB CHASE, Sr.: That means a great deal, and I know that. I really do. I understand that.

Mr. BOB CHASE, Jr.: I'm glad you do, because it's true.

MONTAGNE: Bob Chase, Jr. with his father Bob Chase, Sr. at StoryCorps. Bob, Sr. told us that since having this conversation with his son, the incident no longer haunts him. Their conversation will be archived along with all StoryCorps interviews at the Library of Congress. And you can subscribe to the Podcast at npr.org.

(Soundbite of music)

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