On Fathers, For Fathers, By Fathers

June 2002 -- In time for Father's Day, NPR Online editors mined the NPR archives for the best of past broadcasts: classic radio pieces by fathers, about fathers, and for fathers everywhere.

listenSusan Stamberg on Her Father's Voice
Susan Stamberg and her father Since his death more than three decades ago, NPR's Susan Stamberg had not heard the voice of her father Robert Levitt (left, with Susan at age 2). She knew it was on a record somewhere in her home, so she went searching for it -- and found a reminder of her childhood.
June 18, 1999 Expanded coverage

listenOde to a Father's Snoring
"My father's snoring," says reporter Gwen Macsai, "is only one of the many aspects of my parents' long and most-of-the-time-happy marriage that I will probably never understand." For All Things Considered, Macsai captures the sound, and her parents' reflections on it.
April 8, 1992

listenOne Son's Legacy: A Soldier's Letters Home
Sgt. Percy Smith Sgt. Percy Smith (left) fought under Gen. George Patton in World War II -- and was a voluminous letter writer. Smith's son Phil didn't discover the letters until the 1980s, shortly before Percy Smith's death. For Weekend Edition Sunday, the son describes rediscovering his father -- and the whole wartime generation -- through the letters.
May 7, 1995

listen'I Thought My Father Was God'
The National Story Project was born in 1999, when novelist Paul Auster came on Weekend All Things Considered to tell stories and invited listeners to send in their own stories. Many were collected in the book I Thought My Father Was God; the book is named for writer Robert Winnie's submission, which Auster called "one of the best little pieces about childhood I've received."
Sept. 2, 2000

listenFrom Scott Simon's Father, the Gift of Laughs
Scott and Ernie Simon Of all the things that fathers transmit to sons, Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon cherishes one special lesson from comedian Ernie Simon: "the ways in which we can make each other laugh." An NPR classic that has been repeatedly rebroadcast, this tribute features vintage audio of Scott and Ernie Simon (left).
June 17, 2000

listenA Father Ponders the Rituals of Religion, Baseball
Taking his family to a baseball stadium for a spring training game, writer and radio producer Jay Allison discovers that "like in church, tradition is all around you." For All Things Considered, Allison contemplates the "comforting rituals" in both stadium and chapel -- and the allure of each for his children.
April 5, 1993

listen"A Smile Like a Lighthouse by the Sea"
Frank Smart For All Things Considered, NPR commentator Vertamae Grosvenor lovingly remembers her father Frank Smart -- "a country boy who got hip to the city real quick" -- and her blissful outings in the sidecar of his mototcycle.
June 19, 1998

listenA Father's Best Lesson: How to Tell a Joke
NPR Commentator Reynolds Price says his father taught him how to do many things. But perhaps the most memorable lesson, Price tells All Things Conisdered, was how to tell a joke.
Jan. 12, 2000

listenBehind the Counter at Dad's Luncheonette
Dave Breslow From childhood, Peter Breslow went to work on weekends with his father Dave at M. Breslow's and Sons, the Hackensack, N.J., luncheonette run by Dave's father before him. Now an NPR producer, Peter Breslow shares a prized photo of his father (at left with the Phillies King Cheroot Girl) and perspectives gained at the luncheonette, the place where "my dad was at his happiest."
June 19, 1992

listenWatching a Daughter Fly By
When journalist Jon Carroll got his recently graduated daughter a job as house manager to a circus, he never imagined he'd launch a career. Then he found himself slack-jawed on the ground, watching his daughter the trapeze artist.
Nov. 25, 1991

listenA Son's Tribute to 'a Born Ad Man'
John Burnett and his father NPR's John Burnett says that after his father John died in March 1997, "I only brought a few things home with me: I took his hulking old Royal typewriter... the photo of him and me standing arm-in-arm on a fishing pier" (left) -- and two dozen 78 rpm records of music and radio commercials his father made during 40 years in the advertising business.
June 14, 1997

listen'Dad's Moving Out'
When Dan Robb was a toddler, his parents broke up. When Robb hit 30, he realized he still had questions about the breakup -- so he visited both parents, with a tape recorder, to get some answers and share his own thoughts.
June 16, 1996

listenA Totenberg Father-Daughter Duet
Nina and Roman Totenberg For Weekend Edition Saturday, host Scott Simon interviewed eminent violinist and violin teacher Prof. Roman Totenberg -- and capped the interview with a visit from one of the musician's biggest fans, his daughter Nina Totenberg, NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent.
June 22, 1996

listenReuniting a Father with His Family
When Wilma Consul's family moved from the Philippines to California, she "felt like we abandoned" her late father, buried in Manila years before. So in the summer of 1999, NPR producer Consul went to Manila on a mission: to bring her father's ashes back to his loved ones.
June 18, 2000

listenA Father's Hairy Legacy
When it comes to physical features, commentator Gwen Macsai considers herself "the victim of a snowballing set of traits that gather strength as they get passed down." One Father's Day, she grilled her father about one detested trait she says he passed on to her: bountiful body hair.
June 17, 1994

listenPonderings from Paternity Leave
Brian Naylor and his two children NPR's Brian Naylor thought that during two months of paternity leave, he'd repaint the kitchen, maybe learn to bake bread... Then he found out "just how labor-intensive it is to be the parent of an almost-five-month-old." Today he is the father of two girls -- Suzie, left and Lizzie.
January 5, 1992

listenGrowing Up with Gay Parents
Children raised by openly gay parents say they may sometimes have had problems fitting in on the playground -- but they may also have learned valuable life lessons about character and identity. On Talk of the Nation, adult children of gay parents discuss the experiences and issues involved.
Feb. 26, 2002

listenThe Quarterback and His Daughter
For All Things Considered, host Robert Siegel talks with football legend Y.A. Tittle and his daughter Dianne Tittle De Laet about the book she wrote, Giants and Heroes: A Daughter's Memories of Y.A. Tittle.
Dec. 8, 1995

listenDad and Uncle Sam
Every Christmas when writer-producer Jay Allison was young, his father went to a state hospital for the mentally retarded and brought home Allison's Uncle Sam for Christmas dinner. And every year when dinner was done, Uncle Sam rose to sing for the family. On All Things Considered, Allison shared a 1961 recording of the serenade -- and some thoughts about family love.
Dec. 25, 1996

listen'The Coolest Father on the Street'
With the help of a few dusty photographs and some powerful recollections, NPR commentator Marion Winik paints a portrait of her father, from her curly-headed baby days sitting on his shoulder to her last farewell at the funeral home.
May 11, 1992