The Summer of Complete Contentment

July, 2001 -- Whether you spent it roasting marshmallows at a camp in the country, dashing in and out of the sprinkler, or heading off for foreign lands, there's nothing quite like the anticipation of -- or the memories of -- a great vacation.

Every Tuesday in July, NPR special correspondent Susan Stamberg talks with several people: Disney chief Michael Eisner, Geraldine Ferraro, soprano Sumi Jo, author Andrew X. Pham, and kayakers Jason Hale and Dixie-Marree Prickett about their favorite holiday experiences.

Michael Eisner, 1956
Disney head Michael Eisner hiking with friends at Camp Keewaydin in 1956
(Photo courtesy Camp Keewaydin)

July 3 - Disney's Michael Eisner
With a corporate environment that includes theme parks, cruise ships, movie studios, and TV networks, Disney chairman and CEO Michael Eisner has no shortage of vacation opportunities. Eisner says while he's not discouraging anyone from having a Disney holiday experience, his most memorable vacations were spent in rustic pursuits at Camp Keewaydin in Salisbury, Vermont. What he got from the camp were "all the things that you have to take with you through your whole life."

to the interview.

Mondale-Ferraro 1984
Ferraro for vice president campaign button
(From the collection of NPR's Ken Rudin)

July 10 - Geraldine Ferraro
History was made in the presidential election of 1984. Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale made an unprecedented choice: he picked a woman, Geraldine Ferraro, as his running mate. It was the first time a woman had been nominated for vice president of the United States by a major party. Ferraro -- a three-term member of the House from Queens, New York -- was 48-years old that year.

to the interview.

Soprano Sumi Jo
Korean-born coloratura soprano Sumi Jo
(Photo: Thierry Cohen)

July 17 - Sumi Jo
Soprano Sumi Jo left her home town of Seoul at the age of nineteen to study piano and vocal music at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome. Only a year after graduating, she came to the attention of conductor Herbert von Karajan, who invited her to sing Oscar in Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera. In a conversation with Susan Stamberg, she talks about the summer of her discovery by the legendary conductor.

to the interview.

Andrew X. Pham
Author Andrew X. Pham
(Photo © Timothy Archibald)

July 24 - Andrew X. Pham
Pham is a journalist, Vietnam native and U.S. citizen who lived through Saigon's fall, escaped Vietnam with his family in a boat, and spent his teenage years assimilating into American culture in Northern California. His recently published book, Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam is Pham's tale of revisiting his homeland. Pham talks with Stamberg about the summer of his trip.

to the interview.

Aug. 1 - Jason Hale and Dixie-Marree Prickett have been dating for three years. Jason Hale is a travelling neuro-trauma nurse, and Dixie-Maree is a kayak instructor and sometimes waitress. Both of their careers are portable, which is a good thing. In early June, they left their home in Asheville, N.C., packed 20 kayaks on top of their RV, and hit the road in search of perfect places to paddle. So far, they've gone from Washington, D.C., to Colorado. NPR's Susan Stamberg caught up with them on the Hood River in Oregon to find out how their summer was going.

to the interview.