StoryCorps: Father And Son Reconnect On Road Trip After 30 Years At StoryCorps, T. Chick McClure and their father, Chas McClure, remember the road trip that brought them back together after being estranged for almost 30 years.
NPR logo

A Road Trip And Lost Time: How A Father And Son Reconnected After 30 Years

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/902098583/902456191" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
A Road Trip And Lost Time: How A Father And Son Reconnected After 30 Years

A Road Trip And Lost Time: How A Father And Son Reconnected After 30 Years

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/902098583/902456191" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It is Friday, which is when we hear from StoryCorps. For almost 30 years, T. Chick McClure and his father Chas were estranged. But Chick reached out to his dad to change that. Shortly afterward, his dad invited him on a two-week road trip, and they used StoryCorps Connect to reflect on the time that brought them back together.

T CHICK MCCLURE: We had flown into this airport hours apart. I got there first. And then when you called, I was, like, OK. He's here. And I walked to the door of the hotel room, and there was a mirror there as I got a last look at how different I knew I was going to look to you. There was a lot of time between when I was 14 and when we reconnected on that trip...

CHAS MCCLURE: Yeah.

T C MCCLURE: ...Thirty years.

C MCCLURE: Why do you think it took so long?

T C MCCLURE: You know, I know that you are politically conservative.

C MCCLURE: Right.

T C MCCLURE: And I was worried that you might not accept me being transgender.

C MCCLURE: You felt like that would be a bridge too far, really?

T C MCCLURE: Yeah. I was worried about that. But I felt like when I got off the elevator, and we saw each other, we didn't even have to say anything. We connected with our eyes.

C MCCLURE: It was just kind of a momentary shock. And then when I heard your voice, and you smiled, and then we, you know, hugged, and everything just went away.

T C MCCLURE: Yeah.

C MCCLURE: I had a ball on that trip. And a lot of it was just driving around, looking out the window at that beautiful terrain, shooting the breeze, which I really enjoy doing.

T C MCCLURE: And it seemed like we were always on a quest to find the best chicken-fried steak (laughter).

C MCCLURE: Yeah, and I don't think we ever really found the best one, either.

T C MCCLURE: And I've done a lot of thinking about that trip. And part of the reason that it was so great was just that I had been able to be honest with you about who I am, you know?

C MCCLURE: Yeah.

T C MCCLURE: And it was so great to have your acceptance. But also, I felt like, you know, I am accepting you because I feel like I've been kind of rigid with you.

C MCCLURE: As I've gotten older, I've learned that life is full of mysteries. And you know me to be a very religious person. There's many things that we either don't understand or can't understand. And you can't abandon your family. I mean, that's the only link that you have to eternity.

T C MCCLURE: Yeah.

C MCCLURE: You remember when we said our goodbyes in the airport?

T C MCCLURE: I just got emotional - just so emotional because I...

C MCCLURE: Yeah.

T C MCCLURE: I do have regret. What I have regret about is lost time, you know?

C MCCLURE: Yeah.

T C MCCLURE: I have regret about lost time. And when you got on your plane, that really occurred to me very strongly. None of us know, like, what kind of time we've got. But I just want to make what time we have be really connected and talk about real things.

C MCCLURE: Me too. I'll double down on that. That's for sure.

T C MCCLURE: I love you, dad.

C MCCLURE: I love you, too.

(SOUNDBITE OF BLUE DOT SESSIONS' "SAGE THE HUNTER")

INSKEEP: T. Chick McClure talking with his father, Chas. They're hoping to take another road trip after the pandemic. Their conversation will be archived at the Library of Congress along with hundreds of thousands of others.

Copyright © 2020 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.