How do we understand the places we visit (and even the places we’ve never been)? As a shorthand, we use agreed-upon touchstones - famous places, famous people famous foods, and, of course, dreams. Dreamed-up people and dreamed-up places and dreamed-up things. This podcast looks at a culture's icons - real and imagined - to see what they say about the culture itself, as well as the outsiders who've elevated those icons above all others.
Re-Release: The First Thanksgiving
As we hunker down for what will be a very unconventional Thanksgiving, it seemed like the right time to re-release our 2018 episode exploring how the holiday is actually a strange mashup of two distinct celebrations. Whether you're spending this holiday longing for Thanksgivings of old or wondering why on earth this holiday matters so much, this episode is worth checking out.
Sarah Josepha Hale, editress of Godey's Lady's Book, dedicated years of her life to the crusade to make Thanksgiving a national holiday - she was successful. And yet, Reverend Alexander Young wrote one footnote about Thanksgiving, and he may have inadvertently done more to change the history of the holiday (and the history of the Pilgrims). This is the story of the "First" Thanksgiving.
Jaws: Amity Island Welcomes You
This episode, a deep dive into the 45 year old proto-blockbuster that has dominated the conversation in this lost pandemic summer - Jaws.
That deep dive takes us to the island where Jaws was shot, Martha's Vineyard, as well as Nantucket, the nearby island where Jaws might have been shot if snow hadn't forced the ferry Production Designer Joe Alves was on to turn back towards the mainland.
Along the way, we'll meet father and son authors who both turned their off-islander experiences into hit Hollywood movies - We'll consider how Universal Studios Orlando tricked me into thinking Jaws was set in California - We'll reconcile our preconceived notions of the Vineyard as a rich person's playground with the fact that the island was chosen because it was lower-middle class enough to pass for economically vulnerable Amity Island - And we'll celebrate the performances of islanders, with special focus on Lee Fierro's work as grieving mother Mrs. Kintner.
A Tale of Two Bridges (3rd Birthday Special w/ Wade Roush of Soonish)
Iconography started three years ago with two neighboring bridges in the heart of London. Now, for our third birthday, Wade Roush of fellow Hub & Spoke show Sooinsh brings us the story of two Boston bridges, the Longfellow and the Zakim, that share a similar story, though that story has a very different ending. Stick around after Wade's story to hear him and me chat about what makes bridges so iconic and what Spider-Man, Magneto, and Godzilla have to do with it.
The Old Man of the Mountain: A Story in Five Pieces
How does a group of people hold onto an icon when… well, when that icon can no longer be held? In 2003, New Hampshire's state emblem, the Old Man of the Mountain, a massive granite face on a mountainside, crumbled 198 years after he had been discovered. This is his story in five pieces.
Interview w/ Brian Logan, Communications Director of Plymouth 400
In this bonus interview episode, Brian Logan, Communications Director for the Plymouth 400 organization gives us insight into what goes into planning a quadricentenary commemoration.
Transcript here: https://iconographypodcast.com/articles/interview-w-brian-logan-communications-director-s1!677ae
Plymouth Rock: A Pageant
Visitors to Plymouth Rock tend to find the icon... underwhelming - a small, scarred rock in a cage.
Maybe the reason Plymouth Rock is so frequently seen as underwhelming is because all the fascinating stories of how people who love the Rock have hurt it aren’t well known enough. People love telling stories about cool scars! Maybe if we all knew more of Plymouth Rock’s scar stories, visitors would be appropriately whelmed.
Our guest Matt Villamaino certainly thinks so, and so we put on a little history pageant so you could listen in to the long strange history of Plymouth Rock.
Transcript here: https://iconographypodcast.com/articles/plymouth-rock-a-pageant-episode-transcript-s1!4eeff
Customer ReviewsSee All
Enjoyable to listen to, well put together. Charles does great research and is easy to listen to. Full disclosure, I am a guest in the Pymouth Rock episode.
I found this podcast while searching through my suggested podcasts and then clicking 10 times over until seeing something that seemed interesting. IT WAS! Seriously. Charles’ story about the real history of Plymouth Rock told from a variety of perspectives was such an enjoyable hour of listening. I WANT MORE.
Charles does an absolutely impeccable job with this amazing pod