First-person diaries, sound portraits, and hidden chapters of history from Peabody Award-winning producer Joe Richman and the Radio Diaries team. From teenagers to octogenarians, prisoners to prison guards, bra saleswomen to lighthouse keepers. The extraordinary stories of ordinary life. Radio Diaries is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.
Living with Dying
One year ago, on Valentine’s Day 2020, Peter Fodera’s heart broke. It stopped working. He collapsed in the middle of teaching a dance class. Someone performed CPR, someone called an ambulance. EMT’s showed up and he lay motionless. He technically died that day. But later at the hospital, Peter’s heart started beating again. On the anniversary of Peter’s brief death, he sat down with his daughter Juliana who has Noonan Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. While Peter’s experience of dying and coming back to life may seem miraculous to some of us, it doesn’t to Juliana. By her count, she’s died 21 times.
Music this week from Podington Bear, Blue Dot Sessions, Man Man, and Gotan Project.
Teen Contender: Then & Now
In 2012, Claressa Shields was a 16-year-old boxer in Flint, Michigan. She had an audacious dream: to be the Muhammad Ali of womens boxing. We gave her tape recorder to keep an audio diary as she fought to make it onto the first ever women’s Olympic boxing team.
Claressa is now 25 and fights professionally. With two gold medals and four world championships, she’s achieved her boxing dreams. But with boxing shut down during COVID, she has turned her attention to a different kind of dream. She bought a house. Today on the podcast, we hear Claressa’s original audio diary and bring you an update.
Teen Contender won a Peabody Award in 2012. The follow up story aired on This American Life as part of their 25th anniversary special.
America Vs. America
After the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, we've all been trying to grapple with an event that feels so different from anything we’ve experienced before in this country. But this attack wasn’t the first time the Capitol has been violently breached. History books mention 1814 — when the British army set fire to the Capitol. Less well known is what happened on March 1st, 1954. That’s when four young Puerto Rican New Yorkers launched an attack in the chamber of the House of Representatives.
Support this week from GreenChef, the first USDA-certified organic meal kit company. Use code diaries90 for $90 off and free shipping.
Love from Six Feet Apart (Revisited)
Robert and Wendy Jackson have been socially distancing under the same roof for 8 months. Robert is 71 and had a kidney transplant four years ago. His immune system is severely compromised. His wife, Wendy, is a pediatric emergency room doctor. When the pandemic hit in March, the couple made the difficult decision to live together…six feet apart. We also revisit the audio diary of 11-year-old Francesca Montanaro, who was going to school at her dad’s pizza shop in the Bronx.
Music from Blue Dot Sessions and “Nunca Es Suficiente” by Natalia Lafourcade and Los Ángeles Azules.
Support from AcornTV which is now streaming “A Suitable Boy” from the BBC. Use code “DIARIES” to get a free 30-day trial.
Love at First Quarantine, The Sequel
When the pandemic hit back in March, Gali Beeri and Joshua Boliver decided to quarantine together, after their very first date. Today on the show, we check back in with them — eight months later — to see how a new relationship weathers a pandemic. Their story is part of our series Hunker Down Diaries, stories of people in unexpected situations during the pandemic. You can listen to the whole series on past episodes of the Radio Diaries Podcast.
Music from Blue Dot Sessions, Yo La Tengo, and “Blaze & Sybil's Lullaby” by Alia Shawkat & Ben Dickey.
Support this week from Imagined Life, a podcast from Wondery.
Centenarians (Still) in Lockdown
It’s been 9 months since Joe Newman (107) and Anita Sampson (100) recorded their story about surviving the 1918 pandemic, getting older, and staying in love during lockdown. We’re thrilled to announce they just won a Third Coast Award! We share their story and check in with them in Sarasota, Florida where COVID cases are surging.
Support this week from AcornTV and their new series “A Suitable Boy” from the BBC.
Customer ReviewsSee All
One of my favorites
So we’ll researched and always so good
I highly recommend!!!!!
Beautiful - Please make longer ones!
Honest, beautiful, thoughtful - the diaries episodes are gorgeously narrated, the archival episodes powerfully edited. This show is time capsules and affective oral histories. You will never be disappointed.
My only criticism is that I wish the episodes were longer.
Love at first quarantine was a perfect little pod. The duet at the end was sweet.