This Is Love

Ashton Edwards dancing the role of Dewdrop in "The Nutcracker," wearing a seafoam green short tutu with rhinestones and a sparkly tiara. Dancers in the background wear long orange and pink tutus.

Episode 78: The Pointe Shoes

Episode #78

2023-11-15 05:00:08


Growing up, Ashton Edwards spent hours watching videos of famous ballerinas. Ashton loved the ballet “Swan Lake” – especially the role of the Swan Queen. But they noticed that only female dancers danced that role, and got to dance on pointe.  One day, years later, they decided to put on a pair of pointe shoes anyway.
Black and white photo of the front of an apartment building with the words Barbizon Hotel on the awning. A woman carrying a stack of papers is walking away from the front door.

Episode 77: The Barbizon Hotel

Episode #77

2023-11-01 05:00:11


In its early days, the magazine Mademoiselle positioned itself as “the magazine for smart young women.” It published work by Truman Capote, Albert Camus, and Flannery O’Connor. Each summer, the magazine selected 20 women from colleges around the country to come to New York and work as guest editors. For housing, they were put up in a women-only hotel at East 63rd and Lexington Avenue: The Barbizon Hotel. Historian Paulina Bren says: “The Barbizon was a sanctuary."
Jean Westcott wears a “Jeopardy!” hat and holds up a pen. Jean has long brown hair underneath a dark baseball cap. The baseball cap features the “Jeopardy” logo in white letters.

Episode 76: The Contestant

Episode #76

2023-10-18 05:00:51


After Jean Westcott's first "Jeopardy!" audition, she waited 18 months to find out if she'd be on the show. She didn't get called, so she auditioned again. And again. She kept auditioning for over 20 years.
A painting of Jules and Julianne Hirsch, by Tobi Zion. Jules and Julianne are seated side by side. Julianne has short dark hair, and is wearing glasses and a black shirt and jacket. Jules is slightly taller, with no hair on the top of his head and a whitish-gray beard. He is wearing a gray button-down shirt with a red bowtie and red suspenders. They are seated in front of pink flowers and green leaves.

Episode 75: Here I Am

Episode #75

2023-10-04 05:00:40


Julianne Hirsh celebrated her second bat mitzvah in June, at age 83. “It’s a marker of, well, here I am. I’ve lived this long, and so I’m here before you saying that.”
A Herdwick sheep stands in a barn staring at the camera.

Episode 74: Beatrix Potter and Her Sheep

Episode #74

2023-09-20 05:00:21


“It's all about finding the place that makes you happy, finding the life that makes you happy, and not worrying that other people make different choices.”
A photo of a conductor's legs standing on a podium. The conductor is wearing a suit and holding a baton, and on his feet are hobbit slippers - hairy feet with toes. The podium has the letters "RTOOT" on the sides.

Episode 73: A Really Terrible Orchestra

Episode #73

2023-09-06 05:00:48


Where it’s perfectly good to sound bad.
Photograph of wolves walking across snow in a line. Pine trees and cottonwood trees are in the background.

Episode 72: The Wolves

Episode #72

2023-08-23 05:00:08


We go searching for wolves in Yellowstone National Park, and learn about the dramatic and surprisingly relatable relationship between a powerful young wolf and the small, elderly wolf who had raised him.
A faded illustration in earth tones of three beehives -- likely woven baskets, or skeps, positioned in a row on a slightly elevated wooden slab. Large bees are depicted crawling in and out of small rectangular entrances to the hives, and they also spread evenly across the area above the hives, filling the sky.

Episode 71: Telling the Bees

Episode #71

2023-08-09 05:00:39


For a long time, beekeepers have told bees their news. They’ve told their bees about weddings, and when people they know have died. It’s said that if they don’t, the bees will leave their hives, or stop making honey, or die.
A black and white photo of Yla Eason behind her young son, Menelik Puryear. They are both smiling and Yla has her arms around Menelik. Menelik is holding a Sun-Man action figure.

Episode 70: Sun-Man

Episode #70

2023-07-19 05:00:19


After Yla Eason’s three-year-old son told her he couldn’t be a superhero because he wasn’t white like his He-Man toys, she looked for a Black action figure for him. When she couldn’t find one anywhere, she decided to make one herself.
A grass tennis court surrounded by a white and green picket fence. In the foreground is a sign that reads “4,090 miles, Wimbledon.” Behind the tennis court is a British flag, tall white wind turbines, and corn fields.

Episode 69: Wimbledon in a Cornfield

Episode #69

2023-07-05 05:00:02


Mark Kuhn grew up in Iowa in a family of corn farmers. When he was 10 years old, he heard a BBC broadcast of the Wimbledon finals. He couldn’t stop thinking about it — he would daydream about tennis while doing his chores. And one day, he got an idea. “I’m looking at this cattle feedlot when I realized, ‘This is just about the right size for a tennis court.’”
A photo of two men smiling while looking at the camera. They are standing, slightly facing each other, holding hands. One man is wearing a white suit and the other man is wearing black pants and a red, white and black floral suit jacket. Both men are wearing bowties and have facial hair.

Episode 68: At Brown’s Barbershop

Episode #68

2023-06-21 05:00:37


Brown’s Barbershop in Athens, Georgia, has been in business for more than 60 years. One day, Everett Long went in for a haircut. Fred Smith was getting his hair cut in the next chair. All of a sudden, Everett’s barber said: “I think you should meet.”
Dozens and dozens of gravestones, spread out in every direction, at the Hartsdale Pet Cemetery. Some of the graves are made out of gray stone and some have a red tint. They’re all different shapes and sizes. One of the graves in the foreground has an engraving of a dog’s face, with the inscription: “Ellis, 2004-2014.” Another gravestone reads, “Skipper, 1968-1981. Our baby, faithful loving.”

Episode 67: Fajita, Tamale, Clarence, and Blague

Episode #67

2023-06-07 05:00:49


“Our Sydney. Died Sept 4, 1902. Born a dog. Lived like a gentleman.” A story about the oldest pet cemetery in the country.
A photograph of a small white wind-up bunny toy, next to a photograph of a photograph of that same bunny pictured in the desert in Iran.

Episode 66: Museum of Broken Relationships

Episode #66

2023-05-24 05:00:13


When Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić broke up, some of their shared possessions felt too painful to keep. “We were kind of imagining the space where these objects could have their own life, and where they could keep the memory of that love, which is no longer there, somehow ignited, living.”
A black and white old photo of TV meteorologist Tom Skilling gesturing to a weather map behind him, with weather fronts and the word "cool" drawn on it. He is wearing a light colored suit with "WGN" and a "9" on a patch.

Episode 65: The Weatherman

Episode #65

2023-05-10 05:00:50


“He loves the clouds, the wind, the sky. He wants you to love them too.”
In an old photo, two young Filipino men stand in front of microphones, singing. Spanky Rigor is on the left, grinning at the audience while he sings. His bandmate is also singing while playing a guitar. The men have shoulder length hair and mustaches and wear button down shirts.

Episode 64: Punch the Moon

Episode #64

2023-04-26 05:00:53


Growing up, Albert Samaha knew his uncle Spanky Rigor had been a musician in the Philippines, but it wasn’t until Albert was an adult that he realized how famous his uncle really was.
Two golden retrievers, Sampson and Baylor lay on a rock mountain top, under a cloudy blue sky.

Episode 63: Sampson and Baylor

Episode #63

2023-04-12 05:00:54


A story about two golden retrievers.