Oh My Pod

With a road trip on the horizon, I know what’s in store. Podcasts. Lots and lots of podcasts. My co-pilot (well, the pilot…I don’t like driving) is a podcast enthusiast. I personally LOATHE production-heavy podcasts, because the incantation of the peoples’ voices just grate on my nerves like nails on a chalkboard. I prefer the round-table pop-culture discussions, or audiobooks.

Having said that. We’ll be listening to production-heavy podcasts, ones that Dan has been saving just for this trip. Here are our potential listens:

1. S-Town:  JOHN DESPISES HIS ALABAMA TOWN AND DECIDES TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. HE ASKS a reporter to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But then someone else ends up dead, sparking a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life.At 6.5 hours, this will get us to Chicago.

2. Missing Richard Simmons. On February 15, 2014, fitness guru Richard Simmons disappeared. He stopped teaching his regular exercise class at Slimmons, cut off his closest friends, and removed himself from the public eye after decades as one of the most accessible celebrities in the world. Nobody has heard from him – and no one knows why he left. Filmmaker Dan Taberski was a Slimmons regular and a friend of Richard’s. Missing Richard Simmons is Dan’s search for Richard – and the deeper he digs, the stranger it gets.

3. (Not a podcast) The Best Land Under Heaven: The Donner Party in the Age of Manifest Destiny: Cutting through 160 years of mythmaking, best-selling historian Michael Wallis presents the ultimate cautionary tale of America’s westward expansion.

I am on a Donner Party kick, having just read the YA graphic novel “Donner Dinner Party” by Nathan Hale. This newly published book was featured recently on Fresh Air, and it’s just the thing to give me a meatier version (sorry) of such a fascinating story.

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