Behind the Stories: Extras from The Moth Radio Hour

September 27, 2012
by The Moth,

The Moth Radio Hour hit airwaves on public radio stations across the country on September 28th.

Fans of the show can stream it on PRX’s website (requires registering for a free account) or search for their local public radio station’s broadcasting time. If your station is not currently carrying the program, consider contacting them and requesting that they air the show. For those of you who have already heard this season of The Moth Radio Hour, please enjoy the special behind-the-stories extras below which you may have heard mentioned on the show.

JUMP TO:  Episode 1206 | Episode 1207 | Episode 1208 | Episode 1209 | Episode 1210


Adam Gopnik

In this episode of The Moth Radio Hour, Adam Gopnik and his wife love cooking but cannot find compromise in their opposite stances on meat: well-done versus rare.

Adam Gopnik, 23, and his wife Martha Parker, 22, on their wedding day August 15, 1981. Photos taken by Blake Gopnik, Adam’s brother.

Adam, 3, with his grandfather, Ellis Gopnik and sister, Alison Gopnik, 5. The photo was taken in February of 1960 by Adam’s mother, Myrna Gopnik.

David Chang

David Chang is face to face with the head of the Michelin guide at his famous restaurant, Momfuko Ko.

David Chang in Ko’s kitchen. Photo credit: Gabriele Stabile.

Lisa Lampanelli

Lisa Lampanelli wants to jumpstart a healthier lifestyle with a visit to a wellness camp, but finds everything about it less than agreeable.

Lisa and Frank D’Amico.

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Faye Lane

Faye Lane is a flight attendant who is taught the meaning of gratitude by a passenger.

Faye Lane during a trip to Costa Rica.

Pha Le

Pha Le is a little boy when his father smuggles him out of South Vietnam.

Pha and his father in 1974 when he was about one year old.  Pha says: “We lived in a comfortable appartment in the resort town of Vung Tau.  My father was a leutenant by this time and had a great place in the officer area of the town.”

Pha and two friends posing in front of the playground put together by UNICEF in Indonesia, 1983.

Pha and his parents in California in 1985. Pha says: “Just the three of us, sharing an apartment with the photographer of this picture and two other men in Pasadena. 5 adults. One child. Two bedrooms. One bathroom.”

Pha’s entire family last year. Pha says: “My wife, my sons, my parents, my brothers and their fiances. All together now.”



Wayne Reece

In this episode of The Moth Radio Hour, Wayne Reece is just starting out as a preacher when a pool hall detour opens his eyes to a whole new world.


Wayne during his time in seminary.

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Flash Rosenberg

Flash Rosenberg’s father takes, “find a penny, pick it up” to a whole new level.

Flash (age 7) with her “dear old Dad.”

Flash with her “dear old Dad” as an adult.

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Erin Barker

Erin Barker learns why her mother’s pregnancy is not good news for her father.

Erin Barker’s baseball cards.

Alvin Hall

Alvin Hall grew up on a small farm on the Florida Panhandle where Viewmaster slides of exotic lands fueled his imagination.

Alvin in 1969 during Yale Summer High School in New Haven on a field trip to the Newport Jazz Festival.

Paul Teodo


Paul Teodo is hitchhiking in Chicago when his hot temper helps him out of a profoundly dangerous situation.

Paul says: “This family picture was taken right around the time my uncle Mike handcuffed me to the radiator. You can probably figure out which person I am. The little kid who looks pissed off. Uncle Mike is right in front of me dark guy with the glasses. A pretty classic Italian family picture to say the least.”

Paul Teodo, at the time of the incident in the story.

Sam Thurman

Sam Thurman’s eyeglasses are knocked off his head at a punk rock concert.

Sam wearing a school girl uniform in his favorite picture from “a crazy time.”

We asked Sam how he ended up at the festival he describes in his story. He wrote:

I was in Japan studying abroad at the Osaka University of Art, a large and not-so-prestigious art school in the Japanese countryside. I didn’t know any Japanese, and suffered from moderate social anxiety, so I spent the first half of the semester sitting in my tiny apartment microwaving instant noodles.

After a month or so I met Chris, a punk rocker from Hong Kong. He was trilingual (Cantonese, English, Japanese) and always had a large backpack that made him look like an anarchist turtle. Chris always said yes to everything. Do you want to stay out all night getting drunk in the red light district? Yes. Do you want to go to a dance battle in a stranger’s apartment in America town? Yes. Do you want to see what a Japanese orgy looks like? Yes.

After a while I started saying yes too (no orgies for me though). And when Chris asked me if I wanted to go on a road trip with him and a grungy hippie girl named Moi I said yes. That’s how I wound up at the Fuji Rock Festival.

Ameera Chowdhury

Ameera Chowdhury is a teenager and thrilled when punk icon Iggy Pop begins to correspond with her.

Ameera’s letter from Iggy Pop.

Ameera’s review of Iggy Pop’s album.

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George Plimpton

George Plimpton escorts an auction winner through the legendary bar and restaurant Elaine’s on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Our favorite books by George Plimpton include Out Of My League: The Classic Hilarious Account of an Amateur’s Ordeal in Professional Baseball and Bogey Man: A Month on the PGA Tour.

Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens is traveling through a small village in Ceylon when his car hits a villager.

Listen to the full length version of Christopher’s story from that night:

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