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April 1, 2019
10. Corrections
While going through our father’s files after the funeral, Sam finds stunning information about Dad’s ancestry that bounces crazily off of our mother’s. But Dad had altered his legacy. Also, his overt appreciation of my daughters has a healing effect.
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18 min
March 28, 2019
Bonus Episode: A Preface To Revelation
Dad's presence would be more keenly felt after the revelations that followed his funeral...
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11 min
March 25, 2019
9. The Ice Storm
I regret missing Woodstock, and resolve to tune in, turn on and drop out. Soon, all but one of us have left or been expelled from school. Dad melts down, then rebounds and moves his family to New York, marking the end of our childhood.
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32 min
March 21, 2019
Bonus Story: Drug Reboot
You really want to smoke pot? It's strong as f**k these days!
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6 min
March 18, 2019
8. Strange Land
Just as Papa Harper dies of alcoholism, Dad gets promoted and moves his reluctant family to the east coast. Billy and Diana and I go to college, seeking sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll, while the younger three are miserable in their new home.Just as Papa Harper dies of alcoholism, Dad gets promoted and moves his reluctant family to the east coast. Billy and Diana and I go to college, seeking sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll, while the younger three are miserable in their new home.
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32 min
March 14, 2019
Bonus Story: What We Wore
You could just hear their golf clubs rattle as their parents realized their daughters were sleeping with hippies.
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5 min
March 11, 2019
7. Faith
JFK’s assassination in ‘62 marks a sea change. I lose faith, while big sister Diana finds it, and marches for civil rights. My brothers commit a string of petty crimes, and Billy becomes the first to push back against Dad’s anger.
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30 min
March 7, 2019
Bonus Story: Dancing School
I had crossed a threshold, and Mom was on the other side.
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5 min
March 4, 2019
6. Survival
By 1962, my little brothers emulate their father’s work ethic while they fear his unpredictable rages. But the Cuban Missile Crisis makes us aware of greater dangers in the world outside our home.
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28 min
February 28, 2019
Bonus Story: Colorado
As was customary in our family, I opted out of confrontation in favor of the harbor-resentment-for-life plan.
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6 min
February 25, 2019
5. The Grandfather Report
Mom comes from a long line of ministers, and the goodness persists in the Emery family. The actions of Dad’s father, Papa Harper, also echo those of his forebears, but goodness has nothing to do with it.
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38 min
February 21, 2019
Bonus Story: Love and Crime
“I got interested in boys then. Not so much for romance as for a Billy surrogate, when he was out raising hell."
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6 min
February 18, 2019
4. Winnetka
In ‘56, we settle in Winnetka. When, in July, Mom gives birth to twin baby boys, Dad’s temper rises like the temperature does. But he keeps us in his thrall with signs of love.
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34 min
February 14, 2019
Bonus Story: Housework
“The trouble with being a stay-at-home mom, wasn’t that the work was so hard, but that it was so unvalued.”
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5 min
February 11, 2019
3. Wishing
My twin brother Billy and I are close pals. In spite of our fear of our angry father, we each wish he would shine his love light on us. The arrival of an adorable baby sister does not help our cause.
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33 min
February 7, 2019
2. Mom and Dad
A Marine (Dad) and a nightclub singer (Mom) are married in 1946. By 1950 they live in a Chicago suburb with three babies. Dad starts his career in advertising, while my mother struggles with being a stay-at-home mom. Dad shows an unexpected angry side, which Mom attributes to PTSD.
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30 min
February 4, 2019
Bonus Story: The Joke
“Memory is tricky after all. It can morph over time, and events get reimagined.”
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5 min
February 4, 2019
1. Introduction
My family and I attend Dad’s funeral in ’13. As I listen to my siblings’ eulogies that extol his virtues, I note how our memories of childhood differ. But what we’ll all discover some days later is an awful piece of our history that none of us can change, misremember, or deny.
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14 min
January 28, 2019
Trailer: The Unexpected
WINNETKA is a ten-episode memoir by actress Jessica Harper. She narrates her story of growing up in the fifties and sixties in a six-kid household in Winnetka, Illinois. You might expect a tale of an idyllic childhood. But when you meet the Harper family, you meet the unexpected…
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3 min
November 5, 2018
Introduction to WINNETKA
WINNETKA is a ten-episode memoir by actress Jessica Harper. It tells her story of growing up in a six-kid household in Winnetka, Illinois, in Eisenhower’s postwar America. It seems like an idyllic time and place, but the children are dominated by an angry father, rocked by cultural change, and ultimately stunned by a long-held family secret…
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1 min
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