I look forward to listening to This American Life in my studio every week. There's nothing like doing three things that I love to do (sew, drink coffee and listen to good stories) all at the same time. I don't know if you can call this sort of thing multitasking, but I tell you, it feels good.
The first time I heard this story I was quite pregnant. I don't remember what I loved the most... that a young girl from Michigan found such a good pen pal in Manuel Noriega, or that her parents supported and encouraged the correspondence. I had so many expectations of myself, of what kind of parent I'd be. And I liked to imagine that if my daughter decided to begin writing foreign leaders of dubious political intentions, that I, too, could be this supportive.
My Pen Pal
Act One. Who Put the "Pistol" in "Epistolary?"
The story of a ten-year-old girl from small town Michigan named Sarah York, and how she became pen pals with a man who was considered an enemy of the United States, a dictator, a drug trafficker, and a murderer: Manuel Noriega. (41 minutes)
So to hear this story again this week, and not pregnant, was such a treat. And I realized that, maybe, what I liked so much was the fact that the young girl's mother not only made her a new outfit to wear when she'd meet the Panamanian leader, she made one for General Noriega, too. That mom is awesome.