The Moth Radio Hour: A Bust, a Candy Bar, and Chad Everett
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Save twenty percents off your order by entering encode moth at checkout that Sun Soil Dot Com Promo Code Moth for twenty percents off your order. Hey moth listeners. As we enter this holiday season. We're extra thankful thankful for you with your support of the moth. You're helping create a kinder more empathetic world. One story at a time from this is the moth radio hour. I'm Jennifer Hickson from them off and I'll be your host his time. At the moment we ask people to share their most personal stories. Live in front of strangers in this hour will hear about a little girl who believed a single chocolate bar was the cause of her family's greatest anguish a documentary filmmaker who got caught up chasing in someone else's dream and this first story about a mother who loved her son so much she had him immortalized in clay. J. Martell is a writer from California when he he pitched this story to me. I was hooked from the very first line. Here's Jay live at the back when I was eighteen years old. My mother paid a sculptor to make a clay bust of my head strangely enough. I don't remember thinking. There was anything bizarre about the head but the the head is definitely bizarre. It's it's big. It's slightly larger than life size and incredibly heavy forty pounds of solid brown. Clay also has this these flowing Peter frampton locks and the smug expression expression that I wore through most of my teens. Imagine a bust of Alexander. The great looking really judgmental and really really really high to me. It's a reminder of everything unlikable about me at that age it's mirror existence. Assistance is a monument to my youthful self-absorption in narcissism. I never liked the head. After it was made my I went off to college and then moved to New York to try to make it as a writer. My mother spent the next twenty five years moving the head around. I'm from place to place through three different marriages nine different houses and apartments and they never really thought about the head until a few years ago my wife and I were visiting my mother and her third husband my stepfather Stuart and we're chatting amicably in the living room and then I suddenly noticed that over there on the bureau where my head used to be there was nothing there and I asked my mom about it and she said that Stewart were found the head mildly disturbing and then she moved into the garage and that. Since I'm here I might as well take it home with me conveniently forgetting that I never like the head to begin with so I walk into the garage and we look around and their next to the weed. whacker there's this big brown cardboard box mark neatly with black sharpie on the side. J. 's head my mother's very organized and and we opened it up and look down and it and sure enough my head looking up at US still eighteen still smug and I turned to my wife and say joking so you want it and she says a little too quickly you know which is the right answer answer right I mean why would I want to be in a relationship with someone who liked my creepy Klay head but I still couldn't help it feel rejected. It's like a piece of me and my mother's garage that nobody wanted a mutant child in the basement. Anyway we we left the head in the garage Raj then two years after that. My mother in store got divorced and it was very acrimonious and she moved out of the house they shared right and she called me afterward and said you know. There's some things that I wasn't able to take with me in the move and you should feel free to pick them up if you want them. I said like what she said like those paintings aunt Lorna gave us. I don't need anymore art mom and also you know the big Fan your head the box of Christmas ornaments ornament second. You left my head in Stewart's garage and I instantly had these fantasies Hennessy's of Stewart channeling all his rage against my mother into the clay bust of me as an eighteen year. Old smashing it to smithereens with a nine or sliding off his roof and watching it smash on the sidewalk covering it with female dog hormone and putting it out on the sidewalk doc. Anyway I figure that's it. I mean that's the good news I don't have to worry about. They had anymore except my stepfather. Didn't destroy in fact thinking he was doing me a favor one day. He drives it uh in his car over to my dad's house and leaves it there so I get this call late one night out of the blue and Jayjay. It's Dad Dad stood came by with your head earlier today and we were wondering when you're gonNA come by and pick it up of course at this point I'm thinking like this is like my monkey's paw it's like the head that won't go away and I tell him. I got a lot of work right now. I can't just drop everything and go up and pick up the head. Can he just hold onto it for a while and he says you know your stepmother and I are really trying to reduce clutter in our home. I think we both really appreciate it if you've got it as soon as possible. Now this rejection of the head hurts me more than any of the other head rejections more than my wife. Scott Scoffing at the mere idea of taking it home where my my wife leaving leaving. It interacts husband's garage might leaving interacts husband's garage. Because my father left us when when I was ten and as a result his approval approval has always been something that I desired more than anyone else's. And because it's been so elusive and so this really sticks with me and I say dad this this is gonNA sound completely ridiculous but hurts my feelings that you don't want my head and he says I know exactly what you mean and I think this is great. We've reached this whole new level of father son understanding thing and then he says there's a painting of me in the downstairs closet that nobody wants and I know immediately the painting he's talking about. It's it's a portrait that my grandmother had made of him when he was twenty many years old. She had it hanging over her fireplace until she died. And and I don't want it you know and so so it seems like we've reached this standoff right where neither one of us wants to take each other's crappy art so I say look at do whatever you want with it. Okay throw it away. I can't deal with it and I I hang up the phone and I go to sleep and I have a very fitful nicely tossing and turning and I wake up the next morning. I think you know I'm going to go get that head and I I'm GonNa Drive to my dad's and get in my rationale is if somebody's GonNa throw this thing away. It should be me and so I get up there and by the time get my dad's already put it in his basement and to get into the basement in my dad's house. There's this little door the back of the house. You have to crouch down to kind of get through the door and I do that. Go in there and I'm in the basement and there's the head staring smugly at the water heater and I go over and I pick it up and it's kind of Stephen Heavier than I remember. It's like it gets its gravity from Jupiter or something. It's really really ways a lot kind of carrying it across recipes and I hunched down to get back through that little door in part of my spine just Goes Ping. It's just like my back. Just said screw it. I hate you die. I and I stagger out of this door in into the sunlight blinded by pain and smack. My head might my actual head on this tree branch and and and I drop it drop and for a moment I think thank God I'm free. It's it's over but then I looked down and the head is perfectly intact. It's like I don't know it's made of Kryptonite hip tonight or something staring up at me with that Smirk at saying to me your old. Who'd pick it up and I put it in the car and my first impulse go straight to the nearest dumpster or garbage can throw it away? But no there's just something about imagining the head pilot under these dirty diapers and coffee filters and banana peels. I mean it is kind of still me as an eighteen year old. I've got to figure what to do with it so I take it home and walk in the House and they put it on the kitchen counter and I hear this low under growling and look down on my dog. Walter is glaring at the head all the hair on his back standing on in. I've never heard a noise like this. I mean this is. It's like it's like that scene in the omen when the animals crazy on the devil child and he's been my wife walks in she goes. Hey what are you doing that wrong. It away I guess she was. Okay walks out and I wanted to say no. Don't throw that away. That's that's a valuable family treasure. That's a part of your history. I am so desperate for one person person to like my head which is crazy because I don't like it and it's meager so I call my mom I figure if I can figure out why the head was made in the first place I can figure out what to do with it now so I call my mom and I asked her and she says well. You're leaving home home and I was surprised how much that upset me and your dad left you were. You're my anchor. You the only person I could count on and I thought that maybe having a piece of you would would help me get through that time and it did and at some point. I just didn't need it anymore. And then she adds. It's very heavy so what I got from. This is that the head is the product of a really difficult time in and my family's life and my mother basically dealt with my father leaving by creating a cult of personality with with me as a personality in hers the Colt and finally she been able to leave which is a good thing right. I mean ulcer very hard to leave and and my wife and my dad had never been part of the coal which is also a really good thing. Although to be honest I wish my dad had done spent a couple of years at the shrum. I don't think I really understood. They had fully though until a few months after that. Call when I when our daughter Cleo was born and I realized when I held her that I'd I started my own cult. Basically it was happening to me. heedlessly and recklessly loved this individual individual for no other reason than than she was alive and as for the head I found a place for it in my garage between some fertilizer and a a bag of dead batteries. I think I've finally come to accept my place in a long chain of children destined to hold onto crappy. The art commissioned by their parents. CLEO's going to have it a lot easier though we're going to keep her head digital mix six. That was J. Martell. He's a comedy writer and won an Emmy for his work on the comedy. Central show key in Peel. The also works in print and you may have read him in the New Yorker spy or rolling stone. You can also check out his novel channel. Blue to see a picture of J with Jay's head go to our website the off dot org personally. I think the head is Kinda cute and we'll be tempted to buy it at garage sale when we come back a child's burden of guilt carried for over forty The more radio hour is produced by Atlantic public media in Woods Hole Massachusetts and presented by PR X.. Gleam is a new kind of electric toothbrush with a sleek minimalistic realistic and cordless. Operation Gleam is designed to be functional beautiful and accessibly priced. It uses sonic technology to produce. Just right Bristle. Missile vibrations for a gentle effective clean gleam retails at just twenty five dollars and every order from gleam dot com ships free to learn more head to gleam dot com slash moth. That's G. L. E. M. dot com slash M. O. T. H.. The real real is the leading reseller seller for authenticated luxury consignment consign. Men's and women's luxury fashion fine jewelry watches art and homegoods. The real real makes it easy with their your free white glove service. In store drop off or from home shipping thinks sustainably consign with the real real today and earn up to eighty five percent commission. And I love looking at the real real for their winter wardrobe inspiration. They have great deals on vintage and designer coats this month received site credit when you consign ten or more autumn's authentic sustainable luxury only at the real real dot com. This is the moth radio hour from PR ex. I'm Jennifer Hickson. This next story is from Alexandra. Roses who first discovered on the moth pitch line. She's from the Milwaukee area but told this story for us at a show in Oklahoma. Here's Alexandra Sandra live at the mall. It's Thanksgiving nineteen sixty five. I'm barely five. Years Old. And my family has just immigrated to the United States from Columbia South America Array. It gets it's better. My mother wants to assimilate quickly and she hits the ground running. I mean her. English is strong strong and she gets a good job right away. My father spends his Sunday afternoons at Brown Deer Park. It's a bicycle race track and my brother or my father. Has This beautiful beautiful silver Cinelli bike. It's the only thing that he's brought from Columbia with them and he races there now. My mother wants to do what all Americans are doing on that day. She wants to celebrate Thanksgiving. My father doesn't understand but when my mother asks him to go to the store and get groceries he does as he's he's about to leave. I hear them having allowed discussion something about his job. Now I love my father but with five brothers and sisters sisters I have to find a way to get him the myself so I become his voice his translator and he takes me everywhere. We're getting ready to go. And I'm so excited because Aaron date with my father means that I get them to myself and we also both get our special treat we stop at a tavern now before you start feeling sorry for me. I'm from a walkie. Wisconsin you take your kids to taverns and in the sixties. There's a tattoo on every corner and their places feel more like living rooms than anywhere else and they have fantastic names like chuck's place Georgia's Georgia on the tracks Ted in Betty's my favorite the office because you can lie about where you are but you're still telling the truth so I love that place. I love taverns. My Dad gets his special sial. Treat a tap beer and I get my full-size Hershey. Candy Bar now in a house with six kids. Candy bars don't happen especially full-size candy bars and if a candy bar does come into our house. It's divided into six pieces. Six teeny we tiny pieces one for every kid but not an errand day so we go to the store and I'm flying through through it and I know where everything is and come on Papa. Come on because I want to get to that tavern we go up to check out like we usually do but this time time something happens. My Dad reaches in his pocket to get his wallet but then he puts his wallet back in and and we have to leave our groceries. There now I don't understand what's happening but as long as the tavern happens. I don't care if we have food at at home and I also want to question it because I want to get to the tavern so we get to the car and we're driving and I'm hoping hoping hoping that we get to the tavern when I see my dad's slowdown in front of a white sign with black letters with a picture of a typewriter underneath. I know we're at the office. And so my dad parks the car and he takes my hand and we walk in inner. Our usual plan is take off my coat. He sets me up on the bar and I smelled this wonderful yeasty smell of beer and I love the whole dim light in the way the sunlight barely comes in and the dust motes are swirling in the air and there's all this yeast from beer. I love it so we sit down at the bar. My Dad orders tap beer and I'm waiting for him to give me the clue to ask for my candy bar but he doesn't say anything so I lean in closer and I say we do say Papa Obama Candy but he just takes this long pull on his cigarette and he doesn't see anything so I have to give boulder. Uh Poppy me chocolate. Nothing he says nothing. There's an older man nursing his beer. He's up a few barstools stools away and I see that he's watching us. The older man motions to the bartender to get me a candy bar so the bartender reaches from behind Hind and he sets the candy by right next to me and it sits between me and my dad. Now I stare at the Brown rapper. The first this thing the number one rule that every kid learns growing up is never take candy from a stranger. I know what I'm about to do is wrong but I take that candy bar. I keep my eyes down on my lap and UNWRAP it and I shoved it into my mouth as fast as I can and I don't look up because if I look up I know my father is going to make me stop eating it in. I am not taking this candy bar home to share. So this chocolate wads up up in the back of my throat like a piece of peanut butter and I keep waiting for my dad to say something but he says nothing instead he just sets. That's his full glass of beer down on the bar. He lifts me off the counter. He helps me put my coat on. We walk out now drive. Have home total silence. And all I feel is chocolate balled up in the middle of my chest. We get to my house. I know he's is not going to come in. He leans behind me. He pops open my car door and I slide out. I walk up the front steps to my house and I stand in the Front Porch and I watched my dad drive away in a house full of six kids. It's it's easy to get lost so I walk into my house and I disappear. It's getting late and we're all watching waiting waiting for my dad to come home. It's Thanksgiving my brother and I are standing in the front window. Watching in. The Sky is turning blue black by then. My Mother is on the a sofa. She's nursing my two month old baby sister. My grandmother is in the kitchen with my little brother and my uncle is sitting next to my mom the SOFA. Now as I'm looking out the window this this icy blue light comes in and I look at my brother now now. This light makes him look like. There's this lightbulb turned on inside of them. And I'm so surprised and I asked my brother Pacheco. Don't you think it's weird. Didn't you always think that the light from a police car would look read up close in that blue and I turn around to ask. Ask My uncle about this but my uncle has made this huge leap from the so foot to the front door and he has the front door open before the two policemen walking taking up can even knock and we all hide behind. My uncle and I hear the two policemen say to each other. They look at all of us and then they look at me and they look at the kids and they look at each other and they say he did this to her with all these kids after that everything explodes. My mom stands up. She drops my baby sister on the floor. My Grandmother Screams my dad's name in my uncle. Just just dance the rest of us. Scatter what my dad does. After he drops me off that dame you drive to Brown your park the park where he racists his bicycle and he parks car facing the track and he shoots himself in the temple. His funeral is a few days later. And it's just a block from our house and my aunt walks us. Is there and I get to the church. And I see the great casket in front of the Church and I know my dad's in there so I run up to see my dad but when I get up there. His face is is the deepest darkest purple I have ever seen. I mean it is such an unforgettable color that if he showed me that color right now I could recognize it in a minute. My family is sitting in the front row of the church. And I start to hear people behind amy whispering they're asking. Why does anybody know why he did it? Why did he do it? She's got all these kids. Why would he do that? And I get scared because I know why so. I run from the back from the front of the Church and hide in the back Pew and my aunt tries to pull me out and I don't want anybody to ask me why because then I have to tell them that I know why it was there candy bar. I never should have asked asked for that Candy Bar. After my dad dies I physically stop talking. I don't use my voice again. Dan for the next five years as I grow up I learned more about my dad. I find out that he's an educated man man but because he could barely speak English the only job he can find is sweeping floors and the last job he has here. The employer cheat some some on his six months work saying he never worked there. I learned that he never got used to living in this country and they never got used to my mom being the one who for the family as I get older as an adult. I understand the reasons my dad did what he did. But the child in me remains in that moment when I took that candy bar and I know that that day is my fault. Five years ago I I read an article written by a hospice nurse. She says that the biggest regret that people have on their deathbeds is not living a life true to who they are. I have lived a double life ever since my dad died. I have the life that the world sees and then I have the dade the only life I know of which is frozen in that day in that tavern two years after I read that article I get a chance to be who I really am. I hear of an open call for submissions to show. Listen to your mother now now. I have never read in front of an audience before but I drive the two hours. I addition tell the people the story of the last day with my father a week goes by and I make the cast on the deal. This show I stand in front of three hundred people and my the heart is pounding in my ears. Em- positive I'm going to faint when it's my turn to talk but when I get up there. I'm so scared because because I don't know what's going to happen. I mean I'm about to tell the deepest darkest secret of my life and I don't know if the audience is going to understand understand. I get up there to talk and as soon as I start speaking all of that disappears and I feel this unexpected strength. Drink that comes from telling my story and after the show I feel ten feet tall and people are waiting to talk to me in the lobby and there are so many of us that have a candy bar moment story from somebody. They know that kill themselves. We have a candy anti bar moment months go by in the videos go up from the show and I start getting emails. Somehow I became the president of the apparent suicide club and around the world. People are sending me letters and they WanNa talk about how they feel like their parents. Suicide was their fault called one day. I get an email and it's different. It's from this young woman in Canada and she has a two year old boy and she tells me she's been suffering from this deep dark depression. The kind that makes you wonder about your place in this world now. She doesn't want to leave her boy but she just wants this pain to stop in one day. She's home alone and she's so scared and while he takes his nap she locks herself in the bathroom and she pours enough pills in her hand to kill herself. She doesn't want to leave her boy. She adores him but she'd just done and in the middle of this moment. She is crying so hard she can't breathe and she's terrified and she doesn't know what she's going to do an all she can think of is my story. She says she doesn't want my story to be the same story. Her Son tells twenty years from now she's alive and she's my friend. Now we tell our stories because they save us telling mine kept a little boy from losing using his mom that day and I found my voice again. Thank you the Alexandria roses. She's an award winning blogger and a mother of three to does he a picture of Alexandra and picture of her happy. Please visit the moth dot Org Alexandra. I told us about her story on our Pitch Pitch Line store. You think we should hear if so go to the moth dot org. Click on. Tell a story and it'll take you on a step-by-step how to record it right on our the site or call eight seven seven seven nine nine moth. That's eight seven seven seven nine nine six six eight four. The best pitches are developed from Oth- shows is all around the country. You can find all the stories. You're hearing in this hour at the itunes store on our website the moth dot org where you can also find out more about our storytellers ars when we return to men on a desperate quest to meet in nineteen eighteen seventies television star Uh The moth radio hour is produced by Atlantic public media in woods hole Massachusetts and presented by PR. REX hiring can be a slow process cafe. Fa Ultra Coo Dylan Moskowitz needed to hire a director of coffee. So he went to Ziprecruiter posted his job and found the best person for the role in just a few you days four out of five employers. Who Post on Ziprecruiter get a quality candidate within the first day right now you can try Ziprecruiter for free at our web address ziprecruiter dot com slash moth ziprecruiter dot com slash M. O.? T. H. Ziprecruiter. The smartest way to hire. Turn your cool new idea into a website site with squarespace whether you're launching a blog about your favorite coffee shops or building an online page for your vintage clothing store. squarespace has all the tools. To help you customize your website excite beautiful templates created by world class designers powerful ECOMMERCE functionality. Analytics that help you grow in real time and much much more checkout squarespace dot com slash moth for a free trial and when you're ready to launch use offer code off to save ten percent off your first purchase of a website or domain. This this is the moth radio hour from PR ex. I'm Jennifer Hickson from them off. Our final story is from Arthur. Bradford Arthur is an award winning author and documentary filmmaker. Uh here's Arthur live at the mall. Looks Okay. I'm kneeling on the floor floor of a cheap roadside motel somewhere in western Tennessee and next to me leading me and prayer is a middle aged man a large man with cerebral palsy named Ronnie Simonsen. He says bless my mother. My brothers and sisters and my pastor back home in New Hampshire and God bless Bob Hope and share and all three of Charlie's angels especially Jacqueline Smith Breath especially her and then Ronnie says and Lord Please help us get to California quickly where I where I know. I'm going to meet my spiritual brother Mr Chad every the star of CBS Drama Medical Center. And here I interrupt Ron I said Ron you know we. We might not meet at every. We're not sure that's going to happen. Then he says yeah. Yeah I know but but keep praying. Keep praying I met Ronnie about eight years before that I was working at a summer camp for people with disabilities ladies and I was a counselor there and I had brought along a video camera because I was also interested in making films and Ronnie was drawn to that camera. He came right up to me and wanted to talk about movies and TV see he he. He had cerebral palsy and his legs but he also had an interesting combination of of mental conditions autism and obsessive compulsive and he he. It manifests itself in this extreme fascination with with television and movie stars from one thousand nine hundred seventy s which is when he was a kid he spent most of his childhood in hospitals and he he became particularly obsessed with with people. That would play doctors. Here's on television. He took comfort in their com voices and there was one man above all who held this sort of sort of like a God. And that was Chad Everett. Who Played Dr Joe Gannon on CBS Medical Medical Center? And and I really liked Ron. He was he was really fine he. He was great on camera he loves HE LOVES TO BE ON CAMERA. We made lots of videos together at the camp and some of the most popular videos. Were these these newscasts we would do. We made our own news show and Ronnie was was spent tastic at that especially when we would go downtown. He would interview people on the street. He was this large man and when he would talk to people he he. He couldn't stand up for too long so he would lean on them for balance while he was asking him questions and he would get them to do skits. He was he had this really real ability to to bring people people out in these films that we made they kind of had this underground popularity and eventually I was able to to get some funding to make a film outside the camp and the idea was we. were going to drive across country with five people with disabilities from the summer camp. We're GONNA go from their houses in New England all the way to Los Angeles Angeles California and everyone on the trip had their own hopes and dreams for going to California place. They've never been but Ronnie's dreams overshadowed everybody else's to him California was the Holy Land. It was the place where he was destined to Mr Chad. Everett his spiritual brother and was his biggest dream told everybody it's my biggest dream and he took this biggest dream mission very very seriously. He stressed him out. In fact as we went on the trip he had the skin condition as well called psoriasis and and he would get these rashes on his arms when he got stressed out and he would he would at them and I felt like this whole situation was was was mainly my responsibility director of this ridiculous film and I. I decided his roommate across the country and so every night in these hotels tells Ronnie apply the medication to his rashes. And then we would say a prayer. And that's how I ended up in this hotel room in Tennessee. Praying with Ronnie Samson soon as Ronnie praise I say my own little prayer i. I'm not a very religious person I had never really prayed before. I'm twenty nine years old but this is the first this time I pray in earnest and I'd say I say please help us get to California safely and please when we get there. Please give me some guidance. Helped needed to solve this problem. That we're GONNA have this mess when we get to California. Because I have this secret that I haven't shared with Ron. I probably should have shared it with him. But I I just can't and that is that I've gotten in touch whichever it's agent before we went on the trip and I'd asked. Could we set up a meeting between these two people. I knew it was going to be a fantastic fantastic moment on film and his Asian. Maybe understand that chat ever. It was a very busy man and then he wasn't going to have time for something like that in fact he didn't really want to encourage courage. This sort of obsessive fan that apparently he had and I probably should have told Ryan that but he doesn't take disappointment very well and I helped helped Ronnie write letters to numerous celebrities over the years and we had written to chat ever and and one year he called me up. He was so excited. Because you've got this head shot in. The mail was a smiling picture of Chad. Eh and Ronnie memorize. Every word that had ever had had had signed on this picture which was on his wall it said to Ron. Life's not meant it to be lived in reruns. What should be in the new love? Boat Walk in the Light Signs Chat Everett and and and so all the way across the country as we were driving from across Texas the Grand Canyon Ronnie would would go over the contents of that letter with me. He would say what does that mean. Life's not meant to be in reruns and that means to walk in the light. I'm walking in the light right and I would say yeah Ron. You're walking in the light and when we reach California it was it it was a it was a really wonderful moment. We go swimming in the ocean. And everybody's really happy. Except for of course Ron because he's on a on a higher mission and so run and I come to this agreement everyone else involved with the film is GonNa fly home and he and I are going to stay in in Los Angeles and we're going to spend and a few more days. I don't know what we're GONNA do. We're going to hang out there in California and so everyone goes home and Ronnie and I ended up in this hotel room together putting on on his psoriasis medicine and I have no plan at all and along this on long trips someone had someone who I believe was very well meaning and giving me neither side vice had said to Ronnie Hey Ryan you shouldn't you shouldn't be so self conscious and Ronnie for about one hundred fiftieth time that trip asked me he says what does that mean self conscious and I tell him to be self conscious that means like to to worry about yourself too much and then he says for like one hundred mm fifteen time he asked me. I'm not being self conscious right now and I just WANNA say fed up at this point I just want to say you know by definition you. You asking me that question. That means you're being self conscious right and but I don't say that I know better and I say no Ronnie you're not you're not being self conscious at all and and on our last day in California we had this plan out of desperation. We go to this town near Malibu throughout this in the in the hills where Ronnie and heard that Chad Everett lived and we go there we go to a shopping center. Ronnie gets really excited because he interviews this kid who apparently had bag Chad Everett's gross ruth and then and then someone else tells us they know the street that chat lives on so Ronnie says I just want to see what is house. Looks like like so we go up and then we get to the gate and it's a gated community and then I find myself like sneaking past the guards not looking and then we get to what we think is house and running so I just wanted to take a picture in front of this House Ronnie gets out and it's not until we're hiding in the bushes and we've been there for over an hour that I realized that this is a terrible idea. Abia what why are. Why are we here what? What did I think what's going to happen? I had this crazy idea that Chad Everett would see Ronnie and he would understand that this was if someone that he should get to know but of course if Chad Everett walked out of that House Ronnie was GonNa rush towards and then someone was going to call the police. It was going to be it was going to be a a disaster and so it was with a certain sense of relief that I felt when a security guard came up until this we had to leave and so we did did leave and that film ends with Ronnie Kissing Chad Everett Star on the Hollywood walk of fame. And and it's it's a good ending but of course it's not the ending adding that Ronnie and I wanted for that film and as we took the film to film festivals around the country writing became like sort of a little bit of a celebrity ready and it was funny because that didn't mean anything to him to be a celebrity himself. All he cared about was he would ask anybody in the audience at the festivals. If maybe they knew a way to get this film in the Chat Pat Everett's hands and throughout that year Ronnie would just call me up and he'd say I have. You need to send a tape to this person. Because they might know Chad Everett's daughter and I was starting to get kind of annoyed to be honest. I was like man. We went all the way to California like why. Why can't you just drop this whole thing? And I was kind of annoyed with myself too. Because I had become tethered to this dream of Ronnie's and on top of that I had version of the dream. That was a nightmare for me. which which was that? Ronnie would somehow meet Chat Everett and I wouldn't be there that kept me up at night if Ronnie if Ronnie were to meet him and I wasn't there I didn't think I could live myself for the rest of my life. I honestly felt that way and I couldn't. I was in the state and then one day I got a phone call and and there was a deep voice on the other end of the line and it said hello. This is Chad Everett and I said No. It's not and he said yes. Yes it is and it was Chad Everett and he had seen film and he liked the film he liked a lot and in fact he agreed that if we get ready to California he would meet running and he would do an interview with him and so I hope the phone and I drove three hours to rise house and I said Ronnie Chad Everett saw the film and he wants to meet you and I said Oh uh-huh and for two weeks straight Ronnie just couldn't sleep. All he could do was call me up and talk about exactly what was going to happen when we and eventually we got on the plane and we flew out to California all the Hallway Ryan clapping his hands and rocking back. Everyone he meets. He tells them that he's going to achieve his biggest dream. These GONNA Meech every and the filmmaker in me plan this out so I said we're going to do this on a beach because it's wide open. It's an it's a big wide open space and there's lots of room and I thought that was a good plan until we get to the beach. And I'm walking with Ron on the sand. And at this point Ronn his legs are really the kind of giving out and he can hardly walk on solid ground without doc assistance in the sand. He can't even stand up on it. I realized that it was kind of a bad idea to do this on a beach. And we sit him down on a beach chair and I'm trying to think where. Where else could we do this when this convertible pulls out and the license plate says Sir Chad and and down at the other end of the beach a handsome older man steps out and he starts walking across the beach and Ryan spots him? He's one hundred yards away and rice bottom. It says is that. Is that Chad Everett. And yes it is you Betcha and Ronnie Hoi Sin Outta this tear and he starts running across. He's running. I've never seen Ronnie run ever ever in my life and he's running across the keeping up Santa's going shut and and I think he's going to fall and wipe out and Cheddar. It's voice slowdown. Slowdown routes out running towards him and he looks like a little boy he does. He looks like a little boy and when he reaches chat he throws his arms around him and he sits Chad. I'm so happy to see you. And they and they have a wonderful time they do skits together on the beach and Ronnie interviews him and they say a prayer. And it's it's of wonderful meeting and and we take the red eye on that night and and Ronnie he's exhausted he's he's a man who hasn't slept for weeks it seems and and he says to me he says to me. Well what are we did it. And then he finally goes to sleep and and after that trip I didn't hear from Ronnie for quite awhile and that was strange because he would call me so often. And when I finally did hear from Ron he had some bad news. He he He had been diagnosed with leukemia and his mother told me privately that he only had six months. He was given six months to live. And and Ron said to me he said to me. Look I I know that chat ever. It's a really busy man but do you think you could. You could tell him about this and I said sure Ron I can. I can let him know and so I did. I told Chad Everett and an amazing thing happened then Chad. Everett called runny every Sunday and they would talk to prayer and without fail. He calls running every Sunday and Ronnie Ronnie outlived diagnosis. By by months and months you live for over two years. In fact he went back to California and saw Chattan had a party to celebrate and eventually he he did die of that disease and after after his death. I thought a lot. What about the lessons that I learned from Ronnie Simonson about the importance of having a biggest dream and no matter how silly it is and I often wondered did I did? I spent much time chasing this other person stream that wasn't really my dream and and then recently gently we were putting together this compilation of these tapes that we'd made with running and and and the editor called me up and say hey. Oh I've got this audio track. I want you to hear. I think you'll find it funny. So he plays from you this audio tracks person just breathing really high. It sounds like it's like someone who's going up the stairs or a really out of breath in there and then I hear my voice going. Oh my God Oh my God oh my guy and it's the audio track back from my camera as I'm filming Ronnie running towards Chad Everett. And I'd never heard that I'd always heard Ronnie's Mike Mike and I'm saying Oh my God oh my God and as they hug I swear you can almost hear my like my heart beating out of my chest. I'm so excited by this meeting. And it was in hearing that track I realized that that Rani's Johnny's dream really had become my dream to and and and and now and those moments of excitement and joy that that you that you have are really worth something. They're awesome awesome and I have always wanted to thank Ron for sharing that with me that was Arthur Bradford his films include. How's your news and six days to air? He's also the author of the Book Dog Walker and the Children's Book Benny's Brigade Here's a bit of audio from the first meeting in between Ronnie and Chad Everett. You're gonNA feel when I'm gonNA feel good. I'm GONNA he's GonNa hug me. I'm going to hug him. He knows knows. I'M GONNA be here right. He does. This is going to be is a pleasure for me as well. You Know Ron has been longtime correspondent. And he's written me beautiful letters sung songs birthday tapes. And he's really he's really a very very spiritual man and I think he's definitely been anointed living living proof that it's What's inside that counts? There's the guy ever you you better believe it but how are you doing. Why are you doing talk To see good. I'm looking forward to being interviewed by doing medical set direct together. See me a scalpel to watch the video of Ronnie Meeting Chad for the first time. visit the radio extras page. KAMATH DOT ORG Thanks so much for listening earning and we hope you'll join us again. Next time for the Moth Radio Hour Your host this hour was Jennifer Hickson who also directed the stories in the show along with Maggie. Sinoe let's see. Would you do a skit with me for medical doctor on and you'd be duck again it and pretend I is wrong with my hand. I can never practice surgery again. Never practice surgery. That's the broncos. Yeah the rest of the Maastricht toil staff includes Catherine Burns Sarah Haberman Sarah Austin genetics and make bowls production support it from Genoa Weiss. Berman and Whitney Jones. You can never practice surgery area. What you'll be Joe Gannon? Now be doctor so we've got to get into the surgery now detriment ready. Can I do surgery Joe. There's something wrong in my hand. Dr Gannon attendants seemed to be all all pulled apart. Here most stories are true as remembered affirmed by the storytellers. Moth events are recorded by argot studios in New York City supervised by Paul West. Our theme music is by the drift. Other music in this hour lines on my face by Peter Frampton always is departing by Brad. Mel Dow and I will wander by lawless music. You think I need an examination doctor. I think you're going to have to have some surgery on his hand before we can let you hold anymore. Instruments Dr Arnn. Martha's produce radio by me. Jay Allison at Atlantic public media in woods hole Massachusetts with help from Vicky Mary. Do you start to sculpt your stunts stethoscope. There's no heartbeat in your hand. This hour was produced the funds from the corporation for Public Broadcasting the National Endowment for the arts and the John D and Catherine T. MacArthur foundation committed to building a more just verdant and peaceful world. There's a pulse up here. Pulses to post take. Your hand is pretty strong. The Moth Radio Hour is presented by the public radio. Exchange P R X dot org. I think the surgery successful. You think. So we'll schedule for tomorrow afternoon. What time twelve? Twelve o'clock one. What about your lunch? Dr Skip lunch for this one for more about our podcast for information on pitching your own story and everything else that our website the off off dot Org All birds are ultra comfy shoes made from nature. Not only do they feel good on your feet. You can feel good about the environmentally friendly materials. All birds uses like wool tinsel sugarcane and castor bean oil over the summer I took up running and taking care of my feet being comfortable has become paramount paramount. When you put all birds on they feel cozy? They're so soft like walking on clouds all birds of the perfect gift to make the holidays a little less uncomfortable for everyone on your list. Give the gift of comfort this holiday season or the pair for yourself at all. BIRDS DOT COM.