A Grain of Sand

Series produced by Charles McGuigan

Caption: PRX default Series image
PRX default Series image 

Weekly series featuring real stories that spring from the well of memory. Every narrative illuminates our shared human experience. At least that's the hope of producer Charles McGuigan.

I want to achieve the effect of a short story but told in a way that makes the listener feel part of evolving action.I love stories and believe narrative that flows directly from the well of experience illuminates like arc light, strikes with the force of iron.


162 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Moorings on Cobb Island., Credit: Charles McGuigan
Virginia’s Barrier Islands and the waters and salt marshes that surround them represent the most pristine coastal region on the Eastern Seaboard. U...

  • Added: Jun 02, 2015
  • Length: 25:24
Piece image
In this Prelude to Summer we end up on a parking lot late at night on the first day of summer, sprawled out on sleeping bags and looking up at the ...

  • Added: May 22, 2015
  • Length: 25:20
Caption: Diane Watkins of Richmond, Virginia.
A bell tower without a carillon is like a throat without a voice box. Utterly mute. This story could be called the mystery of the missing bells and...

  • Added: May 01, 2015
  • Length: 27:33
Caption: Lady E, Credit: John MacLellan
Lady E lost just about everything that gave her life meaning and then she found something else inside her. Her voice.And now Lady E sings the blues...

  • Added: Apr 02, 2015
  • Length: 27:23
Caption: Lady E, Credit: John MacLellan
The worst kind of grief for any parent came twice to this woman who would become Lady E. These dual tragedies changed this woman for good and wall ...

  • Added: Mar 27, 2015
  • Length: 26:49
Caption: John, Credit: Charles McGuigan
John has worked the corner of Laburnum Avenue and Brook Road for years now. He’s become a permanent fixture there and a daily reminder to motorists...

  • Added: Mar 20, 2015
  • Length: 26:04
Caption: John, Credit: Charles McGuigan
Every day of the week John stands near the corner of Laburnum Avenue and Brook Road in Richmond, Virginia’s Northside. He holds a sign that reads: ...

  • Added: Mar 13, 2015
  • Length: 27:05
Caption: Melvin Major, Credit: Rebecca D'Angelo
Fathers and Children is about a man named Melvin Major who became father to hundreds of young people. But he has no offspring.

  • Added: Mar 06, 2015
  • Length: 27:40
Caption: Maureen and Lucky Cole, Credit: Charles McGuigan
Two of the only human inhabitants of the Everglades live just off Loop Road less than a mile before it links back up with Tamiani Trail. Their comp...

  • Added: Dec 26, 2014
  • Length: 26:16
Piece image
For the next hour we’ve got three Christmas stories. From A Christmas Carol on Wheels, which is performed in 20 minutes, to an event called No Roo...

Bought by WLRN


  • Added: Dec 12, 2014
  • Length: 54:55
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Chickahominy Assistant Chief Gene Adkins.
There are eleven tribes of Indians who call Virginia home, among them the Chickahominy. And though they all now enjoy state recognition, the federa...

  • Added: Nov 12, 2014
  • Length: 28:31
Caption: Rolanda Scott, Credit: John MacLellan
Art teacher and glass sculptor Rolanda Scott was first diagnosed with breast cancer years ago, but she kept teaching and for the longest while surv...

  • Added: Nov 04, 2014
  • Length: 28:20
Caption: Rolanda Scott , Credit: John MacLellan
Sometimes art can ease your pain, maybe even save your life. And the medium you started working in sometimes becomes another form all together. Rol...

  • Added: Nov 04, 2014
  • Length: 25:30
Caption: Richmond Folk Festival 2014
RVA does something extraordinary for three days each fall. And these may be the best days in the long calendar of the year for this old city. Our s...

  • Added: Oct 24, 2014
  • Length: 19:17
Caption: Reverend Death Alane Cameron Miles, Credit: Rebecca D'Angelo
Alane Cameron Miles was groomed throughout her life to be comfortable with death and the dying. She had a knack for it and would ultimately become ...

  • Added: Oct 10, 2013
  • Length: 27:26
Caption: No Room At The Inn, Credit: Charles McGuigan
Three Christmas stories. In the first story family nativities build homes in Haiti. The second story is about a man and a machine in Williamsburg, ...

Bought by Northeast Indiana Public Radio, WHRV, KWIT, and WLRN


  • Added: Oct 07, 2013
  • Length: 54:55
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Frances Hilary McGuigan, Credit: Doug Dobery
This journey begins in the deepest recesses of the human brain--the hippocampus, and ends in the memory support unit of a retirement community. It'...

  • Added: Aug 31, 2013
  • Length: 54:59
Caption: PM was one of the North Side witches., Credit: Catherine McGuigan
Witch-hunts are curious phenomena, and thoroughly reactionary in nature. They generally begin with an inexplicable event of one kind or other—cows ...

  • Added: Aug 30, 2013
  • Length: 26:55
Piece image
Alzheimer’s sucks an entire life away, bit by bit at first, almost imperceptibly. By degrees memories--short-term, and then long-term--begin to fad...

  • Added: Aug 05, 2013
  • Length: 27:30
Caption: Madison County, Credit: Charles McGuigan
More than 75 years ago Shenandoah National Park opened to the public for the first time. One of the most scenic routes in Virginia— Skyline Drive w...

  • Added: Jun 09, 2013
  • Length: 53:40