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.


157 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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Rolanda Scott is a glass sculptor. But she also molds young minds as an art instructor. About eight years ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer ...

  • Added: Jun 19, 2009
  • Length: 28:20
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Pirates love the water. It’s their sustenance, it’s their highway, it’s their haven. Lester Blackiston loved the water. As a matter of fact, I di...

  • Added: Jun 01, 2009
  • Length: 29:31
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Lester Blackiston, the pirate of Shockoe Bottom carried an assortment of weapons, a switchblade, a hatchet that hung from his belt at the small of...

  • Added: May 28, 2009
  • Length: 28:13
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Blackbeard the pirate may have had as many as 14 wives, the last one being a 16 year old girl who he gave to his crew after he deflowered her. Nobo...

  • Added: May 24, 2009
  • Length: 27:56
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Lester Blackiston was a pirate. Almost everyone I talked to told me as much. And like a pirate, Lester plundered. He couldn’t help himself, it se...

  • Added: May 08, 2009
  • Length: 27:04
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Lester Blackiston was a minor Beat poet who lived most of his life in Richmond's warehouse district. He was charming and downright mean. He was the...

  • Added: Apr 30, 2009
  • Length: 26:19
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Lester Blackiston, a poet of the Beat generation, was kind of, sort of, an inventor, a businessman, a seamen, and other things,too. Mainly, though,...

  • Added: Apr 23, 2009
  • Length: 28:14
Caption: Jay Ipson in front of the Virginia Holocaust Museum., Credit: John K. MacLellan
The Ip family had escaped both the Nazis and the Soviets. Once in the United States, Israel Ip carved out a life for his family. Jay married, took ...

Bought by Remix Radio


  • Added: Apr 09, 2009
  • Length: 27:47
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Jay Ipson in front of the Virginia Holocaust Museum., Credit: John K. MacLellan
Jay Ipson and his family escaped Nazi persecution often by the skin of their teeth. But after liberation they had to contend with the Soviets. And ...

Bought by Remix Radio


  • Added: Apr 09, 2009
  • Length: 28:05
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Jay Ipson in front of the Virginia Holocaust Museum., Credit: John K. MacLellan
Jay Ipson is the original survivor. He and his mother and father escaped selections in the the Kuvna ghetto in Lithuania. When Nazis tightened the ...

Bought by Remix Radio


  • Added: Apr 09, 2009
  • Length: 27:52
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Comedian Steve Moore, Credit: John K. MacLellan
Steve Moore is a comedian and after contracting AIDS he started laughing at the disease which propelled him into the international limelight. He la...

Bought by KRCB-FM "Radio 91" and KVSC


  • Added: Apr 03, 2009
  • Length: 28:39
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Comedian Steve Moore, Credit: John K. MacLellan
AIDS survivor Steve Moore was one of the first comedians in the international limelight to bring laughter to this devastating illness.

Bought by KVSC, WTJU, KRCB-FM "Radio 91", and KVSC


  • Added: Apr 03, 2009
  • Length: 28:41
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Maureen and Lucky Cole, Credit: Charles McGuigan
Maureen and Lucky Cole are two of the only two human inhabitants of the Everglades. They've carved out their own Eden. And fig leafs, at least for ...

  • Added: Apr 03, 2009
  • Length: 29:13
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Peter Wolf Toth of Edgewater, Florida has spent more than thirty years carving giant statues of Indians across America.

  • Added: Mar 11, 2009
  • Length: 28:52
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Second part of the Lady E story, how tragedy transformed this woman sixteen years ago.

  • Added: Mar 11, 2009
  • Length: 28:06
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Ethel-Barnett Johnson became Lady E sixteen years ago when her son Bubbie died unexpectedly.

  • Added: Mar 11, 2009
  • Length: 28:08
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Billed as the world's shortest woman, Gloria Rhoden, who was working the Virginia State Fair, talked about the nature of true beauty.

  • Added: Mar 10, 2009
  • Length: 27:08