When her beloved Aunt Mary passed away, 15-year-old Sheri Booker sought solace in an unusual summer job — at the Albert P. Wylie Funeral Home in the heart of Baltimore.
Booker's new memoir, Nine Years Under, describes the job that became a nine-year career and lifelong fascination with the business of burials.
"After Aunt Mary died, I felt like I needed closure," Booker explains. "I wanted answers. I wanted to make sure that she was in good hands, so I found a way into the funeral home, and it was only supposed to be a summer, but it ended up being nine years!"
Today marks the beginning of the six-month Atlantic hurricane season. Maybe it's a good sign, then, that it's pretty quiet out there. The National Hurricane Center is watching only a small wave near Mexico that has a low possibility of developing into a tropical system.
NPR's Debbie Elliott, however, reports the season is expected to be pretty busy. She filed this report for our Newscast unit:
What started as a small protest against the redevelopment of a park in Istanbul, Turkey, has spread to other cities and turned into one of the largest government protests in recent memory. While numbers are hard to come by, Al Jazeera reports that about 10,000 people gathered in Ankara chanting "government resign" and "unite against fascism."
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
Still recovering from a monster EF-5 tornado that leveled parts of the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, the area was hit hard again Friday night. At least nine people — including a mother and child — were reported dead by Canadian County Under Sheriff Chris West in the wake of multiple violent tornadoes.
As you head out for summer vacation, ponder this: There's a 1 in 9 chance that the bridge you're crossing has been deemed structurally deficient or basically in bad shape by the federal government.
The collapse of the I-5 bridge in Washington last week has once again raised questions about the state of the nation's infrastructure. But there is no consensus on how to tackle the problem or how to pay for proposed solutions.
Teenagers can seem sullen, moody and uncommunicative, unless you know how to listen to them. James Harbeck does. He's an editor and linguist in Canada who's analyzed sounds that can be distinctly annoying to adults. James Harbeck joins us from the studios of the CBC in Toronto. Thanks so much for being with us.
JAMES HARBECK: Hi. Nice to be here.
SIMON: First, what made you devote any scholarship to this?
This is Weekend Edition from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon.
(SOUNDBITE OF RIOTING)
SIMON: Turkish riot police fired tear gas and water cannons on demonstrators in downtown Istanbul during a second day of protests. The clashes were triggered by the government's plan to build a shopping mall in a downtown park. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has called for an immediate end to the protest. NPR's Peter Kenyon joins us from Istanbul. Peter, thanks for being with us.