First Kiss

NPR’s Morning Edition

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There's nothing to equal that pure passion. And all those things about Romeo & Juliet and all of that — it's absolutely true: it's not any less because you're young.

This piece aired on NPR’s Morning Edition on a Valentine’s Day in the mid-1980s.

It was the very first piece I produced — from beginning to end — for the show. It’s the piece that got me noticed by the people who worked when it was daylight. But that’s not the reason I’m fond of it.

I love this piece because it’s nothing like what I first conceived it to be. It proves to me the value of serendipity.

I originally planned the piece to include both men and women. And I interviewed several men. But only the women told me interesting stories. So the piece changed. And I’m kind of glad that it did.

I like the pure structure of the piece: the three “movements” and the music that marks the transitions. I like the use of inclusion (in returning to the woman who tells the duck story) and the humor in that. And I like the way the piano in the Roberta Flack song punctuates the narrative about the snowfall.

This piece proves another truth: any conversation you have with a journalist could be and likely will be part of a story someday. The origin of this piece is a dinner conversation with my friends Michael and Tricia (that’s Tricia telling the duck story) and my attempt to figure out a way to get her on the air telling that story. The rest is all window dressing.

I owe a debt of gratitude to Lars Hoel for encouraging me to make this piece of radio. He gave me permission to use story and sound. That changed everything.

Special thanks all these many years later to Lorin Cuoco, Nora Moreno Cargie, Jan Rothschild, and Tricia Coates.