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WINNETKA: A Memoir

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WINNETKA is a ten-episode memoir created and produced by award-winning actress Jessica Harper, with original music. The podcast features the voices of the Harper family, who share in the telling of their remarkable story. WINNETKA tells of six Harper kids coming of age in Eisenhower’s post-war America, in a Chicago suburb called Winnetka. The siblings are buffeted by the rages of a father with PTSD, challenged by life in a big family, rocked by social change in the sixties, and ultimately stunned by a long held family secret.

WINNETKA is a ten-episode memoir created and produced by award-winning actress Jessica Harper, with original music. The podcast features the voices of the Harper family, who share in the telling of their remarkable story. WINNETKA tells of six Harper kids coming of age in Eisenhower’s post-war America, in a Chicago suburb called Winnetka. The siblings are buffeted by the rages of a father with PTSD, challenged by life in a big family, rocked by social change in the sixties, and ultimately stunned by a long held family secret.
More Information

Location:

United States

Description:

WINNETKA is a ten-episode memoir created and produced by award-winning actress Jessica Harper, with original music. The podcast features the voices of the Harper family, who share in the telling of their remarkable story. WINNETKA tells of six Harper kids coming of age in Eisenhower’s post-war America, in a Chicago suburb called Winnetka. The siblings are buffeted by the rages of a father with PTSD, challenged by life in a big family, rocked by social change in the sixties, and ultimately stunned by a long held family secret.

Language:

English

Contact:

646-339-8911


Episodes

Bonus Story: Drug Reboot

3/21/2019
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You really want to smoke pot? It's strong as f**k these days!

Duration:00:06:54

8. Strange Land

3/18/2019
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Just as Papa Harper dies of alcoholism, Dad gets promoted and moves his reluctant family to the east coast. Billy and Diana and I go to college, seeking sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll, while the younger three are miserable in their new home.Just as Papa Harper dies of alcoholism, Dad gets promoted and moves his reluctant family to the east coast. Billy and Diana and I go to college, seeking sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll, while the younger three are miserable in their new home.

Duration:00:32:08

Bonus Story: What We Wore

3/14/2019
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You could just hear their golf clubs rattle as their parents realized their daughters were sleeping with hippies.

Duration:00:05:14

7. Faith

3/11/2019
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JFK’s assassination in ‘62 marks a sea change. I lose faith, while big sister Diana finds it, and marches for civil rights. My brothers commit a string of petty crimes, and Billy becomes the first to push back against Dad’s anger.

Duration:00:30:41

Bonus Story: Dancing School

3/7/2019
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I had crossed a threshold, and Mom was on the other side.

Duration:00:05:16

6. Survival

3/4/2019
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By 1962, my little brothers emulate their father’s work ethic while they fear his unpredictable rages. But the Cuban Missile Crisis makes us aware of greater dangers in the world outside our home.

Duration:00:30:21

Bonus Story: Colorado

2/28/2019
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As was customary in our family, I opted out of confrontation in favor of the harbor-resentment-for-life plan.

Duration:00:06:48

5. The Grandfather Report

2/25/2019
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Mom comes from a long line of ministers, and the goodness persists in the Emery family. The actions of Dad’s father, Papa Harper, also echo those of his forebears, but goodness has nothing to do with it.

Duration:00:39:56

Bonus Story: Love and Crime

2/21/2019
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“I got interested in boys then. Not so much for romance as for a Billy surrogate, when he was out raising hell."

Duration:00:06:42

4. Winnetka

2/18/2019
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In ‘56, we settle in Winnetka. When, in July, Mom gives birth to twin baby boys, Dad’s temper rises like the temperature does. But he keeps us in his thrall with signs of love.

Duration:00:35:38

Bonus Story: Housework

2/14/2019
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“The trouble with being a stay-at-home mom, wasn’t that the work was so hard, but that it was so unvalued.”

Duration:00:05:50

3. Wishing

2/11/2019
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My twin brother Billy and I are close pals. In spite of our fear of our angry father, we each wish he would shine his love light on us. The arrival of an adorable baby sister does not help our cause.

Duration:00:33:05

2. Mom and Dad

2/7/2019
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A Marine (Dad) and a nightclub singer (Mom) are married in 1946. By 1950 they live in a Chicago suburb with three babies. Dad starts his career in advertising, while my mother struggles with being a stay-at-home mom. Dad shows an unexpected angry side, which Mom attributes to PTSD.

Duration:00:31:00

Bonus Story: The Joke

2/4/2019
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“Memory is tricky after all. It can morph over time, and events get reimagined.”

Duration:00:05:18

1. Introduction

2/4/2019
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My family and I attend Dad’s funeral in ’13. As I listen to my siblings’ eulogies that extol his virtues, I note how our memories of childhood differ. But what we’ll all discover some days later is an awful piece of our history that none of us can change, misremember, or deny.

Duration:00:14:46

Trailer: The Unexpected

1/28/2019
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WINNETKA is a ten-episode memoir by actress Jessica Harper. She narrates her story of growing up in the fifties and sixties in a six-kid household in Winnetka, Illinois. You might expect a tale of an idyllic childhood. But when you meet the Harper family, you meet the unexpected…

Duration:00:03:36

Sample Story: Calypso

1/21/2019
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When my parents had their (semi-wild) cocktail parties, they did not dance to Sinatra. No Elvis. No Stones. Think “Day-O.”

Duration:00:02:25

Sample Story: Invisible

1/14/2019
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My little brother Sam had his own way of escaping the mayhem of life in a big family: he’d simply disappear.

Duration:00:01:53

Sample Story: Madamoiselle

1/7/2019
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In 1968, I was almost a cover girl for Mademoiselle magazine. But I learned a lesson about great expectations.

Duration:00:02:37

Sample Story: Christmas

12/17/2018
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For Mom and Dad, prepping Christmas for six kids was always a marathon. For my grandfather, it was crantini time.

Duration:00:05:15