American Pie, episode 101: Searching For Home

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0:00 Opening Credits for American Pie.

1:00 Scott Simon from “Weekend Edition” introduces program he describes as a family album of public television stations across the country. He claims the program tries to capture the small details that make up America.

3:00 New England Lighthouses. Shots of the same with heart-rendering synthesizer music.

3:45 Old women who were wives and daughters of lighthouse keepers recount memories of early days.

6:15 Coast guard talks about the efficiency of having coast guard members periodically service the lighthouses instead of maintaining full-time lighthouse keepers.

7:00 Woman explains the need for a human element in lighthouses.

7:25 Tornadoes in Minnesota. Kevin Kling talks about how everyone in his family has been hit by lightning.

11:40 Simon talks about the heyday of the railroads.

12:22 Tales of the Rails. Iowa. Woman recounts childhood memories of trains.

13:25 Freight. Men talk about the things that were shipped on trains.

14:50 Hobos. People relate various opinions on hobos and bums.

16:35 Commuter Trains. Connecticut.

17:20 Beggars. New York City. People explain why they sleep in the train station and panhandle. Also footage of street musician. One man feels begging is morally better than being on welfare. Many people feel they can’t keep jobs because of having been in prison. Lou Reed song “On the Dirty Boulevard.”

20:10 Simon explains that even people who live in train stations have a sense of home. Introduces stories about neighbors.

20:45 Country doctors. Lake City, South Carolina. Footage of rundown homes. Dr. Toney Graham, Jr, talks about why he didn’t leave this community and why he wanted to be a doctor there. Footage of Graham doing house calls to older patients. He says that his patients may be poor, but they are spiritually rich and very clean and honest. He claims he makes his sons pick tobacco so when they become doctors they will understand their patients’ ailments.

27:55 Uneasy Neighbors. California. Story about illegal immigrants. Some residents complain about the presence of homeless Mexican workers.

29:05 Mexican workers talk about why they come to California to work and about how badly Americans treat them. The minimum wage in Mexico is three dollars a day.

32:20 Local homeowners explain their efforts to kick out the migrant workers.

32:50 Man explains that migrant workers are vital to the economy o f California and directly to the homes of locals, but locals want them to disappear after 5:00.

33:35 Pregnant woman manages to get hospital care. Asshole woman speaks about the migrants as if they were animals.

34:35 Migrant workers express sadness and uncertainty about their futures. Prayer meeting. Man explains that our society has its priorities set incorrectly. Asshole woman thinks the problem of the migrants is the government’s because they didn’t try hard enough to prevent them from getting in.

37:05 Man explains that the migrants who have been kicked out of one area will simply move to another rural area until they get kicked out again.

37:45 Simon recounts story of an immigrant woman who wore the symbol of one whose family has been “disappeared”.

38:50 The Littlest Immigrant. Minnesota. Story about a couple who adopted an 11-year-old Korean boy.

41:10 The family tries to communicate with their new family member.

43:50 Cockroaches, Flies, and Poets. Story about young white squatters. These people apparently want to live outside the system. Man recites poetry over images. The difference between homeless people and squatters is choice.

49:15 Boston. Story about Phoan Kim, a Cambodian immigrant. Kim tells stories of poverty and his parents starving to death. Kim has found new “parents” in the United States.

53:45 Coming home. Minneapolis. Joni Mitchell-style singer sings folksong about coming home.

56:10 Credits.

57:35 End of Tape.



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