Selected Shorts: Asking for Directions

“The Mappist,” by Barry Lopez, performed by Joe Spano and “Devil of a Curve,” by Walter Kirn, performed by Roscoe Lee Browne.

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Sunday, June 05, 2011

In two stories from contemporary American writers, people seek direction in their lives.

In the first, Barry Lopez’ “The Mappist,” a master mapmaker shows the way to a younger man in search of meaning in his life, telling him, “You represent a questing but lost generation of people ... You think an elegant order has disappeared, something that shows the way.” The reader at the Getty Center in Los Angeles is “Hill Street Blues” alum Joe Spano.

The late Roscoe Lee Browne (“Babe”) brings to wonderful life the quirky first person narrator of Walter Kirn’s “Devil of a Curve.”  Kirn hails from Livingston, Montana, and the story takes place in an isolated spot up country where a treacherous bit of road brings many a speeding car to grief, and seems to act as a moral judgment on the drivers’ thoughts and actions.

The musical interlude in this program is “Symphonic Ode”, by Aaron Copland. The SELECTED SHORTS theme is Roger Kellaway’s “Come to the Meadow.”

For additional works featured on SELECTED SHORTS, please click here. We’re interested in your response to these programs. Please comment on this site or visit the Selected Shorts Web site.

Hosted by:

Isaiah Sheffer

Produced by:

Sarah Montague


Roscoe Lee Browne and Joe Spano

Comments [1]

Greg Babo from Roselle, NJ

I heard these stories one Sunday afternoon while doing my weekend chores. I found the first story concerning the geographer and his dedication to detail heart rendering. The reason you ask, because it allowed me to remember graduating from college in 1979 with a degree in studio arts and wondering what I was going to do with my life. At that time I thought grad school seemed the way to go but chickened out of going on for my MFA. When considering grad programs I actually looked into Geography with an idea towards map making as it would have allowed me to combine several of my passions. That of being out of doors, visiting new places and attempting to capture images on paper with some accuracy. Anyway, long story short ( as they say) accepting input from many well meaning family members I chose pursuit of the MBA. As time will tell and as I see retirement several short years away, I can only wonder how different my life would be now had I actually made the decision for myself rather than pleasing others. Nto to worry though, I have recently learned that CUNY has a grad program in Music which can be completed at night. What a wonderful idea, I am suprised that some school hadn't thought of it before as I am sure there are many old garage band guitar slingers that would love to study music as a serious endevor. Before I sign off, I attended the concert sponsered by WNYC at the NYU hall one week ago Saturday. It was great! PS I have made my contribution during the last pledge drive.


Greg Babo

Jun. 28 2011 04:20 PM

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