Driveway Moments


What is a driveway moment?

Picture this: you're driving home after a long day at work. The radio is on, but instead of some ordinary news piece, you're listening to a story that really grabs your attention.

The voices, the use of sound and maybe music, the events of the story pull you in so completely that when you get home, you don't get out of the car. You sit there with the radio on, in the driveway, so that you can listen to the end of the story. Everything else can wait!

That is a driveway moment.

I love stories like that. Stories that make you forget whatever else you're doing; the kind of stories that you want to tell friends or your family about afterwards.

Here are a few of my favorite driveway moments taken from stories you'll hear in the American Voices project.

--Curt Ford, Editor

When you can't turn the radio off...
When you can't turn the radio off...
... because you have to hear the end of the story.
... because you have to hear the end of the story.


As I was putting my shoes and my belt back on, I was approached by two Nashville Metro police officers. "You the one with the bowie knife?" said the first officer.
"Well, it's not really a bowie knife," I replied. "It's an Opinel No. 12. I used it out in the woods last weekend to cut some Gruyère cheese and some French bread."
"Well, you ain't in the woods now, are you son?" he asked. "No, sir," I said. "You got any outstanding warrants?" "No, sir."
"You ever been under arrest?" "No, sir." "Well, you are now." I said, "I am?" "Yup."

I was handcuffed and led to a room in the airport where I had my mug shot and fingerprints taken...


...he found Nancy, rope around her neck, an iron band around her wrists. And he ran to her, and he slipped his hand between her bound hands, and laced his fingers in hers, and he walked with her in a slow march for four miles, and then watched as she disappeared into the night.


...and I looked at him, and I said “You're alive! You're alive! You're alive!”
And he pulled me into a hug, and he said “Yeah, I thought you needed to know that.”
It's just - you have no idea what it's like to be voluntarily hugged by the child you gave away...


00:00 David Schulman: Jacques Cousteau called it “the Silent World” ... Let’s just say, he got that one wrong.
00:06 [sounds] 00:08 Off the coast of Bermuda, 2,000 feet down. These are humpback whales singing, in a tropical storm.
00:20 [whales]

00:26 DS: But these days, those whale singers have a lot of competition.
00:32 CC: The ocean is being industrialized — acoustically industrialized.


...They live in a charming neighborhood of bungalows just off Hollywood Boulevard. But they secretly dream of living in a giant igloo made of dirt.

00:17 Speaker 2: And here is Cal-Earth, you can see on your right.

00:20 Speaker 3: Oh my god.

00:21 S2: Yeah, it's - it's totally, totally different.

00:25 EM: We drove an hour east of LA to the town of Hesperia. As I entered Cal-Earth, I felt like I was walking onto the set of Luke Skywalker's house.

00:33 Speaker 4: It's like "Star Wars" and "Lord of the Rings" put together.

00:37 EM: The connection to outer space is not a coincidence. The idea for these houses came from a lunar colony. It started out as a NASA project designed by the Iranian architect Nader Khalili...


An actor walks on stage. It's stripped bare, except for the color green. His co-star is a tennis ball...It sounds like experimental theater, but this is how actors work in Hollywood these days. It's called a green screen.

Ioan Gruffudd was trained at the Royal Academy of the Arts in London. Then he got cast in the Fantastic Four series as Mr. Fantastic.

"The times where we had to create things were... Well, especially for me, was whenever I stretched. You know, I mean, I can't physically do that obviously, so I'm continually imagining myself doing it and I think that's the key word here is – you just have to use your imagination. And that's where I think it's probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to do as – as an actor because you're not only acting, you're then imagining what you're reacting to also. So you're almost doing twice the work."

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