RHODcast: May 24, 2021
There’s a sadness to Nick Bryant’s valediction to the United States that the title doesn’t try to sugar coat. When America Stopped Being Great isn’t a paean to a future in which millennials scattering Bitcoins as they go will ride a digital wave to put right all of the country’s undeniable wrongs. It is, alas, more about those problems and the mixed-up place into which Bryant’s daughter Honor, in the third month of Covid and the third night of a New York curfew, had the fortune to be born. Life doesn’t stop, as he talks about being received by Donald Trump with extraordinary courtesy and laments Hillary Clinton’s politically fatal aloofness. Join me for Nick’s remarkably fond farewell.
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An extraordinary gamble in early 2020 made RICK BOYD rich. But since we spoke back in March of 2021, it’s been a torrid spring for Bitcoin investors. Would you be OK with it? Is he? And whatever happened after HEATHER CAIRNS realized some of the torrent of wealth that came her way when Google went public? It’s all about risk, after all.
It all began with… a Chinese dinner? Or did it begin when HEATHER CAIRNS would invigilate the tests taken by two “child prodigy” graduate students in the engineering faculty at Stanford. Anyway, one thing led to another. Heather eventually returned to her home town on Boston’s North Shore where people still call her The Google Lady.
One hot day in June, Rhod joins BETTE HUNT, the emeritus historian of Marblehead, Mass. for a walk through the town’s almost 400 year old graveyard. Old Burial Hill connects the living with the dead in some strange ways as they discourse on Thornton Wilder’s famous play, George Washington’s favorite general, the Marblehead woman convicted at the Salem witch trials and the fairly undiscussed existence of a “negro” burial site in this quintessentially Yankee town.
He tried to hawk them from his wheelbarrow and even built a backyard museum for them without success. After his death some of his paintings were used as building material by his cash-strapped son. And yet as his huge output of historically significant work became better known in the 1950s, “a pretty big shadow” was cast over the art of JOJ Frost. What prevented people who owned his paintings from coming forward? Rhod hears from one of the mother and daughter team who have done more than anyone to try to bring the rest of Frost’s surviving “canvases” to light.