Freedom – February 5, 2010 – Public radio stations are scheduled to rebroadcast “The House on Loon Lake” this weekend. The program, based on real incidents set in Freedom, originally aired in November 2001 and is considered to be one of the most popular episodes in the long-running radio series “This American Life.”
In the first act of the tale, writer Adam Beckman tells how as a young boy visiting Freedom, he and his friends broke into an abandoned house on Loon Lake Road. Inside they found an almost perfect time capsule of personal effects, abandoned for decades.
“It seemed like the family just vanished one day, leaving salt and pepper shakers on the table, notes on the bedroom mirror, and a wallet with money still inside,” according to the show’s program guide.
Beckman read some of the letters, kept a few as clues and for years wondered what had happened to the family on Loon Lake Road. As an adult, he returned to Freedom to find out, discovering that others were looking for the same answers.
The episode was named one of National Public Radio’s “Driveway Moments,” which are radio programs listened to in a car that are so riveting that you remain in the car to finish the story even after arriving at your destination.
Jonathan Kern, author of the book “Sound Reporting,” which examines the art and craft of audio journalism and production, described in an interview some of the things that go into creating a driveway moment.
“Driveway moments are not born, they’re created. And a lot of people have a hand in making them. But if I had to name one thing, I would say it is the ability of the reporter to connect with listeners in some intimate way.”
“The House on Loon Lake” will be broadcast a number of times on Saturday and Sunday on various New Hampshire public radio stations. Click here for the complete listing of times and stations.