A Grain of Sand

Series produced by Charles McGuigan

Caption: PRX default Series image
PRX default Series image 

Weekly series featuring real stories that spring from the well of memory. Every narrative illuminates our shared human experience. At least that's the hope of producer Charles McGuigan.

I want to achieve the effect of a short story but told in a way that makes the listener feel part of evolving action.I love stories and believe narrative that flows directly from the well of experience illuminates like arc light, strikes with the force of iron.


150 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Frances Hilary McGuigan, Credit: Doug Dobery
This journey begins in the deepest recesses of the human brain--the hippocampus, and ends in the memory support unit of a retirement community. It'...

  • Added: Aug 31, 2013
  • Length: 54:59
Caption: PM was one of the North Side witches., Credit: Catherine McGuigan
Witch-hunts are curious phenomena, and thoroughly reactionary in nature. They generally begin with an inexplicable event of one kind or other—cows ...

  • Added: Aug 30, 2013
  • Length: 26:55
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Alzheimer’s sucks an entire life away, bit by bit at first, almost imperceptibly. By degrees memories--short-term, and then long-term--begin to fad...

  • Added: Aug 05, 2013
  • Length: 27:30
Caption: Madison County, Credit: Charles McGuigan
More than 75 years ago Shenandoah National Park opened to the public for the first time. One of the most scenic routes in Virginia— Skyline Drive w...

  • Added: Jun 09, 2013
  • Length: 53:40
Caption: Crossing the Rio Bravo.
At just sixteen Victor left his home in Guadalajara and crossed the river into Texas only to be picked up by immigration agents and returned to Mex...

  • Added: Mar 30, 2013
  • Length: 28:06
Caption: Calvin Jollimore and his daughter., Credit: Charles McGuigan
Prince Edward Island is known the world over for its mussels. Nothing quite like them and those produced on PEI account for 80 percent of all musse...

  • Added: Feb 17, 2013
  • Length: 27:06
Caption: Brendan Angus McGuigan, Credit: Charles McGuigan
this week’s episode contains two parts. The first act is called Weather or Not. Act Two is titled Life Among The Immortals. They’re about my two s...

  • Added: Jan 29, 2013
  • Length: 28:11
Caption: Jay Ipson in front of the Virginia Holocaust Museum., Credit: John MacLellan
Jay Ipson, the youngest Holocaust survivor living in Virginia today, lived in an underground lair for six months during the Nazi occupation of his ...

  • Added: Oct 14, 2011
  • Length: 59:14
Caption: Abbie Waters
Abbie Catherine Waters was just nine years and two days old when she left this world. I have heard men and women who knew Abbie refer to her as an ...

Bought by WHCP-LP Cambridge


  • Added: Apr 11, 2012
  • Length: 55:07
  • Purchases: 1
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Page Wilson was a singer and a song writer and host of the most popular music show in Richmond, Virginia. Called the Out of the Blue Radio Revue, i...

  • Added: Mar 06, 2012
  • Length: 55:45
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A bell tower that has been mute for 70 years at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia is about to get a voice thanks to Diane Watkins.

  • Added: Feb 16, 2012
  • Length: 55:55
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Edward Harden Peeples V was a racist practically from birth. But once out of the orbit of Richmond, Virginia, he went through a transformation whic...

  • Added: Feb 15, 2012
  • Length: 55:38
Caption: Mattie River
Mattie River looked like a puppy when we first found her. She was small and frightened, could barely stand on her own paws. Her wants seemed so ins...

  • Added: Jun 30, 2011
  • Length: 25:56
Caption: PRX default Piece image
Richmond Virginia's Folk Festival led to the creation of a sister city relationship with Segou, Mali. In time, these two cities will be exchanging ...

  • Added: Oct 30, 2009
  • Length: 27:41
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Sammy Marques learned how to do warm-ups. He learned how to read a room, how to ingratiate himself to the audience. But it all gets back to the sto...

  • Added: Oct 12, 2009
  • Length: 25:27
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Sammy Marques tells stories, one-man-shows that last an hour and more. The stories within the bigger stories are chapters of his life. And becaus...

  • Added: Oct 12, 2009
  • Length: 25:28
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Sammy Marques, descended from Portuguese seamen, was expatriated from his native America by his missionary father. When he returned stateside he ma...

  • Added: Sep 18, 2009
  • Length: 27:20
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For three generations, Sammy Marques’ family was stuck in a sort of revolving door of emigration from Europe to the United States and back again. I...

  • Added: Sep 18, 2009
  • Length: 28:28
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Rolanda Scott, an art teacher and glass sculptor, has had one bout of cancer after another for the past eight years. When her time comes Rolanda's ...

  • Added: Jun 22, 2009
  • Length: 29:23
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Rolanda Scott is a glass sculptor. But she also molds young minds as an art instructor. About eight years ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer ...

  • Added: Jun 19, 2009
  • Length: 28:20