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Family Business: Sound Effect, Episode 60

Cecil Stoughton White House Photographs
National Archives, via Wikimedia Commons
Joining the family business, be it politics, a potato farm, or a roadside tourist trap, can be tricky.


We get all tangled up in family dynamics on this edition Sound Effect with stories of “Family Business.”

We begin in Marsh’s Free Museumin Long Beach, Washington, where Dave Marsh is the third generation to run this roadside attraction. His grandfather founded the store, which now contains taxidermy, vintage carny memorabilia, a (purportedly) real human tapeworm in a jar and, of course, Jake the Alligator Man.

For Julie Randolph-Habecker, the family business is pathology. Her father was a pathologist in rural Ohio where she grew up (she once mistakenly took a brown bag from the fridge to school for lunch, only to find it contained a gall bladder). She followed in his footsteps and became a histopathologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. But their worlds truly collided when her father became ill. Julie found herself looking at a piece of her dad through a microscope, and it did not look good.

Next, we meet the husband and wife team behind Hollow Earth Radio, the internet (and soon to be low-power FM) station based in Seattle’s Central District. We’ll hear how the project and their marriage are woven together, and why, after years, one spouse decided to get out of the family business and leave it to her husband.

Then, how families handle an unexpected change; What happens when they find out their child is transgender? New research from the University of Washington suggests trans kids who are accepted by their parents tend to have positive mental health measures, while previous studies had shown alarming rates of anxiety and depression. Plus, we’ll meet Sophie, a curly-haired six-year-old girl from Bellingham who was born a boy.

We’ll revisit our interview with Logan Hofkamp, who at age 16 decided he’d be better off on his own. He had himself emancipated from his family, and eventually went on to a successful job catering to the entertainment industry in L.A. But now, in hindsight, he says he can see things much more from his father’s point of view.

And finally, KPLU’s own Nick Morrisondescribes returning to his semi-estranged father as a young long-haired hippie in the 1960s. Working on his dad’s potato farm, the two stumble upon a reconciliation, which would forever change both their relationship and the way Nick’s father thought about weirdos.

Sound Effect is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer.