Steven's father had been diagnosed with cancer. The doctors didn't think he would make it. Pale and bald, he didn't look himself. Steven wanted to take a picture, made a video, just in case. Dad refused. "I got so mad," Steven remembers. "I regret not just coming up to him and saying, 'Dad, five minutes.' "
Steven's dad died on June 12, 2011. "The only time I can hear his voice is on our answering machine for two seconds," Steven says. "Hi, Heinz family, leave a message."
Then-U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker (left) shakes hands with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in 2011. During his 37 years as a diplomat, Crocker served as ambassador to six Muslim countries.
Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 10:20 am
Each week,Weekend Edition Sundayhost Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.
Ryan Crocker is a long-time U.S. diplomat who served as ambassador in six Muslim countries. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian award, from President George W. Bush.
Born into a military family, Crocker says he was drawn to the foreign service because he grew up overseas and spent time traveling in the Middle East.
The Supreme Court may rule on gay marriage this week. Advocates both for and against are glad the issue didn't reach the court any sooner.
They didn't want a repeat of the abortion issue. With its landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, the high court stepped in and guaranteed a right to abortion but also triggered a backlash that has lasted for 40 years.
With same-sex marriage, by contrast, legislators and voters in nearly every state had the chance to make their feelings known before the Supreme Court weighs in.
Louis Parsons in his late teens, circa 1946, standing beside an Aeronca Champion airplane, a typical trainer plane for aspiring post-war private pilots.
Credit Parsons Family Photograph
Louis Parsons in November 1960, shortly before he gave up flying and started a family. The truck in the background says "Parsons Airpark," after the private airport he built in Carpinteria, Calif. In the 1950s, movie stars would sometimes fly in on their way up to Santa Barbara.
My dad was a mild-mannered guy. Never bragged. Hated sports. Mom won the arguments. He was an avocado farmer near Santa Barbara, but being dad was his No. 1 job.
He read me bedtime stories, never missed a piano recital or a family dinner. And he played it safe: Dad's idea of adventure was driving his Ford Taurus to town without the wiper fluid filled to the top.
In the late 1970s, activists in Iran had a brief moment of hope. The revolution had succeeded; the shah's repressive regime had been overthrown. But things quickly turned for the worse. The newly formed Islamic Republic threw vocal dissenters in prison, and in 1988, it quietly executed thousands of them.
Egyptian employees of the Cairo Opera House and opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi hold placards during a demonstration inside the opera's compound in Cairo on May 30, following the dismissal of the head of the opera house. The firing is the latest salvo in a cultural war between artists and the ruling Muslim Brotherhood.
Credit Khaled Desouki / AFP/Getty Images
Enas Abdel-Dayem, former head of the Cairo Opera House (center), is greeted by employees and activists on May 30 as they chant anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a protest demanding the resignation of Egypt's culture minister.
On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts SI and the second word starts with T. For example, given "unadorned set of facts," you would say, "simple truth."
Last week's challenge: Name a movie in two words — five letters in each word. Both words start with vowels. Take one letter in the first word, move it two spaces later in the alphabet, and rearrange the result. You'll get the second word in the movie's title. What movie is it?