Episode 36: The Gargoyle Hunters by John Freeman Gill
Griffin Watts is 13 years old in 1974, and both his family and his city are in a state of progressive decay. His father has moved out; crime is on the rise; his home may be foreclosed upon; the city's going bankrupt. Buildings are being razed left and right, and Griffin's dad seems more concerned with salvaging New York's architectural treasures than with salvaging his family. As Griffin tries to understand his father's obsession with the New York City of the past, he's forced to grapple with all the unexpected ways people respond when the things they love get damaged, and to come to terms with the paradoxical relationship between creation and destruction.
Host Cyd Oppenheimer talks with author John Freeman Gill about the Bogardus Heist, a true-life unsolved architectural mystery ("I sat down to write that story that no one knew the ending of; I wanted to know the ending myself"); about the way his non-fiction writing mirrors his fiction ("I've always approached things from the point of view of storytelling and character; that's always what's interested me"); and about what it's like to carry around the first fifteen pages of your novel for twenty years before sitting down to write it.
Guest readers Alice Baumgartner and Alfie Guy join Oppenheimer to discuss collections and connections, restoration and re-creation, and stealing, salvage, and salvation.