“The Thread” podcast narrator Sean Braswell tells a series of inter-related stories. All of the stories have a single common link, whether it’s about a human relationship or a random chance encounter on the street. Like six degrees of separation, across the expanse of time.
The Thread’s storyteller considers how seemingly innocuous past occurrences can make significant impacts on the present and future.
- If JD Salinger hadn’t been so hopelessly in love with Eugene O’Neill’s daughter Oona, he might not have written the story of the frustrated young man in “The Catcher in the Rye”. And if Oona had been shown some love from her father, maybe she would not have scandalously eloped with the much older Charlie Chaplain, leaving a bunch of suitors, like JD Salinger, frustrated and alone.
- And despite carrying the only draft of that story in his pocket during the invasion of D-Day during WWII, draftee Salinger—and the story—went on to survive and become an inspirational literary classic.
- Unfortunately, one of the people inspired by the book was Mark David Chapman, who was obsessed with the story, to the point of missing John Lennon while reading it the first night he waited for him. And then Mark Chapman stood by quietly reading it again the next night while waiting for police to arrest him for the murder of John Lennon.
What if JD Salinger suffered the fate so many others suffered on D-Day? The podcast makes me think about the impact people can have on each other, and how one encounter can change the outcome of multiple stories. Who influences who, and is it for better or worse? Or both? And what impact might we unknowingly have on each other and the future? I love the way the stories tie the past and present, breathing life into historical context.