Spalding Gray's Family Remembers A Man Who Was 'Never Boring' | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

Spalding Gray's Family Remembers A Man Who Was 'Never Boring'

Play associated audio

It's been 10 years since the writer and monologist Spalding Gray went missing from his home in New York. Two months later, his body was found in the East River in an apparent suicide.

The day he disappeared, his wife, Kathleen Russo, was leaving for work when Gray told her, "OK, goodbye, Honey."

"And I go, 'You never call me Honey!' " Kathleen tells her daughter and Gray's stepdaughter, Marissa Maier, on a visit to StoryCorps. "And he goes, 'Well, maybe I'll start!' So I left for work that day being hopeful that there was a future for us, that he was really going to try to get better."

After Gray went missing, people who thought they had seen him would send the family photos. "Did you hold out any hope that one of these people would be him?" Marissa asks her mother.

"At first I did, but he would never be that cruel to, like, disappear into the world and let us think that he was dead and start a new life somewhere else," Kathleen says.

"He taught me how to think, how to see the world," Marissa says. "And I was reading one of Spalding's books and he wrote, 'I know Marissa will survive and thrive for her whole life.' And that's such a gift, to have a parent write down how they feel about you."

"He opened up my world, too," Kathleen says. "It was never boring with Spalding. ... He was such a great part of our lives. I wish he was still here, but we were lucky that we had him for the short time that we did."

Audio produced for Morning Edition by Yasmina Guerda with Katie Simon.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, May 5, 2015

You can celebrate Cinco de Mayo a little late with a chamber concert or see a comedy by a local playwright.

NPR

'Bourbon Empire' Reveals The Smoke And Mirrors Of American Whiskey

A new book suggests that tall tales on craft bourbon labels are the rule rather than the exception. They're just one example of a slew of "carefully cultivated myths" created by the bourbon industry.
NPR

Can Huckabee Overcome The 'New Car Smell' Of Other Candidates?

This isn't Mike Huckabee's first time at the GOP presidential rodeo. He had the advantages of being a novelty upstart underdog in 2008. That's not the case this time around.
NPR

As Emoji Spread Beyond Texts, Many Remain [Confounded Face] [Interrobang]

There's a growing tendency to bring the tiny hieroglyphs off of phones, but not everyone is fluent. New takes on emoji integration suggest misunderstanding may be remedied with universal translation.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.