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, Sept. 2

You can see a selection of Chinese films or meditate on the meaning of the word “axis” at an art exhibition.

NPR

These 5 Crops Are Still Hand-Harvested, And It's Hard Work

Saffron, vanilla, palm oil, cacao and cottonseed oil are still picked by hand in some parts of the world. Sometimes that manual labor shows up in the price of the food; sometimes it doesn't.
NPR

The Politics Of Calling In Sick

A growing grass-roots movement aims to establish paid sick leave in the U.S., enjoying some success at the city and state level. The issue is already playing big in 2014 political races.
NPR

Why Do We Blindly Sign Terms Of Service Agreements?

Audie Cornish talks with University of Chicago Law School professor Omri Ben-Shahar about terms of service agreements for software and websites.

Leave a Comment

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