Knoxville Archives - StoryCorps
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“He Was There In The Way He Could Be”: A Father Comes To Terms With His Own Dad

Tom Badgett grew up in small-town Tennessee during the 1950s. His father, Jim Patton Badgett was the president of a local bank and pillar of the community.

Tom’s father, James P. Badgett, in his late 50s. Photo courtesy of Tom Badgett.

Despite having a job where he had to be engaging and a good communicator, he was distant at home, which made Tom think hard about what kind of a parent he wanted to be.

He came to StoryCorps with his daughter, Jordan Perelle, to reflect on his complicated relationship with his dad.


Top Photo: Jordan Perelle and Tom Badgett at their StoryCorps interview in Knoxville, Tennessee on October 11, 2010. By Virginia Lora for StoryCorps.

This broadcast is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Originally aired July 7, 2023, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Reagan Richmond and Jack Richmond

In 1987, Jack Richmond was driving a forklift at work when the vehicle overturned onto him, crushing his leg below the knee. Initially he was in denial that he was going to lose his leg, but eventually he came to accept that he was going to have to live with a prosthetic limb, and dedicated himself to counseling and comforting others going through the same thing.

Since then Jack has run the Boston Marathon and now works for a company that designs and tests prosthetic limbs.

At StoryCorps, he talks with his daughter Reagan who was just 2 months old at the time of his accident about how he quietly helps others.

Originally aired April 19, 2013, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Kenneth and Gaye Honeycutt

On March 18, 1937, a gas leak at The Consolidated School of New London, Texas, led to an explosion that claimed the lives of nearly 300 students and teachers.

It remains one of the worst school disasters in US history.

Kenneth Honeycutt was playing near the school when the explosion happened. At StoryCorps, he shared memories of the tragedy with his wife, Gaye.

Mary Van Beke and her son Charles

94-year-old Mary Van Beke tells her son, Charles, about growing up in the 1920s.