Episode 4: Escape from New York

This fourth episode tells the story of how Papa Len “escaped from life in New York city” and began his career as a sales representative for the Lightolier company. He packed up “what was soon to become a broken down Plymouth” and embarked on a Westward journey with Lea Burnbaum, an unmarried woman whom he had been courting for past two-and-a-half years. (Although “the tongues would be wagging” about this, Lea and Leonard silenced the rumor mill by tying the knot several years later.)

This episode vividly describes an encounter with anti-semitism, a theme to be revisited in later episodes. Papa Len also reminisces about a visit to Mt. Rushmore, which he later recalled fondly when watching the cinematic classic North by Northwest.

Also in this episode, Leonard talks about Grant Wood, both before and after the seminal American Gothic.

You’ll also hear how Papa Len made a career for himself selling lighting fixtures in the Midwest as part of the Rural Electrification Administration.

Download and listen to “Escape from New York.”

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