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Act Two: Gangster's Daughter

Susan Berman, author of the memoir Easy Street, the True Story of a Gangster's Daugher, reads from her book about her father Davie Berman, a Jewish gangster and one of the men — with Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel — who created modern Las Vegas. (7 minutes) Act Two continues after the break.

Act Three: Reverb

Ellery Eskelin never met his father but always heard he was a musical genius. Years after his father's death, Ellery started finding recordings of his musical output: he was the king of "song-poems." These are the songs that result when people answer those ads in the backs of magazines that say, "Send us your lyrics, and we'll write and record your song." Ellery's father's musical output was prodigious — and very odd.

Act Three: Fireman

Actor Michael Stumm reads from fireman and fiction writer Larry Brown's book On Fire.

Act Three

Claudia Perez talks about how her 21-year-old brother was shot and the family thought he'd die.

Act One: Texas Girl

Jo Carol Pierce released a CD, Bad Girls Upset by the Truth, which documents in part her teenage years. Host Ira Glass shares a couple of songs from the CD and some of the stories behind them.

Act Three: Another Mixed Legacy

The late Ron Brown, the former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, could have had an easy life, but chose instead to take on stressful, difficult tasks.