The 'Black Sheep' of the Family

Thursday, December 06, 2012

We all have them in our families: the black sheep, the eccentric relative who breaks from the norm, who may become the butt of jokes, or is whispered about at the dinner table. 

As we approach the holidays, Takeaway listeners share their family stories, along with Takeaway host, John Hockenberry.

Listener Don from California shared this story. "My family had no white sheep. My Aunt Mae was probably the most interesting black sheep. The first time she cooked a chicken, it took her three hours. After she removed all the bones, she took tweezers and removed the veins." 

Dana shared her story on Facebook. "I had a great uncle...who lacked my grandmother's peity and faith. He swore in front of us kids, he often 'checked out' the attractive women during church prayers...an intelligent man who had some far out theories about war and the world."

Comments [5]

Marla from Dallas, TX

It seems to me that the real issue regarding taxes is one fairness (perceived and otherwise). Can someone please explain to me why a flat tax for everyone, including corporations (after all, according to Citizens United they are people too), with no deductions (they just skew the free market anyway) and a requirement that government live within its means (ie, no deficit spending), wouldn't work?

Dec. 07 2012 12:19 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

My Uncle Marcus had a phone in his car in the sixties! He worked for IBM and had a crazy idea that everybody should have a computer in their home. He raised the money but forgot to deliver the product and almost went to jail... There are many stories of my Uncle. I thought he was James Bond.

Dec. 06 2012 11:50 AM
Todd Weinstein from Brooklyn NY

John great program about an aspect of family's. The interview with Marc Asnin about his new book "Uncle Charlie" will be shared with many generations to come. Its a body of work, a document of Marc's photographs and a text narrative by his Uncle Charlie into a family that touches everyone in someway.

Dec. 06 2012 11:17 AM
John Mazzella from Manhattan

How come whenever Hake describes a black sheep, it's never a female? It's "the guy" with the tats, "the uncle" with the trophy wife? Why not describe the trophy wife/aunt by marriage as the black sheep? After all, she freely made the choice to marry the older, vulnerable, rich uncle. There's so much latent anti-male sexism in both the conservative and liberal media. By the way, i LOVE how you are playing the music of the late, great Dave. Thanks.

Dec. 06 2012 10:03 AM
A Listener in NYC from NYC

I grew up in a highly dysfunctional "blended" family that was broadly affected by mental illness, so "black sheep" is hard to define. Example: The family matriarch was an uncontrolled bipolar who probably had a personality disorder on top of that. My grandfather was a co-dependent who enabled her but sat silently in anger. Before I was born she had alienated the rest of the extended family, whom I have never met. Every holiday involved tolerating her stream of never-ending drama and abuse. Unwinding this and its effects has not been easy.

Dec. 06 2012 09:46 AM

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