What Was That Like

What Was That Like

First-hand true stories - a plane crash, a mass shooting, a bear attack, a train derailing, and more. The guest tells us exactly what happened, and answers the question, What Was That Like?

Episodes

May 20, 2022 77 min
Content warning - this episode includes descriptions of sexual violence and domestic abuse. Listener discretion is advised.
Here in the United States, slavery is illegal. The 13th Amendment to the US Constitution was passed by Congress on January 31, 1865 and it was ratified later that same year.
That amendment reads in part “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have be...
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I live in a wonderful little town in Florida, called Safety Harbor. It’s in the Tampa Bay area. And one of the things that people love about this place is that there are lots of big, shady trees.
There’s one particular tree that everyone knows about. It’s a huge oak tree, called the Baranoff Oak, and it’s named after one of the early property owners here. This tree is estimated to be over 300 years old, and it’s huge – the diamete...
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I find it so interesting that sometimes we can take what seems to be a really small action, but it ends up being something really big.
Back in 1998, I was living in Maine with my wife and our two young kids. I was working at a regular office job. Then one day, I needed to have some printing done. This was before the days of the high-quality inkjet printers, so it was common to go to a local print shop and get whatever you needed t...
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Like a lot of people these days, I work from home. And I really enjoy that. But many years ago, I had a more traditional job where I worked in an office building with other people. And there was a thing I liked to do that some of my co-workers thought was a bit odd.
We got an hour off for lunch each day. And sometimes I’d go to the breakroom and eat, or maybe a few of us would get together and go have lunch at a local restaurant. ...
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March 25, 2022 73 min
Do you remember the movie called The Fugitive?
It came out in 1993, and it starred Harrison Ford as Dr. Richard Kimble, who was unjustly accused of murdering his wife. Throughout the movie, he’s working to find the REAL killer. But at the same time, he’s the target of a nationwide manhunt, led by a seasoned US Marshal – played by Tommy Lee Jones. It’s a really good one.
In a scene from that movie, probably the most famous scene, ...
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March 11, 2022 72 min
Right now, I’d like you to take a minute, and imagine this scenario.
I live in Florida, in the southeast area of the United States. I like it here. We have good weather most of the time, which means I can get out and bike almost every morning year round. My area is highly populated, so anything I need is readily available – grocery stores always stocked with food, lots of doctors and hospitals for medical care, and paved roads so ...
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March 8, 2022 4 min
In the series premiere, radio DJ Fred Heckman (Jon Hamm) receives an unexpected call from a listener that turns his life upside down. Follow American Hostage on Amazon Music. To hear all 8 episodes right now: wondery.fm/WWTL_AmericanHostage 
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Deral Dean Ritter. Probably not a name you’ve heard before.
In 1986, Ritter was 34 years old, and he was living in Waurika, Oklahoma. In fact, he was living in the Jefferson County jail. He was serving a 7-month sentence. The crime that landed him there sounds kind of silly, by today’s standards. He was convicted of possession of marijuana. Medical cannabis is now legal in Oklahoma, and there’s currently a strong push for the lega...
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February 21, 2022 7 min
Two Youtubers promise their followers the secret of true love. But when some of their believers cross the line from love to obsession, the Youtubers are accused of running a cult. As they fight for their new way of life, their followers face a choice too. They have been promised a chance to find The One, but how far is too far?
Listen to Twin Flames: wondery.fm/WWTL_TwinFlames
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February 11, 2022 96 min
Remember back in the day, when everyone got up on Monday morning, and went to work?
I’ve worked from home for a long time, but I do remember having jobs with that kind of routine. Wake up, take a shower, have some coffee and breakfast, drive to work, and come back home at the end of the day. Next morning, you do the same thing.
In the past couple of years, because of the pandemic, a lot more people are working from home instead o...
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January 28, 2022 72 min
Sometimes, you see a phone call coming in and you just know that something bad has happened.
I remember back several years ago, when my dad was still alive. He was in pretty poor health. He could still walk around, sort of, but it was with a walker, and it was very slowly. I’m the oldest of three sons, and of the three, I live the closest. It’s only about a 5 or 6 minute drive for me to get to my parents’ place, so if something ha...
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January 14, 2022 73 min
I believe that people, for the most part, are good. When a tragedy happens, we want to help.
That’s really the whole basis for the GoFundMe website. You can read about someone who’s in some kind of desperate situation, whether it’s from an accident, or a critical illness, or something else – and you can literally help them.
And when something really devastating happens, and it affects a whole city, we see an immediate result – th...
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December 31, 2021 89 min
As human beings, one of the things we crave is community. We need social interaction, and we want to feel like we belong in a group. Whether it’s family, or co-workers, or a church, or a local club – it seems like we need to be with other people.
But for some people, there are times when we like being alone. I ride my bike every morning, and it’s something I really look forward to – just being out there for an hour, just me and my...
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December 17, 2021 64 min
The subway system in New York City is pretty impressive.
It opened in 1904 so it’s one of the oldest subway systems in the world. And it is definitely the largest, with 472 stations. And throughout its history, the subway has offered service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week almost continuously. The exceptions are usually emergencies and disasters, such as 9/11.
You want to take a guess as to how many people ride the subway, on an av...
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December 3, 2021 74 min
On the morning of April 19, 1995, a former US Army soldier parked a rented Ryder truck in front of the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building, located in downtown Oklahoma City.
Inside the truck was everything he needed to carry out his plan of terrorism and mass murder. He had a large bomb, which he created using agricultural fertilizer and some chemicals, including diesel fuel. After parking the car, he got out and walked toward his g...
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November 19, 2021 46 min
As I walk or bike through my neighborhood, one of the saddest things I often see is a flyer stuck to a telephone pole or electric pole, telling about a lost dog.
We have a couple of little dogs, Lilly and Fenway. They’re both Yorkies. And believe me, they are family. I can’t imagine the stress and anxiety and sadness if we suddenly discovered one of them were missing.
So that’s what I think about when I see one of those flyers. S...
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November 8, 2021 6 min
During the 1-900 number craze of the Nineties, one company provided the vast majority of phone sex. American Telnet was an empire founded by the man who called himself “The Telephone Pimp.” He ran the company “like General Motors” and got filthy rich doing it. But for the (mostly) women who answered the calls and delivered fantasies 24-7, it was a different story. The powerful stigma against sex work was always lurking just beneath...
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November 5, 2021 65 min
Few things are scarier than being attacked by a shark.
Australian Mick Fanning was in a professional surfing competition, which was being broadcast live around the world. Viewers watched as a shark approached him and he was quickly rescued by nearby safety crews – the only damage was the leash that connected him to his surfboard had been chewed through.
In 1963, Rodney Fox was competing in a spearfishing tournament. A great white...
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I’ve lived in places where the winter is really cold. Personally, I can say I prefer to live here in Florida, where it’s usually relatively warm. 
I don’t miss shoveling snow, or driving on roads that are icy, and it’s been a long time since my fingers and toes felt numb from the cold temperatures. I know some people prefer a colder climate, and I’m fine with that. The world is more interesting because we are all different.
But w...
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October 15, 2021 70 min
This is a bonus episode of What Was That Like.
If this were a regular episode, you’d be hearing someone telling a story of how they survived a mass shooting, or when they got attacked by a grizzly bear, or that time they won $100,000 on Wheel of Fortune. We have guests on with all kinds of crazy stories, and they tell exactly what happened, first hand.
But this episode is different. A while back, I asked my listeners to send in t...
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