Neighbors | Nashville Public Radio

Neighbors

  • Hosted by Jakob Lewis

Neighbors is a show from Nashville Public Radio, created and produced by Jakob Lewis. It's a show about what connects us. Whether it's food, death, ritual, language, family or friendship, there is a lot to gather around in this world.

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Neighbors: The Digger

Aug 15, 2017

Whit Hill digs up items she finds with a metal detector — Civil War bullets, forgotten toys, old coins. Her treasures, and the songs she writes about them, remind her that there’s always the possibility of wonder in the ground beneath her feet.

Photo by Jakob Lewis, design by Mack Linebaugh / WPLN

Robert Person Sr. — Percy, as he’s known — has been shining shoes for 70 years. He started around age 10 and now, at 80, continues to work at Percy’s Shoe Shine Service in Nashville. He’s worn out, stressed out, but this veteran shoe shiner just can’t stop.

Mack Linebaugh / WPLN

Prepare to be embedded into a gaggle of neighborhood kids, playing at the peak of summer. Producer Erica Heilman from the always-delightful podcast Rumblestrip brings us the story of children holding on to the last gasps of youth.

Neighbors: The Fighter

Jul 4, 2017
Mack Linebaugh / WPLN

Wayne cherishes his independence. And having had ALS for 33 years, he has to fight for it everyday. But his disease is only one of the seemingly insurmountable challenges he’s faced.

Mack Linebaugh / WPLN

When Denice Hicks has to step unexpectedly into the role of King Lear, in some ways, she’s doing what she’s always done: living life like it’s her last day. What happens when you do that everyday over the course of a life?  

Eddie and Mary Helen live in Chattanooga, Tenn. — a city, like many in the country, that still feels the effects of segregation. They started examining their hometown through the lens of race and ended up throwing a party.

Dave Hayes is a “social media-rologist”. He has no meteorology degree, but posts dense and poetic weather updates on Facebook where he’s grown quite a following. Hear how one man uses his computer to bring Western Massachusetts together and protect them from the elements.


Bethany embalmed bodies for a living, but she couldn’t help but empathize with every corpse she worked on, seeing her job as one final gift — one that was taking its toll. It turns out, some professions require a certain detachment.

Hannah has a rare genetic disorder that causes her to stop breathing when she goes to sleep. She wears a ventilator at night. How does having to constantly monitor a basic human function change how Hannah and her family approach life? 

In 2011, Rinker Buck crossed the Oregon Trail — yes, that Oregon Trail — in a covered wagon pulled by a team of mules. He traveled with his brother Nick and a Jack Russell Terrier named Olive Oyl. The journey forced Rinker to confront his greatest fear.

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