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CBS Sunday Morning January 19,2020

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
The Truth Network Radio
January 19, 2020 2:09 pm

CBS Sunday Morning January 19,2020

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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January 19, 2020 2:09 pm

Instead of presidents or admirals, an enlisted sailor will be honored when the USS Doris Miller is christened. David Martin reports.Actress Laura Dern stars in two Oscar-nominated movies, and is nominated for an Academy Award for her performance as a razor-sharp divorce lawyer in "Marriage Story." She sits down with Tracy Smith. One psychiatrist's long-forgotten idea on giving support to those hospitalized or treated for depression or attempting suicide is being revived, and is finding positive results in an era of texting. Lee Cowan reports.

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Let's partner for all of it. Learn more at Good morning. Jane Pauley is off today. I'm Mo Rocca, and this is Sunday morning. We begin today with the age-old question, what's in a name? Plenty, it turns out, when it comes to the Navy's decision on what to call a future aircraft carrier. It's to be named tomorrow for a hero of World War II and of the civil rights movement. As David Martin will report in our cover story. Aircraft carriers are usually named for American presidents, a tradition that is about to be overturned. What was your personal reaction?

Oh, I was, I was overwhelmed. And it's a reminder, too, that heroism is in no way limited by race, by gender, by background, by rank or rating. The enlisted sailor who will receive an honor reserved for very few Americans ahead on Sunday morning. Our Sunday profile this morning is of Laura Dern, the Hollywood star whose current success now has its very own word, as we'll hear from Tracy Smith.

I will not, not be rich. Big little lies. You remind me of myself. Little women. This is a street this is a street fight now.

Marriage story. Actress Laura Dern is in so many great roles these days, they're calling it the Dern-a-sance. What do you think of the term the Dern-a-sance?

I mean, it sounds fantastic. Laura Dern on a roll later on Sunday morning. Reaching Out is a story from Lee Cowan, all about a promising approach aimed at preventing people who are troubled from taking their own lives. Kevin Hines is a walking miracle. I never wanted to die off the Golden Gate Bridge. I categorically believed I had to. Yep, he jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge and survived.

But what might have kept him from jumping at all could have been something as simple as getting a letter in the mail. This is radical if you think about it in comparison to what we've been doing. How an idea long forgotten is back in the fight against suicide ahead on Sunday morning. They're the small wonders that play a very big role in cuisine and culture the world over. They're dumplings and with kelofa sanae we'll taste a few. For the zoo family dumpling making is an art and trust me it takes years to master. It's more difficult than an accident. No it's exactly as difficult as it looks.

I did not for a second look at this and think this looks like something I could do. Later on Sunday morning we celebrate the Lunar New Year one bite at a time. Anthony Mason is on the road to the Grammys with Mumford and Sons.

Barry Peterson shows us works of Claude Monet on display. With Rita Braver we mark the passing of the Kiwi Queen and more all coming up when our Sunday morning podcast continues. Tomorrow is the Martin Luther King Jr holiday as well as the day the question what's in a name takes on new significance.

It's a day David Martin tells us that honors a hero and shatters a precedent. The aircraft carrier is the symbol of American power. 90,000 tons of diplomacy the Navy likes to say. Almost all of them are named after presidents until acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modley broke with tradition. So the list of carriers is going to read Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Reagan, Truman, Eisenhower, Bush, Ford, Kennedy, Miller.

Exactly right and I like it when you put it that way. That's Miller as in Dory Miller. The next aircraft carrier to be built will be named for the grandson of slaves and son of sharecroppers.

The official announcement is tomorrow. We decided to do this on Martin Luther King's birthday out at Pearl Harbor. His closest surviving relatives Florida Miller and Brenda Haven are still getting used to having a carrier named for their uncle Dory who served in the segregated Navy of World War II.

That's a great honor because it's been a hard long road. He was born in Waco, Texas and his first name was actually Doris. So I've never heard of a man named Doris. Where did that name come from? My grandma thought she was having a girl and it wasn't a girl.

Doris turned out to be a boy so that's where that name came from. Waco has been described in those years as the place where the old south met the wild west and like much of America back then Jim Crow ruled. White man was yes sir. White lady yes ma'am. You didn't disrespect whatsoever.

Don't care how old you are. There were no economic opportunities for a young black man so he joined the Navy. At least there the pay was steady. Navy policy at that time limited blacks to those duties that were manual that they thought didn't require a whole lot of intellect.

Regina Acres is a historian with the Naval History and Heritage Command. When Dory Miller came in he was limited to the mess man's branch pretty much. What does a mess attendant do? Basically a mess attendant takes care of an officer. You lay out his clothes, you shine his shoes and then you serve in the officer's mess. Miller served aboard the battleship West Virginia which on Sunday morning December 7, 1941 was tied up on Battleship Road in Pearl Harbor.

Dory Miller had just finished serving breakfast and he was sorting laundry. The West Virginia was hit by nine Japanese torpedoes and two bombs. Miller was ordered to the bridge to evacuate the ship's captain who lay mortally wounded.

What happened next was dramatized by Cuba Gooding Jr. in the movie Pearl Harbor. Against all rules Miller manned a machine gun. The irony of this is that back in the 40s pre-World War II African Americans were not allowed to have any jobs where they handled machine guns or any type of lethal force. When the Navy which Miller had joined in 1939 awarded medals to those who had fought bravely it didn't even mention the name Doris Miller. Why wouldn't the Navy right from the start at least identify him by name instead of calling him an unknown negro sailor? Well see you'd have to be a negro in 1939 to understand that.

The status of African Americans they were treated like second-class citizens. Four months later the Pittsburgh Courier perhaps the leading African American newspaper of the day finally published the name and the Secretary of the Navy grudgingly gave him a letter of commendation. In his opinion that's all he warranted however others disagreed the press black and white press disagreed the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People disagreed. As recorded on Miller's service card in the Navy archives there it is there you go President Roosevelt stepped in and ordered him awarded the Navy Cross. That was not with that controversy there are some people who did not want him to receive the Navy Cross because of his race. He received the medal from Admiral Chester Nimitz who noted Miller was the first person of his race to receive such a high honor. He understood the importance of having a black hero to encourage other blacks to support the Navy's war effort. Miller went on a speaking tour and became a black celebrity in the same league as heavyweight champion Joe Lewis and singer Lena Horne. Some considered him just as important just as aspirational drew just as much hope from him.

Is he comfortable with his celebrity? No not at all his goal was really to get to his next ship. He was assigned to the aircraft carrier Liscum Bay which less than a year after Pearl Harbor was sunk by a Japanese torpedo.

Dori Miller was never seen again. It's kind of hard thinking of my grandmother her hurt she used to say had I been a white woman they would have treated me better but I'm a black woman and my son is a hero. Over the years his legacy has been honored including with this larger than life statue in his hometown of Waco but that's nothing like having an aircraft carrier named after him. How many carriers are there right now? Right now we have 11. So this is an honor reserved for very few Americans.

Absolutely. The last carrier to be christened was the John F Kennedy by his daughter Caroline. Construction has not yet begun on the Miller. Before this ship actually gets into the water it's probably seven or eight years from now. Once it gets into the water how long is it going to be around?

50 years. And like everything else that's celebrated about Dori Miller it's going to draw some criticism rest assured. So what would be the criticism? Some may suggest it's more than he deserves.

Some may say he was just a guy who did his job when general quarters went off on a ship. What's the big deal? What was your personal reaction? Oh I was I was overwhelmed it is tremendous and it's a reminder too that heroism is in no way limited by race by gender by background by rank or rating. And this ceremony is going to take place on Martin Luther King Day. I never would have thought my uncle would have been next to Martin Luther King or even the same day.

Now that's beautiful. And now a page from our Sunday morning almanac. January 19, 1915, 105 years ago today.

A day of enlightenment if ever there was one. For that was the day French inventor George Claude received a U.S. patent for his system of illuminating bioluminescent tubes. Tubes filled with neon gas. Apparently not quite appreciating what he had George Claude apologetically noted that the color of the light emitted by neon when ignited leaves something to be desired owing to its orange tint partaking too much of a red. Far from being a disqualifier neon's bright and garish glow made it the perfect medium for promoting nearly every type of business and product. Times Square was neon's first great glittering showcase. Our Bill Geist surveyed the scene back in 1992 with the square's burned out light bulb spotter Marty Katz.

Well you can see there's quite a few things I gotta look at. And there's a little spot out in the blue in the camel the bottom of the sea. Over time Times Square has been challenged by the bright lights of Las Vegas which since 1996 has been the proud home of the neon museum. A final resting place for many of the giant signs that lit up the strip in days gone by.

In this case what happens in Vegas truly stays in Vegas. These days more and more of those traditional neon lights are being replaced by newfangled LEDs. Still for neon nostalgists nothing will ever quite replace its insistent glow orange tint or no. Now on display within sight of the Rockies works by an artist perhaps best known for his water lilies Barry Peterson is our guide. Putting together a Monet exhibit with more than 120 works from 80 lenders in 15 countries is best done by a lifelong Monet fan. And Christoph Heinrich qualifies.

It's like Christmas and every other holiday at the same time. Heinrich is director of the Denver Art Museum now home to the country's largest Monet exhibit in more than two decades. And for those who love Claude Monet the show is like visiting old friends. Monet is a household name not just in the art world but in the world.

Why do you think that is? Monet is a painter that works on many different levels. It's not like the Mona Lisa there you have a figure that sits in front of a backdrop. The water lily ponds you have the energy definitely not in the center. You have almost this whole web that spreads out over the canvas.

It's not a thing in front of a backdrop. Born in Paris in 1840 he began drawing caricatures as a teenager picking up a paintbrush not long after. His work was often shaped by events in his life. In 1870 afraid he'd be called up for the Franco-Prussian war he fled to England eventually leading to a years-long love affair with of all things the diffuse light of smog.

He's waiting for the moment when everybody turns on their stoves because then the pollution is the highest. If you were an art dealer and Monet came to you and said hey I'm gonna go paint a bunch of smog in London you probably would have laughed at his face. I think his art dealers at one point tried to tell him what to paint he couldn't get less. But he cared when his first works now considered masterpieces were rejected. Depressed and destitute he even tried to commit suicide. Death and sadness also affect his painting.

In 1879 Camille his first wife and his muse died. And he pretty much stops painting people. I think he's really more interested in what's happening in the nature and he's interested in the light. Some argue that paintings made in the last decade of his life make Monet as influential to modern art as he was to Impressionism. Not having any preconceived I'm starting here and I'm ending there but rather letting the paint itself tell him where he was going I think that's a very modern idea.

Curator Gloria Groom is at the Art Institute of Chicago home to its own Monet exhibit opening this spring. These large immersive amazing color field paintings were very attractive to Helen Frankenthaler to Ellsworth Kelly. These are artists who paint big who paint gestural. When you think about even abstract expressionism you know this idea that you're not seeing a subject per se but you are seeing something in the paint itself those are the gifts he gave to the next generations. Claude Monet died at age 86 after finding fame and fortune and both continue to this day.

We start the bidding on this work at 45 million dollars. Last May one of his paintings brought more than 110 million dollars a record breaking sale for an Impressionist work. He definitely deserves to be recognized as one of the most innovative painters standing with one leg in the 19th century but really with the other leg in the modern age. The lady vanishes and then many years later suddenly reappears. Seth Doan explores the mysterious story of the painting Portrait of a Lady by Gustav Klimt. She looks unfazed not a bit like a woman who's been missing nearly 23 years but Italian authorities claimed Friday they'd authenticated the stolen Portrait of a Lady painted by Austrian master Gustav Klimt. As art mysteries go how good is this?

Well it's the stuff upon which miniseries are made right? Art historian Liz Lev told us the decades-long real-life drama puzzled investigators and quite possibly thieves. It's a distinctive style so you sort of take it down to the local pawn shop hey I got to get rid of this someone's going to go hmm. The portrait was reported missing from an Italian gallery in 1997. Then this December police were called to the gallery grounds after a gardener who'd been clearing ivy discovered a hole in the wall and unbelievably the painting.

The painting is in very good condition the first thing they checked for was oh my gosh if that's been sitting outside in rainy cold Piacenza for the past past 23 years what condition will it be in but it's actually in good condition which indicates that it was probably taken away and then and then returned. Investigators plan to do more tests on this Klimt which is actually two portraits one painted on top of another a uniqueness which helped prove it was the real thing. Klimt worked mostly in Vienna in the early 1900s he may be best known for the Kish and as Morley Safer noted in 2008 his seductive portraits of socialites. They're slender and elegant creatures. Who happened to have no clothes on.

Just an accident. Liz Lev told us you've probably seen worn or sipped from a Klimt patterned something. You'll see this beautiful umbrella what a pretty pattern it's Klimt you'll be looking at someone's sort of little golden scarf oh that's pretty oh it's Klimt he's everywhere.

The recovered masterpiece is under lock and key for now hidden away with its secrets how is it in such good shape and where has it been like any good mystery there's a cliffhanger. Behold a selection of small wonders they're Chinese dumplings a foretaste of the lunar new year that begins next Saturday. Dumplings are a cultural tradition and a family and a family one as well.

Our Calafasane serves up proof. I want to make sure that this look is represented in all stores. Wen Zhu is the founder and CEO of a multi-million dollar fashion brand and then you have a matching skirt but everything stops for lunch. My mom and dad insist that I eat lunch with him my dad because we work together every single day. Every day.

Every day. At around 10 o'clock he leaves and travels from their office in lower Manhattan to his home in Queens. My mom will have prepared our lunch he picks it up brings it back on the subway and then we'll have lunch at 12 30.

It's an hour and a half round trip. I'm so hungry. It's so important for him right to be able to bring us lunch. Shredded tofu with cilantro. I think that's a way my mom expresses her love for us. You know the way we say hello is have you eaten. Yes have you eaten. Lei Ping is an assistant professor of China studies at the New School in New York.

Thank you. It's a way of greeting people and you can see how relevant food is in people's everyday life in China. And for Chinese families around the world like the zoo family dumplings are an everyday staple. What are the dumplings is that the appetizer is that the main course is that something on the side. That's the best part about dumplings it is anything you want this to be right is breakfast lunch dinner snacks. Dumplings they can be found in most every cuisine from Italian ravioli to Indian samosas Polish pierogies to Spanish empanadas but Chinese dumplings may have been the first. For the zoo family the go-to dumpling pork and cabbage pan fried. Is that the same recipe they would have used when you were a little girl?

Yes exactly the same. Wen Zhu was born in a small village in China. In 1985 at age 12 she and her family moved to New York's Chinatown.

There was a stark difference having to learn a new language navigate a school system that's completely new. Her mother Shen worked long hours as a seamstress. Her father Xin made thousands of dumplings each week as a cook in a Chinese restaurant. Their skills show in their dumplings. Her mother's delicate with intricate pleading.

Her father's as you can see my dad is quick perfection every single thing is uniformed and in demand especially now as Chinese New Year celebrations begin. Chinese New Year usually is also called the Lunar New Year in Asia and Chinese New Year is one of the biggest celebration and festivals in China probably also around the world now. What are the traditions around Chinese New Year how is it celebrated? Of course food right food is really taking the central place so we call it lucky foods. Which foods are lucky? For instance noodles dumplings right noodles usually would represent longevity dumplings are very interesting because the the shape of the dumpling looks like the ancient currency. Traditionally Ping says dumplings also provided warmth during cold winters in northern Chinese cities like Beijing.

In southern China the most common dumpling is made with shrimp wrapped in a translucent rice dough like these at Tim Ho Wan a Michelin starred restaurant and at Wen Zhu's house. Okay so my mom wants you to try it. Oh no.

Introducing newcomers is part of the fun. That's pinch number two. Three. Four.

Five. I got a bad feeling about this. It's more difficult than it looks.

No it's exactly as difficult as it looks. I did not for a second look at this and think this looks like something I could do. Wen's teenage son Zen. I got the veggies.

Same. And daughter Ming are more than happy to eat their grandparents dumplings. Maybe one day they'll make their own but not today. I'm wondering if you might be the person to pick up the baton for the new generation and master the art of making dumplings.

I've mastered the art of boiling frozen dumplings but that's about it for now. This is Intelligence Matters with former acting director of the CIA Michael Morell. Bridge Colby is co-founder and principal of the Marathon Initiative a project focused on developing strategies to prepare the United States for an era of sustained great power competition. The United States put our mind to something we can usually figure it out. What people are saying and what we kind of know analytically and empirically is our strategic situation our military situation is not being matched up with what we're doing. Fun is the power of the United States.

It's not being matched up with what we're doing. Follow Intelligence Matters wherever you get your podcasts. Among the contenders for best supporting actress at the upcoming Oscars Laura Dern and that's just one of the honors she's received this year alone. Time for a Sunday profile. Here's Tracy Smith. I'm angry nearly every day of my life. What a year it's been for Laura Dern.

I'm not patient by nature. She's in two Oscar-nominated movies as the kind-hearted mother in Little Women. She's a very kind man who lost his little girl when she was only a child and now has son as well. His daughter died? You take some breaths. And as a razor-sharp divorce lawyer in Marriage Story.

You're holding was holding Jay? Really alienating? All right those are fighting words. Okay she's kind of fierce but it's the kind of fierce that makes award voters take notice. Thank you Hollywood Foreign Press. Dern won a Golden Globe for Marriage Story earlier this month and this past Monday she was nominated for an Oscar.

Laura Dern in Marriage Story. You've gotten accolades for your work before through the years steadily but it seems like there's something about this moment that is rather intense. Does it feel that way to you?

It's certainly exciting. Let's face it the idea of a good father was only invented like 30 years ago. And a lot of that excitement is about her monologue on motherhood written by Marriage Story director Noah Baumbach. We love them for their fallibilities but people absolutely don't accept those same feelings in mothers.

I'm curious what you thought when you first read those words. I read the script and I called Noah and got his voicemail and cried into his machine for about 10 minutes and when I read the monologue and called him I said this is the greatest Christmas present I've ever received. Because the basis of our Judeo-Christian whatever is Mary mother of Jesus and she's perfect. She's a virgin who gives birth. She even added a line of her own.

We added a little more of a zinger which really makes me laugh that I don't even think I can say. So your contribution was God didn't even do the which I know cannot be on CBS Sunday morning because it's CBS and it's Sunday morning. And the dad isn't there. He didn't even do that. God is in heaven.

God is the father and God didn't show up. It's worth noting that some of these scenes were shot in an actual law office. And I'm always available by phone or text except when I'm with my kids. In fact it's the same law firm where Dern met with her own lawyer when she filed for divorce from musician Ben Harper. I know how it feels. You do? Yes. For Laura Dern it seems Hollywood and real life have often been intertwined ever since the very beginning. The Wild Angels. If you're a real fan of biker movies you might remember the 1966 film The Wild Angels. Come here.

No. And two of the wildest angels were Bruce Dern and his blonde girlfriend Diane Ladd. Seems they were pretty close off camera too.

Around nine months after filming wrapped Dern and Ladd had another premiere. You were literally conceived on a movie set. Yes true.

100% true. Even better on a Roger Corman biker movie. I feel very proud of that. Over here I want to start.

Okay I'm not even looking. I'm so excited. We met Laura Dern at the Motion Picture Academy's Margaret Herrick Library in Beverly Hills where they keep more than 12 million photos and a few things not even she's ever seen. This is your birth announcement. What? Actor Bruce Dern and wife actress Diane Ladd are parents of daughter born February 10th.

Oh my god that's so beautiful. But you catch on real quick. Having Hollywood parents helped a little at least. In 1974 when Diane Ladd was shooting Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Laura landed a cameo. That's her at the counter with the ice cream cone and she was her mom's date to the 1975 Oscars. I can't help but focus on the photo.

I'm probably six or seven and I look terrified don't I? Call me okay. A few years later she was in movies of her own.

Still Dern says she planned on getting a college degree but Hollywood intervened. You went to UCLA for how long? Two days.

Two days. Yes. Which I loved. But just then she was offered a big role in director David Lynch's landmark film Blue Velvet. So you go to the school and say I'd like to take a leave of absence. Yes and they said no. And they kind of disparaged the movie too didn't they? Yes like this is crazy to go do this radical kind of insane project and give up your college career. It's one movie you can wait till you get out of college but I knew that it wasn't just one movie.

Are you crazy? Jeffrey she's possibly involved in murder. This is giving me the craves. Blue Velvet made her a next level star and David Lynch put her in other films like 1990s Wild at Heart. Thank the lord. Well you ain't let me down yet Sal.

It's more than I can say for the rest of the world. She also found time to work with other directors like Steven Spielberg and that little dinosaur movie. She's been a great actor in the movie.

You said you've got a t-rex? I did get the joke about the toaster oven. Seems whatever role she played she was always pushing boundaries like in 1997 when she played the gay friend that Ellen DeGeneres came out to.

Susan I'm gay. Dern helped make history but she paid a price. You didn't work for a year after that? I didn't and it was a crazy time. It was in a way the most successful time of my career and Jurassic Park had just come out so it was a great time and then a very still moment and then nothing for a while. I'm told that my daughter Amabella is going to be in your class. So exciting. Her career came back of course and with a vengeance and my Amabella was bullied last year. I mean in like biting and choking so we're gonna make sure that doesn't happen again. Dern won an Emmy for her role in HBO's Big Little Lies as a woman whose husband loses all of her money.

I will not not be rich. And talk about range she was also a Star Wars heroine on a suicide mission. But that's no surprise. After a lifetime spent walking right up to the edge Laura Dern has somehow found balance there. What do you think of the term the Dernassance? I mean it sounds fantastic. I'm not sure what it is but it really is an amazing time of getting to do all of it seamlessly and now it there really is a different kind of freedom. That's why we take risks right and why we say yes to things because you never know what what beautiful gift is awaiting you when you do.

According to the CDC almost one and a half million Americans attempted suicide in 2018. Could reaching out person to person have made a difference? Lee Cowan has a survivor's tale. Every moment is appreciated.

Every millisecond is grabbed onto. You never take life for granted. Are you kidding me? No way. By most accounts Kevin Hines shouldn't be here.

He shouldn't be anywhere for that matter. At age 19 he jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. I remember the fall vividly 25 stories 75 miles an hour four seconds.

Although the fall shattered his back, he survived. He had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 17. But on that day in September of 2000 it just all became too much. The night before was filled with so much agony so much pain. What was going through your mind?

I had been dealing with this diagnosis for two and a half years. My greatest mistake was lying to everybody who loved me believing that I was their greatest burden. I had been dealing with my greatest burden and if I didn't die by my hands that it would ruin their life.

The sense of loneliness he says was unbearable. All I wanted was for one person to see my pain and say something kind. You couldn't reach out. I could not.

I could not reach out. I needed someone to reach in. Just one person stopped him on the bridge that day.

A passing tourist who only asked him to take her picture. She walked away I said nobody cares. The voice in my head screamed jump now and I did. If one person had shown me an ounce of care I would not have jumped off that bridge.

Could it really be that easy? Is a simple expression of concern enough to cut through the darkest recesses of a suicidal mind? Turns out some long-forgotten research from a psychiatrist named Dr. Jerry Motto at the University of California San Francisco says yes. Motto had served in World War II and he never forgot the impact of writing and receiving letters while he was overseas. They made him feel more connected and that gave him a very simple idea.

If you know that you are going to make a connection and that you can communicate that you care that's all that's important. That is the fuel for wanting to live. Chris Essimos and the woman who would later become Dr. Motto's wife Pat Conway were young researchers back in the 60s when Motto put together a team to take what was then a pretty conventional dive into suicide prevention. How was suicide treated by the health care professionals back then?

Not well. No? I think all too often the physician thought that this was looking for attention.

Is that right? Yeah it was it was not good. Dr. Motto theorized that like him during the war if people somehow felt more connected in the days after being released from a psychiatric facility one of the riskiest times for suicide that might just be the tether that holds them to life. So he devised a research study involving patients who had been hospitalized for suicide and depression and had refused follow-up care. Between 1969 and 1974 he sent half of the patients a series of what he called caring letters. The other half the control group got nothing.

And what was in the letters? We're just communicating our caring and concern. So it truly was just a you reaching out with no just we care.

Yeah very simple. That's all we care. Probably a lot of people thought that's a bit silly that's not going to work. We heard people saying oh you're kidding one letter is going to make a difference or a series of letters.

But it did make a difference. They actually started getting letters back. Getting this letter lightened me very much it is beautiful to get a letter from you. Your note gave me a warm pleasant feeling just knowing someone cares means a lot. There was one response however that stood out above the rest.

Holy moly. What Dr. Motto called the bingo letter because it was a hint that they really were getting through. You are the most persistent son of a bitch I've ever encountered.

So you must really be sincere in your interest in me. But proving the letters were actually preventing suicide would mean scouring California's death records housed in Sacramento. We would talk about bracing ourselves for the reality that we might find names of patients that we had seen.

What they found was nothing short of remarkable. In the first two years after leaving the hospital the suicide rate of those who received the motto carrying letters was about half the rate of those who did not. He showed that a simple intervention or any intervention could prevent suicide and that's enormous. Ursula Whiteside is a clinical psychologist and researcher at the University of Washington School of Medicine who says Motto's research was indeed a breakthrough and yet. I feel like in some ways people didn't notice. If it's this significant why?

So probably a lot of reasons one being like the stigma around mental health how small the field was at the time and I also think that he didn't go out and push his message although I really wish that he had. Suicide rates in this country have now hit their highest levels since World War II. The Centers for Disease Control report there are now twice as many suicides as homicides. That's despite the tens of millions of dollars being spent for prevention.

This is totally different the cost of the stamps and the cost of the card. This is radical if you think about it in comparison to what we've been doing. For almost two decades now Whiteside has been sending versions of the motto letter out to her patients like Shannon Lucas who had been suffering from suicidal thoughts. I really wanted a different approach.

I've had previous therapy and counseling experiences but I felt a little stale. And in all those years nobody had ever tried this with you. No no it was make your appointment show up see you next time. Yeah there was no in between. Instead of sending caring letters though through the mail Whiteside sent Lucas caring text messages. She's telling me what she's been doing I write back you're on fire and send an image of a woman blowing fire.

Classic Ursula. Not to take anything away from your text but they weren't these big deep thoughts right? No they were warm and engaging and comforting and sincere.

Instead of just staying in the same mode of being cut off and shutting down through her messages I was able to connect with someone. Well loneliness is killing us why wouldn't we be reaching out to the person who's disappeared off Facebook or maybe the friend who just isn't acting themselves. Dr. Motto died in 2015 at the age of 93. He lived long enough to see a few other people picking up on his long forgotten idea. The CDC for example now recommends caring contacts and health care professionals all across the country. They're also sending out colorful postcards with positive messages to those at risk for suicide.

Remember Kevin Hines? The caring letters that Jerry Motto created. Well he now travels the country talking about suicide prevention and the role of caring letters. He knows first hand of their power because he got one himself. It wasn't about my mental illness it was telling me that I'm a good person and that I matter. How can that have that big a difference? Oh my god showing you care about someone not saying it showing it is tangible. When it's tangible it means more.

So the one thing we know that does work we better be using it. We take a moment to mourn the passing of someone you may not have heard of but changed the way many of us eat. Freda Kaplan who died yesterday at age 96 made a number of exotic fruits and vegetables household names.

Rita Braver spoke with her this past fall. A lot of people call you the Kiwi queen. Is that a good name?

It's a good name. How you doing grandma? Hi sweetie. Anybody for tea?

And it all started because the late Rita Kaplan. Hello. Accepted a suggestion to change the name of a fruit grown in New Zealand but called the Chinese gooseberry. Why don't you call them Kiwi fruit because Kiwis are the national bird of New Zealand and they look just like a Kiwi bird. So you said great idea and started marketing Kiwi. Right. It was 1962 the very same year that Freda Kaplan became the first woman in the United States to open a wholesale produce company now called Freda's. This has to go to Canada today.

Her focus? Specialty products. These just came in. Persuading supermarkets to carry what were then unusual items like shallots and ginger. What was your pitch?

What would you say to them? This might make you money. What we attempt to do is label all of our items telling the consumer how to use it and that's how we introduce spaghetti squash. Have you ever counted up how many products you've either introduced or helped promote over the years?

Over 200 and still introducing. 200 foods we now take for granted like Meyer lemons, habanero peppers, jicama. This is called an African horned melon. That's what it originally was called. That's beautiful.

And stranger items that even got David Letterman's attention. Tell me what you think it tastes like. Well it's damn near inedible. So that's a baby pineapple grown in South Africa. This is called a kiwano. This is a jackfruit.

Today Freda's granddaughter Alex Berkeley is director of sales. These are fascinating. Showing off produce like finger limes. So when you cut it in half you see all these little bubbles so if you squeeze it it looks like little caviar. You can kind of just take a nibble. It's kind of salty and citrusy at the same time.

Yes. So this is our purple sweet potato pie recipe. And those purple sweet potatoes make one heck of a pie.

It's my favorite. In fact Alex is the third generation of women in the family to work at the company. Her mother Karen Kaplan is now president of Freda's. These are called boot chilaquilla. They're also called ghost peppers and they are one of the hottest chili peppers in the world. And Freda's younger daughter Jackie Kaplan Wiggins is vice president. We get products from Mexico, Central America, Asia.

The company does nearly 100 million dollars in business each year from this sprawling Los Alamitos California facility. Hi Hazel. Hi Terry. At age 96 Freda Kaplan was going into the office every day until she was sidelined with a broken leg last year.

As for what she hopes will be her legacy, what do you want people to say about you after you're gone? I feel healthy because of Freda. Premature births pose a challenge not just for families but for our whole country. Sara DeGregorio is the wife of Sunday morning producer Amol Matre and preventing premature births is a subject of her new book. Chances are you know someone who was born prematurely. Last year one in 10 American babies were born too soon before 37 weeks gestation. Reportedly Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin and Stevie Wonder were all preemies. That puts me and my family in very good company. We've come a long way since my grandfather was born weighing about one and a half pounds.

My great grandmother kept him alive by putting him in a very low temperature oven. I was born about two months early in 1979 and in 2014 my daughter Mira was born at 28 weeks weighing one pound 13 ounces. She spent two months in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Five years later she's the spunkiest kindergartener in New York City. So while you may know someone who was born prematurely you might not know how devastating premature birth is for families for communities and for our country as a whole. Being born prematurely comes with a host of risks ranging from death to lung disease to neurological and learning disabilities. The United States has one of the highest rates of premature birth in the industrialized world at 10 percent. That's for a lot of reasons including big problems that are bad for Americans health like racism and income inequality. Babies who are born early often need intensive care and life support at birth and ongoing therapies as they grow and that is not cheap.

In fact, prematurity costs the United States at least 26 billion dollars a year. When my daughter Mira was born her ears were still fused to the side of her head. She had one third of a cup of blood in her entire body. Her brain was not fully developed.

She was still in the process of becoming herself in a very literal sense. We are so lucky that Mira is now a healthy happy five-year-old. Knowing how far she's come I hope you'll forgive me for saying I think my daughter is amazing and all premature babies should be celebrated no matter what their outcome has been.

But just marveling at them isn't enough. We owe them more. For premature babies just being born can leave them with a pre-existing condition.

Not all families can access or afford the care their children need and not all pregnant people can access the quality unbiased care that would help prevent premature births in the first place. As Americans we can do better than this. The smallest among us and all of us deserve it.

I'm Mo Rocca. Thank you for listening and please join us again next Sunday morning. The point isn't the end. The point is winning. There are bad people in the world. The best way to protect the good people is to convict the bad. So here's to us. The Good Fight, the final season, now streaming exclusively on Paramount+.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-28 07:08:45 / 2023-01-28 07:25:28 / 17

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