This week we get a twofer: writer of What now? Bradd Bowden, and his childhood friend, producer of Front Seat Chronicles, Josh Feinman, who also directed this week’s episode.
So let me start with you, Bradd. One of the things I appreciate about this series is that it started out by friends reaching out to friends to share stories and resources that are familiar, and supportive. How did you come up with the concept about two brothers trying to find affordable, long-term care for an ailing parent?
Bradd: About a year and a half ago, well after Alzheimer’s Disease took away my father’s mind, I really began to process his absence. In a Front Seat Chronicles type of moment, albeit by phone some 3,000 miles away. Josh suggested that I write about my experience.
Josh, from growing up with Bradd in New York, when you read his piece, listened to the dialogue, can you describe the various ways the story resonated with you?
Josh: My parents cared for my grandmother for many years. It was very hard, very emotional and took a lot of time. But they did it because we loved her and she deserved it. I’m not sure what advice to give because I think you are never really prepared no matter what you plan.
Since so much of this is based on a real life story, what do you guys think people miss or are ill-prepared for when it comes to taking care of our parents?
Bradd: The idea to plan ahead for taking care of elderly or infirm loved ones is crucial and very easy to conceive. What’s tough, and I think what some people are most ill-prepared for, is that it’s not an easy topic to discuss. We all handle difficult moments differently.
Josh: Good Question. Make every minute count. I know it sounds cliche’ and it’s probably not realistic. When someone is gone forever all you’ll want is more time with them. Little kids don’t realize that so parents have to. Life is short (again cliche’). If you can afford life insurance get that too.
I’ve known Josh for a number of years now. And it’s always special to work on stories with your friends. What about, you two? After all these years – familiar emotional and physical territory – what do you take away most for this project?
Bradd: To the end of days I’ll have a great admiration for Josh. He is so passionate about his beliefs and has an insane work ethic. What I take away most from Front Seat Chronicles is how special all these relationships are, be them that of brothers, lovers, or friends.
Josh: Bradd and I grew up with a bunch of guys from the neighborhood. Each one of us is a character in a script waiting to be written. Of all those guys and all the memories, Bradd is by far the most interesting when it comes to character. I think Bradd and I are just getting started. Looking forward to telling more stories with him.