Story Of Forgotten Woman In 'Tale Of Lot 180' Shows Potential Of Radio And Reporter

Jan 2, 2013

In public radio circles, they still talk about "The Tale of Lot 180," a feature story Kenny Malone produced for us three years ago, just after he rolled up to the station on a skateboard with his ball cap on backwards.

REMEMBERING HER: Photo found in her safe depot box with her salt shakers is thought to be Udavilla Rutherford herself.
Credit Kenny Malone

His way of approaching a handful of prosaic details and distilling an amazing story that nobody expected is actually pretty annoying if you work with the guy day in and day out, as we must here at WLRN. But people who have known him for, say, an hour or less are often impressed by his way with the radio medium.

And so it was with the radio-as-artform podcast HowSound, which recently presented the complete story and interviewed Kenny to deconstruct Lot 180 for clues to the Malone technique.

Our conclusion: To do what Kenny does, you have to be what Kenny is. Because, believe us, we have tried it every other way.

Be your own judge as you listen to a story about a box full of salt shakers, the old woman who collected them and the world that never cared about her until it was time to eliminate the last traces of her existence.