Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit Montgomery-ed.org

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.

NPR Politics presents the Lunchbox List: our favorite campaign news and stories curated from NPR and around the Web in digestible bites (100 words or less!). Look for it every weekday afternoon from now until the conventions.

Convention Countdown

The Republican National Convention is in 4 days in Cleveland.

The Democratic National Convention is in 11 days in Philadelphia.

NASA has released the first picture of Jupiter taken since the Juno spacecraft went into orbit around the planet on July 4.

The picture was taken on July 10. Juno was 2.7 million miles from Jupiter at the time. The color image shows some of the atmospheric features of the planet, including the giant red spot. You can also see three of Jupiter's moons in the picture: Io, Europa and Ganymede.

The Senate is set to approve a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.

My husband and I once took great pleasure in preparing meals from scratch. We made pizza dough and sauce. We baked bread. We churned ice cream.

Then we became parents.

Now there are some weeks when pre-chopped vegetables and a rotisserie chicken are the only things between us and five nights of Chipotle.

Parents are busy. For some of us, figuring out how to get dinner on the table is a daily struggle. So I reached out to food experts, parents and nutritionists for help. Here is some of their (and my) best advice for making weeknight meals happen.

"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither version of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.

Pages

Caring For Mom, Dreaming Of 'Elsewhere'

Nov 5, 2012

Something must have been in the tap water in Gloversville, N.Y., during the 1950s when Richard Russo was growing up there — something, that is, besides the formaldehyde, chlorine, lime, lead, sulfuric acid and other toxic byproducts that the town's tanneries leaked out daily.

But one day, a droplet of mead must have fallen into the local reservoir and Russo gulped it down, because, boy, does he have the poet's gift. In a paragraph or even a phrase, Russo can summon up a whole world, and the world he writes most poignantly about is that of the industrial white working class.

Russo is the Bruce Springsteen of novelists; in fact, Springsteen's latest proletarian pride anthem, "We Take Care of Our Own," kept playing in my head as I read Russo's latest book, the memoir Elsewhere. Russo knows what it means to take care of your own. In Elsewhere, he writes with his distinctive smarts and humor about his childhood and his still conflicted class emigration from blue-collar kid to college professor and writer. Most of all, though, Elsewhere is a gorgeously nuanced memoir about his mother and Russo's own lifelong tour of duty spent — lovingly and exhaustedly — looking out for her.

Russo's mother was an anomaly in the Gloversville of his youth: young herself and pretty, she was separated from Russo's father and had a good office job working for GE in a nearby town. Mother and son lived in an apartment in a two-family house owned by his grandparents. As a boy, Russo remembers being "happy as a clam," particularly given the sweet, just-the-two-of-us-type relationship he had with his mother. In a few short sentences at the beginning of the book, he vividly summons up the compact world of the Gloversville of his childhood:

In the Fifties, on a Saturday afternoon, the streets downtown would be gridlocked with cars honking hellos at pedestrians ... Often, when we finished what we called our weekly "errands," my mother and I would stop in at Pedricks ... [I]t was a dark, cool place, the only establishment of my youth that was air-conditioned, with a long thin wall whose service window allowed sodas and cocktails to be passed from the often raucous bar into the more respectable restaurant ...

By the time I graduated from high school in 1967, you could have strafed Main Street with an automatic weapon without endangering a soul.

What sucked the life out of Gloversville were some of the same vampiric forces that turned vibrant small towns into husks all over the United States in the latter half of the 20th century. The demand for gloves decreased; what factories remained skedaddled overseas; workers lost their bargaining power. In 1967, when he was 18, Russo grabbed a lifeline out in the form of an acceptance letter to the University of Arizona. But he didn't exit Gloversville alone: Sitting beside Russo in the passenger seat of his wheezing Ford Galaxy, all throughout that long cross-country drive, was his mother. She'd decided it was time to vamoose, too, and who better to escape with than the son whom she always called her "rock."

Another son, understandably, would have pressed the eject button, but Russo seems to have had reserves of compassion for his anxious, insatiably dependent mother — more compassion, in fact, than he shows for himself.

At the close of Elsewhere, when Russo's by now elderly mother has died, he berates himself for having "flatlined" on her, in latter years just going through the motions of caretaking. It's a terribly stern self-accounting and a guaranteed guilt-inducer for those of us readers who are ourselves taking care of elderly parents, with perhaps less graceful consistency.

But the refusal to go easy on himself, to settle for the standard reassurance that he did the best that he could do, is what makes Russo as penetrating a memoirist here as he is a novelist. For "thirty-five years," Russo tells readers, he and his wife joked that they "never went [away] anywhere for longer than it took for ... milk to spoil."

Although his mother's death has finally liberated Russo from his sentry duty, he's kept her under his watch by writing this intense memoir. It turns out that it's hard to shake off a lifetime routine of taking care of your own.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

As Baby Boomers and their parents age, we're getting more and more essays and books written about the test of endurance that adult caretaking demands. Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Richard Russo began his adventure of looking out for his mother early in life. In his new memoir, "Elsewhere," Russo writes not only of his mother but of the vanished world that shaped her. Book critic Maureen Corrigan has a review.

MAUREEN CORRIGAN, BYLINE: Something must've been in the tap water in Gloversville, New York during the 1950s when Richard Russo was growing up there. Something, that is, besides the formaldehyde, chlorine, lime, lead, sulfuric acid and other toxic byproducts that the town's tanneries leaked out daily. But one day, a droplet of mead must've fallen into the local reservoir and Russo gulped it down because, boy, does he have the poet's gift.

In a paragraph or even a phrase, Russo can summon up a whole world, and the world he writes more poignantly about is that of the industrial white working class. Russo is the Bruce Springsteen of novelists. In fact, Springsteen's latest proletarian pride anthem - we take care of our own - kept playing in my head as I read Russo's latest book, a memoir called "Elsewhere."

Russo knows what it means to take care of your own. In "Elsewhere" Russo writes with his distinctive smarts and humor about his childhood and his still-conflicted class emigration from blue collar kid to college professor and writer. Most of all, though, "Elsewhere" is a gorgeously nuanced memoir about his mother and Russo's own lifelong tour of duty spent lovingly and exhaustedly looking out for her.

Russo's mother was an anomaly in the Gloversville of his youth - young herself, and pretty, she was separated from Russo's father and had a good office job working for GE in a nearby town. Mother and son lived in an apartment in a two-family house owned by his grandparents. As a boy, Russo remembers being happy as a clam, particularly given the sweet just-the-two-of-us type relationship he had with his mother.

In a few short sentences at the beginning of the book he vividly summons up the compact world of the Gloversville of his childhood: In the '50s on a Saturday afternoon, the streets downtown would be gridlocked with cars honking hellos at pedestrians. Often when we finished what we called our weekly errands, my mother and I would stop in at Pedric's.

It was a dark, cool place, the only establishment of my youth that was air conditioned, with a long thin wall whose service window allowed sodas and cocktails to be passed from the often raucous bar into the more respectable restaurant. By the time I graduated from high school in 1967, you could've strafed Main Street with an automatic weapon without endangering a soul.

What sucked the life out of Gloversville were some of the same vampiric forces that turn vibrant small towns into husks all over the United States in the latter half of the 20th century. The demand for gloves decreased. What factories remained skedaddled overseas. Workers lost their bargaining power. In 1967 when he was 18, Russo grabbed a lifeline out in the form of an acceptance letter to the University of Arizona.

But he didn't exit Gloversville alone. Sitting beside Russo in the passenger seat of his wheezing Ford Galaxy, all throughout that long cross country drive, was his mother. She'd decided it was time to vamoose too. And who better to escape with than the son whom she always called her rock? Another son, understandably, would have pressed the eject button but Russo seems to have had reserves of compassion for his anxious, insatiably dependent mother.

More compassion, in fact, than he shows for himself. At the close of "Elsewhere" when Russo's by now elderly mother has died, he berates himself for having flatlined on her, in latter years just going through the motions of caretaking. It's a terribly stern self-accounting and a guaranteed guilt inducer for those of us readers who are ourselves taking care of elderly parents with perhaps less graceful consistency.

But the refusal to go easy on himself, to settle for the standard reassurance that he did the best that he could, is what makes Russo as penetrating a memoirist here as he is a novelist. For 35 years, Russo tells readers, he and his wife joke that they never went away anywhere for longer than it took milk to spoil.

Although his mother's death has finally liberated Russo from his sentry duty, he's kept her under his watch by writing this intense memoir. It turns out that it's hard to shake off a lifetime routine of taking care of your own.

GROSS: Maureen Corrigan teaches literature at Georgetown University. She reviewed Richard Russo's new memoir "Elsewhere." You can read an excerpt on our website freshair.npr.org where you can also download podcasts of our show. And you can follow us on Twitter @nprfreshair and on Tumblr at nprfreshair.tumblr.com. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.