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Season Finale of “Heavyweight” Podcast: Lifting A 500-Year-Old Curse

Learn about ourselves from the experiences of others.


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Frank Racioppi

a year ago | 3 min read

For seven seasons, Heavyweight podcast host Jonathan Goldstein has been helping people like you and I try to resolve a moment from their past that they wish they could change.

In each episode, host Goldstein attempts to help a guest find closure for an unresolved question in their lives.

The Atlantic described the podcast by saying, “Each episode finds the host Jonathan Goldstein moderating a fraught moment intensified by years of distance: a time when someone broke a promise, or another person’s heart. The hurt is still there — sometimes for everyone, sometimes for just one person who can’t let something go. Goldstein leads special-ops soul-searching missions, seeking common ground between the aggrieved and the blissfully ignorant.”

Season seven of Heavyweight, an IDA Documentary Awards nominated podcast from Gimlet, a Spotify Studio, concludes this week on Thursday, December 22. In season seven, host Jonathan Goldstein told intriguing, challenging and heartwarming stories, helping people dig through both difficult and fascinating moments in their pasts and resolve their unanswered questions.

Through deep dive storytelling, Goldstein and the Heavyweight team introduced us to Cody, a man set out to thank his football coach for a life changing hug; Maia, a woman hoping to return the work of a famous artist she found discarded in the garbage; Dan and Nancy, a couple searching for a missing photo captured 20 years ago on their first date; Melanie, a daughter looking to make things right after destroying a prized possession of her father’s; Sara, a woman looking for a childhood best friend she doesn’t remember at all; and more.

As Heavyweight podcast host / creator and humorist Jonathan Goldstein notes, “Heavyweight” is meant to suggest the emotional burdens that we carry around, as well as “the connotation of the boxer juxtaposed with the connotation of me . . . the non-boxer.”

In this week’s season finale episode, we hear the story of an unlucky branch of the Elliott family seeking to lift a curse placed on them by the Archbishop of Glasgow in 1525. Find the riveting stories told in season seven below:

#44 SaraDescription: Sara received a letter from a woman with the exact same name as her. In it, the woman claimed to be her childhood best friend. The only problem? Sara doesn’t remember this person. At all.

#45 Sgt. John KapphahnDescription: When Melanie was a kid, she recorded Billy Ray Cyrus’s 1993 TV Special over something irreplaceable: the sole copy of an interview her father did on Walter Cronkite after being injured in Vietnam. Thirty years later, she wants to make things right.

#46 DanDescription: On Dan’s first date with his wife Nancy, a stranger took their photograph. Nineteen years later, Dan wants the photo back. But to get it, he’ll have to face the last person he wants to.

Heavyweight Short: CodyDescription: One day in high school, Cody received a hug that melted his heart. Sixteen years later and he still can’t stop thinking about it.

#47 Frederick J. BrownDescription: Maia found a painting in the garbage and took it home. But as it turned out, it wasn’t just any painting.

#48 BenDescription: Ben was just a kid when Sihan arrived from Korea. He lived with Ben’s family for several years. And then one day, just as suddenly as he’d arrived, Sihan was gone. Ben has been trying to find him ever since.

#49 Another Roadside AttractionDescription: When Stephanie was in high school, a bookstore seemingly dropped out of the sky into her small Texas town. Then, just as quickly, it was gone.

Heavyweight Short: Jesse & ToriDescription: For Jesse, Tori has always been the one that got away.

#50 NickDescription: Is Nick hearing his dead brother’s voice in a song by a Grammy-nominated musician?

The Heavyweight podcast acts as a vicarious trip to our own past events, as we learn about ourselves from the experiences of others.

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Frank Racioppi

I am a South Jersey-based author who published a nonfiction book on Amazon called The COVID Hotel about the pandemic. After nearly 40 years in the Corporate world, I manage a publication --Make A Connection -- about how to manage more effectively through improved communication. I am also the lead writer for the Ear Worthy podcast blog on Substack and Podcast Reports on blogger.


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