July 21, 2021

Bitch, I’m an Astrophysicist

by Not Past It

Background show artwork for Not Past It

Sally Ride was the first American woman to rocket off into space. On July 23, 2012, she died and left behind a legacy for women and girls in STEM. We dig into the limits of being labeled “first” and learn about the woman inside the space suit.

Where to Listen


Simone: Wow. What a beautiful night sky, I just love star gazing. Don’t you, producer Julie Carli?

Julie: I sure do! Just gorgeous.

Simone: Holy crap! Did you just see that shooting star? Quick, make a wish!

Julie: Okay. Okay. I’m Jiminy Cricket-ing. 

Simone: Have you ever thought about travelling to space?

Julie: No. Honestly, gravity has done so much for me and my community. But I do love a good space person. Especially Sally Ride. You know her? 

Simone: Yeah, first American woman in space, right?

[ARCHIVAL, NASA: T-minus 10, 9, 8, 7, 6...and liftoff of STS 7 and America’s first woman astronaut…]

Julie: Sure, but that’s not even the half of it. She basically saved the space program and had the greatest cottagecore romance of all time. 

Simone: Awwww.

Julie: Which she felt like she had to to keep on the down low because she was with a woman. 

Simone: Oh...

Julie: Yeah. Fuckin’ NASA. I talked all about it with that very woman: Tam O’Shaughnessy.

Tam O’Shaughnessy: You know, after Sally died she kind of left me with the responsibility of -- and it was a gift  -- of deciding how I was going to talk about us and who I was to her. And also, NASA was not going to protect Sally's legacy. 

Simone: It sounds like we’re gearing up for an epic space romance…but I feel like I need more context, more details…where do we start?

Julie: Well, with a theme song of course! 

Simone: From Gimlet Media, this is Not Past It, a show about the stories we can’t quite leave behind. Every episode, we take a moment from that very same week in history -- and tell you the story of how it shaped our world. I'm Simone Polanen. 

Julie: And I’m Julie Carli. 

Simone: Nine years ago this week, on July 23, 2012, Dr. Sally Ride passed away. And we're bringing you her real life story. To do so, I'm handing off the mic to my producer, Julie Carli.

Julie: Yes, I’m bringing you the story of America’s first woman to go to space, and all the crap she had to wade through with that title. And we'll take a look at what it really means to be "the first" at something.

Julie: All that starts in T-minus 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Lift off. 

Julie: Welcome, welcome to the spaceship Not Past It. I’m your captain Julie Carli and today we’re going to learn all about the one and only Dr. Sally Ride. 


[ARCHIVAL, Obama: As the first American woman in space, Sally didn’t just break the stratospheric glass ceiling, she blasted through it, and when she came back to earth...]


Julie: That, of course, is President Barack Obama, speaking to us from 2013. He was awarding Dr. Sally Ride the Presidential Medal of Freedom. But Sally had died the year before, so someone else accepted on her behalf.


[ARCHIVAL, Announcer: Tam O'Shaughnessy accepting on behalf of her life partner, Dr. Sally K. Ride. (applause)]


Julie: Tam O'Shaughnessy. Since Sally's death, Tam's been carrying forward the legacy of Sally's life. A life they shared together for 27 years.


Tam: You know, it's a sweet story and it happens to be true. 


Julie: The story starts in Southern California. Sally grew up in Encino, with her parents Dale and Joyce and younger sister, Bear. Growing up, she loved playing sports.


Tam: She was an athlete, you know, she was a very good tennis player as a young girl and a teenager.


Julie: And, it was at a tennis tournament, when Sally and Tam first laid eyes on each other. They were about 12 or 13 at the time. It was a boiling summer day in the early 1960s with kids milling around the courts. 


Tam: We had our little white tennis outfits and we had our little wooden tennis rackets and our little hats and all this sort of stuff. 


Julie: Waiting to check-in, she noticed a blonde-haired girl a few people in front of her. 


Tam: She was standing on her toes and it just made me laugh. It’s like, what is she doing? You know, cause it was for, like, a long time up on her toes. And it just turns out that that's how she walked, that's how she ran. Not all the time, but a lot of the time. 


Julie: So Sally was walking around these hot ass courts looking like an adorable velociraptor, and eventually the two got to talking. 


Tam: Anyway, we became fast friends and just really enjoyed spending time together. And when I was playing tournaments in LA, I'd go over to her house in between matches and we'd play ping pong and eat ice cream.


Julie: Then after high school in the fall of 1969, they went their separate ways. Sally went off to college, while Tam started playing tennis professionally. 


Tam: I decided to try competing on the first women's professional tennis tour -- the one that Billie Jean King started, the Virginia Slims Circuit. So we didn't see each other for a few years. 


Julie: And, just so you know: Tam was really fucking good at tennis. Like her headband could kick your ass on the court. All with love, though. That’s a tennis pun, by the way. But seriously, she was actually ranked 52 in the world, went to Wimbledon, and ended up winning a few national titles. 


Julie: Four years later, Sally and Tam would cross paths again when they were both living in the Bay Area. Tam was writing the Women’s Tennis Association newsletter, while Sally was in grad school at Stanford. 


Tam: And so, I was just thrilled and we kind of re-established our friendship again, and we’d go running in the, the hills by Stanford and play tennis and go out to eat. Just have a really good time. 


Julie: And soon enough, Sally would see an ad that would change her life. 


Tam: You know, the famous scene of her reading the Stanford student newsletter. And, uh, seeing that NASA was hiring women and scientists into the Astronaut Corps for the very first time. And, you know, she basically had an “aha” moment.


Julie: Sally was fascinated with space long before she ever read about it in the student newsletter. Here’s an interview she did with NASA.


[ARCHIVAL, Sally Ride: And I still remember to this day, our elementary school teachers wheeling in those big, old black and white TV sets into the classroom so that we could see the very early space launches and the recoveries. And early flights were on the minds of everybody in the country, so it was the coolest thing.]


Julie: Fast forward through the years to 1978. Even cooler than watching it on TV was the prospect of going up to space herself. So when Sally saw the ad inviting women to join the Astronaut Corps, she knew what she had to do. Sally was one of 8,000 applicants for the class of 1978. Only 35 people were chosen, six of which were women. 


Lynn Sherr: The press called them Astronettes. Astronettes! I mean, really?! And there really was a sense that having a woman in this macho culture would really be bad for the culture and they would crash the planes and the rockets. 


Julie: This is Lynn Sherr, a former ABC correspondent and author of Sally Ride’s biography. And the reason they had this jazzy name was that NASA wasn’t too keen on women in space. Though, they did make exceptions. 


Lynn: Before Sally flew, there had been three females and they were two spiders and a monkey. The attitude was, “well, if a woman can do this, maybe I'm not as good as I think I am.” So there was this cowboy culture. 


Julie: Cowboy culture is a nice way of saying what was going on at NASA. It was a total sausage fest from top to bottom. There was one time though back in 1960, where women were considered for space flight. It was based off of a very dumb idea -- that women might actually be better astronauts because they were smaller. Literally. Smaller. Fit better in cramped spaces, smaller.


Julie: The privately funded project was cancelled a year later and, that was the end of women in space for a long time. Until the class of 1978, when Sally and the other women joined the Astronaut Corps. She moved to Houston and began her training; which included water survival, parachute jumping, flying lessons, and a lot of studying. 


[ARCHIVAL, News Anchor: Her training has left little time with her husband, fellow astronaut, Steve Hawley whose own first mission is scheduled for next year.]


Julie: Yep, that's right. In 1982, Sally married a fellow astronaut.


[ARCHIVAL, Anchor: Theirs isn't the usual two career marriage.]


[ARCHIVAL, Steve Hawley: Teachers would, would talk about teaching. And we talk about, uh, flight rules and flight performance reserves and ISPs, and solid rocket motor performance and things like that, but it's because we enjoy it.]


Julie: After graduating Astronaut school, Sally began working as a capsule communicator, or CapCom. That’s the person who talks directly with the crew in space.


[ARCHIVAL, Sally: Columbia, Houston, we've got the, uh, we’ve got the elbow camera. Hi Mom.]


[ARCHIVAL, Lynn: On Columbia flights two and three, Dr. Sally Ride was the first woman to be a capsule communicator, ignition control in Houston,


[ARCHIVAL, Sally: When do I get my turn?]


[ARCHIVAL, Lynn: Her turn comes up next year.]


Julie: That’s right -- because on April 30, 1982, Sally was chosen to be the first American woman astronaut to fly in space on the shuttle Challenger. She’d be set to launch in June of the following year. This exciting assignment thrust her into the spotlight, something that she really wasn’t prepared for. 


[ARCHIVAL, Press: Sally, look right here! Yeah.]


Lynn: Sally was by nature an introvert. She was very shy and being a media personality was the last thing on this planet that she ever wanted to do. 


Julie: That’s Sally Ride biographer, Lynn Sherr, again.


Lynn: Here was somebody who was really happy going through the stacks in the library, sitting in her own room, figuring out a physics equation, figuring out how to solve a problem.


Julie: But Sally did what she had to do: she spoke to the media about her big milestone.


[ARCHIVAL, Sally: I think it’s important just because it’s something that a woman hasn’t done before, and it’s, it’s more evidence that women can do anything.]


Julie: Because Sally knew, as the first American woman set to go to space, being a media personality was part of the gig. And, boy was it a gig! Just listen to this question Dr. Ride got at a pre-launch press conference.

[ARCHIVAL, Reporter: When there was a funny glitch or whatever, uh, how did you respond? How did you take it as a human being? Do you weep? Do you, um, what do you do?]

[ARCHIVAL, Sally: Why doesn’t anybody ever ask Rick those questions?]

Lynn: I, I, I can't tell you. I was in that press conference. I cannot tell you the eye-rolling that went on at that point. Most reporters were way beyond that. There were a few that, that just never got it. 

Lynn: And Johnny Carson, the late night host on television, ran a bunch of jokes that were just frat boy humor.

[ARCHIVAL, Johnny Carson: Today they had a dry run and Sally showed up, saw the five other astronauts were wearing the same outfit. Refused to go. (laughter) I know, that's a chauvinistic joke.]


Julie: It didn’t help either that NASA engineers tried to give Dr. Ride 100 tampons for the one week trip to space. Obviously, they were very concerned that she’d bleed all over Jupiter. But that was the reality of being the first American woman in space.


[ARCHIVAL, NASA: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6...(engine fires)]


Julie: Finally the big day arrived: June 18, 1983. And this is the moment that we all know about. The moment that made her famous. Sally Ride goes to space… 


[ARCHIVAL, NASA: We have main engine start. And ignition. And liftoff…]


Julie: Family and friends of Dr. Ride gathered in Houston. Standing among Sally's special people to watch the launch was Tam, her lifelong tennis buddy.

[ARCHIVAL, NASA: Liftoff liftoff of STS 7 and America’s first woman astronaut. And the shuttle has cleared the tower!]

Julie: Sally recalled looking back down at Earth decades later at a White House astronomy event.


[ARCHIVAL, Sally: I remember, um, looking out the window for the first time and seeing this really, really thin royal blue line going all the way across Earth's horizon. It was Earth's atmosphere. It looked like somebody had taken just a little blue crayon and just kind of sketched all along the Earth's horizon. And I could not believe how thin it was. And when you start to think about how much we depend on our atmosphere and just take a look at it and see how fragile it is, it really makes you appreciate it.]


Julie: When Dr. Ride landed back onto Earth, she continued working for NASA, going to space again in 1984, and also doing tours around America -- giving speeches at elementary schools, that sorta thing. NASA really put their darling on show. Here’s Tam again. 


Tam: So she started giving a lot of talks around the country and Sally was not a dumb person, so she, she was smart enough to pick cities around the country where she had friends, and she'd come to Atlanta so that we could hang out. 


Julie: By now, Tam was living in Atlanta working on a Masters. And Sally would come to visit. It was on one of those visits when their relationship shifted.


Tam: So we were spending time together on and off, and then it's just sort of like one day (laughs) -- one day our relationship changed. And it just seemed like in a moment, it became clear that we were more than friends and it was a sweet surprise.

Julie: Tam and Sally knew that they were in love. There was a Steve-sized problem, though.


Tam: She loved Steve. Steve and Sally were great friends, but it wasn't her true self, in terms of what she wanted and who she wanted to be with and the lifestyle that she wanted. We learn as we grow older.


Julie: So Sally and Steve divorced in 1987. And finally, after a life of friendship, Tam and Dr. Ride were girlfriends. In 1989, they moved to San Diego to work and live together. Dr. Ride took up a professorship of physics at the University of California, San Diego. And, Tam, a newly minted PhD in school psychology, focused on helping create interventions for children with reading difficulties. 


Julie: Mostly, they lived a pretty beautiful life. 


Tam: So we kind of had a normal couple's life, in a way. We had a lot of fun. We ended up getting two dogs -- two bichon frises and, you know, so we'd take them for walks and bathe them. And actually one thing we loved doing is reading to each other. So we'd like, pick a book. The first one we read together was War of the Worlds and we'd just take turns reading, and it was just so much fun. We loved it. 


Julie: In fact, this love of reading, alongside the couple's professional lives, drove them to start writing children's books together -- all about space and the solar system. And their mission was to inspire kids to get more excited about science. In 2001, that same mission motivated the pair to create Sally Ride Science -- an organization that promotes children, especially girls, to get  involved in science and math.


Barbara Barrett: She didn't focus on being the first. She focused on expanding capabilities for girls and women. 


Julie: This is Barbara Barrett, former Secretary of the US Air Force, who also served on the board of Sally Ride Science. She worked closely with Tam and Sally to organize speeches, festivals, science camp.


Barbara: She did all kinds of things to cause girls’ eyes to light up about science and technology and engineering and math. And the books she wrote, the talks that she gave -- she was a whirlwind of energy to advance the cause of girls and women in STEM. 


Julie: So this is what Tam and Dr. Ride did for over two decades. Grooming their dogs, reading to each other, inspiring the girls of America. A normal couple’s life? Modest to the max. But they were pretty much keeping their romance a secret.


Barbara: Sally never brought that up in my entire time of knowing her. 


Lynn: I didn’t know. I did not know that Sally was gay and she clearly chose not to tell me. 


Julie: This was a conscious decision. Tam says they were worried that if people knew the truth, they might lose their funding. Sally Ride Science was dependent on corporate sponsors, like ExxonMobile and GE. Big brands that might not be so charitable with their money if they thought two lesbians were running the company.


Julie: Tam said that keeping their relationship a secret bothered her, but she says Sally?...Not so much. 


Tam: Sally, she just wouldn't even think about, well, you know, “are people wondering why I'm with a woman all the time?” She didn't care. And she had other things should be thinking about, and it didn't bother her to be sort of in the closet. So it bothered me more.  


Julie: Secrets don’t last forever, though. When we get back from the break, we’ll learn about a deathbed decision and what we miss when the only thing we ever talk about is being the first at something in America.


Julie: Stay grounded, Earthlings. 


Julie: Welcome back! Where were we? Oh yeah, Tam O'Shaughnessy  and Dr. Sally Ride just made The Notebook look quaint. Everything seemed to be going great for the lifelong friends turned partners. Even if they did have to keep their romance a secret for more than 25 years. 


Julie: And then, 2011 hits. They were faced with devastating news. Dr. Ride was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This forced the couple to reflect on their relationship. 


Tam: We'd walk into doctor's offices as she got weaker, you know, we’d be arm in arm. And then nurses and doctors would ask me who I was. You know, I, I I'm sure my face would turn beet red or whatever. 


Julie: And, eventually, Dr. Ride said “fuck it.”


Tam: Sally, you know, just finally s-, you know, she's my partner. I think the first time she said “she is my domestic partner,” and I think that's the weirdest phrase I’ve ever heard. It's like domestic hens or, you know, we're domesticated cows. Anyway, I think it was just very comforting and, it's just like, you can breathe better. And I think it was that way for Sally, too.


Julie: Tam and Sally had filed for domestic partnership that same year. This granted Tam the right to make decisions for Sally’s health and estate. 


Tam: Sally and I wanted to be as close as we could be. And if, we would have gotten married in a second if we could have. 


Julie: But this was 2011, before gay marriage was legalized in California. Marriage equality or not, Tam was clearly Sally's other half -- the one she wanted beside her, taking care of her.


Tam: The last month of Sally's life, we had to call in hospice and we set up a bed upstairs in our bedroom for her. And she was basically bedridden, but she had her books and a TV. And she started watching all these cooking shows, (laughs) which was funny. She started watching The Barefoot Contessa and then she would say, “okay, Tam tonight, you're making the Contessa’s meatloaf and then we're going to do a cheesecake” and, and she'd eat like two bites of it and I'd be like a pig eating. It is delicious food. (laughs)


Julie: And, as they spent their last days together, eating the Contessa’s food, Tam had an idea. 


Tam: I went upstairs and I said, “I want us to do a big celebration of your life and invite all of the great colleagues that have helped us over the years and then all of our friends, our family.” And she said, “oh, I love it. That's a great idea.” 


Julie: But there was something else on Tam's mind.


Tam: And then, suddenly, I'm like, “wait a second. How is this going to work?” In my own brain, I was just thinking: who am I to do the people, our friends, and family know we're a couple, but no one else does. These great people, that are friends, colleagues, but they don't really know...the truth. 


Julie: The truth was -- that while a select few did know about Sally and Tam’s relationship, many still didn't.


Tam: And so I told Sally that, you know, I just, I didn't know how to think about it. And it was worrying me, and she thought for a millisecond, and then just looked at me and said, “you decide what you think is right. Whatever you decide is fine, whatever you decide.”

Julie: With that, Tam decided to be honest about their relationship and started planning a party that was to be a celebration of Sally’s life.


Julie: But the party they were planning would never happen. Shortly after that conversation, Sally died at home on July 23, 2012. She was 61.

[ARCHIVAL, Anchor: A true American pioneer died today of cancer. Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space...

[ARCHIVAL, Brian Williams: America's first ever female astronaut. She was a trailblazer, an icon to school children of the generation…]

[ARCHIVAL, Anchor: She went on to inspire young women to consider careers in science. Her example alone encouraged women everywhere to shoot for the moon.]

Julie: With Sally’s passing, Tam was ready to share their relationship with the world. 


Tam: I wrote the obituary, you know, kind of that afternoon, I think I'd already started it. And then I added, you know, she left behind her partner of 27 years. And that's the part that kind of went viral and just took off. But I'm glad I did it.


Julie: Once the obituary was out in the world, that virality found its way to their La Jolla doorstep. Paparazzi swarmed their house. Helicopters buzzed overhead. Reporters rang the gate incessantly. A real media frenzy. But there was one really important call that never happened.


Tam: I kind of waited for the phone call from NASA or the President or somebody to say they were going to do something to honor Sally, the first, the very first American woman in space. I, I got no calls. 


Julie: Instead NASA opted to send condolences in a press release. And, here’s the kicker. 


Tam: And then, Neil Armstrong passed away. And NASA announced that they were going to hold a national memorial for Neil at the National Cathedral in Washington DC. 


Julie: Neil died a month after Sally. And now, you might be thinking, “Okay. Julie. Hold the phone, bitch. Let’s be fair: Neal was the first person EVER to walk on the moon. That's some pretty fucking notable shit.” Okay, yeahhhh....well may I present to you...more of the legacy of Sally. Fucking. Ride.


Julie: Dr. Sally Ride wasn’t just the first American woman in space. She saved NASA’s ass. Because of her, American astronauts still go to space. Let me explain. Remember the Challenger explosion in 1986?


[ARCHIVAL, Announcer: What appears to be a major catastrophe in America's space program, Challenger, only seconds after leaving the launch pad, according to NASA has exploded in midair...]


Julie: It was the same exact shuttle Dr. Ride rode in twice. Seven people died. They were Dr. Ride’s friends and colleagues.


[ARCHIVAL, Lynn: Today Sally Ride spoke out for the first time on her personal reaction to the accident that has halted space flight. She admitted that last week's revelations about the flawed decision making process and lack of rocket testing affected her.]


[ARCHIVAL, Sally: I was disturbed, I think it is a good way to put it. I am not ready to fly again now. I think that there are very few astronauts who are ready to fly again now. I think that, uh, we may have been misleading people into thinking that this is a routine operation, that it's that safe and it’s not. And I, I think that that's NASA's responsibility and I'm, I’m not sure that NASA had carried out that responsibility.]


Julie: And, at the time, no one knew why the shuttle exploded. It was making people -- including Dr. Ride -- question the very nature of space travel. And so Dr. Ride stepped up to be part of the commission to investigate. 


Julie: Behind the scenes, she received classified documents from a whistleblower, detailing that there was faulty equipment on the Challenger, that NASA knew about it, and that they launched the shuttle anyway. She busted the investigation wide open by providing those documents to the commission. The c ommission’s report re-established trust in the space program and contributed to saving the space program as we know it. 


Julie: Sally gave no fucks. An icon. 


Julie: On top of the Challenger Commission, she helped found the Office of Exploration at NASA; she set up Earth Cam so that kids could take pictures of the world from space; and deployed satellites, including one that was eventually used to track impacts of greenhouse gases. 


Julie: So after Sally died, when Tam didn’t receive a call from NASA. She. Was. Pissed.


Tam: And so I, I  basically hit the roof and I didn't know who to call, what to do. So I put together the national tribute, and the people in my company, and I raised the money for it. 


Julie: NASA eventually reached out to help with the national tribute, but Tam says they didn’t do much. 


Tam: NASA was going to raise the money for it, but they didn't. And, NASA wanted to actually have it in, like, at the National Air and Space Museum -- one of the Smithsonians -- because it holds 300 people and I said, “300 people, are you kidding? We're doing it at the Kennedy Center. 2,500 people.” And we filled the joint. We filled it.


Julie: Dr. Sally Ride carries the title as the first American woman in space -- that’s a pretty important milestone. But that milestone...it's a magic trick at best.


Julie: That’s because Dr. Ride’s big “first” -- has a fat qualifier in front of it. She wasn’t the first woman in space at all. She was the first AMERICAN woman in space. Funnily enough, our space race partners -- the Soviets --  beat us to it. By 20 years. In 1963, Valentina Tereshkova became the actual first woman in space. And in 1982, the year before Sally launched, Svetlana Savitskaya became the second. 


Julie: So that qualifier -- American -- that’s the bigger deal. Because when we peel back the shiny veneer of firsts, we’re left with the truth. To be the first is only possible as a result of centuries of discrimination and segregation and racism and all-around ignorance that is so pervasive in every promise of America. 


Julie: And, yet, there are still some things that are more important than any title. And I learned that from Tam when she talked about the Sally she knew. 


Julie: If you could just tell the world one thing about Sally, what would it be?


Tam: Does it have to be one thing? How about two. Sally was (laughter), she was one of the most fair people I've ever met, you know, treating each person that she met pretty much on equal ground. So I loved that about her, but I think the thing that I probably loved the most is Sally was absolutely comfortable in her own skin. And you could just -- the way she stood, the way she looked at you, the way she sat -- she just was, you know, she was breathing, she was comfortable, she wasn't thinking ahead of some agenda of what she needed to talk about or try to be funny or try to be clever. She just was in the moment. And that is a rare thing. And that is, uh -- wow. It was a sight to behold. I miss it. I miss seeing her.


Simone: Not Past It is a Spotify Original, produced by Gimlet and ZSP Media. Next week, an old-timey bank heist from one of America’s most notorious criminals…plus, the extreme security measures that bank had to take in the aftermath…


Sue Sutton: There was a shotgun behind the door. And, everyone who was an employee was encouraged to take target practice on their lunch hour down in the basement of the bank. 


Simone: This episode was produced by Julie Carli. Our show is produced by Kinsey Clarke and Sarah Craig. Our Associate producer is Jake Maia Arlow. Our intern is Laura Newcombe. The supervising producer is Erica Morrison. Editing by Andrea B. Scott and Zac Stuart-Pontier. Fact checking by Jane Ackermann. Sound design and mixing by Bobby Lord. Original Music by SaxKixAve, Willie Green, J Bless, and Bobby Lord. Our theme song is Tokoliana by KOKOKO! With music supervision by Liz Fulton. Technical direction by Zac Schmidt. Show art by Elise Harven and Talia Rochemann. The executive producer at ZSP Media is Zac Stuart-Pontier. The executive producer from Gimlet is Abbie Ruzicka. Special thanks to Rosie Guerin, Miranda Hart, Matt Shilts, Lydia Polgreen, Dan Behar and Clara Sankey. Emily Wiedemann, Liz Stiles, and Nabeel Chollampat.


Simone: And thank you! For listening! By the way, our voicemail is open. We are currently on the hunt for stories about Beanie Babies. This was one we got last week:


Haley: Hi, my name is Hayley. I live in New York City but I'm from the Midwest, and I'm telling you the story about my Beanie Baby. So there was a Beanie Baby, um, horse that I used to be obsessed with and for some reason I pulled all of the hair out. Um, so it had no mane or tail. It was a completely naked horse and I would carry it around with me everywhere. I don't know why, but I really loved it. Thanks.


Simone: Wow...honestly, I kinda love that for you. Anyways, do you have a story about a Beanie Baby? Give us a call at 646-504-9252.


Simone: Follow Not Past It now to listen for free, exclusively on Spotify. And follow me on Twitter @SimonePolanen. Thanks for hangin’. We’ll see you next week.


Simone: So Julie, what did you wish for?


Julie: I wish for the end of the patriarchy.