More than bricks and mortar: The Everyday Wonder of the family home

A grande old dame in DeRidder got an obit upon its demise. (Photo: Renee Peck)

How do you feel about your family home? Does it fill your heart, or give you a knot in your stomach?

Whatever the case, place defines us. Where we grow up shapes us in infinite ways. And in New Orleans, where multi-generational families are more often the rule than the exception, we understand that home is about far more than bricks and mortar.

This episode of Everyday Wonder examines the meaning of the family home through three very different narratives. For Judge Calvin Johnson, the family home in Plaquemines, La., was a place from which he yearned to escape, yet which continues to draw him back even to this day. For co-host Renee Peck, the sudden and unexpected demise of the family home in DeRidder, La., was a loss as real as that of any family member, and she wrote an obit to commemorate its passing. And for host Brett Will Taylor, the hated family home of his youth has become an unexpected haven, however unwillingly he came to be there.

Join the conversation and see if you, too, might recapture something elusive as we revisit our family homes. Because, wherever we are in life, for all of us, family homes are repositories for what explains us.

Hosts: Brett Will Taylor, storyteller and shaman, who now (reluctantly) lives in his mother’s house in Plano

Renee Peck, journalist, who has lived in homes in five different neighborhoods in New Orleans

Guest: Judge Calvin Johnson, who still drives to Plaquemines to take in his family home from afar

Producer: Thomas Walsh


Everyday Wonder is a weekly podcast that focuses on conversations about the things that really matter. Read more about it here. Send feedback and comments to Brett Will Taylor at or Renee Peck at


You must login to post a comment. Need a ViaNolaVie account? Click here to signup.