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Journeys of Discovery: Fr. Bernie Bush, S.J., recalls friendships with Alcatraz convicts

A curiosity about the mysterious island penitentiary in the middle of San Francisco Bay led Father Bush S.J., to volunteer his services on Alcatraz in 1958. Join correspondent Tom Wilmer on Alcatraz Island for a visit with Father Bush as he shares recollections from his four years on the Rock when he was a young seminarian. Father Bush is the last surviving member of the clergy who served on Alcatraz.

Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary opened in 1934. When it closed its cell doors for the last time in 1963 more than fifteen hundred prisoners had served time on the Rock. Throughout the prison’s 29-year history there was an average of one guard for every three prisoners. Alcatraz is administered by the National Park Service.

This show was originally broadcast November 29, 2016 and is reposted as a “best-of-the-best” podcast in celebration of Journeys of Discovery’s 30th anniversary producing on-air and digital media podcasts featured on KCBX and NPR One.

You are invited to subscribe to the Lowell Thomas Award-winning travel show podcast, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, featured on the NPR Podcast DirectoryApple PodcastiHeartRadio, the NPR One App & Stitcher.com. Twitter: TomCWilmer. Instagram: Thomas.Wilmer. Member of the National Press Club in Washington D.C. Underwriting support provided by Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative, and the Society of St. Vincent De Paul.

Tom Wilmer produces on-air content for Issues & Ideas airing over KCBX and is producer and host of the six-time Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR podcast Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer. Recorded live on-location across America and around the world, the podcasts feature the arts, culture, music, nature, history, science, wine & spirits, brewpubs, and the culinary arts--everything from baseball to exploring South Pacific atolls to interviewing the real Santa Claus in the Arctic.
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