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The Pirate

Morning sunlight streams through the blinds as John Ostoich (aka "Johnny O") pours his first bourbon of the day. A cigarette hangs from his lips; his parrot, Bok-Bok, rests on his shoulder.

2015 / Lu Olkowski / KCRW, USA

Morning sunlight streams through the blinds as John Ostoich (aka "Johnny O") pours his first bourbon of the day. A cigarette hangs from his lips; his parrot, Bok-Bok, rests on his shoulder.

For producer Lu Olkowski, what started as a one-hour interview with the big ship linesman turned into a 72-hour bender... and this gutsy portrait.

The Pirate is part of Olkowski's series CARGOLAND, produced in collaboration with KCRW's Independent Producer Project. This story was edited by Sean Cole, Samara Freemark and Brendan Baker, and mixed by Brendan Baker. It first aired on UnFictional.

Read about Lu's choice to drink alongside Johnny O in the making of this portrait, and why she recorded Johnny O singing along to an entire Roy Orbison album three(!) times in Behind-the-Scenes.


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