Michiana Chronicles

Michiana Chronicles writers bring portraits of our life and times to the 88.1 WVPE airwaves every Friday at 7:45 am during Morning Edition and over the noon hour at 12:30 pm during Here and Now. Michiana Chronicles was first broadcast in October 2001. Contact the writers through their individual e-mails and thanks for listening!

Ken Smith

This is the story of how, at age 52, I learned to like experimental jazz. Or, really, this is the story of how I learned I could learn to like experimental jazz … I’m a work in progress. 

 

Michiana Chronicles: Model Citizens

Sep 14, 2018
Sid Shroyer

It was my good fortune to be in attendance the evening that the Carter Build Habitat for Humanity folks treated themselves to a night out at the South Bend Cubs game at the end of August.  I would have been on the couch at home, otherwise, checking the TV for the latest episode of “What Goes Around Comes Around,” if my buddy Doug Snyder had not called the night before and said,

Larry Taylor

Vices versus virtues: sounds like a sports team rivalry, doesn’t it?

Andrew Kreider

Why don’t the toilets stink at the library?  

Neighborhoods

Aug 24, 2018
Heather Curlee-Novak

The domicile in which I live has always been important to me.  I grew up on Troy Court in South Bend Indiana, then Alpine St., Twyckenham and then Emerson Ave for most of high school. I moved out a bit early (a bit young but needing to escape family struggles), into a furnished second story apartment above a house on Pleasant Street.  I lived on both 8th and 9th streets in Mishawka , and on Columbia  St.

The Gift Of Enthusiasm

Aug 17, 2018
Joe Chaney

Never underestimate the value of becoming enthusiastic about something in life—especially a hobby, a more or less purposeless enthusiasm not involving any striving or wishing. Here I’m not talking about an amateur sport like golf, which imitates the competition of everyday life, its thrills, frustrations, and disappointments. Last spring I had the honor of hosting a Japanese drummer, Erika Fujii. One day we went to John Adams High School at the invitation of the marching band percussion director, Charlie Lawrence.

Something Happening Here

Aug 10, 2018
Toledo Blade

A friend was traveling on a crowded train in England, in the midst of their endlessly divisive Brexit political turmoil just before this summer’s drought struck that country. She had to stand in the aisle with no view really of the passing green valleys and hills, so she pulled a paperback out of her bag, hoping to read. A woman seated nearby spotted the title: How Democracies Die. My friend noticed an acknowledgment in the other traveller’s face, the tired way eyebrows furl and the measured, involuntary intake of breath that together signify recognition and weariness, fear and grief.

Hunger At The Fair

Aug 3, 2018
April Lidinsky

It’s county fair season, and a day or two in those crowded midways is another kind of summer school. It’s not the animals I look forward to. I love the fair as a festival of humanity — a chance to people-watch and spark conversations that could only catch fire there.

What Goes Around Comes Around

Jul 27, 2018

My friend Arthur was struggling with things, things like life and death, and everything in between, and so with advice from someone who is paid to smile when she joyously reads what she is told to read, by anyone who will pay her, my friend Arthur enlisted the support of the DNA analysis company “21 and Done” to help him see if he could find out what was up with him.

Here we are in the heart of sunshiney, joyous summer. Here we are in the heart of hot, oppressively humid summer. If ever there was a conflicted season, summer is it. For me, at least, it definitely is a love/hate relationship.

Summers bring longer lightness--that translates to a lightness of spirit. Early morning birdsong, breakfasts on the screened porch, evening drinks on the screened porch, occasional naps on the chaise lounge on the screened porch: a freedom of attitude that gives one permission to lull, be languid, and luxuriate in life.

The Beautiful Game

Jul 13, 2018
Reuters / Getty Images

It’s been a month of irrational exuberance in our household.

I’m speaking of course of soccer.  And it’s completely irrational.  To be an England soccer fan is not too far removed from being a Buffalo Bills fan, or a Cleveland sports fan before LeBron came on the scene.  Imagine a once-proud population reduced to a litany of almosts and never coulds.  That’s England.

Pardon Me

Jul 6, 2018

We are all so gross.  You are, I am, that guy at your work is.  You know it is true.  You know how sometimes a person…I’m not saying YOU of course, but a random person might get a thing on their whatever?  Like lint or a booger or leftover food from their last meal….it’s on their thing and they do not know.  Don’t we have a social obligation to tell them?  I mean, wouldn’t you want to know?  Sure it is embarrassing as all get out that my eyeliner has smeared or my lipstick has crusted but I’d rather know since everyone else will. 

The Trouble With Being Correct

Jun 29, 2018

Amid debates over the costs of higher education, I’ve been reflecting on what it means to be a student. What kind of citizen are we trying to produce, and what is that transformation worth? Some of the things that universities do are virtually spiritual missions. One core mission is to help students develop an internal sense of authority.

 

Mending Window

Jun 22, 2018

My friend is rehabbing a two-story brick house in the big city, renewing that sturdy old beast and contributing something of his own to an urban neighborhood that is making its comeback. I stop by once in a while to check out the progress. Cooler than cool but almost invisible are the twenty new solar panels up on the flat roof, with their web app that graphs how much electricity each panel generates on sunny as well as shady days.

April Lidinsky

As a nerdy kid with a competitive streak, I thought of summer reading as both a sprint and a marathon. My local library didn't host a “summer reading challenge,” so my only competition was myself … but I’m sorry to say how much I enjoyed flaunting my long list of conquered titles. Now, as a nerdy proto-crone with a competitive streak, I still relish this feeling.

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