Commentary

This is all commentaries on WVPE including Friday's Michiana Chronicles Feature and occasional one-time contributors.

“Sometimes you have a little trouble taking ‘no’ for an answer, don’t you?” That’s what Larry, my beloved, has said to me in the past when I have been, well, having trouble taking “no” for an answer.

St. Joseph County Public Library

Michelle and Nat FitzGerald are the owners of Make South Bend and curators of the Rebel Art Fest. They talk about their love for the River Park neighborhood of South Bend.

Michiana Stories is a production of the St. Joseph County Public Library and WVPE and is heard Monday mornings at 7:45, and Monday afternoons at 4:45, on 88.1 WVPE.

Music: "Son of Man" by SPACESHIPS (Nat FitzGerald is a member of the band)

Puppy Love

May 25, 2018
Andrew Kreider

Last year, my grandma died, my dad died, my car died, and my dog died.    Out of all of these, the one I had the most trouble mourning was the dog.  This is sort of surprising, because I never used to be a dog person.  But then we had kids.  And then one of our kids wanted a dog.  And then everybody wanted a dog.  My wife and I were having coffee at Barnes and Noble one night when it hit me.  I said to her, “We’re getting a dog, aren’t we?”  She just smiled.

And the very next week it happened.  April the dog adopted our family.

Michiana Stories: VOID

May 21, 2018
St. Joseph County Public Library

Seth Kirkpatrick, Emilio David, Julilla Baer are three South Bend teens involved with the production of the audio drama, VOID.

Michiana Stories can be heard Mondays at 7:45 during Morning Edition and at 4:45 during All Things Considered.

Michiana Stories is a production of the St. Joseph County Public Library and 88.1 WVPE.

Just Looking

May 18, 2018
Heather Curlee-Novak

Sometimes a person wants a big change.  Life can get too easy or predictable.  I’ve been married for 11 years to my handsome husband. We have two kids, one dog, two guinea pigs and a fifteen cent goldfish that could survive a nuclear bomb. I love my life but wanted something new.  I wanted something younger and more exciting and so I did what anyone in my situation would do: I went online.  Pictures say a thousand words and I spent several weeks swiping left or swiping right looking for that special someone.  Before you judge me, you should know my husband was into it.

St. Joseph County Public Library

Actors Faryal Sheikh and Mateo Beserra from Stage for Change IUSB perform monologues about prejudice written by anonymous South Bend residents.

Michiana Stories is a production of the St. Joseph County Public Library and 88.1 WVPE.

Trippin'

May 11, 2018
Jeanette Saddler-Taylor

Oh good, you’re here. Please come and sit down so that I can show you the 2713 (According to mathematician Larry, that’s a prime number.) pictures that I took on my recent trip. What? This is radio, and you can’t see them and thus are spared from this “opportunity.” Well then, a thousand words, give or take, will have to suffice.

St. Joseph County Public Library

Christina Brooks is Director of the City of South Bend’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Her husband is former Notre Dame and NFL running back Reggie Brooks, who is now the Director of Student-Athlete Alumni Relations and Engagement at the University of Notre Dame. Together, they reflect on moments from their 28-year marriage.

Michiana Stories is a production of the St. Joseph County Public Library and 88.1 WVPE.

Music: "Rebound" by Kris Brownlee

April Lidinsky

Today, I offer an argument: States divide themselves one of two ways: by longitude, or latitude. For example, I grew up in Colorado, where the eastern flatlanders have little in common with western Coloradans who notch their belts by the lofty 14-ers they’ve climbed. And among western Coloradans, please don’t mistake the east-of-the-Continental Dividers from true Western Slopers. The Colorado state of mind is organized by longitude, fine-sliced on the vertical. 

 

St. Joseph County Public Library

On this episode of Michiana Stories, we hear from Faith and Rebecca. The mother and daughter discuss working together at an Elkhart-based industrial distributor.

At the Climbing Wall

Apr 27, 2018
At the climbing wall.
Courtesy of the author.

Driving south in the early spring is an excellent kind of time travel. In Michiana last weekend the magnolia buds were just thinking about opening and the tulips weren’t even close. But down in Bloomington on Saturday bulbs rioted on the street corners, the spring-flowering trees reached out gaudily on almost every block, and the grass needed cutting. Walkers and saunterers were out, uh, walking and sauntering, stylish patrons stood in lines in front of restaurants for the open-air seating, and I put on a baseball cap so I didn’t get a sunburn up there. 

Music Village

Music Village Instructor Buddy Pearson speaks with his Rock School 101 students, including Charles Alexander Bucklew, Jack Bucklew, Gavin Dougherty, Jonathan Kerkman, and Macy McCausland.

Michiana Stories airs Mondays at 7:45 AM and 4:45 PM and is produced by the St. Joseph County Public Library and 88.1 WVPE.

Music: Rock School 101 performs "Zombie," written by Dolores O'Riordan and originally performed by The Cranberries in 1994.

Something There Is That Doesn't Love a Wall

Apr 20, 2018

I grew up in a place where people had “jobs.” The first time the word “career” hit me I was 15, listening to a song called “Here We Are in the Years,” on the first Neil Young album, that Joe Petro lent me, on the little yellow G-E “Wildcat” record player in my room.

...Lives become careers

……Let us out of here

St. Joseph County Public Library

On this episode of Michiana Stories, Rabbi Micheal Friedman and Imam Mohammad Sirajuddin discuss faith, family, and community in South Bend.

Michiana Stories is a production of the St. Joseph County Public Library and 88.1 WVPE and is heard Mondays at 7:45 AM and 4:45 PM on 88.1 WVPE.

Music: "Salaam Shalom" by Raffi

Facing the Tiger

Apr 13, 2018

The best art is not tame, but wild, like a caged animal whose enclosure seems at first to be a protective barrier but expands and grows around us, so that almost before we know it we are alone with the tiger. Such art convicts us of our inadequacies, helping us to live with a refreshed sense of honesty. It makes us more serious about our lives. This happened to me in Tokyo last year, and I’ve been reliving the experience all this week during the visit of Taiko drummer Erika Fujii.

St. Joseph County Public Library

Juan Constantino, development coordinator at La Casa de Amistad, talks about his childhood in South Bend and his family's journey from Mexico to the United States.

Michiana Stories is a production of the St. Joseph County Public Library and 88.1 WVPE and airs Mondays at 7:45 AM and 4:45 PM.

Andrew Kreider

Did you know it’s possible to kill a cactus?  I didn’t… until I did.  My friends, never trust an Englishman with your cactus.

Last fall, the day she left for college, my daughter decided to buy me a going-away present – a plant for my cubicle at work.  Let’s get you something simple, she said.  How about a cactus?  That should be easy enough for you to take care of.

St. Joseph County Public Library

In this debut of Michiana Stories, Polka musician Kenny Bartkowiak shares memories of music and Dyngus Day in South Bend with his daughter, Amy.

Michiana Stories is a production of the St. Joseph County Public Library and 88.1 WVPE and airs Mondays at 7:45 AM during Morning Edition and at 4:45 PM during All Things Considered.

Music: "I Remember Polka" by the Soundsations and "I wouldn't change you polka" by E-Z Tones

Mug Stories

Mar 30, 2018
Heather Curlee-Novak

I have a question to ask you, friends…and all of you can answer this one, probably without too much embarrassment: How many coffee mugs are in your kitchen cabinet at this moment?  When this sentence formed in my mind I realized I would have to answer it myself: I have eighteen mugs in the cabinet and one on the counter, dirty.  I honestly do not know how my mug number reflects on me.  What is the average number of mugs in other people’s cabinets?  We have a tiny kitchen and there is truly not room for one more mug, but I am loathe to part with them.  Each mug tells a story.  Each mug carr

“My little body is aweary of this great world.” Portia blurts that out early on in “The Merchant of Venice,” and it’s one of my favorite Shakespeare quotes. Being something of a blurter myself, I empathize with both her method of expression and her sentiment. Frankly, I’m disgusted with having to be in this mood though. Here it is spring; life should be full of beauty and promise, but my mood is one of a great big whine: a spring-slump.

The OpEd Project

Question: How do you know for sure if yours is a bonafide nerd family? Answer: When 3 out of 4 of you are either college students or teachers, and 4 out of 4 of you happily spend the first day of Spring Break inside a classroom. Specifically, we sat in a seminar room above the Goodman Theater in Chicago with late-winter sunshine pouring through the plate glass windows while we began to wrestle our ideas into column-length arguments suitable for publication.

Ken Smith

In the long echoing hallway between the O’Hare parking ramp and the airport terminal, a busking violinist’s sweet melody amplified my hopeful mood, so I dropped a little bigger bill than usual into his instrument case, for the karma. Upstairs, our guest writer and I shook hands, two strangers squarely on a first-name basis, James and Ken. It slowly dawned on me that the two of us were launching into an old-fashioned American road trip, just like in the movies. Only we didn’t rob any banks.

 

Save the Last Dance for Me

Mar 2, 2018
Sid Shroyer

It would take more than two days of driveway shoveling and the snow piled up around South Bend Riley High School last month to keep my friend, Terry, and me, and three thousand other people, out of the gym for the Saturday evening basketball game between two of the best teams in the state of Indiana. I had anticipated a great game and, sure enough, the start of the fourth quarter, had me thinking, “Man, I hate to see this thing get over.’

Tony Krabill

Before the winter weather hit, my wife and I were deeply into the quest of finding a new house. Nothing is forcing us to move. Maybe we’re driven partly by consumerist urges. Clicking through online photos of dens and kitchens and sunrooms and backyards, we were looking for the right combination of features. We were patient shoppers. With each day we were getting a better sense of what we wanted, but as we clarified our goals, the flaws of particular homes seemed more significant, causing us to hesitate.

Chinese Acrobats

Feb 16, 2018
Andrew Kreider

The Chinese acrobats come tumbling out of their two mini vans, laughing and teasing each other as they carry their equipment onto the stage.  By the measure of some of the troupes we’ve seen at the theater, these guys are a bit older, but they’re still mostly teenagers.  Through the door comes a tall stool, a high wire, a unicycle, various sized rings, plates, sticks, straw hats, giant yo-yos, and what looks like an oversized teeter-totter board.  Then behind the stage equipment comes the kitchen supplies.  Two rice cookers you might buy at any department store, and a large electric wok, to

18 for 2018

Feb 9, 2018
Heather Curlee-Novak

So…we have this shiny new year.  We are only a little bit into this 2018 and we hold our breath against the anguishes we knew in 2017.  We pray and we hope and we cast spells or throw dishes or journal until there are no pages left.  Good people we know die.  Others experience pain so rocking and deep we cannot even.  We do not know what to say, or do or…we sit like Job’s friends around them in silence, just being there. Or we avoid them.  Sometimes we wish we could avoid ourselves.

“Well, it's Groundhog Day... again.” Yes, you guessed it: as well as being a fact today, it’s also a quote from the movie, Groundhog Day. Apparently, many folks watch this movie every year. Larry’s and my friends, Linda and Joe, do. And, when they learned that we had never seen it—apparently some of the last people in America to be in that predicament—they  generously lent it to us. So, in the name of research for this Michiana Chronicle, we, along with our also-still-living-in-a-cave friend, Patsy, sat down for our maiden voyage.

One Last Time with David James

Jan 26, 2018

The Michiana Chronicles family has lost one of its own. David James died Saturday, Jan. 20. He was 71. David was a community activist, IU South Bend adjunct faculty, and nationally awarded musician on the hammered dulcimer. His fellow Michiana Chroniclers and WVPE staff feel the best way to pay David tribute is to share his full voice one last time. Here he talks about a snowy Christmas journey.

Christmas Eve, 1971  originally aired Friday, January 15, 2010

We Built This

Jan 19, 2018
James Rebanks

Long ago, when we’d drive around town, my grandfather would sometimes point to a particular highway bridge and say, “I built that.” And he wasn’t kidding. He and his crew of carpenters built the wooden forms that molded the poured concrete into sturdy bridge pillars. When I drive over that bridge today, I think of his proud words, “I built that.”

April Lidinsky

So …. how are those New Year’s resolutions coming along? After an enraging political year full of marching and hollering myself hoarse, I’ve been trying something new — shutting up and listening.

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