Dame Shirley & Kate Magruder – Women and the Gold Rush

Click here to begin listening.

When word that California had gold in its creeks and streams reached the United States of America in 1848, fortune seekers from all over the world soon began to arrive in California by boat, covered wagon, and on foot. Some people made their fortunes by selling provisions or services and very few actually found enough gold to take home. Louise Smith Clapp of Amherst, Massachusetts, using the name of Dame Shirley, wrote detailed and vivid descriptions of the life and ways of the gold seekers and of mid 19th century California. In this two-part program, we will talk to Dame Shirley in the person of Kate Magruder, a Chautauqua performer and participant with the California Council for the Humanities Sesquicentennial Project, Rediscovering California at 150. 1

Dame Shirley recommends The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Kate Magruder recommends “Days of Gold,” by Malcolm Rhorbough & “The Shirley Letters,” by Dame Shirley.

Originally Broadcast: March 16, 1999 & March 23, 1999

Play

Dr. Victoria Patterson – Native American Life, Before and After Europeans

Click here to begin listening to part 1.
Click here to begin listening to part 2.

Cultures that have no written language pass on their histories through oral traditions. The stories are the way that social values and traditions are taught by one generation to the next. Animals often play a significant character role in these stories. In the Native American traditions of the northwest part of California, the coyote is a very popular character. Dr. Victoria Patterson, an anthropologist based in Ukiah, California, has worked with native peoples for over 30 years. She knows these stories, and she sees them as windows, allowing us to imagine how original native peoples of northern California thought and lived. I met with Dr. Victoria Patterson and asked her about the significance of the story where the coyote jumped off into the sky. Our discussion lead to a two-part program, originally broadcast in February of 1999.

Dr, Victoria Patterson recommends “Deep Valley,” by Bernard W. Aginsky and “Under the Tuscan Sun,” by Frances Mayes.

Originally Broadcast: February 16, 1999 and February 26, 1999

Play

President Jimmy Carter – Life After the Presidency

Click here to begin listening.

The Virtues of Aging

Considering the alternatives, growing older is really not all that bad. The frame of mind that we develop and carry with us as we age controls much of how we feel and behave. James Earl Carter Jr., more often known as Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the US, is the author of a book called, “The Virtues of Aging.” President Carter’s book covers issues from Social Security and medical expenses to the importance of staying active and involved. I spoke with President Jimmy Carter by phone, in the fall of 1998, and I asked him what prompted him to write the book.

President Jimmy Carter recommends “The Age Wave: How the Most Important Trend of Our Time Can Change Your Future,” by Ken Dychtwald.

Originally Broadcast: December 4, 1998

Play

Dr. Stanley Donner – Origins of Public Television

Click here to begin listening.

We all know that people listen to radio and watch television. The difference between radio and television is in the image. When you listen to radio, your mind creates the image for you. When you watch television, a ready-made image is flashed before your eyes. The early days of television were days of great creativity, when the questions of “how” and “what should we do” were present at all levels of production, ownership and programming. In the early 1950s, a young professor from Stanford University named Stanley Donner was creatively engaged in the development of public television in San Francisco, California. In the last 50 or so years, Professor Donner has participated in and followed the development of this mind-boggling medium.

Dr. Stanley Donner recommends “The Hedgehog and the Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy’s View of History,” by Sir Isaiah Berlin.

Originally Broadcast: September 11, 1998

Play

Bill Zacha – Developing an Artist Colony in the Village of Mendocino, California

Click here to begin listening.

Bill Zacha, the leading force behind the creation of the Mendocino Art justify was a person with vision and moxie and one who made a dream come true. In August 1957, Bill Zacha, was a young married teacher and lived near San Francisco. On a short trip to the village of Mendocino with his wife Jenny and friends, Bill not only saw the beauty of the Mendocino coast, but the opportunity to act swiftly to purchase what is now the Mendocino Art justify and keep that property out of the hands of those who envisioned creating a trailer park there. Since its inception, the Mendocino Arts Center has featured artists, teachers, and students from all over the world. Bill Zacha, who was often called “Mr. Mendocino,” died on March 18th 1998.

Bill Zacha recommends “Love in the Time of Cholera,” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Originally Broadcast: March 27, 1998

Play

John Sutter/David Fenimore – A Visit With John Sutter

Click here to begin listening.

John Sutter was an émigré from Switzerland who came to California to establish his New Helvicia in the land of opportunity, located in what is now close to Sacramento, California. A man with vision and organization, and a liking to drink, Sutter built an economically thriving Anglo-American settlement outpost in what was then Mexican California. The economy was based on livestock and lumber and used forced Native American labor. The discovery of gold in 1849 at a mill owned by Sutter started the gold rush that ultimately led to his undoing, ruining him financially as the mass of humanity tramped through the lands he then claimed to own, on their rush to the gold fields. John Sutter was portrayed by historian David Fennimore and was part of “Rediscovering California at 150” the California sesquicentennial initiative produced by the California Council for the Humanities.

John Sutter recommends “Ivanhoe,” by Sir Walter Scott and “Report Concerning North America,” by Godfried Duden.

Originally Broadcast: February 20, 1998

Play

Pio Pico & Roberto Garza – Meet the Last Mexican Governor of California

Click here to begin listening.

In this program, we are going to go back into California history about 150 years, and visit with the last Mexican governor of California, Pio Pico. Pio Pico was born at the San Gabriel Mission in 1801, of Spanish, Italian, Indian and African ancestry. Both as a politician and as an entrepreneur, he espoused the views of many native-born Californarios over distant seats of government. As the last Mexican governor of California, he presided over the secularization of the missions, and turned over their vast land holdings to private hands. Although he fled California during the American takeover, Pio Pico returned to build the first major hotel in Los Angeles. Later, he served on the Los Angeles City Council. I met with Pio Pico in the person of Roberto Garza in February of 1998.

Pio Pico recommends “Pio Pico, A Historical Narrative,” by Pio Pico. Roberto Graza recommends “Pio Pico Miscellany,” by Martin Cole & “Decline of the Californios,” by Leonard Pitt.

Originally Broadcast: February 27, 1998

Play

Emily Dickinson & Wendy Norris – Hiding in Her Own House

Click here to begin listening.

Emily Dickinson, better known now than she was then, was known well for her phrases which sang out in a multitude of forms, meters and styles. Her words presented her innermost feelings and thoughts. A passionate and witty woman, she made a craft and an art of her words and her life. I met with Emily Dickinson, in the person of actress Wendy Norris, in the parlor of the Dickinson family home, magically carried from Amherst, MA, to the stage of the Willits Community Theater, in Willits, CA, where the belle of Amherst told her story.

Originally Broadcast: December 5, 1997

Play

Leonard Garment – Crazy Rhythm: My Journey from Brooklyn, Jazz, and Wall Street to Nixon’s White House, Watergate, and Beyond…,

Click here to begin listening.

Some people’s memories of President Richard Nixon are negative due to his role in escalating the Vietnam War, the student demonstrations at Kent State University, and Nixon’s ultimate downfall in Watergate. But who was the man? And how could another individual get close to him? “Crazy Rhythm: My Journey from Brooklyn, Jazz, and Wall Street to Nixon’s White House, Watergate, and Beyond…,” is a story written by a complex person very close to Richard Nixon. Attorney Leonard Garment was born to immigrant Jewish parents in New York in 1924. Playing music, especially saxophone jazz, he grew up in Brooklyn. As a good student and, with what he describes, “an ambition to run things,” Garment finished law school in his early twenties and began working for a major Wall Street law firm. Even though at times he characterized himself as a liberal Democrat, Garment became a close friend and law partner with Richard Nixon and later became the attorney for, and the counsel to, President Richard Nixon, during the time Nixon was embroiled in the throws of Watergate. This interview was originally broadcast in May of 1997.

Leonard Garment recommends “American Pastoral,” by Philip Roth.

Originally Broadcast: May 16, 1997

Play

Bob Blincoe – The Kurdish People

Click here to begin listening.

The word millet is a term from the Ottoman Empire that ruled parts of Europe Central to the Near East from 1430 to 1921 and means “a recognized people or cultural group who have no homeland.” Millet now applies to the Kurdish people, who live in the Zagros Mountains, where the borders of eastern Turkey, northern Iraq, and northwestern Iran converge. Starting with Gulf War of 1991, 25 million Kurdish people live homeless and stateless in the Zagros Mountains. They are subject to frequent attacks from the Turks and the Iraqis. Bob Blincoe, a Presbyterian minister, lived and worked as a community organizer among the Kurds in the Zagros Mountains for five and one-half years until the Fall of 1996. At first he spoke Arabic, so he wouldn’t stand out as someone working with a suspect minority. He quickly learned Kurdish and has many interesting stories to share.

Bob Blincoe recommends “A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern World,” by David Fromkin.

Originally Broadcast: May 14, 1997

Play