Vogel, Dr. Lillian Brown — Secrets of a Long Life: In Memory of Dr. Lillian Brown Vogel

This program is presented in honor of my mother, Lillian Brown Vogel, whose vivacious 39,549 days finally caught up with her on December 29, 2017. She died at her home here in Ukiah, California at the age of 108. Smiling until she closed her eyes for the last time, she cherished her well lived life. I dedicate this program to everyone who seeks to lead a long, active and happy life.

My mother played the piano almost daily for 104 years. She voted in every election since 1930, the year she began medical school. She earned a Master’s Degree in 1933 and Ph.D. in 1961, both in psychology. She worked as a clinical psychologist, retiring in 2005, at the age of 96.

In response to many queries about the secret of her long life, she published her memoir, “What’s My Secret?  One Hundred Years of Memories and Reflections,” on her 100th birthday in 2009.

My mother was driven by her curiosity and joy of life. She was able to get to the heart of most any matter with a few simple questions.  And then always wanted to know more.

This interview, originally recorded on October 31, 2009, was poetically updated, as you’ll hear, on September 9, 2014. Now this edition of Radio Curious begins when I asked Dr. Lillian Brown Vogel, my mother and my initial mentor on how to be curious: ‘Mother dear, what makes you curious?’

The book Lillian B. Vogel recommended in 2009, is “The Blue Tattoo: The Life Of Olive Oatman,” by Margot Mifflin.  

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Bayer, Jaciara — Transracial Adoptions and White Privilege

Radio Curious discusses transracial adoptions with Jaciara Bayer, a 30 year old Brazilian born woman, who is currently studying for a master’s degree in social work at the California State University at Hayward.

Jaciara Bayer was adopted and brought to the United States at age 11 months by her single, white-American mother and grew up in Ukiah, California.

A transracial adoption, which may be an international adoption, is the primary focus of Jaciara Bayer’s plan of study for her master’s degree. Sharing her personal experiences, she tells us of being told she’s different, growing up in a white family and white privilege. When Jaci, as she is often known, and I visited in the studios of Radio Curious on March 23, 2015, she began with her earliest memories.

The book Jaciara Bayer recommends is “In the Meantime: Finding Yourself and the Love You Want,” by Iyanla Vanzant.

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Malamud Smith, Jana — Why Mothers Worry About Their Children

Is the concept of “mother blame” a method to control women? Is motherhood a really a fearsome job?  Will a mother’s mistake or inattention damage a child?  Is this different from the fear that fathers have about the safety of their children?

These questions are answered by guest Jana Malamud Smith in her book “A Potent Spell:  Mother Love and the Power of Fear.”  She is a clinical psychotherapist and daughter of writer Bernard Malamud.

Smith argues that the fear of losing a child is central to motherhood, and mostly overlooked as a historical force that has induced mothers throughout time to shape their own lives to better shelter their young, at the expense of their own future.

I spoke with Dr. Janna Malamud Smith from her home in Massachusetts, and asked her to begin by discussing the different level of feat that fathers and mothers have toward their children.

The book Janna Malamud Smith recommends is “Biography of Samuel Pepys” by Clair Tomilin.  

Originally broadcast: February 18, 2003.

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Blevis, Marcianne — Jealousy

Are you jealous?  Have you ever been?  Do you know the origin of your jealousy? Jealousy often goes hand in hand with feelings of love, but where does this emotion come from, and how can we manage it?

In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Marcianne Blevis, author of “Jealousy: True Stories of Love’s Favorite Decoy.”  In this book, Marcianne Blevis, who lives and works in Paris, France, reveals different ways jealousy affects different people and suggests methods to understand and manage what can be a very destructive yet elusive emotion.

She examines the deeper consequences of jealousy and inquires if jealousy is useful to us and if this ‘extraordinary passion,’ in reality is ‘a strategy for survival’.

I spoke with Marcianne Blevis from her home in Paris, France on February 2nd, 2009, and began by asking her to explain what jealousy is.

The book Marcianne Blevis recommends is “Aux confins de l’identité” (title translated by Marcianne Blevis as “At the Frontier of Identity”) by Michel De M’uzan. This book is currently published only in French.  

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Von Drehle, David — Triangle, the Fire that Changed America

Until September 11, 2001, The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of March 25, 1911 was the deadliest workplace disaster in the history of New York City.  The fire shocked the nation and exposed the life-threatening conditions in America’s sweatshop industry.  It gave energy to the labor movement and unions, and remade the Democratic Party of the time.

Our guest, David Von Drehle, is the author of “Triangle, the Fire That Changed America,” a book that presents a detailed examination of how this single event changed the course of the 20th century politics and labor relations. In this book, Von Drehle concludes:

“As for the mostly nameless young women and men who went on strike in 1909 and bravely walked those relentless picket lines through a freezing winter—and especially those remarkable young people who later died at the Triangle—their memory grows.  Their individual lives are mostly lost to us, but their monument and legacy are stitched into our world.”

David Von Drehle and I visited by phone from New York City in early September 2003, and began with his description of the fire on March 25, 1911 that changed America.

The book David Von Drehele recommends is “Plunkitt of Tammany Hall” by William Riordan.

This program was originally broadcast on September 9, 2003.

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A Visit with Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Frederick Douglass

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Frederick Douglass were good friends from the mid 19th century to the late 19th century, and were active leaders in the fight for the rights of women and blacks throughout their lives.  From time to time they got together to visit and talk about America, as they knew it. In this archive edition of Radio Curious recorded in May 1998, I met with Chautauqua scholars Sally Roesch Wagner and Charles Pace who portrayed Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Frederick Douglass. We began our conversation when I asked them each to tell us what it was like to be an American during their life time.

The book Frederick Douglass recommends is, “The Columbian Orator: Containing a Variety of Original and Selected Pieces Together With Rules, Which Are Calculated to Improve Youth and Others, in the Ornamental and Using Art of Eloquence” by Caleb Bingham. The book Charles Pace recommends is, “W. E. B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868 to 1919,” by David Levering Lewis.

The book Elizabeth Cady Stanton recommends is, “The Woman’s Bible” edited by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The book Sally Wagner recommends is, “The Homesteader: A Novel,” by Oscar Micheaux. 

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Alzheimer’s Disease: A Psychiatrist’s Personal Perspective — Part Two

In our continuing series on dementia we present two interviews with Dr. Betty G. Lacy, clinical psychiatrist, based in Ukiah, California, whose focus is the prevention, care and treatment of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. This chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and worsens over time, is the cause of 60% to 70% of cases of dementia.  

In part one, Dr. Lacy tells the story of Alois Alheimers, a German psychiatrist and neuropathologist, who’s credited with identifying the first published case of “presenile dementia”, which would later be identified as Alzheimer’s disease.  She shares the emotional impact of the personal experiences of her parents, both of whom suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. She and her two siblings each carry the gene called APOE4, which increases a person’s susceptibility to this disease. She explains the benefits of being tested and identifies specific ways to retard and possibly prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s.

In this program, part two, Dr. Lacy shares her personal experiences of caring for her parents with Alzheimer’s. She suggests ways to deal with the changing personality that comes with this disease and how to deal with the stress it brings to family members. 

Dr. Betty Lacy visited the studio of Radio Curious on July 7, 2017, and began part two of our conversation with her description of the changes Alzheimer’s presents to family relationships and dynamics.

The book Betty Lacy recommends is “He Wanted the Moon:  The Madness and Medical Genius of Dr. Perry Baird, and His Daughter’s Quest to Know Him,” by Mimi Baird and Eve Claxton. 

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Alzheimer’s Disease: A Psychiatrist’s Personal Perspective — Part One

In our continuing series on dementia we visit with Dr. Betty J. Lacy, clinical psychiatrist, based in Ukiah, California, whose focus is the prevention, care and treatment of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.This chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and worsens over time, is the cause of 60% to 70% of cases of dementia.

Dr. Lacy tells the story of Alois Alheimers, a German psychiatrist and neuropathologist, who’s credited with identifying the first published case of “presenile dementia”, which would later be identified as Alzheimer’s disease.  

In this, the first of two visits with Dr. Lacy, she shares the emotional impact of the personal experiences of her parents, both of whom suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. She and her two siblings each carry the gene called APOE4, which increases a person’s susceptibility to this disease. She explains the benefits of being tested and identifies specific ways to retard and possibly prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s.

When Betty Lacy visited the studio of Radio Curious on July 7, 2017, we began our conversation with her description of her parents’ conditions and their states of mind.

In part two, Dr. Lacy discusses how to deal with this disease, and provides suggestions for family and friends of a person who suffers from Alzheimer’s.

The book Betty Lacy recommends is “He Wanted the Moon:  The Madness and Medical Genius of Dr. Perry Baird, and His Daughter’s Quest to Know Him,” by Mimi Baird and Eve Claxton.  

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Conna-Lee Weinberg:  Conscious Direction of Your Spine

How we each may develop a conscious connection with the individual vertebrae of the spine is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.

Our guest is Conna-Lee Weinberg, author of “Mindful Spine: Movement from the Inside Out – Connecting the Brain and the Spinal Vertebrae.”  Weinberg has over 30 years of experience as a psychophysical educator for Olympic and high-performance athletes.

Weinberg asserts that the spine overtly regulates our movements from birth until we begin to crawl and walk.  She believes that beginning when we crawl, the spine becomes subordinate to our muscles in controlling our movement.  This may result in sciatica, scoliosis, and other painful and sometimes debilitating conditions.

Weinberg believes that by learning to consciously direct or move the individual spinal vertebrae, with an intention similar to learning to ride a bicycle or moving a cup to our lips, we would be able to avoid, among other issues, the back pain too many of us suffer.  You may find further information at her website mindfulspine.com.

When Conna-Lee Weinberg visited the Radio Curious Studios on June 11, 2017, she demonstrated her personal ability to separately move the individual vertebrae of her spine.  In addition, she moved several vertebrae at the same time to imitate scoliosis.  She and I began our visit with her description of the Eureka moment when she learned that she could intentionally move her own spinal vertebrae.

The book Conna-Lee Weinberg recommends is:  “The Brain that Changes Itself:  Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science,” by Norman Doidge.  

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Lung, Robin– Finding Kukan: A Hidden Glimpse into Wartime China

An artifact of Chinese-American heritage in the form of a long-lost film and the Asian American woman responsible for this film’s creation is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.

Our guest is documentary filmmaker Robin Lung, who made the film Finding Kukan. Finding Kukan tells the story of Li Ling-Ai, a Chinese-American woman who hired Rey Scott, an American photojournalist, to travel to China and capture the life of people in that war-torn country, including the massive bombing of the wartime capital. Their landmark film, Kukan, received one of the first Academy Awards for a feature documentary in 1942. Lung’s film, Finding Kukan, asks why we haven’t heard of Li Ling-Ai, and why all copies of her film Kukan seem to have disappeared.

This program was recorded on May 6, 2017, when she was in Southern California, right after Finding Kukan received the Audience Award at the 2017 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

You may listen to the full interview here.

The book which Robin Lung recommends is also a movie, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, by Margot Lee Shetterly.