Fogg, Laura — Traveling Blind

The ways different creatures, especially us humans, use our senses to guide ourselves through life has long attracted my curiosity.   I’ve often wondered how blind people seem able to orient themselves, and also wondered about their dreams. 

From time to time, over the years, I would see an attentive woman walk past my office window next to a young person of student age.  They would walk together talk, and the young person almost always carried a white cane with a red tip. 

Laura Fogg is this woman, the author of “Traveling Blind:  Life Lessons from Unlikely Teachers,” and our guest in this archive edition of Radio Curious.  

Laura Fogg worked as a Mobility and Orientation Instructor for the Blind in Mendocino County for over 35 years beginning 1971.  She pioneered the use of the red tipped white cane with very young blind students some of whom had multiple impairments.  She traveled long distances over the rather spectacular back roads of Mendocino County to work with each student his or her home.

When she visited the studios of Radio Curious on December 1, 2008, I asked her about the lessons that she learned that have changed her life. 

The book Laura Fogg recommends is “My Year of Meats,” by Ruth Ozeki. Published in 1999.

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Aptheker, Bettina — The Personal is the Political

Political intimacy is closely related to personal intimacy, just as social change is related to personal change. In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with Bettina Aptheker, the author of “Tapestries of Life: Women’s Work, Women’s Consciousness, and the Meaning of Daily Experience.” At the time the program was recorded in 1997, Bettina was a professor of women’s studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz and open about identifying herself as a lesbian. When we spoke in February of 1997, we explored the relationship of personal intimacy and political intimacy.

The book Bettina Aptheker recommends is “Ceremony” by Leslie Marmon Silko. 

Click here to listen to part two or on the media player below.  

Erlick, Eli & Longchamp, Dr. Carla — Transgender Youth: One Family’s Experience Part One

This edition of Radio Curious is the first of two conversations with Eli Erlick, a woman, who was born a male, and her mother Dr. Carla Longchamp.  

Eli Erlick is the Founder and Executive Director of Trans Student Equality Resource, based in San Francisco, California and a student at Pitzer College in Claremont, California.  Dr. Carla Longchamp is a family physician in a rural northern California community.

Together they share their family’s experience when Eli realized that she was female, and her parent’s subsequent acceptance of who she is.  Our conversation, recorded on January 15, 2014, at Radio Curious, began when I asked Eli, when she knew she was a girl. 

Click here to listen to part one or on the media player below.

Click here  to listen to part two.

 

 

Kennedy, Randall — Interracial Intimacies

Fears of interracial relationships, influenced over the centuries by racial biases and fantasies, still widely linger in American Society today.

Randall Kennedy, a professor at Harvard University Law School is the author of “Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity, and Adoption,” in which he takes an in depth look at the issue of black and white relationships set against the ever-changing social mores and laws of this country.  From pre-civil war to the present, this book explores the historical, sociological, legal and moral issues that continue to feed and complicate those fears.

Professor Kennedy and I visited by phone in March 2003 and began by our conversation with his description of what he calls a “pigmentocracy” in the United States.  

The book Professor Randall Kennedy recommends is “The Biography of Walter White,” by Robert Jankin.

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Thomas, Sam — Midwives and Murder

The rather fascinating tale of midwifery and murder in York, England set in the mid 1640s is the topic of our conversation with Sam Thomas, author of “The Midwife’s Tale,” and “The Harlot’s Tale.”  While researching English history for his Ph.D. thesis, Thomas happened on to the Will of Bridget Hodgson, a midwife.  A fictionalized version of her life forms the basis for Thomas’s mystery series set in York, in which Bridget Hodgson is the protagonist.

Our conversation with Sam Thomas, recorded by phone on December 27, 2013 from his home near Cleveland, Ohio, where he teaches high-school history, begins with his characterization of York, England, in 1644.

The books Sam Thomas recommends are “An Instance of the Finger Post,” by Iain Pears, and “The Lock Artist,” by Steve Hamilton. 

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Bernstein, Paula & Schein, Elyse — Identical Twins Meet

In our unsatisfied curiosity about the difference between nature and nurture we visit with Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein.  These women are identical twins separated as infants and reunited in 2003 when they were 35 years old.  They are the authors of “Identical Strangers:  A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited.” 

Their mother, as we will hear was unable to care for them and as babies they were placed for adoption.

When we visited by phone on November 10, 2007, we discussed their separate childhoods, how they learned that they had a twin, their similarities and differences, and their attempt to learn about a study of twins in which they unknowingly participated.

We began when I asked them to describe aspects of their twin-ship which they still find strange.

The book that Elyse Schein recommends is “Later, At The Bar:  A Novel in Stories” by Rebecca Barry. The book that Paula Bernstein recommends is “Borrowed Finery:  A Memoir” by Paula Fox.

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Buckley, Mary: What Are You Afraid Of?

“What Are You Afraid Of?” is the title of a cd released in August 2013 by singer and songwriter Mary Buckley, our guest in this edition of Radio Curious.  Mary has a wide range of skills and experiences and has been singing her songs since she was a young teenager in the mid-1970s.  She visited the studios of Radio Curious on November 10, 2013, and began her story when I asked her what prompted her to create a cd.

The book Mary Buckley recommends is “A Pattern Language,” by Christopher Alexander.

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Fuller, Alexandra — Growing Up White in Africa

In the late summer of 2003 Radio Curious visited with Alexandra Fuller who, as a child lived in Rhodesia, Malawi and Zambia in southeast Africa between 1972 and 1990.  After her father sided with the white government in the Rhodesian civil war, he was often away from home.   Fuller’s resilient and self-sufficient mother immersed herself in their rural and rugged life. She taught her children to have strong wills and opinions, and to whole-heartedly embrace life, despite and because of their difficult circumstances.  Alexandra Fuller, author of “Don’t Let’s Go To The Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood,” known as Bobo to her family, developed a love of reading and story telling early on in her life.  

When I spoke with Alexandra Fuller in September 2003 her home was in rural Wyoming.  We visited by phone and began our conversation when I asked her how she choose the title for her book, “Don’t Let’s Go To The Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood.”

The book Alexandra Fuller recommends is “Echoing Silences,” by Alexander Canigone.  

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Freed, Lynn — Reflections on a Life

The personal journal is often not meant for the eyes of anyone but the writer. When a stranger’s journal is read, the reader often becomes a voyeur to the innermost secrets of another. And whether it is a true journal or one of fiction, who cares? Often, it remains a good story. Lynn Freed, originally of Durban, South Africa, wrote the fictional journal of Agnes LaGrange, entitled “The Mirror,” which reveals the thoughts, feelings, and loves of Agnes, starting when she arrived in South Africa to work as a housekeeper, and ending 50 years later.

Lynn Freed recommends “Misfit,” by Jonathan Yardly, “Essays,” by George Orwell & “Last Days in Cloud Cukooland Dispatches,” by Graham Boynton.

Originally Broadcast: December 12, 1997

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Makepeace, Anne — We Still Live Here: Revival of the Wampanoag Language

The film “We Still Live Here,” tells the story of the revival of an indigenous Native American language that was not spoken or written for over 100 years. Our guest in this edition of Radio Curious is Anne Makepeace, the writer and producer of the documentary film.

The Wampanoag people of Southeastern Massachusetts ensured the survival of the Pilgrims in New England, and lived to regret it. After nearly 400 years of forced cultural assimilation the Wampanoags have brought their language home again.

Radio Curious visited with Anne Makepeace from her home in northwestern Connecticut on April 29, 2013, and she began by pronouncing “We Still Live Here” in Wampanoag.

The films Anne Makepeace recommends are “The Beasts of the Southern Wild” and “Dersu Uzala.”

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