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

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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

Laura Ferri as Grace Carpenter Hudson: The Painter Lady

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Grace Carpenter Hudson was known as the painter-lady in her hometown of Ukiah, CA. She started her career as a painter when she was a teenager in the 1870s. By the time of her death in 1937, she had produced over 600 canvas paintings and numerous other works. Her skills focused almost exclusively on the lives and cultures of the Pomo Indians who lived in Mendocino County. Her husband, Dr. John Hudson, assisted her by making the study of native culture his life’s work, overshadowing his profession as a physician. Grace Carpenter Hudson was a shrewd businesswoman, as well as an artist of increasing renown. Most of the family income came from the sale of her artwork. I spoke with Grace Carpenter Hudson in the person of actress Laura Ferri at the Grace Carpenter Hudson museum in Ukiah, CA, during an exhibition of her work.

Grace Carpenter Hudson recommends “The Age of Innocence,” by Edith Morton. Laura Ferri recommends “Stones from the River,” by Ursula Hegi.

Originally Broadcast: March 5, 1997

Anthony Adams, Esq.: A Deeply Romantic Public Defender, etc.

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Our guest in this edition of Radio Curious is Anthony Adams, Esq., is currently, among other things, a Deputy Public Defender in Mendocino County, California. He’s also poet, formerly a California State Parole Commissioner, and served in the California State Assembly.

At a local Bar Association gathering, Adams recited his poetry and shared stories about his work as a Parole Commissioner. I decided to invite him to be a guest and asked him to tell us about his life.

Anthony Adams visited Radio Curious on August 23, 2018, and described himself and an “interesting fellow… A deeply romantic person.” In the course of our conversation his self description revealed itself. We began when I asked him about poetry related to his work.

The books Anthony Adams recommends are “Nine Horses: Poems,” by Billy Collins, a former national Poet Laureate; “The Dove Keepers,” by Alice Hoffman; and “1492: A Novel of Christopher Columbus, the Spanish Inquisition, and a World at the Turning Point,” by Newton Frohlich.

This program was recorded on August 23, 2018.

Massey, Orell: The Impact of Martin Luther King, Jr. on One Man

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To assist in the consideration of the impact of Martin Luther King, Jr. on the United States, I invited my friend Orell Massey to join us again here at Radio Curious.  In February 2014, when Massey first visited us he shared his experiences as the first and, so far, the only black law enforcement officer in the history of Mendocino County, California.  Prior to becoming a Deputy Sheriff here 23 years ago, Massey served in the U.S. Marine Corps and was primarily assigned to the Foreign Service Embassy detail. A native of rural South Carolina, he suffered under the cloud, terror, threats and fears brought on by racial segregation throughout his childhood and early adult years before joining the Marine Corps.   Now, he continues to work part time as a Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff, since his retirement in 2017.

When Orell Massey visited the Radio Curious studios on January 14, 2018, we focused on the effect that Martin Luther King, Jr. had on his life.

The Civil Rights song featured is “Can’t Turn Me ‘Round” performed by The Roots.

The book Orell Massey recommends is “I Never Had it Made: An Autobiography of Jackie Robinson,”  by Jackie Robinson and Alfred Duckett.

Scott, Jack: Harvesting Redwood Trees, Without a Chain Saw

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The California coastal redwood trees are some of the oldest living things in the world. Other than cutting the tree down, the best way to determine their age, or the age of any tree is with an incremental borer. That’s a long narrow tube twisted into the tree from the bark to the pitch at the center of the tree.  A small finger-size “wooden rod” is removed revealing one line which represents one tree ring is then removed and counted.  Each tree ring represents one year of the tree’s life.

Though few old growth redwood forests exist now, some of the remaining redwoods are estimated to be close to 2000 years old.  Although that is easy to say, it is beyond my ken to fathom.
96 year old Jack Scott of Ukiah, California, is our guest on this edition of Radio Curious.  In 1936 before the era of the chain-saw, Scott harvested old growth redwoods beginning at 15 years old.  Part of the harvest process was to push and then pull one end of a two-person hand-saw. When Scott visited the Radio Curious studios on November 12, 2017, we began when I asked him to describe working in the woods at that time.

The books Jack Scott recommends are those written by Louis Lamore.

Leinen, George: A Mortician’s Philosophy

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Radio Curious discusses the funeral industry in the United States with the owner of a mortuary in a rural northern California town. As professionals describe their work and philosophy, George Leinen, owner of Empire Mortuary in Ukiah, California since 2000, joins us in this edition of Radio Curious to share his thoughts and experiences. We discuss funeral industry trade associations, business practices in some sectors of the industry, and how our guest’s philosophy evolved. In this program, recorded in the studios of Radio Curious on September 21, 2013 we began our visit when I asked George Leinen to describe embalming, what it is, and why it’s done.

The book George Leinen recommends is “The American Way of Death,” by Jessica Mitford.

Sullivan, Michael Gene — Political Theater, Black Men and the Police

Theatre as a commentary on the condition of society is the subject of this edition of Radio Curious.  The topic is the relationship of police and black men in America in 2015.  Our guest is Michael Gene Sullivan, the resident playwright, director and a principal actor in “2015: Freedomland,” this year’s production by the San Francisco Mime Troupe.

The first question and answer on the frequently asked questions page on the San Francisco Mime Troupe website is:  “Why do you call yourself a Mime Troupe if you talk and sing?”  The answer is:  “We use the term mime in its classical and original definition, ‘The exaggeration of daily life in story and song.’”

When Michael Gene Sullivan and I visited by phone from his home in San Francisco on June 29, 2015, I asked him if “2015: Freedomland” was an exaggeration of daily life in story and song from his perspective.

The book Michael Gene Sullivan recommends is “The Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Force,” by Redley Balko.

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Patterson, Dr. Victoria — Native American Life, Before and After Europeans Part Two

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 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.  In part one we discuss the indigenous stories and in part two we discuss how the northern California indigenous communities changed after European colonization.

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

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

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Patterson, Dr. Victoria — Native American Life, Before and After Europeans Part One

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 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.

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

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

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Samson, Don — The Creative Imagination of Playwright Don Samson

The creative imagination of playwright Don Samson is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.  In May 2015, I had the good fortune of seeing a ten minute play entitled “Blind Date,” written by my long time friend, who lives in nearby Willits, California.  For many years prior to becoming a playwright, Don Samson researched and wrote legal briefs for criminal defense attorneys, an experience we also discuss in this program.

After seeing the local production of “Blind Date,” I was curious about the circumstances that came to Don Samson’s mind when he created this play, so I invited him to visit the Radio Curious studios.  We met on May 22, 2015 and began our conversation with his description of those circumstances. 

Don Samson recommends the book, which is also a play, “Antigone,” by Sophocles.

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