Ed Reinhart & Earl Dixon – Don’t Shoot The Piano Player

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Earl Dixon is a veteran traveler, a veteran piano player, and he’s actually a veteran, too. An interesting story. Earl Dixon, the man on this show, traveled around the world, and has a lot of familiar stories to tell to those of us here in Mendocino County.

Originally Broadcast: June 11, 2002

Brad Newsham – “A Taxi Across America”

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Take me with you: Around the World Journey to Invite a Stranger Home

Have you ever made friends with someone from a place where you visited as a traveler? Have you ever wondered what it would be like for that person to visit you in your home and your surroundings? Well, that is what Brad Newsham did. He is the author of “Take Me With You: A Round The World Journey to Invite a Stranger Home.”

Brad Newsham recommends “Dangerous Beauty,” by Mark Ross.

Originally Broadcast: May 7, 2002

“Patrick McGrath – Moving to America in 1774″

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Imagine leaving home and traveling by yourself to a new land where you don’t know the customs or the politics, on a trip that will take weeks to complete in what would now be considered a very small ship, on turbulent waters. Imagine making this voyage, never to return to your homeland, when you are 15 years old, and pregnant. Soon after you arrive a war begins that changes the face of the country and set a new type of government in motion. Imagine researching this story and then writing it. That is the work of Patrick McGrath, the author of “Martha Peake,” a book about a plucky young woman who came to American in 1774. I spoke with Patrick McGrath by phone in 2001 to talk about “Martha Peake,” how he researched and prepared to write it, and what British students are taught about the American Revolution.

Patrick McGrath recommends “The First American,” by H.W. Brown.

Originally Broadcast: January 16, 2001

Mike & Halle Brady: Life in Vladivostok, Russia

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Vladivostok, Russia, at the very eastern end of Siberia, is a city of about 800,000 people. It is the same distance north of the equator as is central Oregon and Rome, Italy. It’s close to the border of China and North Korea. This city was closed to everyone, including Russians, until the early 1990s. Halle Brady and Mike Brady, formerly of Potter Valley, California, spent two years teaching in Vladivostok and, in this program, we shared their experiences there.

Mike Brady recommends “Lenin’s Tomb,” by David Remnick. Halle Brady recommends “Gates of November,” by Chaim Potok.

Originally Broadcast: July 3, 1998

Del Castillo, Dennis & Lu, Mercedes: Peruvian Environmental Issues

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In this edition of Radio Curious, we visit Dennis del Castillo and Mercedes Lu, two environmental activists from Peru. I met with them in Lima, Peru on February 5th, 1998. Dennis del Castillo, who holds a Ph.D. from Mississippi State University in soil science and in this interview describes contemporary environmental problems in the Peruvian Amazon Basin. In the second half of this program we visit with Mercedes Lu, a scientific technician, who described some of the problems resulting from copper mining that occurs along the coast of southern Peru. We began our conversation when I asked Dennis del Castillo to describe the potential of the Peruvian Amazon Basin.

Dennis del Castillo recommends “The Losing Ground,” by Erik P. Eckholm.

Originally Broadcast: April 3, 1998

Coy, Gary: The Man Driving the Dog Team

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There is strong historical and anthropological evidence that dogs came across the Bering land bridge with people migrating from Siberia to Alaska. These dogs worked hard to maintain their keep; they werent pets. Instead, they chased and ran down polar bears and located seals hiding beneath the Bering ice. One of the early dog professionals in Alaska was Harry Karstens, who later became the first superintendent of Mount McKinley National Park. As a young man, he pioneered a dog sled route from Fairbanks to Valdez, and hauled mail to the Katishna mining district. Now, at Denali National Park in central Alaska, theres a breeding and training and leadership program for these sled dogs. I spoke with Gary Coy, the director of this remarkable kennel. In his office there is a large sign quoting Harry Karstens. It says: A man driving a dog team is the biggest dog himself. Amid the noise and the chatter of the dog kennels in Denali Park, I asked Gary to explain what that sign means and to tell us a little about this wonderful project.

Gary Coy recommends A Dog-Puncher on the Yukon, by Arthur Walden.

Originally Broadcast: August 28, 1996

Cheek, Laura: At Home in Glacier Bay

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Some of the most studied glaciers in the world are found in Glacier Bay National Park located in southeastern Alaska. These expansive ice sheets cover approximately ten percent of the earth’s surface and hold eighty percent of the world’s fresh water, ninety-nine percent of which can be found in Greenland and Antarctica. Due to gravity’s pull, glaciers shape and scour the landscape moving land and vegetation great distances as they slowly slide downward toward the sea. This glacial movement has created rich farmland, vast deposits of gravel and sand, and concentrated valuable metals, depending on where they glaciers have traveled. Glaciers also create deep valleys and fjords, like the kind seen in Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska. Laura Cheek was a national park ranger at Glacier Bay National Park in 1996 when this program was recorded. As part of her job, she boarded tour ships in Glacier Bay to discuss glaciers, what they’re like and how they’re formed.

Laura Cheek recommends “The Island Within,” by Richard Nelson.

Originally Broadcast: August 14, 1996

Sarmiento,Domingo & Lewis, Daniel: An Argentine President

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Domingo Sarmiento, a teacher and later President of the Republic of Argentina, spent several years traveling in Europe and the United States in the mid-19th Century. He spent six weeks in the US in the fall of 1847 and later published his account of this visit, selectively interpreting what he saw and experienced to conform to his ideas. In this archive edition of Radio Curious, I visit with Domingo Sarmiento in the person of Professor Daniel Lewis, a scholar-presenter in the 1996 Democracy in America Chautauqua. I met with Domingo Sarmiento during a break in the Chautauqua programming in Ukiah, California, and asked him what he saw the future of the American Union to be, from his perspective in 1843.

Domingo Sarmiento recommends any book by James Fenimore Cooper. Daniel Lewis recommends “The Invention of Argentina,” by Nicolas Shumway.

Originally Broadcast: July 27, 1996

Gomez, Rodolfo: A Walk in the Costa Rican Rain Forest

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On the eastern slope of the Continental Divide, about an hour’s drive east of San Jose, Costa Rica, is the Rain Forest Aerial Tram, a tramway that travels through, above and below the rain forest canopy. The rain forest canopy is home to more diverse forms of flora and fauna than anywhere else in the known universe. Rodolfo Gomez, trained as an architect, has found his calling as a tour guide in Central America and specifically Costa Rica. My daughter Molly and I met with Rodolfo in the rain forest, near the aerial tram and recorded this program in April of 1995.

Originally Broadcast: June 20, 1995

Perry, Dr. Donald: A Ride Through a Rain Forest in Costa Rica

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Life Above the Jungle Floor
In the middle of the Costa Rican rain forest, about an hour west of San Jose, Costa Rica, on the east side of the continental divide, you can find the Rain Forest Aerial Tram located on a private rain forest reserve. It’s a series of small, open-air cars that hold about five people each held together by a three kilometers long cable. The tramcars carry visitors through, above and below this portion of the Central American rainforest canopy. The Rain Forest Aerial Tram was the brainchild of Dr. Donald Perry, a biologist trained at the University of California at Los Angeles, who, beginning in 1970, has specialized in the study of the flora and fauna of the Central American Rainforest. In April of 1995, I visited the Rain Forest Aerial Tram with Dr. Perry.

Dr. Donald Perry recommends “Life Above the Jungle Floor,” by Dr. David Perry.

Originally Broadcast: April 1, 1995