Commentary

This is all commentaries on WVPE including Friday's Michiana Chronicles Feature and occasional one-time contributors.

St. Joseph County Public Library

On this episode of Michiana Stories, we hear from Faith and Rebecca. The mother and daughter discuss working together at an Elkhart-based industrial distributor.

At the Climbing Wall

Apr 27, 2018
At the climbing wall.
Courtesy of the author.

Driving south in the early spring is an excellent kind of time travel. In Michiana last weekend the magnolia buds were just thinking about opening and the tulips weren’t even close. But down in Bloomington on Saturday bulbs rioted on the street corners, the spring-flowering trees reached out gaudily on almost every block, and the grass needed cutting. Walkers and saunterers were out, uh, walking and sauntering, stylish patrons stood in lines in front of restaurants for the open-air seating, and I put on a baseball cap so I didn’t get a sunburn up there. 

Music Village

Music Village Instructor Buddy Pearson speaks with his Rock School 101 students, including Charles Alexander Bucklew, Jack Bucklew, Gavin Dougherty, Jonathan Kerkman, and Macy McCausland.

Michiana Stories airs Mondays at 7:45 AM and 4:45 PM and is produced by the St. Joseph County Public Library and 88.1 WVPE.

Music: Rock School 101 performs "Zombie," written by Dolores O'Riordan and originally performed by The Cranberries in 1994.

Something There Is That Doesn't Love a Wall

Apr 20, 2018

I grew up in a place where people had “jobs.” The first time the word “career” hit me I was 15, listening to a song called “Here We Are in the Years,” on the first Neil Young album, that Joe Petro lent me, on the little yellow G-E “Wildcat” record player in my room.

...Lives become careers

……Let us out of here

St. Joseph County Public Library

On this episode of Michiana Stories, Rabbi Micheal Friedman and Imam Mohammad Sirajuddin discuss faith, family, and community in South Bend.

Michiana Stories is a production of the St. Joseph County Public Library and 88.1 WVPE and is heard Mondays at 7:45 AM and 4:45 PM on 88.1 WVPE.

Music: "Salaam Shalom" by Raffi

Facing the Tiger

Apr 13, 2018

The best art is not tame, but wild, like a caged animal whose enclosure seems at first to be a protective barrier but expands and grows around us, so that almost before we know it we are alone with the tiger. Such art convicts us of our inadequacies, helping us to live with a refreshed sense of honesty. It makes us more serious about our lives. This happened to me in Tokyo last year, and I’ve been reliving the experience all this week during the visit of Taiko drummer Erika Fujii.

St. Joseph County Public Library

Juan Constantino, development coordinator at La Casa de Amistad, talks about his childhood in South Bend and his family's journey from Mexico to the United States.

Michiana Stories is a production of the St. Joseph County Public Library and 88.1 WVPE and airs Mondays at 7:45 AM and 4:45 PM.

Andrew Kreider

Did you know it’s possible to kill a cactus?  I didn’t… until I did.  My friends, never trust an Englishman with your cactus.

Last fall, the day she left for college, my daughter decided to buy me a going-away present – a plant for my cubicle at work.  Let’s get you something simple, she said.  How about a cactus?  That should be easy enough for you to take care of.

St. Joseph County Public Library

In this debut of Michiana Stories, Polka musician Kenny Bartkowiak shares memories of music and Dyngus Day in South Bend with his daughter, Amy.

Michiana Stories is a production of the St. Joseph County Public Library and 88.1 WVPE and airs Mondays at 7:45 AM during Morning Edition and at 4:45 PM during All Things Considered.

Music: "I Remember Polka" by the Soundsations and "I wouldn't change you polka" by E-Z Tones

Mug Stories

Mar 30, 2018
Heather Curlee-Novak

I have a question to ask you, friends…and all of you can answer this one, probably without too much embarrassment: How many coffee mugs are in your kitchen cabinet at this moment?  When this sentence formed in my mind I realized I would have to answer it myself: I have eighteen mugs in the cabinet and one on the counter, dirty.  I honestly do not know how my mug number reflects on me.  What is the average number of mugs in other people’s cabinets?  We have a tiny kitchen and there is truly not room for one more mug, but I am loathe to part with them.  Each mug tells a story.  Each mug carr

“My little body is aweary of this great world.” Portia blurts that out early on in “The Merchant of Venice,” and it’s one of my favorite Shakespeare quotes. Being something of a blurter myself, I empathize with both her method of expression and her sentiment. Frankly, I’m disgusted with having to be in this mood though. Here it is spring; life should be full of beauty and promise, but my mood is one of a great big whine: a spring-slump.

The OpEd Project

Question: How do you know for sure if yours is a bonafide nerd family? Answer: When 3 out of 4 of you are either college students or teachers, and 4 out of 4 of you happily spend the first day of Spring Break inside a classroom. Specifically, we sat in a seminar room above the Goodman Theater in Chicago with late-winter sunshine pouring through the plate glass windows while we began to wrestle our ideas into column-length arguments suitable for publication.

Ken Smith

In the long echoing hallway between the O’Hare parking ramp and the airport terminal, a busking violinist’s sweet melody amplified my hopeful mood, so I dropped a little bigger bill than usual into his instrument case, for the karma. Upstairs, our guest writer and I shook hands, two strangers squarely on a first-name basis, James and Ken. It slowly dawned on me that the two of us were launching into an old-fashioned American road trip, just like in the movies. Only we didn’t rob any banks.

 

Save the Last Dance for Me

Mar 2, 2018
Sid Shroyer

It would take more than two days of driveway shoveling and the snow piled up around South Bend Riley High School last month to keep my friend, Terry, and me, and three thousand other people, out of the gym for the Saturday evening basketball game between two of the best teams in the state of Indiana. I had anticipated a great game and, sure enough, the start of the fourth quarter, had me thinking, “Man, I hate to see this thing get over.’

Tony Krabill

Before the winter weather hit, my wife and I were deeply into the quest of finding a new house. Nothing is forcing us to move. Maybe we’re driven partly by consumerist urges. Clicking through online photos of dens and kitchens and sunrooms and backyards, we were looking for the right combination of features. We were patient shoppers. With each day we were getting a better sense of what we wanted, but as we clarified our goals, the flaws of particular homes seemed more significant, causing us to hesitate.

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