Commentary

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

18 for 2018

Feb 9, 2018
Heather Curlee-Novak

So…we have this shiny new year.  We are only a little bit into this 2018 and we hold our breath against the anguishes we knew in 2017.  We pray and we hope and we cast spells or throw dishes or journal until there are no pages left.  Good people we know die.  Others experience pain so rocking and deep we cannot even.  We do not know what to say, or do or…we sit like Job’s friends around them in silence, just being there. Or we avoid them.  Sometimes we wish we could avoid ourselves.

“Well, it's Groundhog Day... again.” Yes, you guessed it: as well as being a fact today, it’s also a quote from the movie, Groundhog Day. Apparently, many folks watch this movie every year. Larry’s and my friends, Linda and Joe, do. And, when they learned that we had never seen it—apparently some of the last people in America to be in that predicament—they  generously lent it to us. So, in the name of research for this Michiana Chronicle, we, along with our also-still-living-in-a-cave friend, Patsy, sat down for our maiden voyage.

One Last Time with David James

Jan 26, 2018

The Michiana Chronicles family has lost one of its own. David James died Saturday, Jan. 20. He was 71. David was a community activist, IU South Bend adjunct faculty, and nationally awarded musician on the hammered dulcimer. His fellow Michiana Chroniclers and WVPE staff feel the best way to pay David tribute is to share his full voice one last time. Here he talks about a snowy Christmas journey.

Christmas Eve, 1971  originally aired Friday, January 15, 2010

We Built This

Jan 19, 2018
James Rebanks

Long ago, when we’d drive around town, my grandfather would sometimes point to a particular highway bridge and say, “I built that.” And he wasn’t kidding. He and his crew of carpenters built the wooden forms that molded the poured concrete into sturdy bridge pillars. When I drive over that bridge today, I think of his proud words, “I built that.”

April Lidinsky

So …. how are those New Year’s resolutions coming along? After an enraging political year full of marching and hollering myself hoarse, I’ve been trying something new — shutting up and listening.

The Old House

Jan 5, 2018
Sid Shroyer

This weather reminds me of the “old house.” The “old house” was where we lived while, after work and on weekends, Dad was building the “new house” in the backyard. Then, and mostly since, that was the time in my life when I couldn’t wait to get out of that old house.

On Formality

Dec 29, 2017

My resolution for the new year is to become more formal. As a professor, I have to decide whether my students should call me Professor Chaney, Dr. Chaney, or just plain Joe. My bias has been toward informality. I came up in the profession in California, where informality is the rule, and when I first arrived at IU South Bend, many of my students were actually older than I. There were many non-traditional students in those days. Now my students are much younger, and they seem to need and want the formal distance, along with the idealism that it can foster.

What would it be like if, at this time of the year, instead of sending each other greeting cards, we were to send each other poems?

In the early 20th century the publisher Faber and Gwyer decided to do exactly that -  commissioning a series of poems from famous writers, to send out in lieu of a Christmas Card.  These poems, the Ariel Poems as they became known, each in its own illustrated pamphlet, numbered thirty-eight in total, appearing from 1927 to 1931.  A generation later, in 1954 a further series of eight poems was released by Faber and Faber.  Each pamphlet is a gem.   

Kid Camping

Dec 15, 2017
Heather Curlee-Novak

With all the monstrous highs and lows for Americans these days, here is a crazy truth about our world: There is snow on the ground and people are camping in it for fun.  You know, canvas tent-sleeping bag-peeing outside-heating up coffee on a firepit, camping.  A local Boy Scout troop was snow camping just last weekend and my husband has shared a few stories about snow camping, but I do not see the appeal. 

Jeanette Saddler-Taylor

“Awww. Did you see that? Look!” Kathleen said to her daughter who was driving and trying very hard NOT to look at what Kathleen was showing her. That something was a critter alongside the road. That critter was not being cute or taking a nap; that critter had tangled with a vehicle and now was displaying its innards.

My Clueless Youth

Dec 1, 2017

We all “played guns” when I was young. Not a thought was given by any adult that any one of us might be wielding a real gun. We popped away at each other—and the more realistic-sounding the better, sometimes two rolls of caps threaded in the trigger together—and bang-you’re-dead, no YOU’RE-dead-I-got-you-first, tearing down the sidewalk on bikes and karts, going in and out of everybody’s back yard, and no one gave even a thought to the notion that a cop might blow our 7, 8, 9, 10-year-old selves away by accident or misprision.

Ninety-nine days out of a hundred I’m too busy to notice, but if I tune out the modern static and take a long walk through town, I catch glimpses of our history and I hear voices. I start thinking that our past is just barely past.

April Lidinsky

Prepare yourselves, friends: the season of gastronomic gloating has begun. I plead guilty, myself, to occasionallyscraping aside the rubble on my kitchen counter to frame and post a filtered image of a felicitously turned out peach pie, with a humblebrag tag line like: “Fun to put the ol’ rolling pin to work.” Soon, our social media feeds will flood with photos of brining and bronzing birds and glamour shots of caramelized yams. 

 

Baseball

Nov 10, 2017

I didn’t have a team to root for, or against, but the World Series held my interest pretty well last month; often I was just hoping the team that was behind would tie things up so the games wouldn’t end.

Baseball is the topic when my friend Tim and I tour diners for breakfast a few times a year.           

Sometimes, Tim will ask me to reflect on baseball when I call him to make our arrangements.           

“Sid,” he’ll say, “I want you to think about why players don’t seem to bunt, anymore.”           

Wonder Woman in America

Nov 3, 2017

The recent sexual harassment scandals involving movie moguls and other powerful media men has led to thoughtful commentary on the sexualizing of women. We hear how some of the male perpetrators regularly discussed the sexual appeal of female performers. Call it the “locker room talk” of the news and entertainment business. Outside the locker room of executive offices, this evaluation encourages women to strive for attention from men.

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