Michiana Chronicles

The Michiana Chronicles writers bring portraits of our life and times to the 88.1 WVPE airwaves every Friday at 7:35 am during Morning Edition and over the noon hour at 12:30 pm during Here and Now. Michiana Chronicles was first broadcast in October 2001. Contact the writers at chronicles@wvpe.org and thanks for listening!

Michiana Chronicles: Commencement at Notre Dame

2 hours ago
Sid Shroyer

The last time I attended a Notre Dame commencement was also as a reporter, in 1981, inside the A-C-C, and President Ronald Reagan was the honored guest. It was his first trip out of Washington after he was shot and the mood was warm. He delivered a broad, philosophically conservative message, but the speech was a talk, humane, and his presence belied his reputation as an ideologue.

Andrew Kreider

Evelyn Kreider was my grandmother.  When she died earlier this month, she was 102 years old.  She was a remarkable woman, a devoted listener to WVPE and possibly the most passionate critic, for good and ill, of my work on Michiana Chronicles.  She will be missed.

ready.gov / U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security

If you’ve always wondered how to make your husband’s face contort into confusion, fear and amusement all at the same time, tell him you’d like to buy a gun.  Especially if you already had one but sold it once you had children because it was just too risky to have it around.  It is even more fun if during this conversation you use the words “Bug Out Bag” or the initials W.T.S.H.T.F. followed by ‘bag’.  Some of you are nodding, some of you have the same face my poor hubby had.  In today’s uncertain political climate, I just want to be prepared.

The Basque Museum and Cultural Center

He cautioned me back when I was a spritely youth. The he? My much-respected Daddy.  The caution: “Jeanette, possessions are very confining. Pretty soon, you don’t own them, they own you.” Although warned, nevertheless, I persisted and blithely spent the next boo-coo, bijillion years of my life filling my space with “stuff.”

David James

Seven objects- found in a corrugated box on my sun porch, there since 2014 when I moved in.

A copy of my 2007 1099, listing my music income for the year as $3725.00. Ten years ago. Never had the knack o' making money-learned that from my ole man, who died intestate, bankrupt, and drunk, bless his heart. That's  why I had to wait on Social Security for any hope of a mortgage. Realizing I had a time capsule here I started paying attention to the contents. Most were innocuous cash register receipts, but buried in the shambles were:

Government Regulations Are Personal

Apr 21, 2017
Ken Smith

My story begins 23 years ago. I was at a conference a couple of blocks from the White House. Nobody had cell phones, but somehow word reached me to call my parents’ house in Missouri. Not a good omen. In a dim alcove off the hotel lobby I found a pay phone and tapped out their number. My sister answered and said, “Let me get Mom.” That wasn’t a good sign either. When my mother came on, she said, “Take a deep breathe, son,” and tethered to that pay phone I listened.

Spring Sap

Apr 14, 2017
April Lidinsky

When your parents name you April, and your birthday is smack in the middle of this luscious month, you just can’t help but be an optimist. I have always been more Dylan Thomas than T.S. Eliot.  My whole childhood, when teachers turned the classroom calendars to “my” month, my heart would swell like the crab apple blossoms tapping on the windows of Green Mountain Elementary.

Check Your Travel App

Apr 7, 2017
Sid Shroyer

The toll road was a nuisance last weekend…down to one lane for repair work much of the way to the last toll booth. The Notre Dame entrance is closed, for repair. I guess everyone knew that but me.        

I should have checked the app before Mrs. Shroyer and I left. I like to head up Twyckenham to Douglas and over to the toll road, now; it’s a scenic, by South Bend standards, way to get out of town. It’s just as easy, though, to head out Sample to 2 and 20 all the way to I-94. I would have gone that way if I had checked the app.

Heather Curlee-Novak

I’ve been struggling to find joy lately. I took the Facebook app off of my phone so I could control my exposure to…All The Things. I am staying engaged, I am in the resistance, but I need to keep myself balanced and encouraged.  I look for big ways to make an impact.  I am in groups and I am writing letters and I am making calls.  I marched in a local women’s march.  I am doing what I can to be positive but it is hard and I am often afraid.

Death from a Distance

Mar 29, 2017

I’ve never been one for murder mysteries, but lately I’ve spent much of my “down time” watching the kind of British detective dramas that run on PBS stations – series like Inspector Lewis and Grantchester. In such shows, idyllic English villages and towns suffer an astonishing number of grisly murders.

It’s Monday morning, and I have just survived an entire weekend at downtown Elkhart’s first ever Comic Con.  What’s a Comic Con, you ask?  Well,  it is a comic book convention – thus the name – at which thousands of fans gather to meet celebrities, buy collectibles, listen to guest speakers, watch movies, network with other fans, and dress up as their favorite comic characters. 

Sarah McGee / Flickr

Not so very long ago, I came across a quote from the playwright, John Guare, “Writing is another kind of performance. You get to play all the parts,” he said. Sounded like just the ticket, so, as they say, I’m gonna write/tell/perform a little story for you here.

Symphony of the Ring

Mar 3, 2017

Now. Where to begin? Ah yes.

Why Poets Rhyme

Feb 17, 2017
Ken Smith

My hobby last year was writing little six-line poems. That was a surprise. Even more surprising was that I wrote ninety of them. They each have a rhyming pattern modeled after a very moving poem by W. H. Auden called “Epitaph on a Tyrant.” Auden wrote it in the 1930s about Hitler and Stalin and Mussolini. He was trying to figure out how a tyrant’s brain works. His poem goes like this: Epitaph on a Tyrant. Perfection of a kind was what he was after, and the poetry he invented was easy to understand.

April Lidinsky

I knew I was in trouble when a gentle question floated by another activist cracked the thin shell of tension holding me together, and I burst into manic laughter. The question was: What are you doing for self-care?

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