Michiana Chronicles

The Michiana Chronicles writers bring portraits of our life and times to the 88.1 WVPE airwaves every Friday at 7:45 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 through their individual e-mails and thanks for listening!

Michiana Chronicles: LimeBikes

Sep 15, 2017
Sid Shroyer

I like the LimeBikes. I have the LimeBike app on my phone, so know where the bikes are are, but unlike my wife, I haven’t actually ridden one yet. Judy tells me they are big and bulky and not exactly fun to ride, but that’s beside the point to me. I like them as art. South Bend is a display space and LimeBikes are mobiles. “A decorative structure that is suspended so as to turn freely in the air,” is how the dictionary defines “mobile” and for the Lime Bike that works just fine for me.

The End of the Road

Sep 8, 2017

Back in the early 2000s I dreamed of writing a novel, but I wanted to set the story in the early 1990s to avoid scenes in which people sat composing emails. I didn’t want my characters to type out messages and then, at best, maybe hesitate dramatically before hitting “Send.” That’s what it’s like to be hung up on realism. Many authors still have their characters meet in person for extended conversations, but that’s a nostalgic take on our real lives.

Mr. Coffee

Sep 1, 2017
Andrew Kreider

I am on a trip to the big city with two of the kids.  Our room has two beds, a lamp, a table.  And on the table, a small black coffee maker.  That’s the ticket right there – big city prices for coffee are terrible.  Starbucks can wait – we’re going to brew our own coffee on this trip.  At least that’s the plan. 

Heather Curlee-Novak

We often tell ourselves stories that are not actually in the least bit true.  I tell myself I am laid back. (Actually, Not. True.)  I say I'm easy going(Nope. Actually, Quite Controlling.) I say we choose as a family to be unbusy.  And…that is partially true.   I still feel too busy.  

As schools begin the academic year and the shank of the summer road-trip season ends, I look at my faithful steed with happy memories. (Do you name your cars? Larry and I do; I think that it has more than a little to do with America’s love affair with the automobile.  Hence, we plaster our attached garages onto the front of our homes and, in essence, keep our cars in the house with us. That being so, why wouldn’t we name our cars?)  The Pod, our green Prius, habitually provides adventures both quick and lengthy, and we do love and pamper it like a family member.

Matt Farnsworth

It’s late in the night and a train is hammering down the rails only a block from my home in River Park. Some neighbors are bothered by the locomotive horns blowing for the crossings, but I love them, even when they wake me in the night. That lonely sound puts me in mind of songs I sing—Milwaukee Blues, Midnight Special, 500 Miles, almost like a greeting from the pages of history.

April Lidinsky

I know it’s cliché in these banana republic days in the U.S. to plan an escape to Canada, but last month, I did just that. As I packed my carry-on, I daydreamed about running into Justin Trudeau and Samantha Bee.  Maybe we’d lounge around on a chesterfield, eating butter tarts and talking politics and feminism …. I know. More clichés and some crushes. Sorry.

Ken Smith

It was likely the harshest six-word movie review I will ever hear, and it came from the slender, grandfatherly gentleman who walked out of the theater ahead of me. Behind us in the dim cavern the credits were still scrolling up the front wall, but here in the westward-facing lobby the evening sun glared in our faces. His white-haired friend pushed through the doors into the summery air, saying, “That was pretty good,” but I heard a question in her voice. As he followed her out I caught his matter-of-fact, but crushing six-word reply. “She took too long to die.”

When I'm Sixty-four

Jul 21, 2017

I’m turning 64 next week. It’s an age I’ve given more thought to than most, because of the Beatle song, “When I’m Sixty-Four.” You know, “When I get older losing my hair many years from now,” that song that I’ve been hearing since I was 14. That future, that seemed so far away, not that long ago, that’s next week.           

My grandfather was 64 the year I was born.       

Go Go Swallows!

Jul 14, 2017

My dream came true this summer when I got to attend a Japanese baseball game in Tokyo on a student “free day” during an overseas study program I co-directed with my Japanese colleague Yoshiko Green. I wanted to know how the quintessentially American game translates to Japanese culture. In the States, baseball reflects our individualism and our obsession with measurement. It’s a team sport in which individual players determine outcomes in a direct way – unlike football or basketball, in which the whole team executes coordinated “plays” and every player’s motion counts.

Water Wars

Jul 7, 2017
Heather Curlee-Novak

My family went to war this week with a neighboring house.

Car Donation

Jun 30, 2017
Andrew Kreider

So what exactly happens when you donate your car to Public Radio?  Like you, I had heard the heart-warming promo spots during Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Tales of beloved pickup trucks or hard-working family ox-carts, banged-up, french fried, and loved to death, finally put out to pasture for a good cause. The owners always sounded so wistful, yet so happy - finding an uplifting way to be shot of an old rust-heap they had loved for too long. How perfect.

Lying

Jun 23, 2017

“Liar, Liar, pants on fire!” Certainly you never shouted that as a child. You just heard other, naughty, less-well-brought-up children sing-songing it. Then, as a very cool adolescent, you never called anyone a “Lying sack of . . . “ Substitute “excrement” as a fill-in here, as I’m not sure that I am allowed to say the real word on the radio, but I’m betting that you’ve heard it and can mentally do the fill-in.

Yes, I know they have been employed as a medicine-a tonic-since time immemorial. Yes, I know they are more nutritious than many of the vegetables I grow. Yes, I know people used to clear away the grass to give them more room to thrive. Yes, I know the poets extol their virtue.

Monica Tetzlaff

Finally, school is out, and it’s pleasure-reading season!  We’re celebrating at our house by launching a Little Free Library in our front yard. Like an excellent book, our experience has already held suspense, plot twists, and even inspired some tough self-reflection.

Pages