Michiana Chronicles

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!

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.

Knives and Mugs

Oct 27, 2017
Andrew Kreider

I’ve been thinking a lot about cooking lately.

Fully Dressed

Oct 20, 2017
Heather Curlee-Novak

When I was young and single every day was an adventure of possibility; would I meet a cute guy?  What would happen at that party? Would those new shoes hurt my feet?  Nowadays as a middle aged mama and wife, my thoughts (if I have any at all) are more mundane: What could I make for dinner?  Will my pants hurt by the end of the day? What the hell am I going to make for dinner? 

SIPA USA / PA Images

“Attention must be paid to such a person.” So said Linda Loman, wife of Willie, in Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman,” but it’s applicable in other places too, don’t you think?

Headed for Evart

Oct 6, 2017

Last July I sloughed off all my obligations for a long weekend and headed for Evart. Evart, you say. Is that a person? A place? A thing? It is, after all, a noun, so it must be one of these. If you guessed from context that this is a place you’re the winner, but it’s much more. It’s the location of a dulcimer festival, and from all the evidence the largest one in the world; but it’s much more than that even. Lemme tell you about it.

 

April Lidinsky

Here’s a story of our changing family.  It’s a story of gender transition, a story for our times, and one I have permission to share. One I have been encouraged, actually, to share.  

 

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