WVPE's 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!

Heather Curlee-Novak

I am embarrassed to admit this, but I am spoiled. Spoiled rotten and maybe a skosh lazy.  And again, pampered and spoiled.  Our front door is to blame for this revelation.  We live in a lovely little bungalow from 1920 and all of the things do not work all of the time.  This front door of ours actually still has the original doorknob and skeleton key slot.  It is quite the physical challenge to close it, involving several slammings and a hopping leg dance to get the key to slide the deadbolt.

Thanksgiving is the most American of holidays. The turkey dinner reminds me of the pilgrims at New Plymouth and the rich cultural contributions of the native tribes. I think of the Revolution and the achievement of the U.S. Constitution. Although I acknowledge the harshest and most disappointing elements of our history, what sustains me always is the sense that our Constitution can change and has changed over time, opening new freedoms for African Americans and women, for example.

Dear Mum,

Greetings from Plymouth.  Not the one from my childhood on the south coast with the ships and the ocean breeze, the fish and chips and the fog.  The other one – the one here in Indiana.

Jeanette Saddler-Taylor

Have you looked out there in the past couple of weeks? It’s been gobsmackingly beautiful.  In Michiana, it’s as close as it gets to Tahiti. No, not the heat, although it had been fairly warm, and not the Gauguin semi-naked ladies, but the Gauguin color palette of reds and yellows and oranges: the leaf-turnings on the trees have been just breath-taking. No need to take a road trip, the local color has been a delight. Truly, it’s been something to have seen, remembered and be prepared, in a couple of weeks, to offer as an example of “what I am thankful for.”

David Gans

1981. The last year of the Wrigley ownership of the Chicago Cubs. The Tribune Company took over, the Cubs finished fifth place, six games behind the Expos in the National League East–as usual. Seventy-three years had passed since they had won a World Series and it was another of those "Wait 'til next year" toasts. 1981. I was driving into Chicago for a New Years Eve gig at the Earl of Old Town with my friends Martin, Bogan, and Armstrong, and the warm-up was Steve Goodman–can you believe it–with Jethro Burns of Homer and Jethro fame; Steve, the ultimate Cub fan.

Early Voting

Oct 28, 2016

In the old days it was a real voting booth, not the flimsy plastic contraption on stilts we use now. You’d step up to a voting machine and pull the big mechanical handle, and a heavy curtain would close around you. You were inside one of the special places of democracy now, like the Lincoln Memorial or the observation seats above the chamber of the House of Representatives or a big, warming crowd of noisy Hoosiers protesting together outside the Statehouse on a brisk late-winter’s day or your own kitchen table late at night when you are writing a letter to your senator.

Complacency

Oct 23, 2016

The river is one of those things we mostly take for granted. Today on Michiana Chronicles, Sid Shroyer takes a closer look.

The St. Joseph River is the watershed of most of what we call Michiana. Like the more famous Charles, Hudson, and Potomac, it’s an end-of-the-road river.  It carries its own water all the way to the Sea of the Great Lakes.  Best, it’s ours. It’s an unobtrusive, patient friend. It’s a tranquil back yard or a porch we share.

Catherine & Sarah Satrun / SatrunTwinsArtShop

Happy Wonder Woman Day, everyone!  Great Hera, it’s true.  In this political season of gob-smacking sexism, no less than the United Nations has declared October 21 “Wonder Woman Day,” with a ceremony at the New York headquarters to declare Wonder Woman as its new Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Woman and Girls.  This may be little consolation to the seven accomplished women who last week were considered and rejected as the new United Nations leader, after seven decades of men at the helm. 

Heather Curlee-Novak

I have a deep, dark, brooding confession….I’m not good at keeping tiny things alive. And what I think a thing will be like may vary a great deal from reality. There is a movie that deals with rehab and when the people leave to go back to their real lives, the clinic has a suggestion. The person should try to keep a houseplant alive for a year before dating or making any other big changes. Well, I’m mostly sober and I can barely keep my houseplants alive. My beloved husband calls me a serial plant killer.

Now is the time

Oct 7, 2016

Now is the Time

Joe Chaney

    SETTING LIMITS

Bumping Into History

Sep 9, 2016

Away in the southwest of Ireland, south of Listowel, home of the Harp and Lion; south of Tralee; south of the Dingle Peninsula from whence St.

Praise

Aug 5, 2016

    Praise

Freedom Summer

May 20, 2016

FREEDOM SUMMER

According to some crazy expert at the London Philharmonic, the graduation march, otherwise known as Pomp and Circumstance, is one of the fifty greatest pieces of classical music. Seems to me it’s one of humanity’s fifty greatest sleep-aids. But you be the judge: (Music.) Please, turn that thing off! Thank you. See what I mean? Graduation is supposed to be a happy occasion. People have accomplished something, we’re trying to have a celebration here. Come on!

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