Noel Black

The Big Something, Producer

Noel Black is a Colorado Springs native. He has worked as a print journalist, blogger and radio producer everywhere from San Francisco and New York City, but has always considered the Pikes Peak region home.  Noel oversees a fleet of Colorado College interns overseeing the production of KRCC's The Big Something. He is also the author of many chapbooks and two full-length books of poems, including La Goon, (The New Heave-Ho Press, 2013), which you can read online for free HERE and Uselysses, (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2011), which you can read online for free HERE.

Ways To Connect

The late Myron Wood was one of the most prolific  photographers of the Pikes Peak Region and Southwest during the 20th Century. Though he himself never achieved the degree of fame that his talents might merit, students of his such as Robert Adams gained renown in the New Landscape movement.

On this month’s episode of The Big Something we talk to a Greg Lutze, a Manitou Springs native who co-founded a digital photography company that aspires to be the Kodak of the 21st century; Legendary poet and environmental activist Gary Snyder speaks with us about his long and storied career; And writer Mia Alvarado takes us on a field trip to Stoner's Laundry, a laundromat that’s been a gathering place for a small neighborhood at the edge of downtown Colorado Springs for decades.

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KRCC has been a part of life in the Pikes Peak region and southern Colorado/northern New Mexico for almost 65 years. From vinyl to digital, car stereos to smart phones, we've continued to meet the times head on while bringing you the diverse, quality programming and events that enrich your life.  While we always ask members their three favorite programs, we invite all listeners to take this comprehensive survey to help us make the critical programming and events decisions that will shape KRCC in the years to come. Thank you!

Noel Black

(Many poems in the slideshow NSFW or young eyes.)

In this episode of Wish We Were Here, we tell the story of Colorado Springs native Brian "Scoop" Nemeth, a man with high-functioning autism whose singular goal in life is to become "The Black Bill O'Reilly" — a national news and opinion anchor on the Fox News Network's prime-time broadcast.

On this month's episode of The Big Something Radio Programme:

Jonathan Worth

Activist, author, co-editor of the influential blog BoingBoing.net, contributor to The Guardian, The New York Times, and many other publications, Cory Doctorow is one of the essential voices of the twenty-first century. The author of numerous books, including Information Doesn't Want To Be Free, a book about earning a living in the Internet age, he’s also the author of the young adult novel Little Brother and its sequel, Homeland, both of which explore civil liberties and social activism in the age of the internet.

In 2002, retired FBI and CIA investigator Charlie Hess began writing letters Robert Charles Browne, a convicted murderer who claimed to have killed dozens of other people around the country. This episode of Wish We Were Here tells the story of their correspondence and the cold cases Hess would close with Browne's help.

Episode #5 of Wish We Were Here airs Friday, March 6 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 8 at 4 p.m.

You can subscribe to the podcast HERE.

50 years ago this year, two young artists from Lawrence Kansas, Gene and Jo-ann Bernofsky, joined forces with their friend Clark Rickert, a student at University of Colorado Boulder, and moved to Trinidad Colorado to start one of the most influential communes of the Hippie era, Drop City. In honor of the 50th anniversary of Drop City, arts and archaeology organizations across southern Colorado have planned exhibits and events exploring the history of the Commune.

Johnny Ryan

On this episode of Wish We Were Here, Producer Noel Black tells the story of a small community of kids who grew up in Colorado Springs with gay parents.

Jessica: The argument was, which is more harmful, a lesbian mother or a junkie father? I was subpoenaed to testify about my mom’s relationship.

 

 

After more than 200 episodes and nearly five years, Kathryn Eastburn has decided to retire The Middle Distance. It has been a pleasure to work with Kathryn, and we wish her all the best in her future endeavors, whatever they may be. If you've enjoyed reading/hearing her column over the years, we hope you'll  join us in thanking her in the comment section below. 

Kathryn Eastburn

The plan was to fly, but at the last minute I decided to drive instead. I’d set aside a month to visit my mother on the Texas Gulf coast over Christmas and into the new year, and I reasoned it would be good to have my car for the month in Galveston, if the mechanic deemed it roadworthy for the 2,500-mile round trip.

Noel Black

It is nearly mid-December and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Lights twinkle on wreathes; shiny red bows crown doorways; cartoon reindeer and snowmen and Santas grin cheerfully from festive store windows.

The darkest day of the year approaches, the winter solstice, and candles in windows flicker against the black night.

Noel Black

At an old prison in southeastern Colorado, an experimental new program is working to help chronically homeless people from around the state rebuild their lives. In episode 3 of Wish We Were Here, we tell the story of Fort Lyon, and ask whether it could be the beginning of the end of homelessness as we know it. 

Want more from Wish We Were Here? Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes HERE, and automatically get all the latest episodes and extras as they come out.

Nearly every wall of my mother’s house is lined with tables, bookcases, or a chest with drawers. And every time I come for a stay, I go through all of those drawers, one at a time.

Before the sun is up, Mama picks up the morning newspaper from the front porch, then pads down the carpeted hallway and pulls my bedroom door closed so I can sleep a little longer and she can fix her breakfast in peace. She feeds the dog a fried egg and makes a half pot of weak coffee, then reads the Galveston Daily News from front to back, clipping a recipe or a coupon if there’s a good one.

There are plenty of good reasons to see the Alejandro Inarritu film Birdman, currently enjoying the kind of pre-Oscar buzz that, once you’ve seen the movie, will make you giggle.

I was reunited with a friend this week. From the time we last parted ways — the fall of 2007 — until now, she has lived in Denver and I have moved from Colorado to south Texas and back.

She exists as a painting, a portrait made some 30 years ago on the frozen plains outside St. Paul, Minnesota, by an artist born in Costa Rica, relocated to the midwest via Los Angeles. Her face betrays her Asian roots — Vietnamese, relocated to the United States after fleeing her homeland in a boat.

This week's Middle Distance marks the 200th episode. Congratulations and thank you, Kathryn, for all you have done, and continue to do in the community! —Noel Black, Producer, and the KRCC Staff

I get irritated with writers who only write about writing. How can someone who doesn’t write essays or memoir or short stories or poems or novels, or even news stories have anything useful to say to someone who wants to tell a story?

Tomorrow night at the Fine Arts Center, the Youth Documentary Academy will premiere films produced by their first class of local high school students. Podcaster Ryan Lowery sat down and spoke Colorado Springs native and Academy founder Tom Shepard, a documentary filmmaker who now resides in San Francisco, about the school and the films.

Click HERE for more information.

In the second episode of Wish We Were Here, we featured abridged excerpts of David Mason's excellent verse-novel, Ludlow. In this series of Wish We Were Here Extras, we bring you the full, unabridged text of Ludlow, as read by David Mason himself. Listen to an interview with the author and part one of the five part series in the audio player above. 

Click HERE to listen to part two of Ludlow.  

This episode of Wish We Were Here was originally broadcast in November of 2014  

On April 20th, 1914, just north of Trinidad, Colorado, one of the bloodiest, most overlooked events in the history of the American labor movement set the stage for creation of the 8-hour workday, the weekend, and the right of workers to organize.

by Marina Eckler

A tectonic shift occurs with aging. After walking and running and snoozing and gunning through six decades, out here in the middle distance I notice that I finally know how I feel when I’m feeling it.

Those of you self-aware beings who’ve been raising your consciousness since the ‘60s might chuckle at this insight. Where have you been all your life, you might ask, besides in your own skin?

Radiolab Producer and MacArthur Genius Award Winner Jad Abumrad will give a live presentation at Armstrong Hall on the Colorado College campus this coming Monday, October 13 at 7:30 p.m. KRCC’s Noel Black spoke with Abumrad about how he produces Radiolab and what to expect on Monday night.

For more information and tickets, click HERE.

by Benjamin Vierling, bvierling.com

Goodnight garden.

Goodnight tomato vines, gnarly and black, pulled and piled to rot. Goodnight mutilated squash, shriveled eggplant and peppers and beans. It was great while it lasted.

Goodnight lonely beds, stripped and turned, tossed and raked. Quiet now, isn’t it, after all that nourishing? Just relax and let me feed you. I promise a feast of manure and leaves and compost. Your work is done. For now.

The first annual Creek Week begins tomorrow with Colorado Springs Sustainability Conference. The Big Something’s Noel Black spoke with Allison Plute, Fountain Creek Watershed Project Manager, and Larry Small, Executive Director of the Fountain Creek  Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District about the weeklong cleanup and its many related events.

Click HERE for a complete list of Creek Week events.

When my son died in the summer of 2007, his brother was scheduled to head off to Budapest, Hungary that fall to study math. The idea of him, so far away and on his own in a foreign place so shortly after this family trauma, caused both of his parents enough anxiety that, even though we had been divorced for many years, we decided to make a family visit to Budapest that October.

The most memorable exchange in the movie Sling Blade is between Karl, a mentally challenged man just released from the state mental hospital, and Frank, a young boy who’s his new friend.

Frank says: “I like the way you talk.”

“I like the way you talk,” says Karl.

It’s not unusual out here in the Middle Distance to begin wondering what we will leave behind when we’re gone. I’m not planning on going anywhere any time soon, but if middle age has taught me anything it’s that lives can end gracefully and naturally with time for reflection, or they can end suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving black holes in their wake.

It’s not unusual out here in the Middle Distance to begin wondering what we will leave behind when we’re gone. I’m not planning on going anywhere any time soon, but if middle age has taught me anything it’s that lives can end gracefully and naturally with time for reflection, or they can end suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving black holes in their wake.

When we were kids, the long, slow crawl of baseball colored our summer afternoons. Red clay dirt. Freshly drawn baselines of powdered white chalk. Little League Cardinals in red and white; Orioles in orange Pirates in green. Fingers stained by Pixi-Stix from the concession stand.

If aging is letting go of adulthood and entering a whole new phase of life, a visit from an adult child can bring that reality into focus. Last week my daughter and her husband visited, and I experienced another in a long series of identity tweaks out here in the middle distance. I hadn’t yet let go of the mothering role I served with my kids for nearly 40 years, organizing their days and meals together, deciding what we would eat and when. As I watched my daughter, her brother and their significant others arrange their days and their meals, I felt part of myself quietly floating away.

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