The Big Something

The Big Something is one amazing/ beautiful/ fascinating/ brilliant/ intelligent thing about or from the Pikes Peak Region delivered to the web and email inboxes around the region every weekday.

The Big Something
Credit D. Utterback

Produced by Noel Black and Jake Brownell at Radio Colorado College, KRCC, the original idea was to expand the station’s programming and content in a web-only format with a “show” that would be a sort of cultural archaeology project for the Pikes Peak Region. Using audio-slideshows, photos, videos, writing, good old-fashioned audio and anything else the web will allow, The Big Something hopes to expand the sense of regional identity and community beyond the old clichés by uncovering, showing and telling stories and ideas that might otherwise go untold with a sense of one-to-one intimacy that radio evokes.

On this episode of Wish We Were Here, we bring you three stories from three current or former Colorado springs residents, completely unknown to one another. All three of these stories are  tied together by one man: Lorne Greene.

Local reporter and restaurant critic Bryce Crawford has a new gig.

On this episode of The Big Something Radio Programme, sociologist and author Kathy Giuffre discusses her first novel, The Drunken Spelunker’s Guide to Plato; food writer and reporter Bryce Crawford talks dining in the Pikes Peak region; and local musician Tom Ross takes us on a tour of his global musical influences. 



On Episode 7 of The Big Something Radio Programme we hear from the soon-to-be newest member of the Colorado state Supreme Court, Richard Gabriel; we bring you an interview with Artist Rodney wood, about Artocade: Trinidad’s Art Car Parade; Eliot Gray Fisher of Austin Based ARCOS dance discusses The Warriors: A Love Story, a multimedia performance coming to colorado springs; And lastly, we check in with members of

On this episode of Wish We Were Here, we bring you the story of Ron Stallworth. In the 1970s, he became the first black detective ever to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department. He's also the author of Black Klansman, a memoir about one of his most memorable investigations, which you'll hear about in this episode.


In this segment from The Big Something Radio Programme, we bring you a conversation recorded by StoryCorps in Colorado Springs, featuring Greg Wickherst and Jason Belcher. Greg Wickherst is a single father of a three-year-old daughter named Izzy. While working as an admissions rep at IntelliTec college in Pueblo, he began taking cosmetology classes to learn how to do his daughter’s hair, and posted pictures of the hairstyles he was learning on Facebook.

In this 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; 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; And fathers Jason Belcher and Greg Wickherst discuss their relationships with their daughters in a conversation recorded b

Born in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1830, Emily Dickinson and Helen Hunt Jackson attended the same primary school, and received similar educational instruction in Philosophy, History, Botany and Latin. Later in life, Jackson, residing in Colorado Springs, would begin a correspondence with Dickinson after being introduced to her work by Atlantic Monthly Editor Thomas Wentworth Higginson. In this correspondence, Jackson would implore the reclusive Dickinson to share her work. With the exception of getting one poem of Dickinson's published anonymously, Jackson was largely unsuccessful.

Daisy McGowan is the Director and Curator at the UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art in Colorado Springs. For GOCA's second biennial exhibition Bright Young Things, McGowan aims to reflect the diverse background of emerging artists working in the Colorado Front Range Corridor. The show will run from July 10th until August 29th, and feature collaborative performance, ceramics, photography, painting and work in other media from 8 artists.

On any summer weekend, a visit to one of the Pikes Peak region's many open spaces proves just how popular and valuable Colorado Springs' natural recourses are. In last week's episode of The Big Something, Susan Davies, Executive Director of the Trails and Open Space Coalition, and "Hiking" Bob Falcone, President of the Friends of Cheyenne Canyon sat down with Noel Black to discuss trail work, future projects, and what makes Colorado Springs' access to the outdoors so special. 

On Episode #6 of The Big Something, Susan Davies and Bob Falcone and open space coalition discuss trails and open space in Colorado Springs; Poet Robin Izer tells us about the fateful correspondence between Emily Dickinson and Colorado Springs transplant Helen Hunt Jackson; GOCA Director Daisy McGowen talks front range art in honor of the 2nd biennial Bright Young Things Exhibit; And Deepa Daya tells her amazing story of gaining physical sight at the age of 30.


In this segment from last week's episode of the Big Something, Noel Black brings you a profile of beloved Manitou artist Charles Rockey. He just released a book of fables and illuminations--Love Songs of Middle Time--that he’s been working on for the past 15 years. You can buy copies of the book at the Manitou Art Center, the Manitou Heritage Center, and Miramont Castle in Manitou.

During the Cold War, the Army began making land acquisitions to develop a training site where mountain post soldiers could prepare for war in an environment similar to potential areas for deployment. The result was the establishment of the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site, an over 200,000 acre training area in Southeastern Colorado. More than 20 years later, in 2006, the Army sought to expand the site. Instead, they met a local organized resistance, and were unable to extend their training ground.  

Wolf Creek Pass is a multi-lane highway, winding through the San Juan Mountains between South Fork and Pagosa Springs. The high mountain pass is renowned for its grand views of the San Juan valley, river, and waterfalls, along with its National Forest access. In the last couple of years, however, the most noticeable part of Wolf Creek Pass is that much of the once thriving green spruce forest has now died off and turned red. In this segment from last week's episode of The Big Something, Emelie Frojen investigates.

 Last month, KRCC welcomed StoryCorps and their mobile booth back to Colorado Springs.  StoryCorps, a non-profit organization, dedicates itself to recording and preserving the oral histories of people from all backgrounds. They store these records at the American Folklife Center at The Library of Congress. In the following interview, Colorado Springs' first female mayor, Mary Lou Makepeace, and current Colorado Springs Councilwoman Jan Martin sit down together to discuss what it means to be a woman in politics.

On this episode of The Big Something Radio Programme, news director Andrea Chalfin speaks with the authors of a paper about the conflict between the military and ranchers in Piñon Canyon; Big Something intern Emelie Frojen looks into the beetle kill on Wolf Creek Pass; Former Colorado Springs Mayor Mary Lou Makepeace and former City Councilwoman Jan Martin look back on their careers in politics; And a portrait of Manitou artist Charles Rockey as he releases a book of fables and illuminations 15 years in the making.


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.


KRCC Wins Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards

Apr 23, 2015

KRCC learned today that we received two Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for work produced by KRCC News Director Andrea Chalfin and Noel Black and Jake Brownell, producers of KRCC's program Wish We Were Here.  

San Simeon Films

Poet and essayist Gary Snyder is something of a living legend. He first rose to prominence in San Francisco in the 1950s as a central figure in the Beat Movement and San Francisco Poetry Renaissance. He read his poem “A Berry Feast” at the reading at which Allen Ginsberg debuted the poem “Howl,” and he was the inspiration for the character Japhy Ryder in Jack Kerouac’s 1958 novel, The Dharma Bums.

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, 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.

Maggie Spencer / KRCC

  Last Saturday night, March 7th, 2015, KRCC's News Director Andrea Chalfin and the Big Something/Wish We Were Here's Noel Black and Jake Brownell both took home first place awards from the Colorado Broadcasters Association's annual awards gala the "Excellence Awards."  

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.

Radio Colorado College is pleased to introduce KRCC PRESENTS, a new weekly time slot dedicated to original programming produced right here in the Pikes Peak Region. Beginning this week, tune every Friday at 7pm and every Sunday at 4pm to catch an episode of one of three new KRCC shows: