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
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 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.

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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 Wins Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards

Apr 23, 2015
www.trdna.org

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 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.

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:

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. 

 

This cold January, Mama keeps the heat cranked up to 73 and only goes outside to put out the mail. She’s down to less than 90 pounds, her weight about the same as her age, but she still glides around on her little cat feet from chore to chore, all day long, every day. By the time I get up in the morning she has already unloaded the dishwasher, brought in the newspaper and read it, made the coffee and warmed up the biscuits.

The Middle Distance, 1.9.15: Migrations

Jan 8, 2015
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.

 

The tree lights twinkle silently on Christmas morning in our Kentucky living room. Beneath the lowest limbs, glassy-eyed baby dolls, circa 1960, lounge among piles of soft new pajamas and socks, awaiting the arms of three little girls.

I believe these are the happiest days of my mother’s life, when she sees us with our new dolls. It’s true that we asked for them, but in a roundabout way. 

“What do you want Santa to bring you?” she asks. 

“A football and shoulder pads,” says my older sister.

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.

The Middle Distance 12.3.14: Remembering Kent Haruf

Dec 4, 2014

This week Colorado lost one of its finest native sons, but not really. Kent Haruf — born in Pueblo, raised on the eastern plains, schooled in Canon City and most recently a resident of Salida — died at his home last Sunday, but his legacy remains in the books he left behind.

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.

The Middle Distance 11.21.14: Word to the Birdman

Nov 20, 2014

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.

The Middle Distance 11.14.14: Migrants

Nov 13, 2014

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.

The Middle Distance Celebrates 200 Episodes

Nov 6, 2014

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. 

Click HERE to listen to part one of Ludlow.  

Click HERE to listen to part two of Ludlow.

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. 

Click HERE to listen to part one of Ludlow.  

Click HERE to listen to part two of Ludlow.

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. 

Click HERE to listen to part one of Ludlow.  

Click HERE to listen to part two of Ludlow.

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