Jake Brownell

Producer--Wish We Were Here

A native of the Twin Cities, Jake landed in Colorado Springs by way of a philosophy degree at Colorado College. During his time at CC, he pursued an interest in radio as a DJ and then as manager at the school's student radio station, The SOCC.  After graduating in the Spring of 2012, Jake went on to intern with KRCC's The Big Something, where he began to hone his skills as an editor, interviewer, researcher and writer--skills which he put to use first as a producer of KRCC's Off Topic, and more recently as co-producer and host of Wish We Were Here. Jake is a firm believer that public radio is an oasis of journalistic and  intellectual integrity in today's hypersaturated media landscape, and he hopes to be a part of it for a long time to come. 

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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.

Journalist and novelist Peter Heller has led a life of adventure, covering extraordinary stories in remote parts of the world for such magazines as Outside, Men’s Journal, and National Geographic Adventure. He’s the author of several critically acclaimed books of nonfiction, and more recently, he’s made a foray into fiction-writing with his bestselling novel The Dog Stars and his new book, The Painter. He’ll be in Colorado Springs to speak at Colorado College on Wednesday as part of the Journalist-In-Residence speaker series.

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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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.

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.

Over the course of his career at NPR, Peter Breslow has covered stories all over the world—from war zones in the Middle East to a blues bar in Alabama. In the process, he’s earned some of the most prestigious awards in journalism. Now a senior producer at Weekend Edition, he’s helped to define the sound and scope of one of NPR’s signature programs. Breslow is in town teaching at Colorado College this month, and he’ll be giving a talk tomorrow on the CC campus. KRCC’s Jake Brownell spoke with Breslow in advance of that talk. 

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.

 

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As the wife of an Army Colonel, Angela Ricketts knows firsthand the effects of war on the families of those who serve. In her acclaimed debut book, No Man's War: Irreverent Confessions of an Infantry Wife, she offers a behind-the-scenes look at the sacrifices made and the hardships endured by soldiers' spouses and children, and provides a rare glimpse into the tight-knit, sometimes insular community of military families. Hampton Sides, bestselling author of In The Kingdom of Ice, Blood and Thunder and Ghost Soldiers, spoke with Ricketts about her book.

 

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 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.

Library of Congress

 

Scott Freiman is a composer, producer, and creator of the lecture series, “Deconstructing The Beatles.” He’ll be at Colorado College tomorrow night to deliver a lecture from this series entitled, “A Trip Through Strawberry Fields,” which tells the story of the groundbreaking Beatles song, "Strawberry Fields Forever." Colorado College English Professor Steven Hayward spoke with Freiman about the lecture, and about how the music of this iconic band changed popular culture forever.

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.

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.

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 three 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.

Something remarkable happened in Colorado Springs over the last year. It happens all the time but often remains beneath the radar: someone with a dream pursues it with focus and determination and a vision is realized.

Scott Anderson--seasoned war correspondent and author of the novel, Triage--will be speaking tomorrow at Colorado College. His most recent book, Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, and the Making of the Modern Middle East, tells the story of T.E. Lawrence, an Oxford educated archeologist who helped shape the Middle East as we know it during and after World War One. Colorado College English professor Steve Hayward spoke with Anderson about his work.

S.C. Gwynne, author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated best seller, Empire of the Summer Moon, will be speaking at Colorado College tomorrow night about his new book, Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson. The book, which tells the story of Civil War General Stonewall Jackson’s unlikely rise to greatness, currently sits at number 10 on the New York Times Best Sellers list for non-fiction. Colorado College English Professor Steven Hayward spoke with Gwynne about his career as a writer and journalist. Listen to the interview above.

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  In her masterpiece, The God of Small Things, Indian novelist Arundhati Roy says this about stories: “The secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen.” 

Stewarts Commercial Photographers

It’s the day before the September equinox. Black clouds pile up to the north of Denver and a stiff breeze whips the tablecloths on the patio of a streetside sandwich shop. Diners clutch their newspapers and napkins, and their eyes dart across the busy street toward the approaching storm.

High school students on lunch break wander the sidewalks, deep in a dream of themselves.

“Things get bad for all of us, almost continually, and what we do under the constant stress reveals who/what we are.” In his posthumous collection, What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire, poet Charles Bukowski encapsulated an all too familiar manifesto for growing old.

What nearly kills us strengthens us. What we lose brings into clear focus what we have. Clichés for living through the middle distance that, like all clichés, have become worn and ubiquitous because they are true.

 

This mid-August morning, the cool air already begins to hint at fall. The light is soft and gray. The only sound is the crunch of gravel as I walk down the alley, green bucket in hand, to the garden I tend, about a block away from where I now live.

Until just a month ago, I lived in the tall house that shades the garden. Now I’m a daily visitor there, slipping through the back gate while everyone in the house is still sleeping, a venture that makes me feel secretive, like a kid spying on her parents. 

Wikipedia

Ours was a show tunes kind of house, at the height of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s great musicals. And though we lived in a small Kentucky town where the idea of seeing a musical theater production onstage wasn’t even a distant dream, from the year I was born until I turned 11, films were made of Oklahoma, Carousel, The King and I, Flower Drum Song and The Sound of Music, and on television we saw the musical Cinderella. Between these and soundtrack releases on LP, we learned the melody and lyrics to most every song in every show.

 

I’ve moved recently and have survived to tell the tale. Here are a few moving tips that might make your transition from old home to new home a little less difficult. 

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