Take It for Granite

When you live in a place, it’s hard not to take it for granted. But in California that’s almost impossible — the landscape is simply too striking to forget or ignore. Today’s show is about what happens when you attempt to really appreciate the place you call home. Two travelers spend five days retracing the historic and unmarked trail of the Buffalo Soldiers. Then a portrait of backcountry life in Yosemite. Finally, a poem about a wild tree with a universe inside it. And in this podcast, a supplemental interview between poet Peter Kline and Storytelling Poetry Editor, Elizabeth Bradfield.

Host: Bonnie Swift
Producers: Justine Lai, Killeen Hanson, Liz Bradfield, Bonnie Swift
Featuring: Shelton Johnson, Ward Eldridge, Peter Kline
Music: Noah Burbank, Mt. Eerie, The Microphones, Kate Wolf

Release Date: 27 November 2008

Listen to the Full Show:

Story 1: Defenders of a New Idea

Before the National Parks Service existed, the U.S. Army protected our first national parks. We trace the road that the Buffalo Soldiers once took from the Presidio of San Francisco to Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. We don’t exactly find what we’re looking for, but the landscape reveals some unexpected clues.

Producers: Justine Lai and Bonnie Swift
Featuring: Shelton Johnson and Ward Eldridge

Story 2: The Yosemights

A student spends the summer in Yosemite National Park, far from her life at Stanford, and in that short time, discovers a new existence.

Producer: Killeen Hanson

Story 3: Manzanita

Peter Kline reads a poem about a Californian tree with a universe inside it. This tree has few practical uses.

Bonus Story: Interview with Peter Kline

Storytelling Poetry Editor, Liz Bradfield, interviews Peter Kline, Stegner Fellow at Stanford. He reads “The Almond Orchard,” and they discuss, among other things, the idea of West.


It’s natural to want to be someone you’re not. So why demonize the impostor? Today we have three stories of people who tried to pass themselves off as someone they weren’t. First, a story about a degenerating mobster turned private investigator, with some very unorthodox ways of getting the job done. Then a story about a scientist who invented his data and got busted. Finally, a memoir about one woman’s longing to have curly hair. Each one recalls an oh-so-typical journey of self-deception: after attempting to recreate themselves from the outside-in, they deal with the consequences.

Host: Charlie Mintz
Producers: Charlie Mintz and Matt Larson
Featured: Lawrence Klein, Tommy Wallach and Maria Hummel
Music: Pascalle, George Pritzker and Andy Seymour

Release Date: 13 November 2008

Listen to the Full Show:

Intro Story: Poser

Failed attempts to be someone else can leave us stranded in the domain of the imposter. Fakes, frauds, phonies… what are they but attempts at change gone bad?

image via flickr

Story 1: The Case of the Degenerating Detective

Tommy Wallach spends a summer with the most unlikely Private Eye, whose approach to inquiry is more about making the facts than finding them. Is it possible that some lies are better than truth?

Author: Tommy Wallach

image via Wikipedia

Story 2: Scientist vs. Scientist

In pursuit of acclaim, and under pressure, even the brightest can succumb to the follies of pride. Matt Larson depicts a face-off between two scientists: one who can resist the temptation to cheat, and one who cannot.

image via Wikipedia

Story 3: Waves

Maria Hummel inherited her mother’s straight hair, and along with it she inherited her mother’s disdain for straight hair. As she prepares to give birth to a child of her own, Hummel reflects on her lifelong envy of curls.

image via Wikipedia