#112: Swish, NightBus, Whitley Co Sheriff

Seatmate on the night bus…. “If I fall asleep, I might come over on you.”  It’s the overnight local Greyhound, from Washington, DC, to Knoxville, TN, via Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Roanoke, VA.  So  many characters, with so many stories.  And for me, being a middle-class white woman half asleep in the darkness is the lens I see it through.  Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” makes an appearance at 24 min.

Another highlight of my August travels in KY was getting questioned by the Whitley Co sheriff’s deputy b/c I was on foot on a rural road.  He was suspicious of my intentions, and my passport card, and threatened to arrest me for multiple things.  Aha, but, “I’m Ruthy, and I have a recorder.” – almost the entire interaction is recorded.  It starts at about minute 32.      The recording is followed by my reactions, and some helpful guidance from hitchwiki.org.

And – at the beginning of the show – Today is  my dad’s 82nd birthday!   He (Jim Woodring) shares with me (recorded when I was in KY a couple weeks ago) a piece he wrote – all true – about a new “environmentally friendly” clothes washing product named “Swish” – when, really, the “environmentally friendly” thing to do is to not wash every piece of clothing so darn much.

#111: Pedro P, Justice Cup, Alex J

First today we have Pedro Penuela, a couchsurfer from Brasil who is staying with us for the week while he does research for his PhD about dance, contact improv, representation of the things which are absent vs “absent” things actually being present, like loved ones who have died.

Last Sunday was the 3rd annual Justice Cup soccer tournament, a fundraiser for Jobs With Justice/Pioneer Valley Worker’s Center.  We hear from Rose Bookbinder; a player/speaker who came down from Migrant Justice in VT;  Carlos; — and —  from Voter ChoiceMA talking about ranked choice voting and how we can get that on the ballot in MA;  and Julie from Crooked Stick Pops (homemade popsickles sold on cargo trike, a.k.a. “paletas”).

Manu Chao sings “Clandestino.”

Alex Jarrett gives a talk at Monday night potluck about climate change and unlearning hopelessness.  Others present at the talk share their thoughts.

And Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha, reminds us to Dream the Impossible Dream.

Oh yeah, and part of a song by Denise Dill, a friend of a friend from Maine.  Next time I’ll try to have time for the whole song.

#110: Carla Shaffer, gardenaire; Stephanie on hitchhiking

Today’s show – first I give a grateful list of what people gave me to eat today around N’ton and Easthampton.  (did you know that if you let HighLawn heavy cream sit in the fridge in its bottle, it will likely turn into butter on its own?  at least it has for me, twice.  at 45-48 degrees.)
At 5 min, Carla Shaeffer, gardener/farmer extraordinaire at the Florence community gardens shares tips on how she has made her garden so amazing.
At 25 min, a little Luke Bryan, singing “Rain is a good thing.”
At 28 min, our houseguest from last week, Stephanie, and I talk about hitchhiking. Stephanie has hitchiked all over the country, and especially a lot in Arizona, where she’s from. I share the story of the ride I got coming out of Atlanta with some people who I assumed were smugglers/smuggled.
At 52 min, Johnny Cash, I just can’t resist playing “I’ve Been Everywhere.”
And at the end – to reach the congressional switchboard and your congresspeople, call 202-224-3121.  For state government:  MAlegislature.gov

#109: free Niberd rally, Anne Moore – Nonviolent Peaceforce

The first part of the show is clips from yesterday’s (July 11th) rally on the steps of Northampton City Hall to  defend Niberd Abdalla.  According to the Gazette,  “Abdalla, 57, was arrested on June 8 when he attended his bi-yearly check-in with ICE, as he had without incident for the past seven years. ”  Niberd has lived in the US, in particular Easthampton and Florence, for over 40 years.   He is currently detained and threatened with deportation to Iraq, which he fled as a teenager in the 1970s.  In this clip, his wife Ellen McShane talks about how it feels to have her beloved husband taken away, simply for not being able to get the right paperwork.

Other speakers include Dr. Marty Nathan and ACLU attorney Bill Newman.

The rest of the show (maybe after 15 min) is Anne Moore, who moved to downtown Northampton 4 years ago, talking about some of the things she’s involved in – Nonviolent Peaceforce, SURJ, Northampton Committee to Stop War, a penpal correspondence with a man imprisoned at Pelican Bay, CA, etc.

#108: New Citizen DianaS; YoumeNL PitchBlack

Yesterday at the annual July 4th new citizen swearing-in in downtown Northampton, I saw Diana Sierra take the oath. Diana is an outspoken advocate for immigrant rights, and in this episode she shares some of her conflicting feelings about becoming part of a select few immigrants who are able to get documents in this country. Other interviewees today (Mordi Camel, Yvonne, Ruthie Oland, Christine Mirabal) talk about the importance of the right to vote. Diana stresses that people without the right to vote still have the power to organize.  (You can listen to an October 2016 interview with Diana on Out There, episode #80.)

at 27 min, my short shpiel about meekly inheriting the berries of the earth

at 30 min, an interview with Youme Nguyen-Ly about her recent visit to Florida to collaborate with Immokalee workers.  Youme also talks about a book that she co-wrote/illustrated with Anthony Horton, called Pitch Black, about their becoming friends in the New York subway tunnels and Anthony sharing about his life there.

and there’s some Buffy St Marie music mixed in.


#107: A meaningful life?, Cat litter factory, Fox catching

For the first 10 minutes, Duane Ranney and I talk about challenges with the Northampton Housing Authority’s recent “cleaning up” of porches, and cutting down of plants.

at 15 min I philosophize on “What makes a life meaningful?”

don’t forget the new Soujourner Truth school for social change leadership.  Truthschool.org

at 25 min there’s an interview with Tina, a woman I sat next to on the bus in mid-June going from Durham, NC, to Richmond, VA.  I asked her about her job on the cat litter line at the Nestle-Purina factory in King William Co, VA.

At 34 min Warren Zevon sings “The Factory”

at 37 min I read another essay:  “Remote Control life Drones on.”

at 45 min my niece Christina Moyer, from Castlewood, VA, tells how she caught a fox ( a possum, and almost a raccoon) late one night, when all she was trying to do was put away the poultry and milk the cow.


#106: Lily Carlisle-Reske – Northampton Food Rescue; Alex Jarrett – creating welcoming spaces

Lily Carlisle-Reske and two other Smith College students did their capstone project this year creating a new program to divert food from being thrown away and instead get it to people to eat.  The project as it is, is, Pedal People is picking up produce from Big Y on Saturday afternoons and taking it to Hampshire Hts, where Casa Latina coordinates distribution,   There’s a fun rap song, ” We Be Dumpsta Diving.”

Also Alex gives a talk at our regular (12 yrs going) Monday night potluck, about trying to create welcoming spaces.

#105: Jose Mediavilla: Marines to Occupy; Tree Northampton

Jose is a live guest in the studio today. He shares about his 7 years in the Marines, mostly as a photographer documenting sites of Past War Dead, including an interview with a man imprisoned at Guantanamo after 9-11. After the Marines and photography school, he photographed and stayed in Occupy Wall Street camp and farm. Check out his pictures on flickr.com/photos/joseomediavilla/. We met via Couchsurfing.org.

Also on today’s show, Duane and I talk about last weekend’s tree planting with volunteers from tree Northampton and the N’ton DPW. Hear clips from Virginia Rechtschaffen, Jim Clark (DPW) and Rob Postel.

#104: Brad Lyttle, Chicago Peace Activist; Bike Breakfast

Brad Lyttle is an old friend of mine from my Chicago Catholic Worker days. He has driven to MA to get his book, The Flaw in Deterrence, to universities in the area. The book is about the increasing probability of nuclear disaster as time goes on . Brad also shares stories, like about the peace walk he coordinated in 1963-64, Montreal to Guantanamo, and how when they were imprisoned in segregationist GA as an interracial walk, they resisted with a hunger strike that lasted 2 months.

Today is also bike commute day in Northampton. Brad and I have been riding around town on the bike trailer.

#103: Ruth Tirado, Casa Latina

Ruth Tirado, president of the board of directors of Casa Latina, joins me in the studio.  (http://Casalatinainc.org) Casa Latina is the only Latino-led and Latino-focused organization in Hampshire County. They promote self-sufficiency and a sense of community among local Latinos.  Ruth talks about some of Casa Latina’s different projects, and how she got involved over the years.  Ruth and I met last week doing the Northampton Food Rescue project at Hampshire Heights.

Tuesday night at the Iron Horse is Latin dance night!  Ruth says it was great, a fun way to share local latinidad.

Also, at the beginning of the show, I share a little story about how earlier in the day, biking through Easthampton hauling compost, I passed a young man, an EHS student, walking down the path with a basketball under one arm and a confederate flag wrapped around him.  So we played basketball together for a bit and I asked him about the flag.

And, this is fund drive week, so feel free to contribute to Valley Free Radio, now or at any time.   You can donate online at Valleyfreeradio.org.  Thanks!  And thanks to all the contributors and volunteers who keep the station going, and give me this platform.

Tune in every Wednesday from 4 to 5 pm on Valley Free Radio, 103.3 FM in Northampton, MA USA or streaming online at valleyfreeradio.org