Through the Wringer
Aired August 07, 2008
My mother would stand watch until she felt the clothes had been agitated enough and then she would lift each garment up and put it through the wringer - attached above the washing tub.
The wringer consisted of two rollers that spun against each other in opposite directions creating a natural feed that pulled the wet clothes through thus squeezing the water from them, so they could be hung on a clothes line to dry.
But for kids - the wringer had another use.
Aired July 17, 2008
Both Mr. Russert and Mr. Carlin were masters of words. And their mastery of very different words on very different stages had essentially the same effect on all of us who heard them. Their words made us think.
Aired July 03, 2008
The great abolitionist Frederick Douglass made no secret of his disdain for America’s Independence Day.
Douglas was as disappointed in America as he was angry at her. He was also a realist and understood that in order for the displaced Africans and their descendents to ever embrace Independence Day, they must too feel the same freedom as their enslavers.
A Penny Saved
Aired June 19, 2008
The lowly one-cent piece - the continued existence of the penny is under threat from those that wish to see the small copper-colored coin excised from our national currency and our pockets and coin purses. But what about our memories?
The True Cost of Gas
Aired June 05, 2008
We have witnessed the passing of an era. The next time that you drive past your neighborhood gas station and see those big, block numbers on the sign outside rise, realize that the true cost of rising gas prices is so much more.
Vote for the Right Reasons
Aired May 22, 2008
There are talk radio hosts urging people to vote for or against a candidate based on gender, race or age. For blacks and women, in particular, who didn’t gain the right to vote until much later in this nation’s history, to misuse voting privileges that way is, frankly, un-American.
A Picture Worth an Entire Generationi
Aired May 08, 2008
News of Bernie Boston’s recent death at age 74 took me back to the 1960s. Some of you may be racking your brains trying to recall which Top 40 hit he sang or what movies he starred in. Boston wasn’t famous for being in front of the camera and unfortunately he wasn’t as famous as he should have been for being behind it.
Aired April 17, 2008
In November, we’ll have a choice. And we must realize as we look back at the history of American politics that there is no real difference from 1788 to 2008 in terms of the tenor and tone of campaigns. Instead of bemoaning the mean-spiritedness, let us simply be grateful for freedom of speech and be glad that there is still some sort of spirit infused into our politics after all these years.
100 Year Losing Streak
Aired April 03, 2008
The Cards-Cubs rivalry has always been good-natured kidding and so as a loyal Cards fan, I think, that if the World Series doesn’t go to my beloved Redbirds this year, I would like it to go to the Cubs. But then, I think, It’s the Cubs…naah.
Athletics vs. Academics
Aired March 20, 2008
Are athletic scholarships the only accomplishment worth commemorating? If blood, sweat and tears have not have been spilt in the high school gym but in the school library, is that less worthy? We must begin to reward the building up of that other muscle – the brain. We must reward both athletic excellence and academic excellence and maybe someday I’ll flip the channels and come across a press conference of Rhodes scholars, instead.
Aired March 06, 2008
I do believe that society must make certain that we are listening to people and paying attention to those that exhibit problems and then addressing those problems instead of shunting them aside. By paying attention to the least of us, we can do what is best for all of us.
Black History Month
Aired February 21, 2008
Many of the names of black Americans who contributed greatly to society are in danger of being lost. This information is not mere tidbits of trivia. It is important that all of America knows that African Americans have not only achieved their civil rights but have contributed to the lives of us all through inventions and innovations that we all use daily.
Highway Shutdown Has A Bright Side
Aired January 17, 2008
I am reminded of the Robert Frost poem, “The Road Not Taken.” In the final lines of the poem, Frost writes, “I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”
Aired January 03, 2008
2008 is now upon us but this new year does not bring with it merely the prerequisite resolutions and revelry. No, the year 2008 is remarkable not for what we resolve not to do come January 1st but for what we resolve to do come November 4th.
Harmony at the Holidays
Aired December 20, 2007
I wonder about what has happened to our society, a society in which religious freedom is a guaranteed right, that at the time of year, in which religious ideals like peace and joy are celebrated, that violence and hate end up disrupting the harmony of the holidays.
Pierce City Riots
Aired December 06, 2007
Recently, a gentleman walked up to me with a rolled-up poster in his hands. He unfurled the poster to reveal the front-page of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch dated August 25, 1901 with the headline, “Negroes Driven From Southwest Missouri Towns.”
There have been few stories written about this ugly incident but it’s important to resurrect this regional history as a reminder of the ugliness of racism. Some might say leave the past in the past and get over it. The only way to get over it is to bring it out into the open and discuss it and bury it – together – so that it doesn’t happen again.
Freedom From Want
Aired November 15, 2007
Two of the freedoms FDR espoused – freedom of speech and freedom to worship are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. If only there was a Bill of Rights for those less fortunate, where freedom from want could be guaranteed, as well, on Thanksgiving Day and every day.
Portal to the Park
Aired November 01, 2007
It’s more than just a street or bridge or mere overpass. It is a portal to Forest Park, our community’s shared backyard. The Tamm Avenue Bridge comes right out of the Dogtown neighborhood, a community of working-class people with a rich history.
Aired October 04, 2007
I’d lie in the dark as the wonderful aroma of fresh baked bread wafted through the windows, tickling my nose, my taste buds and flavoring my dreams.
Great Depression Stories
Aired September 20, 2007
Reading A.E. Hotchner’s stories of childhood in St. Louis during the Great Depression reminded me of the stories that my mother used to tell of her experiences as a young girl growing up in Depression-era St. Louis.
Little League Lessons
Aired September 06, 2007
When I was a kid, losing was terrible, especially with our families in the stands but then I could not imagine losing in front of an international audience of millions on ESPN’s Sportscenter.
I wonder about the pressure that child athletes are under and I realize that the game of little league isn’t so little, any more, in fact, it is a bigger deal than I imagined.
Aired August 16, 2007
There is another little-discussed, largely unacknowledged consequence of our nation’s dependence upon quick convenient meals. In addition to cuisine, another casualty of the drive thru window has been courtesy.
Joy of Fishing
Aired August 02, 2007
Whether or not fishing qualifies as a sport or as a hobby is debatable but what is indisputable is that fishing is an excellent exercise in eliminating stress and achieving calm.
Old Neighborhood Parks
Aired July 19, 2007
The other day the view of my old North St. Louis neighborhood park from my car window was devoid of playing children and the only sound was the quiet hum of my car’s engine. I attributed it to urban blight and the ills that have plagued the North St. Louis community but a few days later, I found myself riding through South St. Louis, past another neighborhood park and it was the same thing – a lonely park on a lovely day.
Working Dad Blues
Aired July 05, 2007
I have so many fond memories of my dad but in many of the memories, I see him as I so often did, headed to work, lunch pail in hand. It seemed that, in those days, that people didn’t pour out of corporate towers, beleaguered and long-faced. The world will never return to that time, nor should it.
Maybe what has changed is the security that those workers of the post-war generation felt as they went about their workdays.
Preserving Buildings and Memories
Aired June 21, 2007
I noted that the Eugene Field School, my old grade school, is being transformed into condos. Fifty years ago it was the site of my first experience with desegregation.
Driving past the school, I was glad to see that they are saving not only a building but my memories, too.
The 'Ol Number Three Tub
Aired June 07, 2007
I cannot help but to think of how we used to barbeque back in the day when technology was minimal, money was tight but creativity and ingenuity were boundless.
A good ‘ole #3 tub was an indispensable household item and every family I knew had one.
Aired May 24, 2007
What makes a neighborhood? Some say it is the people - but in urban settings the thing that maintains neighborhoods are small businesses.
Old Glamour of Air Travel
Aired May 10, 2007
In the popular imagination, flying on a plane has now become not unlike getting on a bus. In the glamour day, people dressed a certain way and bought special luggage. But today, air travel is no longer respected just expected.
If glamour is all about "transcending the everyday," what could be more transcendent than flight itself?
Aired April 19, 2007
One African American kid I recently spoke with called baseball “the white man’s game”. How ironic, that’s the same phrase that used to keep African American Baseball Players off the fields, until Jackie Robinson came along. Where’s the Jackie Robinson for the 21st century?
Donn is the former Director of Communications for the Missouri Historical Society, headquartered at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park.