Franz Weinschenk

Host, Valley Writers Read

Franz Weinschenk, his parents and his older brother Fritz were indeed lucky to get out of Germany just before World War II.  For a while they lived in Brooklyn, N.Y., before moving to Madera, CA.  He graduated from Madera High and Fresno State.  From 1948 to 1952 he taught at Edison High School in Fresno after which he was drafted and served in the US Army for two years. 

After being discharged, he started teaching speech and English at Fresno City College.  As the years passed, besides his teaching assignments, he was chosen to be the school's first yearbook adviser, their first debate coach, and the first Dean of the college's brand new Humanities Division, a job he held for 12 years.  He retired from working full-time in 1980, but to this day continues teaching at least one evening class.  From 1980 to 1988, he served as the director of the Volunteer Bureau of Fresno County.  Franz has three children and lives with his wife Sally. He enjoys power walking, swimming and biking.

This week on Valley Writers Read we hear a story titled “Johnnie Ray and Miss Kilgallen” by Bonnie Hearn Hill, and read by her husband Larry. Find out about the early days of television and radio, about some of the prominent TV, radio and journalism personalities of that era.  Learn more about their private lives and popular shows like “What's My Line.”

This week on Valley Public Radio's Valley Writers Read, we hear a story by local author Oscar G. Williams titled “Bucket List." Read by Don Weaver, the story is about a list of four activities the children and grandchildren of two well-to-do 65 year old twins come up with for their grandparents to enjoy in their old age – golfing, skiing, motorcycling, and jumping out of airplanes at 10,000 feet.

A persecuted German family that was lucky enough to get out of Nazi Germany before WWII started life over again in Brooklyn, New York.  The story describes how they dealt with their new neighborhood, living conditions, work, schools, illness, and America's deep depression.

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a story by local author Janet Nichols Lynch titled "Free Will." Maureen is the lead character.  She's been divorced from Jack, while Patrick, the father of six-month old Audrey, is the other man.  But now some serious problems have come up and Maureen is thinking about starting life all over.

This week on Valley Writers Read we hear a story by local author James Varner, "Memories of Growing Up with Friends." The story is all about the life-long friends the author made in the Bakersfield neighborhood where he grew up.  He tells us about the schools he went to and the profession he chose, and an event that brought back many memories, years later. 

This week on Valley Writers Read we hear a story by local author Thomas Nance, "Dad's Address Book." The story is set in the last part of World War II  in the Pacific.  The author re-constructs many of the stories about the infantry battles that we won in the South Pacific – island by island –  from letters his father wrote while serving under General Douglas McArthur.

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a piece by local journalist Mark Arax, who describes the huge farm show in Tulare where tractors sell for a quarter million dollars. Arax tells us about the unbelievable variety and staggering volume of farm production right here in the San Joaquin Valley. 

This week on Valley Writers Read we hear a story titled “Double Plot” by Judy Ryan. Listen for a moving story about love and loss over the decades. 

This week on Valley Writers Read, acclaimed novelist and former Fresno State professor Steve Yarbrough reads his story "The Intersection."

This week on Valley Writers Read we hear local author Hank Palmer read an autobiographical account of life growing up on a large Iowa farm.  Palmer's story documents how he gained an appreciation for the natural world of sunrises, sunsets, rain and wind, growing farm products like wheat, corn and hay, and all about how to raise chickens, cattle, pigs, and horses.