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, local author Randy Sibley reads his story “Elegy.”  The story two American soldiers who are scrambling through the jungle when a sudden event changes their lives forever.

This time on Valley Writers Read, local author Craig Bernthal reads a story of his entitled "Perfection at Badaxe."  

Heyday Books

This week on Valley Writers Read, Joel Pickford reads from his book “Soul Calling, a Photographic Journey Through the Hmong Diaspora.”  The author gives us a great deal of information about the Hmong community of Central California.  He tells us about their lives in prison camps after the Vietnam War, and how many escaped to Thailand and then came to America.

This week's program is all about the folks who came out west from America's dust bowl in the mid thirties.  It features several poems and a short story written by the leading writer of that group, Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel.  We actually get to hear her read one of her poems.  Most of the program is taken up by a short story of hers entitled “The Ketchup Bottle.”

This week writer David Borofka reads his story “The Nothing Between Us.”  Two young hippies fall in love and marry, but their marriage doesn't last very long.  They divorce and remarry others.  Years later, after the girl's husband passes away and the boy's marriages fail, they somehow re-connect, and we're left to wonder if there is any love left.

This week on Valley Writers Read, local author Janet Nichols Lynch reads her story “My Beautiful Hippie.”  We get to meet a family who lived in the Haight-Ashbury District in San Francisco during the Vietnam War.  The daughter becomes interested in a hippie, but the rest of the family can't stand him. 

On this week's Valley Writers Read, Lillian Faderman reads from her book “Naked In The Promised Land.”  Originally her family came from Poland, but now, even though she still sees him, the mother's husband has left and denies being the baby's father.  In the end, the mother, her baby, and the mother's sister decide to start life over again in California.

This program features a story by Paul Hernandez entitled  “Nampay the Amazonian.” Nampay is a popular musician who becomes world famous and revered.  The story is read by several of his associates -- his promoter, his pilot, a fellow musician, a fan, and even the man who constructed his wonderful guitar.

This week's program features a story by Don Parkay entitled “The Distance Between Stars.”  Mom and daughter live in the countryside up in the high desert of Western California.  Dina, the daughter volunteers at a bookstore in town.  Then, when Mom meets Clay, the owner of the bookstore, they seem to be attracted to each other.

Michael Karibian / Educational Employees Credit Union

Franz Weinschenk reads “A Hike down Colony Mill Road.”  Story is about an unhappy group of sailors from San Francisco known as the “Kaweah Colony,” who built a saw mill at the 5,000 foot level in what it now Sequoia National Park. It took them four years to construct a 10-mile road up to the saw mill, but they were forced to vacate once the national park was established.