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 by Fresno State graduate and current Sacramento resident Anne Richards Da Vigo.  She reads her own story. “Two Women.” While Naomi is elderly, wealthy and bossy, her nurse Mary, is just the opposite; she is patient, compassionate and sympathetic.  

This week on Valley Writers Read we hear two stories from local authors. Our program begins with "Valley Song" a short story from Stephen D. Gutierrez, winner of a 2010 American Book Award for his book "Live from Fresno y Los." Gutierrez, who now teaches at CSU East Bay, previously taught at Fresno City College. In “Valley Song” we hear a story about the life and struggles of Mexican-American boxer. 

Heyday Books

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear several short stories from the book "Take Me to the River: Fishing, Swimming, and Dreaming on the San Joaquin." This collection of stories about the San Joaquin River was edited by Joell and Coke Halowell. The book is the result of a decade long series of interviews with people who have deep connections to the river.

Host and author Franz Weinschenk reads his story entitled “Home Room” which is about the lives of the author's former students at Edison High School in Fresno, Catherine Haw Chin. She worked for the Fresno County Courts for well over 40 years. 

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This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a story from local author Bonnie Hearn Hill. In her story "Part Light, Part Memory", we learn about some former slave holders in Texas at the end of the Civil War who still consider it a crime for a white person to teach black people how to read and write.

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear works by two San Joaquin Valley writers.  In our first story, "Called",  Bakersfield author Jack Hernandez tells us how he originally wanted to become a minister, and about the interesting path that he eventually followed. In our second story, Fresno author Oscar G. Williams tells us about Fred and Mildred, two computer wizards who have figured out how to scam the scammers.

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On this edition of Valley Writers Read, Visalia author Janet Nichols Lynch reads her story "Tone", about a classical concert pianist who becomes extremely nervous before performances.

We hear two stories from local authors on this week's edition of Valley Writers Read. In the first story, "With Me Still", the author Deb Borofka meets a woman from her home town in Oregon who brings back fond memories of her grandmother. In the second story, "Dust to Dust", author Janet Stevens takes a trip down memory lane by visiting the home of her ancestors in North Dakota.

On this edition of Valley Writers Read, Gabriele Case reads her own story about a man named Raymond, a returning veteran from Afghanistan who faces his own challenges on the home front.

On this edition of Valley Writers Read, former Fresno State teacher Liza Wieland reads her story, "Tommy Waddel", about a teenage girl who is attracted to a young boy. As the two of them become more enamored with each other, we learn how their relationship changes.

This week on Valley Writers Read, Coarsegold author Evelyne Holingue reads her story titled "Welcome Home."  Living in the foothills presents many challenges, as Juliette and Natasha soon discover. Hear how a traffic accident takes a surprising turn for one foothill visitor. 

On this edition of Valley Writers Read, C.B. Mosher reads his story, "Sarampion." Hear how a doctor in Mexico is faced with the possibility of a serious epidemic of measles.

Valley author Jim Ashford reads his story, "Serengeti", about a wealthy and alcohol-loving man who spends thousands of dollars going on safari in Africa to hunt and shoot wild animals so they can be displayed in a trophy room. 

Reedley author Hope Nisly reads her own story,“Whack Her Good, Lord!" on this week's edition of Valey Writers Read. The story is about Ivanna, who in her youth comes down with an ear malignancy that the doctors can't cure.  We catch up with her in middle age.  At this juncture, we find her working in a restaurant where a religious group meets every week.  Somehow they find out about her hearing problem and try to help her by “laying on hands.” 

This week on Valley Writers Read, nationally recognized author and Fresno native Mark Arax reads his own story, "Big Valley." Arax describes much of our Central Valley -- its farms, cities, town, and neighborhoods. The story focuses primarily on agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley.   He even takes us down to the  popular agricultural fair in Tulare where they sell huge farm tractors for a quarter of a million dollars. 

On this edition of Valley Writers Read, author Jon Frank brings us a story about the adventures of mountain climbing in Yosemite Valley. 

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a story by local author C.B. Mosher, titled, "Descent Into Heaven." Listen for a story about how the author and his family explore the beauty of the headwaters of the Amazon River. 

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear local author Larry Hill's short story "The Night We Read Carver." Listen for a story about a writer who takes his girlfriend and protege to a conference where she turns the tables on him. 

This week on Valley Writers Read, we feature two stories by local authors. First, we hear a story by Howard Hendrix titled, "American Bacon." Listen as a neighbor recruits the author to help slaughter a hog. We close the program with Sharon Patterson's "Ant Climbs a Molehill Guarded by a Camel," where an enlisted man struggles to advance in rank.

On this edition of Valley Writers Read, author James Varner shares with listeners some anecdotes of growing up in the Bakersfield area with his story, "Memories of Growing Up With Friends."

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