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.

Judy Ryan reads “Whistle Stop.”  It's a story about Jennifer who for years didn't want to talk but only whistled.  She got pregnant, ran away from home, gave her baby up for adoption, and finally decided to look for her grandparents.  That's when she thought she found her grandfather—who really wasn't.  

Ten Speed Press

Three members of the Masumoto family, Mas, his wife Marcy, and daughter Nikiko read “The Perfect Peach.”  They tell us what it takes to grow peaches and grapes on their productive farm in Del Rey and describe how they tend to their land and how to enjoy the results of their labor—especially those delicious peaches!

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a story titled "A Life of Ease" by acclaimed novelist Steve Yarbrough. John Grisham wrote of Yarbrough, [he is] "wickedly observant, funny, cynical, evocative, and he possesses a gift that cannot be taught: he can tell a story." 

Yarbrough's 2004 novel "Prisoners of War" was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, and his 1999 novel "The Oxygen Man" won the California Book Award.  He taught at Fresno State from 1988 - 2009. Yarbrough's story is about a minister in a small church in Mississippi and his interactions with his parishioners. 

This week on Valley Writers Read, Fresno author Sally Stallings reads two stories about Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet.  The author gives us a good look at what happened to both young and old—both backstage and out front at various Christmas performances of the popular ballet.  

This week on Valley Writers Read, our program revolves around the sport of golf with two stories by local authors. In Angelo Angarano's “Born Again Golfer,” we hear what happened to an avid golfer when he enlisted a Zen Buddhist golf pro to help him answer an important question. And in David Creighton's story “Golf!  A Four-Lettered Word”  the author describes what happened to a golfer who dumped three consecutive golf shots right into the middle of a lake.

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear two stories from two local authors. Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco resides in Merced and reads her own story, titled "Military Cemetery." It tells us about an encounter between two young women and a couple of men they met at a bar, one of whom has a shocking announcement. The second story, "Leaving Rapunzel's Window" by Fresno author Anne Leath Biggs describes the author's childhood in a middle-class neighborhood on Michigan Avenue in Fresno.  

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a story by Tehachapi author Valerie Schultz titled "The Rufus Gene." The story is about a the adventures of family who move into an upscale neighborhood and their mixed-breed dog Rufus. 

This week on our program, Fresno author Ed Miller reads his story "Blur" is about a dinner date that went sour. Find out what happened in this intense edition of Valley Writers Read. 

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a story by Oakhurst author Susan Norman titled "Learning the Ropes." It's about CJ, a precocious teenaged girl who had been sent to a school for delinquents. The parents come to see their daughter on visiting day and watch the youngsters climb a complicated jungle gym.  That afternoon, CJ's mother decides to climb the jungle gym herself.  This forebodes some big changes in family relationships. KVPR's Leigh Murray reads this story.

This week on Valley Writers Read, Auberry author James Benelli reads his story "Spaghetti Farming In Kansas." This is a satirical story about a millionaire, Nick Worthmore and his wife Penny who, when they stop to get their car repaired in Kansas, wind up on an unexpected adventure.