Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Valerie Schultz reads “Some Kind of Bee” and “Four Seasons and The Moon.”  Grandma is driving down the street when a bee blows in the window.  She's so distracted she loses concentration and wrecks the car.  Now all she can talk about is how old she is, just old enough to make funeral arrangements.  But she's in for a big surprise!

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of John Steinbeck’s tale of the Dust Bowl emigration to California – the Grapes of Wrath. Late last year, Cal State Bakersfield launched a year-long celebration of the book and its author, which includes an event taking place Wednesday night at CSUB titled “If Steinbeck was a Farmer.”

Jim Benelli reads “Big Joe and the Red Headed Hitchhiker.”  A beer-drinking, Buck Owens-loving truck driver is on his way to St. Louis with a load of tomatoes.  He picks up a red-headed  hitchhiker who knows all the words to Buck Owens' songs but somehow disappears after the truck has an accident out in the Mojave desert.  

Debbie Everson Borofka reads "Remembrance."  The narrator's father came down with bronchitis when he was just a baby.  So the grandparent put him in a tent with boiling water inside to supply steam.  Unfortunately, the water spilled over and scalded the baby's feet so badly that he lost them.  This accident affected family relationships for decades.

Backbeat Books

Buck Owens was one of the giants of country music, helping to define a rough and ready sound that will forever be linked with the city that Owens called home – Bakersfield. While Owens died in 2006, his legacy lives on. Now a new book titled “Buck 'Em: The Autobiography of Buck Owens” tells his story.

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!

M Street Arts Complex

Over the past decade, downtown Fresno's arts scene has blossomed with new galleries and studios, not to mention live-work lofts and an area filled with public art that's been dubbed the mural district. 

Rebecca Plevin / Valley Public Radio

During the Mexican holiday of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead,) people remember loved ones who have died. Traditionally, they honor the deceased with altars featuring sugar skulls, marigold flowers, photos and their favorite foods and drinks. This month, Arte Americas, in downtown Fresno, is exhibiting altars in memory of local residents and Latino icons.

Courtesy of Tim Z. Hernandez

Albert Franco recalls his late mother like any son might. 

He says she was a wonderful cook, housewife, grandmother, and mother.

But at Bea Kozera's funeral, in a Fresno cemetery in late August, Franco described what made his mother's personal story extraordinary.

“Some of you are aware of my mom’s notoriety,” Albert Franco said. “She was a famous person, which we never knew - never knew, for about 60 years almost.” 

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