Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

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.”

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The San Joaquin Valley has a rich architectural heritage. From gems like the Fresno Water Tower to Bakersfield’s Beale Memorial Clock Tower, to beautiful craftsman bungalows and mid-century masterpieces, those landmarks help give our communities their own unique identity.

And beginning this Saturday the City of Fresno will kick off a week-long celebration its architectural heritage – with a number of events taking place as part of “Historic Preservation Week”.

This week on Valley Writers Read, Oscar G. Williams reads “It's Coming.”  A science fiction story.  A very strange object in outer space is headed our way, and the astronomers decide it's a huge black hole which has a good chance of colliding with our galaxy.  So all the nations start building spacecraft in hopes of saving humanity if what's out there dislodges the earth from its regular orbit.

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.

Charismatic,  controversial, courageous and complicated. Those are just a few words that could sum up the life of the late civil rights leader and farm labor activist Cesar Chavez. Now over 20 years after his death, a new biography seeks to provide fresh insight into a man who is an inspiration for millions. The book is called “The Crusades of Cesar Chavez” by Miriam Pawel, who joined us on Valley Edition to talk about Chavez the man and Chavez the myth. 

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.

Lionsgate / Pantelion Films

Later this month, the story of the late farm labor leader Cesar Chavez hits the silver screen with a biopic by acclaimed director Diego Luna. It’s the first time a major motion picture has been made about the life of the founder of the United Farm Workers Union. It features a cast of Hollywood stars including America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson and John Malkovich, with Michael Pena cast as the late civil rights hero. Tomorrow night President Obama will host a screening of the movie at the White House.

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