Sound Effect

Saturdays at 10 AM

Sound Effect is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by knkx's Jennifer Wing. Each week's show explores a different theme.

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Ways to Connect

Bob Turner / Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, we explore the ties that bind. We hear stories of the unique and surprising things that connect people and communities from alien languages to cigarettes.

CBS

Eric Andeen first encountered the Klingon language like most people, while watching the film "Star Trek 3: The Search For Spock" as the crew of the Enterprise contended with the Klingons, a fictional alien race. However, when he spotted a Klingon dictionary in a bookstore a few months later, Andeen took it a step further. He decided to learn Klingon. 

Kevin Kniestedt / knkx

There are some things you might only be able to notice if you happen to be an insider. If you have lived in Tacoma for any extended period of time, there is a pretty good chance that you feel a bit territorial about it. It is a city that gets told that it can't measure up to Seattle. It is often associated with a certain aroma, while residents know that the smell doesn't really exist anymore, or at least doesn't compare to how it did decades ago.

The Legacy Of Seattle's First Black Newspaper

Sep 24, 2016

For many people, community ties come from keeping up to date with the goings-on of your neighbors — someone’s graduation, a new restaurant opening up, or a long-time resident passing away. These days we mostly turn to Facebook for that sort of information.   

 

Credit Randen Pederson/Flickr

Communities can exist in almost any place – even in the alleys behind businesses where people smoke cigarettes. Smoking is, of course, very bad for you. And no smoker is deceiving themselves that they are engaging in a sort of healthy social behavior. 

Margaret Bullitt

This is what Margaret Bullitt did when she was in her 20s, living in New York and trying to launch an acting career. The Bullitts are an influential Seattle family. Coming from a family filled with people driven to do good and bring about positive change was intimidating.

“And this idea that you have to do for others and be good in the community and if you aren’t always doing for others, and doing good for the community, then somehow there’s something suspect,” says Bullitt.

Credit Yinan Chen/Creative Commons

This week on Sound Effect, we hear about changes of scenery. We bring you stories of people who were exposed to a whole different part of the world, a culture they weren't familiar with, or a lifestyle they never imagined.

The Logging Camp

Will James / knkx

Imagine growing up in a state to total innocence and freedom.

You're a child, and you have an infinity of woods and mountains to explore. You eat fresh blackberries your mother picks in the forest. All the dangers of the modern world are miles away.

Everyone in town is like an uncle, a mother, a grandmother. They dress up as Santa Claus for Christmas and stage a big egg hunt every Easter. 

Rex Hohlbine / Facing Homelesness

 

One way to get a different view and to exit your comfort zone is to trade the warm and dry home you live in for a camper van that will take you around the country to meet and help the homeless. You'll also bring your nine-year-old along for this adventure.

 

This is what Jennifer Underwood of Seattle is doing with her daughter, Rory. They are on a national tour called, “Just Say Hello.”

 

Courtesy of Paul Wager

I have never considered myself a musician. My father paid for more weeks of piano lessons for me than I was willing to attend and my stretch as a bassist in a high school rock band lasted just long enough for me to learn the bass line to Pink Floyd’s "Money." But for some reason, after turning 33, I decided to take up the drums. I took one lesson from a friend and felt more enchanted by music than I have, well, ever.

Robert Hood / Fred Hutch

Maxine Linial is a virologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and one of the world's leading researchers on an obscure group of microorganisms called simian foamy viruses.

She’s been at the Hutch for 40 years looking through microscopes in the lab and studying swirling cells in petri dishes. However, that changed very suddenly five years ago.

Courtesy Erika Lee Bigelow

Erika Lee Bigelow was out for St. Patrick’s Day in Portland when she saw a card advertising a contest hosted by the beer company Guinness.  You had to write a 50-word essay finishing the sentence ‘The perfect pint of Guinness ...” The grand prize was a pub in Ireland. That’s right, you could win your own pub. So she wrote her essay:

Used With Permission Of Jason Padgett / struckbygenius.com

This week on Sound Effect, we listen back to stories of survivors.

Silver Linings

used with permission of Jason Padgett / struckbygenius.com

Sound Effect's Gabriel Spitzer talks with Tacoma resident Jason Padgett about the night he was mugged outside a Tacoma karaoke bar, and how that incident changed the trajectory of his life.

Padgett suffered a concussion in the attack, as well as internal injuries. He also developed post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Courtesy of Autumn Rusch

Autumn Rusch was born with holes in her heart – so many, that her cardiologist described it as looking like it had been shot with a BB gun. As she grew up, her condition worsened. She was hospitalized for weeks on end, and her heart would at times reach an unimaginable 300 beats per minute. At the age of 14, she was given a new heart that would prove a great match. She recently celebrated her 20-year anniversary with it.

Gabriel Spitzer

In 2004, the city of Seattle installed five, high-tech, self-cleaning public toilets at a cost of $5 million. The toilets -- which opened at the push of a button disinfected themselves automatically -- were hailed as public service that would need little in extra staff hours to maintain.

It didn't turn out exactly like that.

Ashley Gross / KPLU

To live in the Northwest is, to some extent, to roll the dice. If you lived through the 1965 Seattle earthquake, or the Nisqually quake in 2001, or if you just read the New Yorker article about the “really big one” destined to hit our region, you know this well: There are forces under our feet that could just shrug our cities off into the abyss.

The push and pull of continental plates is so huge compared with a puny little human. And yet, for a man named Kelcy Allen, the act of a child shielded him from the seismic forces. He’s spent decades feeling grateful to the boy who died saving his life.

Courtesy of Linda Dahlstron Anderson

Linda Dahlstrom decided she wouldn't take her husband Michael’s last name when they married. “Mrs. Michael Anderson” ​seemed like a fictional character to her: well groomed, a good cook, ​the classic ​June Cleaver. Dahlstrom did not feel like June Cleaver.  In fact, she felt like the same person she was before she was married. So she decided to keep things as they were. 

Making Amends: Sound Effect, Episode 79

Sep 3, 2016
Jennifer Wing / KNKX

This week on Sound Effect, we learn to make amends. We bring you stories of people making amends after a life of crime, siblings making amends before death, and public officials making amends to an entire city.

The Apology Bell

Courtesy of Rose Bosacker

At hospice centers throughout the Northwest, there’s a simple message written on posters and plaques and displayed throughout the halls. It says “Please forgive me,” “I forgive you,” “Thank you,” and “I love you” It’s the four things you’re supposed to express at the end of your life to find peace of mind before you die.

Anthony Curcio and his wife Emily met in sixth grade in Monroe, Washington. Emily remembers a young Anthony as good and kind. But in college, after a sports injury, Anthony became addicted to opiates and everything changed.

As Anthony’s addiction intensified, so did his criminal ambitions. He did shady realty deals, stole from foreclosed homes, anything to make an easy buck. All the time, Anthony was living a double life with Emily. For nearly a decade, he lied to her. Meanwhile, they got married and had two daughters.

Steve Kaiser / Wikimedia

Sometimes it can take a long time to come around to an apology or to even realize you did something wrong in the first place. In this next story, it took years.

It began on one fateful night in Seattle in the fall of 1999. As protesters squared off against the police during the controversial WTO conference, law enforcement chose to deploy tear gas and aggressive policing tactics.

Courtesy of Natasha Marin

Natasha Marin would like white people to know that because of the color of their skin, they have an inherent advantage, or privilege.

 

“Privilege is complicated," says Marin. "A lot of people hear the word 'privilege' and they think about luxury. Privilege is not about luxury. Especially in terms of white privilege, it’s about benefits and boosts that society affords to you because of your appearance.”

 

Ken Bosma/Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, we dream big. We bring you stories from people who dared to dream, and take a look at their successes, failures, and their respective roads ahead.

Charlie And The Rays

We meet the musicians of a local band that just released their first record. While some members of the band are too young to patronize the establishments they perform in, that hasn't stopped them from having big hopes for the future.

Jennifer Wing / KPLU

 

 

The founding members of the folk-indie rock band, Charlie and the Rays, are just getting started pursuing their dream. They hope for the day when they’re able to quit their jobs in the service industry and earn a living playing music.

 

But, when you press them a bit more, their hopes for the future are actually quite big.

 

“I want to be a rock star, and just being able to express myself in music.” said 19-year-old Rebecca Stobbee, one of the band’s vocalists.

City of Soap Lake

 

Soap Lake, in Central Washington, is a small town with a really big dream. It’s home to about 1,600 people, and its economy has seen better days. A lot of small towns in that situation might respond by trying to lure a big-box store or coming up with a snappy tourist slogan. But those ambitions are far too puny for Soap Lake.

 

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

For a long time, Melissa Rice's big dream was dance. She wanted to be a ballerina ever since she saw "The Nutcracker" at four years old. In high school, she danced three hours a day at the Pacific Northwest Ballet.

“And it got to the point where my friends who were continuing on seriously were stopping their high school studies so they could dance full time," Rice says.

However, as Rice was deciding whether she wanted to drop out of high school and take her dancing to the next level, she took an astronomy class.

How A 58-Cent Bargain-Bin Sweater Became These Pickers' Crown Jewel

Aug 27, 2016
Heritage Auction

Sean and Ricki McEvoy are professional pickers. They run an online shop called Roselyn VTG Trading Co. and they stock their inventory by scouring thrift stores all over the country looking for vintage clothing to resell.

Courtesy of Richard Berger

 

In 1968, Richard Berger was in his 20s and in medical school in Philadelphia.  It was his lifelong calling to help people — to be a doctor. But, even though he was an honor student, medical school just wasn’t what he thought it would be.

 

“What I found was a lot of authoritarian behaviors and rote memorization. I went, ‘This is so not what I envisioned.’ Here I was with this dream of what my life is going to be about and it’s like crashing into a wall at 100 miles an hour,” Berger said, thinking back to that time.

Allie Ferguson / KPLU

Tacoma arborist Mik Miazio loves trees. He has loved them since he was a kid growing up in New Jersey.

"I remember climbing my first tree when I was a kid. As soon as I was able to, I would jump right in there and disappear. I’m in my own world right there," Miazio said.

It was this love that led Miazio to discover the tallest tree in Tacoma's Point Defiance Park. He noticed the giant Douglas Fir poking out of the canopy when he moved to Tacoma three years ago.

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