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 Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme.

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El-Toro/Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, we hear stories of people who learned to hustle.

The Cookie Hustle

They may seem sweet (and they are), but sisters Hayden and Rena Korbol mean business. They are two of the top cookie sellers for the girl scouts in Western Washington, selling over 1,600 boxes each last year.

The Bootleg King

1998.31.1.126, Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma (Wash.)

 

Back in the 1920’s a Seattle police officer spotted a lucrative opportunity, and hustled fast to make it happen. His name was Roy Olmstead and for a time, he became a very rich man by running a highly illegal activity.

 

During prohibition, Olmstead supplied a dry Northwest with alcohol. Lots of alcohol. The good stuff too. Not moonshine.

 

No one is really certain how Olmstead went from being an enforcer of the law to a lawbreaker, but it’s believed he had a lot of help.

 

Will James / KNKX

Growing up Roma meant growing up fast -- and learning how to hustle. 

That's how Miller Steve describes it. He was raised in Tacoma's Roma community in the 70's and 80's, when it was a close-knit collection of families, all descended from a nomadic minority group in Europe

Courtesy Gracelynn Shibamaya

College is really expensive. People take out loans, they work a million odd jobs, and if you’re lucky, you have parents who set up a college fund. When Gracelynn Shibayama was 17 years old, she had a college fund. But then, she got an email from her parents.    

“We had to use your college fund to pay for Calvin’s rehab. So, at that point it was like, Oh, this is getting really serious and if I want to go to college, and I thought that was going to be there, I’m going to have to start thinking about it now,” says Gracelynn.

el-toro / Flickr

Pinball was considered gambling in the 1950s and 1960s. But Seattle's city leaders, police and King County Prosecutor Charles O. Carroll all turned a blind eye to the game as part of what was known as the "Tolerance Policy." 

Courtesy of Wil Miller

In the late 1990s, WIl MIller was working as a King County prosecutor in Seattle. And for the first time, he was exploring the gay nightlife. Spending his evenings in the city’s gay bars introduced him to his future lover and, through him, to crystal meth.

“If you're a gay man in the 90s and you're a little overweight and you’re a little self-conscious, it really seemed to solve all of my problems,” Miller said. “It played into every one of my weaknesses.”

Winning The Pot Lottery Doesn't Always Mean Greener Pastures

Sep 16, 2017
Courtesy Tahoma Growers Farm

This story originally aired on May 13, 2017.

When Washington state legalized recreational marijuana in 2013, the state held a lottery to award around 200 grower permits. Thousands applied, and on a whim, so did a group of friends that just happened to own a patch of land near Goldendale, in Eastern Washington. They never really thought they’d win, so when they did, it came as a shock. 

WINDY ON WASHINGTON 123 BY DAVEYNIN LICENSED UNDER CC BY 2.0 BIT.LY/2Q6JJFY / FLICKR

 

This show originally aired on May 13, 2017.

This week on Sound Effect, stories of that moment when everything changes for better or worse.

It's Showtime

Steve Wilson

Television producer and director, Steve Wilson, says making television is just like making cheese.

 

“People consume cheese. Some people make really good cheese. Other people make really terrible cheese. But, everybody eats cheese —and I make the cheese,” he told us.

 

 

How One Very Tall Christmas Tree Saved Northgate Mall

Sep 16, 2017
Courtesy of C.R. Douglas

This story originally aired on May 13, 2017.

Back in 1950, Northgate Mall was just opening its doors. It was struggling to get off its feet and fill empty shops. Big local retailers like Nordstrom and Friedlander didn’t believe that a regional shopping center all the way up north could survive. At that time, downtown was where people went to shop.  

Jim Douglas set out to change this. Douglas helped launch major city legacies like SeaFair and the World’s Fair, but his crowning achievement was saving Northgate.

Courtesy Marvin Charles

This story originally aired on May 13, 2017.

Marvin Charles is the co-founder of a Seattle organization called DADS —Divine Alternative for Dads Services. Marvin and his wife, Jeanett, help men from all walks of life get back on their feet, find work and ultimately, reconnect with their kids.

Now, you might think that Marvin must be one of these parents who know all — a go-to person whose advice is golden and who comes from a loving home himself.

This is how Marvin’s life started. But then things got really complicated.

Courtesy of Wendy Hinman

This story originally aired on May 13, 2017.

Off the coast of Fiji in the Pacific Ocean, brightly colored coral reefs sit a few inches below translucent waves. It’s these unsuspecting reefs that changed everything for one family back in 1974.

Their story starts in the early 1970s in San Francisco Bay where Chuck Wilcox and his wife Dawn loved to sail with their two kids, Garth and Linda. They would glide through the waters of the protected bay, Chuck dreaming of life at sea and Dawn imagining all the new places they could visit.

This week on Sound Effect, we hear stories of people who refused to give up.

Billy Idolator

Hebah Fisher

 

Mohamed Farid loves the water. He’s been drawn to it ever since he was a little boy. He started sailing small boats when he was in his twenties in Dubai. These smaller vessels capsize easily. Since he was sailing in the warm waters of the Persian Gulf, this was not a problem.

 

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

Last June, Ana Ramirez headed to a meeting of the Western Washington University student government. She had just been elected as Vice President for Governmental Affairs and, as it turned out, the meeting was about her.

Ramirez, now a 19-year-old sophomore, is an undocumented immigrant, brought into the United States from Mexico when she was six months old. She had just learned from university administrators that she wouldn’t be allowed to assume the position she had campaigned for and won.

And sure enough, when she arrived at that meeting, she was told to leave.

Courtesy of Michael Henrichsen

Michael ​Henrichsen’s parents met at a Duran Duran concert. He’s named after the lead singer of INXS. He practically has 1980s and 90s pop music in his DNA. So maybe it’s no surprise that, after hearing a Debbie Gibson song in a piano bar, the 30-year old Henrichsen got a little obsessed.

Credit Chris Cozzone

Tricia Arcaro Turton’s career started with a big fat “no.” She says she was never one to be discouraged just because someone tells her she can’t do something. And at a young age, she was told that she couldn’t be a 

boxer. She decided to write off the sport all together.

But later in life she would undergo grueling training, and eventually became a professional boxer. This, of course, came after she played elite rugby on the United States national team. She’d rack up 8 wins and 4 losses as a boxer before retiring in 2005, and now she has her own gym.

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

 

When Meg Martin first moved to Olympia, Washington from Montana in 2007, she was recovering from a drug addiction and looking to start a new life. In Olympia, she threw herself into outreach work. She volunteered for a program that uses bicycles to deliver clean needles to people on the street who use injection drugs.

 

Night after night, she’d encounter people who were homeless. Because these men and women were actively using drugs, they were not eligible to stay in area shelters.

 

By Sir Gerald Festus Kelly/Public Domain

This week on Sound Effect, we hear stories of royalty in all different forms.

The Princess Bride

You may have seen the pictures online, or on the Today Show or wherever. The headline is usually something like, “Little Girl Mistakes Bride for Princess from her Favorite Storybook.” And we joined the bride, the mother and the daughter for a little reunion, in front of the Hotel Ballard.

Purple Mane

Scott Robertson

 

Weddings are one of the few events in our lives that are planned with precision and detail. They can be logistical challenges involving food, entertaining guests, making time to take photographs and figuring out which music to play that will coax people onto the dance floor.

 

On the day Shandance Robertson got married in February, something completely unexpected happened that was not part of the plan.

 

The Music Of Prince Brings Two People Together In An Unlikely Way

Sep 2, 2017
Courtesy Leah Tousignant

Robbie Luna is a man of many hats, a Seattle area carpenter by day, and by night he fronts two bands, one of which is a Prince cover band called "Purple Mane." With Prince's 2016 death the band suddenly found 

Courtesy Daniel Brown

For many in the Seattle area, Royal Brougham might be little more than a regal sounding street near Safeco Field. But Royal Brougham was actually one of the longest tenured reporters in U.S. newspaper history, working 68 years, primarily as a sports columnist and editor, for the Seattle Post Intelligencer.

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

In the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle, tucked among the bungalows sits an ornate yellow and red building. On one side flies the American flag, and on the other flies what’s called the Dharma Flag.

This monastery is one of the most important sites in the world for one of the four major traditions  of Tibetan Buddhism -- the Sakya school. And it houses a genuine princess: Her Eminence Dagmo Kusho Sakya is one of the most prominent female lamas in Tibetan Buddhism, and the widow of the man man once held the Sakya throne. She goes by Dagmola to her friends.

Courtesy Julius Brown

 

There is an unassuming, boxy building on the corner of Martin Luther King Junior Way and South 17th Street in Tacoma. This is the home Prince Hall Masonic Temple of the Freemasons. The organization is a worldwide fraternity that’s been around for hundreds of years. It’s known for its secret symbols and rituals.

 

Prince Hall is a traditionally African American branch of freemasonry named after a man from the 1700’s who had to personally ask the King of England for permission to join the Freemasons.

 

LUCY PEMONI / ASSOCIATED PRESS

This week on Sound Effect, we hear stories of what it means to pass down old tales, traditions, businesses and music to the next generation.

Jennifer Wing / KNKX

Sharon Maeda inherited a unique legacy from her grandfather. It was built around his value of community service and it involves free fruit.

As a child in Portland, Maeda would take the bus with her grandfather to visit all different types of people. Sometimes they would travel to tenements or walk down dingy hallways.

Marcus Harrison Green says people of color tend to be responsible for talking about racism to each other and to white people. But what does it look like when white people talk to each other about race?

Michal Lotzkar

After World War Two, when millions of Jews and other groups were murdered by the Nazis, the world made a promise: Never forget. But soon, the generation that remembers firsthand, the people who survived, will be gone.

AP Photo

A pianist and saxophonist, Billy Tipton became a fixture of the jazz scene in the Northwest. He frequented clubs here in the late 1940s and early '50s, first as a soloist and then with his trio.  Billy was a regular at places like the Elks club in Longview, Washington.  

After recording several albums, he decided to settle in Spokane, where he died in 1989. That's when more of Billy Tipton's story began to emerge. 

Credit Gabriel Spitzer

Out in Elma, Washington, there’s a modest dairy farm, set against the backdrop of low hills and the cooling towers of the defunct Satsop nuclear power plant. On the farm, cows are doing what cows do.

Jose Torres owns the place. But that wasn’t always the case. Jose started out as an ordinary farm worker, when this farm was owned by Bill Goeres. Bill’s father farmed around here, and so did his grandfather. But eventually, Bill became sick. He had to make a decision as to whom he would pass on this land and this way of life.

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