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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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.

By Master Sgt. Lance Cheung of U.S. Air Force [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This week on Sound Effect, we share stories from people who have had sports affect their lives in different ways. 

Peru’s First Winter Olympian

Roberto Carcelen was the first Peruvian to ever compete in the Winter Olympics. But just ten days before his second Winter Olympics, the cross-country skier fell while practicing, suffering major injuries. He decided to ski anyway, and inspired a country in the process. 

Medicine Game

Caleb Lacrosse Game, March 2017 by Daniel X. O'Neil is licensed under CC BY http://bit.ly/2vJ0PSa

The sport of lacrosse was created centuries ago by Native American and First Nations people from the east coast and Canada. 

These days, a group of teenage boys from the Federal Way area is learning how to play the "medicine game," which is the traditional term for the sport, from an experienced player and teacher.  

Dave Waterman is the coach of the Ohngwe Lacrosse. "I’m known as Gienhyaw. I’m from the Turtle Clan, Oneida Nation, Six nation Iroquois with the Haudenosaunee."

Aaron D'Errico

This story originally aired on July 11, 2015.

Aaron D'Errico had one dream as a child — to be a soccer star in the same manner as his father, David D'Errico, an original Seattle Sounder and former U.S. Men's National Team captain. 

But where Aaron's dreams went, his body couldn't follow. Born with cerebral palsy, Aaron was never going to be a much of a soccer player, much less a professional. That wasn't about to stop him, however.

The Friday Harbor man put pen to paper and created Ammon Walker, a comic book superhero and super-spy who uses his status as a professional soccer star as his cover. Like Aaron, Ammon has cerebral palsy. But unlike his creator, Ammon has developed technology that allows his body to overcome it.

AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth

This story originally aired on November 5, 2016.

There has been a lot of attention paid in recent years to the risks of playing professional football. While head injuries are nothing new to football, the National Football League implemented nine years ago, and has since constantly tweaked a concussion protocol, and has adjusted other rules to assist in player safety.

Brian Liesse / Seattle Thunderbirds

This story originally aired on November 17, 2015.

Sports have such a powerful hold on our culture that lawmakers are often willing to take extraordinary steps to keep teams and fans happy. Even the U.S. Supreme Court exempted pro baseball from antitrust laws way back in 1922.

Here in Washington state, we have our own exception to the rule when it comes to sports.

Courtesy Lane Czaplinski

This story originally aired on April 29, 2017.  

Lane Czaplinski has been the artistic director at On The Boards, a Seattle-based contemporary performing arts organization since 2002. He has basically been working in the arts since he graduated college. But in his senior year of college, a series of unusual circumstances led to him climbing the ranks of one of the most historic and decorated college basketball programs in the country.

VIEWING 3D IMAX CLIPS BY NASA GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER IS LICENSED BY CC BY-NC 2.0 BIT.LY/2MQPQO4 / FLICKR

This show originally aired on April 1, 2017.

This week on Sound Effect, we share stories from people under the influence of mentors, substances, music, and society. 

At The Throne

Kevin Kniestedt

When Brian McDonald, a screenwriter, teacher and author was living in Seattle in the mid-90s, he says that, while talented, he had seen about 15 years of closed doors as far as his career was concerned.

Knowing that the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright August Wilson also lived in Seattle, Wilson had dreams of one day meeting him and learning from him.

Credit Marianne Spellman/Popthomology

Seattle musician and artist Shannon Perry is known for her exquisite tattoo work and incredible musical presence. But six years ago, while in rehab for Adderall abuse, she felt very alone.

Perry picked up smoking again so she could socialize with the other people, but it didn't help.  Rather than go numb from the isolation and boredom, she started to make things.

Playing the drums on the floor with her hands and singing songs in a whisper, Perry used music to fill her time and she figured out a way to record these rehab writings and songs.

Courtesy of Tim Olsen

Adults are constantly influencing the kids around them, whether it's as parents, teachers or mentors. For better and for worse, key adults can shape the trajectory of children and inspire their path as those children grow up.

Tacoma native Tim Olsen found a mentor in local guitar maker and musician Harvey Thomas. Fifty years later, Olsen still reflects on his old role model with a wry smile.

"He was a true eccentric, through and through," says Olsen.

Courtesy of Bethany Morrow and Will Taylor

The world of children’s books is lily white. The vast majority of people writing kids’ books are white and their characters are usually white, too.

 

There are more animals and trucks that appear as characters in kids books than there are African-American characters.

 

Pike Place Farmers Market Express by Seattle City Council IS LICENSED BY CC BY-NC 2.0 http://bit.ly/2f6qsJp / Flickr

This week, stories of food and the people who love to make it. 

One More Round

In Ethiopian culture, drinking coffee is an extremely social affair. It's all about relaxing with friends and family. Seattle native Solomon Dubie wants to bring that to his Rainier Valley coffee shop, Cafe Avole. He gives us a taste of what it's like to drink from the traditional Ethiopian coffee pot, the jebena. 

Dinner In The Dark

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