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The Spot: Hornbeams & Whiskey Tenors

This week on KALW's showcase for the best stories from public radio podcasts and independent radio producers...

Excerpt from “At a Loss for Words,” produced by Mira Burt-­Wintonick and CristalDuhaime for the CBC podcast Love Me, originally aired June 9, 2016.

In their first episode, the podcast Love Me introduces us to a San Francisco couple who head into that linguistic grey area heart-first. Produced by a radio A-team of Mira Burt-­Wintonick and Cristal Duhaime, and hosted by Radio Reporter Lu Olkowski, the weekly show is a deep and sometimes unexpected dive into the messiness of human connection, and in this story, the complexities of telling someone how you feel, when language just won’t suffice. Listen to the full episode now at CBC.ca and subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher.

Trying to know what’s inside someone’s mind, and understand their gesticulations and silent communications, isn’t an entirely intuitive course. On top of all of that, what do you do if you don’t have the bond of a verbal language in common either? How do people make that work? 

“Voices of Youth Keep Lushootseed Language Alive,” reported by Ben Gauld for KUOW’sRadioActive, originally aired June 24, 2015.

KUOW Photo/Ben Gauld
Maria Martin teaches Lushootseed to preschoolers at the Tulalip Montessori.

As languages spread, mix, and mash across our planet, and more technologies are developed to try to untwist it all for us, the lines of language are getting blurred. According to the New York Times, almost half of the 6,500 documented languages across the world are projected to fall out of use by the end of the century. One of those endangered languages is spoken on our Pacific Coast, in Washington’s Puget Sound region. In our next story, KUOW Seattle’s Ben Gauld profiles one speaker trying to save it.

This story was produced in 2015 in KUOW’sRadioActive workshop for high school students. Learn more at kuow.org/radioactive, where you’ll also find links to subscribe to their podcast.  

“Jim and Martha: 56 years and Karaoke,” produced by Sara Paul, originally aired in 2011. 

I’ve book ended this episode of The Spot with stories from couples. Apologies if you’re not into that sort of radio, but this next story isn’t too gushy. In fact, it might even be a little rough on your ears.  Meet Jim and Martha, who at the time of this recording were celebrating over 50 years of marriage. And it was only a little while before then that they discovered a new language of love. One that needs amplification. 

This piece was made by independent radio producer Sara Paul in 2011. We contacted Sara to ask about how Jim and Martha were doing, but we didn’t hear back before today’s air date. We hope you’re doing aces Jim and Martha, and still giving the mic hell. 

This week's episode featured music from: Black Moth Super Rainbow, Ratatat, DJ Koze, Patsy Cline, and Richard Groove Holmes.

If you have a suggestion for a podcast or an audio project we should feature, please drop us a line at thespot@kalw.org.

Tune in next week for another episode of The Spot, only on 91.7 KALW San Francisco.