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Rank #58 in Places & Travel category

Society & Culture
Personal Journals
Places & Travel

Rumble Strip

Updated 1 day ago

Rank #58 in Places & Travel category

Society & Culture
Personal Journals
Places & Travel
Read more

Good conversation that takes its time, hosted by Erica Heilman.

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Good conversation that takes its time, hosted by Erica Heilman.

iTunes Ratings

327 Ratings
Average Ratings
306
15
3
0
3

My favorite podcast

By infpos - Sep 10 2019
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Keep up the great work!

Consistent excellence, needed stories

By idvap79 - May 28 2019
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Thank you, Erica, for listening so well and honoring so many.

iTunes Ratings

327 Ratings
Average Ratings
306
15
3
0
3

My favorite podcast

By infpos - Sep 10 2019
Read more
Keep up the great work!

Consistent excellence, needed stories

By idvap79 - May 28 2019
Read more
Thank you, Erica, for listening so well and honoring so many.
Cover image of Rumble Strip

Rumble Strip

Updated 1 day ago

Rank #58 in Places & Travel category

Read more

Good conversation that takes its time, hosted by Erica Heilman.

Rank #1: Waitress

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My mother used to say that everyone should waitress at least once.

So I did. And I failed.

In this program, I talk with some of the finest waitstaff in central Vermont about life in the business of serving your food.

Appreciation:

Thanks to Jay at Sarducci’s and Brian at the Wayside Diner for lining up interviews in these two fine establishments. Additional interviews with Josh Larkin and Jodi DeGuzman.

Sep 01 2017
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Rank #2: Carl. A Different Breed of Cat

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Directions to Carl Blaisdell’s house: Go about seven miles down this road. Then there’s a road that kind of goes up to a Jersey farm on the left and then there’s a pond. But there’s no sign to the pond. So after the pond, drive past the pull-off and Carl’s trailer sits way up in a field at the top of that hill. There’s a lot of pipes. And a lot of cars and trucks. And lots and lots of hounds.

But Carl wasn’t home. And so I went back the next day and we sat in his truck and talked. Carl’s trailer looks out over the farm he ran for most of his life, then sold. After farming, Carl seemed to make a smooth transition to being a mountain man, which is how he described himself, and the name pretty much fits. He’s private. He only goes to town to get something he needs. His life is close to the ground, to his dogs, and to the outside.

Larry Massett was inspired by the hounds and made this short piece. It’s called Where’s Carl.


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Credits

This interview was conducted while I was reporting for an episode about the Northeast Kingdom, by Brave Little State, which you can find HERE.

Music for this episode is by Emily Kueppers

And here’s a link to Caplan’s Army Store, where I have bought a LOT of socks.

Apr 24 2018
16 mins
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Rank #3: Hill Farm

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Peter Dunning’s farm is a Vermont hill farm. It’s a hundred and thirty-six acres of forest and orchards and wet spots and steep, rocky pasture, picked over by farmers for hundreds of years. It’s the kind of place that does not lend itself to the industrial production of anything. Instead it lends itself to the production of…everything.

Peter has farmed here, mostly alone, for nearly forty years. Now he’s getting done. The animals are gone. The farm is growing up around him.

Here’s his story.

Credits

I learned of Peter Dunning from a documentary, Peter and the Farm. It’s stunning. Watch it if you can….

Music for this show by David Schulman and Quiet Life Motel

Thank you Geof Hewitt for your help with the poetry!

This show also features the last verse of a remarkable poem called Marshall Washer, by Vermont poet Hayden Carruth. Here’s the full text.

Sep 24 2017
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Rank #4: After the Forgetting

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This is a show about love, family and dementia. Part one features a show I made in 2008 about one family’s experience living with an elderly mother’s progressive dementia. Part two features an interview with one of the story’s main characters, Greg Sharrow, about what’s changed, and what he’s learned, in the five years since we made After the Forgetting.

After the Forgetting features Greg Sharrow, Bob Hooker, and Marjorie Sharrow. Greg did a lot of marvelous interviews with his mother for this show.

Bob and Marj

Greg and Marj

Apr 02 2015
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Rank #5: Hitchhiker

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This is another guest show from radio producer Scott Carrier, which he produced when he was twenty-six. He hitchhiked across the United States, interviewed people along the way, and ended up at the door of NPR in Washington, DC with an armful of tape. This is Scott’s first story.

Scott produces my favorite podcast. It’s called Home of the Brave.

Jan 10 2018
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Rank #6: The Museum of Everyday Life

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The mission of The Museum of Everyday Life is “a heroic, slow-motion cataloguing of the quotidian–a detailed, theatrical expression of gratitude and love for the miniscule and unglamorous experience of daily life in all its forms.”

The museum’s home is in a barn on Route 16 in the Northeast Kingdom. It is my favorite museum. This is a show featuring the museum’s creator, Clare Dolan.

Credits

This show is co-produced by Erica Heilman and Mark Davis. Mark is my friend and a very good journalist at Seven Days. Here are some of my favorite articles from Mark:

Feuding in Victory

Death by opiates in 2016

Final conversations with overdose victims

A fond rembrance of Howard Frank Mosher

Game warden Pictures from the Museum of Everyday Life, in summer and winter

One of my favorite things in the toothbrush exhibit.

Oct 28 2017
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Rank #7: Inside DCF

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It has been a very troubling few years at Vermont’s Department of Children and Families. In 2014 there was a string of child deaths in Vermont–children in families involved with DCF. These deaths prompted intense anger and at least four investigations into the department.

Then on August 7, 2015, Lara Sobel, a caseworker at DCF, was shot as she left the DCF offices in Barre, Vermont. She was shot and killed by a woman who was angry after losing custody of her daughter to DCF the month before.

The Department of Children and Families flares up in the news, then the news subsides. We hear from the governor, from the DCF commissioner, from legislators and journalists and commentators. But the people we never hear from are the people who actually do the work. And this is by design. The work that DCF caseworkers do is intensely private, and in order to protect the privacy of parents and children, caseworkers are not allowed to talk publicly about their cases. In a way, their silence shields us from some of the darkest, most complex, most intractable problems in our state.

In this show you’ll hear from three DCF caseworkers from three different areas of Vermont. For their own safety, I’ve chosen not to use their names. They talk about what it’s like to have a job where the lives of children and families are at stake. [soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/243544411″ params=”color=ff5500&inverse=false&auto_play=false&show_user=true” width=”100%” height=”20″ iframe=”true” /]

Credits and Thanks

Music for this show by Brian Clark and Peter Cressy

I would like to thank Luciana at DCF, and all the caseworkers who gave me such generous time in the making of this show.

Thanks also to Tally Abecassis, Mark Davis, Scott Carrier, Kelly Green, and Colin McCaffrey for various and sundry and important support.

Jan 24 2016
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Rank #8: Vermont Private Eye

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[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/216364394″ params=”color=ff5500&inverse=false&auto_play=false&show_user=true” width=”100%” height=”20″ iframe=”true” /]

This is an interview with a very old friend of mine, and the person who trained me as a private investigator. She taught me everything from basics like how to look up criminal records to the very advanced skills I learned. Susan Randall has been a PI in Vermont for fifteen years. She works on the some of the biggest cases in the state…and she’s really good. Susan can find anyone, and she can get them to talk about anything. And most of the time she’s working on fifty to seventy-five cases at the same time.

Last week I went over to her house. We lay in deck chairs in her back yard and we talked about the job. About crime, lawyers, and what it means to give so much of your life to exploring dark stories.

Susan Randall does criminal defense work in both federal and state court. She also does civil litigation. In the past ten years she’s started to focus on creative storytelling that’s necessary in sentencing mitigation work. She works primarily in Vermont but has worked all over the country. She runs Vermont Private Eye with her partner, Andrew Bartnick.

Jul 26 2015
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Rank #9: Game Warden

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I spent a day riding around with game warden, Jeff Whipple, on the second weekend of deer season…just when some hunters are getting frustrated they haven’t got their deer yet.

Exciting things happened.

Game wardens are like nature’s cops. They’re trained in law enforcement, but they’re also conservationists. Their job is to look after the wilderness areas and forests that make up 75 percent of Vermont. They’re spread thin across the state, so in order to respond quickly to calls, they have to work in the districts where they live. That means that their neighbors are also their constituents.

What’s most interesting to ME about game wardens is they come into contact with just about every kind of Vermonter, and they have to be able to talk with anyone. I love people like that.

Jeff lives in Chelsea, Vermont. His district includes areas of Orange and Windsor counties. His district is crazy beautiful.

Jan 10 2019
22 mins
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Rank #10: A Beer with Ben Hewitt

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[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/249825433″ params=”color=ff5500&inverse=false&auto_play=false&show_user=true” width=”100%” height=”20″ iframe=”true” /]Twenty years ago, Ben Hewitt and his wife Penny bought forty acres of land in Cabot, Vermont and started their first homestead. In Vermont, the word ‘homestead’ generally refers to people who build their own houses and live self sufficiently to one degree or another…with varying degrees of success. One of the most important characteristics of the homesteaders I’ve known is a deep affinity for the physical world. Knowing how it works, and how to live in it.

Ben and Penny and their two boys are some of the most committed homesteaders in this state. They run a small hill farm and raise ninety percent of their own food. Ben makes a living writing about this life they’ve made. I visited him at his new homestead in Stannard, and we sat and talked by the woodstove that currently doubles up as the cookstove. And we drank some really good beer.

Welcome.

If any of you out there are homesteaders and you have a picture from your homesteading life, I’d love to feature it at the bottom of this page. My friend Robby sent me a CLASSIC, which you’ll see below…and I’d love to add more…

Credits

Ben Hewitt’s blog is HERE.

Music for this show was made by Brian Clark of Calais, Vermont. You can listen to more of Brian’s music HERE.

Robby Porter, Calais VT 1973. Photo by Alex MacPhail…for bettter resolution, click here.

“Hunting is an important part of putting meat on the table on my homestead.” –Robin Follette

​Shivani Arjuna’s homestead, Coulee Meadow Farm

Doug Welch and his oxen, Buster and Bud, in the northern Adirondack foothills.

Mar 02 2016
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Rank #11: I Am In Here

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[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/230694656″ params=”color=ff5500&inverse=false&auto_play=false&show_user=true” width=”100%” height=”20″ iframe=”true” /] Mark Utter was born with a form of autism that makes it impossible for him to say what he’s thinking. For the first thirty years of his life, Mark did not have access to the world of words, except as a listener. An observer. When he was thirty, he was introduced to supported typing, and for the first time in his life, with the help of a facilitator and a typing pad, Mark started his life as a writer of words. This is an interview about what it’s like inside the life and mind of Mark Utter.

Kudos and Credits

50 Best Podcasts of 2015, The Atlantic Monthly…#38

Mark Utter lives in Colchester, Vermont. He receives services that assist his day to day ventures with negotiating a world that functions differently than he does. The more you read about him the more you will realize that we are more alike than different.

Emily Anderson is trained to support people who type to communicate. She was the producer of “I am in here.” She has a background in social/political theater and uses it to assist creative projects that bring odd people more positively into the limelight.

Mark’s Web site: www.utterenergy.org

To view the “I am in here” trailer or purchase the DVD: http://www.utterenergy.org/iaminhere/

Mark’s Blog: http://www.utterenergy.org/blog/

For more information on the form of communication Mark uses: http://www.utterenergy.org/supported-typing/

Music for this show by Podington Bear, and the Free Music Archive

Kudos

Best in Show from The Timbre!

Oct 29 2015
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Rank #12: Thomas Talks About Coming Out. Twice.

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Thomas Caswell has autism. Which doesn’t tell you very much about him.

Autism doesn’t describe a person. If you’ve met one person with autism, then you’ve met one person…with autism. But over the last couple years Thomas has been coming out of the closet, in stages. And along with the common difficulties of coming out, there are some special difficulties if you’re a person with a disability. In this show, Thomas talks about growing up with autism, and growing into his life as a gay man.

Credits and Links

Thank you to the amazing Emily Anderson, the advocacy facilitator and Bridging coordinator, at Champlain Community Services, which focuses on career development for people with intellectual disabilities and autism.
The Bridging Program helps students negotiate the transition from high school to adulthood.
Thomas is working on a Sartac fellowship through Green Mountain Self Advocates.
Champlain Voices encourages people to express themselves through self-advocacy.

Music for this show is by Brian Clark and Mike Donofrio.
Also, Blues Arrangement for Toy Piano and Piano Margaret Leng Tan Reviews Here’s a lovely review of the show by my favorite podcast reviewer, Ben Cannon.
Jul 20 2018
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Rank #13: Another Day Older

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I was meeting a friend at a coffee shop and a song came on the radio that I hadn’t heard since I was in my late twenties. It reminded me of a time when I’d stay up all night long with friends, talking and drinking around bonfires. It was before children and spouses, and before everyone moved to wherever it is they went. It was a time when we had endless amounts of time.

So when I heard this song after so long, I remembered this time. And it hadn’t occurred to me until right then, twenty years later, standing in this coffee shop, that that time was over. And twenty years had passed.

It all happened so…gradually.

In this show, you’ll hear from women of all ages, from five to eighty-five. They talk about how they imagine their lives will be, how their lives are, and how their lives have been.

Welcome!

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Credits

I produced this program with my great friend Tamar Cole, who is a screenwriter, playwright and writing coach. She lives in Montpelier, Vermont

Many thanks to these great people for their time and their insights:

Mary Wesley

Lee Casagrande

Bess O’Brien

Mary Jacobsen

Leda Schubert

Marilyn Skoglund

Helen Rose Warshovsky (photographed above…)

Brenna Christianson

Aine Fannon

Jun 03 2015
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Rank #14: Dunkin’ Donuts

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It’s really dark here in Vermont this time of year. And every year, by the third week in January, I feel like I’m seeing everything through the wrong end of a telescope. A dirty telescope. I stop wanting to answer the phone. I have a hard time picking out a cereal at the store. Most mornings it just seems easier to wear what I wore to bed.

After Trump’s first week in office, I feel worse than most years. And actually the whole world seems on edge. It seems like no one can decide how to help or what to do. Or how much to look or look away.

Dunkin’ Donuts and the library are the last two public places in most towns around here where everyone’s welcome and no one wonders how long you’ll be there. For about a dollar you can stay at Dunkin’ Donuts as long as you want. I went there to talk with people. Not about Trump necessarily. But about how their lives are going, and whether they fit into the famous middle class we keep hearing so much about. Also I went there because in January in Vermont, it’s good to sit in a bright place with a cup of coffee and talk with strangers.

Credits and Thanks
My thanks to John Dillon and Scott Carrier. The music in the end of this show is by Vermont musician Peter Cressy.

Jan 31 2017
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Rank #15: Deer Camp

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I spent the night before deer season at Jim Welch’s deer camp in Chelsea, Vermont. His camp is an old school bus, outfitted with a woodstove and a couple pallets in the back for sleeping. To get to it you have to drive through Mr. Bradshaw’s barnyard and then about a half mile across a field. The bus has been there for as long as Jim can remember and Mr. Bradshaw lets him use it.

So a bunch of Jim’s friends were coming out to the bus to do what they always do the night before deer season, which is mostly drink beer, tell deer stories, eat burned hamburgers, bitch about hunting permissions and land use and give each other a hard time. And no surprise, there was plenty of profanity. And since there’s no movie theater, no bowling alley or much cell service in this valley, fun is something you have to make up together as you go along….

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Feb 11 2019
14 mins
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Rank #16: Victim Advocate

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The criminal justice system is not designed to answer to the needs of crime victims. It’s designed to figure out if there’s enough evidence to bring a case. If there is, a defense attorney builds a case for the defendant and a prosecutor builds a case for the state of Vermont. The alleged victim in the case becomes a witness in their own story. They may have felt the impact of a crime, but they play no direct role in how the crime is adjudicated. For most people brand new to the system, this comes as a shock.

In every Vermont prosecutor’s office, in the Vermont State Police, in the Department of Corrections, there are people who see to the needs of these victims, from the time a crime is reported until long after the attorneys have gone home. It’s not their job to build cases or determine guilt or innocence. Their job is to support the victims in their cases. And that can mean a million different things. But always it’s complex and deeply personal.

This is a story about the victim advocates.

This show features:

Kate Brayton, victim advocate for Vermont’s Major Crime Unit

Amy Farr, victim advocate for Vermont’s Attorney General’s Office

Val Gauthier, victim specialist at the FBI covering Vermont and the Plattsburgh area

Aimee Stearns, victim witness coordinator at Vermont’s U.S. Attorney’s office

Danielle Levesque, victim service specialist at Vermont’s Department of Corrections

Kelly Woodward, victim advocate at the Franklin County State’s Attorney’s Office and victim advocate at the Northwest Unit for Special Investigations

Big Thanks to Toni Monsey for introducing me to these women, and to Jessica Dorr, Corrections Services Director.

Music for this show by Vermont musician Brian Clark and Kai Engel

This show is sponsored by Honey Road, the best restaurant in Burlington, Vermont. Click below for menu and accolades….

May 10 2019
23 mins
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Rank #17: Scott’s Nature

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I’ve been reading the news too much. I read every version of the same story in every news outlet, and sometimes I forget I’ve read them and I read them again. I think a lot of people are feeling concerned and even scared. But I thought it would be good to remember some of the important things that are not the news.

I asked Scott Carrier to tell me about a place in the wilderness, in a high meadow, far, far away from the news.

It’s a musical.

Credits

Willie Tobin provided the nature sound for this show. It was recorded on a September day in a clearing on the southwest side of Gillespie Mountain in Hancock, Vermont. I am so grateful to have these recordings. Thank you Willie!

Thank you Larry Massett and Tobin Anderson.

Dec 05 2017
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Rank #18: The Defense

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In cases where a defendant seems unjustly accused, the defense attorney is our hero. But if they seem guilty…or if it’s an especially violent crime, we look at these lawyers and wonder…how can they do that?

This is a show about the people who stand with the accused.

You’ll hear five perspectives on the art of criminal defense. You’ll hear about what drew these attorneys to criminal law, preparing for trial and cross examinations, and how this work colors their views on our state of Vermont. And you’ll hear some great stories.

Please leave your comments at the bottom of this page!!

Hear the Full Interviews

Here are the (relatively) unedited interviews with the attorneys. I’ve removed redundancies, overly personal material, and questions of my own that were too wandering and obtuse. Sadly, the interview with Scott Williams was too damaged to include. I salvaged small sections for the show, but most of the interview suffered from ‘faulty microphone.’

Dan Sedon:

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Kelly Green:

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Kerry DeWolfe Part 1:

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Kerry DeWolfe Part 2:

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Richard Rubin Part 1:

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Richard Rubin Part 2:

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The Lawyers

Richard Rubin Esq., Rubin, Kidney, Meyer & Vincent

Kerry B. DeWolfe, Esq., Appellate Division, Office of the Defender General

Dan Sedon, Esq., Sedon and Ericson, P.C., Chelsea, Vermont

Kelly Green, Esq., Staff Attorney, Prisoner’s Rights Office, Office of the Defender General

Scott R. Williams, Esq., Williams Law Group, LLC

Special Thanks

This show was mixed by the wonderful Colin McCaffrey. The featured photo is another great contribution by Josh Larkin. Thanks too to David Schulman for his music!

And thanks to Colin Dickerman, G, RSH, Larry Massett and especially Tamar Cole for all the help and feedback.

Sep 10 2015
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Rank #19: Jesse

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[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/257971136″ params=”color=ff5500&inverse=false&auto_play=false&show_user=true” width=”100%” height=”20″ iframe=”true” /] 

For most of Jesse’s early childhood, her mother was addicted to crystal meth. She called it her ‘high functioning addict period’. She kept a spotless house, worked a regular job and had four well behaved kids. Then Jesse’s mom started using opiates, and everything changed. She lost the job, lost the money, and it became harder to keep a car.  The eviction notices started coming. For a time, with the help of Suboxone, she got clean. Then in 2010, her youngest son died in a car accident. He was seven at the time. After that she relapsed and everything got a whole lot worse. She never agreed to go to the Knoxville substance abuse treatment center that was suggested numerous times. Things were getting worse faster than we could build up hope.

In this show, Jesse talks about what it was like to grow up at the mercy of her mother’s addictions. Her home life, her school life, and her thoughts about her own future.

Music for this show is by Peter Cressy, of Plainfield, Vermont

Apr 08 2016
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Rank #20: A Good Death

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My friend Tim Kasten died two weeks ago.

Ever since I met Tim, he’s been preparing for his own death. Partly because he had significant medical issues. But I think mostly he was preparing for his death because he wanted to. Thinking about the impermanence of life gave his life meaning. He was one of the most spiritually curious people I’ve ever met.

In this show, we hear from Tim, on death and dying. And we also chronicle the building of his casket…or his simple pine box…built by family and friends. Vermont style.

This show is sponsored by The Alchemist Brewery in Stowe and Waterbury, Vermont. Some of the world’s best beer. You can click on the logo to check out this stellar brewery, and please crack one for me. You won’t be sorry.

More Tim Music:

I couldn’t figure out how to embed a soundcloud link here, but here’s a link to Tim singing

We Shall Overcome

Lord Lord Lord

Tim doing the crossword.

Dec 14 2017
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