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| December 5
In his 20s, Ben had the opportunity to travel with Jimmy Carter in 1990
to Nicaragua just before that country's first free elections since the
Sandanistas had come to power. Though Ben was a gofer on the trip, he
was privy to every meeting that took place between Carter and various
owner of Lord's Boxing
in north central Austin, Lord has trained a number of
championship boxers, including Jesus "el matador" Chavez, Anissa "the
Assassin" Zamarron, and his own wife Lori Lord. Lord is also
distinguished for having been a pioneer in women's boxing in Texas.
| December 19
Ardys is a 75-year-old great grandmother who won the BMW motorcycle
high mileage contest last year with 80,000+ miles over a 6 month
period! She routinely rides long distances, thinking nothing of riding
1,000 miles in a day, and prefers to ride alone. You can see a picture
of her here.
Due to a technical glitch, the first few minutes of the interview were
cut off. Here is
copy of the introduction. At the beginning of the interview, I noted
that she only rides BMW motorcycles and we discussed why (she was
ignored at a
Honda dealership); then I asked her how many BMWs she owns.
|Clarence Swensen with his
Clarence was one of the munchkins in the Wizard of Oz! He came to my
attention because the surviving munchkins were honored last month with
a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Clarence had a stroke, so his
speech is occasionally hard to understand, but he is upbeat and
delightful. You can see Clarence here.
| November 7
At age 21, Jim was in a car accident that left him in the hospital for
a year, and ultimately ended in the loss of one leg. That didn't stop
him though—he went on to compete in wheelchair sports:
bowling and tennis. He competed in national tournaments and traveled
around the world. He was in Austin promoting the publishing of his
L'Angelus is the name of a wonderful cajun band from Louisiana. All 4
members of the band are siblings. They all live at home together along
with their parents . . . and 4 other siblings! Somehow they make it all
work and perform beautifully, too. The gorgeous live performance at the
end is well worth the wait.
Janet was on just last month (see October 24 below), talking about her
huge family. Her mother was severely abused as a child and swore she
would not let it happen to her own children. And, yet, she wasn't able
to control what Janet went through, including anorexia, obsessive
compulsive disorder, and molestation by her pastor.
| October 3
The former executive director of KOOP, Amy spent 6 months hiking the
Appalachian trail. She shares lots of great stories from the trail.
When I talked to Tim, he was halfway through running 63 marathons in 63
days, and doing great. He ran to raise awareness about a degenerative
disease known as A-T.
Coming from a family of 5, I thought my family was big. Well, Janet is
one of 8 children, but there were always many, many foster children
coming and going, with sometimes as many as 17 children in the house.
Janet describes how these children came to her family, and what daily
living was like.
|Ron Burzese & Val
Ron is an excellent cyclist, but he is functionally blind. So, he rides
on a tandem and competes in all sorts of races . . . and wins. Val, one
of Ron's tandem riding partners, joins us in the studio as well.
| September 5
The host of Fais Do Do on KOOP (and my husband to boot) was attacked by
a serial killer at the age of 19. He obviously lived to tell the tale.
You can also hear another, longer version of this story on July
Mikail may be in a wheelchair due to polio, but it has not stopped him
from racing in marathons or trekking through Alaska (among other
| August 1
Growing up in Abilene, a conservative Christian town, being in touch
with yourself and going your own way was not exactly encouraged.
Melanie was the seeming perfect girl—good student,
inside she was extremely unhappy without quite knowing why. She turned
to bulimia for many years. She also got married at age
discover a few years later that she is a lesbian. What a story!
This is one of those stories you can't believe. Darcy was stabbed by
her own husband while in bed. She remembers the experience in
incredible detail, from the stabbing to the medical procedures to being
on a ventilator, and she shares it all.
| August 15
Donald has Asperger's Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. He
has amazing insight into himself—what he can do and why, as
what he can't do (e.g., read non-verbal cues).
Lissa is the manager of Aphrodite's, a couple's club, also known as a
swinger's club. She talks about who can join, the demographics of her
clientele, and what happens inside.
I had Dorothy on yet again to share another phase of her life. (See
July 4 below.) Today we talk about an unintended pregnancy at age 15
that leads to her giving her daughter up for adoption. Much later, she
meets her daughter and learns, much to her chagrin, that her daughter
was abused by her adopted parents.
| July 4
Dorothy has led such a fascinating life that I had her on Inner Views
for the 3rd time. (See December
27, 2006 and August
3, 2005) This time
we talk about a year-long phase of Dorothy's life where she lives with
her real father (meeting him for the first time as a
is no saint. He's a career criminal who proceeds to teach Dorothy how
to be a criminal, too.
| June 6
Jesse spent 3 years in prison for DWI. We learn what led him down this
path, hear about time in prison, and focus on life after prison, such
as finding a home and job.
|Steve Holman &
Steve & Steve are a gay couple with a 5-year-old son. How they
chose to have a son is intriguing: The sperm came from one of the
Steves; the egg came from a donor; and the child was carried to term by
a surrogate. The Steves share what it's like to be gay parents in
If you're an avid KOOP listener, you may already know
of the hosts of Writing
on the Air. What you may not
know about Dillon
is that he has only one arm. Dillon talks about growing up this way and
how he manages the tasks of everyday living.
Melicious of The
I'm a huge fan of women's roller derby, which was reincarnated right
here in Austin. Rollergirls RadioActive and Melicious share the good,
the bad, and the dangerous (and the fun) about being in the Texas
| May 2
years ago, Sharon
had a near-death experience, which she still remembers in great detail.
The experience was so significant to her that she thinks of her life in
2 phases: before
near-death experience and after
has become a
regular guest, having appeared on Inner Views on February 28 (see
below) and December
20, 2005. Today we learn that
Nina does not own a computer and,
though a writer, doesn't use a computer word processor to write! She
feels very strongly about her typewriter and defends it to the
de los Santos
caught my eye
through the powerful photos she took for an article in Texas Monthly
(December 2006) about Houston gangs. She shares the experience of
gaining the gang members' trust so she can photograph them, along with
other meaningful projects she is working on.
Hallock & Arthur Simone
January 24, 2006), I interviewed
Chris Caillouet about winning the O.
Henry Pun-Off. This year, I talk
to Gary about the Pun-Off
the 1989 champ, and has been a Pun-Off emcee ever since. Arthur Simone,
one of this year's contestants and winner in a category, came on the
show as well.
January 3rd of
this year (see below), I interview Tommy about being a chaplain in the
county jail system. We also discussed the fact that he is a little
person (dwarf) and how that affects his job. Today we focus entirely on
Tommy being a little person—with his wife, his
and about in his everyday life. Tommy is candid and
| April 11
|Sheri Soltes of Texas
Hearing & Service Dogs
came on Inner
Views with her dog, Pearl, who she is currently training to be a
service dog. The dogs she trains are for people who can't hear or are
mobility-impaired (as opposed to being blind), and they perform all
sorts of everyday tasks for their owners. The method of training
is positive and loving, and the work the dogs do is very, very cool.
An avid bicycle racer, Greg lost one of his legs in a car accident when
he was 42 years old. Now 51, Greg is still a very active and skilled
In 2003, Seth had gastric bypass surgery, after reaching a top weight
of 406 lbs. Today he weighs just half that, at 200 lbs. Though he lives
in California, he was in Austin after cycling here as part of a solo
cross-country bicycle ride to promote a healthy lifestyle. You can read
his full story and see
before and after photos here.
Ismael creates delightful art: sculptures carved out of individual
peanuts! You've got to see these sculptures!
|Troy Oskerson of The
used to be a
bounty hunter and private investigator. Now, he
publishes The Fugitive Post, a monthly magazine about crime. He lists
registered sex offenders, includes photos of missing children, and
offers articles about unsolved cases, forensic technology, and so on.
Troy's interest in this came about from shocking events from his own
was on Inner
Views just last month (see February 21 below) where we learned a thing
or two about this Austin homeless icon. I had him back on so he could
talk about what was foremost on his mind: how he believes he and the
homeless are treated by the Austin police. He has been arrested 86
times, most of which he believes are trumped up charges to get him off
|John Erler & Joe
Parsons of Master
guys of Master
Pancake Theater here in Austin offer a classic formula: play bad movies
and talk over them. You will laugh your butt off. John & Joe
on Inner Views to promote the kickoff of this latest comedic
incarnation. (John used to be part of the now-defunct Sinus Show.) You
may also know John Erler as the fabulous host of The Elk Mating Ritual
Show here on KOOP every Thursday. Due to a technical glitch, the first
few minutes of the interview are missing.
Ivan grew up believing he was stupid—to the point where he
of high school. Little did he know until he took an online I.Q. test
that he is actually a genius. Today he's a member of the International
High I.Q. Society, which means his I.Q. is in the top 5% of the
population. Ivan's life changed when he discovered his mental prowess.
If you live in Austin, you know who Leslie is. He's a much beloved
local icon. He is essentially homeless but he is most known for the
very skimpy women's clothing he wears. Many an Austinite has seen his
rear end, sticking out from thong underwear (and not much else); and he
is of course known for the lovely tiaras he wears on his head!
This is Nina's second visit to Inner Views (see
December 20, 2005). As a
published author herself, she shares the
secrets of how to get a book published.
The information is provided step by step, and is genuinely useful. Nina
gives a great
interview. The first few seconds of the introduction are missing.
Tommy is a chaplain in the county jail system. We'll learn why he chose
to work with a criminal population, what it's like inside, and how he
helps. Tommy is a little person (a dwarf), which adds an additional,
interesting dynamic to his work.
woman of many
accomplishments, Liz came on today to promote her funny book, Presidential
Humor. For President Johnson,
Liz served as executive
assistant to the vice president and later as White House staff director
and press secretary to Lady Bird Johnson. She was also part of
the administrations of Ford and Carter.
David practices and teaches something known as Remote Viewing, which he
was taught while in the military and performed as part of a secret
program. Remote Viewing enables you to view people,
places and things remote in time and space, all without leaving your
chair. David wrote the book Psychic
Warrior about his
fieldwork, Pattie spent a year in the Amazon jungle with the Hupda
tribe. She lived like the Hupda, ate what they ate (including grubs!),
and did what they did. Pattie describes the Hupda people and gives an
enchanting account of her experience.