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Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

Kansans Who Got Coronavirus Still Struggling Weeks Or Months Later

WICHITA, Kansas — More than 26,000 people in Kansas have contracted COVID-19. Roughly 350 of them have died. While that’s a low death rate, survivors talk of the brutality of the disease, and how full recovery can prove elusive even months after getting infected.

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I’ve never been able to pass up an estate sale and stopped in at one last week in modest little home. The tattered art prints and hundreds of books painted a picture of a person with intellectual curiosity about the world of ideas. The small living room was dominated by a seriously grand piano standing proudly out among a few worn and threadbare sticks of furniture.

While I was in the basement, someone sat at that piano and played a flourishing rendition of “I Will Always Love You.” It echoed easily through the thin floors and walls of that once-beloved home.

What a weird holiday Halloween is.

It’s like some sort of phantom holiday that we all know exists and yet seems to dwell in some other holiday dimension. It’s printed on calendars, yet no one gets off work for it. The mail’s delivered.  Banks are open. Schools don’t shut down on Halloween, though some teachers trying to deal with kids on a frantic sugary candy high probably wish it was otherwise.

I like trains. I like riding on trains. I like looking at trains.  Heck, I even like songs about trains.

And I guess I really must admit that sometimes I even like getting slowed down at a railroad crossing while a thundering freight train lumbers along. It’s a chance to throw your hands up and say, “What can I do? I’m forced to sit here and take a pause out of my busy day and just watch this train go by.” It’s a break from the routine, as we scurry over the busy ant hills of our daily lives.

Fall is a time that always reminds me of when I was a kid growing up in the developing suburbs of Memphis. I had lots of opportunities then, to roam around the fields and woods, going no place in particular through nature’s leafy abundance.

Sometimes I was Robin Hood, sometimes a yodeling Tarzan, and sometimes I was just a leaf-kicking explorer feeling the breezes that whispered of a weather change just around the next weekend.

I have a health care proposal. It’s not about insurance availability or doctor choice. It’s not about single-payer or public option issues. But it is about our health. Our mental health. We need to take all the minutes from all the health care reform town hall meetings, take all the breathless commentaries from red-faced conservatives and blue-in-the-face liberals, put all that stuff in a lockbox, throw the lockbox in a closet for about a week, and get ourselves down to the Cowley County Fairgrounds in Winfield, Kansas.


Commentary & Podcasts

Book Review: Susan Minot Returns To Short Fiction With 'Why I Don't Write'

It’s been three decades since author-playwright Susan Minot has published a collection of short fiction. So perhaps it’s fitting that her new one, which is being released this week, is titled “Why I Don’t Write: And Other Stories.”

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Photo by Anna Webber, courtesy of Jon Regen

A Musical Life: Jon Regen

KMUW Music

Album Cover Art Courtesy Conqueroo

Monday, August 3

John The Revelator is the new album from acclaimed screenwriter, author and musician John Fusco. Accompanied by The X-Road Riders, Fusco has delivered a double album that ranges from deep blues to Randy Newman-style ballads. We’ll hear selections from that release as well as selections from Lydia Loveless, Dustin Arbuckle & The Damnations and more.

Tuesday, August 4

Listen for featured music from Old 97’s and Chris Stamey as well as selections from John Fullbright, Son Volt and others.

Wednesday, August 5

We’ll hear selections from Songs From Robin Hood Lane by Alex Chilton as well as music from Gillian Welch and David Rawlings’ latest, All The Good Times.

Thursday, August 6

Listen for music from upcoming release by Old 97’s Twelfth as well as selections from the upcoming tribute to the music of Oklahoma, Back To Paradise: A Tulsa Tribute To Okie Music.

Friday, August 7

It’s our new month, new music episode with music from John Fusco and The X-Road Riders, Chris Stamey, Gillian Welch and more.

Saturday, August 8

Listen for live music from John Prine, Townes Van Zandt and others.

Friday, August 7 and Sunday, August 9

It’s “New Month/New Music” time as Crossroads teams up with Global Village and Strange Currency at the beginning of every month to feature the best in new blues releases.

Among the albums featured this time:

  • New releases from Dion, J-W Jones, the Lucky Losers, Bettye LaVette, Savoy Brown and, celebrating their 50th anniversary, the Downchild Blues Band
  • Reissues from Little Junior Parker, the Five Keys, and Big Mama Thornton

Monday, August 3

Night Train kicks off a new month’s feature marking the centennial birthday of jazz great Charlie Parker. We’ll also mark birthdays of vocalese pioneer Eddie Jefferson, bassist Ben Wolfe, and singer and songwriter Kat Edmonson (featured in a special in hour two of the show). Plus new music from the Tampa trio La Lucha, the tuba/guitar duo of Jim Self and John Chiodini, and pianist John Di Martino.

Tuesday, August 4

The Night Train Bird Centennial feature continues with music from a Charlie Parker tribute album from alto saxophonist Stefano di Battista. Also tonight birthday salutes to drummers Terri Lynn Carrington and Jeff Hamilton, jazz legend Louis Armstrong, and tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander (featured in a concert special in hour two of the show). Plus the latest from Tim Ray. Thomas Marriott and Dr. Michael White.

Wednesday, August 5

In conjunction with the August Charlie Parker Centennial feature,  Night Train showcases classic and contemporary alto sax players – along with Bird and a tribute to him from Lee Konitz, we’ll hear selections from Johnny Hodges, Cannonball Adderley, Phil Woods, Kenny Garrett, Richie Cole, Hank Crawford, and Steve Slagle. Also on tap, vocalists Joe Williams, Abbey Lincoln and Ernestine Anderson, organist Joey DeFrancesco, and the Afro Bop Alliance Big Band.

Thursday, August 6

It’s a jazz birthday bonanza tonight on the Night Train as the show celebrates those of violinist Regina Carter, vocalist Abbey Lincoln, bassist Charlie Haden, saxophonists Ravi Coltrane (John’s son) and Victor Goines, harpist Dorothy Ashby, and harmonica player Hendrik Meurkens (featured in a special in hour two of the show. And in conjunction with the August Charlie Parker Centennial Birthday celebration, Night Train dips into some of his Latin jazz work.

Monday, August 3

Global Village remembers South African reggae legend Lucky Dube for his birthday; kicks off the August Mandolin Month feature with music from Brazilian mandolinist Hamilton de Holanda (featured later in the month on the next Global Village at the Savannah Music Festival show); and highlights the latest from next generation roots reggae artist Jah9, Brazilian group Aquarela with Oboman, Al DiMeola with new world jazz-inspired versions of classic Beatles tunes, Mali’s Bamba Wassoulou Groove, and eclectic London world music collective Lokkhi Terra.

Tuesday, August 4

Global Village marks the birthday of singer and harpist Moya Brennan with music she did as part of the acclaimed Irish group Clannad, on a solo release, and as a special guest with the Chieftains and Ry Cooder. We’ll also hear the latest from world chamber group the iYATRA Quartet, tango duo Ben & Winnie, gnawa-rock band Bab L’ BLuz, and Japanese guitarist Atsumi Yukihiro. And as the August mandolin month feature continues, we hear music from David Grisman and Carlo Aonzo, along with guitarist Beppe Gambetta.

Wednesday, August 5

In conjunction with the August feature, Global Village highlights world mandolins– with influences from Brazil (Hamilton de Holanda, featured later this month on Global Village at the Savannah Music Festival), Western and Arabic classical (Avi Avital) and traditional music (Solas, MandolinMan and Runa). We’ll also get in some ‘good vibes’ courtesy of vibraphonists Cal Tjader, and Dave Samuels with the Caribbean and Jazz Project.

Thursday, August 6

Global Village celebrates Jamaican Independence Day with a show devoted to music from the island nation, including Bob Marley & the Wailers and solo projects from original Wailers Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh, ska from the Skatalites and associated musicians, a rock steady hit from the Paragons, guitar legend Ernest Ranglin, and conscious reggae classics from Culture and Burning Spear.

Friday, August 7

It’s New Month/New Music time in the Global Village. Each month, Global Village devotes an entire show to the best of recently released and forthcoming world music albums. 

Among the highlights this time:

  • A tour de force of Cuban music from pianist Gonazalo Rubalcaba and singer Aymee Nuviola
  • Music from Hawaii from the Aloha Radio Hawaii project and Jim Kimo West
  • Brazilian sounds from Putumayo and Ceu
  • And Gaudi’s intriguing meeting of dub and the theremin.

  1. Nohe & Sus Santos – Tempistad (Avokado)
  2. Aquarela – A Bela Vida (Buda Musique)
  3. Lokkhi Terra – Cubangla (Funkiwala)
  4. Ojibo Afrobeat – Ojiboland (Ojibo Afrobeat)
  5. Bab L’ Bluz – Nayda! (Real World)
  6. Son Rompe Pera – Batuco (Aya)
  7. Matthieu Saglio – El Camino de los Vientos (ACT)
  8. Alhousseini Anivolla & Girum Mezmur – Afropentatonism (Piranha)
  9. Liga Latina – Liga Latina (Multination)
  10. John Doyle – The Path of Stones (Compass)

Award-Winning KMUW News

Gordon Parks Collection, Special Collections & University Archives, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Gordon Parks' 'The Learning Tree' Still Resonates After 50 Years

The landmark motion picture "The Learning Tree" turns 50 years old this year. Noted photographer Gordon Parks directed the movie, based off his 1963 semi-autobiography. The film is set in Parks’ hometown of Fort Scott, Kansas. Parks became the first African-American to produce and direct a major motion picture for a Hollywood studio.

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