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People & Life

People & Life on Weekend America


  • World's Greatest Athlete

    Charlie takes a break in the middle of the 1500m.

    As the 29th Olympiad finishes up, we've witnessed athleticism at its finest. We've even been witness to history, as the American swimmer Michael Phelps became the greatest Olympian ever, winning eight gold medals in a single game. For most us, the closest we'll ever get to the Olympics is from the comfort of our own couches, feet propped up and a snack or two by our sides. But not Weekend America's Charlie Schroeder. He likes the Olympics so much he wanted to do more than just watch.

  • Coping With Olympic Withdrawal

    Shannon Miller

    If you've had Olympic fever the last two weeks, well, your temperature is about to go down. The Olympic torch will soon be extinguished and fans of international contests in diving, beach volleyball and trampoline will have to wait four years until the next summer games in London. Those who have been glued to the past two weeks of coverage will have a letdown - what else compares to the Olympics? When else does the country go crazy for a swimmer? More importantly, what do Olympic junkies do now?

  • Barbies Forever

    Desiree and her Barbies

    The iconic Barbie doll is having a great summer. Last week, Barbie won a court battle against her modern competitor, the Bratz dolls. And last month, Mattel issued an Alpha Kappa Alpha Barbie in honor of the nation's oldest black sorority. This weekend, we do what millions of girls do every weekend worldwide -- play with our old Barbies.

  • Slices and Dices

    Billy Newcomb

    The Minnesota State Fair is a big deal. People talk about it all year. Summer is fair season across the country. Rides, animal exhibits, gigantic vegetables, butter sculptures and any kind of food on a stick you can imagine. Billy Newcomb knows the fairgrounds intimately. It's his office, really, and his home. His family has been selling kitchen gadgets at the fair for 75 years. If it slices, dices, cleans or mops, Billy's family has probably sold it.

  • Denver, Meet the DNC

    Democrats from around the country are headed to Denver, by plane, train, and Prius, for their party's national convention. On Monday the delegates, regular and super, will get down to business, hammer out this year's party platform, pump themselves up--and the rest of America, they hope--for the general election season. But Denver's not waiting until then to get their party started.

  • The Amethyst Initiative

    We are now in late August, and that means back to school. And on college campuses, there is a heated debate raging about alcohol. More than 100 college presidents have signed a petition calling on lawmakers to consider lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18. Proponents say the current age limit encourages dangerous behavior such as binge drinking, While opponents say easier access to booze will cause more problems like DWIs.

  • Part-Time Baker

    Wood-fired, Made with Love

    While his peers may be returning from some Friday-night hijinks, Bryce Wiebe prepares for an early morning volunteer shift baking bread. Every Saturday, he heads down a brick alley downtown and works the glow of a hand-made, wood-fired brick oven.

  • Flickr from the Olympics

    Olympic tickets

    Lately, we've been seeing some pictures from the Olympics appearing on our Weekend America Flick feed. We tracked down the photographers and asked about them.

  • Playing Music with my Dad

    Alela Diane and her father, Tom Menig.

    Folk musician Alela Diane Menig is from Nevada City, Calif., a small Gold Rush town in Northern California with a buzzing music scene. She grew up there with her bluegrass-trained parents, so music runs in the family. Menig's father, Tom, often appears on stage to play with her.

  • Forty Years Later

    Tommie Smith (center) and John Carlos (right)

    The Olympics are often seen as a place where tension and strife are set aside in favor of the purity and joy of athletic competition. But it doesn't always work out that way. Forty years ago, John Carlos was a track and field athlete. He won the bronze in the 200-meter at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. When Carlos stood on the podium at the medal award ceremony, he and fellow American Tommie Smith raised their black-gloved fists, showing the Black Power salute.

  • This Weekend in 1968: The Kool-Aid Acid Test

    Miniature Further buses

    Forty years ago this weekend, people across the country cracked open a brand new book by Tom Wolfe called "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test." In the mid-60s, Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters hosted big parties where people got together, played music, and dropped acid. What happened at those parties ultimately defined the day-glo painted, summer-loving, acid rock, psychedelic 1960s.

  • Me, My Family, and a Minivan

    Dad is my Pilot

    When Tamara Keith was 15, her parents drove her and her brother Donovan thousands of miles through 32 states on a quest to discover America. At the time, Tamara was a columnist for the local newspaper in the small California farm town where they lived.

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