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People & Life

People & Life on Weekend America


  • Musica Sacra's Sounds of Winter

    Lifting Voices

    Can the human voice can evoke a freezing storm or the warmth of home? The choral ensemble, Musica Sacra of Cambridge, Mass., perform modern compositions that represent winter.

  • Raine's "How Snow Falls"

    Poet Craig Raine shares his poem "How Snow Falls," which was published in the latest issue of Granta magazine.

  • A Picnic on the Blue Ridge Parkway

    The Fam

    Ewa Powell lives in the foothills of North Carolina with her husband and two kids. On sunny winter days, they head up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. In the winter, many parts of the parkway are closed to traffic, leaving wide open space to walk and wander. Sometimes the Powells picnic right in the middle of the highway, while the kids play. Powell says, it's so quiet and peaceful there that it makes them feel like they are the only people left on earth -- in a good way.

  • Light Snow, Deep for Walking


    Myth has it than Eskimos have more than 100 words for snow. Not quite, but some Alaskan languages have several dozen. Ronald Brower is an Inupiaq language professor at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. He tells us their 37 words for snow, and then Colorado climatologist Nolan Doeskin reveals several English words for snow that most of us have never used.

  • Can't Touch a Skiing Family

    The Family That Skis Together

    We recently asked listeners how they spend winter weekends. Jackie Mizer and her family spend weekends hitting the slopes, in Hailey, Idaho. While listening to MC Hammer.

  • From Sudan to Omaha

    A Treasured Family Photo

    In Sudan, Malakal Goak worked with an international relief organization, but as the civil war spread, officials in the north accused him of supporting rebels and put him in jail. After escaping and living as a refugee in Kenya, he ended up in Omaha. The one thing Goak brought with him was a love song that his father composed.

  • The Eagles Carolers

    album cover

    Cindy Simmons of Seattle, Wash., is a lecturer of First Amendment law. She feels it's her duty to reinforce the secular voice in public spaces and to balance out the chorus of baby Jesus songs and snowman medleys. So for the past six years, Cindy and a small following--seven secular carolers and a puppy--have taken to caroling songs by the Eagles.

  • Another Great Moment in Small Talk

    Charlie and groom

    Around this time last year, Charlie Schroeder couldn't stop imitating the faux Kazakhstani journalist, Borat. His addiction peaked over Thanksgiving while at a friend's wedding in Mexico. He only knew a few people there, but he figured he'd charm the others with his humor and spot-on impersonation. Schroeder tells the story with help from the groom, Jay Reiss.

  • A Vocal Holiday Tradition

    Rebecca and husband

    Rebecca Summerlot lives in Orlando and listens to us on WMFE. She tells us how singing in front of hundreds of people signals the holidays for her.

  • The Puppetless Puppet Show

    The Romano Girls 1984

    Listener Lisa Romano lives in Earlysville, Va. She remembers putting on a Christmas Eve puppet show for her parents in their home with her older sister. The puppets weren't string puppets or sock puppets - they were a mix of Barbies, My Little Ponies and bits of other toys.

  • Iran, Foreclosures, and Chimps

    A stunning reversal this week from the American intelligence community. Now they say Iran stopped pursuing nuclear weapons four years ago. Is this Good News, Bad News, or No News?

  • From Afghanistan to Amarillo

    Mariya Sher Ali works behind the counter

    The Sher Ali family, a mother and nine children, was the first Afghan family to be resettled in Amarillo, Texas in 2000. They fled the Taliban in the middle of the night with only the clothes they had on.

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