#239: My day on Bike, LinGen MidAutumn Moon, Lisa Solvents

April says used to, they would wear big bushy dresses in winter and put warm bricks by their feet and the dress would keep their feet warm.

1m: short on material this week/morning, so I just took my recorder on my biking day with me.    street intersections with lights that don’t flip for cyclists.  Valley Recycling, Cans4Cancer, downtown sidewalk chalk artist are at work and Rob Kimmel shares with me while he’s drawing in front of the Roost.  Delicious tacos from Manna kitchen passed on down the line.  bikes from scrap metal.  Valley CDC has plans to build housing on Laurel St.  Hospital Hill historical moment.  squeaky chains on the bike path, the challenges of salvaging too much stuff that you impulsively want…

25m:  music for mid-autumn full moon tomorrow

28m: Lingen shares moon cake and Chinese mythology surrounding mid-autumn full moon

42m: Lisa, a student in Delaware who i met on the Amtrak in July, talks about art restoration/conservation and the use of solvents.

47m: Queen Elizabeth of England died last night, I was told.  Reminded me of a song from Trinidad, Terri Lyons, Calypso monarch with 2020 song “Meghan, My Dear.”  also known as “Dark Meat to the World.”  referencing Prince Harry’s leaving the throne due to social media haters of his marriage with darker-skinned wife Meghan.





#238: Car Menace; Eunice Mukuria – mother of Peter ; Catherine Orland – park ranger

Intro: biking back home to 8 High St on the path on a Friday afternoon – 8-year olds on ebikes, pedestrians crossing streets at will, the abundance of the freedge

5m: excerpt from UVA prof Peter Norton’s book, “Fighting traffic: the dawn of the motor age in the American city”

11m: and for a balanced media, a pro-car song:  Johnny Cash sings One Piece at a Time

16m: My friend and imprisoned pen pal Peter “Pitt” Mukuria on Abolition https://www.prisonradio.org/commentary/the-meaning-of-abolition/

18m: Coming back from KY in early August, I met Peter “Pitt” ‘s mom Eunice, in Richmond VA  (and his dad).  She shares her love for her son and challenges of the situation, and gratitude for a supportive community.  Eunice also mentioned to me, after the interview, that Peter’s case was one of 3  similar cases in a short time span in their area, where someone was killed during a police car chase.  One of the deaths was of a police officer, after which the township changed their policies around the police giving chase.

27m: Buffy Sainte-Marie sings Starwalker

30m: mad rush bike ride from the Mukuria’s back to the train station, about 16 miles away, on the north side of Richmond.

34m: On the train I met Annie, a UMass grad student designing plastic polymers so they will break down.

38m: Pulaski Park (downtown Northampton) volunteer weeding times – last Sunday, this coming Sunday morning.  Thanks Paige Bridgens for tending to this public space, and guiding us on renovating a space that was planted with native perennials but is now being strangled with weeds.

39m: Catherine Orland, a former housemate from 20 years ago is back East for a visit.  5 years ago she became a park ranger/ interpreter, working on a curriculum re immigration, among other things.

49m: WMSURJ monthly meeting coming up . Find out about their Indigenous Reparations campaign.  Here’s a link to a video from the Hassanimisco Band of Nipmuc: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9UyuhGsVfE

50m: A child was hit by a man in a truck last week in Florence between the community gardens and recreation fields.  Hit n run.  The child is ok.

51m: I did some Saturday night stalking, with a yogurt container of water, of 4 neighbor kids who were throwing food from the Freedge at our fence. 

54m: The Impossible Dream, sung by Jack Jones








#237: Flats in Rain, Nedra of Civil Bikes, Atlanta trees, summer drought nights

It rained!!! yay! Thunderstorms and flat tires on my bike and trailer.  Flat tires are a good way to meet neighbors.

7m:  Peter Paul and Mary sing Day is Done

11m: going back to clips from my trip from KY to Knoxville to Atlanta to Richmond on August 1-3, 2022.

14m: Nedra Deadwyler, of Civil Bikes in Atlanta, talks about how she started the Civil Bikes heritage/historical tours, and how to build understanding and create change for good.

35m: Angelique Kidjo, Born Under Punches

40m: some of the best discoveries happen when I duck into the bushes looking for a place to pee.  In Atlanta, this lead me to a park with trees of….All You Can Eat FIGS!!      also, Nedra said Atlanta is sometimes referred as the City of Trees.  there are many!  then I stopped in Oakland Cemetery (arboretum) and ran into Walt, a cemetery volunteer who also does bike tours in Atlanta.

46m: a visit to Atlanta isn’t complete without visiting the Martin Luther King Jr historical site.  Hear 6 Principles of Nonviolence.

47m: Summer nights in the back yard of 8 High St: the crickets, katydids, sharing washing /bathing water with the trees in the soft darkness, Ben Ross (and Alex J)  singing and playing guitar inside with the music dancing out the open windows into the warm night.


#236: KY Family Reunion, Sound of Scything, Carmencita

2m: Woodring family reunion,  July 28-30th.  I asked lots of my nieces and nephews, What are 3 things you do during the week?  Relatives from Castlewood, VA; Morgantown, WV, and Chenoa, KY.  From saving seed for Southern Exposure, to dealing cards at the casino, to engineering titanium staples for surgery zipping up.

18m: Jean Ritchie sings Black Waters.     still thinking of the E KY flooding.  And coal mining.

21m: the Sound of Scything.  so peaceful, safe, and affordable, compared to string trimming.

36m: Johnny Cash:  I Never Picked Cotton

40m: Salem Mazzawy, a friend/cyclist severely injured in a hit n run a couple of months ago, is back on his feet!

42m: Carmencita, my sister-in-law’s step mom  recently moved to KY from Guatemala.   How’s it going??  entrevista en espanol, with translation.

49m: Cynthia Erivo sings “Stand Up” from the movie Harriet

55m: the Beasts have taken two more lives, an elderly couple crossing the street in Easthampton last week

#235: East TN bike ride – Bristol to Cumberland Gap

I just got back from 3 weeks in KY. (and TN, GA, VA, etc.)  I took a folding bike with me on  the train/bus, and biked from Bristol, on the VA/TN line, to Middlesboro, KY, where my family picked me up.  It was 107 miles, took me a day and a half.  I recorded things that seemed interesting along the way.

2m: Catastrophic flooding in Eastern KY the past week.  I’m not personally closely connected to people most impacted, but the region is my homeland, and I feel it.

4m: Jean Ritchie, from near Hazard, KY, sings “Movin on Down the River”

7m:  It’s very hot, and I’ve noticed in my travels that air conditioning is becoming more and more normalized, crushing my soul.  But check this out, public and gov’t buildings in Spain will be cooled to no more than 81 degrees F in summer, and heated to no more than 66 degrees F in winter, to address climate change and dependence on Russian gas/oil.    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/05/world/europe/spain-air-conditioning-limits.html

Also in air conditioning news  – Did you know that the U.S. uses almost as much energy for cooling as the 1.2 billion people of Africa use for everything all year?    https://time.com/6199353/air-conditioning-will-not-save-us/

8m: bike trip clips start:  Kingsport, TN, concert on the library lawn.  And the library also has a seed library!

10m:  TN music pathways historical marker: Leslie Riddle, African-American influencer of the Carter Family’s songs.

RIding Kingsport to Bean Station; night in the cemetery overlooking Cherokee Lake;   Too many cars and too much pavement!  and gas station cashiers who don’t understand.

26m: historical markers atop Clinch Mountain: Grainger Co “Valley of Independence” has pictures and stories of important people. 41 of 42 of 42 people honored are white men; there is one woman (white) who appears in a drawing/advertisement.

36m: heading through the bike path tunnel into Cumberland Gap

44m: in KY!  IMHO, land should be forested, for what will we sacrifice forests?  to grow food? or to mow lawns for some bizarre aesthetic?   Life on the farm: how about a copperhead right outside your bedroom door?  snapping turtles are always fun too.

Well, they say “Nature bats last.”





#234: Manya,Sigrid,Kalia,Jules&ErinGFN,CalebPP,Smiles

2m: Sigrid and Winston and family have a pear tree in their yard that still technically belongs to the woman who sold them their house many years ago, who wrote it in the sale agreement that the tree would remain hers, tho she lives in TX.  But Sigrid and squirrels eat all the pears.

5m: Manya and I are picking gooseberries at the Flo community gardens and talking about the difficulty in  getting things repaired in the US as compared to her Indian homeland. 

FIxing things – did I mention CLEANING and LUBE??

10m: Chung Ha sings (and pants) about going for a “bike” ride.  have you seen the bike sticker that has a picture of a bike and says “Put the fun between your legs”?

14m: Jules and Erin from Grow Food Northampton, and KC, at the GFN food distribution table behind Macdonald House in downtown Northampton.

24m: Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell sing the Onion Song

27m: follow up with Kalia about the high cost of having a place to live, even camping free, and meeting basic needs without stable shelter, or a place to cook food, or chompers for eating fresh fruits and vegetables.

31m:  Hoyt Axton sings Greenback Dollar

36m: Caleb, one of my coworkers at Pedal People stopped at my house for post-route replenishing after his double-routes on July 5 (holiday delay).   He shares about his Pedal People experience, a conversation which inevitably turns to consumerism, waste, the plastics industry control of economy and disposability culture, etc.   Oh, and the Valley Time Trade barter network.

51m:  I ran into Smiles when i was downtown doing trash pickups, sitting in the shade of a tree with her guitar.  She always shouts a Power to the Pedal People cheer when she sees us, even if I don’t see  her at first.  She sings an original,  “Don’t arrest the Clown”,  and “Bury me Beneath the Willow”




#233: Freedge, DavidEbike, LolaSwimming, Ali WP

This week for OutThere, live from the Dow studio at Valley Free Radio:

3m: Aimee Francaes, Shanna Fishel, and Tony are repairing the Freedge/take-it-or-leave-it food shelves on the bike path behind my house. The Freedge here is almost one year old. facebook: Northampton Community Freedge

9m: David who lives downtown recently got an ebike. Being on oxygen and unable to ride a regular bike, it has completely changed his ability to go where he wants. He can even bring groceries on his bike up on the elevator and unload his vehicle in his kitchen!

18m: Electric Slide song, by Martha Griffiths

22m: Lola Reed enjoys swimming

26m: My thoughts:  Have you ever thought about depaving some ASSphalt, especially on  a 95 degree day like today?  Call me, I can help, I have a sledge and pick.    Plus, thanks to Northampton drivers for their courtesy.     And, discovering another cherry tree!  and another mulberry tree, a big boost during a Pedal People route when the sun is blazing down.  Don’t forget to drink your switchel (in a quart jar of water, add a heaping spoonful of honey/sweetener and apple cider vinegar,  a pinch of salt, shake and drink as desired.  Then make another one and repeat.)

31m: Eddy Grant sings Electric Avenue. (I said Eddy is from Trinidad but i was mistaken, he’s from Guyana. Anyway, he’s ultra-cute, IMHO, and appears to be a responsible global citizen. Oh, and i now read he has a case against Donald Trump for illegally using Electric Avenue in a campaign ad.  )

35m: Nick Mattern, (we have a mutual friend Kathy Kelly)  is working on a campaign to stop armed drones. bankillerdrones.org

37m: Rodrigo went on a bus to the Poor People’s Campaign and Moral Revival March on June 18th. The event was multi-lingual, but most importantly they were speaking Heart language.   Paz y Justicia.

41m: Tem Blessed performed at theJuneteenth celebration in Amherst on June 19th.

44m: let’s take a walk to Fitzgerald Lake with Ali Wilson-Pierce,  who is now 7 years post-Pedal People, 10-week old baby at her busom, 35 years old, social worker at the VA, and still $75,000 in student loan debt.

53m: Aretha Franklin says “Think!!”




Ep 232: NHS bike trip: Brant, Ava; automobeasts vs cyclist (Charlie, Salem); corded vs battery; Pitt’s transfer day

Cherries!  Mulberries!  Chestnut flower aroma!

sorry for the sound quality of my voice, the mic in the studio is still problematic.

5m : Northampton High School math teacher Brant Jones coordinated a 4-day bikepacking trip of 7 NHS sophomores a couple weeks ago.

14m: Ava Medaugh was one of the students who biked.  It was far from her first long bike trip, but the hardest.  oh, the uphills of Western Mass.

sad to say, I had recorder issues and Ava’s interview was cut short.

19m: bike trip them song (request) : Bon Jovi, Wanted Dead or Alive

24m: my rants about ecars, texting/videochatting/recording while driving (or biking!),   The driver who ran over and killed local musician Charlie Braun while he as riding his bike past  NHS last October was sentenced this week. She was on a 53-second videochat, her 2-year old in the back seat, when she ran the stop sign and crushed him.

Also my friend Salem Mazzawy was hit in Granby last Saturday morning, riding his bike near his house at dawn.  The driver left him on the side of the road, where he was discovered by neighbors an hour or two later.  He’s in the hospital with Traumatic Brain Injury and a broken neck, but stable.  His partner Adele Paquin has posted on facebook trying to find the driver, and when people ask what they can do do help Salem, she says, Ride a Bike! https://ne-np.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=5302826679797222&id=1552226788190582

35m: Prince sings about Mulberry Puree.  (or is it Raspberry beret?)

39m: Shannon from Valley Bike Share, at the opening of the Bay State Village bike station on Riverside Drive. and a word from Emily Hamilton, new vbs cyclist.

41m: one of my friendly bike path buddies

42m: Winston Close (and Nari ) talks about retiring his reel mower for an electric corded mower.  and why he prefers a corded mower over a battery-powered mower.  Batteries: expensive/intensive to manufacture, don’t last as long, disposal problems, etc.  No-mow May. ?

45m: my friend Pitt (Peter Mukuria) shares his PrisonRadio.org commentary about the day he was transferred from a VA supermax prison, where he as spent over a decade,  to a MD prison.

Peter “Pitt” Mukuria

56m: Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney: Ebony and Ivory




Ep 171B – Patrick Angel mine reclamation, Katt B, Noriga-Trinidad

The episode got misplaced in the audio-digiverse.  Originally from Nov 20, 2019.

Patrick Angel,  former mine reclamation inspector, talks about growing up in Eastern KY around the strip mining.   After retiring as a mine reclamation inspector with the Dept of the Interior,  he started Green Forests Work, to plant trees on sites that were legally “reclaimed” with only grass.

32: Katt B, friend in Northampton, shares about people in our community struggling with opioid addiction

37: Noriga from Trinidad, on making and eating Ital food.  a recording from April of 2019

Ep 171A: Mitch the miner, Teresa Osborne

Mitch and Teresa Osborne are family friends from Harlan Co, KY. Mitch passed on May 17, 2022, at age 67, and I wanted to replay this as a tribute. This interview is actually from October of 2019, but somehow got lost in the shuffle and didn’t make into the archives at that time.

Mitch talks about his career as a coal miner in his younger years – working underground vs driving a huge dozer above ground – the impact on the body,  his family, the mountains, etc. 

Teresa shares about how she got there, the mountain economy and options.

48m: visit to Bell Co jail with my dad

Tune in every Tuesday from 3 to 4 pm on Valley Free Radio, 103.3 FM in Northampton, MA USA or streaming online at valleyfreeradio.org