Show Notes

Episode 1 - Getting to Know You (Us)?

Welcome to the inaugural episode of the Oxygen Starved Podcast, in which Stacey, Christopher and Producer Doug introduce themselves, describe a little about how they arrived in the high country of California's Mono County, talk books, and set the stage for Oxygen Starved podcasts to come. Links to stuff mentioned in this episode: Mono County Office of Education Mono County Free Library Mammoth Mountain Ski Area Lee Vining Bodie State Historical Park Sierra Wave Media Lessons from Lucy by Dave Barry Heads You Win by Jeffrey Archer Under the Lintel by Glen Berger The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Episode 2 - July 4th in Mono; Michelle Obama's Becoming; Jesse Rae

In our 2nd episode, Stacey, Christopher and Producer Doug offer adventures to be had in 4th of July celebrations around Mono County, discuss Michelle Obama's mega-hit memoir "Becoming", and invite in local KMMT radio personality Jesse Rae to chat about what he loves about the area and the effects of revisiting a meaningful book from time to time. Links to stuff mentioned in this episode: Becoming, by Michelle Obama KMMT Mammoth Lakes July 4th Activities Bridgeport July 4th Activities Crowley Lake July 4th Fireworks Bridgeport Rodeo June Lake Library Bridgeport Library Sierra Wave Media

Episode 3 - Obsidian Dome and June Lake, CA; "The Rosie Project"' Mammoth Brewing Co's Sean Turner

Stacey & Christopher have adventure at Mono County's Obsidian Dome, discuss The Rosie Project, and discuss brewing and blues with Sean Turner of Mammoth Brewing Company and the Mammoth Lakes' Bluesapalooza Festival. Links to stuff mentioned in this episode: Obsidian Dome How to use a pumice stone. The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion Lamb -- The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, by Christopher Moore The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TIme, by Mark Haddon In God We Trust-All Others Pay Cash, by Jean Shepherd Bluesapalooza Mammoth Brewing Company Great Basin Brewing Company June Lake Brewing Company Big Meadow Brewing Company

Episode 5 - High Country Thunderstorms, Jon Krakauer's writings, Kathy Copeland of Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra

Stuff we talked about: High Sierra Lightening Safety tips from Yosemite National Park CNN Article about death of young woman trying to reach 'Into the Wild' bus on her honeymoon Books by Jon Krakauer-- Eiger Dreams Into the Wild Into Thin Air Classic Krakauer (due in paperback this fall) Conversation with Kathy Copeland-- Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra Wounded Warrior Project

Episode 6 - Eastern Sierra Crawdads, Devil in the White City, Tim Alpers

Stuff we talked about Adventures:

Books: by Erik Larson: Conversations:

Episode 7 - Bristlecone Pines; Beartown, Year of the Monkey; Ingrid Braun, Mono County Sheriff

Stuff we talked about Adventure: Patriarch Grove Methuselah Books: Beartown by Fredrik Backman Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion Live a Little by Howard Jacobson Conversation: Mono County Sheriff's Facebook Page My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See What's a 'snowcat'? Safe boating on Mono Lake

Episode 8 - June Lake Jam Fest; 'Palate Cleanser' reading; Kent Stoddard, Mono County Museum in Bridgeport

Stuff We Talked About Adventure: June Lake Jam Fest Facebook Page (@JLJamFest - Twitter Handle, @JuneLakeJamFest - Instagram) Cubensis Melvin Seals Groovesession Dead Winter Carpenters Mono Arts Council Books: V.E. Schwab's A Darker Shade of Magic C.L. Polk's Witchmark Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus The ChickLit Club Sophie Kinsella Emily Giffin Jennifer Weiner Lauren Weisberger Lianne Moriarty Have You Read This Movie? recommendations from the Mono County Library Conversation: Mono County Museum in Bridgeport, CA Paiute Basketry Bridgeport's Historic Courthouse Books by Michael Connelly

Episode 9 - Mono County Power Outage; Fall Season Book Picks; ESIA's Molly Trauscht

Stuff we talked about: Adventure - Public Safety Power Shutoffs Yankee Candles Books - Testaments by Margaret Atwood The Body: a guide for occupants by Bill Bryson Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? big questions from tiny mortals about death by Caitlyn Doughty Pilgrimage to Eternity: from Canterbury to Rome in search of a faith by Timothy Egan Our Dogs, Ourselves: the story of a singular bond by Alexandra Horowitz The Giver and other titles by Lois Lowry The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern Me by Elton John Conversation - Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association Eastern Sierra History Conference Mount Tom Bishop Tuff Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Episode 10 - Convict Lake; Halloween Books; WIldcare Eastern Sierra's Cindy Kamler

Things we talked about: Adventure - How Convict Lake got its name Classic Hollywood western The Secret of Convict Lake Is it a hike or is it a walk? Halloween Books - Melmoth, a gothic novel by Sarah Perry Once Upon a River, a gothic novel by Diane Setterfield Heart-Shaped Box, a horror novel by Joe Hill Secondhand Souls, a funny horror novel by Christopher Moore Monster Trucks, a delightful picture book about what monsters do when it's not Halloween Bats At the Library, an engaging, non-scary, not Halloween-related picture book Adventure: Wildcare Eastern Sierra Wild Spirits, November 2nd celebration of Eastern Sierra's wildlife Grandfather: a Native American's search for truth and harmony with nature by Tom Brown Jr. The Hidden Life of Trees: what they feel, how they communicate-discoveries from a secret world by Peter Wohlleben

Episode 11 - The legend of the June Lake slots; The Interestings; Bob Gardner

What we talked about: Adventure - Historical marker for the legend of the June Lake slot machines Ron Dunn's Slot Machine Story from the June Lake Loop Historical Society Books - Meg Wolitzer's The Interestings The film adaptation of Wolitzer's The Wife, starring Glenn Close Rebecca Makkai's The Great Believers Donna Tartt's The Secret History Conversation - Mono County's District 3 Supervisor Bob Gardner The June Lake Loop community Ron Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton Selected letters of Alexander Hamilton

Episode 12 - Top Picks of the Year with Dave Leonard from the Booky Joint

Great books make great gifts and just in time for holiday shopping we welcomed Dave Leonard of The Booky Joint in Mammoth Lakes to present our top reads of 2019. We each brought 5 titles we recommended in 2019.. Of course each of these titles is available through The Booky Joint or your local bookseller or library. Drop by the Booky Joint in the Minaret Village Shopping Center at 437 Old Mammoth Road any day between 10-6, phone them at 760-934-5023, or email them at If they don't have it, they can order it for you! Dave's Top Picks: Washington Black by Esi Edugyan Born a Crime by Trevor Noah There There by Tommy Orange Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky The Uninhabitable Earthy: life after warming by David Wallace-Wells Stacey's Top Picks: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood Me: the Elton John official autobiography by Elton John Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger Christopher's Top Picks: A Pilgrimage to Eternity by Timothy Egan Northland: a 4,000 mile journey along America's forgotten border by Porter Fox Midnight in Chernobyl: the untold story of the world's greatest nuclear disaster by Adam Higganbotham The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai Spearhead: an American tank gunner, his enemy, and a collision of lives in World War II by Adam Makos

Episode 13 - Pogonip; Cookbooks; Sandra Di Domizio of Green Fox Events

Stuff we talked about: Adventure - Pogonip / Pokonip - here in images Eastern Sierra's Caltrans page Link to download Caltrans QuickMap Books - How to Bake by Paul Hollywood Run Fast Eat Slow by Shalane Flanagan The New High Altitude Cookbook by Beverly Anderson and Donna Hamilton The Balthazar Cookbook by McNally, Nasr & Hanson Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America's Test Kitchen Conversation - Green Fox Events (facebook) (instagram)( youtube) And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie The Burgh Island Hotel in Devon, UK, on which Christie based And Then There Were None

Episode 14 - Snowshoeing; New Year New You Book Picks; MWTC's Colonel Hutchinson

Stuff We Talked About: Adventure - Snowshoe Magazine's tips for new snowshoers Books - Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project and The Four Tendencies (library e-copies, author site ) Gretchen Rubin's A Little Happier Podcast Brian Rea's Death Wins a Goldfish E.M. Forster's Where Angels Fear to Tread ( library copy, publisher annotation, movie) Conversation - Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center (website, youtube video introduction) James Holland's The Big Week ( library copy) and Normandy '44 ( library copy) James Holland's author website Ryan Holiday's Ego is the Enemy website

Episode 15 - Gondola Ride, Day of the Locust, Olympic Medalist Deena Kastor

Stuff we talked about: Adventure - Mammoth Mountain Scenic Gondola Ride Book - Day of the Locust by Nathaniel West Conversation - Deena Kastor Twitter = @deenakastor Instagram = @deena8050 Deena's best-selling book: Let Your Mind Run 1776 by David McCullough The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo Educated: a memoir by Tara Westover The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Episode 18 - Every Brilliant Thing; Books to Movies; Tales Along El Camino Sierra author David Woodruff

Stuff we talked about: Adventure - Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan Books - The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (book) and Anthony Minghella (movie) The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (book) and Martin Scorsese (movie) The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger (book) and David Frankel (movie) Wild by Cheryl Strayed (book) and Jean-Marc Vallee (movie) Conversation - Tales Along El Camino Sierra 1 & 2 by David and Gayle Woodruff (books) William Mulholland and the Rise of Los Angeles by Catherine Mulholland The Land of Little Rain by Mary Austin Youtube Channel: Tales Along El Camino Sierra Facebook: Tales Along El Camino Sierra

Episode 19 - Snowcat Tour of Marine Warfare Training Ctr; Tara Westover's "Educated"; Kristin Reese of the Mono Arts Council

Stuff we talked about: Adventure - Stacey & Christopher were invited to a Community Leaders' Tour of the Marine's Mountain Warfare Training Center in the depths of winter. Here's a brief Marines Youtube video that illustrates the training. Books - Educated by Tara Westover Conversation Mono Arts Council website, Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter Pacific Crest Trail Yangze Choo's The Night Tiger and The Ghost Bride

Episode 20 - Alabama Hills Films; Colum McCann's Let the Great World Spin; Behavioral Health's Sofia Flores

Stuff we talked about: Adventure - Alabama Hills Scenic Area Self Guided Tour of Filming Locations Interpetive Hikes of the Alabama Hills Book - Colum McCann's Let the Great World Spin Philippe Petit's walk between the Twin Towers Conversation - Mono County Behavioral Health La Cultura Cura by the Compadres Network Badwater Race Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire

Episode 21 - Cabin Fever and Spring Book Releases

Stuff we talked about during the COVID-19 stay at home period- Adventure: Indoor adventures from the list of Mono County Library's Cabin Fever Remedies Mono County's Coronavirus Response site Books (links point to authors' websites while libraries are closed): The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel In Five Years by Rebecca Serle Trust Exercise by Susan Choi

Episode 22 - Fishmas! Hot Creek Fish Hatchery; The Last Season and Winterdance; Scott & Irie of Walker Coffee Company, NowHere, and Walker Fly & Tackle

Stuff we talked about: Adventure - Hot Creek Fish Hatchery Fishmas (delayed a little this year) and current fishing regulations Books - The Last Season by Eric Blehm Winterdance by Gary Paulsen Conversation - Walker Coffee Company and Walker Fly & Tackle and Outdoor Guide Service Insta & Facebook: @WalkerCoffeeCompany & @WalkerFlynTackle & @NOWHEREMWTC The Dream Book - symbols for self-understanding by Betty Bethards American Buffalo: in search of a lost icon by Steve Rinella The Energy of Words by Michelle Arbeau

Episode 24 - Virtual Adventure to Yosemite; Memoirs; Children's/Teen Author Sarah Scheerger

Stuff we talked about: Adventure - Yosemite National Park’s Facebook Page Mono County Library’s Cabin Fever Page Books - Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman (adapted into a Netflix movie) Eat a Peach by David Chang (due out early September) Conversation- Sarah Scheerger’s new books including “Operation Frog Effect” and the upcoming “How to Live On the Edge” Efren Divided by Ernesto Cisneros Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman Transcript -

Episode 25 - Adventures in Streaming; What we're reading; Summer Reading & more with Library Youth Programming Manager Carissa Devine

Stuff we talked about: Adventure - Netflix documentary "Becoming" Netflix series "Hollywood" AcornTV series "Yorkshire Vet" Books - The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes West of Eden by Jean Stein Conversation - Mono County Libraries Summer Reading Program Never-Ending Story by Michael Ende The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood Transcript - O2S Episode 25 Fri, 5/22 4:13PM 1:13:01 SUMMARY KEYWORDS people, book, eastern sierra, called, read, started, watch, kids, year, german, county, world, working, hollywood, program, library, jack warner, reading, talk, story SPEAKERS
Doug Thornburg, Carissa Devine, Christopher Platt, PSA, Stacey Adler
Welcome to the latest episode of oxygen starved, the podcast that brings you your ABCs adventure books and conversations from 11,000 feet with your esteemed hosts, Dr. Stacy Adler of the Monroe County Office of Education and Mr. Christopher Platt of the Mono County Free Library. Christopher Platt 00:31
Hey listeners, welcome to another episode of the oxygen starved podcast where we bring you your ABCs your adventure books and conversations from 11,000 feet here in the beautiful Eastern Sierra. I'm Christopher. Stacey Adler 00:44 I'm Stacey Christopher Platt 00:46
and with us, as always, and today remotely is our producer Doug. Hey, Doug. How are things up where you are Doug Thornburg 00:57 boring. Christopher Platt 01:01
Well, we will do everything possible to change that for you waiting. Doug Thornburg 01:04 I'm waiting. Christopher Platt 01:06 I think that's a dare Stace. Stacey Adler 01:08
I think so. Well, hopefully hopefully our conversation today will give you and maybe our listeners, some things to occupy yourself Stacey Adler 01:21 stave off that boredom. Christopher Platt 01:22
Exactly. And once again we are at home staying home with the rest of the state of California. So we are zooming today in different parts of the Eastern Sierra all together my closet when you have one of those zoom backgrounds that everyone has now so it looks like you're in the Bahamas scuba diving. Stacey Adler 01:46
this is actually I am actually using the Finding Nemo background from the Pixar movie. Christopher Platt 01:53
No wonder you blend in so well. Stacey Adler 01:55
Yes. So yeah, I finally had Time to do a little exploring of zoom backgrounds and I found these Pixar background so this was one of the ones that I downloaded and it's funny that that's kind of what you know. And that was my reward. Right going and exploring and finding zoom new zoom background was my reward for getting all my work done. This is what we've come to Christopher you know, just Christopher Platt 02:27
look everyone has their own kind of adventures, you know, zoom back. And then you if you're like, we are both the same. We both spend a lot of our work weekend zoom meetings. Stacey Adler 02:38 Mm hmm. Christopher Platt 02:39
And it's nice to see the little backgrounds it kind of keeps you name Stacey Adler 02:43
it does wondering what's going to come up. I've seen some I see some great one producer Doug had the Simpsons couch, his background last week. I love that I thought that was hilarious. Christopher Platt 02:54
So we did some we did some virtual adventuring for this. Right. Stacey Adler 03:00 Yes, Christopher Platt 03:01
we agreed that listeners we we agreed that like most of America we're bingeing and watching all sorts of streaming series and movies and TV episodes and everything and you know, having that kind of virtual water cooler talk about and we will both acknowledge that we watch Tiger King. Like most of America, Stacy's making a face Stacey Adler 03:28
did not. I didn't see the the charm. Christopher Platt 03:36
You were looking for charm. I guess that's definitely a bribe. Stacey Adler 03:39 I couldn't do it. Christopher Platt 03:41
Yeah, we watched the whole thing. It was kind of a long, long car wreck and I really don't want to revisit it. So we're not going to talk about your game. Yeah, we did both watch something that we both loved because we actually started off the podcast, many many overdue episodes. Stacey Adler 03:58
You know, can you believe it? Christopher Platt 03:59
With a conversation about Michelle Obama's memoir becoming and she has that new documentary on Netflix Yes, that's basically I think her book tour on that largely with other activities listed in and you know, we both watched it I think the same evening and had similar reactions. What What was your reaction to it? What do you think of it? Stacey Adler 04:23
Well, just like with the book, I cried a lot. There were a lot of parts that made me cry and listeners, you know, I cry a lot when I read and, and when I moved by things, and I just, I just loved it just reinforced for me, what an inspirational figure she is and how somebody from humble beginnings, you know, who, who through the, you know, the love and the respect in the way that her parents brought her up, to work hard and to always be your best, you know? found herself in a situation that she would have never dreamed of as a child, you know, being first lady. And she, instead of shying away from that opportunity or, you know, not she embraced it. And she made the most of it. And, you know, she, she just became a force and she still is. And I think our young girls today are so lucky to have a role model like her. Christopher Platt 05:32 Right. Stacey Adler 05:32 And, yeah, Christopher Platt 05:34
yeah, what do you what I liked about it was all of that. Plus she is just so genuine. You know, it's definitely her that comes off. They show different interviews of her on the book tour itself. She's always in front of a very large audience. Like a stadium audience. Yeah. And you know her answering similar questions in different cities. Along the way, but all of her answers come off as very genuine. And I also liked that the that the documentary really focused on her, not her husband, right. And it also focused on a number of the people around her or the people who react to her. So her mother is a big part of the documentary her brother, and she talks about. And then the people who come up to speak to her at book signings or the teenagers she works with the young women that she works with and inspirational groups. They come from all different backgrounds, all different races, all different ages. And and I think they really react to that genuineness, and that she found her own voice aside from her husband. Stacey Adler 06:43
Yeah, yep, absolutely. So it was great. Christopher Platt 06:47
It was it was really it's worth the time. Stacey Adler 06:50
Yeah. And even if you didn't read the book, oh, yeah, it's you know, it gives you if you're interested in all in Michelle Obama. It gives you a A great insight into her persona and her ethos and right you know, who she is as a person. It's it. It was really, really good. Christopher Platt 07:11
So that's one of the things that we've been Yes, we've been watching mom and then I'll mention one other that I watched. I know you have something you want to mention, too. So one show that I binged pretty early on, it's actually a British show. So I think I mentioned in a previous podcast, I'm a big fan of James Harriet's, all creatures great and small series, I read all the books as a kid I used to watch the PBS TV series in the 70s or something. There's been another iteration since then, you know, he was a real vet working in Yorkshire, England, in the 30s, through like the 60s or something like that. And his veterinary practices still there. And in fact, it's only run by one of the guys that he trained. And so this is a show called Yorkshire that It's a British show, and it's a reality show about that veterinarian process practice, which is still very much like what you read about in those books if you've read James Harriet's original stories, which is really easy reading, similar to that the show is very family friendly. You know, there's everything from hamsters and puppies to cows and sheep and llamas a lot of long as in England now. And so, you know, it's kind of approachable. You can watch an episode, you know, with your kids and talk about what's happening. The episodes tend to be very mixture of light hearted and some serious stuff. But they always end on a hopeful note. And it's always very truthful. And he he one of the owners of the veterinary practice today is this man named Julian and this the older guy is named Peter. He was the one who's been trained by James Harriet, and he's kind of like a, not a curmudgeon. But you know, you can tell he's older. You know, you And they kind of have a competitive little, little banter between them. And then all the other staff that they have there. Julian is younger, I think his wife is a vet. And they have kids who are probably like a middle school becoming teenage age. And he also will bring a kid with him on a on a veterinary call, just kind of like experience and which I thought was kind of neat. Yeah. Yeah, so and it's got its moments of like a little bit of deer jerky, but you know, a lot of laughter and stuff like that. So I watched it on a corn TV, which is a kind of a British streaming platform, but I think you can find it on numerous, like Amazon Prime and probably others. But if you just Google Yorkshire that that TV series will come up and I think there's like four series available in the US at the moment. So that was fun. I just enjoyed it. It's just it was always a guaranteed uplifting hour to watch Stacey Adler 09:59
and something to take is so different takes you out of your day to day zooming life, right living right now. Christopher Platt 10:07
Totally and stuff you know me not as an animal. You know, we have a lot of pets, but I didn't grow up on a ranch or a farm. We drive by ranches in the Eastern Sierra all the time. be surprised what happens that you have to deal with houses and sheep and all this stuff. So yeah, it was it was really fun. And I think a lot of people would enjoy it. Stacey Adler 10:27
Cool. Well, I will check it out for sure. My, my experience is somewhat different with all of this TV stuff. Because as I overheard my husband and my daughter having a conversation just the other night saying, Well, you know, mom, she's the one that says mom being me. She's the one that always says, oh, let's watch this. This is a new series and then she watches one episode and never finish it Christopher Platt 10:58 sounds familiar Stacey Adler 10:59
and they end up watching everything so I just don't have the patience, you know for spending a lot of time watching TV especially if I'm not doing something else while I'm watching it, but the one so I've been watching a lot of Top Chef because I like I love cooking so and it's something I can watch like for 10 minutes and then when I get bored shut it off and you know I can kind of back and forth to it. And it's I like to watch people cooking. So that's I've been watching that from time to time. Only series beside that I have finished is a news. It's a limited series on I think it's Netflix called Hollywood. And it was written and produced by Ryan Murphy who's the creator of Glee and it was only like six or seven episodes and I kind of watched it over time. You know, I didn't like sit down and watch them all like Christopher Platt 12:07 at 9pm C Stacey Adler 12:08
I could I don't think I could. As much as I like the idea of that. I can't do it. I can't I good for you, I can't do it. But um, you know, so this is this is a series that is probably not suitable for young children. Definitely not suitable for young children questionable for young teenagers. But it is it's based in fact, and it's about Hollywood back in the 40s. You know, the, the gold kind of what they call the Golden Age of Hollywood, and it kind of blends facts with fantasy. So it is about is actually centered around this gas station that actually existed. That was a Front for prostitution. And the the people who you know the people who went and work or were the men who worked there were essentially peddled out to whoever chose to have them pedal, um and and then how these people's career took shape and the the fact that you know, at the time you know, that people who were gay or African American or all of these minority people couldn't be successful, you know, they, they were kind of looked at as second class citizens and so this this show this series I guess kind of turned that on its head and said, Well, what if it wasn't like that? You know, what if, what if people really took those chances and said, This is who I am and gave people that opportunity, which is a really beautiful thing, right? To imagine and that the, I think what drew me in really was the costumes and the sets and the, the way people dressed and spoke and carried themselves at that time, was really quite something and it was beautiful to watch. So it was Yes, it was real. It was really interesting. And there are some, you know, it really blended real life characters and told stories about Hollywood that you didn't know, you know, like, Hattie McDaniel who was mammy in Gone with the Wind. She shows up in this and You know, shares about how when she went to the Oscars because she was nominated for that role of mammy and gone with the when they wouldn't we weren't going to let her into the theater. Hmm. Because she was black and they were like, No, you you're not allowed in. She's like I nominated for an Oscar. Christopher Platt 15:20 And that really happened. Stacey Adler 15:22 That really happened. Christopher Platt 15:23 Yeah, that's crazy. Stacey Adler 15:24
Yeah. So you know, it was, it was interesting. And like I said, I wouldn't have been something that I could have watched straight through. But you know, certainly it was thought provoking. And yeah, it was it was different. It was really, really different. So I liked it. Christopher Platt 15:45 So that is Hollywood. Stacey Adler 15:47
That's Hollywood. It was on Netflix. Netflix. Yes. Cool. Yeah. So those are some of the things and now I don't have anything to back to 10 minutes of top chef at a time. There's like a million episodes of that. Christopher Platt 16:06
Well, why don't you stick around for a couple minutes and we'll talk about some books and maybe you'll get some book ideas. Sounds good to me. Okay, listeners, you stick around too. We'll be right back. PSA 16:17
A social distancing tip, while the CDC urges you to avoid close contact like hugging or shaking hands. There are other non physical ways to say hello, wave wink, use sign language salute. Smile, give the peace sign, throw up an air high five, do jazz hands. Remember, stay a minimum of six feet or two arm's length away from others and stay home if you can. For more info visit Let's all do our part because we're all hashtag alone together. Brought to you by the Ad Council. Stacey Adler 16:48
Welcome back listeners. We have arrived at the B book section of our episode today. And yeah, we always love this part. We do We hope you do. We hope you do too. And today we're we're just talking about books that we're reading right now. And I think we're both doing a lot of reading. Now, we have been our circumstances. Christopher Platt 17:15
You know, I think it's interesting. We may have chatted about this before that, you know, during the, it's, it's been almost at the time, this goes out about 10 weeks now. And yeah, and there are phases where it's kind of hard to concentrate on reading a full book and then phases where you just kind of like dive in, right? Stacey Adler 17:31
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, that takes me down a path like a cereal like, you know, like, I can't stop and it's that's what I would love to be spending all my time doing, but right. Can't. Right. So Christopher, what are you reading right now? Christopher Platt 17:49
So the book I am still finishing, but it's good. So I'm going to talk about nearly finished. It's called west of the Eden, an American place by Jean Stein. It came out a couple years ago in 2016. Some people may recognize Jeanne Stein, she was a pretty well known author and individual. She wrote a book a couple decades ago about Ed Sedgwick of Andy Warhol fame. She started her career back in, I think, the 40s or the 50s. And one of her earliest roles was helping alien cars on on the original play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. So she went back a ways. Yeah, the reason she was part of All That Is she is the daughter of Jules Stein, who founded one of the biggest talent agencies in Hollywood called MCA. So, you know, that's who she is. She She died a couple years ago. She actually committed suicide at the age of 83. I think she struggled with depression. But this book came out the year before that. Okay. And what it is, is it chronicles the history of Hollywood in Los Angeles in that whole millia through five influential families or characters that influenced Southern California in a meaningful way. And each each segment is character is made up of oral histories. So she interviewed a ton of people, some famous, like gore madol, or Lauren Bacall, or people who were there. And some not so famous, some were just family members or former staff or just people who were around at the time. And it's almost like reading instead Terkel book in a way. It's like bubble narratives, which kind of interweave each other. So it's almost like you're in a room listening to these people talk about this character or this family and the influence that they had. And so the five that she focuses on are ones that are a little bit well known and not well known, at least to me. So the first one she starts with is Edward Delaney. And the oil boom. Many people will recognize that last name as a prominent street in the Los Angeles area. But Edward Doheney was a ruthless oil man with a massive oil fortune in the early 20th century, late late 19, late 1800s, early 1900s and that really, in his way, puts him above the law, especially in Southern California at that time, which wasn't yet the sprawling place it is today. And in fact, he he was so notorious. He is the basis for the character played by Daniel Day Lewis in the movie, there will be blood, if any of our listeners saw that it was a pretty ruthless character. Very good movie. So that was an interesting segment of the book. She also talks about jack Warner and the Warner Brothers studio. there really were brothers, five of them, I believe, who ran That who created it around that studio and jack Warner was the one who was probably again the most ruthless in that he kind of squeezed others of his brothers out to take control of it and had of course was a hugely influential person in Hollywood in in Southern California, right you you make or break careers. And what she does with his section is she takes a story all the way through the 50s and 60s when there was the Red Scare. And you know, suddenly jack Warner who was you know, seen as one of the most progressive movie studios at the time really handling serious issue type movies, was one of the first studio heads to give in to the McCarthyism and blacklisting and name names and all that kind of stuff so he doesn't come off with a really good, good story at the end. But he is a the way she writes him is a very very vibrant and competitive character. The third person that she focuses on is this actress named Jennifer Jones, who I think won an Oscar when she was very, very young for a movie called song of Bernadette. I remember her in the 70s there was a movie called Towering Inferno. People may remember she was the lady who fell out on the glass elevator. But she was a very interesting character. You know, she wasn't really a great actress. She was beautiful, but not like, um, like, Greta Garbo, kind of beautiful. But she was crafted into that and adopted that persona her in her entire life. She was married to David Selznick, who produced Gone with the Wind. And then Norton Simon of the Norton Simon museum fame in Pasadena. So she was kind of a local influential character as well. So that's a great, great story. The two that I wasn't as familiar with fourth person is this woman, Jane garland. Who was this young mental unbalanced but incredibly beautiful Eris living in Malibu was her mother, and just all the stuff her mother tried to do to treat her to make her well. And it was really kind of twisted. But there they were, there was a lot of money there. And you know, they had a lot of influential friends and a lot of parties and what have you, and were part of that Malibu scene back in the 60s, early 70s. And then the last family that she focuses on is her own family. So she talks about Joel Stein and founding the MCA talent agency. And some of the stuff they did he helped ronald reagan move from movie acting into politics. So he was a player as well. That's the part I'm still in so I'm not gonna talk much about that. But I will just recommend the book if you know one of these people go Haney Warner, Jennifer Jones garland Burstein appeal to you, you can just read that section. And not read necessarily the other sections. But I just like that she kind of steps through how influential people influence the kind of persona, if you will of Southern California at that time and that we still live with the remnants of today. So that book is wested beaten by Jean the STI STI M and we'll put a link on our show page. Stacey Adler 24:24 Well, I definitely want to read that especially in our last segment I talked about watching that show Hollywood which is a different era of Hollywood, I think then some of this these character these families are described, but it sounds fascinating to me in Yeah, I mean, lived here for so long. And having lived in Santa Monica and you know, it's amazing to me how the Hollywood industry effects everything in That la Santa Monica Southern California Christopher Platt 25:04
area. It really does. And I think you would, you would really appreciate the Warner and Jennifer Jones chapters. JACK Warner, his second wife was famous for they had a huge mansion, you know, in Beverly Hills somewhere with a complete golf course behind that he wouldn't let anyone play on a massive pool and all this stuff. And these two holes post massive parties, and his wife would stay upstairs. Like I guess for the last 20 years of her life. She was basically she lived on the second floor of this house and would only rarely come down. So it's just fascinating. It's just it's really fun. I think you would enjoy it a lot. Yeah, Stacey Adler 25:42
I definitely want to check it out. I want to borrow it when you're done. So I just finished and this was from my book club was a book that they were reading and it's called the giver of stars. It's by Jojo Moyes, and many others. You will know her because she will. She's written a number of books of very vast, she's very prolific writer, right, but she's probably best known for me before you, which was a best seller which I've never read. But it was a best seller and turned into a very successful movie and is had sequels and all that. But this book was so good. I highly recommend it. I wouldn't call it historical fiction, but it is the context of it is set around the WPA acts that started in 1935 by the Roosevelts to help put people back to work right after the depression. And one of the the WPA was a workforce program and took all different kinds of aspects and one of them was the rural horseback librarian program. So yeah, I knew you would. And so what this was, is that the government would help set up these rural, like live libraries, but they were just outposts. And the people would the librarians would travel on horseback delivering books, to the homesteaders and the farmers and, and this took place all the way from, you know, down and around the Appalachian Trail through the rural Middle America and this book, the giver of stars takes place in Kentucky. Hmm. And the interesting thing about the rural horseback librarians is that most of them were women. Yeah. And so that is the background for the giver of stars and it tell that's kind of where the historical part ends because all the characters Are fiction, right? And nobody is nobody else is real beyond the context for the book. So it tells the story of these five women who come together and start delivering the books throughout the town. And, you know, not only the reactions of the townspeople and the farmers, and you know, some of them are very, you know, really are drawn into this and it becomes something that they, you know, they can't wait for the books to come and, and yet there were others that were like, first of all, women shouldn't be doing anything. Mm hmm. women shouldn't be even reading. Mm hmm. And they definitely shouldn't be on horseback running around unchaperoned, and you know, all of that. So, you know, there was that aspect of the story and then kind of, you know, what, what happens to some of the women, you know, there's a little bit of a lull Story there's a little bit of a twisted section you know of one of the women has moved from England to Kentucky to marry one of the wealthy sons of one of the two like the town elders. And that's a really twisted little situation there and but it's, you know, you you I just I enjoyed the characters in the, the way she writes is provides enough detail and description but not too much. She really gets into the voice of her characters well, and we all really everybody in the book club like not just me. So and I guess I don't know if it's gonna be made into a movie or not. I thought think I saw something on the web about that, but it was really it was. It was a fairly quick read. I think I read it For days, yeah, because I just it was enjoying it was so enjoyable. Christopher Platt 30:04
She is an enjoyable author to read. Very Yes. Yeah. And that is a unique that's a really unique situation. That whole thing that happened horsepower. Yeah. Stacey Adler 30:15
Well, yeah, I had no idea that that until, you know, until I read this I didn't know that that. I mean, of course I'd heard about the WPA, but I didn't know that horseback librarians was part of it. And, you know, it's funny because now as we're starting to think about opening up and curbside pickup for books and it's a little you know, we're kind of going back to that will we can bring the books to you. Kind of Christopher Platt 30:46
a thing, within reason if anyone out there has a horse in a pack or a mule train that they're not using this summer. Maybe we can Stacey Adler 30:52
Yeah, we can work something out. Yeah. Sure. Christopher Platt 30:57
Well, so that was great. That's called the giver of Stars, right? Stacey Adler 31:01
Yes, yeah. So check it out. We'll put a link in the notes to that. And stick around listeners will be back with our conversation in just a minute. Doug Thornburg 31:13
You were dialed into oxygen starved. The podcast that brings you your ABCs adventure books and conversations from 11,000 feet originating from the slopes of Mammoth Mountain in Mono County, California. You can find us at SoundCloud. You can find us on iTunes. You can find us at oxygen starved Just make sure you find us. Christopher Platt 31:39
Welcome back listeners. We're at this C portion of our podcast the conversation portion, which is always one of our favorite parts, right stays Carissa Devine 31:47 Yes, for sure. Christopher Platt 31:48
We get some great individuals to talk to and learn about some of the unique roles that people play here in the Eastern Sierra. So today, I'm super excited about our guest I'm a little biased. Again, I'm the library director for Mono County. So I brought one of my colleagues with me today, our youth library programming manager. Carissa Divine. Hey, Carissa thank you for joining us. Carissa Devine 32:13 Fine. Thanks for having me. Christopher Platt 32:17
So yeah, one of the things I'm really excited about where the library is going with Carissa's help is working to expand our programming efforts around young people. We do a lot of work with early literacy and pre k prep and what have you, and a number of programs for school aged kids, but now we're really going to be able to expand on that and do some really wonderful stuff for Eastern Sierra kids County, county wide. But before we get into all of that stuff caressa has you have a great backstory, can you just kind of tell us where are you from and you know, what was the unique path that led you to the eastern sierra? Carissa Devine 33:01
Yeah, sure. So I'm originally from Pennsylvania I grew up in a county called New York right next to Lancaster and most people know it because it's where the largest population of Amish are in the US go wow Christopher Platt 33:16
Did you see a lot like horses and buggies and stuff growing up Carissa Devine 33:19
yeah and the county next door not not so much in my home county but right next door so 20 minutes away I mean, you have the road signs there with the warning you that there's a buggy and horse potentially just ahead of you. So you have to be careful you take a fast corner you got to be ready for that. So yeah, I did grew up seeing that they they're fascinating. They play a lot in American play a big role in American history when it comes to pacifism and the right to to your beliefs to sort of even homeschooling. homeschooling is not limited like in Germany, it's not allowed but we are allowed to do that here because of the Amish actually Christopher Platt 33:57 Wow, wow. Know that. Carissa Devine 34:00
So anyhow, Pennsylvania. Yeah, I kind of grew up on that outskirts of the sprawling suburban world that is the East Coast. And I had a rough time. When I was in my teenage years, when I was 15. My parents actually filed for bankruptcy. And I was I went to three different high schools in three years a mix of moving because of foreclosure losing the house. I also had some, you know, teenage questions going on and me at the time, was tired of being the younger sister of so and so wanted a bit more independence, went to a vocational school to study nursing, actually. And then at some point, and all of that decided my real path was studying religion and philosophy. Wow. And I think I realized later when I analyze that, I think it's because so much of the world around me was crumbling with with my parents bankruptcy and Moving schools It was like everything around me was was not what I want was not based on the solid ground. I thought it was right. And so I think this this drove me into this sort of existential questioning for Where did my worldview come from? And I had grown up rather religious so So yeah, I decided to study religion and philosophy. And there was a big fork in my road Actually, I applied to UCSB. And Berkeley didn't get into Berkeley got into UCSB came to visit totally enamored with the campus, understandably, sure. But the out of state tuition was was just going to cause going to put me in way more student debt than I was already going. And so I went to a small private liberal arts college near Hershey, Pennsylvania, called Lebanon Valley College. And yeah, it ended up being a huge blessing. We had really small class sizes. No joke, I mean as a religion and philosophy major, one of my philosophy Classes had three students with my professor so definitely no cutting class. Wow. I mean, I it was like glorified book clubs with like books. That was great. Christopher Platt 36:12 That's awesome. You spent Carissa Devine 36:16
a great college experience. That's amazing. Yeah, it was beautiful. And my, my two of my professors are actually still mentors for me today and they were huge and that's probably why I like working with kids today. They just really believed in me and I come in from a tumultuous background, feeling and feeling their faith in me really helped me believe in myself and really it came down to I was I wanted to study abroad had a conversation with this one mentor Professor about I wanted to study in India, I was really fascinated with Hinduism. And our college didn't have a program that went there and he was just like, Chrissy, you know, you can, can study anywhere you want to Wow. And I was just like, You're right I can and I went home I was even house sitting for him and his wife that summer. And I looked into programs going to India decided to withdraw first semester and semester and roll. And Pondicherry University which was through a nonprofit based in New York. So yeah, may just made it all happen that way. So Christopher Platt 37:20 then I, Pennsylvania to India. Carissa Devine 37:24
Yeah, so I went my junior the spring of my junior year I hooked up with a nonprofit based out of New York and studied in Pondicherry University in southeastern India. And then it was just super crazy coincidence, because I had had an Indian religion of philosophy course. And in it we studied classic, more medieval and then contemporary philosophy. And the contemporary philosopher that we studied is called Sri Aurobindo and he lived from the late 19th century till the mid 20th. A century and pure coincidence it just so happened the university I went to study yet was near, like five kilometers away from a commune based on this thinkers philosophy. So that just kind of was like wow here I didn't even know there was a commune based on this thought. And so my study abroad experience took me near to this eco village is the largest and longest lasting eco village in the world. Wow. So an eco village is a community that is an intentional community, they come together generally with the aim to be ecologically self sustaining. They have not reached their goal. But so when they started, the land that they took over was a barren wasteland, basically, leftover from French and British colonialism. They will used to be a teak forest that had been decimated by by that historical process. And so it was the star of the commune. I mean, it was in the era of hippies. It started in 68. It was a lot of Western hippies from Europe from the US, as well as Indians. And they were given a, like a five kilometer radius plot of land and started growing their own forests. And today that's what it is they've they've revegetated this land, with the initial goal of being self sustaining and their food growing as well. That hasn't been a complete success. Nonetheless, their intention is is for is, is to be as ecologically sustainable as possible. Stacey Adler 39:36
So did you live on this in this commune while you were studying or did you live at the university? Carissa Devine 39:42
I lived at the university during this study abroad exchange, but as a as a young American girl that was fully in the poker wave that came around at that time. I don't know if you guys recall when Texas Hold'em became really popular. But I was a nomad So in this commune, there was a group of group of older men started to play poker and I went to watch soccer one day. And so I was living at the university but came into contact with, with many people in the commune, I was really fascinated by its history. And so I started playing poker. And poker on Thursday nights, met more and more people and just became more fascinated by this sort of historical living moment. It was, it was a community based on very rooted beliefs. And so the founders of this community started to become in some ways enshrined really and not quite fully deify, but on its way there, and this really fascinated me as as a religion major, I wanted to see this story, play out and get the people that were living it out. So, so I ended up living in the commune, a year and a half later. That was my junior year that I studied abroad. I came back to finish up my senior year at this small private liberal arts college in Pennsylvania. And shit my professors had already talked to me about applying for for a Fulbright. I just didn't really have a project, a cohesive project. They're just it was law. And then after being after getting to know people in the commune, I was like, I know the project I want to do I want to I want to build something out of this. And that's what I did. And then I ended up getting the fellowship. And that's when I went back to live in the commune for a year. Christopher Platt 41:32 That's awesome. Carissa Devine 41:33
Yeah, it was it was. It was something Stacey Adler 41:36
what a cultural shift that must have been I mean to go Had you ever been abroad before you went to India. Carissa Devine 41:44
I was I had visited Holland a few times. Growing up. My my mother traveled the world through her through her husband's it's a joke. My biological father is American but Then she, she married a man from the Netherlands when I was two. And they were together until I was about 15 when curses worlds started to fall and fall apart as a teenager, and then her third husband was Canadian. So anyhow, while she was married to my stepdad from the Netherlands, I visited there at the age of 512 and 16. I remember I was told my students my first real moment of culture shock was French fries and Manny's It was a life changer. Christopher Platt 42:32 Look if it's good, man. Stacey Adler 42:34
No, no, that's wrong. That's wrong gun. Okay, that's another show. Christopher Platt 42:40
We've had this conversation, believe it or not. So so but India Didn't you didn't stop with India? Carissa Devine 42:50
Well, I was I mean, I was just out of college and had a lot of debt and on the other side of the world, so I thought I would try to take advantage of all of that. I have Then nice friendly folks at the Fulbright. If I could extend my return flight so I could know the old world for a little bit longer since I was already there, and they granted me that. So I traveled, I traveled about three months in Southeast Asia, ran out of money and found a job teaching English in Bangkok. But yeah, through that time traveled through via Southern Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and then I started teaching English outside of Bangkok for about eight months. And then I during the time that I had travel, fell in love with a young man from Germany. And yeah, at that point, I knew I was going to finish teaching English finished my contract in Bangkok, but didn't have definite plans after we were in the middle of the recession back in the US and a religion philosophy major doesn't exactly always have the most promising job market in front of her. So I had fallen in love with German as an undergraduate. In philosophy I do read a lot of more modern German thinkers and and I read a lot of translation notes. And so at that point a lot of German thinkers were my faves and I was like hey maybe there's something with this language that leads to this type of thought so between fallen in love with a German and already loving the language, found the cheap one way ticket to Frankfurt and wanted to spend more time with this young man and that turned into five and a half years Wow, that's I was in Dresden for those five and a half years in Germany. And then Stacey Adler 44:36
were you teaching Eng lish there What were you Carissa Devine 44:39
I taught social studies I I kind of I was as I was, I carried on a few jobs in the beginning to get my work visa. I had like three part time jobs I juggled for a bit. One of those was working in the after school program at the International School in Dresden. And and then I decided to pursue a graduate certificate in international education. Through George Mason University. And then I did like a year of student teaching there. And then yeah, things sort of fell into place. Germany has very generous maternity leave. So one of my co workers who was teaching middle school social studies was pregnant and I got to cover her classes for the year, while also working in the library. So I got to do school librarian slash teacher gig for two years. And then eventually, opportunity opened up to oversee their extracurricular program for their juniors and seniors. And I was really interested in that I like, I like community engagement. And I like I like, I like my knee time a lot. I like indulging in hobbies, hobbies, hobbies, active hobbies. And so that's what their extracurricular program is all about. It's called cast creativity, action and service. And so being able to oversee a program like that, that I really believed in, was was good fun. I did learn after I really missed because I was teaching and ever seen that program, which is great. But yeah, sometimes I miss the one on one you got out of the library that that quiet one on one time with the kids teaching you like hardly ever have enough time to finish everything that you want to finish. It's hard to keep up with. Sure. Christopher Platt 46:16
Wow. So what brought you to the Eastern Sierra? Carissa Devine 46:19
So my sister was seeing a guy out here. And then she moved out here and got married. I first visited when she just moved out here before they married. And then so I visited the visited Bishop that first time which is done in in your county, realized right away. I like the town I'd always felt I left the US when I was 21. And I knew there were likely communities that I could fall in love with. I just hadn't taken the time to explore. And I came to Bishop and I think there was some nostalgia from my time in India to that sort of desert landscape. Cattle everywhere. The cattle grades, the mountains, the openness was really calling me. And then, and then my mom became sick with lung cancer. And so the next year in my life was really heavy. Just I mean, she passed within 15 months after her diagnosis. Oh, it's okay. Thank you. I appreciate that. I gained a lot from it, though, and I'm really grateful I was able to be there for her, you know that there was a lot to be thankful for in that process. So yeah, in any case, she that it was just a lot for me to carry at that time. And I have a younger brother that's disabled, and she was always his primary caregiver. And so when she passed, he went into the group home system in Pennsylvania was pretty unhappy there. And so my older sister wanted to move him out here to Bishop so he could have a better life, just so a higher sense of familiarity, and a Small Town versus a small city, things like this. So I took six months away from work for family medical leave and helped him transition and get in home supportive care and stuff like that set up, get all the bureaucratic matters taken care of, and in that time decided this was my my next place in life. And it was really good. I am glad I had my 20s I'm glad I traveled. Everyone says you want to do that while you're young? And I'm starting to understand that more now. Because I'm too tired for that now. Christopher Platt 48:34
Well, it's lucky for us. I mean, one yes. One of the things I love about your story chrissa is that, you know, it's an example for many other young people who may be too nervous to take those steps, especially people who are in a disadvantaged situation you feel like they aren't allowed to take those steps, you know, the, to be adventurous and to be courageous and just to have the grit to get it done. The to do To India and then travel Southeast Asia and then like, you know, instead of coming back to something familiar, go on to Germany and have you know, and then ended up in the Eastern Sierra, which is also an adventure for many people. I think that's, I think that really speaks to something. Carissa Devine 49:14
Yeah, I think that's ultimately what what drives me to continue working with kids is I, especially in my teenage years, with my whole world collapsing around me and my parents filing for bankruptcy. I went to college because my older sister did um, she was really the first in my immediate family. Right and so anything your big sister does naturally want to do. But I had a lot of fear as a young kid, a lot of I mean, we all have fears of ending up like our parents. I know that by now. But you know, I, I, we were we were pretty poor. And like when when my family fell apart and the bankruptcy like, we went back to living in a trailer like just really didn't have a lot and so I had a lot Out of fear of like, working in a restaurant being stuck in a town not getting out. And that's all. All of that are great things. And that's been the beauty of my journey is when I first came to Bishop, that's what I did. I worked in the brewery for a few years. And I was like, this was lovely. Like, it's so nice to have gone on that journey and come back to be able to appreciate that. But as a young kid, I think the difference is when you feel stuck, right? That's your own fear comes from right. So once I realized, wow, I can navigate out and beyond that. It was Yeah, it was just like a huge world opener for me. And so like, the fact that that gift was given to me by other people believing in me if I can give that to one or two or three kids, that's, I'd feel good about life. Stacey Adler 50:44
Well, that's what's so it's so nice to have you working with our young people. You know, here in Mammoth, you know, we have so many of our kiddos here are, you know, they were born in Mexico. They've just come here. They're first generation. They don't No really, or have have anybody to help them navigate what's out there, you know, right, and to have you working with them. You know, and I know you're a role model for a few of our students. So we're at the jam where community school, you've been such a positive influence on them, you know, that we have you around to be that, that role model that guide that resource for kids is fabulous. We're really lucky and Carissa Devine 51:31 paying it forward. And Christopher Platt 51:35
so Chris, tell us a little bit about some of the work that you are engaging with in the library. Carissa Devine 51:41
Yeah. Let's see, I guess we'll go We'll do this chronologically, the renovation of the children's library, which is really exciting. Seeing that come to life right now. One of the silver linings, I suppose of the closure, if we're able to get this done without Too much disturbance. So we're taking out some some shelving trying to open up the space. And this is the irony of it is promoting more interaction. So hopefully eventually we can get back to that space where interacting is again, something we can do. So bringing in some some more kid friendly, stackable, soft furniture, some, some toys for them to play with problem solving math based fun base some manipulatives on the wall, bringing back some old school flannel board, which I think will pair nicely with makerspace just because we can create stories galore with that. So yeah, really about opening up that space to just invite some child led exploration and discovery and fun by having having those different engaging toys up on the wall, as well as that movable furniture for them to engage with other kids or their caregiver whether it's in conversation Reading Your What have you Christopher Platt 53:02
all behaviors that that are so important for that really young age that kind of zero to five, zero to six age, right? And that's what what I'm excited about is it'll create a space that multiple, eventually, multiple parents and families can bring their kids there and kind of have group meetups or you know, kids can interact with each other and the parents can interact with each other because that's so important as well, to kind of develop those bonds. Carissa Devine 53:27
Absolutely that chance to have social skills. I love watching little kids in that moment. It's been a real treat the last year that incredible, incredible bashfulness in the beginning and then the way you see them start to loosen up and they say really sweet things which we all like to mock but to me, honestly, it's like poetry. But um, yeah, having having a chance for them to engage in that is really important foundations we have, you know, the social emotional learning coming back out and what you just named is really like that. adds up for the basis of all of that. Christopher Platt 54:03 Right? Stacey Adler 54:04 Yeah. Christopher Platt 54:05 And then this summer this Carissa Devine 54:07
summer, go for a reading program. Yeah. Okay. I didn't know which one we are going on for summer. Christopher Platt 54:16 bossy you take a sorry. Carissa Devine 54:19
No, no worries. I did say I was going chronologically summer reading program. So this is fun I have to say I have enjoyed this very much with with getting to oversee youth programming because that was one of my favorite parts of teaching it was curriculum development. So summer reading program has let me dive into that in a loose fashion which is great because when you have the time to let kids choose what they want to do, that's that's the most fun way to do it, because that's when kids really enjoy most what they're learning. So summer reading program, especially given this year's unique circumstances is set up around a lot of individual choices. We're working with the with the eyes. Read the theme of read, investigate, discover dig deeper, which I think is really timely, especially in our era where we have this new tendency to scroll and flash through headlines. So the whole program is set up under these subtitles of read, investigate and discover. Read is obviously to do with books. Investigate is sometimes about looking at your own family history. Sometimes looking at geology, sometimes looking at local history, discover, is mostly geared towards sometimes discovering about yourself, maybe learning a new skill about something that you really like doing. Or maybe discovering, I believe one of them one there is discovering how to hear a story in a different way. I'm I'm all about continuously learning and and i think that's my biggest goal for these kids is really giving them the opportunity to have these positive experiences with with a myriad of learning opportunities so that they I mean, lifelong learning is ultimately our end goal here. Right? So helping them tap into what's fun for them to learn, because that's what we keep up with. Yeah, no. So yeah, I'm really looking forward to it. And I know that this summer will still be different as we're all waiting to hear what, you know, guidelines will be like for social distancing, but still trying to you know, even even gained some new opportunities through what it's like to share virtually. Stacey Adler 56:28
And so the program that you just described is all virtual, it's the the kids login to the library website. And so 56:37 I have a bit of a pamphlet example to show you here, Stacy. Okay. They will be able to sign up online. So this is like in K through 12 version. Okay. There's like a little introductory section. The rules are here on the left, and that's your game board. Nice. Sorry that the viewers can't see it. Stacey Adler 56:54
But we can poke can we post a link to this on our website? Actually that Carissa Devine 57:01
So, yeah, then you open it up and you have your little game board and it has prompt things to do. So anytime cool that you would do one of those activities, you can cross it off, okay. And every time you do three new ones, you can go into the library and get your prize. Okay when you out so you would have to do a total of nine different activities to be entered into the local branches grand prize, which is a raffle. And each branch gets to determine what that is based on their participants. So it's a bit of a mix, it can be done in person, but since we don't know what to expect, guidelines, yeah, people are more comfortable sharing virtually we want to give them the space and respect to do that. So like one of one of the one of the problems is like discover the wonders of waste. Learn how to repurpose various waste products for arts and crafts. neat ideas, check out the hashtag wonders of waste with maker space posts on our dare to share blog on our website then has a blog different When I speak, virtually linking out to other programs such as maker space or one I tried a incorporated StoryCorps just released a new virtual platform called Connect so that you can participate in interviewing family members. And if that's something I'm really grateful for I've I've been really curious about my family history. It's just a fascinating thing for me. And so I hope kids maybe take advantage of something like that something they wouldn't normally do. But I read on my tea bag the other day, it was a great quote, the most the most supreme human emotion is boredom. We do great things when we're bored. So I'm hoping that the kids Well, you know, Stacey Adler 58:44
is this is this gear. I love that quote, is this geared toward a particular age group or what is where what age group are we shooting for? Carissa Devine 58:54
We've got a pre k program for zero to five and then we have a K through 12 program. I imagine I don't know how many teenagers I'm going to get with it. If they go for it. I'll be stoked. Absolutely, but I think I feel like teams make me work a little bit harder and get a little bit more creative. So I'm hoping that they'll take me up on it. But we'll see. I know that they're I, you just you have to be so cool. To get along with them. You know, Christopher Platt 59:25
what I love about this, this is like a single cohesive program from like Benton to Coalville to mammoth, it's all corners of the county, these kids will be able to participate in this Yeah. And it's kind of self paced and self directed in a way. And it has some of the traditional elements of summer reading, you know, that you can get a bookmark and track your reading progress, or there are these kind of discovery activities that kids can embark on and learn a little bit about how to use the library. A little bit more, you know, particular topic. I think it's really going to be fun and I'm looking forward to it and we should say Chris, a you know, this podcast airs end of May. So people can register now on the library website right? Carissa Devine 60:04
Yeah, they can register now the the websites launched they basically just have to email me with their name. The age of the participant the grade they're entering into and, and what their local branches and I can email them their their game board, bookmark reading log if they need to keep track of their minutes to mark off when they got when they've reached an hour. But yeah, they can. They can do it many. We're ready to roll some Christopher Platt 60:31 and choose program and you'll see stories summer reading program. 2020. Right there back. There. Stacey Adler 60:37
All put we'll put that link in our show notes too. Christopher Platt 60:41
Excellent. So real quick, can you give us a taste of things to come because there's something exciting on the horizon. Carissa Devine 60:47
There is. I think this is probably one of the most exciting aspects of, of working in a position like mine, it makes me feel really grateful. We've recently actually that email just came Yesterday, I was most excited to see it. We recently got word that we're getting some grant monies from the state. The setup for the grant monies were four out of school programming, early literacy or mobile library. And we decided based on our current circumstances, our gap, as you mentioned, was really working with some older kids and building that relationship. And I've seen that lag here too, in the last nine months that I've been here. So we decided to put our heads in on that one and developed a project for a county wide program meant to target teenagers called the evolution of storytelling project. I should add part of the requirement of the grant project was that I had a social and emotional learning component. And so it seemed to me that storytelling lends itself very naturally to this. Actually, as I was chatting with Sarah Who I believe you have both chatted with recently. Christopher Platt 62:02 Right, Sarah Scheerger Carissa Devine 62:04
test? Correct. She is a school counselor. And as this came up in conversation with her, and she was telling me that Narrative Therapy is an actual line of therapy and the counseling world, I didn't know that. So, in any case, the evolution of storytelling project is set up to be a curriculum framework for the for the county of libraries, that walks students through the evolution of humans telling stories. Yes, so we do really we're jumping. I mean, why not? One from cave painting or cave paintings to tell him you're on the fire to? Or vice versa for those who are writing I mean, look at all of the resources we put into writing since the printing press. And of course we're we're at a really fascinating time because now we've gone digital, but our whole world has shifted shifts around these mediums. So I want I'm hoping that the teens can help to recognize this and by offering the evolutionary perspective, that they can maybe start to understand its significance and its historical context. As well as perhaps shine a medium that they like, we don't like all the different. I'm not a good drawer. I really wish I was. I've tried a bunch of times, but words are more of my medium I like to converse to, it's a little bit more nerve wracking, and it's a little bit more performance feely for me, but the project will walk them through oral storytelling for two months. Then illustrated, will have two sections of written one personal anecdotal the second sort of societal talking about an issue. And the final chapter will be digital storytelling. And that will get us ready for a summer storytelling project for which they can submit a story in any medium that they choose Christopher Platt 63:53
for the following summer. That is awesome. Yeah. What I also love about this, and I'm sorry, I keep interjecting Because it's just so exciting is that you've developed some relationships with some of the people who've been on the podcast already. So Kristen Reese of mono Arts Council, behavioral health, we had Sophia Flores on. There are other county groups who are going to help pull this off, right? Carissa Devine 64:15
Yeah, absolutely. So the Mono County Behavioral Health, so feel we'll be working with us I'm really excited about that. She already has pretty good relationship with with a few of the teens. So that's an awesome starting point. And from what I hear, she's got a bit of a background in spoken word and some hip hop herself. So she's gonna be what I have termed My Media master. So each of these sections will be traveling around to each of the seven branches and teaching a workshop which will be complemented complemented by some passive programming to get the kids excited about that particular medium. So So feel the media master for the oral stories, illustrated stories I'll be working with Laurie our maker scores makerspace coordinator and then we are working together with a mono counselor. For The Arts to tap into their teaching artists pool to support some of the other mediums. For instance, Daria will be our media master for the digital storytelling. She does both animation and stop motion. So this is this is wonderful. Christopher Platt 65:15
This is like a community coming together to really kind of make something happen and I love love it when that happens. Carissa Devine 65:21
Yeah, I'm really excited for it. I am I had made a weekly regular regular trip down to the high school when I started trying to get more student input for this project. And while I had the idea for the storytelling aspect, their input really helped shape the narrative for why this is important. And that's why it's important to leave so many options open to because you want to reach as many kids as you can. So having a variety of different mediums is essential for that. But from a lot of the kids I yeah, there's there's a big sense of disconnect and isolation when kids move here from other places. They Are they pick up on that very quickly there's been in a small rural place, you don't have the same opportunity to be involved in the same amount of clubs or groups and build relationships. And that's what we need for that social emotional healthiness is you need to be talking about what's going on inside how you're feeling, what your aims are all of this and getting that feedback from another human. That's, I mean, I think we all know after two months of quarantine, how essential those connections are now. I'm hoping that I'm hoping that they realized through this, like, Hey, this is a chance for us to tell our story because we're in and meaningful. And yeah, I think it'll be a really awesome platform for them to be able to start sharing what's going on in their minds. I think teens are marginalized a lot in that way. They don't yet have their private space. Yeah. They don't always see the meaning and the work that they're doing. They're off you know, they're I mean, it's a societal issue, but they're not always treated with with every perspective, like you do understand how the world works. Sometimes they, they're, I don't know, I get where they're coming from they feel I think, you know, belittled a lot or like they don't quite get life. And so giving them a platform to tell what they do know I think will be will be a game changer for them. So I'm excited. So exciting. Stacey Adler 67:18
That's great. So Chris is something we always ask our guests and we really appreciate your time talking with us today and hearing about all the amazing things that you're doing. But what are you reading now? Carissa Devine 67:30
So just finished the neverending story by Michael Ende in German. I, I had started that last year got through 250 pages, went to Germany for five weeks and I was so sick of German I let it go for like half a year. But since quarantine came back up one of the prompts in our online journeys and journals prompts actually asked me if I could dive into story and like live in it, what would it be? And I knew in a moment moment it was the neverending story. So it prompted me to pick it back up and I did. He absolutely beautiful. I just finished that and now I decided to step away from fantasy go a little bit more. I don't know cyberpunk, I'm reading Margaret Atwood, the handmaidens tale. I haven't read it. Stacey Adler 68:22
And how are you? How are you finding that so far? Carissa Devine 68:25
I'm just a few pages in I have the I have to say the narrative aspect doesn't quite capture me the same way that Michael does never knew. I'm not enraptured yet. But it I'm intrigued. There's definitely lines that lead let me or leave me to the question of like, wait, what's going on here? What happened? And I've heard that ending is stellar. So it's a little bit more of a bait and catch sort of book for me so far, rather than a complete envelopment and fantasy or anything. Stacey Adler 69:00
Well, I'll be anxious to hear when you finish it what you thought and then I'd encourage you to read the sequel. Newer, which was I thought was fabulous. Carissa Devine 69:11
Well, I'm, I'm looking forward to it. Stacey Adler 69:18
And they might even they might have even translated it into German if you want to go that then Carissa Devine 69:24
my reading level in German is Middle School. Which I have to say I think I'm it's Let me read some really beautiful books I love. I love authors that can take big concepts and break it and just break it down into simple language. It's just I'm so impressed by that Feat. So I don't know that I'll be able to read Atwood in German I yeah. I'm at about a six or seventh grade reading level. I just 69:54 like when you said that, because I think of German is the language of never ending words. So I just thought it was the kudos to you to reading a full story in another language. It's not easy. Yeah. Stacey Adler 70:08
I have I have. I have scary memories of my grandparents yelling at each other and me in German really is a young child and to be yelled at in German is is very scary, intimidating. It will put you in your place. Carissa Devine 70:25
Yeah, I know some of my friends joke that German I mean, dogs only understand German. It's so forceful. And to the point that and I will testify. German dogs are so well behaved. I don't know if it's like from their culture and that they're pretty strict with their training Regiment, but you could be running their dogs without a leash and you just run by they don't even take a second look at Yeah. Christopher Platt 70:52 I love that. That's hilarious. Stacey Adler 70:54
Well, I think when when we get our next dog, I'll have to think about learning to train it in German that might have got a G. curse. It's been so great having you join us. Thank you so much. Carissa Devine 71:07
Thanks so much for the conversation. Guys. This was great. Christopher Platt 71:09 It was awesome. Stacey Adler 71:10
Yeah, and thanks for all you're doing for all of our kids here in Mono County. Oh, appreciate it. Carissa Devine 71:16
It's my pleasure. I'm so glad you guys brought a youth librarian on. It's, it's really it's my It's like my dream job. So thank you for helping me continue to realize all the good things in life. This is awesome. Stacey Adler 71:32
Well, you're most welcome. And we appreciate you very much. And we appreciate you listeners. Thank you so much for joining us for this episode of the oxygen star podcast. Please remember, if you enjoy the podcast to subscribe, give us a rating and a review. That really helps our visibility. And we'd really appreciate that. You can find us on Instagram at oh two star you can find us on our website. Page oxygen starve podcast calm and our Facebook page also So thanks very much. Have a great day Keep breathing, and we'll see you soon. Bye Doug Thornburg 72:21
Thanks for joining us here for oxygen starverd. Our outro music iron bacon is composed and performed by Kevin MacLeod Creative Commons By Attribution 3.0 license.

Episode 26 - Forest bathing during COVID; Anti-racism reads; Miracle Country by local author Kendra Atleework

Stuff we talked about: Adventure: Forest bathing Parker Lake Bishop's Pass Trail Books: Talking About Race portal from the National Museum of African American History and Culture White Fragility: why it's so hard for white people to talk about racism by Robin DiAngelo Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid Stamped: racism, anti-racism and you by Ibram X Kendi and Jason Reynolds Tears We Cannot Stop: a sermon to white America by Michael Eric Dyson Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson I'm Still Here: black dignity in a world made for whiteness by Austin Channing Brown Conversation: Kendra Atleework Starred Publisher's Weekly Review for Miracle Country (due mid-July - order from Booky Joint, Spellbinder Books, Mono Lake Committee Bookstore or your favorite bookseller or library) Home Baked by Alia Volz The Sagas of Icelanders

Episode 27 - An adventure hidden in plain sight; Steinbeck's Cannery Row; Mammoth Tourism's John Urdi

Stuff We Talked About: Adventure - Mammoth Scenic Loop Long Valley Caldera Inyo Craters Books - John Steinbeck's Cannery Row Conversation - Mammoth Lakes Tourism John F Kennedy's Profiles in Courage Transcript - Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Mon, 6/29 5:53PM 53:46 SUMMARY KEYWORDS book, people, cannery row, steinbeck, mammoth, read, monterey, tourism, years, mammoth lakes, called, drive, listeners, adventure, thought, area, ski, frogs, resorts, place SPEAKERS
Doug Thornburg, John Urdi, Christopher Platt, Stacey Adler D S D S C Doug Thornburg 00:10
Welcome to the latest episode of oxygen star podcast that brings you your ABCs adventure books and conversations from 11,000 feet with your esteemed hosts, Dr. Stacy Adler of the Mono County Office of Education and Mr. Christopher Platt of the Mono County Free Library. Stacey Adler 00:31
Welcome listeners to another episode of the oxygen star podcast where we bring you your ABCs adventures books and conversations from 11,000 feet. I'm Stacy. And I'm Christopher and with us as always is producer Doug. Good morning, Doug. Doug. Doug Thornburg 00:49
Good morning guys. How's everything going? Stacey Adler 00:51
Everything is good. We continue to be remote in our podcasting adventure. Christopher Platt 01:01 Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Page 1 of 24 Transcribed by S C S Now that we're getting it down it's we're gonna start reopening and we're gonna have to do this face to face sometimes. No, Stacey Adler 01:08
I'm so excited to be face to face again now Christopher Platt 01:13 yeah I am too Stacey Adler 01:15
It's lasted a lot longer than then we thought it would but you know we've all learned and grown as individuals from the experience so it's true and we're starting to open up a little bit more in Mono County and in the state and what we're able to do and right the ventures we're able to have so I'm you know, I'm excited to be able to get out there a little bit more. But today we're going to talk about the the Scenic loop the mammoth Scenic loop. Christopher Platt 01:47
Yeah, we thought you know, last episode we did talk about you know, getting out doing some forest bathing getting out into fresh air. And we know a lot of you will be doing the same but we thought for this adventure. Especially since we're having Mammoth Lakes tourism on later for a conversation, we thought we would pick a more local to mammoth adventure to have and a subtle one this is it's an adventure in a way that many people may not even realize you've lived here or visited here many many times. So sorry. Stacey Adler 02:22
Well I've just Yeah, absolutely. And if you're if you're not looking for the Scenic loop road, you will drive right by it. Christopher Platt 02:32
It's true. Like many other things in this area, yes. So we could we should describe it a little bit. It is the the road if you're in Mammoth, proper, it's the road as you're going north out of town towards the ski area, but he kind of pull off to the right of a little ways up the hill. You end up on this kind of wonderfully curvaceous, like 10 minute drive to lane road. Over C S C Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Page 2 of 24 Transcribed by S C S C The Mountain and back out north to us 395 north of town. So that's why I think it's called a loop because there's the entrance to a three, which is kind of just east of town off of 395. And then you can actually do a loop and come back to 395. Stacey Adler 03:17
Right and, and cyclists in, you know, I've written that loop many times and it's it's a pretty popular loop to cycle in the summer months. Christopher Platt 03:31
Yeah, it's beautiful. Yeah, it's a great, great, great road to drive and to bike because again, it's like if you like, if you're like me, and you're like turning the wheel a lot. It's a good road to be on. Stacey Adler 03:44
It's it's pretty and it's it's kind of therapeutic to drive down that road. Christopher Platt 03:50
Yeah, it is I. What I like about it is it's one of those few roads in Mono County that it's just like a long stretch of pure forest. On either side, there are some VISTAs through the trees that you can kind of drive by as you're going through and appreciate. But it is mostly forest from mammoth to 395. And buried in that forest are some great things. There's a lot of Forest Service roads that people can explore and walk or hike on. There's the access point to the in yo craters. Right, which is a great, you know, it's a great family friendly trail to one minute short, you know, and it's dog friendly. And the craters themselves, the issue craters, they're fairly recent volcanic activity, like I think six 700 years ago they were formed. Stacey Adler 04:42
Right, right. Yes. Which in volcanic terms is very young. Christopher Platt 04:46
Exactly. I keep forgetting you're married to S C Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Page 3 of 24 Transcribed by S C Stacey Adler 04:51 a geologists. Yeah. Christopher Platt 04:53
But that's fine. You can hike up. There's little lakes in the craters and it's really beautiful. But they're also a clue as to why this little drive is an adventure that we would pick. So, for those of you who are old enough, you know, take yourself back to the year 1980. We're in 2020 now, so it's been 40 years since the explosion of Mount St. Helens, right? Crazy. Crazy. And that was you know, it was an eventful year geologically, enticement, seismically speaking. You know, that focused a lot of attention on you know, volcanic activity in the lower 48 that year. You're looking at Yellowstone. They were looking at Mount Shasta. And of course in our area, we have the long Valley Caldera. Right. Which is like I think it's a dorm. They call it a dormant volcano or I forget what the classification is stays. Stacey Adler 05:47
Yeah, it is. It's it is considered dormant at this time, even though we'll feel it kind of gurgling will feel like these little baby eruptions coming Every now and then I think it does just to remind us, Hey, you know what? I could still go at any time. Christopher Platt 06:07
It's stomach rumbles from time to time. Stacey Adler 06:09 Yeah. Christopher Platt 06:10
It rumbled a lot in the 80s. And then ending in 1980. itself, the area had a 6.1 earthquake, which is out of the norm for us, but it's not a regular occurrence. And then throughout the 80s, there were regular earthquakes and there was a lot of heightened sensitivity with Mount St. Helens as well, like they were looking at the magma underneath the caldera and seeing how it was moving closer to the surface. There were reports that that hill near the mammoth airport, which is right where the caldera is, that hill was rising at a at a rate of about a foot a year, there were new hotspots showing up that were killing little pockets S C S C Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Page 4 of 24 Transcribed by S C of trees. And so everyone's sense of worry was heightened because at that time in Mammoth, there was only one road in and out of town and if that Caldera wanted to blow and you need to do Lay down, you kind of had to drive right into the problem. So yeah, so they created this escape route north of town. And, you know, years later it became dubbed the Scenic loop. So Stacey Adler 07:14
that sounds so much better to say the scenic route than the escape route. Christopher Platt 07:22
But you know, it does if you know that information it does, you know, and a little add a little free song of adventure to driving the road because yes, you know, those those in your craters are only 600 years old. So it's kind of active up here. So maybe when you're driving, just just hold on to this steering wheel a little bit more firmly. And just be aware, someday you may need to use that road to get to safety. So yeah, so for those of you who aren't hikers or what have you, if you want to have an adventure, just drive that road and understand the volcanic activity The area a little bit better. Stacey Adler 08:01
Absolutely. And it is pretty new. We'll take some good photo apps to Christopher Platt 08:06
it's gorgeous and in the wintertime you can go up and cross country ski and snowmobile and yeah, it's it's wonderful. It's fun. Stacey Adler 08:14
So check it out listeners the next time you're here and get a gain a better appreciation for the the volcanic side of Mammoth Lakes. Christopher Platt 08:25 Yes, exactly. S C S C Stacey Adler 08:27 Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Page 5 of 24 Transcribed by S D C S Stacey Adler 08:27
Take a deep breath and we'll be right back. Doug Thornburg 08:29
You were dialed in to oxygen starved. The podcast that brings you your ABCs adventure books and conversations from 11,000 feet originating from the slopes of Mammoth Mountain in Mono County, California. You can find us at SoundCloud. You can find us on iTunes. You can find us at oxygen starved just make sure you find us. Christopher Platt 08:56
Welcome back, listeners. We are at the be the book section of our podcast. And I'm really excited for this week's conversation because it was a book I should have read many, many, many years ago and I just read for the first time and I found it so delightful. And Stacy, you picked it. So I'm really grateful you did you want to go on Tell us about it? Stacey Adler 09:18
Sure. So the book that we've read to discuss this week is is it classic? It's Cannery Row by the great john Steinbeck. And it was written in 19 or published in 1945. And it tells the story of a bunch of characters who all live on Cannery Row then this is in the for those of you who might not be familiar with it. Cannery Row is located in Monterey, California, right on the water and it was where all of the canning operation sardine canning tuna canning, where all of that took place back in In the early part of the 19th century, and or the the 1900s. Sorry. And the characters in the book are very vividly described. It's very apparent that Steinbeck really liked these people are almost to the point of, maybe these are people he wanted to hang out with. Christopher Platt 10:28 Or did hang out with, Stacey Adler 10:29
or maybe did. Yeah, well, in and in point of fact, the the main character of the story, Doc is based on one of Steinbeck's best friends. A gentleman whose name is Ed Ricketts, who was a marine biologist. Back in the day and Steinbeck and Rick, it's actually hung out together Steinbeck invested in, Rick. It's one of Ricketts labs, laboratories, and They were C S Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Page 6 of 24 Transcribed by C S C S C really good friends and doc actually appears in several of Steinbeck's books as as, like different types of the same person. So, Christopher Platt 11:12
yeah, it was fascinating to me. I mean, we should care contextualize that. Steinbeck lived in Monterey near cannery. Right? Before it was called Cannery Row for for many years during the Depression. Right? Stacey Adler 11:26
Right. And he he grew up in Pacific Grove, which is the town just over next to to Monterey. And yeah, you're right Cannery Row was actually called ocean view and Avenue. Before it was called Cannery Row. Christopher Platt 11:44
Yeah. But you know, he would have known these people he would have seen the people just walking out of his house or what have you. And these would have been characters in his life probably that he is loving to your point lovingly depicting on the page. Stacey Adler 11:57
Right. And what's interesting about this book is that it is very thin on plot and heavy on character development. So it is the characters that drive the story forward. And the the little it's almost like a series of vignettes. Did you feel like that when you were reading this? Oh, yeah. Christopher Platt 12:21
So it so the format of the book, it's a really short book. I don't know if you'd call it a novella. But it's a short novel and the and the paragraphs, the paragraphs, the chapters are just often just a few paragraphs long. And sometimes the chapters just feel like they drop out of nowhere, like he's suddenly talking about, like a different character that he hasn't introduced before and may not pop up again. But it is just vignettes, you know, and it that's kind of what makes it magical. Because if you're walking down a street, if you were walking down Cannery Row at the time, each block could be a different vignette. Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Page 7 of 24 Transcribed by S Stacey Adler 12:57
Right? Exactly. No course you know there, there are we've referred to there are other characters in the story and they're a bunch of ne'er do wells, these guys who they just kind of scraped together they're living they don't have a whole lot of ambition for anything more they they end up these five gentlemen ended up living together in what they call the palace flophouse. And they come to live in this this building by bartering with the grocery store owner buys the building who owns the building because another narrative well, customer couldn't pay his bill Christopher Platt 13:53
and talked him into it right. It's fascinating. So one thing I like about this, you you know, it's a character driven book from the very first brief paragraph because that's what he sets up and I'm just going to read it for our listeners because this paragraph hooked me into the book right from the get go so i'm quoting from him. Cannery Row in Monterrey in California is a poem a stink a grading noise, a quality of light atone a habit, a nostalgia a dream. Cannery Row is that gathered in a scattered tin and iron and rest and splintered wood, chipped pavement weedy lots and junk keeps sardine canneries of corrugated iron, honky tonks restaurants in whorehouses, and little crowded groceries and laboratories and flop houses. its inhabitants are as the man once said, whores, pimps, gamblers and Sons of bitches by which he meant everybody had the man looked through and other people he might have said saints and angels and murderers and holy men and he would have meant the same thing. Stacey Adler 14:58
It's great, isn't it? It's so characterized is the whole book, Christopher Platt 15:03
right? Every character that he introduces in the book fits into that first paragraph, right? Yep. Stacey Adler 15:09 Mm hmm. Christopher Platt 15:10 C S C S C Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Page 8 of 24 Transcribed by S And it's what I also just found interesting was, you know, Cannery Row, you kind of understand that you said it's for processing the fish and everything. And I would not have thought that there would have been a laboratory there. But of course, it made absolute sense. It was gathering specimens, right, see sea creatures, to, for labs to test medicines on and that sort of thing. So it was just kind of I just found that interesting juxtaposition because Doc, the guy who leaves that laboratory is a main character in the book. Stacey Adler 15:45
Mm hmm. Right. And he's kind of like everybody's best friend, dad, pre caretaker. You know, he's just kind of there for everybody all the time. And One of the sweetest parts of the book is The these, the gentlemen who live in the flophouse, the guys who live in a flophouse, they recognize this about Doc, and they decide that they are going to throw him a party. And he the way they go about doing this and how how the party ensues. And what happens after that, in the aftermath is it's hilarious. I just found myself laughing out loud at the way they approached everything. Christopher Platt 16:38
And it really fits in with how he gives each of these characters a unique personality, but it's a again, it's kind of a loving personality. He sees the good in people. And so of course, these narrative wells who kind of conned themselves into taking over this fish processing warehouse and turning it into their what they call their palace flophouse, of course. They all kind of have hearts of gold at the end of the day. You want to do good so does so does. Dora the woman who runs the restaurant and the whorehouse, she's got a heart of gold. So there's the there's the guy who owns the bodega the grocery store, Lee Chong, he's got a heart of gold, you know, and they all understand that everyone's on the grift in some way. So when you know Mac, like the leader of the guys who are in the flop house, who is so lovable himself is conning Li Chong out of his truck, and also counting his way into using that flophouse leech on absolutely is aware of what's happening. He knows he's being conned. But he just kind of plays along with it in a way, you know, because he's part of that community. And he also understands I think he says at one point, he knows that if something were to happen to him or something like that, that Mac and the guys would have his back, Stacey Adler 17:58
right? I mean, it's almost gonna be Like they're gonna take care of him, you know? So he kind of lets them occupy this old canning facility, kind of with a wink and a nod, you know that he knows he's never going to get rent from these guys. But they're they've got his C S Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Page 9 of 24 Transcribed by back no matter what. C Christopher Platt 18:20
Yeah. And and so to your earlier comment, you know, the Mac and the guys want to throw the doc a party because they appreciate him. And that's actually I think the big plot of the book, is that right? without really giving a whole lot away, there's two parties. The first one goes awry. I won't go into the details, but it's just a complete failure. And so they throw him a second party. And that's kind of what all the action hinges around in this short novel, and they get up to high jinks, right? Yep. So, Doc is someone who collects specimens And he needs to get like hundreds of frogs. And so he kind of enlists Mac and the guys to go get him hundreds of frogs from up in the hills. And that whole scene. Yeah. turns into one of to me one of the funniest portions of the book. Just their little adventure is going up Stacey Adler 19:19
tonight. Yes, it was and it was interesting because when that's happening, Doc is taking a journey of his own. Right, so De La Hoya to get occupy, right and other samples. And so they can sign back kind of juxtaposes the guys journey and their adventures versus docks, which I thought was very was was interesting to see the difference. Christopher Platt 19:50
And he even gives one of the guys a little sub journey right because you guys have to con leech on the store owner out of his old Model T that isn't running They go up and get the frogs and they succeed in doing that by by convincingly chatting with they'll get a mechanic to fix his truck for him and so the mechanic who's great comes along with them halfway on their adventure to go get frogs the truck breaks down the mechanics, like all hitchhike back into town and get apart. And then he never comes back. He tells the reader that, you know, he doesn't come back for 180 days because it's a series of events, he ends up in jail and Salinas just trying to get a Model T part. But the guys don't know that. Right? Yeah. Stacey Adler 20:34
It's just so beautiful. The way Steinbeck just says, and they didn't see him again for 180 days. S C S Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Page 10 of 24 Transcribed by C S C Christopher Platt 20:42
It was kind of biblical, but kind of made a lot of sense, you know, in a way, just matter of fact, Stacey Adler 20:47
it was it was it's one thing that I love about Steinbeck's writing is that he doesn't when he doesn't need to use a lot of words. He doesn't Christopher Platt 20:58
but he does when he does use them he uses them to great effect and salutely. So I want to read another paragraph. I highlighted it just because I thought it again was just so Steinbeck in such a beautifully written paragraph where he gives personality to everything, including inanimate things, you know. So, while the guys are up there, they're near the Carmel river and so he's describing the Carmel River. The Carmel is a lovely little river. It isn't very long, but in its course it has everything a river should have. It rises in the mountains and tumbles down a while runs through shallows his dam to make a lake spills over the dam crackles around boulders wanders lazily under Sycamores. spills into pools were trout live and drops against banks where the crayfish live. In the winter it becomes a torrent Ameen little fierce river and in the summer it is a place for children to wade in and for fishermen to wander in. Frogs blink from its banks and deep ferns grow beside it. Darren Fox has come to drink from it. Secretly in the morning and evening, and now and then a mountain lion crouched flaps laps, mountain lion crouched flat laps, its water, the farms of the rich little valley back up to the river and take its water for the orchards in the vegetables. The quail called beside it, and the wild doves come whistling in a dusk, raccoons paste its edges looking for frogs. It's everything I've ever should be. So he has taken this little paragraph and said, it has everything a river should have. And he's close it with. It's everything I've ever should be. So he's kind of like, it's like this little bucolic scene that he's setting. Right? And that's a scene that could happen anywhere here where we live in the eastern Yeah, this describes many of our little rivers. Absolutely. And he does. He uses language so beautifully to describe. Yeah. The other funny thing is you talked about like these little vignettes that pop out of nowhere. There's one chapter I wrote it down chapter 31. I'm not going to read it. But in my iPad, it's less than a penny. H long. And it's the story of a gopher, who is built, found the perfect place to build his gopher hole and attract a female gopher and raise lots of little babies over their life. And he just describes the gopher building the perfect hole and how it looks and how he waits for a female and what have you, and then ends up not being able to attract the female so he has to leave and move up to a Dahlia patch where it drops. And first of all, you're I was reading it like where did this come from? I mean, it's like delightful little read plopped with it in the Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Page 11 of 24 Transcribed by S middle of a novel. But then I was thinking about it afterwards after I finished the book. And I thought maybe that's a gopher is Steinbeck in some way. Maybe there's a little bit of autobiographical writing going on there. And that I know, he loved living in Monterey. But he ended up like living the rest of his life in New York City, I think. Yeah, so it's just kind of it was interesting. I think If Stacey Adler 24:01
I hadn't thought about the gopher being Steinbeck, but that does have some sense to it. I mean, I get that. You know, one thing when I was doing some research behind the this book, you know, it was, as I said, it was published in 1945. And that's right after world war two and right before he wrote this book, Steinbeck had been talking to some soldiers, and they said to him, just write something that's not about war. Hmm. And that was the inspiration for him to write this book. And I thought, you know, having read that after I finished reading Cannery Row that, you know, he was he was inspired to write a book not about war. I thought, What a perfect time for us now to be reading a book like this. Yeah, right. celebrates the best of humanity. Right? When you know we have we're living in kind of turbulent times ourselves right now. It's really nice to remember that. People generally do have good hearts. Christopher Platt 25:16
They do and even when they're you know, this was depression era as you said they these guys took over a flop house. There's a young, I don't know if there were a young couple, there's a couple who actually live inside the boiler and rent out steel pipes for single guys who just need a place to sleep at night. these are these are people who are challenged, you know, there's there, none of them have two nickels to rub together. And you know, there's drama, there's drama in the bar. You know, there are things that happen and there are reasons why they're living in this this area or this situation. But again, it's not that drama isn't so central. It doesn't drive the narrative. It's as you say, it's more about just who they are and How they get along and how respectful he is of those those characters. Stacey Adler 26:05
Right. Yeah. And and their humanity in their, in their innate goodness, I think. Christopher Platt 26:10
I think so. And I, you know, again, just I've never been to Monterey, I've been to the aquarium, but I don't remember going anywhere else in town, you know, but I would love C S C Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Page 12 of 24 Transcribed by S to go there because reading this just it just he just made the place so vibrant. And yeah. And I just thought, wow, this is like a quintessential California novel. Stacey Adler 26:30
Well, I think he did. He did such a great job that even though this was written in, published in 1945, it's, I go to Monterey. I have a meeting that takes place in Monterey every year so I have been there every year for the last 10 years and you know, I could really see like, where what he's talking about, it's still visible today. Some Because in the the opening chapter that you read there are still some of those elements Believe it or not are still in existence today in amongst the you know the five star hotels that line Cannery Row now as well but Christopher Platt 27:17 do they still can fish Stacey Adler 27:18
there is some of that but not not to any extent like okay I think there might be one cannery left Yeah, but you know you're you know you're walking right next literally right next to the Pacific Ocean as you walk along Cannery Row and right you know so you you know you can hear the sea lions and see the sea otters and have that fishy smell and the you know, Fisherman's Wharf is, you know, a very vibrant part of Monterey right before you enter Cannery Row proper and there Till is, believe it or not right along the ocean there is there are still a couple of empty lots that are kind of a little intimidating to walk by at night if you're by yourself you know, that are not the prettiest of places, but you know, fit in with that description that opens the novel. So yeah, listeners if you haven't read Cannery Row or if it's been a really long time since you read it in high school or whenever you had to read it, pick it up again and you know, enjoy the richness of the characters and the beauty of the descriptions of the Monterey and Cannery Row area and then let us know what you think. Yeah, it's quick. Christopher Platt 28:52
It's quick. But yeah, let us know what you think Stacy, I thanks again for suggesting this book. I think it was just what we needed to read right now. C S C Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Page 13 of 24 Transcribed by S C D Stacey Adler 28:59
I think So I agree I'm glad you liked it. Christopher Platt 29:03
Okay listeners. So take a take a breath and we'll be right back Doug Thornburg 29:07
oxygen, a colorless, odorless reactive gas the chemical element of atomic number eight, and the life supporting component of the air starved, suffering a severe and damaging lack of basic material and cultural benefits. Oxygen starved podcast, a colorless odorless culture pack nutritious podcast considering books describing Mono County adventure and engaging in informative conversation with colorful East Side Sierra locals downloaded now. Stacey Adler 29:43
Welc ome back listeners. We have arrived at the conversation the C part of our podcast and today we are delighted to have with us Mr. JOHN Urdi, Executive Director of Mammoth Lakes tourism. Welcome, john. Christopher Platt 29:57 Welcome. John Urdi 29:58
It's great to great to be here with you Thank you for having me. Stacey Adler 30:00
Well, we're so pleased you could take some time to join us. I know there is a lot going on with our next phase of reopening starting. You must be very busy with that. But before we get into all of that, can you tell our listeners? What was the journey that brought you to Mono County in Mammoth Lakes? John Urdi 30:24 S C J S J Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Page 14 of 24 Transcribed by C J Absolutely. I've actually been very fortunate to work in the hospitality and tourism industry since I was 15. I started ski patrolling in a small little area ski area in New Hampshire, that had night skiing. So I became a national ski patroller fell in love with the sport, the lifestyle of resort town and skiing, and was fortunate enough to do a co op from Northeastern University in Vermont at a resort called sugar bush and spent four years there basically as an intern. And then it opened up the opportunity for me once I graduated college to become the director of sales for a ski area in New Hampshire, fairly small scale. That was quickly purchased by a much larger resort and ultimately turned into a company called American skiing company that we owned nine resorts across the country. So it was very fortuitous my timing and was able to gain my vice president of marketing and sales title with them at the age of 25. And I spent 12 years with them, which was amazing because we purchase resorts across the country and joint programs and all those fun things. And then back in 2005, I had the opportunity arise to become the Vice President of Marketing for all 26 ski resorts in Colorado and Colorado. So my bosses were steamboat Vail, Crested Butte, Telluride, all the all the wonderful resorts in Colorado. And then when Vail decided they didn't want to play that game of an association anymore. I went to Grand Targhee in Wyoming for a couple of years. It's absolutely gorgeous. You don't see the sun till April but you also see it comes in tons of snow every day. Yeah. So And then when I was there, I actually went and was interviewing for a chief marketing officer position at telluride ski resort and had dinner with a friend of mine who ran visit telluride. And he told me about this great opportunity that he was pursuing in Mammoth Lakes for visit mammoth. And we I left and called him and said, Hey, I can't move my family from remote Wyoming to remote Colorado. And he said, Well, my and I pulled myself out of the tellurian job offer. And he said, Well, my wife doesn't want to move to mammoth. Do you want me to hook you up with a headhunter? I said, Sure, I'll talk to them. And I talked to the headhunter on a Friday, I met with the board, video conference with the board the following Monday, flew out here the following Friday with my family and took the job. So Wow, that was 10 years ago, this July. Christopher Platt 32:47
Congratulations. You just described like the living the dream career path for so many people. John Urdi 32:55
You know, I've been very fortunate. It's funny growing up, my dad's an architect and so when I I told my dad I wanted to get into the ski industry. He didn't feel it was a profession. And so when I got my first job out of college, I called him one day and I said, Dad, I have business cards, and I have a telephone and a desk. So it's a real job in the ski industry, Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Page 15 of 24 Transcribed by S J which was, I think he felt I was going to be a ski bum and I was able to figure out how to be a ski bum but also do a job that I never felt that I worked a day in my life. And I feel the same way with the tourism side here. I think we're in the midst right now of of doing budgets for next year. And frankly, budgets are the only time of my year usually that I feel like I'm, I'm not just enjoying what I'm doing and trying to invite people to come have fun with me. Stacey Adler 33:39
So is this a Is this a particularly more stressful year for budgets? Are you feeling with everything that's been going on? John Urdi 33:47
Yeah, it's quite a bit more stressful mainly because we recognize that we're probably going to be about $3 million short on revenues compared to what we've had in the past. And obviously with that come pretty substantial cuts to our efforts. And that's that's tough because obviously trying to figure out how we can still get here, get people here, the biggest challenge right now is that is that we just don't know, the unknown is so difficult right now. Because we anticipate that we're in a great spot to recover. And I think that we have an opportunity that a lot of places don't, where we are naturally socially distanced here, whether it's hiking, biking, fishing, golf, skiing, you know, if you think about skiing, with the exception of base lodges and gondolas, you know, if you're standing in the lift line, you're, you're you've got three feet of ski in front of you, and three feet of ski behind you and the next for the next person, and the next person does too. And you're wearing your face coverings and your goggles and your helmets. And, you know, my guess is there won't be a single line anymore. But, you know, those are things that we can that we can anticipate. And I think that the the idea and all the research that we've looked at are that people are going to want to go to places that are familiar places that are safe places they know, and they're not going to be flying to Paris this summer. They're not going to be even Probably going to Hawaii there. They may not even be getting on planes in general. So the fact that we have 38 million people within six hours of us is pretty fortuitous. Right? It's, it's crazy. Also, Christopher Platt 35:12
probably at least 10 years worth of momentum attracting those people here, right? They have a comfort level with mammoth in the Eastern Sierra to begin with, in many cases. C Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Page 16 of 24 Transcribed by J John Urdi 35:22
Absolutely. And this you know, in the in, as I mentioned, I've worked in Vermont, New Hampshire, Colorado, Wyoming, and now California and I've worked for, again 26 resorts in Colorado, I worked for a company that owned nine resorts, and I've worked individually at multiple resorts and I've never lived in a place that has more loyalty than Mammoth Lakes. Right. And that's, that's not just the ski side. That's the that's the fishing side. Bart Hall, the Fred Hall fishing shows down in Long Beach and Del Mar right. Bard Hall who owns the fishing shows his father started those shows. Bart is now 74. Art started coming here when he was a baby. And so and so when I go out fishing with him in the summer, and we float on convict, and he's talking about, you know, being here as an eight year old and camping and doing all these other things, that's the sort of loyalty that we have and and Bart has been an incredibly good friend of, of Mammoth Lakes and the Eastern Sierra in general, because he loves this place. And there are so many people that just have that that similar affinity and they have that generational experience, whether they came here with their grandparents or they're bringing their kids here now. It's, it's it's an amazingly rabid loyalty, which, which will serve us incredibly well in this recovery. Christopher Platt 36:34
So how can you describe what it's like marketing Mammoth Lakes in the area? Because it is it is different from winter to spring to summer to fall, the activities change. There's such seasonality here. How do you keep a constant voice out there and and meet all those different audiences? John Urdi 36:51
Yeah, well, firstly, the Mammoth Lakes is an embarrassment of riches beyond compared to anywhere else that I've ever worked. You know, I look at places like Colorado and sure, you know, some of the resorts have mountain biking some of them have hiking, but, you know, here we have world class rock climbing. That is it's almost an also ran in our messaging because it's so far down the conversation tunnel. You know, we've got 85 miles of mountain biking on the mountain. You know, thanks to Bill Kroc Croft. He was one of the pioneers in mountain biking in this place is known as a mecca for it. So you know, the messaging is definitely different but what we're selling is we're just selling the overall experience. And in fact, a couple of years ago, probably five years ago we went away from necessarily the specific marketing of fishing or the specific marketing of mountain biking or the specific marketing of hiking and we just sold the experience and the beauty and you know, when we do our research, which we do pretty extensive research every year, it comes down to scenic beauty and and just the scenery more than anything else. So whether you're hiking or fishing or biking that scenery is is the biggest piece that C J Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Page 17 of 24 Transcribed by S J people are coming here for. I've got a group coming in. A couple of guys coming in next week that are working on a project with me, and because of the lodging, Ban and mammoth, they're coming in June 18. And I sent them pictures of convict lake and told them to get a cabin over there. And they wrote me back saying, Is this a real place? You know, they thought I like took a postcard and took a picture of it. So it's, it's amazing. I think that that loyalty, I think there are a lot of places that have that. But I think that this place not only has it but the word of mouth, the aspirational desire to come here. Growing up on the East Coast, I only knew about Mammoth Mountain because I was in the ski industry, and less often, who owned our company was good friends with Dave McCoy. And so we actually, we actually tried to buy mammoth back in the early 2000s. And so that's the only reason I knew about it. But from the east coast, it's hard to get here and it's really not on the radar because you have to fly over Colorado and Utah. And, you know, most of my friends would either go to Whistler or, you know, in the spring it was even cheaper for me to fly the six hour flight to Geneva and go skiing in Switzerland. So you know, I think that the the challenge isn't necessarily just getting people here, but it's getting the right people here and getting the people that are going to spend more time. You know, as most skiers and most destinations suffer with their times of the year that are slow, whether it's spring and fall, or whether it's midweek winter. And so that's where we, that's where we've really gone after that destination traffic, with the idea that if we can get somebody to come in here and stay Sunday through Thursday, they're going to be spending a lot of money when there really aren't too many people in town and they have a great experience. Stacey Adler 39:28
Right. So it you know, I've been here now for 17 years, almost 18. And, you know, when we first came up here, there was what was referred to as the shoulder season. I don't really feel like there is a shoulder season anymore. What does from a tourism aspect what, what do you think about that is is that has this really become a year round, truly year round destination? John Urdi 39:56
It definitely has. I think that when I came here there was really a big push You know, there was a feeling that the winter takes care of itself, which, again, weekends only Southern California shore kind of covers weekends only Southern California. But this is a world class resort that should be getting people from New York and Boston and Chicago and, and UK and Australia and all those places. So there's still opportunity in winter, but we've really focused on the summer. And then once we once we seem to really get the summer up to where it is now, we started to really expand that so that we saw June and September now Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Page 18 of 24 Transcribed by S J become million dollar to T month. So that was really the goal is to spread it out so that the shoulder seasons were far less. I remember a couple years ago talking to Johnny Schaller from Erdos and having her say, you know, we really don't have a slow season. We have a couple of weeks that slow down. Right. And I think that's been the goal. Because you know, you really can't sustain business if you have it really six months of the year where you're busy, right? So back in 2000, I think was 2015. My board we set out to set a goal of 10 months of viability meaning that we had at least 10 months where we achieved a million dollars in T ot. And so right now we're at nine, the 10th month is going to be difficult because may and October are incredibly slow and then November which is the other month is hit or miss if it snows November 1, we could probably hit it but it's not sustainable. So that's been the goal because we want to make sure that the businesses have consistent business not that we have you know, we have huge peaks and huge valleys, we want to level that out a little bit. Stacey Adler 41:29
And for our listeners, john explain in case they don't know what t ot is. John Urdi 41:33
Absolutely. So transient occupancy tax. So that is the bed tax that people pay when they come into town. So if you rent a room at the Westin or an 1849 condos, you pay 13% t OT and then there is the 1% to bid on top of that the T ot gets split up in multiple places. Most of it stays with the town general fund, we receive about 18% of the collections so it's usually about $2 million that MLT receives from t OT and then when we put the T that in place the tourism As Improvement District back in 2013, we have a 1% additional assessment to the business that goes on top of that, that comes directly to Mammoth Lakes tourism and really can't be redirected. And that is dedicated to all of our marketing efforts. There's no overhead within the team. It's all effective marketing dollars. Christopher Platt 42:21
And I will, I just, I'm just gonna chime in really quickly. For our listeners who haven't looked at visit mammoth calm, I encourage you to when I was moving back out here from the East Coast a couple years ago, I use that site to describe where I was moving to and people were just blown away. So congratulations on that website. Yeah, orc you guys have been putting in? John Urdi 42:44 C J Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Page 19 of 24 Transcribed by S J