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  • Episode 94 - Christmas Village; How we find books; Camille Miller of Mammoth Fun Shop
    Stuff we talked about - Adventure: Cardinal Village Resort Books & how we find them: Expiration Dates by Rebecca Serle (coming March '24) Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive by Stephanie Land Misbelief: What Makes Rational People Believe Irrational Things by Dan Ariely Husbands by Holly Gramazio Stacey's common book sources: PopSugar Books Reese's Book Club Oprah's Book Club Libby (Library to Go) and Hoopla (library card required) Christopher's common book sources: LitHub.com BookRiot.com LibraryReads.org New York Times Book Review (if you don't have a subscription, access for free with your library card on our library website.) Conversation: Mammoth Fun Shop Poetry for Neanderthals Captain Underpants Series Little House Series Breath: the New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor The Rabbit Effect by Kelli Harding, MD, MPH Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  • Episode 93 - 2023 Top Reads with Booky Joint's Dave Leonard
    Our top reads of 2023: Christopher- The World and all That It Holds by Aleksandar Hemon Emperor of Rome by Mary Beard The Last Devil to Die (Thursday Murder Club Series #4)by Richard Osman Dave- Lords of Uncreation by Adrian Tchaikovsky The Wager: a Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder by David Grann The Guest by Emma Cline Stacey- Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano California Golden by Melanie Benjamin Outlive: The Science & Art of Longevity by Dr Peter Attia
  • Episode 92 - Axe Throwing, This Country, and Matt Ulery of Pinon Ranch Consulting
    Stuff we talked about - Adventure: Yosemite Axe Throwing in Mammoth Lakes Book: This Country: Searching for Home in (Very) Rural America by Navied Mahdavian Conversation: Pinon Ranch Consulting (matt@pinonranchconsulting.com / (760) 937-8199 Mono County Social Services to Seniors Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller Gräzland Tales by Trevor Van Winkle
  • Episode 91 - Tahoe, Heaven & Earth Grocery Store, Beth Long of Lee Vining Library
    Stuff we talked about - Adventure: Lake Tahoe Book: Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride Conversation: Lee Vining Library Trout Unlimited Eager: the surprising, secret life of beavers, and why they matter by Ben Goldfarb Brave the Wild River: the untold story of two women who mapped the botany of the Grand Canyon by Melissa L Sevigny Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese
  • Episode 90 - MAC events and Disneyland on the Mountain
    Stuff we talked about: Adventure Mono Arts Council Art & Wine events. Book: Disneyland on the Mountain: Walt, the Environmentalists, and the Ski Resort that Never Was by Greg Glasgow and Kathryn Mayer
  • Episode 89 - Rock & Rye, YA Reads, Mono County Supervisor Lynda Salcido
    Stuff we talked about: Adventure: Mammoth Lakes Rock & Rye Whisky Festival Books: One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus Whalefall by Daniel Krauss When the Angels Left the Old Country by sacha lamb Conversation: Mono County Supervisors District 5 The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World by Laura Messina
  • Episode 88 - Bridgeport, Romance connection reads, East Side Bake Shop's Elizabeth McGuire
    Stuff we talked about: Adventure - "Frontier Justice" in historic Bridgeport Books - Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld The Celebrants by Steven Rowley Conversation - East Side Bake Shop in McGee Creek Cook's Illustrated Bake Saveur
  • Episode 87 - Season 5 opener
    Stuff we talked about: Adventures: Mammoth Margarita Festival South Lake Day Use Boating, Kayaking, Paddling Books we read over the Summer: The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano Do Tell by Lindsay Lynch Bogie and Bacall by William Mann
  • Episode 86 - Summer Reads to be excited about and Kim Anaclerio of Mammoth Lakes Recreation
    Stuff we talked about: Adventure - Sundance Books and Music in Reno NV Books - Open Throat by Henry Hoke The Glass Château by Stephen Kiernan The Last Ride of the Pony Express by Will Grant Tabula Rasa by John McPhee Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson The Senator's Wife by Liv Constantine The Candy House by Jennifer Egan Got Your Number by ESPN's Mike Greenberg Atomic Habits by James Clear Conversation: Mammoth Lakes Recreation First Big Book of Dinosaurs by Catherine Hughes
  • Episode 85 - Spring Things to Do Despite the Water, Rebecca Makkai's latest, The Sheet's Charlie Pike
    Stuff we talked about - Adventure: Mono County Tourism's updated blog on what's open & safe around the County Books: Rebecca Makkai's I Have Some Questions For You Conversation with Charlie Pike: The Sheet News Vineland by Thomas Pynchon Inciting Joy by Ross Gay One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders
  • Episode 84: Deadman Pass, A Court of Thorns and Roses, and Catherine Jones of CA State Parks
    Stuff we talked about - Adventure: Deadman's Creek/Pass Historical Marker Books: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah Maas Fairytale Summaries: Beauty and the Beast East of the Sun, West of the Moon Tam Lin Conversation: Catherine Jones with the California State Parks' Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  • Episode 83: Early Spring flowers, nonfiction reads, and Janet Hunt of June Lake Jam Fest
    Stuff we talked about: Adventure - Wildflowers in the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area Books - The Longest Race: inside the secret world of abuse, doping and deception on Nike's elite running team. By Kara Goucher and Mary Pilon Of Boys and Men: why the modern male is struggling, why it matters, and what to do about it. By Richard V Reeves Conversation - The June Lake Jam Fest How Not to Diet by Dr. Michael Greger
  • Episode 81: What a winter!, recent reads and Les Perall of Mono County Superior Court
    Stuff we talked about: Adventure- Mono Lake Avalanche closes Highway 395 (courtesy Mono Lake Committee) Books- The House of Eve by Sadeqa Johnson The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka Conversation with Les Perpall- Mono County Superior Court The Other Emily by Dean Koontz The Girl Who Smiled Beads: a story of war and what comes after by Clemantine Wamariya No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
  • 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 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 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 17 - Operation Mountain Freedom; Poetry; Taylor Jackson, Bodie Ranger"
    Stuff we talked about: Adventure - Operation Mountain Freedom Books - Poetry - Love Poems for Married People Robert Pinsky's Inferno Edna St. Vincent Millay's Blueberry House An American Sunrise by Jo Harjo Jo Harjo reads An American Sunrise Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot New Cowboy Poetry Conversation - Taylor Jackson - Bodie Park State Ranger Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan Dagger and Coin Series by Daniel Abraham
  • Episode 16 - Schat's Bakery; Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson; Anna Ceruti
    Stuff we talked about: Adventures - Schat's Bakery Books - Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson Interview with Kevin Wilson Conversations - Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center Wonder Woman in Spanish/en Espanol Scott Jurek books Endure by Alex Hutchinson Let Your Mind Run by Deena Kastor United Farm Workers Immigration Services
  • 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 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 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 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 Bookyjoint@gmail.com. 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 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 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 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 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 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 6 - Eastern Sierra Crawdads, Devil in the White City, Tim Alpers"
    Stuff we talked about Adventures: Crawdads Rush Creek Books: by Erik Larson: Devil In the White City Thunderstruck Dead Wake Conversations: Tim Alpers My Sphere of Influence: My Life in Basketball
  • 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 4 - Food and Wine Fest, Children's Books, Carole Lester"
    Things we talked about in Episode 4: Sherwin Lake and Trail South Lake Mammoth Food and Wine Festival The Good Egg How to Give Your Cat A Bath Finding Wonders: 3 Girls Who Changed Science Caps for Sale Dooby Dooby Moo June Lake Library Silver Lake Valentine Reserve
  • 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 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 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 40 - Winter Walk to North Lake; Current Reads; Sarah Rea of Mammoth Lakes Town Council
    Stuff we talked about: Adventure - Walking up from Aspendell's road closure on 168 to North Lake Books - Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn The Cool Bean by Jory John and Pete Oswald The Midnight Library by Matt Haig Conversation - Mammoth Town Council Member Sarah Rea The Sheet News Mammoth Hospital The Indifferent Stars Above by Daniel James Brown A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
  • Episode 39 - 2019 Books of the Year (repeat from Nov 2019)
    We rerelease the 2019 Books of the Year Episode with Dave Leonard from The Booky Joint.
  • Episode 38 - Top Pick Reads of 2020
    Joined once again by Dave Leonard of The Booky Joint, we each presented our 5 top reads of 2020. Find the titles below in your local library or at your local bookseller! Stacey - Imperfect Union by Steve Inskeep Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett The Wife Stalker by Liv Constantine The Guest List by Lucy Foley Dave - The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky Christopher - Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich Eat a Peach by David Chang The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel Miracle Country by Kendra Atleework Transcript (via otter.ai) Tue, 12/8 10:29AM • 1:10:32 SUMMARY KEYWORDS book, read, people, year, written, churchill, dave, called, story, memoir, podcast, christopher, characters, bit, period, bookie, thought, david chang, stacy, good SPEAKERS Doug Thornburg, Christopher Platt, Kendra Atleework, Dave Leonard, Stacey Adler Doug Thornburg 00:10 Welcome to the latest episode of Oxygen Starved 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 back listeners to another episode of the Oxygen Starved Podcast where we bring you your adventures books and conversations your ABCs from 11,000 feet. I'm Stacey and with me, we have Christopher Platt 00:47 Christopher co host Christopher, Kendra Atleework 00:49 COEs, Christopher and of course, as always, producer Doug. Good morning, Doug. Hey, Doug. Doug Thornburg 00:55 Oh. 00:59 Doug is obviously in the holiday spirit or he's had too much coffee. So Doug Thornburg 01:06 that's both. Stacey Adler 01:06 How's it going? Doug Thornburg 01:08 Good. How are you guys? Christopher Platt 01:09 Doing great. Stacey Adler 01:11 We're good. Christopher Platt 01:11 We're, we're waking up laughing on a Friday. So there you go. Stacey Adler 01:15 It's good. Doug Thornburg 01:16 That's good. Stacey Adler 01:16 It's been kind of a rushed morning, but it's it's good. It's good. And we are so happy today to have Dave Leonard from the bookie joint joining us. Welcome, Dave. Christopher Platt 01:29 Hey, Dave. Dave Leonard 01:29 Hi, Christopher. Hi, Stacy. And Doug, how are you? Stacey Adler 01:35 We're good. We're glad to have you back for a year to have our annual books in review episode. I'm so excited for this. Christopher Platt 01:45 I love this time of year when people put out their best of lists and I'm glad that we get to do part of it. Stacey Adler 01:51 Yeah, did you I think Obama just put out his best of he's got all these best stuff. He's got a playlist. He's got a book list. He's he's he's into the best of Christopher Platt 02:04 Dave does bookie joint put out a best of Dave Leonard 02:08 we will be off to this. I think I'll do one shelf for each of them. I think it's there we go. Oh, good. Stacey Adler 02:15 Are you gonna do an oxygen starve shelf? Dave Leonard 02:18 Yes. Yes. Well, we could put three of them. So yes. Yeah, it'll be the the latest thing here. Stacey Adler 02:29 Oh, that'll be that would be so fun. Christopher Platt 02:31 That's one of my favorite things about going into a bookstore, especially indie bookstores is the staff pics. Stacey Adler 02:37 Mm hmm. Yeah, we've always has that. Really? You always have a really good featured staff list. Dave Leonard 02:45 Yeah, we have Customer Picks too. so customers can come in. And excuse me, write them write their favorite little blurb on their favorite books. You're welcome to do that. Yeah. Stacey Adler 03:00 Oh, that was fun. But we should have we should have an oxygen starved no pressure Dave about? Dave Leonard 03:09 Yeah, I think so. I totally, totally agree with you. Christopher Platt 03:16 But let's put the air of the bookie join in Mammoth on the spot on the podcast. Dave, before we get into our top picks, why don't you tell our listeners who might not be familiar with bookie joint, a little bit about the store? Dave Leonard 03:29 Well, bookie giant is one of the longest running stores in Mammoth. It's been here since 1978. And I have owned it for the last 15 years. And it's changed a little bit over the years. So we but it's always sold a lot of different things. It's you know, obviously primary primarily a bookstore. But we we sell all kinds of things. You know, art supplies, jigsaw puzzles, toys, Legos, and magazines, all sorts of things. So Stacey Adler 04:13 you Yes, it's one it's it's my favorite store in Mammoth Dave Leonard 04:19 e two meter well and thank you yeah. I, I you know, and I hear that all the time. People come in and they you know, they have this nostalgia that they have to come back and you know, it just this week, I've had several people that you know, only remember it from, you know, 20 years ago, when I just had DVDs and they aware of the DVD. You know, where are the LPS Christopher Platt 04:55 Where are the LPS that's where Dave Leonard 04:58 they are coming back. Yeah, so Christopher Platt 05:01 are they? Dave Leonard 05:02 Yeah, yeah. Stacey Adler 05:03 Yeah, I think they are. Yeah. All right. I got DVDs much but LP Dave Leonard 05:09 VHS. Christopher Platt 05:11 So Dave, this been a pretty interesting year for retail in a pandemic? How's it? How's that been going for you? How's business been going? Dave Leonard 05:20 I think we've, we've been luckier than a lot of places. Because we sell a lot of stuff that people were looking for in the pandemic, you know, art supplies, jigsaw puzzles, books, even, you know, to keep myself busy, you know, occupied when they're when they're at home. And we have some, you know, very loyal customers who would contact me and, you know, we would do the curbside pickup, and I drop off books with people, you know, just to do the rounds around town. So, yeah, it was it was nice. We were we were able to, even when we were closed, I was able to still sell things. And yeah, it was nice to see people would get in, send the emails and I would send send books mailbox to people, because a lot of people that like to shop here from other places. So when then you know, and then since being being open again, we, we were actually busier than ever in July and August was crazy. And you may have noticed, I noticed in town, it was it was by far the business giant. Yeah. But then then, of course, we had that smoke, which just absolutely killed everything again, so and now everything's shutting down again. So we'll we'll kind of see what, what Christmas brings. It's, you know, it's just one of those up and down years. And hopefully, we have light at the end of the tunnel. And we just have to hold on a little bit longer. And I think I think it'll be very, very busy. Next year, as people are able to travel more, I think it'll be a very busy summer. So you know, we just have to kind of hang on and, you know, I try to support as many local businesses as possible, especially restaurants now that they're shutting down and you know, get takeout and things like that. So, you know, we're all in this together. So we'll, we'll get through. Christopher Platt 07:42 We certainly are and we'll help people getting through because we're going to about to talk about 15 really great books that they can either buy as gifts, or maybe buy for themselves. So maybe this will help tide some people over until things open up some more space to Stacey Adler 08:01 it up first. Christopher Platt 08:03 Ladies first oh Stacey Adler 08:04 god the pressure. Okay. Christopher Platt 08:07 To have books or to be a lady. Stacey Adler 08:09 Uh, well, we can talk about that off recording. All right, well, thank you for letting me go first. Um, so my, I have some I have a little nonfiction I have some palate cleanser, so and some like more meaty books. So I'm going to start with my nonfiction book, which is called imperfect union how john and Jesse Fremont map, the West invented celebrity and helped cause the Civil War. And it's written by Steve Inskeep, which if you are an NPR listener, you will know Steve Inskeep is one of the reporters regular hosts of NPR. He frequently hosts the up first podcast, which I listen to almost every day. And he he writes, I have to say he writes just like he speaks, comfortable as you're reading this book, you can hear him I mean, for me talking about voices in your head, so I can hear Steve Inskeep like narrating. So, it's, it's, that's kind of fun for me. So john Fremont is kind of the most famous historical us figure you've never heard of. Right. So his, there are like a ton of towns and bridges and, and monuments and things attributed to john Fremont, all across the United States, and particularly in the West, because he did so much exploring following the, you know, when we had westward expansion, it was him who did quite a bit of that exploration and if the for those that Have you who listened to our interview with with the colonel from Kevin Hutchison from last year. He is a big fan of john Fremont. And I think he was reading one book about him when we interviewed him last year. So we can look that up and put a link. Yeah. So this book takes place over the years, 1841 to 1856, it focuses on that time period. And right at the outset of the book, is when john Fremont marries Jesse, and she's a lot younger than he is, but she's very politically savvy, because her father was a congressman. So you know, they live in DC, she's very well connected. And, and she's quite ahead of her time. So she kind of takes on the role of his like press secretary. And so they get married, they spend enough time together, that she gets pregnant, and then he leaves for like three years, and goes off, while not three years, but he leaves for a really long time and goes off on this expedition. And when he comes back, she transcribes his notes, all along his journey. And you can imagine back then it took quite a while for even letters to come back. And, you know, he's off in the wilderness with a band of people. So she didn't even get very good correspondence from him. But she would kind of like make things up and leak them to the press. So he would get all the accolades. Right. So you know, there's, it kind of goes back and forth between him and his journeys and his adventures out, you know, out in the West, and then her her experience at home. Right. And so, you know, it says that the title indicates that they invented celebrity, and I'm not sure that that really is explored, I didn't really think that was explored that much in the book. Nor really was their influence and how they started the Civil War. It really, really, the main focus was the idea of, you know, the his adventures and his experiences out there, and how she would react to them back home. And they definitely were the first couple to understand how to manipulate the press. And they did, and they did a really good job of it. And it just was a great account of that period in history. And certainly I didn't know so much about, you know, that time period or his exploration of the West, and that that was really interesting to hear about his company going out after the Donner party. Christopher Platt 13:10 Mm hmm. Stacey Adler 13:11 Kind of tracing their steps. And, you know, the things that they found on the way and hearing about, you know, how he, how they came across, like the Great Salt Lake and they were like, what is this? Salty, we shouldn't drink this for, you know, it was just, it was a really interesting, fun, fun read. And, you know, it was a book definitely that you could pick up, read a chapter or read a few pages, put it down and come back to it. You know, you didn't it didn't require you to read all the way through, you know, in one sitting. So, so that's my nonfiction book. Dave Leonard 13:52 I'm Stacy. And, yeah, just if you're interested in in that period, and john Fremont, there's a really good book called blood and thunder, by Hampton sides, which goes into into that quite a bit, too. Um, I haven't read this one, then. definitely read it. That's, I love Stephens ki T. is great. Stacey Adler 14:16 Yeah, he's so he's so good. And he really, I mean, this is my God, this is so thoroughly researched. And, you know, I it's difficult to research a period of time where you just there aren't that many artifacts, you know, there isn't that much out there. So you really have to dig in. Yeah, it takes up the time and, you know, they interact with Frederick Douglass and it's just, it's fascinating. Christopher Platt 14:44 I'm looking forward to reading this book, too. And, and thank you for bringing up blood and thunder day. That's actually the book that Colonel Hutchinson brain injured that he was reading, right. It's, it's really getting a lot of Dave Leonard 14:56 it's really good. Stacey Adler 14:57 Yeah. And Colonel Hutchinson talked to us about An incident with a cannon. Right. So, meadows, there's supposedly a lost cannon. Right. And that's john Fremont group's cannon. And they talk about I was so excited when I read that part in the book where they talk about how that happened. I'm not going to give it away. I was like, Oh my gosh, I know about that. It was really it was fun. All right, moving on. So my next two books are have similar themes. And I'll start with such a fun age by Kylie read. And Christopher and I talked about this on the podcast, several episodes ago, Christopher Platt 15:45 such a fun book, Stacey Adler 15:46 such a fun book. And this was my fate. This gets my number, this is my favorite book of the year. my very favorite number one, I should have saved it for the end, but I wanted to group them. So basically, this this book is out. Kiley read, I should say, as a first time author, this is a for her first publish novel. And it kind of discusses this idea of woke racism. You know, if you remember earlier on in the year when we were having all these riots and trouble and issues that dealt with race in our country. You heard a lot about people becoming woke to racism. And so this novel kind of explores that a little bit. And basically, the novel starts out with a Mira who is a an African American woman, young woman in her 20s. And she babysits for an upper middle class white family. She gets called away by this family late on a Saturday night to come over because there's been an incident at their house and a leaks the mom wants a near to take their little girl Briar and get her out of the house. So they could deal with this situation. In a Mira acquiesces, she leaves a party, goes to the house picks up the little girl and takes her to a very kind of she she, you know, whole foods like grocery store. And at that grocery store, a security guard. And it's not even like a policeman. He's just like a paid security guard accuses a mirror of kidnapping Briar, and it causes this whole scene and somebody, a gentleman who's watching he films it and, and so then the bat kind of kicks off the plot of the book. And it's just, it's so fascinating to watch these characters, and see how they develop during during the story. And it's, it's just it's a really, really fun, interesting book, to read. You know, to read about racism that's coming from people who don't consider themselves racist, like he leaks. You know, she is obsessed with a mirror. And she wants she more than anything else. It's like this is her top priority is to become friends with a mirror over the fact that she's concerned about what kind of care a mirror gives to her daughter, which, you know, her daughter and Amira have this amazing relationship. And Amir almost loves this little girl more than the mother does. And then Amir develops a relationship with Kelly, who is the gentleman who filmed the whole episode in the grocery store. And he's a he's a white man. And so they're the interplay of their relationship. And, you know, how, how his friends accept or don't accept a mirror and how her friends accept or don't accept Kelly. You know, that's another plotline. And it's just, it's, it's things that you can, you know, these people are people that you know, and you could tell that these were these characters, at least for arc types that Kylie read was very familiar with, and she herself had been a nanny. So you know, this, this comes from a real place for her and I don't say too much more without giving away the plot, but we loved it, didn't we? Christopher Platt 19:43 We did. We talked about on the podcast before. The only thing I'll add to it is it's very cleverly written, and he is thought provoking a key point throughout the book. It's a great book discussion title. And I think it's kind of like a good fiction counterpoint to Angelo's white fragility with a lot of people were reading over the summer. Stacey Adler 20:03 Yeah. And reading at the same time, they both good both came out around the same time. So. So my next book is similar. It deals with with race issues as well, in a very different way. So this is called the vanishing half by Britt Bennett. And it made a lot of top 10. You know, made a lot of bestseller being a best seller list top in books, it was it was on the list for consideration for a National Book Award. And this tells the story of twin sisters, the Vinay sisters, and they grew up in a town called Mallard, Louisiana, which is a very small town, and it is inhabited by African American people with very light skinned universally in the town. That's what they all look the same. And these twins grow up, it takes place over several generations. And these twins grow up and as soon as they can they bail, they get out of town. And they go to New Orleans. And eventually they split up and one marries an African American man who's very dark skinned, the other goes to California and met Well, she gets married to a white man, and they move to California, and she lives her life as a white person. And how they all navigate this is just amazing. And then they each have each sister has a daughter. So Jude is the daughter of Deseret, who married who had married the dark skinned African American man, and she's very dark skin. Whereas Stella, the other twin has a daughter named Kennedy, who who thinks she's white. So she grows up, she doesn't know any different, she doesn't know anything about her mother's background. And then eventually, the two daughters meet each other and become friends. Well, not friends, but they they kind of meet each other and develop a relationship which ends up bringing the sisters back together. But, you know, again, you're dealing with different cultures, you're dealing with time, you know, different generations. And it's fascinating to watch these characters navigate the whole race idea. And yet they're still family. And it was I really enjoyed it. It was really good. It does bounce back and forth between narrators. And so you you kind of have to stick with this a little bit. Christopher Platt 22:57 Dave, are you seeing people? I mean, these are two excellent examples of novels that are kind of addressing current social issues around race. Are you seeing people purchasing books like that here? Dave Leonard 23:10 Yes, yes, we, you know, obviously, there are several nonfiction cast is on the bestseller list, and we'd sold all that quite a bit. Not so much right now. There was a, you know, there's a couple of months where the whole Black Lives Matter movement was more in the in the in the news. And so, you know, books book sales are very, you know, they they come and go very, very fast with, right, yes, yeah. And it's really good to see Oh, I'm also a bunch of young adult novels as well, which, which I hadn't really not really seen before, which is, which is really good to see. So yes, Stacey Adler 23:58 yep. It's great. Yeah. So my last two books are palate cleansers. So though this, this will go through them quickly. So the first one is called the wife stalker, and it's by Liv Constantine. And Liv Constantine is actually two people. So she's two sisters, who write together under this pseudonym. And it's kind of a complicated plot. So the it takes place in Westport, Connecticut, which is a very upscale Eastern town. And it tells the story, it starts out with this setting of this family, the father in Leo is kind of, they have two kids. He's kind of gone into this depressive funk and his wife recommends that he go to this new age center which has opened up in their town and he does Does and he meets the owner and subsequently the owner whose name is Piper, she kind of starts infiltrating their lives. And, and suspense ensues. And so it's just this book completely threw me for a loop. There is a twist at the end. I didn't see it coming. I never saw it coming. I had to actually go back and read it again to make sure I was this really happened. I loved it. Couldn't get it down Christopher Platt 25:35 to a book. Stacey Adler 25:36 I did, I loved it. I, I, I would even go back and read it again. It was so good. It was really great. So yay. You know, if you're looking for an escape, check out the wife soccer for sure. And then my last book is called the guests list by Lucy Foley. I think I might have talked about this on the podcast earlier. This was on a lot of bestseller list. A lot of celebrity book clubs had this book on it. It is written in the style of Agatha Christie, you know, a group of people come together, they're on a remote island. And oh, my goodness, there's a murder. So who did it? Everybody's a suspect. There are a ton of characters, okay, this is there are is a huge list of what you would consider, quote unquote, main characters in this book. And every chapter bounces not only in time, but in narrator so this, this is a book you cannot pick up and put down you. I mean, I couldn't anyways, I couldn't manage who was talking. But it's pretty cagey regarding you know, who not only who did it, but who the dead person is. So you don't you find out that somebody has been murdered pretty early on, but then you don't even know who it is until the end. And when the ending comes. It all wraps up super quick. But another really fun engaging read my middle daughter who's 22 also read it and loved it. So it's it's just a really fun book, and I think it's been optioned for a movie. Sounds like it would be so yeah. Well, you know, it's on Reese Witherspoon's It was one of her picks, okay, for her book clubs. So you think, okay, and all I could think of when I was reading it is who? Which character? Is she going to play? You know, I just, I couldn't figure out who she was going to play. But so those are my five books and great, um, it was a great year for books, I have to say, Christopher Platt 27:59 certainly was and we'll remind our listeners, we're gonna list all of these books on our podcast page, Oxygen Starved Podcast calm, as well as in our Instagram post. So you don't feel like you need to write these down, especially if you're driving. Yeah, stay safe. Stacey Adler 28:17 Yes. Christopher Platt 28:19 So next up, Dave. Dave, what are you? What are your top picks? Dave Leonard 28:25 All right. Well, those are fantastic choices, Stacy. And I will definitely want to read that. That free. What was the name of the Fremont one again? Stacey Adler 28:36 It is called imperfect union. How john and Jesse Fremont map, the West invented celebrity and helped cause the Civil War. And that's by Stephens. Perfect. imperfect union. Yeah, Dave Leonard 28:52 I will. I will read that. Definitely. Okay. So my choices and I agree. It was a great, great year for books. Hard to pick five, five favorites out of them. So my, my first one is the splendid and the vile, by Eric Larsen. And I know you're in that space. Yep. Okay. Have you read him? Stacey Adler 29:19 That's rather to read that one yet. I read this year, I read the biess. The book about the beat. Dave Leonard 29:25 h, and the garden. The bass. Oh, yeah. That was a Stacey Adler 29:27 yes. Dave Leonard 29:28 Mm hmm. Yeah. Oh, I like all of his books. He is one of those authors that i i read everything that he publishes. He's such a great, great storyteller. And he is really good at making history accessible and compelling. And this one is, is no exception. It's it's I enjoyed it a lot. So it's the story of Winston Churchill's first year as prime minister so it spans the period From May 1942, may 1941, the period known as Britain's darkest and finest hour, at least to a spritz, I don't know if it is known as anyone elses finest hour. So, and it was probably the period that established Churchill's legacy as a sort of unbending Bulldog, more than anything. And so Europe had just been steamrolled by Hitler. The states was not had not joined the war. And, and, you know, it wasn't guaranteed that they would, you know, Roosevelt, it was an election year, and it was, it was deeply unpopular here, too, you know, that you guys did not want to want to join. And Russia was our Soviet Union, I guess, was not on the side of the allies. So Britain kind of stood alone. And there, you know, there have been many, many books written about Second World War, and particularly about Churchill. So it's really difficult to write something new and interesting and engaging, but I think Eric Larson has with this one. And he's very, he's an expert at finding sort of the good stuff that you might find in footnotes of other conventional historical accounts. And it creates this immersive historical experience. And, you know, makes you feel like you've lived through it in some ways. And even though we all know how it ends, it's a hard book to put down. And, you know, the subject matter is sorry, go ahead, Stacey Adler 31:52 Dave, in this in this book, does he like parallel Churchill story with another topic, like in, in the garden of BC, kind of shared goes through, you know, Hitler's situation versus DOD, the ambassador from the US citizen, and, you know, Dave Leonard 32:13 he has multiple view viewpoints of Churchill is kind of the main focus. He, you know, there's a lot of really dramatic events, but he uses a lot of firsthand material, you know, everyone wrote diaries and letters, you know, unlike today, and he uses a lot of that. And, you know, it's sort of centered mostly on Churchill's sort of close family and people close to him. And some really interesting ones, particularly his daughter, Mary, is this sort of 17 year old, little socialite? And is really interesting. And so he and there was this thing called the mass observation program, where people would just write down their observations of everyday life. And it wasn't supposed to be for the war. It started before that, but he uses a lot of those to kind of highlight just ordinary people's experiences during during the Blitz. So yeah, it's it's really good. He, you know, he conveys that sort of terror and the horror of the of the Blitz, through these sort of little details, the smells, the sounds, the, you know, the choking volume of dust, and, you know, it was a terrifying time, though, you know, there was 57 consecutive nights of bombing. You know, imagine 57, nine elevens in a row. And it was yes, you know, and my, and my mother actually lived through it, she she was in London at the time, so Wow, I have that really wings, but no, yes. Yes. That so it was really interesting for me to kind of read about it, because, you know, she told me about it, and she, she did not enjoy the war very much. So, yeah, but, you know, it's, it's not just the sort of major events and the, the sort of epic speeches, you know, fight them on the beaches and all that it's, it's, it's a very interesting book about, you know, ordinary people as well. And, and Churchill. Churchill is, it's such an interesting, man, he's, you know, it's this vivid portrayal of, of this brilliant, charismatic, intense, and very bizarre person. You know, he was he was drunk all the time, basically. And, you know, his, he started drinking pretty early in the in the day, and he took a lot of these long baths I would frequently conduct government business from his bath. You know, and people would visit him while he was in his bath is really, really interesting person, but you know just you know, the perfect perfect man for the for the time you know he is. Yeah, but and what did you Christopher Platt 35:21 like? I thought it was a brilliant book and and as you said earlier Larson is excellent at pasting nonfiction. This is a lot like narrative nonfiction that is a page turner, and it's not very long. And I think you hit it right on the head there Dave. He really captures a characterful portrait of Churchill that is even unique to those dozens and dozens and dozens of biographies written about demand. So I also second that as a topic. Stacey Adler 35:49 Yeah, I'm gonna it's on my list for 2021 for sure. Yeah. What's up next? Dave Leonard 35:57 Next? Okay, the next one is the city we became. This is a, I guess you'd call it fantasy. It's, it's by nk jemisin. Who is in perhaps the premier fantasy writer of her generation, this generation. The last thing she did was this phenomenally successful, broken Earth trilogy. And all three of which won the Hugo Award for the Best science sci fi fantasy, which landings have ever been done before. And so it's this one's a bit of a departure from some of our previous like world building series. It's a standalone, and it's set in modern day New York, rather than some novel fantasy world. And so something very strange is going on below the surface. So a bit like Neil Gaiman I think fans of Neil Gaiman will like this quite a bit. Right? Although it's probably not as whimsical as as Neil Gaiman a bit more horrific. And so the basic premise is that cities become living sentient organisms, when they reach a certain point in their evolution. And they choose a human champion to embody them. So the books not only set in New York, but it's it's also an actual character in the in the book. And, and so when, when New York is born, in Britain commas, it manifests into five separate avatars for Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island. And they all have you know, they're very, very different because they they embody the, the sort of heart of the different boroughs. But there is an enemy lurking, ready to devour this newborn city. And the city's avatars don't have a lot of time to figure out who they are, what the enemy is, and how to stop it. And so the city, this newborn city is under attack from this supernatural interdimensional enemy that manifests itself as a series of sort of lovecraftian monsters. And as a white woman, who's dressed all in white, and named Dr. White. It's not it's not super sudden, said and then four of the five avatar champions are people of color that represent the hearts of the five boroughs. And so they need to figure out how to overcome their differences and join together to overcome this interdimensional enemy. And it's, you know, it's, you know, obviously, a commentary on racism, specifically of lovecrafts and overt racism. And because he was, he was pretty racist. It's also a clever reversal of his beliefs. So the villains of the establishment, white supremacy, police brutality, gentrification, and so on. And the heroes everyday New Yorkers of desperate backgrounds have to overcome their differences. And, but it's, you know, it sounds make it sound like it's sort of heavy handed, overly preachy allegory, but it's not really you could just read it as a you know, it's a page turner, you know, as a series of very fast paced encounters. And did you did you read it, Christopher? Christopher Platt 39:52 No, but you know, it's on my list because of the New York writing and it is also on many topless of the year I think it is. I've just I think it is appeared just on yesterday on NPR, his top picks of the year as well. Dave Leonard 40:07 Oh, nice. Yeah. And I think you would probably enjoy it more because it's so site specific to New York, Christopher Platt 40:13 really. Dave Leonard 40:14 But you could, you know, it's her love letter to New York, she that's what she called it. This is her celebration of diversity of New York and sort of the immigrant influx and what it adds to that to, to the city and to culture in general. It's, I think you could enjoy it if you didn't enjoy that kind of thing. But I'm not the best person to say that because I do like it so. Alright. Everyone could enjoy it. If they're like me, and Okay, so should I move on? Yep. Stacey Adler 40:56 Oh, move on. Dave Leonard 40:57 How am I doing for time? You're doing great. All right. Okay. So the next one. This one is called World of wonders, in praise of fireflies. whalesharks and other astonishments by Amy nezuko matter till say that you wouldn't want to be directed. I had to, I had to look up how to pronounce this. Because I had not heard of her. But she's in she's a poet. And this is her first book of essays. It's part memoir, part nature book. And each chapter is devoted to a different natural wonder from peacocks to axolotl owls to dancing frogs and even cops flowers each one features wow yeah, it's it's it's not just animals as plants to and each chapter is quite short, sometimes only about five pages. And it features is gorgeous illustration by fumi Nakamura. It's a really beautiful book if you look at it, it's just like one of these old style nature books with with great illustrations. So each of the natural wonders is linked to an aspect or time in her life. And the natural world provides a colorful cast of characters which she identifies with for different reasons. The axolotl teaches us to smile through adversity, and the narwhal how to survive in a hostile environment. And so on. This is the hall there's, I don't know 2025 different chapters, but they're all really short. And, and as a child, she moved around a lot in her parents were immigrants from the Philippines and India. And so a lot of it is kind of her displacement and being the only brown face in her class. And she was turns to nature to kind of explain life and as a, you know, that's that's her fallback she and it's really humorous and charming and her her writing is really, really evocative, and I liked it a lot. Christopher Platt 43:36 How did you come across this book, Dave? Dave Leonard 43:40 Um, well, it's, it was something I just thought it was right in the stomach. It's it was right in front of me. Christopher Platt 43:52 It reminds me of like Robert McFarlane or other nature writers who are very lyrical or poets on the side kind of thing. Dave Leonard 43:59 Yes. Read it. Yes. And we have we have a bunch of his books in recently. It's, it's maybe a little more kind of humorous, some of the some of the, some of the passages in it are really, really quite funny. You know, and her instinct is always towards joy and amazement. And you know, it's, it's not, um, it's not a downer in any way. I think it would make a really good Christmas gift. It's one of you could put just by your bedside and, you know, pick up chapters here and there. Yeah, I think I think you'd like it a lot. Okay, so next one is utopia Avenue by David Mitchell. And during this Yeah, I think you'll like it. I think you picked another one before. That was one of those rock Like, a fictional rock band or something I, yes, Stacey Adler 45:06 yeah, Daisy Jones and Dave Leonard 45:08 the cetera. And yes, it's sort of like that it's you know, it's, I really, really like David Mitchell, a, he's another one of the authors that I read, everything that he puts out, is his style of writing. It's just really easy to read. And this is his eighth novel. And it's the story of the rise of this eponymous 60s, fictional British band. And he called it the most curious band, you've never heard of. It as most curious podcast you've ever heard of. Story, that story begins, that could be the tagline for your oxygen stuff. The story begins in 67, London, and Mitchell convincingly conveys the spirit and the energy of this time. And he litters the story with real life celebrities like Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, The Beatles stones, you get the picture of all those, anyone that you would imagine to be in the in the sort of rock scene, or pops in. And, but the story centers on the struggling musicians who will become the band utopia Avenue, and their rise to success and fame. And their there, the each of them is really, really, I think, probably don't need me to name all of the people in it. But the novel is presented as it's a series of albums, which are composed of songs devoted to and written by one of the members of the band. And whole songs have reproduced. And I thought they were, it was quite believable. You know, they're, they're simultaneously trite and sincere, like most of the bedroom pop songs. And so it seems it seems more conventional than some of his books, some of them, some of them go way, way, way out there. But it so it's initially fairly straightforward. kind of take on a sort of mock, realistic mock rock biography. And at one point, at a certain point, he just veers off into this extraordinary imagined world that he has, but not quite as much as Stacey Adler 47:40 that is it? Is it toll for like, you know, from like, a humorous, ironic tongue in cheek perspective, or is it pretty, you know, like a, like a spinal tap kind of thing? Or is it more straightforward? Dave Leonard 47:57 It's more straightforward. It's not a it's not a spinal tap kinda kind of kind of deal. And, you know, he, he has these trademark conventions in all his books. They're self referential. So you'll recognize fans of David Mitchell recognize several characters or descendants of characters from his other novels. But it can be read, as you know, like a chapter in his stand all, but it can also be read independently. And you said, you certainly don't need to have read any of his other novels. It just sort of, you know, it's like a Fan Fan thing that he sticks in for people who've read all his other stuff. And but yes, Stacey Adler 48:41 coming in this weekend to buy it. Dave Leonard 48:43 All right, there is good, we have it. And Okay, so, last one, is called the doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky. And I picked up picked up one of his books last year as well. And I got such a good response from from you, Christopher for his name, Tchaikovsky. So I would pick it again, another one by him. So, in the doors of Eden, he Tchaikovsky takes the evolutionary world building of the children of time geology, which is the second one of those I picked last last year, and applies it to all the what ifs of Earth's of the Earth's past. So and he's fascinated by this idea of deep time of the millions of years of life before humans came along. And at the same time, this is the doors of Eden is set it in the here and now even though there are more than one here and hours. So he explores this many worlds theory that on a series of parallel Earth Life has experienced very different evolutions. And it's quite a thick book. So you know, if you like this kind of thing, that's what you what you're looking for you want something that's really, you know, convoluted and meaty. And it begins on a small scale with two young cryptid hunters you know the unexplained animals like the Loch Ness Monster so they're they're hunting for this sort of mysterious Birdman on bottom blood men more, and then things quickly escalate. And go to go south. And the narrative was that sorry. Christopher Platt 50:44 jinks ensue, Dave Leonard 50:45 oh, high jinks ensue Exactly. And the and it expands to this epic journey from you know, to this existential crisis of all parallel earth. And so, imagine that the barrier between an alternate reality alternative realities and parallel Earth is very thin, and cracks are appearing, which allow creatures from other others parallel earth to travel to this one, and vice versa. And he always he always features these really unusual and memorable sentience non human life forms. And like this one has the enhanced super intelligence steampunk weasel rats. And, you know, peaceful but brilliant with Neanderthals and enormous spacefaring trailer bites. And yeah, it's it's really weird and wonderful worlds, you know, people buy outlandish creatures. And, and I think if you know if, if you like that kind of thing, you will really like it. I'm not. Not sure it's for someone who doesn't, doesn't buy into that whole idea. And Christopher Platt 52:06 that's the wonderful thing about fantasy and space opera and all this other kind of stuff is is it really is escapist? Dave Leonard 52:14 Yes. With Yes. characters. Yeah. And I I read quite a lot. I've been reading a lot more fantasy and sci fi as as a as an escape as well. I like you know, it's right. It's nice to just completely lose yourself and something that's that's kind of ridiculous if you stop and think about it, but it's very entertaining. Christopher Platt 52:38 Yes, it is entertaining, and it helps you mentally get through stuff. That's why these Hallmark Christmas movies are making such a big splash in 2020 mindless entertainment that takes you out of yourself. Dave Leonard 52:49 Right? I would say it's not completely mindless. This this kind of makes makes makes you think I don't want to say that I'm reading completely mindless stuff. Christopher Platt 53:02 That either No, but clearly, it's not. I didn't mean to imply that this was the Hallmark Christmas movie of Dave Leonard 53:11 I'm extremely offended, Christopher. But you have to ask me very nicely to come back next year. Christopher Platt 53:24 Dave, those are five really great pics. Good job. Dave Leonard 53:27 Thank you. Thank you. Appreciate it. Are you gonna go ahead and see your turn? Christopher Platt 53:36 Okay, mine are rather different than both of yours. But they also kind of, you know, as per both of you they reflect my own reading tastes as well. So the first one I'm going to talk about is Hamlet by Maggie O'Farrell. This is historical fiction. It came out in the summer. It is based on some degree of fact, as good historical fiction is, this is a book we know the ending to the story already. We know the history it's based on, but it still has moments of exquisite writing that will take your breath away. And in a way it's good. We know the story already because it allows Maggie O'Farrell who is a really great writer to catch the threads of well worn rugs and pull on them unraveling and reweaving the narrative from an entirely different point of view, which is what's so wonderful to read about historical fiction, one of the things I like about it. So here's the history behind this story. Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway marry. They have two children and he leaves and to raise them in Stratford while he goes to make his career in London, and he rarely comes home once he's in London. He's in there writing plays and sending money back home to support his family. They have two children, their youngest Hamlet dies at age 11. The his son, many believe this influenced his play Hamlet that came out a few years later. Hamlet and Hamlet were almost interchangeable names in this period. apparently according to the author. This was also an era of plague. So those are the historical facts that kind of structure the story and here's the author's take it, she writes it from the perspective of and Shakespeare himself is a is present and is a character in this book, but he is never named, which I think was a interesting device that she uses so that his personality doesn't overshadow. And just in the writing, she paints the portrait of and living in a claustrophobic life with her husband's in laws, you know her in laws, she lives with her husband's family, even though he's off in London. After having grown up kind of more freewheeling on a farm and having learned to treat ailments, you know, with herbs and, you know, bark and all those kind of things that people did back then, a plague comes to town First, it threatens to take her daughter, but it takes her son instead of not giving anything away here because the story really takes off from this point. And it's a compelling novel about family about loss about estrangement, and the pressures on the marriage when you lose a child, frankly, which is unimaginable. It's, again, well researched historical fiction, the writing is brilliantly paced. And I've said this before about this book, there are a few moments in this book where a feral reaches in and grabs you by the heart and only slowly lets go. It is a remarkable, remarkable book. It got the woman's Prize for Fiction this year. And it's had a number of Best of lists, including the New York Times and NPR picks that were released just this first week of December so and I think I've talked about it before on the podcast, it's, it's really good. Stacey Adler 56:44 Yeah, and it um, it made a lot of the, you know, like, I think he said, the best seller, you know, best topless and a really compelling novel about the loss of a child and how people dealt with it. Christopher Platt 57:02 Yep. Um, so that was my downer book. There. The next book that I recommend is also a novel. This is called the night watchman. It's another bestseller from National Book Award winner Louise eldritch, who many of you will know. And it was also a top pick of the Year in many of these lists, including Washington Post and Amazon and Chicago Public Library. She bases this story on the true story of her grandfather, who in the 1950s was a security guard. He was a nightwatchman. And he was a member of their tribe and argued before Congress, the defense of the Native American treaty that guaranteed their tribal lands. And in a very creative and thought provoking way, she illuminates a whole period of history that I never understood happened until very recently. So you know, as I was reading this, I kept thinking how many of us outside of tribes, at least in my generation were aware of in that period, there was a concerted effort to disenfranchise Native Americans from their rights and land so that the land could be taken over and, and the use dictated by the descendants of settlers who, quote unquote, do better. And this opened up mining and opened up you know, deforestation infrastructure projects, I didn't necessarily benefit the tribes themselves whose land was taken. This was also a time that tribal defense had to be a very delicate dance of language and intellect. Because many states didn't even allow tribe members to vote much less recognize them as full citizens. A lot of people would be surprised it wasn't until the 1965 Voting Rights Act that put many tribes on the closer footing the equal. And if you just pick up any newspaper or turn on the news today, the issue you can tell is still not resolved. Her book, her novel is very characterful and approachable, it helps illuminate this issue in a beautiful way. She has a great cast of characters that are created, they're funny, sometimes they're not even human. There's a little bit of magical realism here. And her, her chapters are short, so you actually find yourself reading through the book more quickly than you might imagine. And, you know, when I close the book, aside from the larger social issue, I also thought it was just a compellingly written tale that in a way reminded me of that classic Jimmy Stewart film, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Yeah, you know, the kind of powerless small town person who goes and takes on Congress this season. This is a version of that kind of story and a very compelling one. So a great addition to Louise's. eldritch is output. Stacey Adler 59:45 Fine, sounds like a good read. Christopher Platt 59:47 It is a good read. So the next book that I'll pick I've talked about before, I think as well is called eat a peach by David Chang. This is a memoir. If you Want to understand how crazy You have to be to become a Michelin starred chef who turns on the wall into a worldwide sensation? You can get inside the mind of just one set chef with David Chang spoke about his path toward and from Momofuku noodle bar. He's artistic. He's fearless. He's relentless, and ultimately has to learn to understand humanity and humility. Many of you will recognize David Chang, for his appearances on Netflix is ugly, delicious. And he also just made the news recently by winning a million dollars on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and donating it all to a charity that supports restaurant workers during the pandemic. Stacey Adler 1:00:37 You still when I was going to say, Christopher Platt 1:00:42 I think you would agree those days dudes and men, she's, she's, Stacey Adler 1:00:46 he is a really, really good guy. And, you know, you mentioned the characteristics of how he developed humility. I mean, he's so humble for a chef, you know, chefs are not typically humble people. And I find him to be so humble. And you discuss this book when we were covering memoirs. And it's, it's on it's on my list to read to I just, I love him. He He's also done some stuff with Jon Favreau. There's a, he has a chef show or some kind of cooking show. I've seen a couple episodes. I think it's on Netflix. And he's just such a good guy, David Chang, Christopher Platt 1:01:35 and he is a good guy. And what's interesting about this book is that he doesn't necessarily start out that way. You know, he, he admits his own faults. He's very self reflective, he's candid. Yeah, kind of paints his trajectory from where he started and where he thought he would go to where he actually ended up. You're right, you don't become a Michelin starred chef by being everyone's best friend. Right. But you know, he kind of shows that, you know, the work is he's funny and shows that the work benefits from taking risks. And it also it should quick and interesting read, but it also opens the door to kind of examining what goes on behind the doors in these high pressure restaurants. So that's eat a peach by David Chang. Stacey Adler 1:02:22 Yep. I can't wait to read that meeting. Christopher Platt 1:02:25 So my, my excellent. Awesome. I get three people local to read this book. I get a prize. Stacey Adler 1:02:32 You get a gift certificate to Momofuku. Christopher Platt 1:02:35 I love that, you know, all those years and and Momofuku is like, on everyone's radar, and I never made it over there. But Stacey Adler 1:02:44 I think he has a read. I think he has restaurants in LA now too. Christopher Platt 1:02:48 Yeah, but no. account. Oh. Stacey Adler 1:02:52 New Yorker. Christopher Platt 1:02:53 I know. So my next pick is back to fiction world historical fiction. This is a mirror and the light by Hilary mantel. Many of you will recognize this book it closes out the Thomas Cromwell trilogy began with wolf Hall and bring up the bodies both of which won the Booker Prize when they came out. Wolf Hall was adapted into a successful TV series starring Mark Rylance mirror and the light just bookends the story right up to his execution by the king he served. Henry the Eighth thoroughly researched, compellingly written I won't go into the details, but a couple of points I'll make that probably indicate why this whole trilogy In fact, was so popular. No matter what you think of Thomas Cromwell, he was a ruthless and controversial figure. He was also one of the only self made men of his age, no one at this period could be born the son of a butcher and expect to become the second most powerful person in the country. Today, we take that for granted. But back in those days, you kind of had to be part of nobility or royalty or something, control. So he was controversial for that reason. And she extracts that as a theme throughout all of these books. The other thing is that politics is both timeless and universal. The plot threads and machinations of this trilogy could have been lifted from any major news outlet today, regardless of where you sit on the political spectrum, or what news outlet you watch when you turn on the TV. The parallels are there in this book, and I always find that fascinating. The novel is introspective, it's paced, it's amazing right to the end. I personally don't think it's as good as the first two, but it's enormously satisfying on the last, and again, this one hit. You know, it was nominated for the Booker it didn't win. But it was a top pick of the Year by the New York Times, Washington Post Time Magazine, NPR, The Guardian, you know, on and on and on and on. So, Stacey Adler 1:04:45 Christopher, do you have to read the other two to be able to pick this one up? Or, you know, is it better if you have that context? Christopher Platt 1:04:54 Well, you know, I think if you're not very familiar with the era or who Thomas cromo was you benefit from reading the other two like reading bios of Churchill when we talked earlier you know rain and read a slice of a person's life and so you can you can pick this one up and but you kind of miss the the story setting that comes from the first two and the drama that gets resolved. Did people buy this at the bookstore this year Dave? Dave Leonard 1:05:25 I'm not very much and I agree with you i really like this this trilogy. But I've you know, I I've heard feedback from people who just sort of didn't, didn't get who was who was addressing them at different points. But again, I I really liked it personally. But it hasn't been a massive seller for us. So but we do have all three if anyone would like to purchase them. Christopher Platt 1:06:00 Make it perfect. So my my final pick of the year, which I'm sure people have been buying from you, is a local miracle country by Kendra Attlee work. We had the pleasure of interviewing Kendra back in June. So I won't go into too much detail about this debut memoir. And in fact, many of our Eastern Sierra listeners will have seen or read this book already. It's currently as we're recording this a book club pick for the Eastern Sierra interpretive associations December book club. I will restate my earlier comment that this book which is an intimate family memoir, and a memoir of place at the same time, a memoir of the Eastern Sierra with elements of history and nature writing, this book will become part of the canon of this area sitting easily alongside Mary Austen's land of little rain and other books. many locals will recognize Kendra by her writing in the local press or just by knowing her and her family. But I'm not just cheering on our own here. This is a book that's getting broad positive attention, including starred reviews from two major book review publications for libraries and booksellers that Dave will recognize Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. For a first time memoir. That's pretty incredible. Yeah, it's Stacey Adler 1:07:16 been a lot of buzz. Dave Leonard 1:07:19 Yes. And it's probably this one is probably our biggest selling book this year. Stacey Adler 1:07:25 Wow. That's great. Christopher Platt 1:07:27 I really think, yeah, it's just it's if you want to know anything about the Eastern Sierra, this is a good book to read. Stacey Adler 1:07:35 Yes, fine. I should read you. For all of us that live here. Even if we you don't know the athlete work family, it's it is really fun to read a book and about places that you recognize, and you know exactly where she's talking about. It's, that makes it really fun to Christopher Platt 1:07:55 entirely. So again, a compelling memoir, highly recommended. I think, you know, between the three of us, we've listed 15 really great books to choose from for top picks of 2020. Right? Stacey Adler 1:08:09 Yep. And books from all different genres. They'll fit anybody's taste. Dave Leonard 1:08:16 Yes, and if if anyone's looking for them, we I, I will I know you were just kind of joking at the start but I I will put out a put them all together on a on a shelf. So we'll be able to have join at the bookie join and we'll have a little a little bit if you want to come in and do a little blurb for them. You're welcome to as well. Christopher Platt 1:08:42 Awesome. So first you heard it right from Dave himself. bookie joints in the minaret mall in Mammoth Lakes, California, highly rec integrate, I echo Stacy's comments one of my favorite stores in the county. Go by Say hello to Dave. Thank you for joining us for another episode of Oxygen Starved Podcast. If you can't find these books in your local you can always find these books in your local libraries and through your local booksellers. But we do encourage you to shop local especially this year. If you have indie booksellers around you find these books listed on our website Oxygen Starved Podcast calm we will list them on our Instagram account when this episode goes live. And yeah, thank you for joining us in 2020 it's been an interesting year, hasn't it? Stacey Adler 1:09:33 Yeah, that's your set a mouthful there. Christopher Platt 1:09:38 Dave, thank you for joining us again. Stacey Adler 1:09:40 Thanks, Dave. Dave Leonard 1:09:41 Thank you so much, Christopher and Stacy, and be well. Stacey Adler 1:09:47 Be well. Christopher Platt 1:09:48 Be well listeners Happy 2020 Stacey Adler 1:09:51 Happy Holidays. Be safe. Doug Thornburg 1:10:02 Thanks for joining us here for oxygen star. Our outro music on iron bacon is composed and performed by Kevin MacLeod incompetech.com Creative Commons By Attribution 3.0 license.
  • Episode 37 - Black Point Fissures; The Far Side is back; Local Artist Lori Michelon
    Stuff we talked about - Adventure: Black Point Fissures Books: The Far Side by Gary Larson Far Side Compilations Conversation: The Mono County Library Makerspace Program @mammothmakerspace on Instagram @lorileeandherart on Instagram Chocolate Art Walk in Bishop Business for Bohemians by Tom Hodgkinson The Peppermint Tea Chronicles by Alexander McCall Smith The Book of Delights by Ross Gay The Once and Future King by T.H. White
  • Episode 36 - Tom's Place; Gift Books; Robin Roberts of Mono County Behavioral Health
    Stuff we talked about: Adventure - Tom's Place Resort Books - The Sasquatch, the Fire, and the Cedar Baskets by Joseph Dandurand and Simon Daniel James Humans by Brandon Stanton The Poetry of Strangers by Brian Sonia-Wallace The Girl and the Dinosaur by Hollie Hughes Friends: the official cookbook by Amanda Yee The Other Side of the Coin by Angela Kelly Conversation - Mono County Behavioral Health On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell Recollections From My Known Existence by Rebecca Solnit Dare to Lead by Brene Brown
  • Episode 35 - Pumpkins & River Cleanup; Spooky Reads; Lauren Kemmeter of Mono County Health's Tobacco Education Program
    Stuff we talked about - Adventure: Corley Ranch Pumpkin Patch Upper Owens River Books: Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson The Uninvited by Dorothy Macardle Conversation: Mono Tobacco Education Program. Instagram & Facebook: @Tobaccofreeeasternsierra Californa Smokers' Helpline The Defining Decade by Meg Jay Transcript: SPEAKERS Doug Thornburg, Oxygen Starved Podcast, Christopher Platt, Lauren Kemmeter, Stacey Adler Doug Thornburg 00:10 Welcome to the latest episode of Oxygen Starved 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 adventure of the Oxygen Starved Podcast where we bring you your adventures books and conversations. ABCs from 11,000 feet. I'm Stacy. Christopher Platt 00:44 And I'm Christopher Stacey Adler 00:45 and with us as always is producer Doug. Good morning, Doug. Doug Thornburg 00:48 Morning. Good morning. How are you guys today? Stacey Adler 00:51 Good. We can breathe. Christopher Platt 00:52 Yeah. beautiful blue sky. And we don't take that for granted these days, right? Stacey Adler 00:57 No, we certainly don't. But you know, big shout out to all of the firefighters and folks that are working to put the creek fire out. They are working tirelessly. They've been on this for over a month. And you know, just mad props and respect to them. And thank you for all of your hard work. Christopher Platt 01:21 Yeah, absolutely. You know, we record this, you know, again in advance of release. So it's kind of late October. We're talking right now and all the firefighting helicopters have arrived at the Mammoth Lakes airport, which is is very interesting and reassuring at the same time. So yeah. Thank you guys and women for what you do. Stacey Adler 01:42 Yeah, so we both have some adventures to share this week. And I guess I'll I will share my adventure first. So my daughter Tessa and I ventured up to Coralie ranch in gardnerville. And gardnerville is the town just pass Topaz Lake, just across the Nevada border from California. And this ranch is a working Ranch, they have cattle and hay, they grow hay and farming. And every year well for the last 16 years, they have held a pumpkin patch and we've kind of watched the pumpkin patch evolve and grow over the years and, you know, used to be a big thing for all of us, all of us to go up there. Now it's relegated to, to me and Tessa. So Christopher Platt 02:41 children at heart. Stacey Adler 02:42 Yes, absolutely. So we went to that went to the pumpkin patch. And they have you can go into the field and actually pick your own pumpkin. And it seems like it was a flat $5 fee. Like they didn't weigh them. They used to weigh them and then depending on the size of the pumpkin you you pay for it, but we we had two pumpkins that are pretty much the same size. They were kind of big, but they didn't weigh them they just said oh five bucks. And so that was that was a good deal. It's five bucks to get in to the whole thing for everybody. But then they have they have a corn maze. They have a petting zoo, they have a hay slide. A wagon train ride. That's Yeah, they don't that only runs on the weekends, but you know, and it was we it was it when you have little kids It was really you know, that was super fun and you'd spend you know, half a day there. You know with a 15 year old you know you check it out you pet some goats you go through the corn maze, you pick your pumpkin and you're out of there. But it was it was super fun. And they they do such a nice job and there's so nice up there. And the one thing that that we they have on the weekends we went on an early Friday at Tesla didn't have school so we we drove up there and it was so it wasn't very crowded when we went but on the weekends they have pig races. And I was bummed that we couldn't see the pig races because I think that would have been hilarious. So Oh, and they also have a giant slingshot on the weekends. That's what people Oh wow. I think either people or maybe pumpkins. I don't know it was an operating so we didn't get to see but I was glad it wasn't opening because if it were people Tessa would have wanted to do that. And I don't know that our insurance covers giant slings. Christopher Platt 05:00 So what do you do with with your pumpkin seeds? Do you roast them? Stacey Adler 05:03 I do. I love I love roasting pumpkin seeds. I think I'm the only one in the family that actually eats them. Really? Yeah, my husband does not like pumpkin seeds. And, you know, test is the only child left at home now. So I think she has a few and then she's kind of good. She's all about the candy. You know, it's Halloween, it's, you know, she's, she's trying to eat more, you know, healthfully now, but Halloween, you know, all bets are off. So, and it's going to be strange this year, you know, I'm not sure that we just got some guidelines on trick or treating, and not really sure what's going to be happening with that this year. So and, you know, we kind of feel like she's a teenager, the trick or treating is done. It's time for her to give out the candy. Not. So we don't have right you know, we're old now. So getting up and running to the door every time. I know. Christopher Platt 06:08 You're not going to do one of those giant tubes that you see some of the people doing down south where they're they just shoot the candy down a tube down to the driveway. Stacey Adler 06:18 Well, that's I had I had not heard about that. That's interesting. And then in this time of COVID it's probably a more sanitary way to hand out candy. Yeah. But no, we, you know, I do like to, it's fun to see all the little kids you know, and they can barely say Trick or treat and they're just so darn cute. So we'll see. So if you're in the Eastern Sierra area, and you're looking for a fun activity on a weekend, afternoon or weekday evening, the pumpkin patch is open from 10 to five every day is I think I said it's a $5 mission. So head on up to Corley Ranch, telling the audience Oxygen Starved Podcast sent you and you'll get nothing. But Christopher Platt 07:14 no, let's say our listeners should realize especially for residents in the northern half of Mono County, going across the state line to gardener villain mindon where the shopping centers are that's where a lot of us do our Stacey Adler 07:27 absolutely Christopher Platt 07:28 yeah. Yeah. You know, we have plenty of listeners up in Douglas County and and along that corridor, so absolutely. Stacey Adler 07:37 Check it out. And what about you, Christopher? Where did you adventure? Christopher Platt 07:41 Well, we stayed closer to home and it didn't involve pumpkins. No, you know, one of the great things about living in this area with so many trails in so many places to access nature's there are plenty of groups in the Eastern Sierra, who want to help keep it sustainable and you know, clean and, and, and welcome for anyone to come in enjoy. And so there's very often cleanups that are organized on on weekends by different organizations. And last weekend, wills and I participated in a river cleanup on the upper Owens river that was sponsored by the Eastern Sierra interpretive Association and La Department of Water and Power. Yeah, and you know, we hadn't really walked that stretch of the river since we moved back. It's out on the baton crossing road past the dump. out in that big, beautiful, you know, open Meadow area, north of Crowley Lake, it's where the river kind of comes out towards Crawley lake. And it just is just so nice to be out there. It was a beautiful morning, there was smoke in the air, but there were also high clouds and there was blue sky mixing in and it just felt much more clear than it had been in a while. Which was nice. And yeah, you just kind of get grab a bucket and a grabber and some gloves. And we use walk the river and you know, cigarette butts and fishing line are things that people leave behind. And you know, is it go ahead? Oxygen Starved Podcast 09:13 Was it surprising? What kind of trashed you? I mean, were you ever like at any point were you shocked it? How could somebody leave this? Christopher Platt 09:23 Well, I didn't get it the best trash someone found interesting. Oh my god, I got a sandal. I was reminded how many cigarette butts were out there and cigarette wrappers, which I was like, Oh, yeah, people still smoke. And of course, we're talking with someone from tobacco free Eastern Sierra later on. But you know, it was just a great excuse to be out there without a fishing pole, right and walk along and if you go up on some of the chalk Bluffs, you can look back and you really get an appreciation for how the Owens river snakes back on itself as it's going through that area. It really was just was beautiful to be out in this wide open space. We weren't up a canyon, there weren't mountains, you know, right up against us, it just felt very open. And we really enjoyed it. And so yeah, you know, listeners, we encourage you, if you don't already, keep your eye out for some of these cleanup areas. As we're recording it this weekend, there's going to be cleanups and canyons down the international forest and up for some pine. So it's an excuse to go up and kind of just slow down and appreciate it and help out along the way. Stacey Adler 10:32 Yeah, that's one of the things that struck me about when I moved up here is the number of these types of events that occur because, you know, we love where we live, we want to keep it clean. And, you know, we encourage the visitors when they come to do their part as well. But, yeah, we've participated in lots of those cleanup days up in Mammoth. They always have one in the fall and it is it's it's a good excuse to be outside. With a purpose with a purpose. Christopher Platt 11:08 Feeling productive. Stacey Adler 11:09 Yes, absolutely. Christopher Platt 11:12 So listeners, I'm sure you're feeling productive as we move into the fall. Go grab, go grab that. Go grab a glass of water, a cup of tea, whatever matches the temperature right now, and we'll be right back. Doug Thornburg 11:28 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 packed nutritious podcast considering books describing Mono County adventure and engaging informative conversation with colorful Eastside Sierra locals downloaded now. Welcome back listeners. We're at the books portion of our podcast. Yay, yay, little chair wheelchair the new thing so Christopher Platt 12:14 since tis the season, Stacy and I decided to chat about Halloween themed books or you know, ghost stories or witches or what have you. We thought it would be fun, right as Stacey Adler 12:27 we did something different. This is not my typical genre. Christopher Platt 12:31 You don't read horror? Stacey Adler 12:33 I do now. Christopher Platt 12:34 Okay. Well, I'm glad we pushed you out of your comfort level a little bit. Stacey Adler 12:39 Definitely did Christopher Platt 12:41 well, why don't you describe what what you read and how far out your comfort level us. Stacey Adler 12:45 So you know, when I was approaching this assignment, this topic, I went to the guru of all gurus, Oprah. And thank goodness, she has a list of you know, her top 20 Halloween books. So I peruse that list and I found this newly published book it was published in July of 2020 is called the year of the witching hour and the author is Alexis Henderson. Okay. And this is a classified as a young adult a why a novel. Okay, and so I got a twofer here. I don't typically read young adult novels, although I should read more of them because some of them are pretty good. And I don't typically read books about you know, which is or you know, things like this so it wasn't really a horror book per se but it definitely dealt with the mystical and you know, the witches and kind of had a fairy tale esque background to it. So this is from this is the the line the tagline from bookshop. A young woman living in a rigid puritanical society discovers dark powers within herself in this stunning feminist fantasy debut. So this is definitely the main character's name is Manuel he met Emmanuelle and she is 16 years old. And her mother died when giving birth to her. And she lives with her grandparents. And her her aunt and her her little cousins kind of on the outskirts of this town, and their whole community is led by this guy who's called the Prophet Okay, and the Prophet has multiple wives. He's kind of a dictator. You know, it's kind of like what even though this is supposed to be grounded in in some Bible, they don't say which. They are You know, his philosophy. It's very bizarre. So, you know, at one point he takes on a wife who is human? Well, he manuals age 16. And later on in the novel this, I don't This doesn't affect the plot really at all. You know, she discovers that her friend is pregnant by this prophet, you know, and was pregnant Well, before he married her. Oh, and so you know, there as I was reading it, I haven't thinking, wow, this is this is a younger, this is what young adults are reading now. I mean, I'm thinking of my 15 year old, you know, is she gonna read a book like this? I thought some of the themes were a little much for young adults, but I don't know, maybe that crosses into people in their early 20s. I'm not new at all. Now. Christopher Platt 15:58 Yeah. A lot of that literature is dealing more with more openly with social issues. Yeah. And kind of acknowledging that many older teens and new adults are quite well aware of these things. And so they try to handle it in a kind of a constructive way if they can. Stacey Adler 16:18 Yeah, and I don't think there was there wasn't anything graphic, certainly, right. In this book, you know, so, you know, I, if, if Tesla were to read this, she could handle it, for sure. It was just a little like, wow, yeah, eye opening for me. Christopher Platt 16:33 I get it. Stacey Adler 16:34 But you know, so eventually, Emmanuelle, she ventures into the dark wood, you know, which is the evil forest and she comes across these witches. And they give her a journal that her mother had written and her mother was part of this, you know, was, was cursed and this curse was passed on to Emmanuelle, and then she kind of be friends, she develops this relationship with the Prophet, son. Mm hmm. And, you know, they, they work together to overcome these plagues that Emmanuelle believes she has set in motion. And so they want to save the town from the plague. So I mean, it was, I enjoyed it, it was it definitely was well paced. You know, it got I got to the end, and was for me was very, fairly satisfying. listeners, know that I sometimes have a problem with endings, but this one, um, you know, it ended on a satisfying note, and also left the author room, if she were going to do a sequel, there's definitely space for that. Yeah. Um, but it was, you know, it was interesting, it really, this was real, it was engaging, and it was, it definitely had, you know, all the ark types that we expect. Sure, you know, from this kind of literature, you know, you have the witches, you have the evil grandmother, you have the, you know, the, the prophet son is kind of like the handsome prince, you know, you have the, the strong protagonist, which is, you know, good role model for young women these days, you know, to be strong and take care of your own stuff and not expect other people to, you know, solve your problems for you. So, you know, I enjoyed it, I would I would recommend it if you're looking for a good fantasy, you mystical book. Check out the year of the witching by Alexis Henderson. So that was what I read. And how about you, Christopher? Christopher Platt 18:57 Yeah, I didn't read ya this time. I'm a big, you know, there's a for about the last 10 years, there's been really a lot of crossover young adult books that a lot of adults read. And so I tried to read a couple a year at least, just because I find the writing compelling. So I think that's a really great recommendation. We'll make sure we have it in the library. So for me, I don't read horror either. I'm not a big Stephen King fan. I think we've discussed this before. Just because I have a hard time. You know, getting myself into a place where I can feel what I feel like I should feel when I read horror, which is spine tingling, and all that kind of stuff. I love a good horror story. I love a good ghost story. But I guess I'm just hard to please that way. I went back in the Canon a little bit and read at classic ghost story. This book that I read was called the uninvited by Dorothy McArdle, and the story was published. First in 1942, so this is an oral story, but it was hugely successful. And in fact, when it came out it was made into a Hollywood movie in 1944, starring Ray malanda and Ruth Hussey. It was one of the first Hollywood movies to treat hauntings as real events rather than slapstick, or you know, a con or anything like that. And in fact, two major Hollywood directors Martin Scorsese and Guillermo del Toro current Lee list, this movie is one of the scariest they've ever seen. Wow. And Fun fact for our jazz fans there. This is the movie that also introduced the song Stella by starlight complete non sequitur right there. I will go right back to the book. Now. I have not seen the movie. I want to see it now after having read the book, though. So again, the book is kind of old McArdle herself was born in Ireland. She wrote this book when she was, you know, in her early 50s. Just before or just as World War Two is taking out. And it deals with the story of the Fitzgerald siblings, who are two adults, Roderick and Pamela and their cook, Lizzie, they take over a house called Cliff end, which is this derelict but beautifully situated place on the coast of Devin in the south of England. So already, we're kind of like setting the stage of like, a house in the wilderness, you know, next to the ocean, right. And of course, you know, she sets it up. The villagers all think it's haunted or cursed. They actually buy the house from this girl named Stella talking about new adults. She is the surviving 19 year old daughter of a mother who died tragically in a fall from the cliff just next to the house and her mother who mysteriously runs away we don't hear about him at all. So in effect, she's, you know, kind of a teenage orphan. She lives with her grandfather, the commander, which is like an archetypal, British stern character. And in fact, early on in the book, there's the sentence that one of the characters enters a lonely house, a beautiful lady and a violent death would anyone in his senses lose the chance of making a story out of that, so it's kind of a self retro referential comment of what the actual story is going to be. So McArdle does a good job of setting up the characters and context and the atmosphere is very Gothic. The ghostly happenings don't really start for a good 50 pages, because of that setup, which may be a while to get in. But once I got there, it was good. It takes place during summertime, the brothers, Roderick and Pamela are fixing up the house to make it livable again and meeting the locals. And of course, as you would expect, there's this mysterious dark room that the previous owners just locked up and never went into that sparks the first conundrum. Again, they get to know the young girl Stella a little bit better. There's kind of a light romance budding between Roddy and Stella because she was born and partially raised in the house. And now she's kind of painted as this kind of spacey ethereal creature who doesn't really have control over her own her own life anymore, but they invite her over to tea in her old house. And she's kind of like the the trope of the messed up child in a haunted house story. You know, speaking of archetypal characters, so they start to get to know her and as the siblings rod and Pamela set up having guests down from London to stay for a house warming the first guest sees an apparition in the mirror in the haunted room. And that's when the real high jinks start and the story picks up Stacey Adler 23:52 is the is the apparition does it proved to be like an evil like to evil things start happening or scary thing? Christopher Platt 24:01 I'm glad you asked that question Which is funny because yeah, then the thing start really rolling out there sounds there's like cold spells and chills and rooms there's the smell of a very distinct perfume. And what's funny is rod and Pamela the sibling to own the house kind of callously dismiss when someone comes and says, you know, oh, I saw a ghost or I saw something there. They're kind of like Oh, you're just seeing things kind of thing. But then they start to get convinced as well. And yeah, so they're they're hardy no nonsense cook. Lizzy sees a ghost of a young lady who it turns out to be the young lady who died she was the one who fell off a cliff she was clutching to a tree and she fell off the tree and died and crashed on the rocks below near the ocean. Stella the girl confirms this when she stays too late to go home one night and sees the apparition herself. She sees her mother And of course that makes her very happy because she misses her mother very, very much and she feels this ghost is coming back to comfort her. So, Ronnie and Pam, my nicknames are then caught in a situation where Stella their cook and their friends feel the place is haunted. But they themselves are still some degrees. skeptical. Stella's grandfather, the commander refused to allow Stella to return to the house anymore and in fact wants to send her to school abroad to get her completely away from what he thinks are just psychological happenings. Hmm. Pam, ever game tries to test her own skepticism by sleeping in the haunted nursery where Stella had seen the ghost. Wow, fair enough. Pam gets haunted. She gets hunted real bad. The question is now whether there's now a second spirit in the house a more malevolent one. I won't go into that detail. Let the readers figure that one out. Ronnie himself becomes obsessed with Stella and wants to learn more. And so he goes up on a trip to London for work and arranges to meet her a governess who tells them a story of Stella's father's infidelity with a maid and she paints the maid as being very vindictive and malevolent. So now the question is, is that second ghost in the house is that the malevolent maid who would have died and then while he's up there, Rod suddenly has this bad feeling that something must be happening back down at the house. So he and Pam jump in the car and motor it back down there. Just in time to see Stella having run out of the house grab onto the same tree where her mother fell off the cliff and almost fall off the cliff herself. So you know, it turns out spacey little Stella broke into their house while they were gone to sleep. And she went to sleep in her old room to see if her mother back. Which is not a brilliant idea when there's a malicious ghost prowling about. So you know, and then and another, you know, curious judgment call here Ronnie and Pam instead of taking Stella back to her house, instead, I think Stella should sleep it off for a couple hours in the haunted house. So they take her back to their house in the middle of the night. Wow. To sleep with Pam and Pam's room because you know, why not give the ghost a second chance? Right? You bet your bottom dollar what happens next? A short while later, Pam sticks her head out of the room calling to rod if he feels the cold? No, of course he doesn't where he's sleeping. So that means that there's a ghost seeping into Pamela's room and they all barely have time to get out of the house before the mysterious ghost at the head of the stairs begins to form again. This time they do get Stella back to her own house and royally piss off the commander. Now the siblings and unhappy homeowners are convinced the houses haunted for sure and figure out what to do with this because it was their dream house rod is half of mine to burn it down. His take is that the place is so saturated with passions and emotions and unexplainable misery and despair that no sensitive person can be in it and not be overcome by hallucinations or depression. or both, you know, so he's sharing a little dramatic you know, 30 is writing there. The story hums along in a good old fashioned haunted house kind of way from their complete with a seance and a big board. And wow, I really give McArdle credit for the clever ways she spins it out to the end. Again, the dialogue and the characterizations of people are very 1930s British writing. So there's some stereotypes there and things that wouldn't be written today. Right, but the story itself is contemporary enough and in fact, there are genuinely suspenseful parts to it that if you're reading it alone in bed at night, you'll probably get some shivers. Seeing good Stacey Adler 28:48 cool. Christopher Platt 28:49 It was a popular book clearly uninvited inspired the growing haunted house genre started by turn of the screw from Henry Jane Hmm. Which is the first one right yeah, with the gym history, his siblings, children. And in fact, as you know, that arc has never ended. And there are some of us, myself included, who are watching Netflix's haunting of Bly house. It's all that same genre. And it certainly fit well with a popular Gothic novels of the time in the 30s and 40s. Say like Daphne du Maurier, a and others who were kind of just writing those kind of like scary, mysterious books, I could see why the book and the movie were so popular. I will tell listeners, I could only find an ebook version of this. It's hard to find a print copy so we don't have it in the library. But again, it's called the uninvited by Mary McArdle. It's a fairly quick read and I do recommend it as a good Halloween book. Stacey Adler 29:44 It sounds sounds very intriguing for sure. Do you think this book could be like, updated for a modern audience? Christopher Platt 29:54 You know, it's curious you bring that up because I do think it it was I mean, think of how many times turn on the screws has been updated. The Woman in White, you know, right. Some of those classics have just been brought up to speed often by Hollywood. But you know, even just in the last decade, john Boyne has a very popular literary author wrote a book called this house is haunted, which is basically disinterred to this group put together. Okay. And it got some good reviews. I almost read that one instead of this one. But I'm glad I wrote this, or read this instead. I I do recommend it. Stacey Adler 30:30 We know i think that's great. And it's It sounds very intriguing, like I said, and it's good for us to get out of our usual places, isn't it? Don't you think? Christopher Platt 30:44 It is I don't do it enough is what I'm coming to Stacey Adler 30:47 meet me either. Well, listeners, I hope you will step out of your comfort zone or if this is your, you know, favorite genre to read. Let us give us some recommendations of books in this category that that would help us expand our literary horizons a little bit. We'd love to hear from you. Meanwhile, take a deep breath, and we'll be right back. Doug Thornburg 31:14 You're dialed into Oxygen Starved 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 podcast.com. Just make sure you find us. Stacey Adler 31:40 Welcome back listeners. We are at the sea conversation part of our podcast and we are so excited today to have with us. Lauren collimator. Lauren actually reached out to us via our email account Oxygen Starved Podcast. And she is the recently hired Community Health Program Coordinator for Mono County Public Health tobacco education program, which is a big job. And we're so happy to have you here with us today. Lauren, Welcome. Welcome. Thank you. So Lauren, tell us a little bit about what brought you to Mono County, and how you came to work for the tobacco education program. Lauren Kemmeter 32:28 thanks so this was around February, March, I was living at home and sort of just needed to get out and get a more professional job. And so I was applying to more rural counties, actually from the Bay Area. I'm from San Rafael, California, which is in between Napa and San Francisco. And so I have a degree in health education and the Bay Area is really competitive. So I was feeling called to apply to more rural counties. And so I just I interviewed in March, and then I was my first time in Mono County, I got a hotel room and mammoth interviewed in person felt really good. And then they offered me the job a couple weeks later. And I just said, Okay, let's do it. So, yeah, so I've been here since April. And it's been a wild ride. But imagine, but I'm, I'm really loving it. I'm loving my program. And I just feel so grateful. Christopher Platt 33:39 You went you went for the adventure, just like do it sight unseen almost Lauren Kemmeter 33:43 seriously. And at that time, I was like, you know, you know, like hiring freezes and COVID was really starting to pop off. So I was like, let's just do this. Like, let's go so it Yeah, and I haven't regretted it. I really like I really like my job and I'm really I'm getting used to the area and the mountains and yeah. Had you ever been to Mono County before? No, I had never been to Mono County. I interviewed at the health department, which was in the minaret mall at the time. And I was just like, Where am I? And yeah, and so I had literally never been to Mono County never been to mammoth. Um, yeah, it's kind of wild. If you think about it, like I'm such a flatlander. Like city slicker. And so I just ended up about here. And yeah, Stacey Adler 34:38 well, that's awesome. Good for you. That's that and and to move during a pandemic. Yeah. What was that a challenge? Lauren Kemmeter 34:48 It was. I mean, finding housing around here is already kind of rough. But I just, yeah, it was it all just happened. So quickly. And so, yeah, it was it was definitely rough. And it was still kind of snowing at that time. And just yeah, huge life adjustment for sure. Like new job a new area, like everything. Christopher Platt 35:16 You got a good story to tell them? Stacey Adler 35:18 Yeah, for sure. 35:19 Good for you. So, so our office, the Mono County Office of Education, we have the tobacco use prevention education program, that our coordinator, Debie Schnadt runs, and you work with Debie, on some of these programs to tell our listeners a little bit about what exactly public health does to promote tobacco use prevention and and some of the programs. Lauren Kemmeter 35:51 Totally, yeah, thank you. So I love Debie. We're actually going to be on KMMT radio later this month. So yeah, so basically, the public health portion of of tobacco education. You know, our goals are to make commercial tobacco, nicotine use product use less desirable, accessible and less normalize, help current users quit or attempt to quit, and then prevent new users from initiating use and protect non smokers from secondhand smoke. And so one of the biggest things that we do we do a lot, but I think the biggest thing that we do is policy work. We also do media campaigns, and of course, education. In the schools and different different outreach, you know, in in different times, we would be at health fairs and back to school nights, and, you know, really in the community. But right now, we're a little limited. So we're medias is great right now for us. Stacey Adler 37:00 Yeah. And does this does your work also include working on vaping secession as well as tobacco? Lauren Kemmeter 37:09 Yes. So vaping is a is a huge issue. One of the biggest successes of our program, and this was before I got here, but we actually passed flavored tobacco ban ordinances in both the town of Mammoth Lakes and the unincorporated Mono County. So flavored tobacco products are mostly mostly vapes, right, which are, hugely have become hugely problematic, and of course, marketed to children and all that. So yeah, we do vaping education with youth. And the ban of flavored tobacco products has been a really huge success for us, and a lot of other local jurisdictions throughout California. Christopher Platt 37:54 And I think what you're hitting on is interesting, because I remember, you know, when vaping first started, it was kind of touted by I don't know who as the healthy alternative to traditional cigarettes, but that turns out not to be right, correct? Lauren Kemmeter 38:09 That's correct. So, um, vaping and E cigarettes are not actually proven or recommended cessation aid. Really, it's really just the tobacco industry, marketing new products to youth and people who don't smoke. So, yeah, vaping actually doesn't help you quit smoking, it's not healthier, it's almost actually worse. Just with all the unknowns and all the combustible chemicals, it's, it's really, really dangerous. So yeah, definitely not safer than smoking, definitely not a cessation aid. Christopher Platt 38:48 You know, what's interesting to me as well is, Stacy and I are both fifth generation that Remember, you know, you know, when we were in college, and whatever, going out to bars, and I used to smoke, and you know, it was just everywhere around and then there was this kind of shift and push back towards big tobacco and a lot of ordinances were passed where, you know, restaurants and everything had to be smoke free. And I don't know about you space, but I remember being kind of cynical about it when it first started. In fact, in New York City, when they banned it inside office buildings, you know, you'd see the clusters of smokers just outside on the sidewalk. I thought, well, this isn't going to last, but in fact, it It lasted and now it's odd for me, like you know, when we go into a restaurant in Nevada or something, and they do still allow smoking in casinos, or you you smell that inside, it's like oh, it's almost surprising. like yeah, it used to be this way all the time. Lauren Kemmeter 39:46 Yeah, totally. airplanes, restaurants. Yeah, workplaces, and, I mean, yeah, I can't imagine being on a flight full of people smoking. Stacey Adler 40:00 Yeah, I remember as a kid traveling on airplanes, because we flew a lot when I was younger. And yeah, there was a smoking in a non smoking section was always like, I know that Christopher Platt 40:15 the favorite, my favorite experience was that was many years ago flying on the Russian airline Aeroflot on a trip and their smoking session was the back half of the plane. And of course, the cigarettes they were smoking were horrible. Get me out of here, and how long is his flight? Stacey Adler 40:33 I know, it's so, so strange. But, you know, I was under the impression that for a while, we really had a dip in smoking, you know, that, that all of these new rules, regulations about you know, having non smoking restaurants and aryl, you know, airline flights. And, you know, all of those restrictions that were put actually did make a difference. And I'm, I'm wondering if now, you know, what, what is the latest? Are we seeing an uptick in tobacco use? You know, is our younger kids accessing this? What's kind of the latest? statistics? Lauren Kemmeter 41:14 Yeah, um, well, so smoking among adults in the US has gone down, especially in California, steadily over the years. But unfortunately, teen and young adult vaping rates are, are up. And, you know, it's very, sort of predictable. And because the tobacco industry noticed that, you know, people were smoking less cigarettes as, as the knowledge that this was harmful was going down and smoke free policies were being enacted. So then in the 90s, they came up with, you know, smokeless chewing tobacco. And then now the newest thing is vapes and vaping is sort of easy to hide, it doesn't have as much of a presence as cigarette smoke. So that's kind of what we're seeing right now. But we're, you know, we're trying to trying to curb the the youth smoking or vaping rates with, with, you know, policies, and we're sort of catching up. Because vapes for a long time have been sort of unregulated and, and things like that. So. But yes, overall, smoking rates are down. Stacey Adler 42:32 Well, that's, that's good to know. And, yeah, the vaping situation is troubling, because because of the way that kids can get a hold of this stuff, and then hide it, Christopher Platt 42:43 yeah, Stacey Adler 42:44 it can be really unobtrusive. So what are is, is there a current policy initiative that you're working on right now. Lauren Kemmeter 42:53 So our next policy initiative that we would like to push in the new year is actually smoke free multi unit housing. So what that means is, believe it or not, there's actually nothing on the books in unincorporated Mono County about not smoking inside of a unit. Like so a condo apartment. So what that looks like, is just basically passing an ordinance to, to add to the municipal code, that it's, you're not allowed to smoke inside of multi unit housing or in common areas, things like that. So because, you know, of the secondhand smoke in in condos and apartments, you share ventilation, you share space. And so, yeah, that's what we, we would like to see in the new year. Christopher Platt 43:51 Yeah, that that's interesting. I never really thought about that, you know, you've been getting office buildings and common public places is one thing. But yeah, you know, you share a hallway or ventilation systems in an apartment building, that could be another way to spread it. Lauren Kemmeter 44:05 Yeah. And, you know, not all of us are fortunate enough to live in a single family home. And so it's, yeah, it's just important for the common good of everyone. Christopher Platt 44:17 So if, Lauren, if people are listening to this, and they want to understand, you know, what they could do to contribute, you know, are there like calls to action you have or things that people could get involved with? Lauren Kemmeter 44:31 Thank you. Yes. So, if you live locally in Mono County, and are passionate or just want to learn more about tobacco related issues, we do have an adult Prevention Coalition that meets every other month. And it's sort of like an advisory board for my program and, you know, other folks that that are interested, and so and then we also have if you're a high school student, We have a youth coalition that meets every month. And that's my favorite because I love working with high schoolers. And in non COVID times, we actually get to travel to Sacramento and do advocacy work and meet other youth from all over the state. And so yeah, those two things are available. If you don't want to commit to being in a coalition we do. We will be in the process of writing our next grants next year. So we're definitely seeking community input, we'll probably do some surveys, data collection, and other needs assessment related things. And we can compensate you for your time in Starbucks or subway gift cards. Wow. Yeah, so we're definitely looking for folks to who are interested or would like just to tell us what they would like to see, you know, in the next five years of tobacco control in Multnomah County Stacey Adler 45:53 and we'll if you, listeners, we will be posting links and information how to get ahold of Lauren I in our show notes. So if you want to figure out how you can be involved, you can go there to check it out and get a hold of her. But Lauren, this is all such great information. And I know you're new to Mono County, but what have you found that you have enjoyed doing when you're not working? Lauren Kemmeter 46:25 Yeah, so I've really been enjoying hiking. I really enjoy the Lakes Basin. I like to swim in horseshoe Lake because there's no fishing or boats. Right. Um, I'm really into aspen trees. I've never seen aspen trees before and I'm just so enamored by them. But yeah, I like swimming, running, hiking, and yeah, Christopher Platt 46:51 you're getting a lot of that in. Lauren Kemmeter 46:53 I am. Yes. It's it's been really great to just live in the mountains and experience this and Stacey Adler 47:00 yeah, and and will you Will you try ski Have you skied before? Are you are you going to ski this winter. Lauren Kemmeter 47:06 So I would like to take ski lessons. I have never skied. Everybody from the Bay Area goes to Tahoe, but I just I never grew up skiing. So that's definitely on my list while I'm here. You know, if I live in the snow, I at least want to have fun with it. So yeah, I'm definitely gonna try to learn to ski. I'm a little scared, but it looks really fun. Stacey Adler 47:30 Well, good for you. I will have to circle back and see how it can experience for you. Christopher Platt 47:39 I will say I'll just interject going back to your love for aspen trees. For our listeners. We're recording this in the fall. The Fall is when the trees change color and they're quaking aspens, they the lead shimmer. And you know, as Lauren kind of alludes, you just drive around the Eastern Sierra. And if there's no smoke, securing the view, you see these vibrant yellow and orange trails going up canyons as you drive by and it really is stunning. Stacey Adler 48:07 Yeah, Lauren, if you haven't been to Rock Creek, you that's a beautiful place at this time of year to go check out all the Aspen's and all the other kinds of trees, it's really pretty. So check that out. So Lauren, one thing we always ask our guests and is, do they have a favorite book that they'd like to recommend? So what can you tell us? Share with us? Lauren Kemmeter 48:37 So, okay, so my answer to this question, I wouldn't say it's my favorite, but it is totally recommended for people in my age group. It's called the defining decade, why your 20s matter and how to make the most of them now, and the author's name is Meg Jay. And it's sort of like, vignettes, sort of, like real. She's a counselor. And so she, you know, talks to people in their 20s about different things. And, um, yeah, it's, it's helped me a lot. So. Yeah. Christopher Platt 49:14 Is it just like life advice? Or is it conversational? What, how is it structured? Lauren Kemmeter 49:21 Um, it's sort of like vignettes of her, of her like patients and the issues in their lives. So it's like her narrating what's going on in these people's lives in their 20s. And then she sort of gives her own like, spin on, I don't know, it's like a third party, like, of her describing people in their 20s and the things that they go through and like, providing advice so 49:48 and what's your What's your biggest takeaway from that? Christopher Platt 49:53 I should we should preface this Lauren. You are speaking to the biggest self help reader ever. Lauren Kemmeter 50:00 Um, my biggest takeaway, I think, I mean, throughout your life, but I mean, maybe especially in your 20s, or as a young person, just, like, be con, like, you should constantly be like evaluating, like, does this serve me? Like, am I happy? Am I making good choices? Um, and just and like, what are my needs? And just like, I don't know, like, like, help yourself. Um, and yeah, and just don't be like a passive participant in your life be an active participant in your life. And, um, you know, whether it's your relationships, your jobs, how you spend your free time, all of it, it's just like, you are in charge of that, you know, and I think, I don't know, at least for me, like, when I graduated college, I was just like, What am what am I doing, like, what's going on? So I and I think a lot of people feel that way. You know, and your, your brain is still developing, but you, I don't know. And you're just constantly taking in messages and trying to make sense of the world. So know h Christopher Platt 51:16 ow to interpret it kind of interpret, you know, tobacco advertising or stuff like that, right? You know, I look back on I'm so again, I'm just the other side of 50. And I look back on my 20s. And for a long time, I felt like that was my aimless decade because I did so much. And I went back to grad school and blah, blah, blah. But now I look back and think of how much that decade of my life prepared me for becoming older, and and becoming more mature. So I think you're spot on, I think it's a really good time in your life to really understand that you do have control and take over. Stacey Adler 51:51 Yeah, and be open to receiving all the information that's coming your way. Lauren Kemmeter 51:57 Totally great. Christopher Platt 51:59 That's great. That is a very good book. I will check the library to see if we have it. And so that one's called the defining decade by Meg J. Lauren Kemmeter 52:06 Mm hmm. Christopher Platt 52:07 All right, we'll make sure we link it on the Show page along with your other information. Lauren, thank you for being a guest. This has been a thrilling conversation and welcome to Mono County. Lauren Kemmeter 52:18 Thank you so much. Christopher Platt 52:22 I'm glad you're having a good time and listeners. I hope you've enjoyed this episode as well and are having a good time. Again, you're hopefully listening to this right around Halloween so stay safe and have a wonderful Halloween weekend and join us next time. In the meantime you know you can follow us on Instagram at o two star and our Facebook page there as well as our website Oxygen Starved Podcast comm which has links to email us if you have feedback just like Lauren did. You can reach us through there or through our Instagram account. And of course you can also find this podcast subscribe to it and rate it and tell your friends on all major podcast platforms. Oxygen Starved Podcast, adventure books and conversation from 11,000 feet. Have a wonderful time to hear from us again. Stacey Adler 53:15 Happy Halloween. Christopher Platt 53:17 Happy Halloween. Doug Thornburg 53:26 Thanks for joining us here for oxygen star. Our outro music on air in Vegas is composed and performed by Kevin MacLeod incompetech.com Creative Commons By Attribution 3.0 license
  • Episode 34 - Crowley Columns; Animal reads; Kay Ogden of Eastern Sierra Land Trust
    Stuff we talked about - Adventure: Crowley Lake Columns Books: Running With Sherman by Chris McDougall Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand Conversation: Eastern Sierra Land Trust. (Click here for Facebook page) Miracle Country by Kendra Attleework This I Believe Deep Creek by Pam Houston Transcript: SPEAKERS Doug Thornburg, Kay Ogden, Christopher Platt, Stacey Adler Doug Thornburg 00:10 Welcome to the latest episode of Oxygen Starved 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. Christopher Platt 00:30 Hey listeners, welcome to another episode of the Oxygen Starved Podcast where we bring you your adventure books and conversation from 11,000 feet in the beautiful Eastern Sierra. I'm your co host Christopher and with me is Stacey Adler 00:45 Stacey. Christopher Platt 00:46 co host Stacy and producer Doug. Hey Doug. Doug Thornburg 00:51 How's it going, guys? Christopher Platt 00:52 It's going great. How's it how's it going with you? Doug Thornburg 00:56 Good. I understand. Stacy's surfing today. Christopher Platt 01:01 You know, as we are all expanding and getting comfortable into the remote work lifestyle, especially as the three of us have learned to record this podcast remotely. You know, we've we've begun to spread our wings a little bit and you know, done You and I are still up in the Eastern Sierra. But Stacy has gone down to sea level for the week. Stacey Adler 01:22 pushing the boundaries of remote working. Doug Thornburg 01:26 Gotcha. Christopher Platt 01:26 Gotcha. How's it how's it like to live with all that extra oxygen in the air stay so your little loopy. Stacey Adler 01:32 It feels 01:32 pretty good. But you know, it's it's balanced by the traffic. Christopher Platt 01:41 Yeah, so Stacy's down south next to the beautiful ocean for a little bit, which she has earned. So yeah, we are here to bring you your adventure books and conversation in this week's adventure is a very cool one and one that I've never been to. So what we wanted to talk about was the Crowley columns. And before I turn it over to Stace, who will bring all the information, I just want to remind our listeners, Crowley lake is kind of in the southern third of Mono County, it is a really popular fishing spot. It's also just like, you know, a roadside attraction. It's kind of like one of the markers that lets you know you're getting really close to the mountains when you're driving up from the south. There wasn't always a lake. It's actually a reservoir that was formed in 1941 when la DWP built along Valley dam and dammed up what was largely a meadow with the Owens river running through it into what eventually became Crowley Lake, and it was named for father Crowley, who was an influential East Side priest. They called him the desert Padre who during the early 20th century, the 20s and 30s and what have you rally the locals who were kind of disenfranchised by the water diversion to LA to push tourism as a strong industry a way to bring revenue to the Eastern Sierra area. He was really famous really be loved and he was killed in an auto accident tragically in 1940, about 20 miles north of Red Rock Canyon on highway 14 way south of here. But you know, they named not just Crowley Lake for him. He they named Crowley point in Death Valley. You know, he's just a really well respected person. If you happen to stop by the Crowley Lake library on Crowley Lake drive, just off of 395, you'll see a memorial plaque to father Crowley that you can read while over looking the lake in the distance. So that's, you know, kind of the context. Stacy, what did you What did you go out to see? Stacey Adler 03:56 If so, we went out to see the Crowley columns, which is a famous geological formation, if you will, and we've been there before and Christopher, we will have to get you out there because it's there. They're really cool. So the columns, there's actually about 5000 columns that that rise up out of the sand in about a two to three mile square mile area. So it's very surreal looking like when you go down there, you think you are on the set of a science fiction movie or maybe like Captain Kirk is going to come out with his posse and fight aliens or something. Christopher Platt 04:49 It's, um, are they big columns? I mean, can you put your arms around them? Are they skinny columns? Yes. Stacey Adler 04:54 So they're, they're mostly pretty skinny. You can put you can put your arms around Then for sure. And we'll post some pictures on our website so, and on our Instagram page, so listeners can check it out. But but they're very uniform. That's what's so interesting is that you have all these columns, and they're all kind of clustered together. And they're all fairly uniform in with. And in one section, they come, they rise up, you can see the individual columns coming out of the sand. And then there's like an erosion area where they're all smoothed over and it looks like it's solid, like a solid mountain or a solid rock. And then above that, you see the rest of the columns sticking out. Oh, wow, like little chimneys. So it's, that's pretty cool. But they were once once upon a time, all these columns were underwater, and this and that whole area where I live now was, you know, underwater. And then about 760,000 years ago, there was a hydrothermal eruption. And that eruption was about 2000 times larger than Mount St. Helens, and that created the long Valley Caldera. And I should, I should give a shout out to our resident, our podcast resident geologists, Joe Adler, because he gave us all this information. And we might be the only podcast to have a resident geologists so you know, Christopher Platt 06:33 I love that. Stacey Adler 06:36 So, um, so Joe's given, you know, gave me a little lecture information on on this, as we were cruising through all these columns, but the columns they come up so we've talked about the bishop tough before, and it's just kind of like the, the land that you know, makes up the land here. So the columns come up through the bishop tough. And most likely, they this was this happened because the hydrothermal fluids are the hot gases, they move through the tough, and they cooked the edges. Oh, wow. Um, and then that created an area more resistant to erosion. So that's why these columns had stayed all this time. Christopher Platt 07:34 So they were like, they were like, vents kinda away. Stacey Adler 07:37 Yes, exactly. 07:39 Okay, well done. You would get an A in geology. Christopher Platt 07:44 I'm working towards it. Stacey Adler 07:45 Good job. Yeah, so after the, the fluid intrusion after that stopped, the tough, which is, is essentially consolidated ash. Okay, um, that, you know, moved in from above, and filled in all the holes and created the, you know, just like stacked on top of each other and created these columns. So, it's really, really neat. And it's not, you can't always get to the columns. Because if there if Crawley lake is very full, the water you know, goes right up into them. Okay. And then you know, there's no place to kind of walk around but because of because of the fires because of the need for more power down in Los Angeles County, they recently lowered the lake levels, so Okay, have more water. So there's a big amount of beach right now. So now is a good time to if you want to go check them out to go do so. Because you can approach them either by you know, via boat, right? If you're out on the lake, or or paddleboard or kayak or whatever. Or you can go like we did so we drove down Owens gorge road and you know, parked on the hillside and then we hiked, we hiked down. So it was about about a four mile day of hiking from where we parked to the columns. And there's a bunch of caves too, that you can go in and explore. Those are pretty neat to there. It's a little scary. You know, especially if you're like me and you don't like bats. You know. Christopher Platt 09:44 We covered this on my podcast Stacey Adler 09:46 we did. I don't like that, um, and but they're really, really cool. And, of course, we brought Lola the dog With us then she had a great time, you know, running in and out of the columns and the caves and the lake. And that's great. It was it was super cool. And like I said, well, we'll post some pictures so everybody can check it out and see what they're like. And while we still have some few nice weeks left before the snow flies, I encourage listeners that are around to go check it out. Christopher Platt 10:29 Yeah, you know, I've seen you know, people Instagram photos quite frequently on some of the the social media feeds that I follow. And I think they're pretty stunning. So it's definitely on my list to go visit and listeners, we would encourage you to appreciate these things when you go out and visit. Just be respectful of the countryside in nature and treat it so that other people can enjoy it after you. Yeah, and in the meantime, you know, put on some sunscreen, the sun is out. It's beautiful day. Great for going outside, and we'll be right back. Doug Thornburg 11:08 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 packed nutritious podcast considering books describing Mono County adventure and engaging informative conversation with colorful Eastside Sierra locals downloaded now. Stacey Adler 11:44 Welcome back listeners, we have arrived at the B book section of their podcast time for the cheer. Yay. Okay. Got another way. So this week, we are talking about books about not about animals, but books that feature animals. And this another idea that I had. And I don't know why I can't remember why. Oh, I Well, basically I because the book that I'm going to talk about, I really wanted to read and I wanted an excuse to read it. So this is as good as any. But Christopher, you read a really great book, and that features an animal and I'm gonna kick it to you to tell us about it. Christopher Platt 12:32 I did. And I don't remember arguing with you very much on this topic, since I love reading about animals anyway. Yes. And I know many of our listeners do so the book that I chose to read came out recently just this this year, and it's called running with Sherman, the donkey with a heart of a hero by Christopher McDougall. Many of you will know or recognize the name. Christopher McDougall, if you're a runner, a serious runner, he's written about running before, I think, Stace, you would you would heard about him through that context. Stacey Adler 13:05 Yes, I've I've heard at least one of his books. Christopher Platt 13:08 Yeah, he wrote, Born to Run, which was his previous big book, I think he started or kind of made popular, the barefoot running, and all that kind of stuff. And he and his wife and young children live on a farm, a kind of menagerie of many rescued animals in Central Pennsylvania. And what this book is about is he adopts down on its heels donkey who'd been rescued from a hoarder. And this is Sherman. Sherman arrived in very bad shape and is what he learned because he'd never had a donkey before. So working with that, with another person who lived on a farm nearby who did this woman named Tanya, was that as much as Sherman needed physical help for recovery, there was a lot wrong with him physically. He also needed mental help. You know, he was kind of dejected and there was really kind of you needed a reason to live. And what this woman said is donkeys need a purpose. They need a job. So that kind of turned it into, you know, a quest for McDougal to kind of heal this donkey, not just physically but mentally as well. And so the crazy idea, he picks up his burrow racing the same thing, right. But yeah, you know, I'd never heard of it before this book. I bet a lot of listeners had not heard of it before. But he had heard about burrow racing in this race in an high altitude in the Rockies and he decides to train Sherman for the race. So you know, we had chatted with Andrew caster a couple episodes ago about like how to train as a runner and deal with different things I'm this book is about training a donkey to be a distance runner, which was kind of fascinating and I just thought it was fascinating that donkeys even will do this at all. So, a little bit of context for that pack burrow racing is believe it or not the official summer heritage sport in Colorado. It happens in multiple towns in the area and other states in the West now, and it's thought to derive from mining days when prospectors would take the donkeys along to carry their supplies and they walked alongside on a lead rope so that the only difference now is that they have to run in a typical borough race or runner in a borough travel course together. With a Renault leading the borough on the rope, the donkey on the rope writing isn't allowed. In fact, the the donkey can ride the person that person can carry the Burro cannot carry the human and the Burro must be on a lead rope which is limited to 15 feet and they must also carry a pack saddle with 33 pounds of traditional mining gear which must include a pic, a gold pan, and a shovel. So this picture the starting line, there's all these runners mostly in typical running gear bibs, you know, goes shorts and shirts and fancy running shoes for cross country running. And next to each one is a donkey with gear on its back that includes a pic, a gold pan and a shovel. So it's just kind of a curious kind of chaotic thing to, to imagine at all. So as he prepares for this, McDougal decides to create a team. And he enlists fellow donkeys Matilda and flour to make out the donkey team. And they each kind of have their own personality, and that devolves into their own role to play in a team, which makes a lot of sense. And then he lists his wife Mika, and this college age kid named Zeke who's going through some mental rezone to fill out the human runner roster. So there's three humans and three donkeys and then they start training obsessively, just like any runner would. What he describes is an experience of kind of a battle of wills that leads to a melding of minds through a lot of different layers. You know, unlike other animals, such as horses or dogs, donkeys cannot be trained with fear as a motivation. They have no problem refusing to do something and they decide it's worth doing. Right. So convincing them that they want to do something as part of the challenge that McDougal is facing, convincing them that they want to go running or they want to go running with him, and that they're going to overcome all their own skittishness because they're also notoriously skittish, they can be nervous of asphalt. Sherman doesn't want to put his hooves on asphalt when he first arrives. ponds, wet spots in the road, a flash of orange vest streams, little rivulets that go under the road and a culvert Do you even see the water you just hear it donkeys can, if they're afraid of it, they will just stop and refuse to budge. So, you know, he describes a lot of dealing with these tidbits and in a very humorous Bill Bryson kind of style. Over time, the Zeke and Sherman relationship Zeke and Sherman are the two that run together, their relationship becomes the standout they really help each other out. Zeke is a college aged man experiencing severe bouts of depression. And this is one way he enlists to cope with his own mental issues. And you know, the their bonding is really touching throughout the course of it. There's a further colorful cast of characters who graced these pages from the Amish neighbors. They are in the middle of of, of Pennsylvania. Remember writing including a midnight Amish running club that is darn serious and they are like killer runners. And you know, the women who participate who are Amish at least wear their armor. They wear the white bonnet and the dress while they're there running. Wow, it's just utterly fascinating. The farm neighbor Tanya, who is a crucial friend and teaching McDougal about donkeys when Sherman first arrives and she connects them with flour and Matilda. A whole bunch of crazy donkey runners, these people who go into these races, you kind of got to have one screw loose to do this. They have a couple of free wheeling take no prisoners, women who step in last minute to drive the donkey team to the race in Colorado. When Tanya is injured and can't drive them. They become part of this colorful cast. And then along the way throughout the book, McDougal sidetracks to explain individual backgrounds to lay context for the race itself and brings in occasional experts such as dog behavior experts, Alexandra Horowitz, who inside of the dog is a book that I've talked about on the podcast before and Cesar Millan the dog whisperer. I've never I've never watched him but he's part of this book as well. And overall, you know, it's a really charming book. It's pleasing and It's often humorous, and it cuts on those themes of what you would expect perseverance, grit, mental wellness, the importance of community because it really does take a village to run with a donkey. And then just the incredible relationships that arise between humans and animals out of shared purpose and what it you know, think about all the teams you've been on and how when you've accomplished something as a team, how great you all feel together, you get that same feeling, even if three of you are donkeys. So this is, this is running with Sherman by Christopher McDougall, we have it in the library. It's in the bookstores now. I really do recommend it. Stacey Adler 20:42 Awesome. Well, it sounds like Sherman in your book has a lot of similar traits to the animal in my book that I read about. Christopher Platt 20:54 eah, so tell us about it. Stacey Adler 20:55 Yeah. So I finally read Seabiscuit and American legend. Laura Hillenbrand, right and this is not a new book. This was published in 1999. And I'm sure many of our listeners have seen the movie, which came out in 2003. And the movie is one is one of my favorite movies. And I've always wanted to read the book and so hence this topic, and we're talking about it today. So Seabiscuit at one actually won the William Hill sports Book of the Year award after it was published, and the you know if any of you have read any event unbroken, which was also Laura Hillenbrand also turned into a movie. She is a meticulous researcher. And she she researches like she spent four years just doing the research. She had written a an article about Seabiscuit, right, and was so intrigued by his story that she decided to dive deeper and spent four years researching to write this book. Yeah. And she she just does not leave any stone unturned. So, you know, briefly Seabiscuit is the story of a racehorse, he is the racehorse and he is the most unlikely candidate to be a champion does not like Chairman Go ahead. Yes, yeah. And he's got some, you know, social emotional issues too. So not only is he physically not built, like a typical race horse, you know, he's shorter, he's got a funky, funky four legs, there's things wrong with his knees. He loves to sleep and eat. And, you know, he just, he's very stubborn. He's mean, anything, you know, he was kind of so when. So if he so he is the the animal main character. And then there are three men who rally around him, too. Make him the champion that he is. And the first is the owner. His owner is Charles Howard, who brought Buick cars to the west coast. Okay. And then Tom Smith was the trainer. And Tom Smith, like Didn't he did not have human relationships. Okay, he had relationships with I mean, like, you know, friendships, he didn't have any human friendships. But he, you really knew how to take care of horses. Christopher Platt 23:51 Yeah. Stacey Adler 23:52 And then the jockey was read Pollard. And read Pollard had been abandoned by his family. During the, the when there was a he grew up in Edmonton in Canada. And his family fell on financial hard times. And they had like seven kids. And they kind of cast him out said, you know, we can't take your you're older, you've got to go out and make your way. Right. So, you know, each one of these gentlemen had their own issues. Charles Howard has lost a child, his oldest son, or second oldest son had was killed in a car accident. When Charles was out of the country. He had he never really recovered from that trauma. You know, you have Tom Smith who's kind of this this loner kind of goes all over, you know from racetrack to racetrack, trying to train horses and then you know you have read Pollard who has his issues. And these three are all brought together by Seabiscuit. And he because you know you you spoke of when you were talking about running with Sherman, you spoke of needing donkeys needing a purpose. Yeah. So Seabiscuit became these guys purpose. And when he started seeing when Seabiscuit realized that he was being cared for and, you know, loved and admired, you know, he his career really started to take off. So I mean, this is definitely if you like stories about underdogs, rising to the top and overcoming adversity. This is this is a great story. This is a great book to read. And the I was amazed as I've seen the movie multiple times. Okay. And what I was amazed is that the way Hillenbrand writes the race descriptions of when Seabiscuit is racing, there, there were seriously times where I was like, gripping my books so tightly or I would have to like, reach out and grab my husband's arm and like I was so I had so much anxiety. And I knew even though I knew what the outcome was because movie, so it was, you know, in that sense, it was very exciting to read and the the tone of the book is very, it's makes it very easy to read. You know, it's very detailed. Like I said, it's very well researched. But yet you don't get like Ford or, you know, mired in the details you you want to know these things that you know, the way she writes inspires you to want to know these things. Christopher Platt 27:00 Yeah, like a good nonfiction narrative nonfiction writer, you know, she is great at pacing, yes. And unfolding the story in the way that you described that can create that tension, that kind of edge of seat tension. She did it in both Seabiscuit and unbroken. Both were made into movies, right? Stacey Adler 27:20 Exactly. Yeah. 27:21 So um, I really, really enjoyed this book. And and I do have to say that there were elements of C biskits personality that remind me so much of Lola, my dog. Christopher Platt 27:39 In what way? Stacey Adler 27:40 Well, you know, 27:41 Seabiscuit was cut, he wasn't necessarily abused when he was a young Colt, but you know, he was used to his purpose as a as a young horse was to increase the confidence of other horses that the owners at the time thought could win races, right? They didn't think see this guy could. So he really like he had a confidence issue he didn't feel loved or cared for. And you know, Lola is a rescue dog. She was she was not paid attention to it by the first people who owned her. She was ignored and kind of left just like outside for day time. That's okay. And then um, so you know, she hasn't she when she came to us she had a bit of a confidence issue and you know, she didn't know that she was going to be so loved as she is and so it you know, sometimes I call her Seabiscuit running because she, he she cut you know, she has that big stride and but you know, that just she just reminded me of some of the things that she's gone through were similar to what Seabiscuit went through. Christopher Platt 29:08 Well that's kind of indicative of of people, special people who adopt rescue pets, right? You know, we kind of you know, all of our animals are rescues as well and, you know, us and all of our friends who do this kind of stuff as well we kind of bring that that to the relationship at the beginning right we're rescuing a pet and we're gonna we are acknowledging at the very outset that we're going to give them a home and give them love and give and kind of help them build that competence and and and as part of the one of the rewards that we get out of our trips with with our pets our you know our I have a geriatric cocker spaniel sleeping halfway under the bed right next to me right now. And you know, like Sherman, we've tried to take her hiking but She knows her limits, and we'll just stop and lay down in the trail we don't even try. She has an excuse, you know, they all come with their own issues. Stacey Adler 30:10 Absolutely. Christopher Platt 30:11 And you learn what those issues are, and you help them get beyond it, or at least cope with it. Right? Yeah. Yeah, that's, that's definitely a theme in both of our books. Stacey Adler 30:20 Absolutely. And, you know, that's, I think that's one of the things when you read a book about an animal or that features an animal, you you really learn that, that lesson that, you know, animals have, they have feelings, they have intuition and instincts and heart and, you know, they, they, they demand attention, they demand, you know, love, and it's a good reminder. Christopher Platt 30:52 And they deserve it. Absolutely. Stacey Adler 30:55 So that was fun. listeners, if you if you've read a book that features an animal, let us know what it was and what you thought of it. We'd love to hear from you and hear your input. And in the meantime, take a deep breath and we'll be right back. Doug Thornburg 31:11 You're 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 podcast.com just make sure you find us. Christopher Platt 31:38 Welcome back listeners to the see the conversation segment of the Oxygen Starved Podcast where we bring you a local individual or organization who lends some unique, unique color to the Eastern Sierra in our live work play lifestyle. So today we are really excited to be joined by the head of the executive director of the Eastern Sierra Land Trust Kay Ogden, welcome K. Stacey Adler 32:04 Hi, Kay. Kay Ogden 32:05 Hi, thank you so much for having me. Christopher Platt 32:07 Thank you for joining us. You've been really busy recently. We recently in our last podcast, listeners will recommend recognize Eastern Sierra Land Trust. We talked a little bit about that with Bill Bramlett and the Benton hotsprings conservation easement. So we're really excited you could join us today and we always ask our guests, Kay, you know, how did you end up running the Eastern Sierra land trust? So can you tell give us your origin story? How did you end up here doing this? And what do you do? Kay Ogden 32:40 And what do I do? Question? Well, it was kind of a roundabout way to becoming an executive director. But I'll say at the very beginning that my father used to take us camping, you know, when I was a kid, he moved, he moved from the mountains of Utah to Southern California desert, and he was in Thrall, but he was just enthralled by this Stark and beautiful and diverse landscape. So we'd go out there as often as we could. And he would always remind me when we're out there on our walks that we were visiting, that it was in our home, right, and we needed to be respectful. And I think that really started to lay the foundation for my work to protect natural resources, because it's not only great for the resources and the animals and people to recreate in. Its I think there's a lot of healing powers in nature as well. Right. But then after that, I, I've always been an outdoor person, I've done ultra endurance cycling, I had my own marketing and photography business in Southern California. And that's where I got involved in my first land protection campaign, which was save Laguna Canyon. And that campaign taught me because it was on the ballot to raise personal property taxes in an area that is heavily one party over another that's not often known for wanting to raise property taxes, and the bond passed by almost 80%. My goodness, yes. And it was a reminder that, you know, it's the common values, it's the common values, and we can when we can put the other stuff aside and find that sweet spot of what we care about the land what it brings to us, we can really make amazing things happen. Thanks, you know, I really think people forget that we can find a middle place we can find that sweet spot still we can. Yeah. Christopher Platt 34:41 It's definitely definitely true in the Eastern Sierra, where there's people from all over the spectrum, the ideological spectrum, but we're all many of us are here for the same reason, right? It's that nature and getting out in nature and especially during COVID shutdown. So many of us appreciate being able to step outside into this wide open or up into a canyon. Kay Ogden 34:59 We're so blessed, right? Stacey Adler 35:01 Yes. Okay, when your dad ever would take you camping, did you all ever come up to the east, you know, as far north as the Eastern Sierra. Kay Ogden 35:10 Only one time we went, gosh, and just escaped me, Southern Sierra. And we went on. It was supposed to be a fire road. And we were left Costa Mesa Newport Beach after my dad got home from work. And we were going to come up set up campus, some other folks. And this road, which was 20 miles or something took us five hours. And that was the last time we came up here. The first time I saw the Eastern Sierra was when I rode my bike on a bike athon for the Mono Lake committee, where we started in LA and we rode our bikes the last week of August, and came up and then ended up at Mono Lake and I often share with folks that, you know, in riding your bike, you feel the terrain change, you're outside, you get to smell things. And I say that the eastern car reached in and grabbed my heart and soul and hasn't let go. Stacey Adler 36:13 That's even though that's kind of a firm, familiar story that we've heard from many of our guests that, that that's the way they have all felt when they first arrived in the Eastern Sierra. You know, that feeling of? Oh, my God, this is so amazing. I never want to leave, you know, gets into your soul immediately. I Kay Ogden 36:37 t really does. It really does. And I, some of us resonate with it, and some don't. And for those of us who resonate, I think we really want to protect it, and we want to enjoy it. And we want to share it in responsible ways. And for folks who don't resonate, I fully understand go, goes, live and enjoy where you do resonate and write. Stacey Adler 37:00 Right. So how did you get involved with the Eastern Sierra Land Trust and tell our listeners a little bit about what you're doing now? Kay Ogden 37:08 Sure. Well, I I rode my bike around the world for a year, ended up in Houston for a couple of years, then got a job back in the Sierra Nevada with a group up based in Salt Lake Tahoe called the Sierra Nevada Alliance. And I worked and they have member groups throughout the Sierra. So in working with them as their development director and an Associate Director, I learned of the position here opening up or it had been open for a while. And I you know, when I left the Eastern Sierra because I lived in Lee vining for about three and a half, four years. And when I left, I thought, you know, I won't be coming back to live here. I'll be coming back to visit but I won't have the opportunity to live here. And when I saw that job, this job, I actually sat on it for about four months and finally applied. And after that, the process went pretty quickly. And I was hired. And I've been here now for seven and a half years, which is just I can't believe it's been that long, but it's here. So my husband and he wasn't my husband, then we we moved from South Lake Tahoe here. We were blessed to find some property out in 40 acres and we live out here and really have embraced the lifestyle of you know, being so close to nature being so close to outdoors, especially as we were saying during covid. Well, Eastern Sierra Land Trust is a little bit unique. With other nonprofits. We are a nonprofit, we're based in bishop. Our service area is in YOLO. County, Mono County, Alpine County, 9% of the state of California. Christopher Platt 38:54 Right, that's Kay Ogden 38:56 big. And let's just add this, we also work in western Nevada. Right. So because the water doesn't end at the state line, you know, the watershed continues across the migration corridors continue. And of course, some of the larger ranches. The landowners have ranches in both locations, and some actually almost cross boundaries. So So we work to support private landowners in finding protection tools, if they're interested in protecting their lands. So in our mission, we say willing landowners because that's one of the misnomers about a land trust. In fact, when I first moved here, we had somebody come to give us an estimate to do some land, not landscaping, but tractor work out in the yard. And he asked why I was here. I said, I just started this new job and he said, Oh, you're the organization that steals land and gives it to the government, government. And I thought, oh, gosh, No, that's not it at all. That's not It all It, it, it was an immediate lesson that there's a lot of confusion about our work and what land Trust's do in general. So we work with private landowners who want to look at tools to help protect their land. And our mission actually says that we try to protect land for scenic, agricultural, natural, recreation, historical as well as watershed values. So we're looking at protecting land from a very broad spectrum, not the big right, because, you know, recreation here, we need to make sure people can still do that. And agriculture is a huge component of our economy up here, right, so. So we work with willing landowners who would like to look at tools to protect their land. And the main tool that we look at right now is called a conservation easement. And it's a very complex legal binding tool. And it's a contract between the landowner and Eastern Sierra Land Trust, and then fold in thunder. So basically, I'm going it's a really weird that this is simplifying it crazily, but say, someone, say a rancher wants to put a conservation easement on their ranch. We're an accredited land trust as well. We're one of only 1700 in the nation who are accredited, which means it's gone through like a tremendously rigorous process, organizationally, structurally, we uphold intense practices. So we can only pay fair market value for anything. And that helps so that people want to take an deduction on their taxes. You know, this just keeps things clean and straight, and napkins that anybody can do. So by paying fair market value, we have a qualified appraiser who goes to the property and will evaluate the property for what it is right now. You know, are there roads? Is there electricity? Is it year round? Is it connected to another ranch? how sustainable is this ranch? Is their water, their pastures? All of those things? And then they look at the county general plan and see, okay, if this property was built out subdivided, developed, in accordance with the county plans, what would that look like? And what's the value there? So the difference between what it is now as the say, a working Ranch, what it might be, if it was built out? That's basically the price of the conservation easement. Wow. What we do is we mean, we do this for a bunch of reasons, right? We're protecting the conservation values on the property, and the economic viability of these wrenches. But what we do is we buy the development rights, and then we extinguish them through a legal process that is then attached to title mm escrow process. And it's, we only do easements in perpetuity. So that easement is then attached to that land Forever, forever, all the landowner can sell the land, you can have multiple landowners that land, this is not land ownership, right? This is the development rights and then the protection of the conservation values. So we often say that we hold a conservation easement over the land, the landowner, say it's a working cattle ranch, which we may have an example here of in a moment, they manage their land, we don't manage the land, you know, then we monitor annually to make sure that the conservation values are being upheld. And there's a we do a huge report. It's called the baseline report at the time, and we close escrow and that's basically the upshot of the situation on the ground conservation values, ecological situations, biodiversity, and that is the document that we refer to every year going forward, knowing that some years have drought, there's going to be different situations on the ground, some years are going to be wet, or there's going to be more, you know, that changes, climate change is going to change things, right? Exactly what those parameters that's what we're, that's our legal responsibility is to uphold those conservation values. Christopher Platt 44:27 So basically, if I understand this, right, okay, if if you negotiate with a rancher to get a conservation easement, they continue to be a rancher like they've always been they can sell their ranch to another rancher who can come in and be a rancher, so long as they're within those same parameters or what have you, but they just can't like build condos or they can't build a hotel or they can is that that one? Kay Ogden 44:50 Correct. Basically, the protections that we put in, we extinguish the building rights maybe on a large ranch the land owner says, You know, I can't speak for my heirs three generations from now, I'd like to hold a development right to build one additional home or something like that somewhere on the ranch. And that's what we negotiate. We work with that. And that's completely, you know, reasonable. And if it is a ranch, also, there's the area that we called the homestead, which is, you know, the farming operation, there's different there's less restrictions in the homestead than there is outside the homestead because it's a working Ranch, we want to make sure it's viable and and you know, barns can be repaired, appropriate fences can be put up in the right places, right? Yes, the land can be transferred. When they are if they are selling a conservation easement, that income goes to whatever they want, right. We know some folks have used it to retire and then put, turn it over to the next generation. Others have invested. We had one landowner of some number of years ago who said, I have to close by, you know, I'm going to make the date up August 15. Because there's a big auction of cattle, and I want to go buy more cattle. So I need to have funds in my bank account. That was our target date, right? was a couple days before that. So. So when this tool works, it can be a great tool. It doesn't work all the time, where there's always challenges, but when it does work, it's a great way to keep you know, ranchers on such a tight margin. So this is a way that there can be an investment. We have one landowner last year who targeted purchasing some additional rangelands, and you know, so it's a way to get investment into their business. It's a way to protect the land. And, again, like I say it is in perpetuity. So, like Bridgeport Valley will look like Bridgeport Valley or, you know, places where these ranches are will not be subdivided and turned per the county rules, whatever could be built there, you know, county general plan might say, oh, a condo can't go there. But you could build 20 units, right? 20 individual houses over 80 acres or something. Christopher Platt 47:16 Right. Right, Kay Ogden 47:18 that goes away. Christopher Platt 47:19 So I mentioned, you know, Benton hot springs and Bill Bramlett already. And can you talk about some recent recent deals you've done? Or Kay Ogden 47:35 isn't that amazing that we just announced, and we're in the process of rolling out this news, there'll be more details next week. But yes, we did just complete a conservation easement over the Honeywell ranch at Bridgeport Valley. And so just if you hear something in my voice, I tell you that people who know me know that when I am inspired, I can get emotional. And I didn't think this was going to happen. But here it is. I'm this is an amazing project with an amazing family. And the fact that that Ranch is now protected with the conservation easement in perpetuity is huge. And the honey wells were amazing. We there's always challenges but of course, this is 4100 acre ranch. That's just a lot of stuff and then getting funding right there. We have to also secure funding. And then to move things through. We have to get appraisals and they have to be approved. And there's you know, questions on title. I just think that they own that ranch 460 years. There are some title work that you know, nobody knows. Way back when just those are the little things the checks and balances and the due diligence that we have to do. Christopher Platt 48:55 real briefly k Can you tell our listeners where the Honeywell Ranch is situated? Kay Ogden 48:59 Sure. It's in the middle of Bridgeport Valley. So if you go to Bridgeport and then you take the road up to Twin Lakes, you will as you're going through the big meadow, you'll see a turn off dirt road on one corner and it says circle. Ah, and that is the road that goes out to the ranch. It is private property. They do have a working Guest Ranch but you need to call and talk to them and see when it's appropriate to come up. It isn't just a place where folks can go and wander about his property. Stacey Adler 49:34 And do they have cattle on that ranch too? Kay Ogden 49:36 Yes. Oh, yeah. It's a it's a working cattle ranch. They have a lot of cattle, they have a lot of horses. And in fact, the guests who sign up to work and visit the Guest Ranch actually helped with the operations. It's really cool. And one other thing that is just I think they're the last ones in the in the region who do this. They literally walk their cows from Ridge from the ranch in Bridgeport to the ranch in Smith Valley in early November a depends on the weather, right? This is all weather dependent. But they I think it's a four day five day walk. And then instead of transporting via vehicle, they walk their cows. It's really cool. It's very been on it. I've seen it. But yeah, Christopher Platt 50:22 yeah. So it is really if you know, Bridgeport at all or that valley, it is one of the most stunning scenic panoramas of the Eastern Sierra. It's so beautiful. And now it's gonna stay that way. Kay Ogden 50:36 Right? Yep. It is predominantly protected with conservation easements. There are already several there. Centennial, ranch has one. There was a another one that we completed I guess about two years ago called Shawnee point ranch. There's one that California range Land Trust, which they put one in before we started. So the majority of the valley is protected. There are still some some parts of it that we hope to work with the landowners and continue protection methods there. So. Christopher Platt 51:12 So that's great. I think it's marvelous. So there's some other stuff that the land trust does, right? Because I first discovered you through educational programs. Kay Ogden 51:20 Exactly, exactly. We, we feel like, you know, how many of us are ranchers, and how many of us have thousands of acres that we want to protect? It's a small group. So how can we connect with other folks? So we do that, we have a program called community connections. And we have our we certify pollinator gardens, we do outreach events, we do deer migration walks. So we try to educate people about who we are, what we do, and also why it's important to be doing it. Because like you said, if we can protect the habitats before we have to help introduce the species, then, you know, that's where we are. And so that's also why we're doing a lot of work with sage grouse, the by state sage grouse, were trying to protect their habitat, um, and we do the working ranches that have this, it's the same habitat. But you know, because when we protect a ranch, the deer go through it, right, everything can go through it. So it works for critical habitats. It works because we have working farms and ranches program, we have a critical habitat program. And then we have community connections, connections, which is where we try to connect with our community, we try to be good neighbors, we try to be a part of living here. And we do that in all those different ways. The pollinator garden is a super popular, popular project. Christopher Platt 52:45 I love that because you can I we My partner and I have done it twice. Now I think we can kind of tour around the communities and see people who, who've gotten certified pollinator gardens and get ideas from them. Kay Ogden 52:57 Yep, that's the tour that we do. We obviously couldn't do that this year because of COVID. But we're looking at ways to do it. In the future, we're trying to collect videos that we can show, you know, gardens in multiple seasons. So we we basically, you know, we closed our office mid March, everybody started working remotely, we had to set up secure channels, and our AmeriCorps member Murray who run who ran our community connections program, we just had to pivot on a dime and say, Okay, how are we going to do our pollinator workshops. And instead of having a half day in person events, we did a series of webinars, right, where we had guest speakers come in and talk and they were really popular. So we try to be a good neighbor through the community connections by educating people about what we do and who we are. And when we could do in person, you know, we welcome people into our garden, we have the demonstration garden at the office, which is still there, so folks can come, it's been tended to we've been coming to the office, you know, we've been rotating a staff through there, it's not just shut down. But the demonstration garden is a great way to go and look because there's little plaque, so you can see the name of the plant common, as well as letting and then you can see what the plant looks like in the different seasons. Stacey Adler 54:19 Right. We went Christopher and myself, we participated in one of the deer migration talks earlier before COVID. And that was so interesting. We learned we learned so much. So you know, the programs are really, that you put out are so valuable and rich and they're just, they're wonderful that we can access them here. Kay Ogden 54:46 Thank you. Thanks. You know, we really tried to balance not balance that almost sounded wrong, but you know, there's the science of things. There's the the natural resources that need protected and that That's real information that we want to convey. And then we don't want to forget, we don't want to just talk about species and biodiversity and acres and numbers. We also want to remind people about how you feel when you're out in nature and you see that beautiful deer in its natural habitat. Yeah. And what that feeling does for all of this is what we're trying to remind people about and, and keep places where we can all do that. Christopher Platt 55:25 Yeah, absolutely. And people can find out more about the Eastern Sierra Land Trust your website, right, which is, is it easy, SLT II s lt.org. Kay Ogden 55:38 Sure, can and my email KY, at ESL t.org, folks can always send me an email. And I'll be glad to set up a time to talk in any questions because it the conservation easement is an odd tool. And it's I'd love to talk more about it. But it can be wormholes. It's a fascinating conversation for people who want to learn that wormhole. But if you don't, you know, we can keep it on the let's talk about our book club and our sunflower kids and the deer tour. Christopher Platt 56:11 There's so much going on Stacey Adler 56:14 in our show notes for our listeners so they can access them and know where to find you. But Kenny, what do you like to do when you are not working for the land trust? Kay Ogden 56:28 Great question. And I would say that that is a personal goal of mine. To have more time where I set aside. I love this organization. And I do work a lot to to help try to move it forward. Pre COVID, you know, hikes and walks and canoe trips or kayak trips and bike rides. Post COVID I've been I have a compromised immune system. So I've been really, really careful. I think I've gone to Bishop eight times since March. And most of that has been to go to the title company or the bank or the grocery store. That's it. Right. So with being careful like that, I my garden is awesome this year. Christopher Platt 57:20 Great. That is so great. And hopefully you found time for reading. Kay Ogden 57:25 Absolutely, absolutely. And you probably, you know Eslt started a book club this summer. That was part of our online. And it was really well accepted. People love that that is a program that our AmeriCorps member runs. And that's an 11 month service terms and Marie just she stayed with us for two years, which is the most folks can stay. So she just left and we are new America member is coming in about two weeks, maybe three. And so we will start the book club back up. Oh, that's wonderful. Yeah, it'll be fine. Know big shoes to fill. Big shit. Did you have you guys read miracle country yet? Um, you know, Kendra outworks. Right, everyone? I know, right? I know. And I had an opportunity to interview her as part of our recent event. And if folks want to that interview is on our website, you just have to navigate to it. I think I'm not actually sure where it is. I think it's through events or lands and legacy. But it's free. And you can listen to the interview where Kendra talks more about the book and how and why. And it's really nice. It's really nice. But the book that I'm reading right now is called this, I believe. And it's the personal philosophies of remarkable men and women. And it's a collection of short stories. Have inspiration of pain and loss and rebirth and how we can hold on to light and hope right now. So that's what I'm writing. Stacey Adler 59:08 Like, we all need to read a book like that, or that to read that book. Right? Christopher Platt 59:13 know, I've heard of this book. I'm just looking it up now. Oh, it wasn't it? Was it an NPR pick? Kay Ogden 59:20 You know, I don't know. I don't know, this was given to me. Um, I I was asked to give a talk about why I believed in ESL to work at a National Land Trust organization, and I was given this book to help me and this was about two years ago that I did it and I've I've found that in my personal I don't know struggle is the right word, but my, the navigation of trying to find healthy positive pathways between work COVID Private Life, family responsibilities, the world situation that I needed to take a little time away and find, search out those little bits of joy and peace and I. That's why I returned back to this book because it's, it's in here, and it's helping me. Christopher Platt 1:00:16 That's great. I'm reading the blurb right now. I guess it takes the con the structure from an old radio program in the 50s at Edward R. Murrow. I was doing all this, I believe, and it looks like NPR resurrected it in 2005 as a weekly segment, and as you say, brought in so many different, different people to contribute. It's fascinating. I'm adding it to my list right now. Kay Ogden 1:00:42 I recommend it. For me, there's some parts of it that you know, don't resonate. And so you go to the next one. So Christopher Platt 1:00:50 that's the great thing about essay books r Kay Ogden 1:00:53 eally is. Christopher Platt 1:00:57 So is there so you recommended miracle country? You're currently reading this, I believe? Is there any other book that you would recommend to our listeners right now? Kay Ogden 1:01:06 Ah, no, I don't think so. Well, actually let that's not true. I can't. A book was just recommended to me. I haven't had a chance to read it yet. We can just wait a minute for a couple of our donors sent it to me. sent the recommendation to me. Christopher Platt 1:01:25 I'm sorry to put you on the spot. Kay Ogden 1:01:28 No. That's the cool thing about this stuff. Right? You can hear it? No, that's not Oh, yes. Here it is. It is called Deep Creek by Pam Houston. Christopher Platt 1:01:43 Right. Kay Ogden 1:01:43 And he says that Pam Euston lives on 120 acre ranch in Colorado at 9000 feet. And it's her story of living on the ranch with their animals and the trials and tribulations she encounters. Christopher Platt 1:01:55 I love I highly recommend it to you should put it in your to read pile. Kay Ogden 1:02:01 Okay. Christopher Platt 1:02:02 You will love it. We have it at the library. But yeah, I love that book. So cool. I'm so glad it's nice, you know, connect with people over what books they're reading, right? There's something else we can talk about the site. Kay Ogden 1:02:15 Yeah. Christopher Platt 1:02:16 Fishing and COVID. Kay Ogden 1:02:20 And I hate to use the word and but I it's fair, it's honest. And, um, I try to be transparent. Sometimes I need a break. Sometimes I need to step aside. And sometimes I need not to be so worried about everything I need to step back and let my soul replenish a little bit and find that timeout. And maybe it's through watching a Hallmark Channel movie. Maybe it's through listening to a spy novel and and then sometimes it's the reconnecting with nature and place that, you know, propels me forward. Christopher Platt 1:02:54 Well said, I'm so glad you said that. I'm the county library. And I didn't pay you to say any of that. But you nailed it. Kay Ogden 1:03:02 Well, reading is important. Stacey Adler 1:03:05 It's the best PSA we've had for libraries on this podcast as Kay Ogden 1:03:11 well, I'm so glad it's real. Stacey Adler 1:03:16 Okay, thanks so much. It was such a delight to talk with you and learn more about the Eastern Sierra Land Trust and all the good work that you all are doing. And thank you for doing that work. Christopher Platt 1:03:27 Yeah, absolutely. Kay Ogden 1:03:29 Thank you. And, you know, we couldn't do it without the support of so many people. And I just I want to take this opportunity to thank you guys, and everybody else who is a support supporter of our work because we can't do it alone. And we need everybody with us. So thank you so much. Thank you. Stacey Adler 1:03:47 Thank you again. And thank you listeners for joining us for this episode of the Oxygen Starved Podcast. Please remember if you have a chance to subscribe to our podcast if you've enjoyed it. You can also find us on Instagram at otu starved or our website Oxygen Starved Podcast comm we appreciate you supporting us listening, leaving us comments. We like your ideas and want to hear more from you. So you need time. Thank you, Dan. Kay, thanks, Christopher and Doug, hope you all have a great week. Stay safe. We'll see you next time.
  • Episode 33 - Wildrose Mine; Dear Bob & Sue; Bill Bramlette of Benton Hot Springs
    Stuff we talked about: Adventure - WIldrose Mine Books - Dear Bob and Sue by Matt and Karen Smith Adventure - The Inn at Benton Hot Springs Historic Benton Hot Springs Facebook Page Benton (formerly Benton Station) 1491 and 1493 by Charles C Mann
  • Episode 32 - Panum Crater; Self-Help Reads; Mammoth Mountain's Mark Brownlie
    Stuff we talked about - Adventure: Panum Crater (USGS) Panum Crater (Yosemitehikes.com) Books: Super Human: the Bulletproof plan to age backward and maybe live forever by Dave Asprey To Shake the Sleeping Self by Jedidiah Jenkins Conversation: Mammoth Resorts (includes Mammoth Mtn and June Mtn ski areas) Sheep Shearing in Scotland (Royal Highland Show 2019) The Untethered Soul: a journey beyond yourself by Michael Singer Tracks of Passion: Eastern Sierra skiing, Dave McCoy and Mammoth Mountain by Robin Morning Team of Teams: new rules of engagement for a complex world by Stanley McChrystal
  • Episode 31 - Lundy Canyon; Summer of COVID Palate Cleansers; Running Coach and Author Andrew Kastor
    Stuff We Talked About: Adventure - Lundy Lake Nellie Bly Baker Nellie of Lundy from Hollywood to the High Sierra Books - Still Me by JoJo Moyes The Wife Stalker by Liv Constantine A Star is Bored by Byron Lane Me & Patsy - kickin' up dust by Loretta Lynn Conversation - Coach Kastor's website; @CoachKastor on Twitter and Instagram Mammoth Track Club website Keep Running: How to Run Injury-Free With Power and Joy for Decades by Andrew Kastor Running Your First Marathon by Andrew Kastor Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Atomic Habits by James Clear
  • Episode 30 - Nearby Nevada; Influential Kids Books; Rock Creek Lakes Resort's Steve & Amy Miller
    Stuff we talked about: Adventure - Nearby towns of Nevada's Silver Trails Books - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E L Konigsburg The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats Corduroy by Don Freeman The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone Tales From Moominvalley by Tove Jansson Macbeth the King by Nigel Tranter Conversation - Rock Creek Lakes Resort Miller and Son BBQ Sauce Brewing Company Chronicles of the Black Company by Glenn Cook Miracle Country by Kendra Atleework Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck
  • Episode 29 - June Lake; What We're Reading Now; Ohana's Rena McCullough
    Stuff we talked about: Adventure - Paddling June Lake Books - Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang Guest List by Lucy Foley Imperfect Union by Steve Inskeep Florence & the Machine's Book Club Conversation Ohanas 395 June Lake Brewing The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey Sibley's Birds West
  • Episode 28 - Davis Lake Hike; Such a Fun Age; Author Jennifer Crittenden & the Eastern Sierra Book Festival
    Stuff We Talked About - Adventure: Hilton Lakes Trail to Davis Lake Book: Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid Conversation: The Mammoth Letters and Working Dogs of the Eastern Sierra by Jennifer Crittenden The Eastern Sierra Book Festival Jennifer's Dear Discreet Guide Podcast Miracle Country by Kendra Atleework Crazy Blood by T Jefferson Parker Mortal Music by Ann Parker
  • 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 https://otter.ai 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 https://otter.ai 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 https://otter.ai 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 https://otter.ai 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 https://otter.ai 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 podcast.com 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 https://otter.ai 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 https://otter.ai 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 https://otter.ai 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 https://otter.ai 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 https://otter.ai 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 https://otter.ai 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 https://otter.ai 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 https://otter.ai 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 https://otter.ai 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 https://otter.ai 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 https://otter.ai 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 https://otter.ai 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 https://otter.ai 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 https://otter.ai S J Yeah, thank you again back in 2010. When I came on board here, basically the the tourism and rec department had been part of the town. There was a big push to privatize that. So we are actually not a town entity. We're a 501 c six, which is a nonprofit for promotional purposes and You know, really there was just a push to say hey, we need we need focus on specifically on the tourism and visitation standpoint. And so when I came on board, the website was pretty poor. And we hired a digital digital marketing director that got that all taken care of and got it really where it needed to be. Because no matter what we do for advertising out there, it all directs to visit mammoth calm and so that website has to be the resource for everything that people can possibly want to find out about the area and then also how they can plan their trip as well. So thank you it's a it's something we're proud of. And we're actually it's funny as as nice as it looks right now some of the the back of it is a little bit antiquated. So we're, we're we're probably looking at rebuilding that obviously, again, with a $3 million cut to our revenues, chances are that might need to be there for another year. But get back on this horse, get back on this horse and and get the the coffers full again. Stacey Adler 43:51 Right. So john, as we record this we're at we're on June 11, but this episode will go live on June 28. Third, I believe, can you tell our listeners What? What will this status of Mammoth Lakes be on June 23, as far as tourists coming up here? John Urdi 44:12 Yeah, I think that there's, there's a general feeling that once we can open back up that because of that loyalty and because of the interest that people haven't getting out of the cities and getting back to nature, that we're going to be busy. I think that's, I think that's true to a certain extent that we still need to invite people back because they're being lured by Lake Tahoe, Big Bear, Arizona, Utah, wherever, and we need to make sure that we continue to invite those people. One thing that that concerns me, we just got our latest data from visit California yesterday from a survey that was done on the ninth which was two days ago. And it was it was disheartening to see that there's more than 50% of Californians that are saying that they're still going to stay home and go out as as little as possible. Then there's 30 there's 36% that say that they're, you know, that they're they're thinking about going out but they're only going to go to places they feel safe. Now granted, we, we think that we're that location for them. So that helps us. But there's only 8% of the people that say that they're going to resume their normal, their normal travel plans. 8%. So that's, that's kind of scary. So we do need to get out and invite people. But I think by when we start getting into, you know, June 19 is the official opening. I think that we're really focused on that on that July timeframe to really get the ball rolling. I think Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Page 20 of 24 Transcribed by https://otter.ai C J businesses are going to need a couple of weeks to get into the swing of things and make sure that they're fully fully following all of the guidelines that are being set out there as far as masks and cleaning and protocol and what they can and can't do. And so I think there's going to be some learning to it, but I think for the most part, we've had 12 weeks now to get ready for it. And I think that once we are able to open, hopefully our visitors, you know, our big our big messaging from influx tourism is going to be Yes, welcome back. But here's what you can expect when you get here. So don't expect to take the shuttle down to red meadow. You know, don't expect to be 100% of restaurants occupiable. But on the flip side, we're also going to be letting the guests know what we expect of them. So our sustainability messaging and our responsible tourism messaging is going to be huge, whether it's from hiking and and etiquette for passing people on trails, or whether it's, you know, hey, we're just asking you wear a mask. We're not asking for your kidney. And just and you're setting the expectation for people both on both on the visitor side, but also on the community side, because we want to make sure that people respect the community, I think, I think there's been a lot of concern about the dispersed camping because we haven't had the lodging properties open and people are just kind of camping wherever they want. They're camping right on the Owens River. You know, they're not they're not, they're not, you know, they're not using the setbacks that they should be. They're leaving waste, they're leaving trash. And so those are some of the things that we have to make sure that people understand that this is our backyard and you know, they were more than happy to invite them to enjoy it, but please don't trash it and take their respective sets. Maybe A huge part of our message Christopher Platt 47:02 john I know you're probably in your position not allowed to have favorite children but you know summers coming up you're you're a big skier but what is your favorite thing to do in the area during the summer if you're allowed to say, John Urdi 47:13 you know, it's really funny because you know, I always I try and tell people that summer is probably harder for me to determine that because in the wintertime, my kids are on ski team. My daughter is pretty hot shot racer and you know, she's on snow five days a week up there and does online school. So it's easy, you know, I get up I go to the Hill, I ski and I go home in the summertime. In the summertime, I wake up and I say okay, do we go hiking? Do we go fishing? Do we go biking? Do we go golfing, and it's harder to figure out what to do. So you know there there are certain things that I absolutely love around here. I am a massive fan of the lake space and I think the walk around convict lake is probably one of the coolest places you could possibly go where you can where you can be hiking Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Page 21 of 24 Transcribed by https://otter.ai S J S J around and looking up a mount Morrison Turn around turn around look in the in the lake and look 12 feet down and see a huge trout fish swimming around so it's it's difficult and I don't know I don't know the answer to that because there's like I said this an embarrassment of riches where you can walk out your door here and that's where our whole nose small adventure campaign for Mammoth Lakes tourism came from was when we interviewed business owners and visitors and residents, everything is outside your front door. You know, you don't have to drive 20 miles to go do something like I said with with with things like rock climbing, it's a it's it's it's, there's world class rock climbing around us not too far away. And and nobody has that flexibility to have all of those things within the real literally steps of your front door. Stacey Adler 48:42 And it's one of the reasons we're so lucky that we get to live here, right? John Urdi 48:46 Absolutely. Absolutely. I always say my second home is my primary residence. Stacey Adler 48:53 And we're very lucky to have it that way. So john, we always ask our A guest to share with us what they're reading now. So now is that time? What are you reading? Now, john? John Urdi 49:10 You know, I'm reading a very old book, which is ridiculously in tune to everything that's going on right now. It's john F. Kennedy's profiles and courage. Oh, right. And so, you know, JFK wrote that in 1955 in the heart of all the civil rights movement, and all of the injustices that were going on back then, and it's really hard to see that we haven't learned anything. Yeah. You know, it's it's an amazing book on leadership. And it's an amazing book on how to work with people. And it's an amazing book on really just being good people and kind of putting the the politics or the differences of opinion aside for the greater good. And so, you know, it's again, it's a book that was written in 1955. You know, it's a Pulitzer Prize winning book, but it's, it's just something that I would encourage anybody in a leadership role to read because it really does. help you understand that it's a bigger picture than whatever you're looking at. Is it the first time you've read it? You know, it is I, I've owned it for years, and I just, it's just been sitting on my shelf and I decided about a month ago that I needed to pick that up. And I'm, I'm not one of these people that reads books. For fun, all of my books are business, all my books are leadership, all my Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Page 22 of 24 Transcribed by https://otter.ai C J books are, you know, marketing in there. And, you know, that's, that's what I enjoy. And this one, just again, based on the leadership side of things and being a good New England or with with Kennedy being the king of these coasts. It's really, it's really just, it's just amazing to read what he wrote 1955 as long as I believe he was just a young senator at that point, and he probably had aspirations for the presidency because of his father, but at that point, he was still just really kind of getting his feet wet in the, in the in the Senate. So Christopher Platt 50:54 it really is one of the most compelling books written by a politician. You know, politicians write books. Right and left, especially if they're about to run for major office. But this one is, to your point has really stood the test of time and really relevant to the times we're living in, currently in 2020. John Urdi 51:13 It is Christopher. And I think that's also that's poignant in the sense that it's disappointing that it's relevant. Yeah, you know, I think I think, I think the leadership side of it is definitely I think the, I think the things that they were dealing with back in, in 1955, whether it's the you know, the, the, the civil rights, or even in his presidency with the Bay of Pigs, and all the different arms race with Russia and all these different pieces. You know, the world, the world, sadly, hasn't changed a whole lot since this book was written in 55. And the technology lenses on Christopher Platt 51:43 Yeah, and I think, to your point, john, we kind of lol ourselves with the incremental changes over the years into thinking the world has changed. But, you know, you have a year like this year, and you think, Wow, we really haven't progressed all that much at all. So yeah, great. Recommended. Stacey Adler 52:00 We'll put a link to that in our in our show notes as well as the visit mammoth website. And we really appreciate your time. JOHN, thanks so much for joining us today. John Urdi 52:13 Absolutely, thank you for having me. C S J Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Page 23 of 24 Transcribed by https://otter.ai C Christopher Platt 52:15 And thank you listeners for joining us for another episode of the oxygen starved podcast. You know, you can find us on Instagram at oh two starved, feel free to leave comments or ask us questions or at oxygen starved podcast calm which you can also read us and you'll also find the show notes we'll put links to the books that we've discussed. Visit mammoth and other resources up there as well. And until then, take some time. Keep aware of your mental health as well as your physical health these days as we enter into summer and open up and start to meet each other in person again, and stay safe. We'll be back in a couple weeks with a fresh episode. Stacey Adler 52:55 See you soon. Doug Thornburg 53:05 Thanks for joining us here for oxygen star. Our outro music iron bacon is composed and performed by Kevin MacLeod incompetech.com Creative Commons By Attribution 3.0 license. S D Ep27 D 062320 - 6:22:20, 10.04 AM Page 24 of 24 Transcribed by https://otter.ai
  • 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 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 coronavirus.com. 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 podcast.com. 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 libraries.org 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 incompetech.com Creative Commons By Attribution 3.0 license.
  • 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 23 - Mule Deer Migration; YA Author John Green; Geoffrey McQuilkin of the Mono Lake Committee
    Stuff We Talked About: Adventure - Eastern Sierra Land Trust's Round Valley Mule Deer Migration Corridor information Wildlife Crossing Study of US 395 Near Mammoth Books - Young Adult Author John Green The Fault In Our Stars Turtles All The Way Down Conversation - Mono Lake Committee Lee Vining The Dreamt Land: chasing water and dust across California by Mark Arax The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
  • 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 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 60 - New Year New You for 2022
    A brief, books-only episode: The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy Women, Food and Hormones by Dr. Sara Gottfried
  • Episode 59 - 2021 Top Reads with special guest Dave Leonard of The Booky Joint
    Our Top Reads: Stacey: Anxious People by Fredrik Backman Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid Dave: Facing the Mountain by Daniel James Brown Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir Christopher: Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr The Matrix by Lauren Groff Better Luck Next Time by Julia Claiborne Johnson Below the Edge of Darkness by Edith Widder, Ph.D.
  • Episode 58 - 2 New Books on Fire
    Stuff we talked about: Book: Paradise: one town's struggle to survive an American wildfire by Lizzie Johnson Conversation: An Introduction to Fire in California, 2nd Edition by David Carle Mono Basin History Museum Mount Dana Summit Trail (Alltrails)
  • Episode 57 - Mary Roach's Fuzz & Mammoth Lakes Code Compliance Officer Rick Bellis
    Stuff we talked about: Book - Fuzz: when nature breaks the law by Mary Roach Conversation - Mammoth Lakes Police Department Lies My Doctor Told Me by Dr Ken Berry
  • Episode 56 - Historical Fiction; Joe Griego - MCOE's Chief Technology Officer
    Stuff we talked about: Books - The Doll House by Fiona Davis The 2nd Mrs Astor by Shana Abé The Matrix by Lauren Groff Conversation - Mono County Office of Education IT Dept Digital 395 Mt Tom via Horton Lake trail Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
  • Episode 55 - TIME's Best YA Books of All Time; Tessa Adler on Perks of Being a Wallflower
    Stuff we talked about - Books: TIME Magazine's Best YA Books of All Time Common Sense Media Holes by Louis Sachar Little Women by Louisa May Alcott The Book Thief by Markus Zusak Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison Conversation: Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky Maze Runner series by James Dashner Selection series by Kiera Kass
  • Episode 54 - Cultish by Amanda Montell; Scheereen Dedman on elections in Mono County
    Stuff we talked about: Being a Campground Host in our regional forests Book - Cultish, the language of fanaticism by Amanda Montell Guest - Volunteer at the polls! Mono County Office of the Clerk Recorder and Elections Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin
  • Episode 53 - Mike Hammers, Music Director, and Malibu Rising"
    Stuff we talked about: Book: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid Conversation: Mammoth Unified School District Music Program Mammoth Unified School District Dare to Lead by Brene Brown
  • Episode 52 - We're Back!   What we've been reading over our Summer break
    Books we talk about: Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerrr (September) Fuzz: when nature breaks the law by Mary Roach (September)
  • Episode 51 - Owens Gorge & Chidago Canyon; What We're Reading; Chalese Miller, Mono Library's Early Literacy Coordinator"
    Stuff We Talked About: Adventure - Mountain biking near Owens Gorge Road just east of Crowley Lake. Exploring Chidago Canyon Books: Agatha Arch Is Afraid of Everything by Kristin Bair The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman by Julietta Henderson Conversation: Mono County Libraries Early Literacy Programs Big Bear Hug by Nicholas Oldland Layla's Happiness by Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie The World Needs Who You Were Made To Be by Joanna Gaines Capital Gaines: smart things I learned by doing stupid stuff by Chip Gaines
  • Episode 50 - Dining out at Flo's Diner; 10th of December by George Saunders; Lauren DeLauney and ESIA's new Interpreter Podcast
    Stuff we talked about - Adventure: Flo's Diner in Chalfant Valley Books: 10th of December by George Saunders Conversation: The Intepreter Podcast by Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association Downriver: into the future of water in the west by Heather Hansman Why Fish Don't Exist by Lulu Miller The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio
  • Episode 49 - Fishmas, The Boys In the Boat; Mono County's Jeff Simpson"
    Stuff we talked about: Adventure: Fishmas! Book: The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown Conversation: Mono County Tourism and Economic Development. (@monocountytourism on Instagram/FB) Long Trails: Mastering the art of the thru-hike by Liz Thomas Extreme Ownership byf Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
  • Episode 48 - Big Trees Adventure; Books We've Meant to Read; What We've Been Up To
    Adventure - Big Trees in Chalfant Valley Books - The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton Tales From Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett Conversation - Mono County Office of Education Mono County Library System Transcript:
  • Episode 47 - Adobe Valley; Romance Titles; Annie Rinaldi of Mammoth High School
    Stuff we talked about - Adventure: Skunky Monkey Flowers Hwy 120 through Adobe Valley Books: Romance Writers of America American Royals by Katharine McGee The Viscount and I by Julia Quinn Red White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall Two Rogues Make a Right by Cat Sebastian Conversation: Mammoth High School Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby Color of Law by Richard Rothstein Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Episode 46 - Dog Town; Audiobooks; Amanda Hoover of Community Service Solutions
    Stuff we talked about: Adventure - Dog Town mining camp Books - (audiobooks) Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby Conversation - Community Service Solutions (offices in Coleville and Bishop). Fortitude by Dan Crenshaw The Big House by George Howe Colt The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Episode 45 - Meeting adventure; Memoirs; Sandra Di Domizio of Green Fox Events
    Stuff we talked about: Adventure - Convict Lake Books - Just As I Am by Cicely Tyson We Need To Hang Out by Billy Baker A Life Without Limits by Chrissie Wellington Conversation Green Fox Events Mono County Vaccination Information Anxious People by Fredrik Backman When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole
  • Episode 44 - Stacey does Drivers Ed; 2 great new YA reads; the Claytons of Growlers Eatery in Bridgeport
    Stuff we talked about: Adventure: Learning to drive in Mono County Books: Pudge and Prejudice by A K Pittman We Are Not Free by Traci Chee Conversation: Growlers Eatery in Bridgeport CA. (Instagram @growlerseatery) Ridge Rambler Half Marathon in Bridgeport CA. (Instagram @ridgeramblerhalfmarathon) Fishing in Bridgeport area (provided by Ken's Sporting Goods) Hatches the complete guide to fishing the hatches of North American trout streams by Al Caucci Birds of Ireland Field Guide Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
  • Episode 43 - Shady Rest Snowshoeing; Recent Reads; Stacy Corless of Mono County Board of Supervisors
    Stuff we talked about: Adventure - Shady Rest Trails & Park Books - Better Luck Next Time by Julia Claiborne Johnson Anxious People by Fredrik Backman The Fortunate Ones by Ed Tarkington Conversation - Mammoth Lakes Trails System Mammoth Times Booky Joint Kramers Books Eastern Sierra Sustainable Recreation Partnership Wintering by Katherine May The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
  • Episode 42 - The Druid Stones; Netflix Book Adaptations; Josh Feinberg of ESAC
    Stuff we talked about: Adventure - The Druid Stones Trail Books - The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester Mel Gibson's film adaptation (currently streaming on Netflix) The Duke and I by Julia Quinn (Bridgerton #1) Shonda Rhimes series adaptation for Netflix Conversation - Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center website andfacebook page Barbarian Days - A Surfing Life by William Finnegan How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan Snow Sense: A Guide to Evaluating Avalanche Hazard by Jill Fredston & Doug Fesler Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain by Bruce Tremper Author Tom Robbins in Mono County Libraries Transcript - SPEAKERS Doug Thornburg, Josh Feinberg, Christopher Platt, Stacey Adler Doug Thornburg 00:10 Welcome to the latest episode of Oxygen Starved 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 back to another episode of the Oxygen Starved Podcast where we bring you your adventure books and conversation, your ABCs from 11,000 feet. I'm your co host Christopher and with me is Stacey Adler 00:45 Stacey. Christopher Platt 00:47 co host Stacey. And our third virtual participant as always is producer Doug. Hey Doug. Stacey Adler 00:55 How's it going? Doug? Doug Thornburg 00:56 digital, Doug here and ready. Stacey Adler 01:00 Awesome. Christopher Platt 01:01 Awesome. We're all a little bit digital these days. So yeah, Stace, Stacey Adler 01:08 it's digital and digital and punchy. Little punchy this morning. Christopher Platt 01:13 punchy. which hopefully will make it more interesting to listen to. I don't know Stacey Adler 01:19 always Christopher Platt 01:21 come out of our mouths we may get letters Stacey Adler 01:25 we love letters we would love that that was letters to be good emails. No not not tweets but you know emails email Instagram. Christopher Platt 01:36 Yes. Oh to starve Instagram. So yeah, you know it's we're recording in January and it's so warm dry January stays Stacey Adler 01:46 It is like April it looks like a you know like living in Crowley granted vino. We don't get the the amount of snow that mammoth does. But we almost all the snow that we had is gone. And it's been warm. It's been loved. I mean, it's lovely. It's beautiful. But it's not what we need at this point. Christopher Platt 02:09 Yeah, and not a whole lot of opportunity for us to try to go snowshoeing, which we've been trying to do. Yes. Stacey Adler 02:15 For maybe maybe this week, maybe this week. I'm optimistic because we have we do have some chances of snow coming in over the weekend. So Christopher Platt 02:25 yeah, yeah, no, I'm looking forward to it. And hopefully by the time this episode is released, there is some snow out there that people can enjoy. Because it is odd or dry winter, but you know, it does make it easier to go outside and do some other non wintery things. Stacey Adler 02:41 Yes. And you've been doing quite a bit of that. Christopher Platt 02:44 Yeah, we all have. And so, this last weekend wills and I went down to the druid stone. So for a little context, a lot of our listeners will realize that the Eastern Sierra is kind of a mecca for rock climbers, these Yes, right? And all over but during the winter, normally when there's snow higher up, the climbing activity goes down into the Owens Valley where there are some really well known places the buttermilk, the happy boulders over on the Mesa, and then the druid stones, which are south of Bishop but they're up on a hill, kind of like one of the foothills leading into the Sierra. So we just decided on a whim to go do the druid Druid boulders trail, which is a you know, a short trail. We'd like to do stuff in the mornings between breakfast and lunch because they have a bigger lunch. You reward yourself with pancakes, which I'm really, really into these days. So yeah, this is like a five mile trail. It's just south of bishop. And you know, there's no snow up there right now so it was easier to deal with the druid stones are large granite rock outcroppings. That kind of dot the whole landscape over there that the butter melts are these as well. There's big gigantic granite rocks all over the area and rock climbing. But this is like a conglomerate of them. And I'm not sure where they got their names from. But when you're up there looking at them and just feeling just how gigantic they are. And they kind of many of them stand individually or lean on each other. You do get this sense of other worldliness. Stacey Adler 04:33 So is it kind of like stonehedge that's kind of what I'm picturing in my head. Christopher Platt 04:37 It's like It's like a random jumble Stonehenge. Yeah. Exactly what it is. Stacey Adler 04:44 You You said you go up a hill to get to them. Is there like a big elevation gain Christopher Platt 04:51 there is and so you know, it's only a five mile loop. And so that can kind of lead people to think it's a pretty easy hike, but it's not. It's actually an immediate elevation Game of about 1700 feet within towels. Stacey Adler 05:02 Okay, that's a good, that's a good climb, Christopher Platt 05:06 you could almost crawl on your hands and knees up. We didn't have to. But it's a you know, to good kind of switch back up from the valley floor up to at least where the druids does themselves are the loop goes higher, it goes up to about 1000 feet to do the full five, five miles and the views are spectacular because you're right up on the edge of the valley stays and you can notice towards the mesa up towards Chalfont Valley and Benton area and up towards either crest and Thomas place and South all the way down the valley and you just have this unobstructed view of not just the Sierra Nevada, but the White Mountains and the Inyo mountains in West guard pass. It's it's really a beautiful place. And because a hike is really difficult, it's rated hard on many trail maps. It's not overly populated. Stacey Adler 05:57 We went Nice. Christopher Platt 05:59 Yeah. So when you get up there, you're not dealing with crowds. No, I haven't done this in the middle of summer. So I'm not so sure that's all. rock climbers can be pretty diligent and getting to where they need to get. But this isn't a place for amateur rock climbers. These people have to hike in elevation gain of 1700 feet very easily with all their gear on their back before they even start climbing rocks. So you're not seeing a whole lot of people. And in fact, we got up there fairly early in the morning and didn't see rock climbers going up until we were descending ourselves. I will point out if any listeners are interested in in doing this trail, it's easy to access you do need to look it up online to understand where the trailhead is because it's not very well marked marked. As many trails around here are not. But you do need you do need hiking poles for this especially if you're not used to doing steep trails because otherwise you'll do your knees and you might hurt yourself. It's really kind of like what you were describing up at the Mono Lake fishers there's there's kind of a lot of grunt attics there. There's a lot of ball bearings and yeah, slide your way down this hill very easy if you're not careful. And so those hiking poles Really do come in handy. So you can definitely Stacey Adler 07:20 I love I like to have my hiking poles when I'm coming down a steep. I don't care so much about when I'm going up but coming down. Christopher Platt 07:27 Yeah, no, you're right. You're right. I didn't use them at all going up. I just carried them but I certainly use them coming down and it wasn't like you're leaning on them. You're just kind of using them for balance balance. Yeah. And and, and looking impressive to people who are. My favorite thing coming down a trail is you know, I may be what I wasn't winded for this one because it was a short hike. And if I'm really waiting, it was a long hike. I'll just gather up all my breath and say, Hey, have a great time to whoever I'm passing go who's going up? No big deal. But we did pass a couple trail runners coming down there. So we were put to shame there are people who were running that very steep. Stacey Adler 08:06 That's so I I know, and I when I'm out hiking and i've you know, gone, you know, five or six miles already, and I just have a ways to go. And then I see people running either past me, or you know, coming towards me, I always feel like makes me feel so bad. Why I'm yeah, I'm just hiking. Christopher Platt 08:28 You know, part of me feels that and part of me is like I want to cheer the person like more power to you. You know, we have a couple friends who are mountain runners one year lives in Italy. It runs the Alps. Right. Oh, wow. And you know, it's not easy, but it's a certain it's a lifestyle. And it's a commitment and yeah, more power to them. Stacey Adler 08:46 Definitely. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And then and then Do you ever get the the feeling of like, for me, no matter how hard the hike is going out, no matter how hard it is, or no matter how long we've been hiking, when I get to the point where we're coming back and I could see the car or see my house or whatever. I always get this feeling of sadness. It's almost over. Christopher Platt 09:13 Reality is waiting for me. Yeah, we do kind of get that like, it again, depends on the hike for us. We kind of have a distinctive color truck. So we can always pick it out in the parking area and see it in a long distance. It's like, Oh, yeah, we're almost there. It's like I'm really exhausted. But more often than not, it's what you just described. Like, it's it's over. So you kind of want to turn around and go back but no, Stacey Adler 09:41 I used to feel that way. When I was running races. Really even, you know, half marathon marathon doesn't matter. You know the length. When we after I crossed the finish line. I was always sad. It was over. I was like, Oh, I could have done better. Oh, you know, I want to do it again. Christopher Platt 10:00 Isn't that common? I mean, like you put So, so hard prepping for it. And it's such an event in your life at that moment that when it's over, it's like, oh, now what? You know. Stacey Adler 10:11 Yeah, exactly. Yes. So, yeah. Great. Christopher Platt 10:15 Yeah, listeners, the druid stones. They're beautiful. It's worth the hike. If you can kind of do it safely and you, you're healthy enough to do a steep trail. Highly recommended. It's fairly easy to do in the wintertime, too, because there's just even when the snow does arrive in the mountains, there's less snow down there. So you can kind of kind of get to it. But Stacey Adler 10:36 yeah, yeah, I'm gonna check it out. I'm gonna drag our resident geologists, Joe Adler, and make him do it with me. Christopher Platt 10:44 He would like that, too. I know, Stacey Adler 10:46 Lola. And Lola. Of course, Lola, of course. Okay, listeners, take a deep breath. And we'll be right back. Doug Thornburg 10:55 Ample oxygen is a basic requirement for human molecular metabolism. Stacey Adler 11:00 Welcome back, listeners. We have arrived at the baby books section of the podcast. Let's do the cheer. 123. Yay. Oh, Doug you chimed in to. That's awesome. Doug Thornburg 11:13 You guys need some support? Stacey Adler 11:16 appreciate it. Thank you. Christopher Platt 11:19 No problem. Stacey Adler 11:21 I know we're a little we're still working on the cheer. But at least we're being more synchronous with the cheer. So that's something good. Yeah. So today, we are going to do one of our favorite themes for the books. And that's books that were turned into movies or television shows. We've done this before. And we thought it was time to do this again. And, Christopher, I'm going to start with you, because we haven't wanted to talk about this for a while. Yeah, Christopher Platt 11:53 yeah. So context, is part of the reason people like talking about books to movies or books to TV is because people have opinions, right? Yes, and strong ones. And we were both talking about TV shows that we either liked or didn't like, and they were based on books. And so yeah, so that's what we're talking about today. What I'm going to talk about is the book, a book by Simon Winchester, Simon Winchester hat is a nonfiction author. He's really well known. He's written quite a few books on different interesting topics over the last 20 or so years, the most current book just came out this week for him that we were recording, called land. And it said, an exploration of property and property ownership through history. So he kind of takes these really esoteric subjects, some of them are really big and tries to make them approachable for the average reader. The book that I'm going to talk about is one that's about 20 years old now. And it's called the professor and the madman A Tale of murder and sanity and the making of the Oxford English Dictionary. Stacey Adler 12:59 It's, it's very thought provoking, provoking title. Christopher Platt 13:03 Well, you wouldn't necessarily think, Oh, you know, murder and the Oxford English Dictionary in the same sentence, right. But it caught a lot of people's eye back in 1998, when this when this book came out, and including my own, and I really loved the book, I think it's got some imperfections. But what I liked about it is he took this kind of big subject, the Oxford English Dictionary, which for many of our listeners, if you're not familiar with it, librarians know this everywhere, because there's always a copy in a library. It's a 20 plus volume Dictionary of the English language that was started in the 1800s. In England, in Oxford, hence Oxford English Dictionary, and it was one of the first comprehensive dictionaries out there. But there's a big story in its creation, which this book goes into. Around the time the book came out and was a best seller. Mel Gibson optioned the rights to turn it into a movie and Hmm, took a couple of decades before he could actually pull it off. So the movie is now out on Netflix as we record this. And being a fan of the book, I watched the movie and I had opinions. Stacey Adler 14:10 So okay, but before you get to your opinions, because I know we can't wait, I can't wait. I'm sure listeners like that, too. And I'm sorry to delay this, but I have to ask the book by Simon Winchester. Does he write like, you know, the devil in the White City? Is it you know, is it kind of written like that Christopher Platt 14:30 kind of like a page? Turner? You mean? Stacey Adler 14:32 Yeah. Yes. Christopher Platt 14:34 Yeah. To a degree, I would say with a little bit less finesse than Eric Larsen would have approached it with okay. But he does focus on two different characters here two different historical figures who basically brought the dictionary about, so O Stacey Adler 14:49 kay, thank you. Yeah, please. Christopher Platt 14:54 So, Oxford English Dictionary a little bit more history before the Oxford English tour. There are very few diction, comprehensive dictionaries out there. And it was the first dictionary that was envisioned it would go back and trace the words usage throughout time and if possible back to its origin. So you can go online and look at it if you don't have a physical copy to access, but if you look up a word in the Oxford English Dictionary, there will be many entries there saying where it appeared throughout history. Now, it comes from a very English perspective. So this is the classic white male English 18th 19th century perspective on life. But it is the English language is it is pretty definitive. You know, when you think of back through time, and and Simon goes into this in a whole chapter on Shakespeare, when Shakespeare wrote his plays, and Shakespeare had an immense control of language, and different words, and, and how he applied it, there was no available dictionary to demand, there were, you know, a few handmade dictionaries and churches and what have you. But, you know, it wasn't like, William Shakespeare could pull off a dictionary off the shelf and look up a word. So, you know, this was kind of a new new thing, even in the 1800s, to have a comprehensive dictionary that captured the whole English language, or at least attempted to the lead editor in charge of creating this dictionary was James Murray, he was a Scotsman, he was kind of eccentric, he was really fascinated by words and language, he once tried to cows how to interpret Latin, or, you know, pasture, you know, bossing them around the pasture, and what have you. So he just really kind of a weird dude. But he was well set up to kind of undertake this project that Oxford University was wanting to create the dictionary. And James Murray's approach was kind of the first use of what we know today is crowdsourcing, where, you know, we ask all sorts of people to contribute to something to create it, he put out an appeal through booksellers and publishers with little flyers and books, for people who would be interested in participating and got 1000s of responses and 1000s of people who helped send in words and definitions to his team that they would then vet and either add to the dictionary or not. Now, today, we take this for granted, if anyone using Wikipedia, to Google something to Google the definition, if you're on Wikipedia, you're on a crowd sourced platform. Stacey Adler 17:42 That's kind of crazy to think, you know, like, I'm trying to imagine how would you vet something? If you're in, in in in London, and you get a word sent in to you from somebody from Scotland? How do you vet you know, at that time, how would you go about vetting whether that what they said was true? You know, um, that would seem to be a very arduous task. Christopher Platt 18:07 It was more arduous than they anticipated, you know, they had the wealth of the of the libraries of Oxford University, on their disposal, so they could go back and kind of double check. And as part of their vetting process, whose team, but what they originally thought would take about four years ended up taking 70 years. So my bigger project than they thought, yeah, we all do that. The other main character of this book is a man by the name of Dr. William miner, who is an American, he's a veteran of the Civil War, was a medic for the union and saw a lot of really disturbing things and was also kind of a disturbed person just to begin with, he, you know, was a rapid womanizer and what have you, but he came from a wealthy family and was very well educated and very erudite and knew how to function in society. But he kind of after the war got affected by PTSD, basically, we wouldn't know today, right? Simon purports that this was could be traced back to a point during the war where he had to take a young Irishman who tried to desert the Union Army and brand him with a D on his cheek server. Yeah, exactly. Which would be traumatic in anyone's right. But in Dr. miner's mind, this all festered into this kind of conspiracy theory in his brain that the Irish were out to get him as a result of that. And so for whatever reason, he ends up in England many years later, and murders a man who he thinks was pursuing him, but obviously was not, and is committed to an insane asylum for the rest of his life called broad more in England, which is pretty pretty famous and right For whatever reason, the widow you know, he's a rich man, and educated so he realizes he's done long. And he wants to do well by this young man's wife and many young children. So he gives him money to help support the family, the murdered man's family, his wife comes to visit him, the widow does in broad more. And eventually, over a period of a few months, she starts bringing him books. And then one of these books is a flyer to inviting people to contribute to the Oxford English Dictionary. And that's how the whole thing starts. Okay, and so this guy, Dr. Minor in the in the asylum has this whole library of his own stuff, and he works at his own system. And over the years, over the decades, I should say he contributes 1000s upon 1000s of definitions to James Murray's team at Oxford, and the to actually strike up a literary friendship they write letters back and forth. And James Murray in Oxford thinks this guy is a medic for the same Insane Asylum, and keeps him keeps inviting him down to visit him in Oxford. And, you know, Dr. miner keeps making up excuses not too, until finally, James Murray, like after two decades decides to go to the man himself. And it isn't until it's a pretty famous story, it isn't until he actually gets to broad more asylum itself that he understands that Dr. miner isn't working for the asylum right at the asylum. And they they strike up a friendship. And, you know, he contribute Dr. miner continues to contribute definitions to the dictionary, I won't go into his whole life details. I mean, this book is over two decades old. So I'm giving away spoilers right and left, it's definitely worth reading. And it's just, you know, fascinating just because even at the time in 1998, when this book came out, the internet really wasn't the internet that we know, today's things were a lot slower. And so it makes sense that it might take two decades for them to understand this guy is a murderer, and it became controversial when it came out. It was very controversial and Oxford University had to do a lot of PR and cleanup as part of it, now, that's the basis of the real history. And then Mel Gibson made it into a movie and I just, I'm just gonna flat out say, you know, guys watch it. If you like it, God bless you. I thought I thought it was poor. Now, you know, he cuz he kind of tried to turn it into a love story involving the widow. And Simon Winchester says, you know, basically, the widow brought him books, this murderer books for a few months before she got distracted by other things and ultimately died of alcoholism. He does kind of referring to the man's fixation and womanizing just does kind of wonder at one point, whether there was something between the widow of the murder guy and his murderer. And, you know, I kind of read that that Well, that's a little bit irresponsible, because it's like conjecture out of thin air. But that's what Mel Gibson took and ran with. And so that's kind of the least believable part of what I think it's an otherwise fascinating, fascinating story. So you know, the book is the the Netflix movie does have Mel Gibson, it has Sean Penn, I will watch sean penn in anything. And this I think I just told you Stacy earlier, he just chews through so much scenery, he probably needed a tetanus shot at the shooting. But you know, it's it's colorful. And if you don't know anything about the Oxford English Dictionary, or your don't plan to walk to read the book, maybe go ahead and watch it just to kind of get an idea because it is just a fascinating thing about how something like this would even come up. I do think though, that the book has the better sweep of drama behind it all than less than two hour, two hour movie. That's that it's the professor and the madman, a tale of murder and sanity in the making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester, we have a copy in the library, or you can get at your bookstores or you can watch the movie on Netflix. Stacey Adler 24:17 Nice. I think that's that's not unusual that a movie or television production based on a book doesn't have quite the, you know, the same feeling are sent, you know, you know, it's not quite as is doesn't have the gravitas of the book. Right. Christopher Platt 24:37 Right. And, you know, this is one of those instances where I could almost just kind of take that stereotypical thing that we hear about Hollywood all the time, which is you know, I brought in a script treatment for a review and producers and get funding and what have you, and someone probably sat across the table at one point in the last 20 years and said, You know, this needs a love story, right? So and that's what happened. It Right? Stacey Adler 25:00 Yeah. I'm sure. Christopher Platt 25:02 Yeah, there you go but stays Stacey Adler 25:04 well. Okay, so I had a completely different experience. Okay, I'm glad. Yeah. So however, you know, ironically the the book movie series, whatever you want to call it, that I chose is also set in Great Britain, Great Britain in the 1800s and that is the book is called the Duke and I by Julia Quinn the series read listeners who've you know your know you, you know, this is Bridger 10, right by shot produced by Shonda Rhimes, and her her fabulous production group. But I'll talk about the book first. So the book was published in 2000. It is the first in the series of what has become 10 novels by Julia Quinn, the Duke and I was actually a finalist in the 2001 Rita Book Awards, which are awards given by the romance Writers of America. I didn't know that was a thing until I started researching. Christopher Platt 26:11 They are a powerful and influential group. Let me tell you, Stacey Adler 26:14 I'm sure there are because I mean, I'm not a romance novel type of person. Enough, you know, I mean, I'll read them every once in a while, like a palate cleanser, but there are millions of people that are obsessed with this genre of literature. Christopher Platt 26:32 You know, at some point, we'll have to do an episode on romance novels, because we have opinions there too, Stacey Adler 26:38 as you would. And we should do that. And I can't wait to hear those opinions. But back to the Duke and I so the the novel is set in the Regency era of Great Britain. So somewhere between 1813 and 1827. As I said it was this is a collection of 10 novels and each novel focuses on a different bridgerton child. So the Bridger tins are the the main family whose plight is, you know, is told in this book there. Each child is named alphabetically. The first one is a Anthony, and on down the Duke and I, however, focuses on the fourth child, Daphne, the first the first girl and her quest to find a husband. And the, the, the kind of the, the one thing that draws all these novels together is there is this gossip columnist in London at the time, Lady whistle down, and so she writes these little missives that come out every day that, you know, it's just like gossip brag, you know, it's like the National Enquirer of that time, and kind of, you know, goes through all the exploits of what's happened at the last ball and who's, who's going to be troth to whom and you know, what Mother is pulling her hair out, because she can't get her daughter married off all that kind of that kind of stuff. So that's the lady. Lady whistle down is her her. Her gossip rag is the theme that goes through all of the the novels, okay, and in the Duke and I, Daphne, is in her second season. So the season is when all the mamas of the rich families whose daughters try to marry their daughter's off. And so Daphne has already gone through one season with no no engagements. She wants to marry for love, because her parents are very much in love. They, you know, they have this tight, wonderful family. And so she wants to have that too. And I'm gonna ask, Christopher Platt 28:57 please, cleaner could ask you a question, because you're a parent of young daughters who are near these ages. What do you think of that whole, like, you have a season to marry your daughter off thing? Stacey Adler 29:10 I think it's appalling. I mean, I would not have wanted to put sounds live during that time. I mean, and you know, then not only do you know, did these families try to marry their daughters off? There's reasons why. Right? They, they're marrying them off because they want the the they want to ensure their family's financial future or the you know, the person who you know, the the husband to be, you know, needs an air to get his inheritance. I mean, there's all these different reasons, having nothing to do with with love or attraction or friendship, you know, everything that enters into a marriage. These matches these arrangements are made with any consideration of that? Christopher Platt 30:01 Right, right. Stacey Adler 30:03 And that's, you know, that's what makes Daphne bridgerton that kind of an honorable character is that she's like, I'm not willing to do that. And so what she does is the Duke of Hastings comes back to town. And he is this, he's, you know, like the most eligible bachelor of the quote unquote, season. And she, and he and he is also best friends with her brother, her older brothers. So they strike up a deal, because the Duke of Hastings doesn't want to get married ever. Because he's had some family issues of his own. And Daphne thinks if she's seen palling around, you know, like the, if the Duke of Hastings is courting her, she is going to be more accessible to other suitors, right? And then she'll, you know, be able to find somebody she loves, and, you know, etc, etc. So they strike up this deal, that, that they're going to pretend to be a couple. And then the the story develops from there. So that's kind of the plot of the book. And the book really just focuses on Daphne and the Duke and Daphne's mom, and then you've got these, you know, little, this little publication by Lady whistle down, that starts every chapter. And that's kind of what the book is, it reads very, very fast. It's not long, it's not, you know, there's good description, it moves along quickly. It is a definitely a fun read. Christopher Platt 31:47 Right, which, what you just described is very typical romance, right? There's a formula there's true, it's simple, and it's designed to be a quick read. Stacey Adler 31:56 Absolutely. And, and I will say I was very tempted to buy the next book. And, and keep reading but I have we have another podcast episode coming up in a couple weeks. I had to move on. So however, the series bridgerton blew my mind. I did I didn't I honestly, I did not want to like it as much as I did. But I Christopher Platt 32:25 Why did you not want to like it? Stacey Adler 32:28 Or, you know, it's just like, it's just so you know, romancey? Like, what? What can this bring to the table, right? No, I should never underestimate Shonda Rhimes. She is amazing. She is the queen, bow down to her because everything she does is amazing. And this is not any different. Okay, so first of all, the costumes, the scenery, the expanse of this show was it was beautiful to watch. Right? It's just beautiful to watch. Christopher Platt 33:03 very visual, right? Stacey Adler 33:04 Yes. And the Duke is very visual. He his listeners, you if you've seen it, you know what I mean? Okay. He is played by this man named reg john page. And yeah, I think I think it's reg is how I heard him. I heard Jimmy Fallon called reg reg John's. And he stole he stole the show. stole the show. Christopher Platt 33:40 Hands down. All he does is walk in and look like scenery, right? He doesn't really talk a whole lot. Stacey Adler 33:46 No, he does. I mean, he he makes his you know, well. So his carer, so that character has a stutter, or had a stutter when he was little. And this was one of the reasons why he's estranged from his family and doesn't want to get married because his dad shamed him. So his mother died in childbirth weight and his dad shamed him so badly and hated him. And so that's why he has this terrible you know, feeling of of families and doesn't want to get married and all that kind of stuff. So so he is he is a great reason to watch the show if you're into that. And it's just it also the the storyline of the of bridgerton the series, and it has just been picked up for season two, I just read that this morning. So that is is much more expansive. So you they're like subplots, right? In this series. You know, the main plot is this relationship of, of Daphne and the Duke just like the book, but there you see you get more Information about the feathering tins who are kind of like the they live across the road in their mansion from the Bridger tins and Lady feathering tennis trying to marry three daughters off and you you get much more information and see much more about what's going on in their life there, you know, then the book, you never really hear about them at all. Mm hmm. And you learn more about the brothers and their backstories of Daphne Daphne's older brothers. So there's just a lot, there's a greater richness to the series than the book. And what I'm told is that the series are at every season will focus on another bridgerton child will be like the main focus, you know, similar to the books, which, you know, every book focuses on a different child, but I would expect that, you know, that we'll still see Daphne and the Duke and what became of them, you know, in the series as well, but the the television show the Netflix series, it's just, it was done so well. And the other unique piece about it is that there's, you know, that the cast is multiracial, Christopher Platt 36:26 right? I like that about that. Stacey Adler 36:28 Yeah. And it just, you know, it brought it, it really made it really interesting to bring that in, and they do, it's not like that's never talked about. Right. Right. So they they do address that at one point, the queen and so the Queen at that time, Queen Charlotte was married to King George the Third. And historic if you look up the history of that relationship, she actually was multiracial. Okay. And she had ancestry from Barbados, I think it was and, and she's played by a multiracial character, you know, person. And so it just, it just, it brings another layer and Christopher Platt 37:16 it feels You know, I've watched a few episodes. I'm not I've totally get why people are just sucked into it. Because it is very visual. And it also feels very contemporary for that reason. Right? Like, right, it reminded me of like a Basel ermine movie, or you remember that movie? with Kristen Dunst, Marie Antoinette that Sophia? Like maybe right ago and it was like, it was that same kind of feeling was very youthful. It's very contemporary brought in current pop songs, which I understand bridgerton does. Stacey Adler 37:49 Yeah, so they do it really it's so clever. And, and I would I don't know that I would have picked up on this but Tessa did. Of course, you may need a teenager Exactly. So you there it's one of the scenes where they're in the big you know, there have they're at a ball and they have the the quintet playing and the quintet is playing Thank you Next by ariana grande de and it's it's beauty It sounds so different. It's so beautiful. And so they they sneak in all these contemporary songs as interpreted by these little quintets and that makes it really fun and interesting and relatable and yeah, so I think everybody involved in that series did an excellent job I can't wait for season two Christopher Platt 38:41 more nice Andy Stacey Adler 38:43 is he's definitely and it's just fun you know, it's total Escape is the book and the show as well. Just complete escapist fantasy and with everything that we've been dealing with, you know, out there in the world lately It was really nice just to sink into that and let everything else go for a little while so Christopher Platt 39:07 yeah, Stacey Adler 39:08 I enjoy I enjoyed both I'd probably went on too long sorry listeners but you know Christopher Platt 39:14 No, I agree you know listeners that this be a lesson that you know, we all you don't have to always talk about highbrow literature or enjoy everything. We all have our palate cleansers I have yet to and those include what we watch on Netflix and on TV as well. We all need that escape Stacey Adler 39:34 and and I just I just have to throw in one more thing because I would be remiss late Dame Julie Andrews is the voice of Lady whistle down like Siri so there you go. Christopher Platt 39:46 Her and her her quintessential clipped English accent. Stacey Adler 39:49 Yes. And it's just perfect. It's the perfect you know, accent on the on the whole show, you know, having having heard involved, you know, so just had to, I just had to throw that out there because I'd be remiss if I didn't. But really enjoyable listeners, if you have any opinions on the professor and the madman or bridgerton, or anything that we've shared, talked about today or have suggestions that you think we should check out, please let us know. Send us an email. Give us a comment on Instagram. And yeah, I hope you'll take your hate take some time for yourself to enjoy what's out there. Christopher Platt 40:31 Yeah, and grab something, grab some hot tea or something. And we're going to be back in a few minutes to talk about something completely different. Take care, Doug Thornburg 40:41 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 podcasts considering books describing Mono County adventure and engaging in informative conversation with colorful Eastside Sierra locals downloaded now. Christopher Platt 41:16 Welcome back listeners to this C portion of our podcast the conversation where we bring you a unique individual or organization that contributes something unique to the Eastern Sierra live work play that we all love so much. And today, we're really excited to have on a guest from the Eastern Sierra avalanche center, Josh Feinberg. Welcome, Josh. Stacey Adler 41:38 Hi, Josh. Josh Feinberg 41:39 Thanks, Stacey. And Christopher, really, thanks very much for having me. Glad to be here. Christopher Platt 41:45 So, you know, Josh, I first heard about your organization through one of the talks you guys give at the mountain Rambler brewery back when we could do things in person, especially probably a couple years ago now. So it's always been on the back of my mind, I'm always curious about so I'm curious to hear more about it today. But maybe to open things up, you can tell our listeners a little bit about yourself, where you came from, and how you ended up in the Eastern Sierra? Josh Feinberg 42:12 Sure. Let's see, I grew up, I grew up on the East Coast outside of DC. suburbia out there, went to college in Virginia. And after college, I kind of had a draw to the mountains. So I ended up heading out to Colorado and finding a job teaching some little kids how to ski and Crested Butte. And a real big mountain was and learning how to ski backwards and with the kids falling and all that. I figured that teaching kids how to ski wasn't my calling, necessarily. I had a good time. But I was I was definitely the hook by the mountains. Right. And but during that time, kind of figuring things out. I was also applying to the Peace Corps as I graduated college. And so I got accepted to Peace Corps in Central Africa. And that was an incredible experience. Quite a roller coaster of ups and downs and living in a tiny little village with no running water and electricity. And yeah, quite a whole different world. But long story short, they're one of the people I was in Peace Corps with finished before I did and ended up finding a forest service job out and out in California. And so when I got done with Peace Corps, I got home. And this person said, Hey, this forcers job is kind of cool, get to go outside a bunch and hike around the woods and try that out. So after substitute teaching for a couple months, back east, came out this way for a job was working for a program called forest inventory and analysis. Basically, it was like a part of a giant, nationwide tree forest health census. So we would be bouncing around all over California. Every little nook and cranny is going to these places and measuring trees and finding collecting data about the forest health and how things were changing. Which was Wow, like a fantastic way to get introduced to the California State and all its diversity. I was in it before I was like oh, California probably like a lot of people in the country think of is like a bunch of cities and coastline. And man. It's such a huge diversity of landscapes out here. So right and yeah, just being able to get a taste of that was incredible. Then when the season wrapped up in the in the fall, I had to choose what I was going to do. And I had met a friend of my sisters. She actually came out here to Eastern Sierra before I did and live in the bishop for a while and so I was able to visit her for a week and just got a taste of like, wow, there's big mountains in California. And so, so yeah, but one of her friends that was a ski patroller and Sara Rosa is lives down a bishop again. And so after the sports season, service season wrapped up by Mike went to mammoth and when he tested and barely scraped on the ski patrol, I think it was Still in the past is learning to ski but a Crested Butte didn't do well at least introducing me to some steeper terrain and squeezed on ski patrol and really quickly got into the backcountry from there and really psyched about learning to try to Telemark ski and following your ski around and falling all over the place in China not so much. Christopher Platt 45:23 Can you describe for our listeners a little bit who may not be familiar with the differences in the types of skiing we've talked about this before. But what is Telemark skiing. Josh Feinberg 45:32 So Telemark skiing is some people say, telemarketing skiing. Not quite telemarketing, it's a it's more of like a cross country style. It's the your toes attached to the ski and your heel is not so you kind of can flex up and down and they lets you travel on the flats and uphill you put skins in the bottom of your skis to go toe. And so before they had randonee and more technical bindings, this is how people got around in the back country, they would have these free heels and like looser boots and floppy skis and there was a whole different style of having having to learn how to turn because he didn't have this big rigid boot order fit in there. So the bend your knee down low and kind of it's much more dynamic and ups and downs and pretty difficult, especially in variable terrain. But once you kind of get it and starts clicking for you, it's it's pretty awesome feeling of just kind of surfing the turns and ups and downs and dynamic flow to it. So yeah, it's a, I got hooked. Christopher Platt 46:30 So not so you also kind of alluded to, I don't want this moment to pass by either. You went through a range of vastly different cultures, you know, Maryland and Virginia is very different than Central Africa, which is also very different than the Eastern Sierra in California, all in what sounds like a very short period of time. How would you reflect on that? How, how do you think about that? Like, how do you think that impacted you? Josh Feinberg 47:00 All exposures that I've that I've gotten to have, I think it definitely confused me in some ways. Feel boy Peace Corps really made me feel really privileged for sure. And how lucky we are to be in the US and have so many options available to us. And being you know, especially talking with the youth in the villages that you know, the young kids ride is full of happiness, even though they you know, they might eat one meal a day and pretty rough conditions, smiles and just like laughter all the time. And then really the the kids, kids, the teenagers and the young adults, I think were really the ones that hit me the heaviest about, you know, they've seen what outside world is and how how kind of far off and almost impossible, it seems like to get there to have these things that some of the rest of the world has. And so it's kind of heartbreaking in that way. And, and trying to be in a place and figured out like well, how can I I'm supposed to be here helping out people and making their lives better in some way. And that was kind of a lot of pressure. Also, you know, Peace Corps, you know, two thirds of the goals of Peace Corps is this cross cultural exchange in like sharing your culture from where you come from, right about the culture, these other places. And hopefully, you know that the peace part of it is getting a better understanding for everybody and understanding that, you know, all these differences, everyone can get along and support each other. And hopefully these connections can can last and yeah, make the world a better place. Christopher Platt 48:27 Awesome. Josh Feinberg 48:27 So yeah, so quite different than the DC and the East Coast. And then again, this whole Metropolis Metropolis area out there, and then the little sort of piece of life out in California. Yeah, yeah. Christopher Platt 48:40 So you ended up with the Eastern Sierra avalanche center. Can you tell us about what your role is there, how you ended up with them what you do and a little bit about East sac in general, what what its purpose is Josh Feinberg 48:52 just here, avalanche center started in mid 2000s. As a result of a few handful of dedicated individuals, small volunteers. Nick Greenberg was a big driving force in it and relative Rosenthal was the kind of the heart and soul of it when it started, he was really there's no scientist and dedicated the back country and longtime man with ski patrol and patroller and researcher and and just after the center started, he tragically died, as you might know, in an accident, the not developed femur. All right. So that same that same year in 2006. That was maybe three or four I guess they started in the Eastern Sierra around 2001 in the wintertime. And so I gotten into the backcountry, had my partner CJ Pearson, he was another ski patroller that we were really on a roll of getting out of the back countries. blanked out and we would get long days in and ski big mountains and steep lines and we're pretty psyched about that. And then and then be invited as his girlfriend out for a day in 2006 with us and it was supposed to be mellower day and the winds picked up a bit and again a long story short, we triggered an avalanche got caught it got buried in it. Wow CDs girlfriend and a really good friend of mine as well, she she got taken over countries and oh man tragically died from that. And that was immensely hard, hard thing to go through. Right? My responsibility. So after that, I wanted to try to do something that could help others out. And so I took a course after that a little higher level language course, I had some an AVI one course. And I was in Crested Butte when I first started out there. That's a good introduction. So took a high level course out in the Rockies. And then an opening kind of opened up in East sac, sort of at the same time as ski patrolling, that I had some back injury back issues going on, constant day in and day out of pounding on the slopes, but in so the sag opening opened up, and that would be a little more gentle on the back. And at the same time, being able to hopefully be a part of an organization that would help others be safe, safer out in the backcountry and help me make good decisions. So well. Stacey Adler 51:32 And what what is your role at this point with the sack, Josh Feinberg 51:37 the lead avalanche forecaster, there's three of us, Chris engelhart. And Steve mace as well, we've been working together for the third year, all three of us have been working together. Great team really great guys we're working with and we have a great board of directors. And just we just hired to actually part time staff to help on some of the administrative outreach events. So we're really, at the center is going through some great growth and really, really positive direction. So it's gonna be part of right now. Stacey Adler 52:09 So in a situation like we're in now, where we're, you know, we haven't had any big snowstorms or there's no, you know, the police as far as I know, no big risks to avalanches. What, you know, are you preparing for that? What, what happens during a time like this? Josh Feinberg 52:30 Yeah, it's challenging. It's, uh, you know, it's, it's, it's a lot of work when it's snowing hard, and things are changing. And there's always worrying about and it's dangerous out there. But it's, you got to get a little more creative now. I mean, we're still doing daily avalanche advisories. You daddy as avalanche.org, you can look at there. And we're still we're still doing daily advisories, even though the danger is low. There's daily fluctuations and little little problems that you might look at still, and there's still still always a chance you might find some unstable snow out there. So it's always good to, to still be paying attention to what you're doing. But right now, it's definitely the thing conditions and the firm and variable snowpack and all the obstacles, which are the biggest danger out there. Right? You really have to want it to be getting out right now. But there can be some good spots to go. And it's still always just, you know, a great, great day and mountain mountain speak. Go cruising around. And if you get a good bonus, Christopher Platt 53:24 yeah, you're right. And, Josh, can you alluded to it a little bit? Can you kind of tell our listeners a little bit like what are the ingredients that go into avalanche forecasting? Like, I wonder how you even do that is do you have like a nice answer. Josh Feinberg 53:38 I could hopefully give you a short version. Oh, you need a steep enough slope, and you need a trigger to cause an avalanche. And so we look at a huge thing we look at is just the weather forecast is it is the winds picking up Windsor huge sculpture of avalanches, and this year, in a lot of places, but especially here like it might not snow for a week, and then the winds will pick up in the right way. And all of a sudden, within a matter of hours, this load can become dangerous that wasn't today before. Wow. Wow. So weather is for sure important. We have weather sensors that record wind directions and temperatures, sunshine, warming slopes. And then we also really depend on field observations. So we all get out in the field. consistently, even when it's low danger, we're out in the field. Steve and Chris are both out there right now around and collecting data. And we also have a great observer network. And anyone who goes out in the back country, our site is open for observation. So if you get an out there, we really appreciate hearing what people find you out there even if it's not, the conditions are safe, or here's some weather information. The observations we get through our site are tremendously valuable for us. So that those are the main ingredients is basically the weather forecast the observations that we're taking, and you know, snow pits, we're digging and just what we're seeing the weather doing when we're out there. Christopher Platt 55:02 It seems like it would be every day would be almost a new challenge or every day would be different because the weather in the Eastern Sierra can be so different from day to day. Right? Josh Feinberg 55:12 Especially lately, like it's, you know, hasn't snowed in a long time, you've had a few forecasts for snow that haven't come through and, but things are still there still some concerns like, you know, four days ago, it was like 50 degrees in Mammoth and super warm and sunny slopes were getting moist. And if you hit the right, on the right area, you could create a little wet slide potentially, and then picked up and so it's Yeah, these little every day is a little slightly different, for sure. Christopher Platt 55:41 Well, that's what we have people in organizations like you. And so I noticed that you guys do you mentioned this earlier that you do some outreach events. And it looks like you're doing some online classes that anyone can kind of join, like a one Wednesday a month or something like that, can you talk a little bit about what the organization does there. Josh Feinberg 56:00 Our main goal is to produce these avalanche advisories to help people make better decisions out there in the back country. But another mission of ours is also to promote education and give people awareness about what's going on. And so traditionally, in past years, like most things, we were able to get together in person and have events at like brewery, like you sit down, and they ship and in June, like we'd have, have at least three three of those types of education sessions done every year. And just like everyone else is here, we're going virtual. actually been we've had once when our first education event last week, which was tremendously successful, it had almost 300 people join. Wow, so we're gonna be doing one a month through April. Each one is kind of building on the other, like this last one was more of a back country. introduction, like not necessarily avalanches specific but how to be prepared for avalanches how to travel in the back country. This next one coming up on this, the first Wednesday of this coming month will be more like avalanche 101, about different types of avalanches and more more nitty gritty for that kind of thing. Yeah, we'll be going into like more mid season concerns after that, the month after that, and then when April comes around more spring travel concerns, because that brings up a whole nother set of issues. So yeah, that's gonna be on our site and Facebook, and then we'll be we'll be pushing out when those are going to happen. But again, every first Wednesday of the month at 6pm, there'll be happening and they're free, and encourage you to check them out. And also, if you can't make it, you can go check that out. Christopher Platt 57:40 And listeners will link all of this will link their website and their Facebook page on our show page so that you can go and find out more just from their website, there's a quite a bit of information information there. Stacey Adler 57:51 So Josh, it seems like it's a it's pretty can be a pretty stressful work environment that you're in what do you do to relax and you know, when you're when you're not seeking out possibilities of avalanches? Josh Feinberg 58:11 Yeah, when it's when it's snowing and things are going on it is, you know, hopefully, we're providing information that can potentially save someone's life if it's taken in the right way. So we take your job seriously. We try to work things in ways that are that are precise, and that aren't, you know, you could talk about all the different possibilities out there and go on for paragraphs and paragraphs but are pretty short. So you zero in on what's important in focus on that and hit on home on that and realize like, sometimes less is more. But in terms of what I like to do for fun, I got down to Bishop last week when for bike ride down, down some of the trails down there, which was super fun. I like to like to rock climb as well. So so you know, like many people in Eastern Sierra, those are the things I enjoy as well. And yeah, just being able to pick up a book and read occasionally. hasn't been too often too lately, but I want to learn more. And you're going out for a run in the hills right now you can go just outside of mammoth and run around and so it's even though there's no snow that has been beautiful. So outside Yeah. Christopher Platt 59:25 Well, you hit on a couple of things good answers. So we just we just earlier in this episode talked about the druids stones outside of Bishop for for rock climbing, not that either of us climb and reading. So let's get to Jeffrey talking about this. What what what are you reading right now? Or what books would you would you recommend to our listeners? Josh Feinberg 59:47 There's a couple of books right now I'm in the middle of what's called barbarian days a surfing life by William Finnegan. And this is a book that actually my fiance's son turned me on to he was reading it. He's out in Santa Barbara right now and that just started college out there. A book about a California kid growing up surfing and moving to Hawaii and then getting getting older and then traveling the world chasing waves. And his it's a I'm only about a quarter of the way through. But it's a great book about what Surfing is all about and the sort of the soul of it and how captivating it can be. Christopher Platt 1:00:28 That's an amazing book. And it came out just a few years ago, but it really a lot of people really enjoyed that book. I think it won a major prize too. I'll have to look it up. Josh Feinberg 1:00:38 That was I've never heard of it before recently. So yeah, I'm enjoying it for sure. I'm a intermediate surfer. I think it's a little bit of getting myself out of the doubt on that. But it certainly is one of the hardest sports I've ever tried just a pretty athletic and tried a bunch of different things. But man, there's so much going on in surfing that Stacey Adler 1:01:01 I agree I lived in I moved up here from San Diego and spent spent my fair share of time getting knocked around in the water and I love it but I am I I'm I am not proficient at all. But it takes a lot to learn to surf. My husband is a surfer So yeah, I appreciate that. Christopher Platt 1:01:24 So what else are you reading? Josh Feinberg 1:01:27 halfway through the how to change your mind by Michael Pollan. Then he wrote the Omnivore's Dilemma. This is all about basically the psychedelics and mind changing drugs. And it's becoming more I mean, it's given the history back in the 60s that when these things were being experimented with, and then it's going more into today's where it's becoming more accepted, and some, some, there's a lot of therapeutic uses for LSD and mushrooms and this kind of psychedelic things. And so it's it's very interesting kind of history and how effective how, how these things can affect your mind and how if administrate in like in therapeutic ways that how powerful they can be? Right? Only again, halfway through that one as well. But I'm looking forward to continuing. And so it's just, yeah, it's interesting. I haven't had a whole lot of experience with that myself, but it's it piques my interest? Christopher Platt 1:02:23 Well, it is an interesting topic nowadays, especially you know, is, you know, therapeutic marijuana is legal, there are more stores popping up and people will want to understand more about it, you know, regardless of the experience that they've had. Josh Feinberg 1:02:38 pretty intriguing. And, you know, there has been cultures that have been in existence for 1000s of years that you've used as their peer reviewed psychedelic drugs in some form or another, whether it's like, reached plants in Africa or the audience in South America that have been using this in their traditional cultures for centuries. Yeah. Yeah. So it's, it's Yeah, it's pretty fascinating. Yeah. But in terms of let's see a book, books I recommend, just in terms of the avalanche scene. Snow sense by by Jules redstone, and Doug fesler is a great almost pocket sized book for introduction into avalanche, traveling, an avalanche train and the essentials. Great initial read for somebody. And if someone who's more into like digging into the depths and geeking out, it takes a lot more attention, but staying alive and is trained by Bruce tremper is a great, great resource. It's more of a resource. Yeah. But one of my favorite authors is Tom Robbins. I always Oh, yeah. It's and, like jitterbug, perfume or even Cowgirls. Get the blues. Definitely, always enjoy his, his take on life and like, the way he exposes humanity, like all the different depths of it. I just really love it. I love how you can start reading his book. And beginning here, I'm just always confused and like, what the hell is he I need to read this. And then all of a sudden partway through it all starts coming into place and clicking in so I think that's really cool. ability that he has to like, start talking about things but not having to explain them and then just relying on the fact that they all put it get put into place. Christopher Platt 1:04:27 Yeah, you know, and he's a he's such an influential author, too. I mean, he's been around for donkey's years now, I think his most recent book came out maybe five, six years ago is nonfiction. But you're not the first one to say that Tom Robbins, I think impacted a lot of readers in the last few decades. Stacey Adler 1:04:49 He's he's a pretty prolific writer too. So he's got a wealth of books, some of which have been made into movies. Right, Christopher Platt 1:04:57 exactly, which we talked about earlier. Yeah. That's a good range of books, though. So so let's ask you this question, which is kind of a loaded question. We're starting to ask our, our listeners, do you read more than one book at a time on a regular basis, Josh or you I always kind of juggling reading. Josh Feinberg 1:05:19 Right now I'm juggling, I've got I've got these two books. And then sometimes there's a self help book thrown in there as well. So right now, juggling, but I do like to, I do like to just get into one book and like, I just get into it. Because if I don't read something for a while, then I go back to it. And I'm like, Who's that character again? So? Christopher Platt 1:05:39 Yeah, Josh Feinberg 1:05:40 could be better sometimes. So yeah, I do both, I think. Yeah. Christopher Platt 1:05:45 I think a lot of us do. Stacey Adler 1:05:46 Yes. Definitely. Christopher Platt 1:05:49 You more so Stacy now than before, right? Stacey Adler 1:05:52 Oh, def Yeah, this is a new thing for me. juggling multiple books at a time. That's it's a new phenomenon in my life. And I agree with you, Josh. It's hard to you know, pick up a book and put it down and then remember, like, Who is this again? And but necess it's life necessitates trying to cram in. There's so much out there. That you just got to do it sometimes. You know. Christopher Platt 1:06:19 Well, Josh, listen, it's been great having you on. Thank you for joining us today. Stacey Adler 1:06:24 Yeah, we really appreciate it. Josh and us stay safe out there. And hopefully we get some snow soon that everybody can be enjoying the winter weather together. And listeners. Thank you so much for joining us today for another episode of the Oxygen Starved Podcast. Please remember, you can find us on Instagram at o to star and we have a Facebook page and our website Oxygen Starved Podcast calm so leave a comment. Please subscribe to the podcast if you haven't done so already. We really appreciate that. Stay safe out there. And have a great week. We'll see you again soon. Doug Thornburg 1:07:23 Thanks for joining us here for oxygen star. Our outro music iron bacon is composed and performed by Kevin MacLeod incompetech.com Creative Commons
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