Margie Renteria is on the verge of losing her house. There are two causes - she signed a questionable mortgage (her payments have gone from $1400 to $2900 a month) and her oldest daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. In order to shuttle her daughter to doctor visits, she had to give up her steady job at Lowes. Also on the show: discovering haiku.
Adrian Moreno was engaged in an experiment to get by on much less. He moved his family to a vacant lot on the far outskirts of San Diego within earshot of the Mexican border. At first, they lived in a tepee. Then Adrian built a house on the property for about $10,000. Adrian talks with Dick about how he taught himself construction and the art of living lightly.
As you know, one story often leads to another on this program. Last week, Dick spoke with Nyagatare Valens and his mother, Anisie about what their family experienced during the Rwandan war. It turns out our interpreter for that interview, Josephine Mujawaamariya, has a story of her own.Also in this episode: the story of a riverkeeper.
Quick: Who were the first five presidents? What's your credit card number? Paul Mellor can tell you. Okay, he doesn't know your credit card number, but Paul can memorize dozens of digits in perfect order. He can memorize an entire deck of playing cards, too, in a matter of minutes. Also on the show: defying the stereotypes of dyslexia; and Halima Voyles' story of being touched by the generosity of someone less fortunate.
When columnist Cathleen Falsani won a trip to Africa in a raffle, she planned to veer off the tourist track, do some writing. She never imagined that a young boy would steal her heart the moment he sat in her lap. Also in this episode: We like to hear remarkable listener stories. Chuck Walkley's neighbor Jennifer heard Chuck's story and she told us, and we persuaded him to come in to the studio.
Dick talks with Alma Cousin who was a real-life maid in Jackson during the time of the The Help’s setting, along with Elizabeth Hays, one of the white children she cared for. Also in this episode, By day, “The Lady Aye” works as a copywriter for a major department store in New York City. But by night, she is one of the world’s few female sword swallowers.
The fields of Immokalee, in Florida are infamous for the way agricultural workers are treated. Some make $10,000 a year. Gerardo Reyes is a fruit picker and organizer there who is helping to change Florida’s tomato industry. Also in this episode, when the massive Texas wildfires came to their ranch, Diane and Chris Lacy were, as they put it, "an hour from pavement" branding some cattle.
Teara Banks and her family are among those still waiting for an economic recovery. They wound up homeless and had no choice but to live and sleep in their minivan. Mom and dad were up front, two children slept in the middle seats, the littlest one slept on the floor. Thirteen year old Teara had the backseat.
After Emily Sirota had a baby, she wanted to become active in improving Denver's public schools. She entered the school board race on a platform opposing vouchers, never imagining that her opponents would generate unprecedented amounts of corporate cash to try to defeat her.