Vincent Mantsoe is a dancer and choreographer who performs all over the world. Growing up in the townships of South Africa, Vincent was exposed to the rhythms of dance early in life: his mother was a sangoma, or traditional healer. When he got older, he got excited about Michael Jackson and other pop musicians - they got him onto the dance floor - and his family spirituality kept him grounded. Also in this episode, Pam Rock's story for our listener series "Your Story."
On a dare from his work mates, Jonathan Trappe took his first balloon-powered flight two years ago, in his office chair. Hoisted by over 50 giant helium balloons, he sailed up to 14,000 feet, floating across the North Carolina countryside for over 4 hours.
Ann Nicholson lives in Florida, where she says she struggled to afford health insurance for her 12-year-old son, Tyler. Ann says Florida's limited KidCare Medicaid system gave her no option but to send Tyler to live with relatives in Georgia, where she found more affordable medical care for his blood disorder. Also on the show: teaching art in a communist system where students prize similarity.
James Hand is a native of West, Texas. He often composes music outside, walking his land. However, since the deadly explosion at West Fertilizer Company in April, he says writing music has not come easily.
“I don’t think I’m able to write a song that would explain all the hurt, terror, the sorrow, the despair, the anguish, and the loss of everything,” he says.
Jackson Lee wrote in to tell his story. It's not just a story about learning to navigate a business in this economy: it's a story about learning to be a businessman. Jackson dropped out of college and became a bike messenger. He still has a day job as a bike mechanic. But in April, he took a gamble. He opened a vinyl record store in his hometown of Greensboro, N.C. The space also offers bike repairs in the back. Jackson talks with Dick about what he learned in his first few months of entrepreneurship.
Dick recently asked listeners for stories of how they reconcile their divergent career paths - something Rupa Marya has been doing for a while. Rupa is leader of the band Rupa and the April Fishes. But to her patients, she's known as Dr. Marya. Rupa has juggled her desire to be both a musician and a doctor since she was little. Also in this episode, everyone now seems to be plugged into a social network on the web: MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, LinkedIn. Jim Sollisch never wanted any part of electronic schmoozing, but he got tricked into joining LinkedIn by a friend.