Sound Effect | KNKX

Sound Effect

Saturdays at 10 AM

Sound Effect is stories inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KNKX's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme.

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courtesy of Judd Walson

 

Students of Professor Judd Walson often ask him for advice on their career paths and how he became a global health specialist. But Walson didn’t always know he wanted to be a doctor and says his career path was anything but straightforward.

In fact, as a young boy he was a talented magician getting paid to perform around the country and even overseas in Sweden. When he graduated High School, he didn’t know what he wanted to do and so he left for Europe to become a street performer.

 

Dr. Carey Jackson

 

Navigating the medical system in the United States can be complicated and confusing. Now, imagine making appointments and dealing with insurance companies if you don't speak the language. Then, throw into the mix the emotional trauma of fleeing your home country and leaving loved ones behind, forever.

 

This is the reality for many immigrants and refugees trying to make a new life for themselves in the United States.

 

This week on Sound Effect, we hear stories of people who refused to give up.

Billy Idolator

Courtesy of Michael Henrichsen

This story originally aired on September 9, 2017.

Michael ​Henrichsen’s parents met at a Duran Duran concert. He’s named after the lead singer of INXS. He practically has 1980s and 90s pop music in his DNA. So maybe it’s no surprise that, after hearing a Debbie Gibson song in a piano bar, the 30-year old Henrichsen got a little obsessed.

Hebah Fisher

 

This story originally aired on September 9, 2017.

Mohamed Farid loves the water. He’s been drawn to it ever since he was a little boy. He started sailing small boats when he was in his twenties in Dubai. These smaller vessels capsize easily. Since he was sailing in the warm waters of the Persian Gulf, this was not a problem.

 

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

This story originally aired on September 9, 2017.

Last June, Ana Ramirez headed to a meeting of the Western Washington University student government. She had just been elected as Vice President for Governmental Affairs and, as it turned out, the meeting was about her.

Ramirez, now a 19-year-old sophomore, is an undocumented immigrant, brought into the United States from Mexico when she was six months old. She had just learned from university administrators that she wouldn’t be allowed to assume the position she had campaigned for and won.

Credit Chris Cozzone

This story originally aired on September 9, 2017.

Tricia Arcaro Turton’s career started with a big fat “no.” She says she was never one to be discouraged just because someone tells her she can’t do something. And at a young age, she was told that she couldn’t be a 

boxer. She decided to write off the sport all together.

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

 

This story originally aired on September 9, 2017. 

When Meg Martin first moved to Olympia, Washington from Montana in 2007, she was recovering from a drug addiction and looking to start a new life. In Olympia, she threw herself into outreach work. She volunteered for a program that uses bicycles to deliver clean needles to people on the street who use injection drugs.

 

Credit Vinay Shivakumar/Creative Commons by 2.0

This week, stories of positive things coming from otherwise negative places. First, music journalist and author Charles R. Cross talks about how a bad economy helped produce the grunge music movement. Then, how the author of the light-hearted Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books actually had a pretty rough life.

Adam Jones/Wikipedia Commons

If you have a band in Seattle, good luck finding an affordable practice space. There aren't many to begin with, and if a band can find a place that doesn't mind the noise, it is often small, old and outrageously expensive.

Seattle music journalist and author Charles R. Cross says things were noticably different in the early and mid-'80s. 

"There were many, many empty spaces, that were just empty forever. So the capacity for a band member to rent a room for a hundred dollars in Belltown and live, or rent a rehearsal space for 75 [dollars], was everywhere," says Cross. 

courtesy of Paula Becker

 

Paula Becker grew up reading the "Mrs. Piggle Wiggle" children's books, and loved the whimsical stories of her uncanny ability to cure children of bad character traits. The author of the books, Betty MacDonald, lived in Washington. Many years later, when Becker moved to the Evergreen state, she asked her local librarian what had become of the best-selling author.

 

Every Tuesday night, St. Paul’s Episcopal church in Seattle opens its doors and invites people living with mental illness and homelessness to come in and create. In the unique art space they can paint, knit, play music or find their own creative pursuits.

 

The Karen Korn Project was founded by Pastor Kae Eaton and Patricia Swain, in honor of Swain’s daughter Karen. Karen died from suicide in November of 2014, after struggling with mental illness and homelessness herself.

 

Seattle Public Library

 

Real estate. It’s a hot topic in the Northwest right now. A white-hot market like Seattle’s creates winners and losers, depending on which side of the transaction you happen to be on. These days, you’d probably rather be a seller than a buyer.

 

But back in 1985, when Merlin Rainwater and her husband bought their place, the roles were reversed. They were able to score a little bungalow on the East slope of Capitol Hill for just $50,000.

 

Courtesy of Mark Goetcheus

 

The day that changed Michael Freeman’s life came about 22 years ago.

“I was crushed by an eight-ton truck in a loading dock across the pelvis. They took me out to Madigan and did emergency surgery,” Freeman said.

In the course of his treatment he was given a common blood-thinning medication, to which he turned out to be severely allergic. The complications would eventually cost him one of his legs. He was sent to Harborview in Seattle for two months to recover.

Tag Brothers

 This story originally aired on October 8, 2016. 

There are lots of games we all played in the schoolyard when we were kids — foursquare, tetherball, maybe some capture the flag if there was  enough time before the bell rang. Some of us just can’t let go.

Creative Commons CC0

This week, stories of cogs in the machine. First, how a kid felt like toys were missing some accessories, so he decided to start making them himself, and business took off. Then, a Vietnam veteran shares why he believes the willingness to die for a cause you don’t believe in is an example of how “the system” works. Also, a sperm donor is faced with the realities of meeting one of his offspring.

Teenager Turns 200 dollars Into Customizable Lego Business

Jun 9, 2018

 

Payton Dean wanted more specialized weapons for his Lego minifigures. So he decided to make his own.

 

Other people were intrigued and started telling Dean he should sell the weapons. With a little help from his grandfather, and $200 he had saved up, he decided to give it a try.

 

Six years later, that decision has grown into a very successful business called X39 Brick Customs.

 

Courtesy Rich Hawkins

Most of us don’t grow up dreaming of being a tiny gear in some big, impersonal mechanism. But for Rich Hawkins, destiny started coming into focus on the day when, as a kid, the first family television showed up.

Zappy Technology Solutions / Flickr

 

Wolfe wanted children. But when he went to a sperm donor clinic, he didn’t expect that he’d end up with seventeen.

 

After an extensive judging process, Wolfe wasn’t sure if he’d even be selected.

 

“This was more like trying out for NASA,” Wolfe said. “They did extensive blood work. They looked at my family history going back multiple generations. They looked at any kind of genetic abnormalities. They had me on a treadmill jumping around.”

 

 

Kwesi Salih is serving more than 50 years in prison for the murder of a woman who was in a car that Salih and his friend tried to carjack.

 

“I didn’t think how my actions could take another person’s life. You know, I live with that every day of my life now,” said Salih who spoke over the phone from Stafford Creek Correctional Center in Aberdeen, Washington.

 

A Guiding Light Inside A Box Of Sunglasses From Taiwan

Jun 9, 2018
Joel Shupack

When Sound Effect contributor Joel Shupack was just out of high school he was working a boring, tedious warehouse job in Bend, Oregon.

“My job,” recalls Joel, “was to open boxes full of sunglasses, take them all out and put each pair into a separate box. They would be mailed out to all of the dupes who signed up for a sunglasses-of-the-month club.”

It was one of those companies that would mail out leaflets advertising “FREE SUNGLASSES! $40 Value!”.  An asterisk would direct you to the fact that you only had to pay shipping and handling, a mere $19.95.

SAN JUAN ISLAND 17 BY JEFF CLARK IS LICENSED UNDER CC BY 2.0 BIT.LY/2RLVP97

This episode originally aired on June 17, 2017.

This week on Sound Effect, we head out to the islands.

The Good Ship Issaquah

Marsha Morse was one of the first women captains in Washington’s ferry system. She’s been navigating the waterways since 1975. And while she captains the ferry Issaquah, she considers her office the entire Puget Sound.

The One Lonely Island

WSDOT/Broch Bender

 

This story originally aired on June 17, 2017.

Washington boasts the largest ferry system in the country. “Twenty-two ferries cross Puget Sound and its inland waterways, carrying more than 22 million passengers to 20 different ports of call,” according to the Washington State Department of Transportation’s website.

 

Marsha Morse was one of the first women captains in Washington’s ferry system. She’s been navigating the waterways since 1975.

 

Hannah Burn

 

This story originally aired on June 17, 2017.

The San Juans' last homesteaders first discovered the islands on a map. June and Farrar Burn were newlyweds. They met in 1919 at a party June threw in her log cabin in Virginia. June quickly fell for Farrar’s ruddy-cheeked smile, curly red hair, and his ability to make himself useful immediately:  gathering firewood, serving drinks, hosting as if it were his own home. Farrar was drawn to June’s lively eyes and her unmistakable, fierce spirit. In a month, the two were married.

Kevin Kniestedt / KNKX

This story originallyt aired on June 17, 2017.  

Affordable housing is certainly a big issue these days, especially if you are living in the greater Seattle area. But it is also a major issue on some of our islands.

On San Juan Island, an overwhelming shortage of affordable housing is threatening the community and economy. But a non-profit in Friday Harbor is come up with a way to help that problem: by picking up old houses that are no long wanted in Victoria, British Columbia, putting them on a boat, and giving them a second life in Friday.

“McNeil Island and neighbors” by worldislandinfo.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0 bit.ly/2tseyeM

Note: Some of the content in this story might be upsetting to some listeners. 

This story originally aired on June 17, 2017.  

McNeil Island in South Puget Sound is where the Special Commitment Center for sexually violent predators is located. There are about 250 permanent residents at the Special Commitment Center -that’s what they’re called — and there are only a few ways you can leave the facility: you die, you’re deemed to have successfully completed treatment, or you can challenge your commitment with a trial.

Courtesy of Steve Edmiston.

 

This story originally aired on June 17, 2017.   

In the summer of 1947, off the coast of Maury Island in South Puget Sound, a man named Harold Dahl was out on his boat with his son, Christopher, their dog and two workers. Harold collected logs floating in the Sound and resold them to lumber mills.

 

Think Dating Is Hard? Try It On An Island.

Jun 2, 2018
“Dating In The 50's” by zaza23 is licensed under CC BY 2.0 bit.ly/2rwn2Fr

 

This story originally aired on June 17, 2017.   

You may have thought about living on the San Juan in an abstract, big-picture sense: basking in the rain shadow, long bike rides along rolling hills, the best garden of your life. But what about the practical parts of day-to-day life, like dating? What if you couldn’t take someone out to dinner without everyone you see every single day knowing your business?

 

Credit Mike Kniec/Flickr

This week, stories of picking up the pieces. First, a story of how a chance discovery in a dumpster led to an inside look at a woman’s life, and eventually a musical tribute. Then, University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce shares the story of her brother, and his tragic death.

Courtesy of Jason Webley and Chicken John

On a hot, windy night in San Francisco, a good friend of Everett musician Jason Webley climbed into a dumpster. His nickname was Chicken John, and he crouched at the bottom of the dumpster to light a cigarette. What he found, there among the garbage, turned out to be unexpected treasure: an oversized, handmade leather scrapbook that was falling apart.

Chicken carried around the discarded, early-20th Century scrapbook for years.  It contained items -- poems, newspaper clippings and other official documents -- all pertaining to the life of a woman named Margaret  Rucker.

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