Daily Episodes of the Morning Show with Greg Berg. One-of-a-kind interviews with locally and nationally-renowned authors, regional newsmakers, opinion leaders, educators, performers, athletes, and other intriguing members of the community. Presented by WGTD FM.
We begin with Margaret Gesner and Jeffrey Langlieb from the Greater Racine County Health Department- and finish up with Carlo Nevicosi from the Walworth County Department of Health and Human Services .... for COVID-19 updates.
From 2009- Dr. Sandra Moats from the history faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside talks about her book "Celebrating the Republic: Presidential Ceremony and Popular Sovereignty from Washington to Monroe." The book examines the nature of the U.S. Presidency and how it was viewed by the American public through the tenure of our first five presidents.
We're turning the clock all the way back to 1989 - and to two interviews that appear to be the oldest Morning Show interviews preserved in our archives. The interviews are done by longtime WGTD News Director Bill Guy, who created the Morning Show. Part One is with longtime UPI columnist Georgie Anne Geyer. The second is with renowned television journalist Judy Woodruff, who has done exemplary work for both PBS and CNN.
Nick Huff and Kaila Bingen, board members of the newly-organized Kenosha Opera Festival, talk about how COVID upended their new company's plans for their first summer of operation - but also preview the virtual opera concert that the company will be streaming this Sunday, August 9th.
Dr. James Ripley, director of instrumental activities at Carthage, talks about the steep challenges that musicians have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as some of Carthage's preparations for in-person teaching/learning this fall. (He is a member of Carthage's COVID Coordination Committee.) He also summarizes the initial findings of an important study from the University of Colorado-Boulder that is specifically exploring what protocols can minimize the risk COVID transmission in band and choral rehearsals and lessons.
Part One: Melba Pattillo Beals, author of "March Forward, Girl: From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine." In 1957, Beals was one of 9 African-American young people who were enrolled in the facially segregated Little Rock Central High School in the wake of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. Part Two: ABC's Dan Harris, author of "Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: a 10% Happier How-To Book." Harris turned to meditation to help him through some anxiety issues; it worked for him, even though he was far from the typical practitioner of meditation.
Part One: Edward Goldberg, author of "Why Globalization Works: How Nationalist Trade Policies are Destroying our Country." Part Two: Dan P. McAdams, author of "The Strange Case of Donald J. Trump: a Psychological Reckoning." McAdams is a psychology professor at Northwestern University.
We speak with Dr. Gary Wood, Vice Provost at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, about the challenges he and others are confronting in preparing UW-Parkside for this upcoming fall semester. He is one of the people sorting out where in-person teaching can occur .... how physical distancing can be achieved in various spaces .... and what alterations in class schedules and offerings might have to be made to accommodate this complicated situation.
We are not certain exactly when this interview aired on WGTD. The best guess of one of the guests in the interview is that is occurred in 2003. The topic is Rosie the Riveter- a symbolic character representing the many women who worked in America's industrial factories during World War Two while so many men were off fighting. The occasion of this interview was a local screening of a documentary about such women. The three guests: Dr. Fran Kavenik, Jane Harrington Heide, and Joyce Hill Westerman. Ms. Westerman was an actual 'Rosie the Riveter.'
We have dusted off a 1998 interview that celebrates the Great American Pastime: Baseball. This is a conversation with Racine's own John Salvo, a fervent baseball fan, who talks about seeing games in every single major league ballpark across the country.
Part One: Guida Brown, Executive Director of the Hope Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse talks about her agency's work during the COVID-19 pandemic and what it is like to resume in-person services. Part Two: from the archives: actor Kevin Sorbo, who memorably portrayed Hercules on television, talks about his memoir "True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal - and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life."
We speak with Thomas W. Jones, author of "From Willard Straight to Wall Street: a Memoir." Jones was one of 80 black students at Cornell University who occupied Willard Straight Hall for two days in 1969. Within a few years after his graduation from Cornell, Jones was well on his way to a successful career on Wall Street. His book explores the uncommon trajectory of his life.
Dr. Kevin Crosby is Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Carthage College- and Director of the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium. (This interview was recorded in 2019 but was preempted by NPR coverage impeachment proceedings in Washington DC. )
From 2006 comes this conversation with Lisa Phillips, author of "Public Radio: Behind the Voices." It's an illuminating look at some of the most important people in the world of public radio at that time.
We spend most of the program with Lisa Boucher, author of "Raising the Bottom: Making Mindful Choices in a Drinking Culture." Boucher's mother was an alcoholic and she herself struggled with alcohol abuse until she quit drinking thirty years ago. We end the hour with Guida Brown, Executive Director of the Hope Council on Alcohol and other Drug Abuse, who offers her thoughts on the whole concept of "social drinking."
We get an update on how the University of Wisconsin-Parkside is continuing to cope with the complications and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Joining us is Dr. Deborah Ford, Chancellor of UW-Parkside, and Dr. Robert Ducoffe, the school's Provost.
From 2015 comes this interview with Laurence Steinberg, author of "Age of Opportunity: Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence." The book explores some of the new discoveries that have been made about the whole nature of adolescence and how the brain of the typical adolescent functions.
PBS is about to rebroadcast a two-part American Experience documentary titled "Clinton," an examination of the life and career of our 42nd President, William Jefferson Clinton. We speak with Barak Goodman, who was the film's director, producer and writer.
From 2002 comes this interview with Michela Wrong, author of "In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster of Mobutu's Congo." The book is a chronicle of the rise and fall of Mobutu Sese Seko, who was the highly corrupt president of Zaire for 32 years.
From the fall of 1998 comes this conversation with Dr. Sam Chell, a long-time member of the English faculty at Carthage College as well as an outstanding jazz pianist. Professor Chell eventually began hosting an extremely popular program on WGTD: "Saturday Night Bandstand." This particular conversation was recorded shortly before Carthage celebrated the 100th anniversary of Gershwin's birth with a gala concert that included a piano performance by Professor Chell.
For Nan Calvert's monthly visit to the Morning Show, she has brought with her Mabel Garrison, who is one of the country's leading experts on the Dragonfly - one of the most amazing insects found on earth. We explore just some of the things that make Dragonflies such incredible creatures.
Robert Weintraub's newest book is a meticulously researched biography of Alice Marble, one of the most important and influential tennis players of the 20th century - as well as a highly charismatic and somewhat mysterious figure. Weintraub's book is titled "The Divine Miss Marble: a Life of Tennis, Fame and Mystery."
For the monthly visit of Bryan Albrecht, the president of Gateway Technical College, we are joined with Jonathan Delagrave, Racine County Executive, and Dr. Eric Gallien, superintendent of the Racine Unified School District, to talk about the ongoing ramifications of COVID-19.
This interview is with Professor Khyati Joshi, author of "White Christian Privilege: The Illusion of Religious Equality in America." The book examines some of the ways in which many aspects of American life are formulated around the assumption that Christianity is our collective 'norm' - an assumption which often leads to discrimination against those of other faiths - or against those with no religious faith whatsoever.
Today, July 13th, 2020, marks the 25th anniversary (to the day) of the beginning of the worst heat wave in Chicago history, a human disaster that resulted in over 700 deaths in and around Chicago that were directly linked to the effects of the record-breaking heat that was experienced for an entire week. Erik Klinenberg's definitive book about the disaster is titled "Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago." This interview was recorded and initially broadcast back in 2002.
Victoria Phillips is the author of "Martha Graham's Cold War: The Dance of American Diplomacy." Graham, one of the 20th century's most important and influential dancers and choreographers, undertook a number of international tours under the auspices of the U.S. State Department - some of them conducted at the height of the Cold War. The book explores why the State Department believed that Graham's modern dance could be a highly effective diplomatic tool in enhancing America's stature in the world.
From the archives: Rev. Todd Peperkorn, who used to serve a Lutheran-Missouri Synod congregation in Kenosha, talks about his own struggles with clinical depression- and about how depression is a common problem among many members of the clergy. His book is designed both to help the general public understand this and to help those clergy with such struggles to know how to seek help.
We speak with J. Chester Johnson, author of "Damaged Heritage: The Elaine Race Massacre and a Story of Reconciliation." The author's grandfather was one of the whites who participated in a horrific wave of killings in rural Arkansas in September of 1919 ... in which well more than 100 African Americans are believed to have been murdered. Part of Johnson's story is of how he was able to connect with Sheila Walker, a descendent of several of the blacks who were attacked in the Elaine Race Massacre- and build a beautiful friendship with her.
We explore Carthage College's plans for the fall semester with Dr. John Swallow, the president of Carthage, and Dr. David Timmerman, the provost of Carthage. We talk about what kinds of discussions have been taking place through every stage of COVID-19 - and also examine some of the most vexing challenges for a college or university that wants to resume in-person learning while keeping students, staff and faculty as safe as possible.
For the Fourth of July, we listen back to a 2011 conversation with Harlow Giles Unger, talking about his book "Improbable Patriot: The Secret History of Monsieur de Beaumarchais, the French Playwright who Saved the American Revolution." Beaumarchais is perhaps best remembered for his groundbreaking plays that were the basis for the operas "The Marriage of Figaro" and "The Barber of Seville" - but as the book's subtitle suggests, this book focuses on Beaumarchais's crucial role in aiding the colonists in the Revolutionary War.
We preview an extraordinary two-part American Experience documentary called "The Vote" - which explores the final decade of relentless activism that finally led to passage of the 19th amendment in which American women gained the right to vote. Our guest is Michelle Ferrari, who is writer, producer and director for the film. The documentary airs on July 6th and 7th on PBS stations across the country.
Performing Arts organizations across the globe are grappling to contend with the COVID-19 pandemic and the many ways in which it has changed our lives, both individually and collectively. We go behind the scenes of one such organization- the Racine Theater Guild- with Doug Instenes (Managing and Artistic Director) and Joycelyn Fish (Director of Marketing and Development) to see how the RTG came to the decisions it ultimately made on what to do with the end of the past season and the start of next season.
Our guest is Steve Benen, a Digital Producer for The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC. His book is titled "The Impostors: How Republicans Quit Governing and Seized American Politics." It is Benen's contention that the Republican Party, at least at the national level, no longer functions properly as a major political party, having largely abandoned the process of formulating public policy.
We live in a world in which the internet is an indispensable part of daily life- and we effortlessly navigate the internet without giving it a second thought. But this interview from late 1998/early 1999 takes us back to a time when the internet was a very new and intimidating new frontier. Carol Sabbar, who was (and is still) a staff member for the Carthage College library, was asked to come on the program to explain what the internet was and how one could best explore it.
Our guest is Dr. John D, Feerick, former dean of the Fordham School of Law - and one of the primary authors of the 25th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which specifies the line of succession in the event that the president is disabled. His book is titled "That Farther Shore: A Memoir of Irish Roots and American Promise."
We hear about four virtual performances this weekend of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" by the Fleeing Artists Theater in Kenosha. We speak with Alex Metalsky, the director of the production- and with three of the actors: Kaila Bingen, who is part of the Rose cast (all actors from Southeastern Wisconsin and Northeastern Illinois) and Kayla Ryan Walsh and Gloria Huang from the Globe cast (whose actors are from all over- Kayla is from Bend, Oregon and Gloria is from Vancouver, Canada.)
Part 2- Broadcast journalist Soledad O'Brien previews the documentary "Outbreak: the First Response," a look at how the city of Seattle tried to cope with COVID-19 as the United States' first hotspot. O'Brien was already in Seattle making another documentary when the crisis hit. The film airs tonight on Milwaukee's WISN, channel 12.
Best-selling author Larry Tye talks about his latest book, "Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy." Tye was given access to an enormous wealth of documents that have never been available to previous authors and researchers. This has allowed him to craft an exceptionally vivid and fresh portrait of one of our country's most infamous politicians.
E. Dolores Johnson was born in the mid 1940's to a mother who a white and a father who was black. This was at a time when inter-racial marriage was illegal in many states in the country- and even in places where it was legally permitted, it was widely frowned up by blacks and whites alike. Johnson's memoir explores both the experience of her parents as well as her own experiences as a mixed race woman.
We talk about the current state of the U.S. economy with Dr. Ron Cronovich, Professor of Economics at Carthage College. We also talk about one of the primary areas of focus within his academic discipline: Poverty.
We talk about one of the most discussed, influential, and honored television programs over the last decade - Modern Family. Marc Freeman's new book is titled "Modern Family: The Untold Oral History of One of Television's Groundbreaking Sitcoms."
From 2008 comes this interview with best-selling author Julius Lester, talking about "Let's Talk About Race" - which is intended in part for young readers but also as an aid to parents and other concerned adults wanting to talk with young people about complicated issues related to race and racial identity.
Siketu Mehta's book is titled "This Land is Our Land: An Immigrant's Manifesto." The book examines how many of the major Western countries have preyed upon poorer nations in a host of ways, which is why so many of the people of those small and poor nations are now desperate to find better lives elsewhere. Mehta also examines many ways in which immigrants are vitally important contributors to America's culture and economy.
From 2004- Milwaukee-based writer Greg Borowski discusses his book "First and Long: A Black School, A White School, and Their Season of Dreams." It's an illuminating account of the difficulties that ensue when two football programs - from dramatically contrasting high schools - are consolidated.
Part One: PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk talks about her newest book, "Animalkind: Remarkable Discoveries about Animals and Revolutionary New Ways to Show Them Compassion." Part Two: Soman Chainani talks about the final book in his series called "The School for Good and Evil." Part Three: Tom Angelberger talks about adapting the character of Geronimo Stilton into a graphic novel.
Bryan Albrecht, the president of Gateway Technical College, pays his monthly visit to the Morning Show. Joining him is Ray Koukari, Dean of Manufacturing, Engineering and IT at GTC, and local entrepreneur Jeff Daniel.
Brian Dumaine is a contributing editor at Fortune magazine. His newest book is titled "Bezonomics: How Amazon is Changing our Lives and Waht the World's Best Companies are Learning From It." It examines the story of Amazon creator and CEO Jeff Bezos, who is now the richest man in the world - and discusses some of the unconventional ways in which Amazon functions.
We speak with Angela Downs, co-owner of Chit Chaat, an Indian-Pakistani restaurant in downtown Racine .... Steve Torcaso, the manager of the Italian-American Club in Kenosha .... and Tim and Kathy Dinan, co-owners of Bill's Corner Club, a small bar in Kenosha, to find out how they have contended with the challenges of COVID-19.
Zachary Moore, the choral director at Waukesha West High School, talks about the virtual choir he created with the collaboration of 1,403 young singers from across the state of Wisconsin .... singing his piece "I have had Singing."
Kate Anderson Brower's new book is "Team of Five: The President's Club in the Age of Trump." She explores what it means to be an ex-U.S. President and how different ex-presidents have tried to find meaning and purpose after relinquishing the presidency. Her book also examines the close friendships that have sprung up between certain ex-presidents, often surmounting differences of philosophy, personality or political affiliation. She also talks about President Trump's antagonistic rhetoric when it comes to his predecessors.
From 2003 comes this interview with Alex Wellen, author of "Barman: Ping Pong, Pathos, and Passing the Bar." In this entertaining memoir, Wellen recounts much of what he experienced as he struggled to pass the bar exam.
From 2002 comes this interview with Milwaukee writer Tom Kertscher, talking about his book "Cracked Sidewalks and French Pastry: The Wit and Wisdom of Al McGuire." McGuire, a veteran of the NBA, was a beloved coach at Marquette University for many years as well as a much admired basketball commentator.
We reconnect with three area clergy with whom we spoke before Easter: Father Ricardo Martin, Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Racine .... Pastor Susan Patterson-Sumwalt, First United Methodist Church in Kenosha ..... Rev. Brad Brown, North Cape Lutheran Church in Raymond.
Alex Metalsky and Kyle David Perry from Fleeing Artists Theater talk about several virtual productions that they have planned for the summer, including virtual performances of a new play called "Built of Ivory," the winner of the group's 2018 playwriting contest. The production opens this weekend.
We speak with Sam Sacket, a recent graduate from Gateway Technical College's nursing program, to learn what it was like for him to finish up his schooling within the constraints of COVID-19 - and what it feels like to become a nurse during this public health crisis.
Bonus podcast: From 2010, Mary Roach talks about her entertaining book "Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void," which explores some of the most interesting issues and challenges involved with putting human beings into outer space.
We talk with Helen Sampson, Quality Coordinator for the Kenosha County Agin and Disability Resource Center, about how the agency has managed to continue offering its many services despite the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis. She also talks about the grocery shopping service that they have begun offering to vulnerable seniors without access to normal online shopping options.
For Memorial Day, this is a 2009 conversation with Thomas Childers, author of "Soldier from the War Returning: The Greatest Generation's Troubled Homecoming from World War Two." This book examines some of the lasting emotional and psychological scars suffered by World War II veterans- scars that were not fully understood and appreciated at the time.
In a follow up to yesterday's Morning Show, which concerned the AIDS epidemic, we share a Morning Show interview from 1996 that previews a production at Carthage of Larry Kramer's powerful play "The Normal Heart." One of the students in the interview, Neil Scharnick, a freshman at the time, is now a member of the theater faculty at Carthage. Part two of the program is an interview with a representative of the Southeast Wisconsin AIDS Project. (The performances at Carthage were done to benefit the SE Wisconsin AIDS Project.)
From the archives from this 2017 interview with David France, co-author of "How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS." This is one of a number of past Morning Show interviews we have rebroadcast during COVID-19 in which we examine public health crises from our own history.
Our guest is Dr. George Archibald, co-founded of the International Crane Foundation, which has been working since 1973 to safeguard endangered cranes both here and abroad. His book is titled "My Life With Cranes: A Collection of Stories." Dr. Archibald's work has taken him to Russia, China, Australian, Afghanistan, and even the Demilitarized Zone of the Korean peninsula.
Karen Brunssen is the national president of NATS, the National Association of Teachers of Singing. We talk with her about her distinguished career as a singer and voice teacher - but also talk about the findings of a much-discussed webinar co-sponsored by NATS that suggested that group singing is a high-risk activity during COVID-19.
Scott Turow is perhaps the leading author of Legal Thrillers over the last several decades. (His first was the 1987 bestseller "Presumed Innocent.") He is also an attorney. "The Last Trial" is his most recent book.
Rescheduled from this past Friday: Nan Calvert's monthly visit to the program features Kevin Doyle, a Rare Plants Botanist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, talking about Endangered Plants.
From 2007 comes this surprise-packed interview with Steven Landsburg, author of "More Sex is Safer Sex: The Unconventional Wisdom of Economics." In this entertaining book, Landsburg explores some of the amazing conclusions that can be drawn when simple principles of economics are applied to complicated social issues and questions.
For Part One: Marlo Thomas & Phil Donahue talk about their new book "What Makes a Marriage Last: 40 Celebrated Couples Share with us the Secrets to a Happy Life." Thomas and Donahue are about to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. Part Two: Martin Rooney, a celebrated athlete and coach, talks about his new book "Coach to Coach: An Empowering Story about How to be a Great Leader." He reminds us that all of us, in one way or another, are coaches whenever somebody else entrusts us to help them with some aspect of their life.
We speak with two theater professors at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside .... Jody Sekas, Brian Gill .... and with two Parkside theater majors, Lynsey Gallagher and Alex Grey .... to find out how one teaches courses like Scene Painting, Acting or Stage Combat in the virtual/on-line environment necessitated by the COVID-19 crisis.
Part one of today's program is with Cory Mason, the mayor of Racine, with a COVID-19 update. (Statistics are showing Racine to be a serious hotspot for COVID-19 cases- and as with other metropolitan areas, the black and hispanic sectors of the community are especially hard hit. We explore some of the reasons why.) Part two features Beth Dugan, chair of the division for Hospitality Management at Gateway Technical College, Dave Blank from Real Racine, and Kathy Seeburg from Visit Walworth County, on what is next for the hard-hit hospitality sector in SE Wisconsin.)
Our guests are three members of the art faculty at Carthage College - Kimberly Greene, Ryan Miller, and Jojin Van Winkle - talking about how they are managing to teaching courses like Sculpture, Drawing, Photography, Painting, and the like.
We reconnect with best-selling author Fern Schumer Chapman to talk about the pain being experienced by many grandparents right now, prevented by the COVID-19 crisis from being able to see their grandchildren due to social distancing. Chapman has written a new children's book designed not only to give voice to that sadness, but also to help explain to youngsters why they can't be with their grandparents right now.
From 2008 comes this interview with Hope Edelman, author of "Motherless Mothers: How Losing a Mother Shapes the Parent You Become." This book is an endlessly fascinating exploration of what it means to be a loving mother - and how the losses experienced in one's life can often be a powerful force for growth.
We speak with Dr. Kevin Crosby, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Carthage- and three students (Celestine Ananda, Taylor Paterson, Cassi Bossong) who are among the Carthage students who have earned prestigious grants and awards through NASA, MIT, and the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium.)
Gateway Technical College President Bryan Albrecht pays his monthly visit to the program - and is joined by Patrick Booth, President and CEO of CCB Technology. Mr. Booth will be presenting the keynote address at GTC's upcoming graduation ceremony (which will be a virtual, online event due to the COVID-19 Crisis.)
Part One: Natasha Gregson Wagner offers thoughts on her mother, actress Natalie Wood. "Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind," a documentary about her life and career, premieres tonight on HBO. Part Two: Sci-fi editor Ann Van der Meer. Part Three: from the archives- Ann Picoult.
Pawan Dhingra talks about why more and more families- and especially families of Indian and Asian descent- have parents insisting that their children engage in extensive extra-curricular educational activities, even when those students are doing very well in outstanding schools. What is the motivation of these parents? And are there potential harms to this? Dhingra's book is titled "Hyper Education: Why Good Schools, Good Grades and Good Behavior are Not Enough."
From 2008 comes this interview with Jonathan Kozol, author of "Letters to a Young Teacher," which offers some illuminating and inspiring observations on what it means to be a good teacher - and what a deeply gratifying profession it can be. This book is part of a series of books inspired by Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet from early in the 20th century. (Other books include Letters to a Young Doctor .... to a Young Activist ... and many more.)
From 2008 comes an interview with Frank Vizard, from Popular Mechanics, talking about this book "Why a Curveball Curves: the Incredible Science of Sports." The book explores the role that physics plays in athletic endeavor.