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2023 Review & 2024 Kickoff

In this short episode of the We Are Chaffee: Looking Upstream podcast, Adam Williams goes solo. He looks back at the diverse guests that were on the podcast in 2023. He talks about new opportunities for listeners, readers and social media followers. He also gives a heads up on the three guests who will kickoff the biggest month, so far, on the podcast, in January 2024.

(Publication Date: 12.26.23)

SHOW NOTES, LINKS, CREDITS & TRANSCRIPT

The We Are Chaffee: Looking Upstream podcast is a collaboration with the Chaffee County Departments of Public Health and Housing, and is supported by the Colorado Public Health & Environment: Office of Health Disparities.

 

Along with being distributed on popular podcast listening platforms (e.g. Spotify, Apple), Looking Upstream is broadcast weekly at 1 p.m. on Tuesdays, on KHEN 106.9 community radio in Salida, Colo., and can be listened to on-demand via khen.org

 

We Are Chaffee

Website: wearechaffee.org

Facebook: facebook.com/WeAreChaffee

Instagram: instagram.com/wearechaffee

CREDITS

Looking Upstream Host, Producer & Photographer: Adam Williams

Looking Upstream Engineer & Producer: Jon Pray

We Are Chaffee Community Advocacy Coordinator: Lisa Martin

We Are Chaffee Graphic and Web Design: Heather Gorby

Director of Chaffee County Public Health and Environment: Andrea Carlstrom

TRANSCRIPT

Note: Transcripts are produced using a transcription service.

Although it is largely accurate, minor errors inevitably exist.

 

Looking Upstream: 2023 Review & 2024 Kickoff

[Intro music, guitar instrumental]

 

Adam Williams (00:14): Hey, everyone. This is Looking Upstream, a We Are Chaffee podcast, and I’m Adam Williams. 

 

As shocking as it feels, and I guess often does, we are at the end of another calendar year. 2024 is only a few blinks away.

 

We’ve got a big start coming for the podcast right after the new year. It’s possibly the biggest month, so far, for the podcast. I’ll say more about that in a minute. But for now, I think it’s worth taking a breath or two and looking back at where we’ve come from during 2023.

 

(00:49) For this podcast, that means taking a few minutes to reflect on who of our neighbors has been part of this ongoing story-sharing and community-connecting project. 

 

For example, I talked with a 96-year-old World War II veteran early in the year, Les Messamer. Les shared stories on growing up fundamentalist in rural Iowa, being shunned by his family and religious community for enlisting during WWII, being a seagoing cowboy on the Pacific Ocean, surviving multiple near-death experiences, and plenty more.

 

(1:24) This past year, we also got to know Amy and Lenny Eckstein, of the craft distillery Deerhammer, on the podcast. And Rick Bieterman and Katy Welter, of Watershed Ranch, among other projects. The most listened to episode so far has been with Monica White, who talked about her and her family’s yearslong struggle with Lyme disease, and her advocacy as founder of the Colorado Tick-Borne Disease Awareness Association.

 

I talked with several book authors, like mountain endurance athlete and coach Travis Macy, former pioneering American road cyclist (among other things) Joe Parkin, restorative justice leader Eric Lee, entrepreneur and coach Laurie Benson, artist and advocate Jonathon Stalls, and Katie Brown, who was hailed as the “best female rock climber of the millennium” at an early age but whose memoir, “Unraveled,” shines light on the immense darkness she was enduring all along the way.

 

(2:20) And there are more amazing people from our community who have shared on Looking Upstream. I encourage you to scroll through the lineup on the episodes page at wearechaffee.org or on your podcast player, to see who you might recognize or be intrigued by. Give them a listen.

 

As you might know, Looking Upstream is only the podcast piece of the larger We Are Chaffee community storytelling initiative that’s rooted in Chaffee County, Colorado. 

 

If you go to wearechaffee.org, you’ll not only find episode pages with links and full transcripts for each of the podcast conversations, but stories that others have shared in written and video formats, too. 

 

There’s also a documentary film in the works that will premiere at the Salida Film Festival in May. So that’s a new, big, exciting project I hope you’ll keep an eye and ear out for from the We Are Chaffee team.

 

Now, I recently was a guest on someone else’s show for the first time in a while. It was a good reminder of what it feels like to be in the guest’s seat, answering questions someone else puts on the table, and hoping that I’m being reasonably intelligent and eloquent and useful in the process. Every one of the guests on Looking Upstream faces these same challenges, I know. And they show up anyway. For all of us.

 

In 2023, I talked with 25 people in our rural community. They sat up to the microphone and responded to my curiosities with vulnerability and courage and humor and wit. They offered insights on the human experience, stories that, as listeners, we can see ourselves in and connect with, feel close to. As I’ve said before, the personal is universal.

 

(4:08) And then they let me photograph them, which, as you can imagine, is another exercise in vulnerability for many. Now, you can see those black-and-white portraits and read quotes and catch soundbites from guests on a new Instagram account that’s dedicated specifically to this podcast. That’s @wearechaffeepod. If you want to support Looking Upstream, you can give that account a follow and share it with others in the community. 

 

Speaking of support: KHEN 106.9 FM in Salida has been our radio broadcast partner from the get-go. And now we’ve added two more media partners in the community. We recently started a monthly newspaper column in the Chaffee County Times and The Mountain Mail related to conversations from this podcast. 

 

To me, that’s a sign of continuing momentum that we all are building as a community. We Are Chaffee is about shining light on the humanness in Chaffee County, and being more aware of each other as humans when it comes time to make community decisions, like with policies that affect each other. Hence, our tagline, “Share Stories, make change.” And our media partners are helping to amplify these stories. I say, “Thank you.”

 

(5:18) OK. 2024. We are kicking off the year next week, on January 2nd, with my conversation with Jed Selby, the developer of South Main in Buena Vista. That, of course, includes the Surf Hotel, the bar and restaurant Wesley & Rose, and the music venues of the Ivy Ballroom and the Lawn, and much more.

 

In this conversation, we get a deeper look at who Jed is and more of what he brings to the community than, I think, has ever been done before. To me, Jed comes across as a sensitive, well-studied and expressive human who loves to bring people together. 

 

(5:52) He’s also incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about topics like town planning and development, architecture, affordable housing and short-term rentals, water needs and local economics. It’s an informative conversation about critical issues in the community, and about who Jed Selby is at heart.

 

Following Jed, on January 16, will be my conversation with keyboardist and composer Zac Baird. Zac is an incredibly talented and humble person who, like Jed, somewhat surprisingly, given his professional and life experiences, had never been on a podcast before. So I dare speculate that this conversation is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for all of us listening. 

 

(6:33) When Zac and I talked, he had recently returned home after 10 months of work and touring in Europe and North America with Beyoncé. His resume of work with big-name musical artists runs deep. Actually all the way back to an arts magnet high school he attended, where Zac was in English class with Erykah Badu. 

 

Zac and I talk about a lot of fascinating things, some of which leads him in his incredibly humble way to say, “I’m not a rock star. I just associate with rock stars.”

 

And then, after Zac, we will wrap up January on the 30th, squeezing in our third conversation of the month, with Ray Nypaver. Ray and I connect over our individual practices of deep introspection and vulnerable connection through conversation. 

 

(7:20) Ray is a nature-based psychotherapist, a running coach, a poet and writer. She has a new book, titled, “Light & Dark: Reflections on the Human Experience,” which includes poetry and essays, and it looks into the pain and darkness, light and love of being human. Together, she and I explore ego, identity, death, grief, love and other essential topics of life.

 

So possibly the biggest month to-date is coming up on the podcast. If you haven’t already plugged into We Are Chaffee: Looking Upstream, now’s the time. Follow the podcast on Apple, Spotify, Pandora, Google or wherever you listen to podcasts. Subscribe to the We Are Chaffee email newsletter at the website, wearechaffee.org. 

 

(8:13) Use whatever is your way of connecting, this is what I’m saying. Looking Upstream is wherever you are. And the podcast just keeps getting better. So here’s to the 2023 that was and the 2024 that will be. Thanks for being here for it with me.

 

[Transition music, guitar instrumental]

 

OUTRO

(8:36) Thanks for listening. Once again, I’m Adam Williams, host, producer and photographer for Looking Upstream, a We Are Chaffee podcast. Jon Pray is engineer and producer. 

 

We Are Chaffee: Looking Upstream is a collaboration with the Chaffee County Department of Public Health and the Chaffee Housing Authority. It’s supported by the Colorado Public Health and Environment Office of Health Disparities. 

 

Thank you to Andrea Carlstrom, director of Chaffee County Public Health and Environment; to Lisa Martin, community advocacy coordinator for the We Are Chaffee storytelling initiative; and to Heather Gorby for graphic and web design. 

 

Also, thank you to KHEN 106.9 FM, our community radio partner in Salida, Colorado. 

 

(9:14) You can learn more about the Looking Upstream podcast and related storytelling initiatives at wearechaffee.org and on Instagram @wearechaffeepod, and also @wearechaffee on Instagram and Facebook. 

 

If you have comments or know someone in Chaffee County, Colorado, who I should consider talking with on the podcast, you can email us at info@wearechaffee.org.

 

Lastly, until the next episode, as we say here at We Are Chaffee, “Share stories. Make change.”

 

[Outro music, guitar and horns instrumental]

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Year One 2022 Review & Year Two 2023 Kickoff

In this short episode of the We Are Chaffee: Looking Upstream podcast, Adam Williams goes solo. He looks back at the diverse guests and topical threads of conversations in the first year of the podcast. He also takes a look at the guests’ stories that will kick off year two.

(Publication Date: 7.25.23)

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SHOW NOTES, LINKS, CREDITS & TRANSCRIPT

The We Are Chaffee: Looking Upstream podcast is a collaboration with the Chaffee County Departments of Public Health and Housing, and is supported by the Colorado Public Health & Environment: Office of Health Disparities.

 

Along with being distributed on popular podcast listening platforms (e.g. Spotify, Apple), Looking Upstream is broadcast weekly at 1 p.m. on Tuesdays, on KHEN 106.9 community radio in Salida, Colo., and can be listened to on-demand via khen.org.

 

We Are Chaffee

Website: wearechaffee.org

Facebook: facebook.com/WeAreChaffee

Instagram: instagram.com/wearechaffee

CREDITS

Looking Upstream Host, Producer & Photographer: Adam Williams

Looking Upstream Engineer & Producer: Jon Pray

We Are Chaffee Community Advocacy Coordinator: Lisa Martin

We Are Chaffee Graphic and Web Design: Heather Gorby

Director of Chaffee County Public Health and Environment: Andrea Carlstrom

TRANSCRIPT

Note: Transcripts are produced using a transcription service.

Although it is largely accurate, minor errors inevitably exist.

 

[Intro music, guitar instrumental]

 

Hey, everybody.

This is the We Are Chaffee: Looking Upstream podcast and I’m Adam Williams.

 

I hope that’s not the first time you’ve heard me say those words. But if it is, this is a great time to jump into the flow with Looking Upstream.

 

We are one year in and building steam. That’s 26 conversations with a total of 32 guests, and counting. That’s 32 people, so far, sharing life stories and perspectives on a wide range of topics.

 

We’ve heard from guests with a diverse range of life experiences, identities, ages, geographical histories, professions and beliefs. I’ve talked with book authors and world-class athletes, business and civic leaders, creators and builders, entrepreneurs and activists. I’ve talked with men and women in their 20s, and up through all the decades of life experience, to include a World War II veteran who offers nearly 100 years worth of incredible life stories.

 

Some of the big life topics, the threads we’ve pulled on in these conversations, have involved social and political challenges, substance abuse and recovery, spirituality, faith and death, history, nature and environment, business and entrepreneurship, community and wellbeing, housing affordability. And I’m sure there are more. Resilience and optimism seem to be recurring themes, as well.

 

A little more specifically here, we’ve delved into experiences of identity, like with race and gender. We’ve talked about matters of physical health, for example public health care, Alzheimer’s, tick-borne disease. We’ve talked about mental health, for example depression and anxiety.

 

We’ve also shared a lot of laughs along the way. We’ve talked about the old days and old ways, change and new technologies and, for those of us here in the mountains, the ways we love to get out into them and find fun and adventure.

 

This podcast is not just local, though it features the voices and stories of people who live, work and play locally. We have listeners across the United States and around the world in dozens of countries on six continents.

 

Now, I’ve lived in a variety of places coast to coast in the U.S. and abroad. But the collection of personalities, histories and talents that have come together in this place, this rural, mountain amazing place, is the most astounding of anywhere I’ve lived.

 

That makes it easy to draw from the local talent pool, so to speak, and dive into truly universal themes and stories. Many of us have come from elsewhere and have experienced life elsewhere, and we've traveled and we’ve pursued life goals elsewhere, yet we ultimately have chosen to come to and be in this place here and now. In that way, we’re connected to each other, but to so many others out there, too.

 

I think all of that is why this podcast is thriving and growing. I think the momentum is only starting to swell, really. And I expect it to keep going. Especially with your support. I’m not talking about money; this isn’t a PBS fundraising plea. I’m talking about the simple, simple acts of listening to more of the conversations, of sharing conversations that resonate with you on your social media pages. Of telling your family and friends, your coworkers or whoever.

 

Because there has to be at least one conversation on this podcast, if not many, that has or will speak to you in a meaningful way. Think about this: What have you experienced in your life, the good, the bad, the ugly? We’ve likely talked about something relevant to that.

 

For example, have you lost someone, have you felt anxiety about the state of the world, have you experienced substance abuse or gone through a health crisis, or a crisis of faith? Or are you an entrepreneur or parent or activist? Maybe you are a remote worker who works at home and doesn’t feel connected with the community in a real way. I’ve been there. Actually, without this podcast, I’d probably still be there. All in all, this podcast is a vehicle for connection. That’s the point.

 

If you haven’t heard a story like yours already on the podcast, and you live in or around Chaffee County, maybe you’d like to share your story in a conversation with me on this podcast. If so, check out the end of this episode, where I tell you how you can reach out to us.

 

So, year one is out there and available. You can listen at wearechaffee.org and on any of the podcast players. We’re kicking off year two of Looking Upstream with a couple more fantastic guests.

 

Coming up first, is my conversation with Joe Parkin. I hesitate to use the term Renaissance Man, because I think it gets overplayed. But you know what I’m getting at when I say those words, so … Joe is something like that.

 

He’s done many adventurous and incredible things. Joe was a pioneering American professional cyclist in Europe in the 80s and 90s. He also has been a professional and/or highly competitive BMX, mountain bike and motorcycle racer.

 

He’s been an aerobatic pilot. He spent several years as a highly accomplished, competitive long-range rifle shooter. He toured several times with the rock band of the actress Juliette Lewis. He has published two books, started a magazine, been a clothing designer, bar and bike shop owner.

 

And if you’ve ever wondered why cycling, like in the Tour de France, is so rampant with illegal doping, I have been, too, and this was my first chance to ask someone from inside that world what the hell is up with that. We also talk about race fixing in the sport.

 

Following Joe on the podcast, will be entrepreneur and activist Kimi Uno. With Kimi, we get into family history that is deeply intertwined with what I would consider to be a rather shameful period in the history of this nation. Her family fully experienced the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

 

Kimi also came up in a time and place, in Washington State, to be part of the Riot Grrrl movement. We talk about the influence of that, and her family history, in her life. I see Kimi as a courageous leader, and I’m grateful for the conversation with her, and that we get to share it here on Looking Upstream soon.

 

With Joe and Kimi, we’re off to a big start to year two of the show, with more to follow. I hope you’ll come along.

 

Thanks for listening.

 

[Transition music, guitar instrumental]

 

OUTRO

 

Alright, once again, I’m Adam Williams, host, producer and photographer for the We Are Chaffee: Looking Upstream podcast. Jon Pray is engineer and producer.

 

We Are Chaffee: Looking Upstream is a collaboration with the Chaffee County Department of Public Health and the Chaffee Housing Authority. It’s supported by the Colorado Public Health and Environment Office of Health Disparities.

 

Thank you to Andrea Carlstrom, director of Chaffee County Public Health and Environment; to Lisa Martin, community advocacy coordinator for the We Are Chaffee storytelling initiative; and to Heather Gorby for graphic and web design.

 

Also, thank you to KHEN 106.9 FM, our community radio partner in Salida, Colorado.

 

You can learn more about the Looking Upstream podcast and related storytelling initiatives at wearechaffee.org and on Instagram and Facebook @wearechaffee.

 

If you have comments or know someone in Chaffee County, Colorado, who I should consider talking with on the podcast, you can email us at info@wearechaffee.org.

 

[Outro music, guitar and horns instrumental]

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