Sense of Community

Randy Stewart

This week, we bring you our Sense of Community series, Conversations on Race and Racism.  These conversations feature first-person perspectives, memories, and opinions of people in our community whose lives have been impacted by race and racism.   You can hear the audio below.

This conversation was between two close friends, Clarence Brewer and John Tepiew, both Springfield residents and both people of color.                                                             

Rural Patients With Dementia Face Unique Challenges

Jun 5, 2020
Flickr via Creative Commons

For this segment of our series, we’re taking you on the road to learn about the unique challenges facing our rural neighbors with dementia.

I pulled up to the senior center in Ava, Missouri, in Douglas County, and stepped inside.  Five men were playing pool. This was in early March, about a week before the new coronavirus swept through the Midwest.  

Photo credit: www.digitalcornbread.com

Mark Applegate works for the local SeniorAge Area Agency on Aging.  He writes a blog called "Digital Cornbread," which just passed its one-year anniversary online back in March, when we first started working on these KSMU "Sense of Community" stories.

In it, he chronicles the journey he, his sister, Pam Lavin, their stepfather, John Alexander, and their mother, Brenda, have taken since Brenda went into a nursing home in Republic because of advancing Alzheimer's Disease.

Photo by Steve Pearcy www.pearcyphoto.com

In March, during one of the Alzheimer's Association's classes on Living with Memory Loss presented at The Library Center in Springfield, Deb Bryer from the  Alzheimer's Association St. Louis Chapter got the crowd in a jovial mood.

"I'm going to ask a question:   if you can answer 'yes' to the question, you get a 'kiss.'" As the attendees started laughing, she was quick to add, "It's a CHOCOLATE kiss! We're keeping it clean in here!"   

Steve Gray

KSMU’s Jessica Balisle’s brings us a special family recipe from her mother, Suzy Gray, with help from Jessica’s sister, Emily Gray. Knedlíky and zelí is a Bohemian dish of potato dumplings and sauerkraut. The recipe comes from Suzy’s parents, John and Mary Frances Ruzicka, and was passed on to them through many generations.

Bohemia is the westernmost region of the Czech Republic.

Suzy has done a little prep work before we begin – peeling and boiling potatoes until they’re soft.

Emily Gray

KSMU's Jess Balisle joins her dad, Steve Gray, in making his uncle Frank Galbraith’s waffles.

Galbraith was born in 1909 and was Gray’s mother’s older brother. When he passed away in the early 1980s, Gray was involved in dismantling the household. There, he found an old waffle iron. His cousin, Nancy Karoll, said he could have it.

(Photo: Randy Stewart)

Sarah Diouf, who recently joined the Corporate Support staff here at Ozarks Public Broadcasting, shared a very special recipe with us for our "Table Traditions" series.                                                                

(Photo: Randy Stewart)

You probably know Jeff Houghton as the host of "The Mystery Hour" TV talk show on the local Fox affiliate. He and his wife Michelle have two children, ages 2 and 7. When she and Jeff decided to contact KSMU to get in on our Sense of Community "Table Traditions" series, Michelle told us straightaway: "This may not be exactly what you're looking for, because it's pretty basic food as far as most people are concerned. But--we live and die by 'basic' food as parents with young children."                                                                                 

Jessica Balisle / KSMU

In this segment of KSMU’s Sense of Community series “Take It Outside: 10 Unique Spots to Enjoy the Natural Ozarks,” Jess Balisle takes listeners to the top of White Rock Mountain for a weekend of driving dirt roads, swimming and sunset watching.

We've just hit the dirt road on our way to White Rock. I’m so excited to be taking you guys to this very special place that I have grown up going to.

White Rock Mountain is situated in the middle of the Boston Mountains on the west end of the Ozark National Forest in Northwest Arkansas. It’s become my second home over the years.

Jessica Balisle / KSMU

In this segment of KSMU’s Sense of Community series “Take It Outside,” Jess Balisle takes us to Blanchard Springs Caverns, just north of Mountain View, Arkansas.

Michele Skalicky

Branson is known for its wide variety of shows, attractions and shopping opportunities.  But there’s a place west of town where you can get out in nature and take a break from the hustle and bustle.

www.springfieldmo.gov

Today we visit Valley Water Mill Park, operated on land leased by the Springfield-Greene County Park Board from the owner, City Utilities of Springfield. Most Springfield-area residents have heard of “Valley Water Mill,” or the county road of the same name, also known as Farm Road 102.

But not everyone seems to know that, since 2010, this nearly 100-acre site just northeast of Springfield, once home to a 19th-century grain mill, has been a public park with hiking and strolling paths and a 13-acre lake. 

Jessica Balisle / KSMU

For Fayda Pires Bown, the path to America has been unexpected and complicated. It was never her dream to live here.

Bown grew up in the big city of Goiânia, Brazil where she had a difficult childhood. She tells me she had an emotionally and physically abusive mother. By the time Bown was seventeen, she had come to the end of her rope.

Jennifer Moore / KSMU

In 1991, civil war broke out in Somalia. It’s a relatively young country, with only 59 years of independence since British rule. At the time, Abdi Tarey was five years old. His father was in the military and things became very dangerous for his family.

“And my mom said, ‘We have to run to Kenya because so many people has been killed.’ And there was chaos and escalation. The government was fighting. The people were saying that the need to overthrow the president. And then, there was too much killing and looting,” said Tarey.

Randy Stewart

In this morning’s Sense of Community installment, you met Veronica Palit from the former Soviet republic of Moldova. Veronica officially became a United States citizen two months ago at a naturalization ceremony held at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield. As it happens, the woman we’re profiling this afternoon was the keynote speaker at that ceremony. 

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