Blend Radio & TV Magazine - Winter 2016-17

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CONTENTS 6. Editors Block

TOAST TO THE ARTS 7. Music News & Interviews 19. Spanish Influence in Mexican Art 24. Creating Art in Historic Pecos 28. Southwest Art & Culture in Tucson 30. Movie Stories of Excellence 32. Book News & Author Interviews

EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY 40. Pittsburgh Food Culture 44. The Flavors of Santa Maria 47. Lamb & Wine for Winter 48. Rock Your Yams & Spuds! 50. Brownie Fix! 51. Peanut Party! 52. Winter Cocktail Recipes 54. Kitchen, Bar & To-Go Must-Haves

NATURE CONNECTION 56. Rockhounding 101 58. Downloading Cruelty 60. Walking the Environmental Tightrope

QUALITY OF LIFE 62. Mentoring with Three Masters 64. Four Lessons From an Ancient Epic 67. Finding The Blue Sky PAGE 3

CONTENTS Continued… QUALITY OF LIFE 68. Women & Heart Disease 69. Reimagining Women’s Cancers 70. Family Reading 73. BR Naturals

SUCCESS EXPRESS 74. New California Labor Laws for 2017 77. Conquer Change & Win 78. Leadership & Supervision 80. Motorcycle Industry Insider

WAY BACK WHEN 82. Casino Family History 84. Family Ties: Norfolk UK to North America 87. The Idealist: Pierre de Coubertin 88. Arizona’s First State Park 92. Cuba’s Car Culture

VACATION STATION 94. Savor San Mateo, CA 100. Discover Historic Downtown Hollister 104. Sequoia Winter Wonderland 108. Winter Magic in San Diego’s Mountains 110. Celebrate Christmas in Natchitoches 112. Living in the Age of Airplanes 113. Travel Safety Tips & Tricks


EDITORS BLOCK “In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.” William Blake From California to Pittsburgh, Louisiana to Arizona, England to Cuba, Nevada to New Mexico, this winter issue covers a variety of travel destinations that relate to food and wine, history and art, holiday and winter events. New music and books take center stage, along with art and architecture, film, and a tasty variety of recipes. This issue also covers the hobby of rockhounding and geology, wildlife conservation and the environment, women’s health, mindfulness and Front Cover Photo: Cranky George Band life lessons, mentoring and leadership, new (see page 8), by Mara Casey. employment laws and entrepreneurship, along with travel safety tips, historic cars and aviation. You can also keep up and with all things Big Blend, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To listen to our live or archived Big Blend Radio shows, visit Be sure In 2017 we celebrate 20 years of publishing Big to subscribe to our Big Blend e-Newsletter to Blend, as well as our 10 year Big Blend Radio get your free digital copies of Big Blend Radio & TV anniversary. Thank you all so much for being Magazine and Spirit of America Magazine in your part of our journey as we continue to strive to inbox, as well as new articles, recipes, event bring you quality content that informs, entertains news, radio interviews and videos, and updates and inspires. about our Big Blend Spirit of America Tour travels of national parks. Have a wonderful, safe and happy winter! Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith Big Blend’s mother-daughter publishing, radio and travel team; along with Priscilla - Big Blend’s pink sock monkey travel mascot. BIG BLEND MISSION STATEMENT: Big Blend is a company based on the belief that education is the most formidable weapon that can be waged against fear, ignorance and prejudice. It is our belief that education starts at home and branches outward. Education leads to travel, and travel leads to understanding, acceptance, and appreciation of cultures and customs different to our own, and ultimately to world peace. Our company is further based on the principle that networking, communication, and helping others to promote and market themselves leads to financial stability; thus paving the way to better education, travel, and the spirit of giving back to the community. This magazine is developed by Big Blend Magazine™. copyrighted since 1997. No part of it may be reproduced for any reason, without written permission from Big Blend Magazine. Although every effort is made to be accurate, we cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies or plagiarized copy submitted to us by advertisers or contributors.



Big Blend Radio Interviews with Musicians & Singer-Songwriters who Rock the Indie Music World with a Big Blend of Rockin’ Blues, Jammin’ Americana and Funky Folk, Soulful R&B and Contemporary Pop. Plus, Festival News and a Board Game That Puts Your Lyrical Knowledge to The Test!

DOREEN TAYLOR “Happily Ever After” Billboard-charting adult contemporary singer-songwriter Doreen Taylor has released her highly anticipated sophomore album, Happily Ever After. Arranged by music industry veteran Larry Gold (Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, and Justin Timberlake), the album showcases Taylor’s powerhouse vocals, fusing elements of pop, R&B, and soul.

Doreen Taylor chats with Big Blend Radio about her music career and new album “Happily Ever After”.

As an award winning artist, Doreen Taylor has an extensive performance background with degrees in opera and vocal performance. After years of playing leading roles in musical theatre – on and off Broadway, she made her mainstream music debut with her country-pop album, Magic. Most recently, Taylor makes the leap from a country singer-songwriter to a seasoned adult contemporary artist with Happily Ever After. The album’s debut single, “TOY,” charted on Billboard's Top 100 and reached #31 on the Adult Contemporary Chart after receiving regular airplay on radio stations nationwide. Continued on Next Page…


Kieran Mulroney talks with Big Blend Radio about Cranky George’s music and new album ‘Fat Lot of Good’!

Music News Continued…

To round out the new line up of Cranky George, Sebastian Sheehan Visconti, a sound designer and effects editor who worked on the TV series The Muppets and The Flash, joined on percussion.

CRANKY GEORGE “Fat Lot of Good” Los Angeles based Cranky George (featured on the front cover), have brought together members and musical styles from both sides of the Atlantic to create a unique take on folk-influenced indie rock that is as special and diverse as the members themselves.

Cranky George’s full-length debut — Fat Lot of Good — is available now. While diverse in style, the album features common threads such as Cranky George’s signature folk-inspired instrumentation — including accordion, violin, mandolin, acoustic guitars and ukuleles.

James Fearnley, co-founder and accordionist for the London-Irish folk-punk band, The Pogues, and the Mulroney brothers, Kieran and Dermot, siblings from a large, Irish-American family from Alexandria, VA, first came together as neighbors in Hollywood, CA. While both of the Mulroney siblings are known for their work on and behind the screen with movies, they are both classically trained musicians; Dermot on the cello, mandolin, and guitar and Kieran on violin, ukulele, and tenor guitar.

Recorded over five years at Brad’s Seagrass Studio, Fat Lot of Good tips music from the bucket that dredges the confluence of the Danube, the Shannon and the Missouri. The album embraces fourteen songs, individually divergent, but which together ply a course from haven, round horn and back to harbor, by means of lullaby, torch song, sea shanty and murder ballad — an album which, with compassion, irony, humor and sometimes horror, tells stories of desire, love, loss, cruelty, ruination and pity. Continued on Next Page…

In 1994, they formed The Low and Sweet Orchestra, which released an acclaimed record, Goodbye to All That, on Interscope Records in 1996. After The Low and Sweet Orchestra split, both Mulroney brothers and Fearnley formed the Cranky George Trio. Brad Wood, who has produced records for artist from the likes of The Bangles, Ben Lee, Pete Yorn, and Veruca Salt, was added on bass. PAGE 8

Jon Roniger talks with Big Blend Radio about the NOLA-based Good For Nothin’ Band and their new album ‘Maniac World’!

Music News Continued…


This pack of rouge delinquents will decapitate your senses with songs and music crafted from utter mayhem and sheer debauchery.

The lucky pilgrim who ventures into the room with these deplorable angels with leave “Maniac World” The Good For Nothin' Band rolls from Moscow molecularly scathed, never to be integrated into normalcy again, forever changed to roam the Mules to Miami and Bogata, Transylvania to earth in the fog of delightful Whiggery. The Biggest Easy and back again spinning tales of epic debaucheries! When in NOLA, seek out these degenerate scallawags and drink in the groove shadows of The Good For Nothin' Band is to the New Orleans music scene what Al Capone was to the this notorious city of wonder as they bombard you with their infamous musical tales of the city Chicago Mafia, "The Enforcer of Wow " the hot of dreams. But in the meantime, their new bang club, original, defying cultures, tastes, genres, and decor, sacrilege in all its perfection, a album ‘Maniac World’ is out for the world to feast for the soul of wayfaring pilgrims searching download and dig their Dixie-jazz infused sound. for the Un-Holy Grail of seedy salvation.

With Jon on vocals and guitar, The Good For Nothin’ band is made up of multi-instrumentalists Alex Massa and Russell Ramirez, along with Evan Paydon on bass, and Brenda Michael Bull on drums. Continued on Next Page…


Joshua Fleming talks with Big Blend Radio about the Texas band Vandoliers and their new album ‘Ameri-Kinda’!

"Hank" references Patsy Cline and includes a rollicking banjo, while irreverent verses in "Spring Water Supper Club" reference LSD within the song's first 30 seconds.

Music News Continued…

VANDOLIERS “Ameri-Kinda” Punk and folk aren't two words often spoken closely together, unless you're talking about Vandoliers. An alt-country band with punk roots, Vandoliers seamlessly blends influences from two very different worlds on their new album, Ameri-Kinda, now out on State Fair Records.

Together, the guys make a different sound, mixing raw, rough-edged roots music with the focused, fiery storytelling of frontman Joshua Fleming. Rounded out by bassist Mark Moncrieff, drummer Guyton Sanders, fiddler Travis Curry, electric guitarist Dustin Fleming and multiinstrumentalist Cory Graves, the skilled band has logged more than a decade in punk and folk bands between them.

The new album from the Dallas-Fort Worth based band is an eclectic mix - with lead singer Joshua Fleming's background, rock influences are evident, as well as Tejano and bluegrass, amidst anthems about hitting the highway, draining beer bottles, rallying against your opponents and, occasionally, dropping acid.

Vandoliers are certainly telling a rock and roll story, but with a twist; delivered with a wink of the eye and a bang of the head. It's twang and tattoos, grit and guitars, honky-tonk and horns, Tejano and Telecasters.

The album pays tribute to their home state, Texas, by putting a new spin on a storied history. "Don't Tell Me What To Do" references familiar tenets to the state's population like living free and raising hell, along with the unofficial state instrument, the fiddle; "Joy Ride" displays the band's softer side, an homage to a love made complete with Jack Daniels and motorcycles, of course. PAGE 10

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BIG G “Formula G” “Style. Vibe. Attitude.” The unanimous description of a debut EP that challenged modern production trends and musical aesthetics. “Formula G” materialized into more than just a direction or a philosophy, it became a pathway to freedom. The creation of Big G reawakened a frontier of natural instinct and divine excellence. Nurturing a new craving for true rock n roll, Big G quenched a need for loud, raw satisfaction with a vigorous new release. Side G is a graphic entity of enormous impact beyond the limits of physical form. It has bred a new, potent demographic that has branded itself! One of several projects from songwriters Patrick Simon (Pleasure P) and Johnny Gates (Big Finger), collectively known as The Smith Cloud, Big G combines Hawaiian reggae chart topper and front man Rian Basilio, former Roosters bassist Brandon Niznik and former Imperial Drag and current Redd Kross drummer Eric Skodis into a soulful and high energy pop group rooted in heritage radio songwriting of commercial rock. Big G prominently features the blended voices of Basilio and Skodis, supported soulfully by Simon and Niznik, combining symphonically into a classic vocal quartet. PAGE 11

Listen to the Big Blend Radio conversation with Big G’s “Pleasure P” & “Big Finger”!

Dino Jag chats with Big Blend Radio about his music and new EP “Breakthrough”.

Music News Continued…

DINO JAG “Breakthrough”

He has shared the stage with some heavy hitters in the industry including, Richie Sambora, A major milestone in his career, Dino Jag’s Sammy Hagar, Adelaide & Queensland new EP “Breakthrough” was recorded at the Symphony Orchestras, James Morrison, Steve legendary Sunset Sound Studios in Hollywood Vai, Richard Max, Daryl Braithwaite and Ian with Grammy award-winning producer Jeff Moss. His vocal ability, songwriting flare and Bova at the helm. production style have also given Dino the opportunity to work on recording projects with Musical talent featured on the EP include: Aaron Rusty Anderson (Paul McCartney Band), Ray Sterling (Drums - John Mayer), Corey Britz (Bass Columbus (NZ), Alan Gorrie (Average White Bush), Tim Pierce (Guitar - Bruce Springsteen), Band), Mark King (Level 42), Carmen Grillo Jeff Bova (Keyboards - Michael Jackson), Carroll (Tower Of Power) and even Australian icon Barry Hatchet (Backing Vocals - Bette Midler) & Crocker! Bernard Fowler (Backing Vocals - The Rolling Stones). Dino embraces music to his very core and A South Australian treasure, Dino first launched into the international music arena in 2005 with his unique cover of the 70’s classic, “Play that Funky Music.”

continues to shape his career whilst exploring new sounds in his own electrifying way. Continued on Next Page…

The song burned up the charts worldwide, reaching number 8 in Australia and number 34 in Denmark and hit many radio playlists. He hit the international spotlight with the release of his song “Calling All The Saints,” breaking all records to become the #1 most purchased song on the “Music For Good” program for Oxfam America. PAGE 12

Josh Farrow talks with Big Blend Radio about his full-length debut album “Trouble Walks With Me.”

Music News Continued…

JOSH FARROW “Trouble Walks With Me” Inspired as much by the New Orleans funk of Allen Touissant as the Chicago blues of his hometown, Josh Farrow puts a dark spin on American roots music with his full-length debut, “Trouble Walks With Me.”

Farrow - an Illinois-born kid who played punk rock music as a teenager - didn't come to Nashville chasing a musical dream. Instead, he Written and recorded in Nashville, Trouble Walks moved to Music City in his early 20s to chase after his future wife. He was soon immersed in With Me finds Farrow pulling triple-duty as lead Nashville's Americana scene, an event seemingly singer, songwriter and ringleader. On his first willed by fate - he even met the project's full-length collection he ignores the rules of his producer Dexter Green, at an East Nashville new home - a Tennessee city ruled by cowboyhatted country stars strumming acoustic guitars pizza shop. Over the course of a year, they - and carves out his own sound, with the help of pieced together the 10 songs that comprise Trouble Walks With Me, calling on local guests to guests including Ruby Amafu, Elizabeth Cook, lend their help in the recording studio. and the McCrary Sisters, to name a few. The resulting album features swells of organ, bursts of piano, gospel overtones, layers of background harmonies and plenty of slowboiling soul, creating a varied collection of blues songs and smooth ballads, but its story is bigger than the music itself - it's a portrait of a community working together, operating outside of the Nashville machine. Continued on Next Page…


Lori Jenaire chats with Big Blend Radio about her music career, autoimmune related diseases, and more!

Music News Continued…

LORI JENAIRE “As You Are” With the release of her Top Five Billboard Hot Singles Sales charting debut, "As You Are," featuring Patrice Rushen, a remake of the 1978 Pharoah Sander's R&B soul classic which originally featured Phyllis Hyman, songstress Lori Jenaire is on a mission that transcends music sales and charting. The lovely diva is hoping to bring more attention to an issue that not only personally affects her, but also millions of others, autoimmune diseases. Lori Jenaire has long been revered in music circles for the lush nuances of her vocal stylings. She amazingly transcends all expectations with

"As You Are" is also a tremendous musical production. Renowned bassist Freddie "Ready" Washington not only produced and arranged the track, but also gathered together a team of music greats to perform live in the studio for the recording session. The melodious masterpiece includes multi-Grammy Award winning artist Patrice Rushen on Fender Rhodes and solo, Freddie Washington on bass and percussion, James Gadson on drums; Aaron Lindsey on acoustic piano, Gregory (G Moe) Moore on guitar; Eyvonne Williams on tambourine and Dorian Holly and Shannon Pearson on background vocals. Jenaire is pledging .25 cents from every single sold of "As You Are" to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc. Jenaire is hoping that her remake of "As You Are" uplifts the spirit of those battling with their own autoimmune related health struggles while encouraging awareness and compassion for global healing on a mass level. Continued….

her "As You Are" cover, propelling listeners into a space that brings the nostalgia of the '70's smack dab into the middle of 2016. "As You Are" solidifies the songbird once and for all as the successor to the Phyllis Hyman throne. The remake not only bellows vintage love and soulful power, but also masterfully echoes the deeply rich vocal subtleties of the original song. PAGE 14

Sabrina Salice chats with Big Blend Radio about her music and modeling career, and her musical discipline.

Music News Continued…

SABRINA SALICE “I’m All In” If you've been waiting for an Adele and Avicii collaboration, Sabrina's first single, 'I'm All In,' is for you.

Aiming for charm over sex appeal, and honesty over an artist persona, Sabrina is the gorgeous, down to earth girl we all want to just hang out with. She paved her way onto the music scene starting with nothing but Internet research to guide her. Now, working with Joe Vulpis (Lady Gaga), Sabrina is on her way to becoming pop sensation.

Sabrina is an emerging young artist who has powerhouse vocals dripping with soul and emotion. A classically trained mezzo-soprano influenced by early pop and the grittiness of classic rock, Sabrina has taken full control of her voice to create her unique sound. A showwoman at heart and a truly dynamic performer, you're guaranteed a musical sucker punch to the With her first EP just completed, Sabrina has gut if you're able to catch this 5'3" fire cracker on more songs on the way showing off her stage. ridiculous range and huge sound. Her 'no holds barred' attitude is taking her on the road When asked what drove Sabrina to drop whenever she's not in the studio. Performing at everything and move to New York to pursue small venues to get up and close and personal music, she talks about her love of performing with fans, Sabrina is bringing a new level of that comes second only to her desire to be a intimacy to the pop music genre. positive role model.

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Philip Sayce

Music News Continued…

YUMA RIVER DAZE BOOGIE, BREWS & BLUES FESTIVAL February 18, 2017 in Yuma, Arizona! Come out and enjoy a day full of memorable music, food, libations, crafts and fun for the whole family, all alongside the beautiful lower Colorado River delta at Gateway Park in Yuma, Arizona, located between San Diego, and Phoenix and Tucson. The 2017 Yuma River Daze Boogie, Brews & Blues Festival headiner is rockin’ blues guitarist Philip Sayce who recently released his new album “SCORCHED EARTH: Vol. 1,” that was recorded live at The Silver Dollar Room in Toronto, Canada. The festival line up also includes Baton Rouge bluesman and guitarist Jonathon “Boogie” Long, whose latest album is “Trying to Get There,” along with western Kentucky based ‘shoeless’ guitarist Boscoe France as seen in the 2015 documentary “2015 Shoeless Blues: The Journey of Boscoe France”.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with festival organizer Robb Bower and bluesmen Jonathon Boogie Long and Boscoe France who will be performing at the 2017 Yuma River Daze Boogie, Brews & Blues Festival! The southern California based Gino Matteo Band, who are getting ready to release their new album “Hug The Cactus,” will also perform at the festival with special guest Jade Bennett. The relentless blues lovin’ festival organizer Robb Bower will also perform as part of the southernfried McCoy Brothers Band. With this rockin’ authentic blues blues line up, you definitely don’t want to miss any of the performances…and you know there’s gonna be one helluva rockin’ jam session at the end of the show! Don’t miss this cactus-jacked, southwesterndelta blues fest along the lower Colorado River in Yuma, Arizona. For more about the performing bands, tickets and travel information, visit


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233 4th Avenue, Yuma, AZ 85364 Toll Free: (877) 234-5567 Local: (928) 783-4453 Subscribe to our Captain’s log e-Newsletter for specials! PAGE 17

Music News Continued… Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Rob Ridgeway, creator of Spontuneous®!

ARE YOU SPONTUNEOUS? Have you ever heard a word that “triggered” you to sing a song? If so, then YOU are Spontuneous®! In August 2009, Rob Ridgeway of Billings, MT gathered around the table with family and friends engaging in your average conversations. Little did he know that this casual hangout would lead to the idea for Spontuneous®, a fun family board game that involves plenty of singing!

The singing competition is on from start to finish. Don’t worry though, talent is not required! Spontuneous® is the perfect gift for music lovers of all ages, and a fantastic new party game to play with friends or family! See

“Spontuneous®?” you ask, “what does that even mean?” Pronounced spon-toon-ee-as, the name is a combination of the words “spontaneous” and “tunes,” which perfectly describes people who spontaneously burst into song after Later defined Spontuneous® as, “Acting on the natural tendency to burst into song.” So what’s the game like? One player says a word and the race is on for the others to sing a song containing that word. The last player to sing their song that contains that word before time runs out wins the point. PAGE 18

By Victoria Chick, Figurative Artist and Early 19th & 20th Century Print Collector

Plaza de Espana, Seville, Spain, Komal.tujare, CCA

For many North Americans, the term “Mexican art” conjures up images of the ancient Mayan civilization. For others, Mexican art is limited to the romantic, reproduced images of Aztec legends seen on the walls of Mexican restaurants in the United States. During the Spanish Colonial Period in Mexico, western styles were introduced by Catholic religious orders that resulted in a blending of Spanish Baroque painting and architecture with the worldview and aesthetic of Mexico’s indigenous people. To understand both the history and art that came to Mexico through its colonization by Spain, it is useful to understand that, through wars and marriage alliances, Spain also controlled much of Europe during the 15th,16th, and part of the 17th century. The “Spanish” art that was introduced into Mexico came from European art centers that ranged from Spain to Flanders (once the southern portion of the Netherlands). It is also important to know that all European painters of these centuries were greatly influenced by the Italian Renaissance and the continuing art developments that came out of it.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Victoria Chick, about the Spanish influence on Mexican Art. The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in 1521 brought the first wave of European art influences to Mexico. These were totally aimed at changing the religion of the Aztec Indians to Catholicism. Architecture was the initial art form since places were needed for worship. Native craftsmen were taught European building techniques. The architecture was thick walled, with shallow vaults, and plain exteriors. Decorative Christian motifs and designs were given native treatment with flattened faces and relief carving that was in the Aztec style.


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Spanish Influence in Mexican Art Continued… Back in Europe, the Catholic Church was trying to stem the reforming tide of Protestantism. The Council of Trent met numerous times over an 18 year period, beginning in 1545, redefining the beliefs of the Catholic Church. One of the ways the Council decided upon, to promote and teach its doctrines, was to use art. Art had the potential, as a pictorial and spatial means, to be understood by everyone, and it could sway people emotionally. Baroque art and architecture was the response by painters, sculptors, and architects to the commission of the Council of Trent. European Baroque paintings were full of drama with Biblical figures in action poses or extreme perspective heightened by dark backgrounds. Carravaggio was an Italian painter who spent time in Spain and was a great influence on painters of the late 16th and the 17th centuries. Italian churches constructed with curved walls and colonnades allowed the sun to create strong light and dark contrasts. In Spain, fewer curves were used but the application of sculptured and highly textured surfaces and the use of colored tiles made the exteriors rich and awe inspiring. The Baroque in Spain was modified by the fact parts of it had been under the control of the Muslims for about 800 years. Moorish architecture and the use of glazed tile work was a lasting contribution. The Spanish Baroque was first transplanted to the area around Mexico City for the purpose of building churches and monasteries. As the Spanish Colonial Period progressed in Mexico, and several religious orders competed with each other, religious building became more elaborate. But, initially, the rich ornamentation of Mexican churches tended to be on the inside, focused on the altar, rather than the exterior of the buildings.

"Deposition of Christ" by Carravaggio, a Baroque Italian painter who influenced Spanish painters to the use of dark backgrounds. Photo in Public Domain.

In some cases, the ornament did not have an architectural function but was just applied to the surface. One type of applied decoration is estucado, from which we get our word “stucco”. It was an ornamentation that used thickly applied stucco in intricate detail and was often covered with gold leaf. By the 18th century the Churrigueresque stucco style, named after the Churriguera family of Spanish artists, was imported to Mexico. Its flamboyant encrustation of both interior and exterior facades became very popular and continued to be used, in a less flamboyant form, even in rural, northern Mexican mission churches into the 19th century. Continued on Next Page…


Spanish Influence in Mexican Art Continued… The progress of painting and subject matter during the Spanish Colonial Period (1521 – 1821) was greatly controlled by European influence. Although native Mexican artists began to use Mexican plants and crops as background, religious themes were almost always the subjects. This is understandable, as the Church had both the motivation and money to support commissioned art. The first colonial artists were monks born in Spain who arrived in Mexico already trained. The first recorded painter was Alonso Lopez de Herrera. Then, local artists arose from the native population. They were trained in European techniques, often through copied engravings. Frescoes following Renaissance methods of depicting three dimensional form and space were a common form of painting in the 1500s, but the style quickly changed. When the Baroque period in Spain began and the Catholic church began encouraging its use in colonies after the Council of Trent in 1563, there can be seen a shift in painting style to more color, action, and strong dramatic contrasts of light and dark. The biggest difference between European and Mexican versions of Baroque is the Mexican preference for realism rather than extremes. Painting on canvas became more prevalent than fresco by the mid -17th century. Mexican artists worked in guilds that set standards. So innovation was not encouraged, and Mexican artists worked in the Baroque tradition long after it lost favor in Europe.

Cathedral Zacatecas with Churrigueresque facade, a late Baroque feature, Photo: Elias Zamora, GNU.

The vast amount of mineral resources and agricultural opportunities brought many Spanish colonists to Mexico. The Habsburg Kings of Spain granted large tracts of land and many of these early colonists became extremely wealthy. Portraiture was another subject for painting and was done for the wealthy colonists as well as for high ranking church officials. Continued on Next Page…

Oil painting by Alonso Lopez de Herrera, in Public Domain.


Mestizo casta painting, artist unknown, in public domain.

Spanish Influence in Mexican Art Continued‌ A third type of painting resulted from the social caste system that developed. The Mexican-born children of Spanish colonist parents were designated by a term different from their parents. Some colonists married native Indians and their children were identified as another racial group. Indigenous Indians were a separate group and as more mines were discovered and food needed to be grown for an expanding population, the Spanish imported people from Africa to be used as slaves. Some of these people intermarried with Indians creating yet another racial designation. At the height of the Colonial Period, Mexico had the most racially based caste system of any of Spain’s colonies. Spanish visitors created a market for paintings called castas. These were souvenirs to take back home to show what Mexico was like. Casta means caste. The casta paintings showed different mixed racial characteristics of people set in architectural or landscape scenes.

These paintings lost popularity and, in fact, became such an embarrassment after the Mexican War of Independence, that many people hid them in an early historical example of political correctness. In the seventeenth century, the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens, was the most influential painter in Mexico and all of Latin America due to the publication of his large paintings as mezzotint prints. Mexican artists copied his loose brushwork and reworked his religious and secular subjects, improvising their own bright color palette because the mezzotints were printed only in black and white. By the seventeenth century, painted canvases were frequently glued to the walls of churches and then a frame placed around them to be sure they stayed in place. Sculpture was life sized and polychromed with realistic color.


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Spanish Influence in Mexican Art Continued‌ Between 1810 and 1862, Mexico was independent, expelling a Spanish government weakened by war against Napoleon of France. Through a brief period of French control, and a second, corrupt, independent period ending in the Mexican Revolution between 1910 and 1929, one group of artists remained stalled in a Baroque style with Romantic overtones. This group did historical battle scenes as well as allegorical scenes of Aztecs battling Cortez. Another group embraced newer styles. The surrealism of Frida Kahlo and the social realism of Diego Rivera and other muralists are examples of the modern group.

Early 16th century oil Painting by Alonso Vasquez shows Renaissance style with its symmetrical composition, in public domain.

He studied painting in Spain, married, and returned to Mexico where he began painting the Aztec legends by combining Neo-Classical and Romantic styles. His work was reproduced on calendars in Mexico in the 1940s and now is reproduced in larger scale as art often used in Mexican Restaurants. This is a popular type of art that bridges folk art and fine art. Although Mexican art was influenced through Spanish Colonization, artists of Mexico made it their own and gave it a distinct character.

Victoria Chick is the founder of the Cow Trail Art Studio in southwest New Mexico. She received a There is one more Spanish influence that occurred in the 20th century. That is the painter, B.A. in Art from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and awarded an M.F.A. in Painting Jesus Helguera. Born in Mexico and taken to from Kent State University in Ohio. Visit her Spain as a child, Helguera was fascinated by website at Aztec history and legends. PAGE 23

Bel Falleiros’ Artist-in-Residence Experience at Pecos National Historical Park, in Northern New Mexico Bel Falleiros, a Brazilian installation artist, was selected by the National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF) to be the latest Artist-in-Residence at Pecos National Historical Park, a multi-unit park that contains the remnants of the once vibrant Pecos Pueblo. Located just a half hour outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico between the town of Pecos and the historic Glorieta Battlefield, the park launched this cooperative venture with NPAF to bring artists to Pecos to work and interact with the public. Artist Bel Falleiros combines the varied practices of land art, urbanism and architecture, psychogeography, and expressive wandering to uncover the spirit of a particular place. This process takes different forms — installations, guided tours, journaling, documentation — all for the sake of something Falleiros calls 'deep truth' art research.

Big Blend Radio interview with artist Bel Falleiros about her art and creative process, and being an artist-in-residence at Pecos National Historical Park.

She says: “For me personally, it will be a great chance to fuse research procedures that I normally do separately: walking through a landscape, exploring its local history, creating artworks by relating to its spatial dimensions and materials…”


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Creating Art n Pecos Continued… Her work at the site is designed to discover the poetics of a particular place, sometimes with the help of the public, other times working alone with elements found or suggested by the location. Falleiros brings a unique background to her art practice. Trained originally as an architect, she is influenced by the site-specific Arte Povera modernism of Lina Bo Bardi, as well as the pioneering land art of Nancy Holt, and the landbased poetics and conscious strolling and performance works of Francis Alÿs. This mix of influences results in an ever-changing organic practice that is open to all sorts of collaborations and influences. She further expands on this idea, adding: “The arts that most interest me are the ones that are broad enough to engage a great range of people and cultures. In that sense they are more like elemental art, an art that can survive through time and dialogue with works that came previously and will come in the future.”

It is rare, Falleiros feels, for an artist to concentrate all she does in a tight circle of space and time. “And furthermore, it is a great chance for me to fuse research procedures that I normally do separately: walking through a landscape, exploring its local history, creating artworks by relating to its spatial dimensions and materials. And more than that, Pecos is such a beautiful and unique place, full of layers of human presence and historic importance, it is a unique experience to have a place like that as my studio!” Continued on Next Page…

In addition, she is interested in what exactly visitors and park personnel bring to the collective work of interpretation of such a powerful historical place as Pecos NHP. “I also think it is very valuable — and rare — to find those works of art that can promote silence and the possibility for the audience to be active as they perceive it, giving the audience itself space to complement the work. In that sense, in my practice I give value to the process as part of the art work, to make available to my audience the Photo by Stan Ford, Pecos NHP Artist-in-Residence. possibility to experience and investigate.” PAGE 25

Photo by Stan Ford, Pecos NHP Artist-in-Residence.

Creating Art in Pecos Continued… Pecos National Historical Park originated in 1960 as a National Historic Landmark, to preserve the core of the Pueblo of Ciquique (Pecos) and its Mission, la Mission de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles de Porciúncula de los Pecos, and over the last 30 years has grown to include the Glorieta Pass Battlefield, which was the site of the famed ‘Gettysburg of the West’, where Union Forces defeated a larger and better trained Confederate force from Texas that was moving north to capture Coloradan gold fields. Learn more at The National Parks Arts Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated nationwide to the promotion of the National Parks of the U.S. by creating dynamic opportunities for artworks that are based in our natural and historic heritage. This project is supported entirely by donations from citizen lovers of the Arts, and generous partnerships. For more information on how you can support the Pecos National Historical Park Artist-in-Residence and other NPAF arts programs nationwide, visit

Becky Latanich, Chief of Interpretation & Education, talks with Big Blend Radio about the rich and diverse history preserved at Pecos National Historical Park, as well as the visitor experience.

Photo by Stan Ford, Pecos NHP Artist-in-Residence.



DEGRAZIA GALLERY IN THE SUN Celebrating Southwest Art & Culture in Tucson, Arizona DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun is a 10-acre historic district in the foothills of Tucson’s Santa Catalina Mountains. It was designed and built from the ground up by Ted DeGrazia who achieved worldwide acclaim for his colorful paintings of native cultures of the Sonoran desert. Using traditional adobe bricks crafted on-site, DeGrazia built the gallery so his paintings “would feel good inside”. The gallery is home to over 15,000 DeGrazia originals including oil paintings, watercolors, ceramics and sculptures. There are six permanent collections on display and several rotating exhibitions each year. A limited number of DeGrazia originals are available for purchase, while the gift shop and online store offers a wide variety of popular DeGrazia reproductions.

Lance Laber, Executive Director of DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, talks with Big Blend Radio about a Ted DeGrazia mural that was recently discovered and restored in a local Tucson home, along with the current winter exhibits and events at the gallery.

The grounds also feature the Mission in the Sun, the artist’s original home, his gravesite, and the Little Gallery that hosts visiting artists during the winter months. DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun is maintained by the DeGrazia Foundation, which was established by the artist before his death to ensure the preservation of his beloved gallery and permanent exhibitions of his work for generations to come. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Learn more at PAGE 28

CURRENT TED DEGRAZIA EXHIBITS Roadrunners and Coyotes: On display through October 31st, 2017. DeGrazia’s Navajo Collection: On display through January 25th, 2017. Modernist Ceramics of Ted & Marion DeGrazia: On display through January 25th, 2017. El Mercado “DeGrazia Paints the Marketplace”: On display from January 27th through August 30th, 2017. Way of The Cross: On display from January 27th through May 30th, 2017.

ON DISPLAY IN DEGRAZIA’S LITTLE GALLERY Dec. 4-16, 2016: Geri Bringman, Mixed Media Dec. 18-30, 2016: Seth Critchley, Landscapes & Photography (Closed Christmas Day) Jan. 2-13, 2017: Jennifer Vigil, Ceramics & Pottery Jan. 15-27, 2017: Patricia Silva, Hispanic & Dia de los Muertos Art Jan. 29-Feb. 10, 2017: Terry Parker, Stoneware & Porcelain Feb. 12-24, 2017: Scott Owen, Jewelry Feb. 26-Mar. 10, 2017: Veta & Daniel Carney, Handcrafted Glass Art & Jewelry Mar. 12-24, 2017: John Curry, Landscape Photography Mar. 26-Apr. 7, 2017: Diane Ganski and Melody Prentice Learn more at

SPECIAL EVENT Held on Dec. 18, 2016, DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun’s Annual La Fiesta de Guadalupe festival honors Mexico’s patron saint with music, dancing and performances including mariachi bands, Folklorico dancers, Yaqui Deer Dancers, Domingo DeGrazia’s Spanish-guitar band, a Las Posadas procession, as well as local food and art vendors. The event is free and open to the public.


MOVIE STORIES OF EXCELLENCE! How to Turn Movie Night into a Fun Exercise in Building Communication and Character While we may all be hooked up and connected through the world of social media and digital electronics, there’s nothing like a good sit-down, in-person conversation with those we love. A conversation that goes beyond the day-to-day communication about busy schedules, what to buy at the grocery store, or some juicy celebrity scandal. A conversation that’s fun and lively, connects with one another, and imparts a life lesson. Enter the 8 Keys of Excellence and Movie Night! Quantum Learning Network's “8 Keys of Excellence Character Education Program” is a free program that guides young people and families, toward a positive future full of confidence, motivation, creativity, team work, leadership and valuable life principles. Created by education expert and author Bobbi DePorter – Co-founder of SuperCamp and President of Quantum Learning Network, the 8 Keys of Excellence program embraces the challenge of bringing excellence to 50 million children and young adults. See

Watch a movie together and see where the various Keys of Excellence crop up in the story line, and then have a discussion period afterwards. It’s amazing where the discussions lead to, and how much everyone can learn about and from each other! It’s a fun and effective way to improve communication. The 8 Keys of Excellence include: 1. Live in INTEGRITY. 2. Acknowledge FAILURE LEADS TO SUCCESS. 3. SPEAK WITH GOOD PURPOSE. 4. Live in the now. THIS IS IT! 5. Affirm your COMMITMENT. 6. Take OWNERSHIP. 7. Stay FLEXIBLE. 8. Keep your BALANCE. Continued on Next Page…

Movie Night can be a family event, part of date night, or a gathering of friends. It’s just like a book club. PAGE 30

Movie Stories Continued… Listen to the following Big Blend Radio segments where Bobbi DePorter, Big Blend Hollywood history expert Steve Schneickert, and Big Blend editors / radio hosts Nancy J. Reid & Lisa D. Smith, discuss stories in film that connect with the each of the Keys of Excellence.

HOLLYWOOD HISTORY: Stories of Excellence Part 1 This segment focuses on the first two Keys of Excellence: ‘Integrity’ and ‘Failure Leads to Success.’ Photo represents the film 'It's a Wonderful Life' with Donna Reed (as Mary Bailey) and James Stewart (playing George Bailey).

HOLLYWOOD HISTORY: Stories of Excellence Part 2 This segment focuses on the third and fourth Keys of Excellence: 'Speak with Good Purpose' and 'This Is It! Live in The Now'. Pictured, is the original 1939 poster for ‘The Wizard of Oz’.

HOLLYWOOD HISTORY: Stories of Excellence Part 3 This segment focuses on the fifth and sixth Keys of Excellence: ‘Commitment’ and ‘Take Ownership’. Photo is of Anne Bancroft as Annie Sullivan and Patty Duke as Helen Keller in the Broadway play 'The Miracle Worker.'

HOLLYWOOD HISTORY: Stories of Excellence Part 4 This segment focuses on the seventh and eighth Keys of Excellence: 'Flexibility' and 'Balance'. Photo is of Ralph Waite (John Walton, Sr.), Richard Thomas (John Boy), and Michael Learned (Olivia Walton) from the TV program 'The Waltons.'


EVERYONE LOVES YOU BACK Award-winning debut novel by Louie Cronin, former ‘Car Talk’ producer, offers a wry look at social class clashes in Cambridge, Massachusett’s Harvard Square, along with humorous examination of gentrification and romance across class lines. In the three generations since Bob Boland’s family settled into the tired Victorian house in Cambridge, Massachusetts where Bob lives, real locals – the guys who deliver the mail, plow the driveways and fix the burners – have been crowded out by urban tree-huggers and uppity intellectuals with designer dogs.

Listen to author Louie Cronin discuss ‘Everyone Loves You Back’ on Big Blend Radio!

On Bob’s street, they’ve launched a movement to save an ancient Japanese maple from a condo developer, while nagging Bob to take down the sun-blocking trees in his own back yard. A sarcastic, jazz-loving radio engineer working the night shift, Bob just wants silence by day so he can sleep, and status quo in his routine. When romance buds with two very different women – one from the familiar though evolving world of radio, the other a sophisticated Harvard dance professor – Bob is forced to reconcile the comfort of stagnation with the inevitability of change.

Cronin brings sly mockery reminiscent of the beloved ‘Car Talk’ show’s style and an incisive journalistic eye to her eminently readable coming-of-middle-age story. The novel won the 2016 Molly Ivors Fiction Prize from Gorsky Press. Continued on Next Page…


Book News Continued… Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Taj Rowland and best-selling author Cameron Wright!

THE ORPHAN KEEPER Best-selling author Cameron Wright tells the remarkable true story of a child who was kidnapped in India, adopted by parents in the USA, and the surprising events that led him home. How does a child find his way home when he’s kidnapped to a foreign country and surrounded by a foreign language? And how does the idea of home change when he realizes he can’t go back? In Camron Wright’s gripping, heartfelt true story, The Orphan Keeper (Shadow Mountain Publishing), seven-year-old Chellamuthu faces these inconceivable questions when he is kidnapped, sold to a Christian orphanage, and adopted half way around the world. Taking place in both India and the United States, The Orphan Keeper follows Chellamuthu (renamed Taj) through a true series of events— from his poverty-stricken village in India where beatings from his father are the norm, to an atrocious abduction that forces him into the unknown, to the unveiling of his past and the uncertainties of his future.

“In The Orphan Keeper, we are reminded of the need to belong, to be loved, through the eyes of a boy who—throughout his life—struggles to understand the depth of his own family roots,” says Wright. “It is not until he is finally able to forget his past, to accept his life, that the doors to his true home are finally opened. When he meets an Indian family and the love of his life, Priya, he finally has the courage to discover the truth. But does he have the courage to embrace it?” Of his inspiration to pen The Orphan Keeper, award-winning author Camron Wright knew Taj Rowland’s story had to be told, especially after learning of the surprising coincidences that led Taj back to India. “This story shows that if we can tap into both hope and determination along our journeys and never give up,” says Wright, “fate will often step in to guide our success.” Continued…


Book News Continued…

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Kevin Quirk – co-author of “Brace For Impact,” and survivor Dave Sanderson.

BRACE FOR IMPACT "Miracle on the Hudson” Survivors Share Their Stories of Near Death and Hope for New Life On January 15, 2009, the world was mesmerized by "the miracle on the Hudson.” Against all odds, Captain Chesley B. "Sully” Sullenberger safely landed a plane plunging toward disaster on the river. More amazingly, all 150 passengers survived—and, for the most part, with nothing worse (physically) than a few bruises and soggy clothes. At the time, many of us tried to imagine how we would have responded to those three chilling words—"Brace for impact”—and then, amazingly, been spared from certain death?

What has been the real impact they braced for, not of the disaster and death they expected, but of the gift of a "new” life?

Intrigued by these and other questions, authors Dorothy Firman and Kevin Quirk set out to find answers—by asking the survivors themselves. The result is an inspiring collection of firstperson accounts: Brace For Impact: "Miracle on the Hudson” Survivors Share Their Stories of Near Death and Hope for New Life (HCI Books). Along Over a year later, it's time for a different, perhaps more meaningful story. What happened with the personal stories of 25 men and women profoundly affected by Flight 1549—survivors to these extremely fortunate passengers when and first-responders—this volume offers lessons they went home? What was it like to return to about faith, gratitude, wisdom, healing, love, and their families, their jobs, their neighborhoods— everything familiar, but somehow changed? How transformation for everyone in today's world of did they celebrate coming back from the brink of upheaval and challenges. near-death trauma? How did their loved ones Continued on Next Page… respond to the living proof of a miracle? PAGE 34

Book News Continued…

BULLET IN THE CHAMBER Drugs, Drones, and Journalism are Front-andCenter! The latest release by acclaimed novelist John DeDakis, an award-winning journalist who worked with CNN for 25 years, Bullet in the Chamber (Strategic Media Books) features protagonist Lark Chadwick, a feisty, young journalist who finds herself in the wrong place at the right time. Lark is front-row center when the executive mansion is suddenly attacked. The president is missing, the first lady’s life is at risk, and Lark is forced to hit the ground running in her new job as White House correspondent for the Associated Press. Her career may be in high gear, but when the man she loves disappears, Lark’s personal life starts to fall apart. Swiftly swept up in a perilous web of deceit, murder, and intrigue, Lark relentlessly seeks answers. But her dogged quest for the truth puts her on a dangerous and deadly path. Just how far is Lark willing to go to get the whole story? And how far is too far?

Listen to John DeDakis discuss ‘Bullet in the Chamber’ on Big Blend Radio!

In this extraordinary thriller, author John DeDakis draws on his own personal pain—the sudden death of his 22-year-old son Stephen due to an accidental heroin overdose—to create a page-turner that teems with authenticity.


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THE ICE MERCHANT Chilling Medical History & Mystery! The Ice Merchant, Paul Boor's newest novel, set in Galveston, Texas in 1889, is a tale of the postcivil war ice trade, new medical schools, trafficking in corpses, the discovery of a cure for yellow fever, and a chilling reminder of our human frailties. The story begins in 1889, when a shrewd Yankee ice merchant, Nicolas Van Horne, is carving out a profitable side-business. Deep in his ship's icy hold, dozens of human cadavers lie between the huge blocks of ice. On this delivery, his first to Galveston's new Medical School, Nicolas is enthralled by Galveston's lady scientist Rene Keiller, but he also makes the ghastly discovery that he's been trafficking in murdered boys.

Listen to Paul Boor discuss ‘The Ice Merchant’ on Big Blend Radio!

Paul Boor, M.D., is a scientist and professor at Galveston's medical school, the oldest west of the Mississippi, and home to the highest-level, infectious Bio-Lab. In The Ice Merchant, Dr. Boor goes back in time to explore the history of medical research and the body trade, while spinning a tale of romance and human imperfection.

It will take Rene's help to eventually solve the puzzle his ice holds . . . but first he must overcome his personal demons, including morphine addiction, even as he becomes inextricably entangled in lovely Rene's experimental work on the most dreaded killer of their time, yellow fever. PAGE 36

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MONSTERS AMONG US An Exploration of Otherworldly Bigfoots, Wolfmen, Portals, Phantoms, and Odd Phenomena Many scoff at the idea of unexplained phenomena, dismissing notions such as bigfoot, ghosts, and UFOs as fanciful objects of overactive imaginations. Yet, when pressed, most people will divulge that either they or someone they are close to have experienced something that defies explanation.

Listen to Linda Godfrey discuss “Monsters Among Us”on Big Blend Radio!

Author Linda Godfrey has heard numerous unimaginable and bizarre accounts. One of Analyzing each occurrence through an objective America’s foremost authorities on modern-day lens, Godfrey explores all possible explanations monsters, Godfrey’s intensive research spanning and analyzes factors impacting the environment, twenty-three years has unearthed a repository witnesses, and location. Utilizing logical, of chilling tales from reliable eyewitnesses. In scientific, and imaginative concepts to elucidate MONSTERS AMONG US: An Exploration of Otherworldly Bigfoots, Wolfmen, Portals, Phantoms, these truly baffling accounts, Godfrey provides readers with the tools to draw their own and Odd Phenomena she shares some of these conclusions and to reexamine their own inexplicable reports, including: A woman’s understanding of the world around them. transformation into a wolf-like creature, a virtually transparent 8-foot creature, a fourhundred-pound creature emerging from a Continued on Next Page… portal, and a shapeshifter trying to lure a girl into a manhole! PAGE 37

Book News Continued…

THE NIAGARA’S MOST HAUNTED EXPERIENCE Examining Haunted Ridgeway and Willowbank In a thoughtful, scary-good new e-book, renowned author, psychologist and TV show Listen to Dr. Peter Sacco discuss host Peter Andrew Sacco shares some excellent ‘The Niagara’s Most Haunted Experience’ ghost stories, visiting two of the more profound, on Big Blend Radio! haunted places in Canada, two locations bordering on the USA. In The Niagara's Most Haunted Experience, he asks, are there really such things as ghosts? Peter Sacco is also the acclaimed author of Niagara's Most Haunted: Legends and Myths and The Niagara's Most Haunted Experience includes a Paranormal Niagara: Cases of the Mysterious and one month shoot throughout the town of Macabre. Both books are collections of Ridgeway, Canada, one of North America's oldest historically-based ghost stories and haunted towns, and Willowbank, one of Canada's most places throughout the Niagara region, in both esteemed historical mansions, sitting directly Canada and the United States. The books are across from Lewiston, New York. based on his hit TV series Niagara's Most Haunted The book is based on these two film shoots, and which is now in its 6th year of production and seen at film festivals, comic cons and fan expos. features actress/comedian Rita Carrey (sister of actor Jim Carrey), actor/producer Mitch Markowitz and esteemed Canadian newspaper reporter Richard Hutton, all invited to participate first hand with real paranormal investigators. PAGE 38


By Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva’ I’ve been on many culinary roads. Coast to coast and nation to nation, I thought I had the whole culinary scene thing down. But then I visited Pittsburg and I was schooled in what may be the best new trend in culinary offerings. There’s a free spirit of social consciousness that permeates the culinary crawl there. I didn’t see that coming. A college town at heart, this place rocks with a type of goodness that goes way beyond good taste. Of course Pittsburg has great chefs, remarkable food and extraordinary restaurants, but behind the newer offerings there seems to be a purpose beyond the next big plate and specialty drink. Everywhere you go, there’s a pulsating food culture radically transforming this quintessential American city in to a “do right” kind of place that goes way beyond Heinz ketchup. It’s great that in December 2015, Zagat named Pittsburgh the No. 1 food city in America. I get why people, especially foodies, are toying with the idea of moving here.

Listen to Linda Kissam discuss Pittsburgh’s food scene on Big Blend Radio.

But, what I like most is that the energy of “doing good” in the city is contagious. Converting crumbling buildings and thread-bare neighborhoods into prospering neighborhoods is evident everywhere. Surprisingly, food appears to be the catalyst. Who knew? Continued on Next Page…


Pittsburgh Continued… For years, Pittsburgh was a place people fled from. It was hardly celebrated as a showcase for innovative cuisine or culture. After the demise of the steel mills in the early 1980s, a mass exodus led to an unhealthy decline of neighborhoods and creative culinary exploration. Something needed to happened, so the leaders decided to reinvent themselves. Got to love when a plan works. Over the last 10 years or so the city has turned itself around. Cheap rent and an avid appetite for sustainable revival have attracted artists, chefs, museums, students and top attractions. Big kudos to Carnegie Mellon University for attracting companies like Google, Facebook and Uber. Affordable rent alone has inspired chefs to pursue deeply personal projects creating a microclimate of good that touches the palate and the soul. There’s no denying that if you create an alluring microclimate of sustainable fun, food and activities, people will come to visit and some of them will stay to become a permanent part of the city’s future. There’s a reason to “taste” this city. Pittsburgh has been a melting pot of ethnic diversity as immigrants came to the area in pursuit of the American dream. Glorious neighborhoods celebrating the food and culture of immigrants from England, Germany, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Italy, Poland, eastern Europe, Africa, Sweden, Spain, Russia and Greece, are all here offering a taste of unique homelands. The restaurants and cuisine in Pittsburgh range from inexpensive to high end. Many are sophisticated, easily competitive with cities nationwide. Some are uniquely Pittsburgh, a wonderfully rough and tumble attitude that grabs your heart. The city's award-winning chefs, new restaurant concepts and fresh ingredients makes Pittsburgh on the cutting edge of the farm to table vision with a big splash of social consciousness blended in. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 41

2. Dinner: Smallman Galley is one of the best food halls in America. Think 2 bars, 4 restaurant concepts, 200 (mostly) communal seats. Its food There’s a whole lot to do in Pittsburgh. Here is not only unique (no chains, no duplicate are my six top “socially conscious” picks of restaurant themes), but it serves as a local what to see and do in Pittsburgh. restaurant incubator. Every year a small group of 1. Lodging: Hotel Monaco (a Kimpton property) entrepreneurs are selected by the owners to perfect their culinary and business skills and is located right in the heart of the downtown area. I love the Kimpton properties. They always then are encouraged to find a brick and mortar spot of their own. This is a sustainable urban deliver big rooms, big service and big value. Pet food concept that is creating food for the soul as friendly is a plus. This one has a great well as the palate. You will find a dish and a sip restaurant. Perfect for a sip or a bite. Many that you love here, as well as getting extra karma great restaurants, art galleries and the Three points for helping to launch new cuisines and Rivers waterfront district are all easily walkable. chefs. Expect to walk the bright yellow bridges and regal rivers, green spaces filled with museums 3. Brunch Activity: The National Aviary is the and bike trails. Located right along the light rail only independent indoor nonprofit zoo line, you’ll be able to explore all of Pittsburgh's dedicated exclusively to birds. Located in West ethnicity. They have more experience turning Park on Pittsburgh’s historic North Side, the interesting old buildings into great hotels than National Aviary’s diverse collection comprises anyone… possibly in the world. All Kimpton more than 500 birds representing more than 150 hotels are Green Key certified, putting to work more eco-conscious practices across the country species from around the world, many of them threatened or endangered in the wild. than you even knew existed. Pittsburgh Continued…

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Pittsburgh Continued… It’s a feel good stop that you can enjoy solo or with family and friends. Large walk-through exhibits create an intimate, up-close interaction between visitors and free-flying birds. Be absolutely sure to plan your visit to include a themed brunch. Chef Josef Karst is a world-class chef sharing plenty of entrees designed for adult palates, while still being a perfect brunch for younger ones. This is great food, great fun with great value and purpose. 4. Art Gallery Activity: The Mattress Factory is one of the most fascinating contemporary art museum complexes ever. This is not a place where you stroll and gaze. This is an in-your-face, feel-it-all to your toes kind of place. Founded in 1977, by artists, to support artists working in residence to create spectacular thought provoking site-specific installations. The museum supports established and emerging artists through a residency program that provides leadership, guidance, resources and opportunities to create artwork that is unconventional, challenging and thoughtprovoking. The museum’s flexibility and inventiveness allows artists to respond to developments in technology, explore audience interaction, and challenge traditional artistic ideals and practice. This is a socially conscious wow.

6. Lunch in the Park: Conflict Kitchen has to be one of the most unique lunch stops I have ever had the privilege to eat at. It’s a tiny takeout joint that serves food from countries the United States is in conflict with currently. It uses the social relations of food and economic exchange to engage the general public in discussions about countries, cultures, and people that they might know little about outside of the media headlines. The restaurant creates a constantly changing menu based on cuisines such as Iranian, Afghan, Venezuelan, North Korean and Palestinian restaurants the city has ever seen.

In today’s business world, providing a great product and shopping experience will only get you so far. Companies and cities that 5. Botanical incorporate social responsibility into their Gardens: I love, business model prove that a dedication to these love, love, botanical initiatives goes a long way, both for the cause gardens. This one is and their reputation. The six examples above special, just sayin’. represent just a handful of the countless places Based out of a huge that put social good at the heart of their Victorian business in the Pittsburgh area. If you really glasshouse, it is a want your dollars doing good, spend some seasonally changing quality time at each. showcase to the most beautiful and Linda Kissam 'Food, Wine & Shopping Diva' is a professional travel, food, and wine writer based inventive flora displays, and home out of Southern California, who specializes in easy, breezy destination stories sharing her to the world’s most environmentally friendly favorite things about the places she visits. Visit greenhouse. Don’t miss it. PAGE 43

By Cori Solomon

Most people when traveling to Santa Barbara County in central California, especially wine country, visit Solvang, Buellton, Santa Ynez, Lompoc, Los Olivos and Los Alamos. They usually forget about the town of Santa Maria, the region’s best keep secret. Santa Maria Valley is the most northern Listen to Cori Solomon talk about Santa Appellation of Santa Barbara County’s AVAs. You Maria’s Wine Country on Big Blend Radio! might say the area is made up of three towns, Santa Maria, Orcutt and Old Town Orcutt Another component of the barbecue is the because they are all intertwined. A visit to Santa accompanying Pinquito Beans. Santa Maria has Maria must include visiting Old Town Orcutt. a host of restaurants that serve this flavorful barbecue including Shaw’s Steak House and Santa Maria is most known for its Santa Maria Tavern. One will also find throughout the region Style Barbecue. This barbecue style is a long portable barbecues set up serving this local tradition and dates back to the 1800s when local cuisine. rancheros would host barbecues for cowboys. The secret is the native ingredients and special Of course the perfect wine pairing with this seasonings including salt, pepper and garlic salt. barbecue is Pinot Noir. It therefore goes without Most popular is the Tri-Tip, considered the saying, that because Santa Maria’s climate and signature cut of meat for any Santa Maria Style terroir is best suited for Pinot Noir, it is the area’s Barbecue. Meat is cooked over coals of local red most popular red wine. oak giving a sweet yet smoky flavor. There are a plethora of wineries to visit in Santa Maria and Old Orcutt but our visit was to be a Nagy day. We were experiencing the differences between husband and wife winemakers. It was an opportunity to see the yin and the yang at work. Clarissa Nagy is the winemaker at Riverbench and also owns C.Nagy in Old Town Orcutt while her husband Jonathan Nagy is the winemaker at Byron. The two met when Clarissa was working at Byron. Both are exceptional talented winemakers in their own right but together have a great love for Pinot Noir. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 44

Santa Maria Valley Continued… Our first stop was Riverbench Vineyards and Winery, established in 1973 when Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were first planted on the property. In the beginning Riverbench just grew grapes to sell, but in 2004 they began to produce their own wines. Their first vintage was in 2006. For six years renown winemaker Charles Ortman created the Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs that Riverbench is known for. In 2008 Riverbench started producing sparkling wine known as Cork Jumper (the name represents the cork jumping from the bottle when one opens sparkling wine). In 2012, the exuberant winemaker, Clarissa Nagy took over the helm. Clarissa has placed her mark on Riverbench wines by way of adding a soft feminine elegance, especially the Pinot Noir. The wines have a nice depth of structure. Clarissa’s favorite varietal is Pinot Noir because it is challenging yet the most satisfying to produce. In additional to the Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and sparkling wine, one can find a subtly elegant Rosé of Pinot Noir and a marvelous dry Riesling. Visit Clarrisa Nagy recently opened her C.Nagy wine tasting room in Old Town Orcutt but she has had her own label since 2005 when she started sourcing grapes from three distinct vineyards, Gary’s Ranch Vineyard in Santa Maria, White Hawk Vineyard in Los Alamos and Bien Nacido Vineyard in Santa Maria. The tasting room is simply designed with a nice engaging atmosphere to showcase the wines. C.Nagy wines include a Pinot Blanc, Bien Nacido Vineyard, Viognier White Hawk Vineyard, Rosé of Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir and Syrah. These wines describe Clarissa’s demeanor. They are elegant and strong with a feminine balance. Visit Byron Winery sits atop a hill with a magnificent view of the entire Santa Maria Valley. Uriel Nielson planted the vineyards in 1964. Byron Kent Brown established the winery in 1989. Winemaker Jonathan Nagy became winemaker in 2004 when Ken Brown retired. PAGE 45

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Santa Maria Valley Continued… From the beginning as Santa Barbara County’s first commercial vineyard, though Mondavi’s ownership, to its current owner, Jackson Family Wines, the winery has made an imprint on the wines of Santa Maria Valley especially with Chardonnay. Exploring site specific Pinot Noir is Byron’s focus today. This is being accomplished through vineyard designated terroir driven wines that tell the Jonathan’s story in wine speak of each location. These include Sierra Madre, Julias, Nielson, La Encantata and John Sebastian. In the future Byron hopes to produce ten site specific Pinot Noirs that define two appellations, Santa Maria Valley and Sta. Rita Hills. Visit

If you have a yearning for ice cream, stop by Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab, an old fashioned ice cream parlor serving hand-crafted ice cream. Wine lovers might want to try Merlot Raspberry Truffle that uses a hint of wine to add flavor. Santa Maria is also known for their strawberries, coastal dunes, and Pacific Conservatory Theatre. Enjoy the outdoors, take a hike at Los Flores Ranch Park, Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve or Oso Flaco Lake. If you are artistically inclined, Wine and Design is a fun way to spend an afternoon sipping wine while letting your creative juices shine through.

If you love the Central Coast and are looking for something a bit off the beaten path, think about enjoying a relaxing weekend in Santa Maria Valley. Learn more at Looking to stay in Santa Maria, The Radisson Hotel, Santa Maria is ideal. Adjacent to the Santa Maria Airport, the hotel offers comfortable upscale accommodations. With its Cori Solomon is a freelance writer/photographer contemporary flair, the hotel has the most comfy residing in Los Angeles, California. Cori is well beds. You will definitely sleep like a baby. versed in travel, art, food and wine as she has done Amenities include free Wi-Fi, refrigerator and extensive traveling and has collected wine since the complimentary breakfast. The staff is friendly 1980s. Cori’s background is real estate and art. Cori wanting to serve all your needs. For those who looks for the story that is behind the restaurant, have a pet in tow, the Radisson has pet-friendly chef, winery, winemaker or artist. As Cori often rooms. It is a perfect location to get anywhere in travels with her dogs, four Salukis, some of her Santa Maria or Orcutt. travel articles deal with pet-friendly hotels and locations. Cori is a member of the International Besides the Santa Maria Style Barbecue, if you Food Wine & Travel Writers Association. Learn have a hankering for Sushi and Saki, a visit to more at Niya Restaurant in Old Town Orcutt will fill the bill. Find modern Asian fine cuisine with an emphasis on seafood. PAGE 46

Listen to the Big Blend Radio conversation with husband-and-wife team Howard and Ruth Milstein, who share tips on cooking a rack of lamb and the wines to pair with it!

Rack of Lamb on a Bed of Mashed Potato & Turnip An unconventional and simple way of making a delicious lamb dish. By combining the turnip with potato, you get supreme delicacy and richness while cutting down on fat. Serving 6, this recipe is featured in Ruth’s recipe book 'Cooking with Love: Ventures into the New Israeli Cuisine'. Rack of Lamb 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves 1 tablespoon fresh Rosemary leaves 3 garlic cloves, minced 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 2 tablespoon olive oil Salt and freshly ground pepper 3 pound rack of lamb with 14 to 18 bones, carve into individual slices Mashed Potatoes 2 large peeled potatoes 1 large peeled turnip 1 large onion, chopped to a small cubes 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method: In a large bowl, combine 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, Rosemary leaves, garlic, ginger, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well. Add the lamb to the mixture until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes and the turnip in salt water until sufficiently soft (the turnip will cook in a shorter period of time). Chill both for a few minutes. Put 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet and sauté the onion until browned. Mash the potatoes with potato ricer and cut turnip into small cubes. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, turnip, onion and mix gently. Season with salt and pepper and put aside in a warm place. In a skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and add the lamb with the mixture. Sauté for 1 1/2 minutes on each side for medium rare and 2 minutes each side for medium . (You can sauté in two separate batches). Spread potatoes in a long serving dish. Arrange the lamb over potato and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of thyme leaves. Serve immediately. Visit for more tips and recipes!


Oven Roasted Fingerling Potatoes This tasty side dish is from Chef Jeremy Manley. Known as ‘San Diego’s Sustainable Chef’, Jeremy is the executive chef and owner of Jeremy’s on the Hill California Style Bistro in Julian, California. Download his free recipe e-book at 1 lb. fingerling or other local small potatoes 2 teaspoon of fresh Rosemary chopped fine or dried oregano 3 tablespoons of butter 1 garlic clove minced finely 1-3 pinches of salt

Chef Jeremy Manley talks Fingerling Potatoes on Big Blend Radio!

When selecting or cutting your potatoes for roasting, you want them to be the same size or at least cut to be the same size. Start the recipe by doing so. Bring a pot of water to a boil and place your fingerling potatoes in the water. Boil for about 1 minute. Insert a knife into the potato to select level of doneness. You want your knife to go in and out of the potatoes with no force – just a nice pierce of the knife and no resistance when pulling the knife out. If the piercing of the potato needs the help of your finger to pull off the knife, cook until this process is achieved.

While you are waiting for your potatoes to become soft, mince your rosemary and garlic, and pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Using a colander, strain the potatoes and place in a mixing bowl for tossing. Add the rest of your ingredients and place potatoes in a large sauté pan. Allow 30-45 minutes cooking in the oven. If you desire a more crisp potato, cook for longer and add more butter. Butter is delicious! Serve with a rib eye steak or other desired dinner entree. Enjoy!


Continued on Next Page…

Yams & Spuds Continued…

Chef Ivan Flowers talks Turkey & Yams on Big Blend Radio!

Stuffed Yams Full of flavor, this recipe serves four, and is from 5-Star Chef Ivan Flowers. For more of Chef Flowers’ recipes in Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine, visit 4 large garnet yams 8 oz. unsalted butter ½ tbsp. granulated garlic ½ cup Parmesan 1 tbsp. sweet chili 1 cup shredded mozzarella 1 tsp. fresh Rosemary, finely chopped salt pepper 1 cup sour cream Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash yams and prick them with a fork. Place them on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 45 minutes, until they are soft. Remove from oven and let them cool at least 20 minutes. Turn oven down to 350. Once yams are cooled, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out ¾ of the cooked yam and place it in a large bowl. Reserve the skins.

Terri’s EZ Potato Casserole Perfect for busy families or get-togethers, this quick and easy casserole recipe is from Terri Bailey, co-owner of Bailey’s Palomar Resort on Palomar Mountain Southern California. Visit for more of Terri’s recipes. 24 oz. frozen hash browns (I use Southern Style) 2 cups sour cream 1 can cream of chicken or mushroom soup 1 stick or ½ cup butter-melted 1 tsp. salt 1 tbsp. minced onion 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese Corn flakes or French's fried onions

Add the garlic, butter, Parmesan, Rosemary and Thaw potatoes, take off excess water. Mix mozzarella to the scooped yams. Combine well together sour cream, soup and butter. Add salt, and then salt and pepper to taste. Now spoon onion and cheese, mix well. Blend in potato. mixture back into the reserved yam skins and Put mixture into a 2 qt. casserole dish or 10 X place on a baking sheet. Cook in the 350 degree oven about 15-20 minutes, until cheese is gooey. 13 pan, and top with crushed corn flakes or fried onions. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 Remove and serve with a dollop of ice cold sour minutes. cream. PAGE 49

Mary Kropelnicki, pastry chef and owner of The Bakery Gallery in Yerington, Nevada, is known for her super delicious baked goodies that range from creamy butter cookies to moist and rich brownies, mouth-watering pies and divine cakes. If you love brownies, you are going to absolutely love this brownie recipe from Mary! Beat together until a lemon color: 2 cups sugar 4 large eggs

Chef Mary Kropelnicki shares her brownie baking tips with Big Blend Radio!

Melt together: ½ lb. butter 4 Tbsp. shortening Add 1 cup of cocoa to butter mixture. Mix well. Add butter mixture to egg mixture. Add 1 cup flour, and 1 cup of chopped nuts or chocolate chips, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.


Two Tasty Recipes to Serve at your Next Shindig!

Easy Arugula Peanut Pesto Dip This flavorful dip recipe is from Leah Launey, innkeeper of Three Rivers Bed & Breakfast, as the gateway to Sequoia National Park in central California. 8 oz. unsalted dry roasted peanuts (or favorite nuts like almonds, walnuts, pecans) 1 large bunch fresh arugula leaves (may substitute fresh basil or kale leaves) 1 head of garlic (use less if you must, but the garlic provides such a great rich taste) grated Parmesan cheese fresh lemon juice

Listen to Donna George on Big Blend Radio!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies Blending the sweet with salty, this cookie recipe is from Donna George, owner of The Peanut Patch in Yuma, Arizona.

Buzz each ingredient except for the cheese and lemon juice, in your favorite blender or food processor.

Ritz crackers (as many as you need) 1 lb. of freshly ground peanut butter 8 oz. bag of chocolate bark

Stir in the cheese, and lemon juice, to taste. Store in air tight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Spread peanut butter on one Ritz cracker. Then top it with another cracker to make a cookie, and repeat until you’ve made as many cookies as desired.

Serve with crackers or a fresh vegetable tray. Enjoy!

Melt the chocolate bark completely. Dip cookies into chocolate, covering each cookie completely. Place cookies on wax paper and wait for them to harden. Serve and enjoy! PAGE 51

Listen to Jay Dini on Big Blend Radio!

DINI’S IRISH COFFEE Beat the winter chill with this traditional toddy, that has a Jay Dini twist! Jay is the co-owner of Dini’s Lucky Club Restaurant & Casino in Yerintgon, Nevada. Established in 1933, Dini’s Lucky Club is the oldest family owned casino in the state! See

Listen to Heather Witherington on Big Blend Radio!

YUMA CRIMINALS COOL-AID Cheer on the football season with this cocktail recipe from Heather Witherington that honors the Yuma Criminals High School Football Team! Heather is a mixologist at the Yuma Landing Bar & Grill in Yuma, Arizona that’s known for being the site where the first airplane landed in the state! For more recipes visit

Put one 1 tsp. or 1 cube of sugar into glass. Fill 2/3rds of the glass with hot coffee. Add 1 ¼ oz. of your favorite Irish whisky. Top with heavy whipping cream. Enjoy!

Build over ice in a tumbler: 1 Part Grape Vodka 1 Part Peach Schnapps Splash Triple Sec Splash Blue Curaco PAGE 52


KITCHEN, BAR & TO-GO Two Innovative Must-Haves! Say Hello to Stojo! Are you always on-the-go with your coffee or drink? What happens to your cup when you’re done? Holding hot or cold drinks, Stojo is a reusable and collapsible cup that’s made from mostly food-grade rated silicon and recyclable materials. After you’ve finished your favorite drink, just collapse it down into a disk and store in your pocket, bag, desk drawer or even your car glove box – it’s leak-proof, and will fit almost anywhere! Safe and eco-friendly, by using 1 Stojo cup you’re saving 500 disposable cups a year from piling up in landfills! Stojo comes in 2 sizes, is BPA-free, and is dishwasher and microwave safe!

Magic Opener Extreme! Tired of asking for help, breaking a nail or hurting your hands every time you try to open a bottle or can? The Magic Opener Extreme is an ergonomically designed 4-in-1 opener that makes it super easy to open traditional glass bottles, plastic bottles, pull-tab food cans, as well as soda and beer cans. It’s magnetic on the back so it can conveniently sit on your refrigerator door or even on your metal cooler, making it excellent for RV and boat travel, picnics and BBQs, tailgating parties, at your bar or even at the office! It’s magic!


Yuma Landing Bar & Grill Come Eat, Drink & Be Merry where the First Airplane Landed in Arizona! Hangar Sports Bar 24 Beers on Tap ~ Daily Drink Specials Appetizers & Entrees Televised Sports Events ~ Live Music & Entertainment

Captain’s Lounge Top-shelf Cocktails ~ Fine Wines ~ Specialty Coffees

Yuma Landing Restaurant American & South-of-the-Border Cuisine Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Win! Win! Win! Sign up on for our Captain’s Log e-Newsletter and you will be entered into our monthly drawing for a $25 Yuma Landing Gift Certificate, plus you'll get news on other great giveaways, specials, Yuma Landing recipes, events news & more! Located on the same property as the Historic Coronado Motor Hotel, the Yuma Landing Bar & Grill is the site where the first airplane landed in Arizona, and features a state monument, historic photos and memorabilia.

Groups of 15 or more diners get a 15% discount on breakfast, lunch and dinner. All Military Personnel Receive a 20% Discount on Meals!

195 S. 4th Avenue, Yuma, Arizona Tel: (928) 782-7427 PAGE 55

By Marilee Strech

A rockhound is a geology enthusiast who enjoys collecting rocks, minerals and gemstones as found in their natural state. Children who collect rocks along with their elders, are often called a "pebble puppy". For me, it is hard to think of a better, more healthful hobby, that can be participated by folks of all ages and interests. There are many kinds of rocks to collect, from gold to garnets, from granite to gneiss, from fossils to fluorescents. Rockhounding also encompasses the study of chemistry, crystallography, geology, metalsmithing, jewelry making and lapidary, to name just a few. We use rocks in our daily lives as ingredients in toothpaste, paint, food products and pharmaceuticals. The White Knob Quarry in Lucerne Valley, California is the source of the majority of the high quality calcite used in these industrial applications. We drive on rocks whenever we use a paved road or a concrete highway, enjoying a smooth ride as well as the beautiful scenery around us.

People are collectors by nature, whether it be books, songs, travel destinations, toys, games, shells, antiques, rocks, or good friends. Those of us who like to collect rocks have found a way to collect several things at once---- fond memories of great trips taken with good friends, as well as wonderful rock specimens. You might want to specialize and collect only gemstones such as sapphires, emeralds, rubies and diamonds, but you sure would be limiting your scope while making a huge hole in your pocketbook! Some people only collect quartz, which comes in many forms and colors, and includes amethyst, citrine, rose, smoky agate, chert, and jasper. It is found in caves and geodes, all over the United States, probably even in your own backyard, making it fairly easy to amass a large collection in a short time. Most people are familiar with Arizona petrified wood, with its beautiful purple, yellow and red agate. You can also find petrified wood at the Escalante Petrified Forest in Utah. If you check with the BLM office in Escalante, they may be able to direct you to a public area where you can collect some of this wood turned into agate. Rockhounds usually take some collecting tools with them when out in the field, to make the job easier. Continued on Next Page‌


Rockhounding 101 Continued… You could use the specialized rock hammers, gads and chisels that are available in stores and online, or you could go to a hardware store and purchase the standard tools such as picks, small shovels, pry bars, stonemason hammers----you get the idea----and save some money for the guide books and maps you will need in your quest.

If you are new to the hobby and really want to get educated quickly about the ins-and-outs of rockhounding, you should join your local Gem and Mineral Society or Lapidary Society, if you have one in your area. You could also take some classes at a junior college such as jewelry arts or geology---chances are, you will find some knowledgeable rockhounds there too.

Perhaps you just want to collect beach stones for “The Gem Trail” series by James Mitchell is useful collages or landscape rock for your yard---that too is part of rockhounding. There are in getting educated about the hobby as well as for finding good collecting sites in your area. The interesting rocks of all colors to be found at the beach or in riverbeds, gravel bars and lakes, as series is printed by Gem Guides Publishing Co., and are readily available in bookstores or online. well as roadsides and quarries. Whatever it is that catches your interest and imagination, you There is also the Falcon Guide series of similar will find that other people have probably had the books such as "Rockhounding California" and same interests in the past---you can do an online "Rockhounding Colorado" by other writers such search for information pertinent to your as Gerry Blair and Gail Butler. They are also excellent and full of tips, information, maps and interests which will save you lots of time, allowing you to skip some of that "learning pictures to help you with your hobby. If you do some searching, you might be able to find some curve" and take advantage of all that knowledge just ready for the taking! of the older publications from the 1960's and 1970's such as "Desert Gem Trails" by Mary Frances Strong or the "Gem Hunter's Atlas" series of books by H.Cyril Johnson. An avid rockhound, Marilee Strech owns Crossroads The Western States are well covered by a Treasures, a gift shop that number of rock guide books, while the Midwest features a variety of rocks and East and South are mainly covered by guides gems, beads and jewelry, that list fee dig sites. North Carolina in particular plants and books, and is just has collecting sites for most of the precious down the hill from Julian, a stones, while Arkansas is favored by having the popular mountain destination only known dig site for diamonds in the United Southern California. Visit States---Crater of Diamonds State Park. PAGE 57

Online Ads Make it Easier than Ever to Buy Exotic Animals Born Free USA Releases New Eye-Opening Report, Downloading Cruelty: An Investigation into the Online Sales of Exotic Pets in the U.S.

"Online ads have made the dangerous and cruel exotic pet trade easier than ever before. People are purchasing 'pet' monkeys, tigers, wolves, snakes, and more with one quick click." – Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, released a new report exposing the rampant online trade of exotic animals as "pets" such as monkeys, lions, tigers, cheetahs, wolves, kangaroos, foxes, snakes, sloths, and more. Downloading Cruelty: An Investigation into the Online Sales of Exotic Pets in the U.S. analyzes the shocking numbers of these animals for sale online, and looks at how easy it is to purchase potentially dangerous species.

Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, talks with Big Blend Radio about Online Exotic Pet Trade. While the majority of the approximately 80 million pet-owning households in the U.S. have a dog or cat, an estimated 15,000 primates (chimpanzees, capuchins, lemurs, marmosets, and more), 10,000-20,000 big cats (tigers, lions, cheetahs, and others), 13.3 million small mammals (kinkajous, sugar gliders, and others), and 9.3 million reptiles (including snakes and turtles) are owned in homes across the nation as "pets." Continued on Next Page‌


Downloading Cruelty Continued‌ Despite these risks, neither federal nor most state laws adequately prevent the widespread sale of exotic animals by breeders and owners, nor do they set forth requirements for speciesspecific information that must be shared in the transaction. Sellers are not required to disclose crucial health or behavior information, and buyers are not required to demonstrate an understanding of how to care for the animal. The fundamental lack of oversight and enforcement, coupled with ease of availability due to the internet, has created a scenario in which millions of dangerous animals are being bred, shipped, and purchased around the U.S. The public is largely unaware of the dangers this trade poses, and millions of animals are suffering and dying in the process. - Advice on animal care and welfare is almost entirely lacking. Most ads did not provide any history of the animal, give information on the animal's health or behavior, or offer any instructions for care.

The report reviewed nearly 2,000 online classified ads during a three-month period (March-June 2016) across four different websites (,,, and Report highlights include: - The volume of advertised animals is shocking. At least 3,706 individual exotic animals were listed for sale over three months.

- The welfare of most animals advertised was not a priority. Some individuals for sale were kept in isolation or were reported as being injured. Ads also offered animals as "swaps" or "quick sales."

- The exotic pet trade is taking place across the nation and crisscrosses state lines. The locations of the ads showed sellers in 49 states and Washington, D.C.

- Safety was overlooked by the sellers. Despite all of these animals being unsuitable for a home, and most posing a potential danger to humans, only nine ads out of the nearly 2,000 ads warned that the animal could pose any sort of risk to the buyer.

- The breakdown of species for sale revealed a thriving trade in highly diverse species: 603 primates, 335 exotic cats, 439 canids, 263 snakes, and many others.

For the complete report, go to

- Exotic pet breeders churn out baby animals for profit. Juvenile animals (under one year of age) were the most popular, with 2,039 (55% of total animals) listed for sale.

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic 'pets,' trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. More at


Big Blend Radio Interviews Focusing on Wildlife Conservation, Climate Change and Environmental Health BEYOND DIRTY FUELS Lena Moffitt, the Sierra Club Director of Beyond Dirty Fuels, talks with Big Blend Radio about taking environmental action steps for 2017, along with the toxic issues of fracking, big oil, the Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone Pipeline, and the economic and environmental benefits of the solar and clean energy industry. Visit Continued on Next Page‌


Environmental Tightrope Continued…

WILDLIFE CONSERVATION & CLIMATE CHANGE Special post-election Big Blend Radio discussion on action steps in 2017 for wildlife protection, the environment and mitigation of climate change. Featured guests include: Adam M. Roberts – CEO of Born Free USA animal advocacy and wildlife conservation organization (, and Les McCabe - President & CEO of Global Green USA environmental conservation organization (

CHEMICAL EFFECT OF BPA Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used in many consumer products including water bottles, metal food storage products and certain resins. Often, aquatic environments such as rivers and streams become reservoirs for BPA, affecting turtle habitats. Last year, a team of researchers led by the University of Missouri determined that BPA can disrupt sexual function in painted turtles, causing males to develop female sex organs. Now, the team has shown that BPA also can induce behavioral changes in turtles, reprogramming male turtle brains to show behavior common in females. Researchers worry this could lead to population declines in painted turtles.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Dr. Cheryl Rosenfeld, the primary investigator on the study “BPA Can Disrupt Sexual Function in Turtles, Could be a Warning for Environmental Health.”

Dr. Cheryl Rosenfeld, the primary investigator on the study “BPA Can Disrupt Sexual Function in Turtles, Could be a Warning for Environmental Health”, talked with Big Blend Radio about the harmful effects of BPA, as well as global environmental health issues. Cheryl is an associate professor of biomedical sciences in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine and an investigator in the Bond Life Sciences Center. PAGE 61

By Bobbi DePorter I feel fortunate to have three people who stand out in my life as valued mentors. To me, mentors are people I resonate with at a deep level, people who inspire me to be my best self, and ultimately give me direction in life. Here are the three people I look to as my mentors: Chungliang Al Huang, a Tai Ji master who performs on world stages, and is an international authority on the Tao.

Bobbi DePorter discusses Mentorship on Big Blend Radio.

I have the good fortunate to call him my friend, and have told him I view him as my mentor. Sometime after I began studying with him, he wrote a book (he has several best-selling books) titled Mentoring: The Tao of Giving and Receiving Wisdom. In it he writes that the term mentor dates back to ancient Greece when Odysseus first entrusted his friend Mentor with the education of his son. I find it fascinating that mentoring was referred to so long ago.

Dr. Georgi Lozanov, a Bulgarian scientist, neurologist, and educator who is considered the originator of accelerated learning. Research on the effectiveness of his methodology was filed with UNESCO who called it a “superior teaching method.” Continued on Next Page…


Mentoring Continued…. I had the good fortune to hear of his work and in 1979 invited him to come to California, where he taught his methodology to a small group in my home. I immediately applied it to our programs and consider this a turning point in my life and work. Much later, Dr. Lozanov asked me for a report on my application of his methods over the last 30 years, which was then included in his updated report to UNESCO’s Education for All. R. Buckminster Fuller, considered by many to be the 20th century Leonardo da Vinci. His life is an example of what one man can achieve when he has a clear intention and commitment. Bucky was committed to making the world work for everyone. Best known for the geodesic dome and the concept of dymaxion—increasing performance using fewer materials, or doing more with less—Bucky is a prime example of unwavering commitment. I spent much time with Bucky over the last seven years of his life, and I consider his principles and teachings foundational to our programs and teaching methods.

Bobbi DePorter with ‘Bucky’ Huang has said, “Learning and teaching are exchanged joyfully through deep listening and mutual appreciation.” All reinforce the importance of creating safe and joyful environments for people to learn and grow.

I met all of my mentors in the late 1970s, a time when I was formulating the direction of my life. Looking back, it now feels like divine intervention. There are mentors in all of our lives. Recognizing them is about being aware and seeing the opportunities and the potential I contributed a chapter to impact that certain people could have on our a book, A Fuller View, by lives. It’s about reaching out and exploring. It’s L. Steven Sieden, on about realizing when someone affects us or Bucky’s life and teachings, appeals to us on a personal or emotional level. titled “Environment is stronger than will.” One It’s wise for all of us to reflect on possible of Bucky’s many quotes mentors in our lives . . . Who is out there who is, “I would never try to resonates with me and might be a mentor for me? reform man—that’s much And then, considering Huang’s writing in too difficult. What I would Mentoring: The Tao of Giving and Receiving Wisdom, do was to try to modify that mentoring is the crossroads in life where the environment in such what you have to offer meets the needs of a way as to get man another, we can ask ourselves I wonder who moving in preferred directions.” I see the impact might view me as a mentor? of each of my mentors intertwined in my Quantum Learning teaching and learning Bobbi DePorter is the President of SuperCamp methods, which at its core is creating positive, and Quantum Learning Network, a U.S.-based engaging, nurturing environments for learning. educational firm producing programs for As Bucky would say, create the environment that students, teachers, schools, and organizations results in people transforming themselves. And across the United States and worldwide. With at the heart of Lozanov’s accelerated learning over 64,000 graduates, SuperCamp is the methods is creating safe and joyous leading academic summer camp in the world. environments that support learning. Visit PAGE 63

by Linda Egenes

Stone bas relief at Banteay Srei in Cambodia, GNU

When writing a retelling of the Ramayana— an ancient epic that is considered a spiritual guide to over one billion people living in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand and Bali today—I found it was having a transforming effect on my own life. The Ramayana is the most widely read epic in history, partly because it’s a gripping story. The central figure is the prince Rama, who is unjustly banished to the forest for 14 years on the very day he is to be crowned king. His faithful wife Sita and his devoted brother Lakshmana follow him, and the three encounter friends and foes— from forest sages to horrific demons to flying monkeys and wise bears. When his beautiful wife, Sita, is captured by the demon king, Rama must battle armies of demons to retrieve her, and in the process liberates the earth from darkness.

Linda Egenes chats with Big Blend Radio about The Ramayana!

For example, Rama demonstrates ideal behavior in many different relationships—as a son, husband, brother, ruler, student, friend, and enemy. Even as a child, the enlightened Rama is beloved by all for his gentle, truthful and The Ramayana has been described as the original benevolent nature. epic quest—something like Star Wars and Romeo and Juliet all rolled into one. Yet its Continued on Next Page… spiritual wisdom goes much deeper. PAGE 64

Sita at Ashokavana. Public Domain

The Ramayana Continued… “Rama is delightful to gaze upon, like the full moon,/mighty, like the ocean,/firmly established in silence, like the Himalaya./Like the earth, he is patient/and devoted to the welfare of all.” Both Rama and Sita have been adored throughout time because even when pressed to their limits, they demonstrate tolerance, compassion and forgiveness to friend and foe alike. Here are four lessons that I learned over the course of 19 years of writing The Ramayana: A New Retelling of Valmiki’s Ancient Epic—Complete and Comprehensive, with my co-author Kumuda Reddy, M.D. Tolerance As royalty, Rama and Sita are at the highest strata of their society. Yet they treat every person they meet, and even creatures of other species, as they would their own brother or sister. When a giant vulture (considered the lowliest of birds) loses his life trying to save Sita from being captured, Rama performs his funeral rites as he would for his own father.

Rama welcomes as an ally the brother of the demon king, who has fled his brother’s kingdom. By embracing all races, species and forms of life on the earth with love, Rama and Sita set a tremendous example of tolerance and respect that I find inspiring in our divided world today. Perseverance Throughout the story, there are many instances when a character first despairs but eventually perseveres and reaches the goal. In one instance, the great flying monkey Hanuman leaps over the vast ocean to search for Sita in the demon kingdom of Lanka. But having searched every nook and cranny without finding her, he sinks into dark thoughts, but before long, his usual equanimity begins to restore itself. “Perseverance is the source of success and happiness,” he tells himself. “I will search the places I have not yet searched.” Anyone who has written a book or raised a child or embarked on any creative project knows that there are times when you feel you are not up to the task, that you can’t continue another moment. Continued on Next Page…


The virtuous are compassionate to all, even criminals who are sentenced to death. For who is so perfect that he can say he is without fault?” Forgiveness And of course, compassion leads to forgiveness. Rama is incredibly forgiving to everyone he meets, including his enemies. One of the most telling moments of the story happens at the climax of the story when he finally destroys Ravana, his greatest enemy. Rather than exulting in this amazing feat, Rama quietly consoles Ravana’s brother Vibhishana by saying, “Death quells all enmity. We have achieved our purpose. Perform his rights with honor, for he is as dear to me as he is to you.”

Rama and Sita, with Hanuman, and Rama's three brothers Lakshmana, Bharata, and Shatrughna. Public Domain.

I think of this line whenever I’m confronted with the kind of prickly situations that can happen to us human beings. I may feel that I’ve been treated unjustly, but at the same time I remember that ultimately there is no such thing as an enemy—that all our fellow humans are, in reality, as dear to us as our own self.

The Ramayana Continued… Through the 19 years that we worked on this manuscript, there were many times that I despaired that it would ever find a publisher. Yet when I remembered Rama and Sita and Hanuman, I realized that I just needed to continue, and the right publisher would be there once the manuscript was ready. And that is exactly what happened. Compassion There are man examples of Rama and Sita’s compassion throughout the story, but this one went deepest for me. At the end of the story, when Sita is finally released from captivity, a friend suggests that the demon women guards, who have tormented her for months, should be put to death.

Co-authors Kumuda Reddy and Linda Egenes Linda Egenes is the author of six books and over 500 articles on healthy living. Her latest book, co-authored with Kumuda Reddy, “The Ramayana: A New Retelling of Valmiki’s Ancient Epic: Complete and Comprehensive”, was released by TarcherPerigee in Sept. 2016. Learn more about Linda’s books and writing at

But Sita says, “It would be wrong to punish these women, because they are slaves who must follow the orders of their ruler, and some have been kind to me . . . . It is never right to answer evil with evil. The jewel of the virtuous is their good conduct. PAGE 66

Most of us have a habitual way of thinking that we have developed over our lifetimes. And many times, these ingrained thought patterns directly impact our emotional well-being. Yet, what we often fail to realize is that it is possible to improve our mood by changing our habits. In FINDING THE BLUE SKY: A Mindful Approach to Choosing Happiness Here and Now (a TarcherPerigee paperback), Dharma teacher and author Joseph Emet (Buddha’s Book of Meditation) asserts that we can cultivate happiness by replacing our negative thought processes with positive ones. Acknowledging that sorrow and suffering should be embraced as a natural part of life, the author shows readers how to use multiple mindfulness techniques to foster happiness even when life is far from perfect. These practices will help readers to: • Retell their personal narrative • Incorporate moments of pleasure into each day • Identify and omit the destructive habits that we assume will bring us happiness • Understand how emotional states impact the way we experience the world • Determine real needs from wants, and learn how to express them • Counteract the daily indoctrination of the media • Practice mindful laziness • Experience agelessness by being in the moment

A Mindful Approach to Choosing Happiness Here and Now Big Blend Radio interview with author and beloved Dharma teacher Joseph Emet.

Listen to Joseph Emet on Big Blend Radio!

With guided meditations, exercises for developing beneficial habits, and timeless wisdom from Buddhist masters, FINDING THE BLUE SKY is a compassionate guide full of practical advice for anyone seeking to live a more joyful and purposeful life.

JOSEPH EMET trained with Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh at Plum Village in France and was made a Dharma teacher in Thich Nhat Hanh's tradition. He has a doctorate in music from Boston University and is the author of Buddha's Book of Sleep (winner of the 2013 COVR Award for Book of the Year), Buddha's Book of Stress Reduction, and Buddha's Book of Meditation. The founder of the Mindfulness Meditation Centre in Montreal, Emet lives in Pointe-Claire, Canada. Visit PAGE 67

WOMEN & HEART DISEASE Big Blend Radio interview with Dr. Jacqueline Eubany, a board-certified cardiologist and electrophysiologist, and author of “Women and Heart Disease: The Real Story.”

Listen to Dr. Jackie on Big Blend Radio!

Heart disease remains the number one killer of women in the United States, killing more women than breast and lung cancer combined. Silence is one of the most deadly aspects of women's heart disease, and Dr. Jackie makes that point in her concise, accessible book, Women and Heart Disease: The Real Story. Through anecdotes and friendly, jargon-free advice, Dr. Jackie tells readers how to reduce their risk by up to 80%, how to recognize a heart attack earlier, and how to make the healthiest choices for your heart and your loved ones. Dr. Jackie’s 5 Heart Healthy Tips for the Holidays: 1. You don’t have to starve yourself to avoid weight gain. Eat during family meal times but try to pick healthier choices. To prevent overindulging, pile your plate with fruits and vegetables, saving a little room for your holiday favorites. 2. Ring in the New Year with alcohol in moderation. Moderate drinking is 2 drinks per day for men and one drink a day for women. Your choices include a 12 Oz serving of beer, or a 5 Oz glass of wine, or a 1.5 Oz shot of 80 proof spirit, or a 1.5 Oz shot of 100 proof spirit.

3. Remain active. The holidays tend to be busy with little time to go to the gym. That’s okay, you can get back to your regular exercise regime after the holidays when you are not as busy. In the meantime, you can increase your physical activity with your routine chores like power walking while shopping with a basket, doing heavy household cleaning, or taking the stairs instead of the elevators. 4. Manage stress. The holidays tend to be pretty stressful. Remember to take time out to do your regularly scheduled stress relieving activity like yoga, tai chi, meditation, or creating art. 5. Nothing is better than a good night’s rest. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep. The more well rested you are, the more likely you are to engage in mindful eating, and the less likely you are to overeat and gain weight. Dr. Jackie attended the University of California Riverside and Boston University School of Medicine. She joined the United States Navy to complete her medical training, and served for twelve years. She was inducted as a fellow in the prestigious American College of Cardiology, and in the Heart Rhythm Society. An active member in other distinguished societies, Dr. Jackie also serves on several advisory boards related to heart disease.


REIMAGINING WOMEN’S CANCERS The Power Of Celebrity And Public Awareness In Changing Cancer Outcomes Big Blend Radio interview with Dr. Mark Boguski, Dr. Michele Berman and David Tabatsky, co-authors of “Reimagining Women’s Cancers.”

Listen to Dr. Mark Boguski, Dr. Michele Berman and David Tabatsky on Big Blend Radio.

In this first book of their Reimagining Cancer series, doctors Mark Boguski and Michele Berman team with writer David Tabatsky to provide celebrity stories focusing on cancer of the breasts, ovaries, uterus, cervix, vagina and vulva.

To provide readers with critical information to help them manage, cope, and recover from illness, Reimagining Women's Cancers is written in Cancer doesn't have to be a death sentence. The an easy-to-read style and format. Each chapter get-out-of-cancer-free card? Prevention through begins with basic anatomy concerning each information. The recent World Cancer Report cancer, followed by an overview of how we view from the World Health Organization states that a particular cancer today. The chapters flow about half of all cancers are preventable and can easily into an explanation of signs, symptoms, diagnoses, scientific information and guidelines, be avoided if current medical knowledge is and end on comprehensive surveys for better delivered. From People magazine, with a treatments and prevention. Woven throughout readership of 43 million to Internet sites like are stories, both medical and anecdotal, from with over 80 million monthly views, women such as Angelina Jolie, Joan Lunden, celebrity information not only sells, it has the Melissa Etheridge, Sandra Lee, Rita Wilson, ability to educate about important issues–– Christina Applegate, and Suzanne Somers. including cancer. Every 23 seconds someone in America is Whether readers are currently patients or diagnosed with cancer. Education is the key, and by using clear and concise information by means consumers wanting to be better informed, of celebrity stories, Reimagining Women's Cancers Reimagining Women's Cancers exemplifies that can teach countless readers who might information is empowering. Reading about a otherwise not pay attention to an epidemic likely famous person coping with cancer can not only to affect them or a loved one. be inspiring, it can save a life. Learn more at PAGE 69

FAMILY READING: 3 Children’s Books that Educate & Entertain!

Sandra V. Feder talks about ‘ The Moon Inside’ on Big Blend Radio!

She’s also a big believer in celebrating the natural creativity children have, so that the wonderful imaginations they possess when they are young can still be accessed when they are older and more afraid of final exams than the dark.

THE MOON INSIDE Author Sandra V. Feder Helps Children with their Fear of the Dark Nearly all children go through a phase of being afraid of the dark. Fear of the dark often occurs for a specific age group of children, because the child is old enough to have an active imagination but not yet old enough to separate fantasy from reality. During winter, young children will be spending more of their awake hours in the dark, and like Ella in Sandra Feder’s The Moon Inside, this can be disconcerting for a child who is afraid of the dark, not to mention an exhausted parent who is trying to convince the same child that it’s time to turn off lights and go to sleep. The Moon Inside, a beautifully illustrated picture book, gives children the tools to embrace the nighttime rather than fear it. Parents who have adopted lengthy bedtime rituals to help soothe and settle their children will find The Moon Inside a helpful way to empower their children to begin to learn to soothe themselves, eventually finding beauty in the darkness. Author of the popular Daisy series of children’s books, Sandra has learned that helping children embrace new parts of their worlds at a young age is important for their continued development.


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FAMILY READING: 3 Children’s Books that Educate & Entertain!

Mary Mager discusses ‘Pretend Princess’ and her CD ‘On Grandma’s Lap: Lullabies and Bedtime Songs’ on Big Blend Radio!

Family Reading Continued…

PRETEND PRINCESS An Upside Down Fairy Tale by Mary Mager What can King Bartholomew do to ease the loneliness of his young wife, Queen Gabrielle, who longs for a child of her own? Borrow one, of course! Little Olive becomes the Queen's companion, growing up with one foot in a cottage and the other in a palace. Making new friends and having adventures in this new world, Olive discovers a life she never imagined while dealing with jealous classmates and a scheming, chin-whiskered lady-in-waiting. Olive learns that love has many faces when the King and Queen have a baby of their own. Pretend Princess turns the traditional fairy tale upside down. There are no magic mirrors or spells here, just the power of love and friendship as a young girl finds herself to be a true princess, regardless of humble beginnings. Full of humor and warmth, children will love this gentle tale of adventure and friendship. Pretend Princess is illustrated chapter book for middle grades, age 8 and up. Younger children will love it, too, as a bedtime story. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 71

FAMILY READING: 3 Children’s Books that Educate & Entertain! Mark Thiessen talks about ‘Extreme Wildfire’ on Big Blend Radio!

Featuring Thiessen's adrenaline-filled firstperson narrative and breathtaking photographs, readers can almost feel the impending heat and experience what it's like to work side-by-side with the heroes who keep the world's forests and their inhabitants safe.


In one moment, there’s a simple spark, and then roaring flames surge 200 feet into the air, devouring forests. Trees, from root to canopy, are burned to the ground. Airtankers and helicopters hover above, executing an air attack. Brave firefighters, equipped with flame resistant suits, leap from helicopters onto the treetops and descend to the blazing forest floor.

Smoke Jumpers, High-Tech Gear, Survival Tactics, and the Extraordinary Science of Fire! In this book, young readers will learn about the ecological impacts of wildfires, the ins and outs of fire science including tactics for prevention Renowned National Geographic photographer and containment, cutting-edge technology used and wildfire expert Mark Thiessen brings the to track wildfires and predict fire behavior, and reader right into the flames with Extreme about the impressive skill, survival tactics, and Wildfire: Smoke Jumpers, High-Tech Gear, bravery required to control a wildfire. Survival Tactics and the Extraordinary Science of Fire (ages 8-12). Extreme Wildfire has practical advice for novices to handle fires including: How to prepare, what to do while a fire is happening, and what to do after it happens; how to reduce your home’s risk of going up in flames if you live in a region vulnerable to fires; and how to survive if you can’t escape a fire.



Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Boris Novosel, President of BR Naturals.

Truly All-Natural Bath & Body Products Compiled and tested by Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith We are what we eat, and we are what we put on our skin. After all, it’s our largest organ. Finding truly all-natural and organic bath, body and beauty products are difficult to find, so when we discovered and tried various products from Canadian-based BR Naturals, we were thrilled! As their mission statement, says: “We are dedicated to creating products that are healthy and good for you, that smell good, and have ingredients that are ethically-sourced. Our products don't contain synthetic preservatives, chemicals, are vegan and are as healthy for you as possible.” Their products include: aromatherapy, beard oil, beauty oils, body butter and lotion bars, avocado oil for cooking, essential oils, soap bars, liquid soap and lip balm. We tried their lemongrass and peppermint liquid soaps, mango papaya bar soap, vanilla lotion bar, green apple and cucumber lip balms, and their avocado oil.

Their liquid and bar soaps have a wonderful natural fragrance and leave your body refreshed, the vanilla lotion bar smells delightful and is soothing to the skin, and their lip balms are fantastic. We’re hooked on using their avocado oil for cooking and on salads! Boris Novosel, President of BR Naturals, joined us on Big Blend Radio where he not only discussed the company’s rock-star products, but also how they are processed, are eco-friendly and cruelty-free, and crafted using only the finest natural, and organic ingredients. They grow their own organic, pesticide and herbicide-free fruits, herbs and plants on their farms in Yucatán, México. This is also where they process their own oils, essential oils and plant extracts. Learn more and shop online at


By S. Ward Heinrichs, Esq., Backstrom & Heinrichs, Attorneys at Law, APC Unless otherwise stated, the laws below will go into effect on January 1, 2017 Minimum Wage Increase The Minimum Wage continues to increase. Depending on where you live, Federal, State, and Municipal laws may all require minimum wage increases. In California, for employers who have 26 or more employees, the state minimum wage will increase to $10.50 per hour on January 1, 2017. In San Diego, California, the minimum wage for all employers will increase to $11.50 per hour on January 1. The Federal Minimum Wage will not change for now, but one aspect of it will. On December 1, 2016, the minimum salary for exempt employees will more than double to $47,476.00 per year. That means, all exempt employees throughout the nation must make a minimum of $913 per week. But, a judge in Texas will issue a ruling on November 22, 2016 as to whether the law will go into effect on December 1.

Listen to Ward Heinrichs talk about New California Labor Laws for 2017, on Big Blend Radio.

California requires the minimum salary for exempt employees to be twice the state minimum wage level, so, the San Diego minimum salary for exempt employees will be twice the California minimum wage of $10.50 per hour rather than the San Diego minimum wage. That means the minimum salary for all exempt employees in California will be $43,680.00 per year. In other words, the higher minimum wage in San Diego will not affect the minimum salary requirement for exempt employees.

Workers generally get the benefit of the largest minimum wage rate among Federal, State, or Municipal law. For instance, in San Diego, employees are entitled to make $11.50 per hour starting on January 1, 2017. PAGE 74

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California Labor Laws Continued… If the Labor Commissioner files a citation against an employer for not paying Minimum Wage and the employer appeals (writ of mandate) a finding by the Labor Commissioner, the employer must now post a bond equal to the amount of unpaid wages and liquidated damages. If the employer loses the appeal, then the employee will receive the bond amount, unless the employer pays the amount the court determines that employer owes within 10 days. Agricultural Overtime Agricultural workers in California receive Overtime premium pay after completing 10 hours of work in a day. The new law will require employers, who employ more than 25 workers, to pay Overtime after 8 hours of work starting in 2022. In 2019, the amount of time required to work before Overtime must be paid will drop to 9.5 hours a day. After that, the amount of time worked will drop a half hour each year until it reaches 8 hours per day in 2022. Fair Pay Act Last year, California overhauled the Fair Pay Act under Labor Code §1197.5 to bar retaliation for making a Fair Pay Act claim and broadened the definition of “unequal pay” to make it easier for employees to prove unequal gender pay. This year, the law changed again to make clear that past salary, by itself, cannot justify lower pay. In addition, the law will now allow employees to make Fair Pay Act claims based on differences in pay between employees of different races and ethnicities, not just between different genders. Choice of Law and Forum Selection Clauses California Labor Code §925, a new code section that will go into effect on January 1, 2017, prevents employment contracts from requiring workers who live and work in California to litigate or arbitrate their claims outside of California. Further, it prevents those contracts from designating state law, other than California law, from applying. This will probably effect out of state employers who employ California workers the most.

Often, those employers have special handbook provisions or special employment contracts for California workers. Those types of provisions and contracts require the employee to file claims outside the state and/or apply the law of another state. Often those venues and laws disfavor the employee. Labor Code §925 will allow California employees to file claims in California under California law. One wonders whether this law could violate the Federal Arbitration Act. Time will tell. Single User Restrooms California did not want to be left out of the restroom gender discrimination controversy. Its new law forbids single-user restrooms from being labeled as a restroom for a particular gender. A single-user restroom is a toilet facility with no more than one water closet and one urinal with a locking mechanism that is controlled by the user. Continued on Next Page …


California Labor Laws Continued… Uber and Lyft must do National Criminal Background Checks Uber and Lyft are “Transportation Network Companies” and those companies who employ California workers will now be required to perform local and national criminal background checks for drivers who use ride share platforms to get customers. Additionally, the law bars drivers with certain types of convictions or criminal history from driving for the companies. Those convictions and histories include: current registration on the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Sex Offender website, convictions for violent felonies, convictions of some terrorist related crimes, and misdemeanors for assault, battery, domestic violence, or driving under the influence that have happened within the last seven years.

Paid Family Leave (PFL) and State Disability Insurance (SDI) On January 1, 2018, the rates for both PFL and SDI will increase from 55% to 60% or 70%, depending on the wage rate of the recipient, but those maximum rates cannot increase beyond the level set for weekly Workers’ Compensation Temporary Disability indemnity. The minimum amount for PFL and SDI will be $50 per week. PFL covers time off for caring for a seriously ill family member and for bonding with a new child. Ward Heinrichs is a shareholder and named partner of the San Diego based employment law firm, Backstrom & Heinrichs, Attorneys at Law, APC. The firm represents both employers and employees in almost all areas of labor law. He and his firm litigate cases that have been filed in many different parts of California. Visit


Big Blend Radio interview with Ralph Masengill about his book ‘Conquer Change & Win.’

Meet Ralph Masengill Jr., One of the Original Change Agents in the USA! Every one of us is constantly affected by change. Change never stops, and whether it's positive change or not, our first reaction is usually fear. The truly successful people of the world have a good understanding of change and how to make it work to their advantage. Ralph Masengill, Jr, is the author of “Conquer Change and Win”. In addition to a complete understanding of change and how to use that knowledge to make yourself a winner every time, you will find in this fascinating book: - 100 plus ways to more Happiness and Wealth - 32 ways to be a more likeable leader - 30 ways to beat Fear - 15 steps to help you always make the right decision - 25 better ways to motivate others to your way of thinking

Big Blend Radio interview with Ralph Masengill about Dealing with PostElection Changes.

Secondly, they have learned how change affects their emotions and how to overcome the fear of change. Masengill's life story is one of personal challenge, tragedy, and triumph. His professional career has been defined by great success in both the private and public sectors. His agency, Masengill Marketing Associates, has won over 850 national and regional advertising and marketing awards.

He is one of the original change agents in the United States. Conquer Change and Win, is an easy-to-read, fun book about the serious subject of change. Ralph also joined a select group of business experts and entrepreneurs from That is just the beginning of the wealth of around the world, including Brian Tracy, to coknowledge you will find in this exciting book on write the book, “Beat The Curve: The World’s change and how to conquer it. Leading Entrepreneurs and Professionals Reveal In forty-plus years as a consultant, coach, advisor Their Secrets To Outperforming The Status Quo in Health, Wealth and Success.” and public relations strategist, Masengill has observed that successful people share two Learn more at characteristics. First, they are willing to take a calculated risk and endorse positive change on a regular basis. PAGE 77

LEADERSHIP & SUPERVISION Listen to the Big Blend Radio interviews with expert authors Cynthia M. Ruiz and Rita Sever, who share their advice on how to be powerful and successful leaders, both professionally and personally. Big Blend Radio interview with Cynthia M. Ruiz.

CHEROKEE WISDON Big Blend Radio interview with Cynthia M. Ruiz

Cynthia is proud to come from blended cultures and feels she takes the best from both worlds, Latina and Native American. She has been In her second book “Cherokee Wisdom: 12 Lessons to Become a Powerful Leader,” Cynthia M. known to say “I get my passion for life from my Mexican side and my spirituality and respect for Ruiz reveals previously concealed knowledge based on her Cherokee heritage. As a leadership the environment from my Cherokee roots.” expert and inspirational speaker, she came to the realization that the wisdom she gained from Cynthia has received over 50 awards and accolades for her leadership and philanthropy. her ancestors was missing today and could not only be applied successfully in the modern world The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has named her a “Woman of Distinction” and she but that it offers a solution to many of today’s appeared in Discover the Gift with the Dalai Lama, modern dilemmas. She believes that each of us has the ability to be leaders in our daily lives and Michael Bernard Beckwith and Jack Canfield. that this ancient wisdom is key in helping to elicit Cynthia has a Master’s Degree in counseling and has worked with people her entire life. Her that personal power that all leaders possess. These ancient lessons can also serve to help message of “Anything is Possible” helps people unlock the individual leadership style of the reach their dreams and live their authentic lives. reader. Visit PAGE 78

SUPERVISION MATTERS Big Blend Radio interview with Rita Sever Supervision is a critical function of leadership that is often overlooked, and yet the quality of supervision is often what makes or breaks a leader—and an organization. Supervision Matters by Rita Sever, is full of bite-size ideas for how to become a more effective supervisor. The book includes advice on how to be clear about expectations, giving helpful feedback, manage yourself, and more. Each chapter is structured around how you approach a part of your work as a supervisor: how you talk, how you think about others, how you run meetings, how you lead, and more. Whether you’re a front-line supervisor or a CEO, ‘Supervision Matters’ will help you sharpen your skills and improve morale by transforming your supervision skills into userfriendly tactics that work.

Big Blend Radio interview with Rita Sever.

Sever worked as an HR Director for more than 20 years before she started her consulting practice, Supervision Matters. She has an MA in organizational psychology and is a professional coach. She has taught at the University of San Francisco and Sonoma State University in California, and has published a monthly Rita Sever works with individuals, teams, leaders, newsletter entitled Matters of Supervision for over and organizations to improve the culture and ten years. Visit practice of supervision, thereby helping the organization to be more effective. PAGE 79

MOTORCYCLE INDUSTRY INSIDER Mike Corbin: Inventor, Manufacturer & Founder of Corbin Mike Corbin founded Corbin in 1968, a company known for manufacturing America’s original custom motorcycle saddle, as well as body components, fairings and saddlebags. With more seat applications across more brands and models than any other motorcycle seat maker, Corbin’s products are hand built in the USA using proprietary, purpose built materials and patented manufacturing processes. Corbin's factory is located in the historic town of Hollister in central California, an area known as “The Birthplace of the American Biker.” Corbin also has a showroom and warehouse in Ormond Beach, Florida. Visit Listen to Mike Corbin on Big Blend Radio!

So what does it take to be a successful inventor and manufacturer in the motorcycle industry? Listen to our Big Blend Radio interview with Mike Corbin, and read his answers to our 10 Motorcycle Industry Questions about his career, including the challenges he faces, as well as his inspirations.

4. Describe your ideal client who would purchase your motorcycle seats. A passionate motorcycle rider who appreciates American quality.

1. Why did you choose to choose the manufacturing and motor cycle industry as your career? I love motorcycles! I like to design and produce parts for motorcycles. 2. What attributes do you have that make you a good fit for the manufacturing and the motorcycle industry? My design and engineering background. I love working on motorcycles! 3. Who or what inspires you? The American Dream. I live life on my own agenda.

5. What is your pet peeve in regards to your industry? I love everything about our beloved industry! 6. What personal changes have you had to make in order to build your career? The buck stops here! I take responsibility for the whole company. Continued on Next Page…


Motorcycle Industry Insider Continued‌ 7. What do you consider your biggest challenge? Remaining an all-American product. 8. If you could invite any three people (alive or passed on) for a dinner party who would they be? Kenny Roberts, Arlen Ness and Craig Vetter. 9. If you could switch careers for a day, what would you choose? Body parts engineer. 10. What is the most important tip you would pass on to another person just getting started in the motorcycle and manufacturing industry? Believe in yourself!


Dini’s Lucky Club Restaurant & Casino in Yerington, NV Part of Nevada’s history since 1933, Dini’s Lucky Club is the oldest and longest family owned and operated casino in state. Located on Main Street, in the heart of Yerington’s historic downtown district, the casino/saloon was started after the prohibition by Joe Dini, Sr. who originally called it the Wooden Shoe Bar. It wasn’t too long after opening the doors that Joe realized he was going to need more room for the locals, and he struck a deal for the building that was once Yerington Meat Market. Renaming it Joe Dini’s Lucky Club, he expanded the bar and casino to 12 slot machines, a 21 table, roulette wheel and poker parlor.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Jay Dini talk about the history of Dini’s Lucky Club!

Joe and his wife Elvira were known for taking care of the locals – there was always a friendly atmosphere and cold beer on tap, and on the weekend, Elvira would cook up a roast so they could serve roast beef sandwiches across the bar at night because all of the restaurants in town closed at 8pm. In 1961, Joe Jr. and Jeanne Dini took over and continued the same tradition. In 1966, they expanded Dini’s Lucky Club, and opened the Keg & Kandle Lounge and Pizzeria. Continued on Next Page…


Casino Family History Continued… Dini’s Lucky Club has undergone several renovations and expansions over the years. Today the fourth generation of the Dini family (along with some of their offspring), run this fun joint that’s loved by locals and visitors alike. Dini’s Lucky Club features the latest in slots, video poker and keno, and their Dini's Slot Club offers some of the best club rewards in the area including bonus free slot play, invitations to special events and parties, and complimentary dining offers.

So, if you’re going east of Yosemite or just south of Reno, make a pit stop in Yerington and plan to have a good time at Dini’s Lucky Club. If luck will have it, you may just want to stay the night… and they’re conveniently right across the street from the Yerington Inn. For more information, visit

Dini’s Coffee Shop serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily with a menu that includes salads, burgers, sandwiches, steaks and seafood. The Cellar Bar and Lounge pours a variety of beers, wines, and cocktails, and dishes up great pizza and bar munchies. The Cellar is also a fun place to play pool and bingo, and enjoy Happy Hour.

The Bakery Gallery Popular destination offering a delicious variety of cakes, pies, cookies, cupcakes, muffins, Danish pastries, coffee cakes, biscotti, chocolate truffles, desserts, and breads. They serve coffee and espresso and pre-fixe to-go dinners. 215 W. Goldfield Ave., Yerington, NV 89447 Tel: (775) 463-4070, PAGE 83

By Glynn Burrows, Norfolk Tours UK

Statue of George Vancouver, in King's Lynn, Norfolk UK.

Although I have often spoken about emigration from Norfolk to the USA, I haven’t really covered the rest of North America before. England has been sending people abroad for centuries. At times, they were sent overseas to colonise newly conquered lands, sometimes, it was to get rid of people who had broken the law and, another reason was to relieve the poor law Unions of their paupers. In the middle of the C19th, there had been several bad harvests and mechanisation had started to have an effect on agriculture, meaning that less workers were required to do the jobs on the farms. Factory work and city and town dwelling was also becoming more popular, leaving many country-folk with fewer opportunities to find work and, with no work, they had nowhere to live. Many moved to towns and cities but many others ended up in the workhouses, and became a drain on the local taxpayers.

Listen to Glynn Burrows on Big Blend Radio! Many of these folk from rural Norfolk ended up in Canada and Australia and there is a small collection of letters from a group who left a village in Norfolk, giving a fantastic insight into their life in 1850‘s Canada. One man named James Tite, was working a farm of 170 acres and his two sons in Canada with him, were also working farms themselves. He also had two sons still in Norfolk and they worked hard to earn 7s or 8s a week.


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Family Ties Continued… In a letter from Bury, Lower Canada, James pleaded with his son William: “Your brothers will help you all they can. I say I would by all means try and persuade you to try and come for the sake of your boys, so that they may not be in bondage. I can take my gun and go a shooting, as well as any of the farmer’s sons; and we can go a fishing when we please, and when we are a hunting we don’t have no need to be afraid of the gamekeeper.” He also mentioned that he would much rather that his grandsons went to Canada than to Australia. They could work with their Uncles and there would be no need to worry about clothing as they have sheep and make their own clothing. Elizabeth had a loom and was weaving flannel and cloth. Another emigrant, Daniel Ellinor, wrote that a man could earn 3s 9d a day for his labour and 6s 3d in harvest, so that was a massive pay-rise compared with England at that time. (In England men were earning 7s - 8s a week and in Canada, they could make that in two days.) It is interesting also to see what was suggested as sensible things to take: “For males; Six shirts, six pairs of stockings, two pairs of shoes, two complete suits of exterior clothing. For females; Six shifts, two flannel petticoats, six pairs of stockings, two pairs of shoes, two gowns.

With sheets, towels and soap but the larger the stock of clothing, the better for health and comfort during the voyage which usually lasts about four months and, as the emigrants have to pass through very hot and very cold weather, they need to be prepared for both.” You can see from this short article and the newspaper extracts, life must have been pretty rough over here at the time as people were willing to risk everything for the chance to escape! One of my favourite Norfolk men, Captain George Vancouver. He and I were both born in King’s Lynn and I was happy to stand by his statue this year, in the centre of Vancouver itself. Note that he is proudly pointing to Norfolk and also equally proudly displaying his Buy Local Norfolk shopping bag! Continued on Next Page…

Glynn Burrows is the owner of Norfolk Tours in England. For help or advice about tracing your family history, or if you are thinking about taking a vacation to England visit PAGE 85

One of the letters between a family here and their relations in Canada. during the c19th.

Statue of George Vancouver, in Vancouver, BC


The Inspiring Story of Baron Pierre de Coubertin Founder of the Modern Olympic Games Big Blend Radio interview with George Hirthler, Olympic Insider and author of “The Idealist: The story of Baron Pierre de Coubertin.” This summer in Rio, time stopped for sports fans watching the women’s 5000-meter race as Abbey D’Agostino and Nikki Hamblin collided mid-race. Would they give up? Would one make a last-ditch play for the bronze? Instead, before a wildly cheering crowd, they helped each other up and finished the race. Together. The two runners were awarded the Pierre de Coubertin Medal, the Olympic Committee’s highest honor for sportsmanship. It’s been awarded only 17 other times in the 122 years since the Olympics were resurrected by Coubertin, the sports visionary In its narrative scope, THE IDEALIST spans two who believed in the unifying power of centuries, covering the 74 years of Coubertin's transcendent athleticism. life from his birth in Paris in 1863 to his death in Geneva in 1937. It reveals how the transformation of Paris into the capital of modernity helped fire a young man's imagination and how the drumbeats of war sounded by the German hosts of the 1936 Berlin Olympics spoiled an old man's dreams and left him bereft of hope for the Movement he created to foster peace among nations. Listen to George Hirthler on Big Blend Radio! “Coubertin spent his life—and his family fortune—liberating people through sport.” George Hirthler, author.

The story opens in Coubertin’s final years, after a life’s work resurrecting the Olympic Games is threatened by time, circumstance, and the efforts of the Third Reich to gain permanent control of the Games for their own nefarious ends. Deftly written by master storyteller George Hirthler, an Olympic insider named one of the 20 Most influential People in the Olympic Movement, THE IDEALIST is a story that will inspire and reverberate long after you’re done reading.

Cast as a work of historical fiction, THE IDEALIST is an intricate and compelling story of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the visionary who saw the possibilities of uniting the world in friendship and peace through sport—and became the first Visit international entrepreneur of athletic competition. PAGE 87

By Eva Eldridge As a Tucson local, I’ve been to Tubac many times, passing the brown information signs saying Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, but in more than twenty years, I’ve never looked for where those signs lead. I stop in the village and never get beyond the shops and restaurants. On a cold winter morning, I joined Nancy Reid and Lisa Smith with Big Blend Magazines at the Visitor Center where the Director of the Park, Shaw Kinsley, met us.

Even with the protection of adobe walls, over the years, the Presidio was abandoned and rebuilt nine times. In 1958, the Tubac Presidio became Arizona’s first state park. As you step outside the visitor center, you notice a line of rocks forming a long divided rectangle. This outlines where the original Presidio walls were located.

The second oldest schoolhouse in Arizona is located in the Presidio. This adobe building was opened in 1885 and still holds desks sized for the varied ages of the students and a wood burning stove which is the only heat source. I can imagine It’s a bit embarrassing, but I realized I didn’t know anything about El Presidio Real San Ignacio the students bundled up with their books early in the morning because the heat from the stove de Tubac, but Shaw Kinsley’s enthusiasm and knowledge changed that. The Presidio was didn’t reach the farther corners. Some of the surrounding school districts bring children here established in 1752 to protect the European settlers from the area’s native inhabitants who on field trips and they get to experience what being in a one room schoolhouse is like. were called the Pima Indians. During our visit, the blackboards were covered with an art exhibit of various North and South American hummingbirds. Once the winter break ends, the art exhibit will be removed and the blackboards will rule again. Continued on Next Page…


El Presidio Continued… Outside, the sidewalk leads you around the property to stairs that go down into the actual 1974 excavation of the Presidio. Here you can see how the archeologists laid out the grid and exposed the bits of pieces of the past. This is unique because most sites finish their excavations, document the artifacts, and either recreate the site or leave it as it is. Here the Commandant’s quarters are enclosed which gives the visitor a chance to experience a piece of an archeological dig. There are photos of the site and the grad students working along with the archeologists. I found the photos as interesting as the excavation because they are another documentation of the past. We walked back into the sunshine and by the exhibition area where volunteers hold classes in cooking and natural medicines. The cooking and eating spaces were located mainly under large porches. Even beds were built outside to take advantage of cooler night time temperatures in the summer. The rooms were used for storage and shelter in bad weather. There is a display of a grinding wheel that was turned by men or animals. Some of the grinding stones were interesting because of the patterns carved in them. For me, the museum, built in 1960, is one of the best I’ve seen in a state park. There are exhibits documenting all the aspects of life in the area, including the conflict between the Spanish and the Natives.

There is an 1859 map by Jacob Monk that shows North America including a world inset map. It is fascinating to see the changes in the United States from then to now. There are other maps you may find of interest, if you like maps like I do. Continued on Next Page…


El Presidio Continued… Every display highlights a culture and time period from the area including the women and children. One of the best displays is the Washington Hand Press. This press was used to print the first Arizona newspaper, The Weekly Arizonian. The press is still operational and there are demonstrations, periodically, of how the press works. You can acquire copies of the paper in the Visitor Center. I could write an entire essay about this museum, but you need to see it for yourselves. The final stop is the Rojas House which belonged to Luisa Rojas. You see how this adobe building Master gardeners have volunteered their time built in 1890 served as a home up until modern and effort to plant historic gardens which times. The thick walls helped to keep the encompass cacti and succulents, native grasses, building cool during the summer and warmer in and heritage foods like quince, apple and figs. the winter. Adobe bricks must be protected to Some of the more delicate food plants such as keep from melting away. You can see where the beans and squash have to be protected from the plaster has fallen off on one corner and the wildlife and are located in a sheltered area. The adobe bricks are starting to round off as they gardens are somewhat new, but provide a visible disintegrate. link to the way the people lived in the past. The Otero building, built in 1901, is used as a community center. Currently, sixteen giclées depicting significant points in the area’s history, painted by Bill Alrendt, are on display. The paintings were created for Arizona Highways from 1987 to 1990. The beautiful images bring the past into the present. I hope you enjoy this amazing gift to the Tubac Historical Society in honor of Alan B. Davis.

Tubac Presidio is located on the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail which serves as a trailhead for a four and half mile section. You can follow this track to the Tumacácori National Historic Park, one of many historic missions located on the de Anza Trail. Here are some tidbits of information that can’t be found at the websites. The railroad didn’t come to Tubac until 1910, although it had been running through Arizona far earlier than that. Tourism began in the 1920’s and 1930’s and in 1948 an art school was located at the Presidio. More information about hours and location of the Tubac Presidio can be found at

Eva Eldridge is a contributing writer for Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine and Spirit of America Magazine. She also writes fiction and poetry. Visit



Listen to Tom Cotter on Big Blend Radio! Authors Tom Cotter and Bill Warner (founder of the Amelia Island Concours) take readers of Cuba's Car Culture on a whirlwind tour of all things automotive, beginning with Cuba's preCastro car and racing history and bringing us up to today's lost collector cars, street racing, and the challenges of keeping decades-old cars on the road. The book is illustrated throughout with Welcome to Cuba's automotive time capsule, rare historical photos as well as contemporary filled with classic cars. All photos by Bill Warner. photos of Cuba's current car scene. For anyone who enjoys classic cars, from old Chevy Bel-Airs The story of how Cuba came to be trapped in to Studebakers to Ford Fairlanes, a cruise around automotive time is a fascinating one. For Cuba will make you feel like a kid in a candy decades, the island country had enjoyed healthy store. tourism trade and American outpost status, and by the 1950s it had the highest per capita Continued on Next Page‌ automotive purchasing of any Latin American country - its middle class ensured an interesting variety of vehicles plying the roads. But when Cuba fell to communist rebels in 1959, so ended the inflow of new cars. Since then, trade embargo forced Cuba's car enthusiasts to develop a unique and insular culture, one marked by great creativity, such as: - Keeping a car alive with no opportunity to acquire replacement parts - Customizing a car with no access to aftermarket parts - Drag racing with no drag strip In many ways, Cuba is an automotive time warp, where the newest car is a 1959 Chevy or perhaps one of the Soviet Ladas. Cuba's Car Culture offers an inside look at a unique car culture, populated with cars that have been cut off from the world so long that they've morphed into something else in the spirit of automotive survival. PAGE 92


By Hilarie Larson

San Francisco is one of the world’s top destinations and a must-visit city. But if you’ve already heard the ‘clang-clang’ of the cable cars why not put a new spin on your next Bay area visit. Stick a little closer to the International Airport and explore the incredible options of San Mateo and Silicon Valley. Long before the small towns of this region became a hotbed of technological enterprise, they were the preferred location for the summer homes of wealthy and influential San Franciscans. Today, this beautiful peninsula is filled with heritage estates, museums, parks, innovative cuisine, local brews and more. San Mateo is really two regions in one: there’s the Bay side, with the historic towns of Burlingame, San Mateo and Palo Alto, where small-town charm meets high-tech innovation. Then, there’s the Ocean side. Here the beachy, small-town vibe mixes with agriculture, fishing, surfing and Pacific vistas. Tying it all together hospitable, friendly people who really love their unique corner of the country and are more than happy to open their doors and share the bounty.

Hilarie Larson talks about her visit to San Mateo, on Big Blend Radio.

BAY SIDE MUST SEE & DO Explore charming Main Streets: Burlingame and San Mateo offer up a mix of classic California architecture from Victoriana to Modernist style. Stroll, shop, sip and savor to your heart’s content. Stop by Del’Oliva, and sample the best olive oils and vinegars from around the world. Palo Alto, founded by Leland Stanford when he established his eponymous university here in 1891, is the epicenter for established and upand-coming techies. Continued on Next Page…


Del’Oliva, Burlingam

Redwoods at Wunderlich Park

San Mateo Continued…

Discover one of the great gardens of America’s Golden Age at fabulous Filoli House. The elegant home, built from the proceeds of the California gold boom, exudes the grace of that bygone time. Tour the house and 16 acres of gardens via a self-guided tour or with a docent, but be sure to leave time for the gift shop, where you can purchase culinary herbs, plants and assorted treats created by some of the over 1100 volunteers who dedicated their time to the preservation of this very special country house.

University Avenue is the main hub, lined with a feast of restaurants and shops – from familiar names to local haunts. You may even spy tomorrow’s tech superstar! Speaking of stars, Brisbane is known as the ‘City of Stars’ – every home must display an illuminated version in their window – a tradition that began 65 years ago. Drive up Radio Road (named after the many radio station towers atop the mountain) in San Bruno Mountain State Park where the view is simply spectacular, encompassing San Francisco, the Bay and the Pacific. The park is also home to the endangered San Bruno Elfin Butterfly and various fog-zone plants. More of nature’s wonders await at Wunderlich Park with a variety of trails through redwood forests and tranquil meadow. Once part of the Folger Family Estate (the famous coffee Folgers), the original stables have been restored, offering trail rides and tours.

Stanford University’s campus in Palo Alto is home to two marvelous museums. The Cantor Arts Center has one of the most extensive collections of Rodin sculpture in the country plus numerous artifacts and paintings from around the globe. Next door, the Anderson Collection focuses on Modern/Contemporary art. Foster City is one of Silicon Valley’s premier planned communities and has been cited on several ‘Best Places to Live’ lists.


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San Mateo Continued… Foster City began in the 1960’s, and the city’s homes and 24 parks are arranged along a series of waterways. There’s no more relaxing way to explore them than on an electric ‘Duffy Sun Cruiser’. These boats, which you can rent from Edgewater Marine, are easy to maneuver and very popular with local residents – you’ll see many docked along the canals. Pack a picnic and sail the afternoon away.

Eat, Drink & Stay

It’s the only day they open their doors to the public, with music and food to accompany tasty seasonal beers like Beer Kitty Kolsh (named after the in-house mouse hunter) and deliciously dry ‘California Sunshine’, a rye IPA. They make terrific root beer, too! Another great brewery destination can be found in South San Francisco. Armstrong Brewery is a small, neighborhood establishment where you can savor a tasty flight in view of the brewing area. Seating is at communal tables, inviting conversation.

If all this activity is making you thirsty, there’s a cure for that in San Carlos, a new hub for urban wineries and award-winning brews. The family team behind Cuvée Cellars love the wines of France’s Bordeaux region and that passion shows in their portfolio. A short stroll away and you’ll encounter Russian Ridge Winery, home to tasty small lot wines crafted with grapes sourced from nearby regions like Santa Cruz Mountains and Paso Robles. Next door you’ll find delightful Flying Suitcase Wines where your palate takes flight!

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These adventurous winemakers like to explore lesser known grape varieties; try their 2013 Aglianico and San Carlos. This wine-trek would be not be complete without a taste of Italian varieties at well-known Domenico Winery. Devil’s Canyon Brewing PAGE 96

San Mateo Continued… Hungry? 7 Mile House dishes up a fun fusion of Filipino/Italian/American fare blended with history. Located in Brisbane, it was one of the few original ‘Mile Houses’ on the stagecoach line from San Francisco to San Jose. The joint is always jumping, serving up cocktails like Lychee Martinis, Mango Margaritas and ‘Pacquiao Punch’ to go with their takes on traditional Filipino Sizzling Sisig, and Pork Adobo. ‘Three’, in downtown San Mateo, is a shining example of creative California cuisine, embracing fresh, local and ‘made from scratch’ in fun, unexpected and tasty ways. Try signature ‘Wild Mushroom Stogies’ and Sesame Salmon bits with pickled cucumber slaw or anything on the revolving seasonal menu.

7 Mile House

Also in San Mateo, Kitchentown is part café, part shop and all innovation, acting as an incubator for fledging foody businesses. Entrepreneurs can rent space in the well-equipped production area and learn the ins-and-outs of business, while consumers reap the benefit - enjoying a wide menu showcasing their talents. Palo Alto’s University Avenue is home to local favorite Sam’s Chowder House. Named for the owner’s son, this is a superb place to enjoy fresh local seafood, classic New England Chowder and more.

'Stogies' at Three Restaurant

Hotel restaurants usually don’t make ‘the list’, but like everything else in San Mateo and Silicon Valley, expect the unexpected. Dinah’s Garden Hotel has been part of the Palo Alto scene since 1957. The original ‘Motor Hotel’ was the vision of world traveler Ray Handley, who wanted to offer a different type of accommodation, with a focus on quality, comfort and hospitality. Furnished with original art and antiques, many of the rooms ring a small lagoon and garden, complete with fountains and hungry Koi fish. Continued on Next Page… Dinah’s Lagoon PAGE 97

San Mateo Continued…

Farmers Market at Half Moon Bay

Dinah’s Poolside Restaurant is a local and visitor favorite. Whether it’s the freshly squeezed OJ at breakfast, Happy Hour small bites or a romantic dinner, Dinah’s delivers the quintessential California experience. The Hyatt Regency Hotel at San Francisco Airport is not your regular Airport Hotel. Built in the late 1980’s all 780 guest rooms and public areas have undergone extensive renovations, including their premier dining option – 3Sixty. Comfy, private dining nooks lend a cozy ambience where you can linger over local beers and wines and “thoughtfully sourced/creatively served” dishes from Executive Chef Bernard Foster. After a nightcap at the 3Sixty bar, head up to your elegantly appointed and spacious room. A bit closer to the ‘big city’ you’ll find comfortable accommodations and a gracious welcome at the DoubleTree by Hilton SFO North. Most rooms boast panoramic views of the bay and airport plus all the amenities you could possibly wish for. You need only venture downstairs to Whitecaps Drinks & Eats to enjoy a tasty dining experience in sophisticated, modern surroundings.


Fresh Crab Cakes at 3Sixty

Head west on Highway 92 and climb the gentle slopes of the Coast Mountains, past sparkling Crystal Springs Reservoir and watch the scenery change. The roads become smaller and windier and the scenery more rural, with fruit and vegetable stands, pumpkin farms and greenhouses. The road leads to Half Moon Bay, one of many delightful coastal towns. Meander down Main Friendly goats at Harley Farms Street with its unique boutiques, glassworks, bars and restaurants. You may even encounter a Venture South of Half Moon Bay to Pescadero Farmer’s Market – there are 20 certified markets and the delights of Harley Farms Goat Dairy. Frolic with the goats, tour the edible garden, in the county each week. Drive north up the coast on famed Highway 1 to Pillar Point Harbor then sample their award winning cheeses like and discover where all that amazing seafood ‘Monet’ – a chèvre that hides tasty Herbs de comes from. This is a busy, working seaport Provence inside its luxurious center. where you can literally purchase fresh fish off the boat. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 98

San Mateo Continued…

Eat, Drink & Stay The phrase ‘As Fresh as it Gets’ is more than just a catchy slogan when it comes to food in San Mateo/Silicon Valley. Half Moon Bay’s Pasta Moon is a Platinum award-winning example. For 17 years, they’ve been taking locally produced, organic vegetables, combining them with homemade pasta, fresh seafood, meats and poultry to create an authentic Italian bistro menu. Peruvian cuisine at La Costanera Pacifica is home to a super wine-bar, A Grape in the Fog. Owner Beth Lenka selects the wines on the revolving menu, looking for interesting and ‘undiscovered’ treasures from around the world. The area of Montara Beach proves a stunning location for an equally stunning restaurant – La Costanera. Granted a coveted Michelin star in 2012-13, they emphasize “fresh and local, not upscale” and will excite your taste-buds with incredible Peruvian cuisine. Start with a Pisco based cocktail, then on to a selection of ceviche, marinated in traditional leche de tigre (lime juice and aji Amarillo) before moving on to an impressive array of main courses -all enjoyed with the Pacific lapping the beach below your window. The perfect base for your Ocean Side adventure is the Half Moon Bay Lodge. Cozy rooms offer up the relaxing lifestyle for which the coast is known. If you’re feeling energetic, the beach is only a mile away or you can enjoy a round of golf on the adjacent course. Or, you could cuddle up in front of the poolside fireplace. Play by the Bay and explore the freshness of San Mateo. Learn more at

Half Moon Bay Lodge Hilarie Larson’s passion for wine began in the 1970’s while in the European hospitality industry. In 2003 she began her wine career in earnest in her native British Columbia, Canada, working at several Okanagan Valley wineries. Along the way, she acquired her certificate from the Court of Master Sommelier, worked for an international wine broker and as ‘Resident Sommelier’ for wineries in Washington State and California. Hilarie’s greatest joy is spreading the gospel of wine, food and travel. In addition to her own blogs at, she contributes articles to a number of online publications. She was honored to be awarded the 2013 Emerging Writer Scholarship from the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association, for whom she is now the Administrative Director. PAGE 99

By Lisa D. Smith

About a 2-hour drive from San Francisco, Hollister is the main eastern gateway destination for Pinnacles National Park, and its charming historic downtown district is within a few miles of the region’s award-winning wineries, and is surrounded by picturesque rolling hills, golf courses, sprawling ranches and organic orchards and farmlands.

Let’s Go Downtown Hollister! Belly Up in Hollister’s Biker Culture - A stroll downtown and you will see some of the saloon murals portraying Hollister’s popular title of being ‘The Birthplace of the American Biker’, and Johnny’s Bar & Grill along with the Annual 4th of July Hollister Freedom Rally, play a big part of that history. It all started in 1947 when Wino Willie and his Boozefighters motorcycle group came to Hollister for the 4th of July Gypsy Tour Races. It’s said that things got a little wild and one of the bikers drove his motorcycle through Johnny’s Bar & Grill. This supposed rowdy happening caught the attention of Life Magazine, who apparently gave an exaggerated impression in an article that later inspired the movie ‘The Wild Ones’ with Marlon Brando and Lee Marvin. Today, known as ‘The Friendliest Little Bar in Town’, Johnny’s continues to be a favorite place for locals and visitors alike. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 100

Historic Hollister Continued…

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Step Back in Time - Founded in 1968, today Hollister is the county seat of San Benito County. It is worth making an appointment to visit the downtown San Benito County Historical Society’s Museum, where you can view exhibits highlighting the region’s colorful history that includes Pinnacles National Park, the local Native American culture and heritage, and stories of the area’s ranchers, pioneers and settlers – including John Steinbeck’s family! If you love historic buildings and architecture, there’s a self-guided walking tour you can take to see the numerous historic buildings that are now inhabited as people’s homes, shops and businesses. The architectural styles are fascinating and include: Pioneer (1860s-1870s), Gothic Revival (1860s), Italianate (1860s-1870s), Queen Anne (1880s-1900s), Eastlake (1880s1890s), Craftsman Bungalow (1900-1920s), Prairie School (1910-1920s) and Mediterranean Revival (1910-1940s). Photo Above: ‘East of Eden house‘, used in the 1981 movie, East of Eden, based on the book of the same title, written by John Steinbeck’s grandson in 1952. PAGE 101

Dining options range from hearty farm-style breakfasts at Country Rose Café to decadent baked goodies at Lighthouse 55 and Heavenly Bakery, mouth-watering Mexican fare at La Catrina Mexican Grill to tasty wood-fired dishes and craft brews at the Running Rooster. Being a farm and ranching community, farm-to-table food is a big and delicious part of the menu at restaurants like Fischer’s and Farm House Café. Plus, there’s a wonderful Certified Farmers Market on Wednesdays, from May-September. Get Festive! “Life’s a Parade” in Hollister with the downtown being the ultimate venue for local events, annual festivals and parades that Historic Hollister Continued… include: Downtown Wine & Beer Stroll, Plant Sale & Garden Expo, Hollister Police Explorers Annual Tour de Art – From a totem pole in a community 5K Foot Pursuit, Portuguese Festival, San Benito garden to the artistically etched canopy roof at County Chamber Saddle Horse Show & Rodeo the Superior Court building, a mural in a tunnel Parade, Hollister Independence Rally, Street to a painted utility box, there are over 20 colorful Festival & Classic Car Show, Downtown Beer & stops to visit on a self-guided public art tour of Bacon Stroll, Mexican Independence Day Parade, downtown Hollister. Through murals, sculptures, Veteran’s Day Parade, Lights On Celebration & terrazzo and architectural design features, the Holiday Parade. public art pieces add a vibrant atmosphere to the downtown whilst portraying the stories of Historic preservation, community and culture the history, nature, people and commerce of come together in downtown Hollister, providing Hollister and San Benito County. a fun and inviting experience for all who visit. It’s Shop It Up & Get a Taste of Hollister! Hollister’s downtown makes for a fun day of shopping and exploring a diverse array of boutique stores and gifts shops, offering a bounty of unique treasures that range from locally produced and handcrafted gifts, to stylish pieces of décor, fashion accessories, art and jewelry.

a delicious slice of that ‘Small Town America’ life! Be sure to visit the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau in downtown Hollister to get restaurant and lodging recommendations, event news, history and public art self-guided walking tour maps, brochures and visitors guides. Learn more at

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Festive Fun in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks and Three Rivers & Exeter, California Tulare County is home to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and whether you’re planning a family trip or a romantic escape, California’s Sequoia Country makes for a fabulous destination offering a variety of outdoor activities, a calendar full of art events and seasonal festivals, and an eclectic selection of shopping and dining opportunities in the park gateway communities of Three Rivers and Exeter. East of Fresno, the area is an easy 4-5 hour drive from the San Francisco Bay Area and 3-4 hours from Los Angeles. NATIONAL PARKS: Big Trees & Winter Snow Play Home to the world’s largest trees (by volume) Sequoia National Park is the nation's second national park and is connected to Kings Canyon National Park - home to the Nation’s Christmas Tree, and a national shrine in memory of the men and women of the Armed Forces. Winter is a beautiful time of year to visit these parks to enjoy a scenic drive or peaceful hike through the big trees, as well as snow play activities like skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and more! For full details and for up-to-date event and winter travel news (especially for snow chain alerts and winter road closures), visit

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Sequoias Continued…

Don’t Miss: Dec. 11: 91st Annual Trek to the Nation’s Christmas Tree in Kings Canyon National Park. Enjoy seasonal music, hear about the General Grant Tree’s role as a national shrine in memory of the men and women of the Armed Forces who have served, fought, and died to keep America free. A memorial wreath will be placed at the base of the General Grant Tree. Call: 559-875-4575.

Sequoia National Park

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Kings Canyon National Park

Three Rivers, California

Exeter, California PAGE 105

Leah Launey, Innkeeper of Three Rivers Bed & Breakfast, chats with Big Blend Radio about Fall & Winter Fun in Three Rivers, CA!

Sequoias Continued…

THREE RIVERS: Art, Music, and Hero Appreciation! Gateway to Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park, Three Rivers is a vibrant art community that runs along the Kaweah River. For travel and up-to-date event information, visit

11th Annual Three Rivers Hero Appreciation Months: Sponsored by the Sequoia Foothills Chamber of Commerce in Three Rivers this three-month community-wide program, honors our military and our first responders with discounts, individual celebrations and special family-friendly events, as listed below. See Jan. 1: Polar Dip - 12 Noon, at the Gateway Restaurant & Lodge. Jan. 14: Snowman Building Contest at Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia National Park. Jan. 27: Firefighters/EMS Celebration. Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28: Learn to Square Dance Parties. Feb. 24: Law Enforcement/Peace Officers Celebration.

Don’t Miss: 1st Saturday Three Rivers Art Day: Enjoy a day of food, fun, and fabulous art. Featuring a different theme each time, it is held on the 1st Saturday of every month, and specials are promoted throughout the town – by artists, restaurants, gift shops, galleries and more. You can watch artist demonstrations, eat good food and listen to local musicians or entertainers. Info Dec. 3: Community Caroling Around a Bonfire at Three Rivers Historical Museum, with hot chocolate, s’mores and Santa! Dec. 10: Christmas Concert by High Sierra Jazz Band at Three Rivers Veterans Memorial Building. Dec. 11: Three Rivers Historical Society 25th Anniversary Celebration presents its first look at the 1926 ‘Bequette House’, along with food, refreshments, auctions. PAGE 106

Sequoias Continued

EXETER: Winter Festivals & Shopping! A charming agricultural community between Visalia and Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, Exeter has a beautiful historic downtown that’s known for its spectacular series of murals. For travel and event information call (559) 592-2919 or visit

Don’t Miss: Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22: 25th Annual Exeter Christmas Open House, an "Old Fashioned" Christmas in Downtown Exeter, with carolers, refreshments, Santa, old fashioned fire truck rides and more! Dec. 2: Exeter Christmas Parade in downtown Exeter. Dec. 9: Exeter Woman's Club 6th Annual Christmas Home Tour of homes decorated for the holiday season. Dec. 31: Exeter's New Year's Eve Celebration with a Doo-Dah Parade through downtown Exeter, as well as fireworks show.

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Big Blend Radio with Sandy Blankenship, Executive Director of Exeter Chamber of Commerce, talks about Exeter Winter Holiday Festivities!

Palomar Mountain makes for a peaceful respite within a tranquil and natural setting. Enjoy nature walks at Palomar Mountain State Park, visit Palomar Observatory that’s world famous for housing the 200-inch Hale Telescope, or cozy up at historic Bailey’s Palomar Resort. Due to Palomar Mountain being a mile high, you may need snow chains to drive up the mountain. Julian is a popular mountain hamlet known for its gold rush history, apple and pear orchards, wineries, and apple pie.

The historic downtown district makes for a fun day of holiday shopping and dining, plus there is the California Wolf Center and Julian Pioneer Museum to visit. Due to Julian being 4500+ ft. high, you may need snow chains to drive up the mountain. Julian’s upcoming seasonal events include the Julian Holiday Home Tour on Dec. 9. A free and fun show to watch, the Julian Doves & Desperados Historic Re-enactment Skits are held downtown on Sundays, weather permitting.

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In Julian, San Diego’s Four-Season Mountain & Back-Country Destination Fresh, Seasonal & Outstanding Farm-to-Table Cuisine prepared by Executive Chef Jeremy Manley Seasonal Menu & Favorites Steak, Seafood, Burgers, Salads, Sandwiches Desserts & After Dinner Beverages Vegetarian, Vegan & Gluten-Free Options Open Daily for Lunch & Dinner Indoor, Fireside & Patio Dining Live Music on Weekends Wine & Beer Pairing Dinners Private Banquet Rooms Thanksgiving & Christmas Holiday Menus Catering & Group Events for all Occasions

Wine Bar featuring Local & Regional Wines & Champagne Micro-Brews & Specialty Beers PAGE 109

The Oldest City in Louisiana Celebrates its 90th Annual Christmas Festival of Lights In 2016, Natchitoches will be celebrating the 90th Annual Christmas Festival of Lights. Ranked as one of the top three holiday light displays by Yahoo!, the Natchitoches Christmas Festival of Lights is a 45 night celebration of lights, fun and festivities set along the backdrop of downtown Historic Natchitoches and Cane River Lake. Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Cane River is illuminated by more than 300,000 Arlene Gould, Executive Director of the twinkling lights and 100 set pieces. Highlights of Natchitoches Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Natchitoches Christmas season include the th 90th Annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival Day who talks about the 90 Annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival of Lights and Holiday - always held on the first Saturday in December, Festivities in Louisiana’s oldest city. The Holiday Tour of Homes, Natchitoches-NSU Christmas Gala, and spectacular fireworks displays over Cane River Lake. Visitors can enjoy live musical entertainment, food vendors and activities along the riverbank, Named the “Best Southern Small Town” by and a spectacular fireworks show over Cane readers of USA Today in 2015, Natchitoches has a River Lake. Fireworks take place each Saturday long tradition of Christmas spirit. Since 1926 through December 31st. Natchitoches has been home to one of the oldest community-based holiday celebrations in On December 3, 2016, Santa Claus makes his the country. The Annual Natchitoches Christmas first appearance in Natchitoches at the 90th Festival began as a one-day event and has now Annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival. evolved into a six-week long festival season that ends on January 6 (Epiphany). Continued on Next Page… PAGE 110

Christmas in Natchitoches Continued… Traditionally taking place on the first Saturday of December, the Natchitoches Christmas Festival features the Festival of Lights parade with appearances by Miss Merry Christmas and her Belles, Mrs. Claus and Santa Claus, food vendors, live music entertainment, and the largest fireworks display of the year. Natchitoches, the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase, is home to a National Historic Landmark District that includes numerous historical homes. Visitors to Natchitoches can tour these homes beginning December 7, 2016 as part of the Holiday Tour of Homes. Tours are held on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from December 7 to December 17. Saturday tour ticket holders will receive complimentary admission to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum.

Plan your trip today and see why the Natchitoches Christmas Festival of Lights is the premiere holiday light festival in the state. Don't miss this celebration ninety years in the making! For more information and complete schedule of events, please visit and

Natchitoches is also home to Northwestern State University and for over 25 years the University has produced a world-class Christmas extravaganza to highlight the talents of the students in the Creative and Performing Arts program. The Annual Christmas Gala delights audiences with an evening of song, dance and performances including the ever popular marching toy soldiers, NSU Dazzlers, NSU Percussion Ensemble, and the NatchitochesNorthwestern Symphony Orchestra. Santa Claus and a few other favorite Christmas characters have also been known to make an appearance or two. The Annual Christmas Gala will be held November 30 – December 2, 2016 at Northwestern State University’s A.A. Fredericks Auditorium. Whether you are looking for a festive atmosphere, historical home tour, or theatrical performances, the Natchitoches Christmas Festival Season has it all. PAGE 111

Listen to Brian J. Terwilliger on Big Blend Radio.


“Since we were all born into a world with airplanes, it’s hard to imagine that jet travel itself is only 60 years old, just a tick on the timeline of human history,” said director Brian J. Terwilliger. Living in the Age of Airplanes offers a fresh “But our perception of crossing continents and perspective on a modern-day miracle that many oceans at 500 mph has turned from fascination of us take for granted: flying. Narrated by to frustration. I want to reignite people’s wonder Harrison Ford and featuring an original score for one of the most extraordinary aspects of the from Academy Award® winning composer James modern world.” Horner, the film takes viewers to 18 countries across all seven continents to illuminate how Living in the Age of Airplanes is directed by Brian airplanes have empowered a century of global J. Terwilliger (One Six Right) and produced by connectedness our ancestors could never have Terwilliger and Bryan H. Carroll. Director of imagined. Photography is Andrew Waruszewski. Music is by

Big Blend Radio interview with filmmaker/director Brian J. Terwilliger

James Horner (Avatar, Titanic). Editor is Brad Besser. Following its premiere at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC, the film continued its successful run on giant screen, digital, IMAX® and museum cinemas worldwide in 2015/2016. It has now been released digitally and on DVD/Blu-ray, along with the release of the original soundtrack. Visit PAGE 112

During the vast majority of mankind’s 200,000year existence, walking was the fastest means of travel. Yet today, just 175 years after the introduction of the steam engine, boarding a jet to travel thousands of miles in a matter of hours is more often viewed as an inconvenience than a world-changing technological marvel.


Listen to Jason Hanson on Big Blend Radio.

Stay Safe in Planes, Taxis & Hotels From burglaries to accidents and scams, listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with security specialist Jason Hanson who shares his tips on how to stay safe in airplanes, taxis and hotel rooms.

He has also honed his "positive awareness" - a heightened sense of his surroundings that allows him to spot suspicious and potentially dangerous behavior - on the street, in a taxi, at the airport, when dining out, or in any other situation.

When Jason Hanson joined the CIA in 2003, he never imagined that the same tactics he used as a CIA officer for counterintelligence, surveillance, and protecting agency personnel would prove to be essential in every day civilian life. In addition to escaping handcuffs, picking locks, and spotting when someone is telling a lie, he can improvise a self-defense weapon, pack a perfect emergency kit, and disappear off the grid if necessary.

With the skill of a trained operative and the reliability of a suburban dad, Jason Hanson brings his top-level training to everyday Americans in his New York Times best-seller “Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life: A Former CIA Officer Reveals Safety and Survival Techniques to Keep You and Your Family Protected”. A successful contestant of ABC’s reality show Shark Tank, Jason teaches everyday citizens to defend themselves at his Spy Escape and Evasion school.

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