Vanishing Postcards

By Evan Stern

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Description

Vanishing Postcards is a documentary travelogue that invites listeners on a road trip exploring the hidden dives, traditions, and frequently threatened histories discovered by exiting the interstates. Named one of the Best Podcasts of 2022 by Digital Trends.

Episode Date
13. Postcards from Haunted Hotels - "Ghosts in Gallup, Santa Fe Spirits, and Phantoms in Flagstaff!"
00:24:33

A cigar chomping nun. A suicidal gambler. A naked property manager. And a wounded bank robber. These are just a few of the spirits whose stories are shared in today's episode which features a sampling of tales collected in old hotels out west, about people who checked in for a night of rest, but never left...

The Original Santa Fe Ghost Tour

La Fonda

Hotel Saint Francis

Inn and Spa at Loretto

El Rancho Hotel 

La Posada

Hotel Monte Vista

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Dec 01, 2022
Bonus - "In conversation with Will Dailey"
00:20:30

Will Dailey is an acclaimed independent recording and performing artist. His sound has been described as having a rich vintage vibe while having a firm appreciation of AM rock, pop and big hooks leading famed Rock journalist Dan Aquilante to call him “the real deal." Most recently, he has added podcasting to his list of accomplishments through his new, acclaimed show Sound of Our Town  which is a travel program about the music in the next town you visit: Where to go to hear and experience the best music and why; what sounds shaped that city or town’s culture and what new sounds continue to define it. As one whose mission is in philosophical alignment with Vanishing Postcards, we are honored to introduce you to him and provide a taste of his work through this special, bonus interview. 

Will Dailey

Sound of Our Town

Songs shared in this episode include "300 Dollar Man" and "Higher Education."

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Nov 26, 2022
12. Postcard from Santa Fe - "El Embrujo de El Farol"
00:29:26

Santa Fe has consistently lured free thinkers and intellectuals of different stripes. People like Georgia O’Keefe. DH Lawrence. And Robert Henri who in 1917 said, “Here painters are treated with that welcome and appreciation that is supposed to exist only in certain places in Europe.” It was around then, on a hill about a mile past the main plaza, a colony of artists began to spring up on Canyon Road. Their imprint remains in the fact that six of its blocks today house over 100 galleries. These spaces are supported by visitors from Aspen and Scottsdale who gladly drop thousands on landscapes before sampling the tasting menus at Geronimo. But on the district’s eastern fringe sits a low slung building of stucco and cedar beams whose walls house an establishment that bridges this district’s well heeled present to its Bohemian past. Its name, as announced by its wooden sign is El Farol. Officially recognized as New Mexico's oldest continuously operating restaurant, we'll learn of its history, but most crucially, through stories, music and an evening of flamenco, get a taste of the place's bewitching atmosphere, or as singer Vicente Griego calls it, "embrujo."

El Farol

Primo Cigar Shop

Subtitle

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Nov 17, 2022
11. Postcards from Las Vegas, NM and Winslow, AZ - "The Footprints of Fred Harvey"
00:30:21

Michael Wallis has famously said that Route 66 is for travelers, not tourists. As he tells it, "tourists like the familiar, tend to gawk at culture from afar, and generally like to cram as much into their agendas as possible provided it’s cheap, safe and by all means comfortable. Travelers, on the other hand, hanker for the hidden places and in making new discoveries often discover a thing or two about themselves." At the same time, it merits acknowledgement that this ethos is perhaps easy to embrace today because, "the friendly skies" notwithstanding, travel is generally as comfortable and easy as it's ever been. There are many forces and people responsible for bringing us to this point, but in America, and most specifically the American West, perhaps the first to lay the groundwork was restaurant and hotel magnate, Fred Harvey. His is a name that Hollywood and Judy Garland immortalized in a 1946 musical, and one that still today has a way of popping up along Route 66’s western stretch. In this episode, through visits to two of Fred Harvey's surviving properties, and conversations with author Stephen Fried and surviving Harvey Girl Beverly Ireland, we'll learn a little about the man behind the name, and how the brand and empire he created not only elevated outlaw country, but helped give us Americans an appreciation for our own culture in the process. 

Stephen Fried - "Appetite for America" 

Hotel Castaneda

La Posada

Route 66 Podcast

Appodlachia

Subtitle

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Nov 03, 2022
10. Postcards from Motels - "Beds and Benedictions"
00:29:44

When speaking of Tucumcari, New Mexico author Jim Hinckley describes it as "a great example of what Route 66 was. What its bypass did to communities. And the future it holds." All of this is perhaps best discovered through the town's motel culture, which in recent years has enjoyed something of a renaissance thanks to pioneering owners who are working hard to reinvigorate these properties while honoring their pasts. Yet beyond the neon glare, people are drawn to these places for their offers of connection. This episode shares a few stories from owners, past and present, about just that. 

Motel Safari

Roadrunner Lodge

The Blue Swallow Motel

Fender's River Resort

Jim Hinckley's America

Trail Weight

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Oct 20, 2022
9. Postcard from Amarillo - "Busting Belts at The Big Texan"
00:29:35
Unlike many places visited in this series, The Big Texan Steak Ranch isn’t hidden off some hard to find back road, and isn’t exactly starved for attention. But while it migrated to I-40's shoulder over 50 years ago, its story was absolutely born on Route 66, and flies in the face of anyone who might make the mistake of dismissing Amarillo as “dull.” What’s more, when you enjoy a meal there you’re not just getting prime rib and potatoes, but the kind of fun house “eatertainment” experience the good old American road trip was once known for. Join us as we step inside this delightfully over the top steakhouse to learn of its origins from 2nd generation owner Bobby Lee, hear stories from its first greeter Dale “Tex” Burrows, enjoy a tableside serenade from singing cowboy troubadours and even cheer on a contestant bold enough to tackle their infamous 72 oz Steak Challenge! https://www.bigtexan.com/ --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/evan-stern1/message
Oct 06, 2022
Introducing: "Sound of Our Town"
00:32:59

As a special treat, we're honored to introduce and share our space with Sound of Our Town. Brought to you from the guys behind Disgraceland, Sound of our Town is hosted by award winning indie musician Will Dailey, and is born out of his mission to reaffirm how important live music is to our culture. In each episode, Will takes us from the boardwalks of Asbury Park, to the biggest and smallest stages of LA, while introducing us to historic venues and secret spots through tales that speak to the nomadic traveler in all of us. This episode takes place in that most famous of Route 66 towns, Chicago. From jazz, gangsters, and bootlegging to the birth of house music, Chicago is that most American of cities—maintaining an uneasy but thrilling equilibrium between the visible and the underground. Host Will Dailey gives you an insider’s look at the stories behind the places that define Chicago’s musical legacy.
To hear the artists mentioned, check Will’s playlist at soundofourtownpod.com, and follow Sound of Our Town on the iheart radio app or wherever you get your podcasts

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Oct 01, 2022
8. Postcards from Erick, OK, Winslow, AZ and Highland Park, CA - "Sentinels of Route 66"
00:34:10
Anyone who's ever traveled Route 66 will tell you that its greatest resource can be found in the people who live and work along it. Whether diner waitresses or museum volunteers, car mechanics or preservationists, its keepers embody many forms, and all are vital. At the same time, some manage to linger in the memories of those they meet for the fact they have a way of inviting visitors to step inside their worlds. In today's episodes we'll get to know three such sentinels- Erick, Oklahoma's self proclaimed "mediocre music maker," Harley Russell. Arizona rancher, Brantley Baird. And LA based book designer, Amy Inouye. On the surface, they are as different from one another as the locations they inhabit, but are united by the fact their welcome mats are not for mere decoration.  Harley Russell's Sandhills Curiosity Shop is located at 201 S Sheb Wooley St, in Erick, Oklahoma. He does not keep regular hours, but is always worth a knock on the door. Rock Art Ranch is located outside Winslow, Arizona. Tours must be booked in advance by calling (928) 386-5047. Hours vary in accordance with the seasons.  Chicken Boy/Future Studio --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/evan-stern1/message
Sep 22, 2022
7. Postcard from Luther, OK - "This Place Matters"
00:30:04

Driving Route 66 from Tulsa to Oklahoma City, about three miles before the town of Luther you'll notice an old sandstone building with peeling white gables. At first glance, it's the kind of structure a realtor might dismiss as a "tear down." But behind its dusty windows rest a pair of faded signs that simply read in orange print, "This place matters." The place is The Threatt Filling Station, which in its heyday was a black owned rest stop that serviced African American motorists throughout the entirety of the segregation era. More than a destination for gas and provisions, it provided a much needed refuge for weary travelers of color. We'll spend some time there with cousins Edward and Allen Threatt, who share stories, family history, memories of its past, and their plans for its future, while cultural documentarian Candacy Taylor is on hand to describe what the experience of traveling 66 would have been like for black drivers. We're also joined by Dr. Lorn Foster of Pomona College to touch on the Great Migration's impact. The resulting segment is a tribute to those who found joy in the midst of darkness, and to borrow a quote from MLK, made "a way out of no way."  

The Threatt Filling Station  

Candacy Taylor - Taylor Made Culture  

Dr. Lorn Foster

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Sep 08, 2022
6. Postcard from Tulsa - "The Ghosts of Greenwood"
00:34:44

In 1921, the city of Tulsa bore witness to the greatest incident of racial violence in American history when the prosperous African-American neighborhood of Greenwood was invaded and destroyed in an act of mob terrorism. But while this disgrace which resulted in as many as 300 deaths was ignored for decades, a century later, it seems to be getting its share of attention. Last year, 107 year old survivor Viola Fletcher, riveted Congress with her eyewitness testimony in a public plea for justice, while the president visited Tulsa to commemorate its Centennial in a display of apology. Memorial banners were unfurled downtown and walking this city's streets you'll happen upon murals, statues, parks, and even a 30 million dollar museum built in remembrance. But what happened to Greenwood after 1921 and what can be found visiting the neighborhood today? Join us as we walk its streets, and hear from locals and historians who are striving to tell this district’s full story. 

Terry Baccus’s Tours of Black Wall Street 

Greenwood Rising 

Wanda J’s Next Generation

Dr. Scott Ellsworth - "Death In a Promised Land"

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Aug 25, 2022
Introducing: "2 Lives"
00:31:00

As a special treat, we're pleased to introduce you to one of our favorite podcasts, 2 Lives. This title comes from the quote, “We all have two lives. The second begins the moment we realize we have only one.” These are stories of people who have faced darkness and how those moments transformed them. It’s created and hosted by veteran journalist Laurel Morales who among many accomplishments claims an Edward R Murrow Award, and over 20 years behind the microphone on NPR. As it happens, she also lives in the beautiful Route 66 town of Flagstaff, Arizona. If you like what you hear, you can find 2 Lives on your favorite podcast platform.

2 Lives

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Aug 18, 2022
5. Postcard from Tulsa - "Carousing at Cain's"
00:28:28

"The Carnegie Hall of Western Swing" is just one of many titles that have been bestowed on Tulsa's famed Cain's Ballroom since its opening in the 1920s. It was from this stage that Bob Wills helped introduce Western Swing to the masses, and decades later crowds continue to flock here to take a spin on its legendary dance floor. In this episode, we'll experience this venue's magic on the occasion of Asleep at the Wheel's 50th Anniversary Tour, and hang out backstage with their legendary front man Ray Benson. Former owner Larry Schaeffer also shares stories of some of the more temperamental artists who've passed through including Hank Williams and The Sex Pistols. Author John Wooley is also on hand to provide a little history, while current stewards Chad Rodgers and Brad Harris talk about how they've guided Cain's into the 21st century. 

Cain's Ballroom 

Asleep at the Wheel 

Twentieth Century Honky-Tonk 

John Wooley

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Aug 04, 2022
4. Postcards from Roadside Oddities - "Totem poles, whales, slug bugs and Cadillacs!"
00:30:22

From "The World's Second Largest Rocking Chair" in Cuba, Missouri, to "The Leaning Water Tower of Groom, Texas," Route 66 boasts no shortage of roadside oddities that are all great for a stop, snap and chuckle. At the same time, it's easy to forget that these sites were all built by people with hopes and dreams, and most always offer a bit more than what meets the eyes. In this episode, we'll visit Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park, The Blue Whale of Catoosa, and the Slug Bug and Cadillac Ranches to not only learn of their origins, but hear a few stories of how they've shaped and impacted lives. 

Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park 

The Blue Whale of Catoosa

Slug Bug Ranch

Cadillac Ranch

Lile Art Gallery 

John Wooley

Books by Linda Ross-Hobbs

Strong Sense of Place

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Jul 21, 2022
3. Postcard from Miami, Ok - "A foreign field that is for ever England”
00:32:22

Entering the town of Miami, Oklahoma on Route 66, you'll pass the GAR Cemetery. A resting place for over 20,000, its director Nancy Bro is quick to say that each one of their graves holds a life that meant something for many people. This is, of course, true of all burial plots. Yet GAR is unique as walking its grounds, you will notice a Union Jack flag flying above fifteen WWII Era graves bearing the badges of Britain's Royal Air Force. In this episode, we'll pay our respects at a memorial service, hear the story of how these young men came to rest so far from home, and learn of how this rural community has honored these fallen soldiers for over eighty years.  

British Flyers History   

British Flyers Cadets Gallery 

GAR General Information 

Nancy Bro on Our American Stories 

Nancy Bro on The Route 66 Podcast

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Jul 07, 2022
2. Postcards from Quapaw, Gallup and Lupton - "Pottery and Patriotism"
00:28:40

Among the titles it's earned, Route 66 is often hailed as "The Main Street of America." But America is a lot of things and absent from many of its popular myths and legends are the stories of those who preceded the pilgrims or Jamestown. Yet it is indisputable that our country wouldn't exist as we know it without them and the same is true of the Route itself. Even today, more than half of 66 passes through Indian country and driving the road will carry you through more than twenty-five tribal nations. While this presence was propagated for many years as a means of luring tourist dollars, in this episode we'll begin our travels by getting to know a few makers of different tribes and backgrounds along the Route whose work not only dispels stereotypes, but reveals stories that are in their own way quintessentially American. Featuring visits to Quapaw, Oklahoma, Gallup, New Mexico, and Lupton, Arizona, contributors include elder leader Grace Goodeagle, potter Betty Gaedtke, artist and educator Teri Frazier, and knife maker David Yellowhorse.

David Yellowhorse Knives

Betty Gaedtke's Quapaw Pottery

The Gallup Cultural Center

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Jun 23, 2022
1. Postcards from The Mother Road - "The Roots of Route 66"
00:38:34
The name Route 66 has a certain kind of magic. For some, it calls to mind images of muscle cars and neon. For others, the words of Kerouac and songs of Guthrie. But how did this legend come to be, and what is Route 66 to begin with? Featuring a sampling of stories collected over a journey spanning 6,845 miles, we’ll kick off this season long road trip by attempting to answer these questions through the voices of some who’ve witnessed its many transformations firsthand. Contributors include renowned authors Michael Wallis and Jim Hinckley, “The Guardian of Route 66” Angel Delgadillo, Cynnie Troup, Rhys Martin, and more.  Michael Wallis  Jim Hinckley, Jim Hinckley’s America on facebook, Wake Up with Jim  Delgadillo’s Original Route 66 Gift Shop  Chief Yellowhorse Trading Post   David Yellowhorse Rhys Martin  Route 66 Podcast  Asleep at the Wheel  vanishingpostcards.com  Instagram, facebook --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/evan-stern1/message
Jun 09, 2022
Introducing: Vanishing Postcards - The Route 66 Season
00:01:47
COMING SOON! Named "One of the Best Podcasts You Should Listen To in 2022" by Digital Trends, Vanishing Postcards returns for a cross country odyssey on Route 66. From the plains of Oklahoma to the beaches of the Pacific Coast, ride along with host Evan Stern as he explores how the past, present and future of The Mother Road is revealed through the people and places you'll find in driving it today.  --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/evan-stern1/message
Mar 17, 2022
Bonus - A Christmas Postcard, "Remembering Charles Kuralt"
00:13:27

Heralded as "The Walt Whitman of American Television," Charles Kuralt while sharing a drink with a cameraman aboard a 1967 flight high above Ohio sparked upon an idea. "By God," he said. "Next time we go somewhere, we ought to drive and find out what's really going on in this country!" For nearly three decades he would do just that, inviting viewers to follow him "On the Road" as he showcased the extraordinary stories of everyday Americans. In tribute to this fine storyteller whose legacy helped inspire Vanishing Postcards, host Evan Stern is honored to perform a reading of an essay in which Kuralt shifted his gaze inward to share his memory of a Christmas before "worldliness and wisdom set in." Featuring the exquisite musical backing of pianist and arranger Kathleen Landis, it is our hope that this piece might provide an opportunity to pause and revisit a few Christmas memories of your own. 

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Dec 21, 2021
15. Postcard from Fort Worth - "Stockyard Songs and Stories"
00:31:59

In this final episode of Vanishing Postcards' inaugural season, we pay a visit to Fort Worth's famed Stockyards. A historic district where western identity is embraced without the slightest hint of a wink, here rodeos are hosted each and every weekend, while crowds clamor for the fajitas at JT Garcia's before hitting the dance floor at Billy Bob's. But more than party central, it's probably the only place you can count on seeing longhorn steers paraded through the streets, and take pleasure in introducing you to a few good people who are making The Stockyards' history a tangible experience through stories, songs and honest to goodness work.

Fort Worth Stockyards

The Cowtown Opry

Miss Devon Dawson and "Outlaw" Jessie Robertson

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Oct 28, 2021
14. Postcards from Ghosts - "Weeping Women and the Ghoulish Side of Galveston"
00:31:03

It deserves mentioning that today's episode features visits to not one but two haunted houses, a cat that's likely lived more than nine lives, and the tale of a spirit that's rumored to wander the banks of the Rio Grande. Whether you're a skeptic or a believer, the adrenaline we experience when hearing spooky tales has a magical way of bringing us closer. Beyond this, ghost stories also often provide reminders of our history, and enable some to confront the fears and demons that lurk in our own imaginations. Many of these elements are at work in the fables featured in today's episode. Above all else, they're also pretty darned fun... 

Historic Galveston Ghost Tours

Charles Adams Mansion

Xavier Garza


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Oct 14, 2021
Introducing: "Fascination Street"
00:08:52

We're pleased to introduce our listeners to Fascination Street, an interview podcast hosted by Texas based broadcaster, Steve Owens. "I'm fascinated by stories," says Owens. "Walk with me as I share them." In his more than 250 episodes, Steve has spoken with a diverse roster of individuals including the departed Ed Asner, Tiger King's Carole Baskin, humorist Kinky Friedman, and recently Vanishing Postcards' very own Evan Stern. In this excerpt, Evan shares a bit about his personal background, and creative journey that led to the creation of Vanishing Postcards. To hear the entire interview, and check out more of Steve's many engaging offerings, find and follow Fascination Street wherever you get your podcasts. 

Fascination Street

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Oct 07, 2021
13. Postcard from Oakville - "Dobie Dichos and Legends in Live Oak County"
00:33:32
The village of Oakville sits hidden in plain sight along an isolated stretch of I-37 between Corpus and San Antonio. Founded in 1856 by a hearty group of Irish settlers, at its  zenith this one-time stagecoach station boasted a population of 400, claimed seven saloons and was a notorious site of brutal frontier justice. But while one could perhaps get away with calling this tiny community a ghost town, each year some of Texas's finest writers gather here to share stories under the stars in homage to Live Oak County's great Poet Laureate- J. Frank Dobie. Featuring a retelling of one of Dobie's great campfire legends, Sancho's Return, this episode invites listeners to experience the magic of this unique celebration of western letters now hailed as "The Greatest Little Literary Festival in Texas."  Dobie Dichos Donna Ingham Lee Haile --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/evan-stern1/message
Sep 23, 2021
12. Postcard from Rosenberg - "The Boldness of Black Cowboys"
00:30:24
Mention the word “cowboy” today and you might think of Gary Cooper in High Noon, or Gene Autry singing under “starry skies.” Indeed, one can’t overstate the impact Hollywood, comic books, and showmen like Buffalo Bill played in shaping the mythology of the American West. What is rarely reflected in too many of these depictions, however, is that in the 1800s, alongside countless Mexican vaqueros, one out of every four cowboys were black- many of them ex  slaves. In this episode, we’ll introduce you to two extraordinary cowboys, Larry Callies and Myrtis Dightman Jr., who are not only working hard to change perspectives surrounding these narratives, but whose stories are epic on their own terms. http://www.blackcowboymuseum.org/ Prairie View Trail Riders Association --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/evan-stern1/message
Sep 16, 2021
11. Postcard from Galveston - "Memories of the Maceos"
00:35:01
While garden clubs and hotel brochures are quick to remind visitors of Galveston’s Gilded Age, few seem to acknowledge that in the more recent past this beachfront city provided a luxurious playground where the likes of Sinatra and Alice Faye flocked to gamble and dance at hotspots like The Balinese Room. Featuring stories of the Maceo brothers who once dominated this island’s nightlife, and memories of a few who experienced these good times first hand, our latest episode takes listeners on a trip back to a time and place known as “The Free State of Galveston.” Maceo Spice Kimber Fountain Peter Mintun - piano --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/evan-stern1/message
Aug 26, 2021
10. Postcard from Houston - "Wasting Time at The West Alabama Ice House"
00:26:47

Houston is a place that's rich in diversity and innovation. It readily embraces modernity and is less burdened by the weight of tradition one feels in other southern cities. This can be wonderfully liberating. At the same time, many argue its embrace of the new makes it challenging to define. "Houston has a bad habit of destroying our history," one resident confessed to us. But if there's one place that flies in the face of this town's sleek, steel and glass uber-developments, it's The West Alabama Ice House. Opened in 1928 on an unremarkable corner in Montrose, this low frills, outdoor, dog friendly, picnic table lined beer joint not only straddles the past and present of Central Houston, but might even provide a few lessons worth considering as this Gulf Coast metropolis continues its march forward.  

West Alabama Ice House  

To see David Richmond's documentation of Houston ice houses, and some of the speculative designs they've inspired, check him out on Instagram

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Aug 12, 2021
Bonus - Bobby Earl Smith Remembers Freda and the Firedogs
00:23:44

An elder statesman of Austin's music scene, Bobby Earl Smith is perhaps best known as a founding member of Freda and the Firedogs. The band that helped launch the career of legend Marcia Ball, they packed houses at The Armadillo and Split Rail, and when writing of them in 1972 The Statesman gushed, “It would be difficult to over-praise Freda and the Firedogs. This is a great bunch of youngsters, both personally and musically. They stick closely to the traditional and their brand of country music is pure listening pleasure.” In celebration of the vinyl reissue of their much delayed debut album, we're sharing this special bonus episode in which Bobby Earl recounts stories of the group's formation, and professional journey, accompanied by a selection of original recordings.  www.fredafiredogs.com www.antonesrecordshop.com www.bobbyearlsmithmusic.com www.marciaball.com

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Aug 05, 2021
9. Postcards from Country Stores - "Crassness in Castell, Legacies in Ledbetter"
00:24:54
The Castell and Stuermer Stores are separated by about 160 miles and sit on opposite ends of Central Texas. Their hours can hardly be described as regular, nor do they boast expansive aisles dedicated to rice, face wash, or Greek yogurt. Yet, they help bridge the past of the communities they serve to our present, and provide spaces for fellowship that are essential for different, but important reasons. We'll learn about why this is by sitting down with their respective owners who share stories both touching, humorous and wild- One of which, the tale of a certain rooster, is unlike anything we've ever heard...  --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/evan-stern1/message
Jul 22, 2021
8. Postcards from Brownsville and San Antonio - "A Tale of Two Tacos"
00:31:30
More than being delicious, food can bring people together, heal the body and soul, and is intertwined with generations of history and tradition. Today, we’re gonna dig into some of this by getting a taste of South Texas. We’ll start at its end point in Brownsville, then visit its gateway in San Antonio. Along the way, we’ll see what a good meal can tell you about a place, but best of all, hear from the folks doing the cooking. You could say this is a tale of two cities, but it’s really a tale of two tacos.  Vera's Backyard Bar-B-Que  Los Barrios Restaurants --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/evan-stern1/message
Jul 08, 2021
7. Postcard from The Rio Grande Valley - "Community and Conjunto"
00:31:08
Born of the blending of cultures in South Texas, the music of conjunto tells a uniquely American story. In this episode, we'll take a trip to its birthplace in San Benito, where we'll tour the Texas Conjunto Music Hall of Fame and learn of its origins from the Avila family whose patriarch, Rey, dedicated his life to preserving this art form's history. We'll also head over to nearby McAllen where we'll catch a performance from accordion prodigy Rodney Rodriguez at La Lomita Park, the venue built by famed performer and elder statesman, Pepe Maldonado.  --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/evan-stern1/message
Jun 24, 2021
6. Postcard from The Hill Country - "Picking Peaches in Fredericksburg"
00:30:00
While Texas summers are famously brutal, they are not without their pleasures. Towards that matter, few joys are as delicious as peach season. In this episode, we'll take a trip to The Hill Country at the peak of the harvest to sample the bounty and get to know the extraordinary families who have farmed these crops for generations.  Gold Orchards- https://www.facebook.com/goldorchardsinc Vogel Orchards- https://vogelorchard.wixsite.com/vogelorchard Jenschke Orchards- https://bestfredericksburgpeaches.com/ This episode's piano selections were performed by Kathleen Landis --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/evan-stern1/message
Jun 10, 2021
5. Postcards from Museums - "Conspiracies, Curiosities, and Coffins!"
00:25:20
Museums are important. They're places where we can explore our heritage, and learn about culture, history and ideas in environments that foster conversations. Say the word, and palaces of civilization like The Met, Prado or Louvre often come to mind. In this episode, however, we'll criss cross the state of Texas to visit a few you've probably never heard of. Sites featured include The Billy The Kid Museum in Hico, The Museum of Natural and Artificial Ephemarata in Austin, and Houston's Museum of Funeral History.  www.billythekidmuseum.org www.mnae.org www.nmfh.org --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/evan-stern1/message
May 27, 2021
4. Postcard from East Austin - “Bygones and Barbecue”
00:28:26

In a fast-changing city, no neighborhood has undergone a greater transformation than Austin's East Side. Historically African-American, and once neglected, today espresso bars have replaced convenience stores and boutique hotels tower over long vacant lots. But what is left of what had been, and what do those who grew up here feel about all of this? In this episode, we'll take a trip to the other side of I-35 to ask questions like these. Along the way we'll hear some raw, unfiltered answers, get a history lesson at The Carver Museum, and revisit a few memories. We'll also see what's cooking at Sam's BBQ, and chat with owner Brian Mays who, acting on principle, said no to a five-million-dollar buyout in order to keep his pit running. 

UPDATE- Please note that a source used for this episode misidentified Ben Wash as the original builder of the property at 900 E. 11th Street. It was, in fact, initially built in 1964, and housed a number of establishments prior to the opening of Ben’s Long Branch. We apologize for this error. Nevertheless, Mr. Wash remains the building's longest serving tenant.

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May 13, 2021
Bonus - The Poetry of Hoot Gibson
00:17:45

While this series has introduced us to countless extraordinary individuals, in terms of personality, few have proven as expansive as cowboy renaissance man James E. "Hoot" Gibson with whom we shared a beer at Arkey Blue's Silver Dollar. Considering this, it only felt right to give him some extra time to shine, and are honored to share this special bonus episode in which you'll hear a bit more of his life story, but best of all, some poetry. 

To read some excerpts from Hoot’s journals, and the account of his Canadian odyssey, consider ordering a copy of “Riders on the Storm: The True Story of the Eye Reckon Freedom Ride” by contacting its author, Mary Allyce at- eyereckonride@aol.com

(Photo credit Marshall Clayton)

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Apr 29, 2021
3. Postcard from Bandera - “Downstairs at The Silver Dollar”
00:25:16
In Germany they have biergartens, and in Mexico they have cantinas, but Texas has honky-tonks. What is a honky-tonk? In simple terms, most will tell you it's just a beer bar with live music, and a little sawdust on the floor. In talking with the bartenders, musicians and locals at Arkey Blue's Silver Dollar, however, it's clear this place, now the oldest continuously operating honky-tonk in Texas, means a great deal more. We'll hear some music, a few tall tales, and discover along the way that while Bandera may have been built around a courthouse square, this basement venue is its true heart and soul.  --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/evan-stern1/message
Apr 22, 2021
2. Postcard from Seaton - "Sundays at Sefcik Hall"
00:26:02
Seaton, TX hasn’t had a post office since 1907, and as of last count, its population hovered somewhere around 40. Situated on a lonely stretch of highway, about ten miles east of Temple, it’s not on most maps and is easy to miss. Yet, on Sundays, this town comes alive when couples gather, as they have for nearly 100 years, to dance at Tom Sefcik Hall. We’ll spend an evening getting to know the family that’s kept this place running for generations, share both laughs and tears with a few regulars, and learn about how spaces like these shaped Texas culture as we know it. We’ll even get a little lesson in Czech! --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/evan-stern1/message
Apr 15, 2021
1. Postcard from West Austin - "Drinking at The Dry Creek"
00:28:08
A beer at Austin's Dry Creek Cafe will only cost you $3. What’s more, at the time of our visit their bartender, Angel, was only the third to work there since 1953. We’ll swap stories with her over a cold one, learn about the cedar choppers who once drank here from author Ken Roberts, and hear Bobby Earl Smith perform the murderous love ballad this salty joint inspired. We’ll also talk about the infamous Sarah, who was named in her obituary “the meanest bartender in Austin,” and explore the nearly seven decades of history this hidden dive, now surrounded by mansions, has borne witness to. --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/evan-stern1/message
Apr 08, 2021
Introducing: Vanishing Postcards
00:01:46

From the shores of Galveston to the dance halls of The Rio Grande Valley, join host Evan Stern on a journey deep into the heart of Texas where we'll hear stories from people in places that don't often make the pages of glossy travel brochures.  Alternately touching and humorous, "Vanishing Postcards" is an enriching listening experience, perfect for when you need a breather, but don't have the time or luxury of hitting the open road. Stay tuned and subscribe!

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Dec 11, 2020