Alligator Preserves Episode 42: The Blessed Biscuit

Me and my men at the Lead Ass Inn!

I’m sharing my 9th short story with everyone–a Christmas story about work/life decisions and a man presented with a dilemma.

As a bonus, I read my personalized version of the beloved poem “The Night Before Christmas.

Listen Here:

Show Notes with Links:

  • Short Story #9: “The Blessed Biscuit” narrated
  • Epiphany
  • The idea of having enough
  • I read my version of “The Night Before Christmas” (The Lead Ass Inn is the name of our home, Klaus is our life-size nutcracker, Charlie is our guest cat, Melanzana is a Leadville shop which makes hoodies and all kinds of good wear-gear right in shop)
  • Link to my version of the Christmas poem

More Links:

If you enjoy my podcasts, you might enjoy my books!

If you enjoyed this episode and others, please subscribe to Alligator Preserves on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts, and tell your friends about it! I’d love it if you “liked” the episodes you listen to, and I’d love it even more if you’d post a quick comment!

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Alligator Preserves Episode 41: “Sisyphus Wins” with Author Jerry Fabyanic

Jerry interviewed me at his radio studio last August! He is a wonderful supporter of local authors.

Jerry Fabyanic–author, columnist, radio show host, and denizen of Mother Earth–talks with Laurel McHargue about his novel Sisyphus Wins and about growing up as a gay man in a time when coming out was not acceptable.

He discusses his philosophy of life, strides in the LGBTQ community, and the Georgetown Christmas Fair where he and dozens of other authors will have their works available (December 1-2 and 8-9, 2018).

Listen Here:

Watch the YouTube Interview Here:

Show Notes with Links:

  • Jerry talks about his relationship with Mother Earth
  • and about “bagging 14ers”
  • He discusses how his novel Sisyphus Wins–“a novel about self-acceptance, forgiveness, and triumph”–reflects his love of nature
  • Discussion of Mount of the Holy Cross and Jerry’s actual fall
  • How much of the main character, Jonathan Slovanco, is autobiographical?
  • We discuss our Catholic mothers
  • “Voice” in his work and how it might influence readers
  • Discussion of Moby Dick and Ahab’s struggle with the universe
  • The idea of revenge in Moby Dick
  • Growing up poor and why he moved to Colorado
  • Why Sisyphus Wins is for readers looking for literature that is more provocative
  • Jerry Fabyanic

    We joke about why Jerry chose to live such a “mundane” life…NOT!

  • Jerry discusses growing up as a gay man in the ’60s, his coming out experience with friends and family, and his fears for the LGBTQ community today
  • The book Boy Erased by Garrard Conley and the film based on the book. Link to film Trailer
  • Psychological traumas we carry from our childhood
  • His teaching years
  • Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA)
  • Georgetown Christmas Market
  • KYGT Radio
  • JerryFabyanic.com with Higher Living Reflections blog
  • BighornBookClub.com
  • email: Jerry@jerryfabyanic.com

More Links:

If you enjoy my podcasts, you might enjoy my books!

If you enjoyed this episode and others, please subscribe to Alligator Preserves on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts, and tell your friends about it! I’d love it if you “liked” the episodes you listen to, and I’d love it even more if you’d post a quick comment!

Please support Alligator Preserves on Patreon.  You will be rewarded!

 

 

Alligator Preserves Episode 40: “Bronxland” with Paul Thaler

Author Paul Thaler

Paul Thaler, author of “Bronxland,” discusses his new coming of age story and the tumultuous decade of the ’60s in America. His story will bring you back to your middle school years, regardless of where you grew up.

Listen here:

Watch our visit on YouTube:

Part 1    and    Part 2

Bronxland

Show Notes with Links: 

  • Who is Paul Thaler and how did the idea of Bronxland emerge?
  • Paul, author of Bronxland and other books, shares classroom stories with Laurel, author of “Miss?” and other books.
  • Discussion about the environment in schools in the ’60s and relationships…in the courtyard, with classmates, with teachers
  • School orchestra award medal story and lessons learned
  • The true “crush” Paul had on his math teacher and the art project no one will ever forget
  • Sex in the laundry room and the creepy guy in the theater
  • The big fight and the idea of respect
  • A time of innocence and heartbreak
  • Coming of age story, discovering one’s place in this world
  • JFK was a Bronx boy and greatly influenced PaulPaul Thaler sent me this JFK Bronx school photo (Riverdale Country Day School). Can you guess which one he is? Hint: he’s the one who already looks presidential!

  • Lots of history in the novel…a special place in time…the tragic decade of the ’60s
  • Where did Paul learn compassion?
  • Story of the missing boy (Etan Patz) and how it’s handled in Bronxland
  • Writing a novel and the “avalanche of memories” that come into play
  • Black Opal Books and how publishing is sometimes more difficult than writing (because of the letting go)
  • Our mutual friend June Trop and her work
  • Aunt Selma and the comic book debacle
  • Wonderful, horrible characters and the stolen clarinet
  • What Paul does for fun, why he writes, and will there be a sequel to Bronxland?
  • Find Paul on Amazon, Black Opal Books, and Facebook (there’s a JHS82 page)

More Links:

If you enjoy my podcasts, you might enjoy my books!

If you enjoyed this episode and others, please subscribe to Alligator Preserves on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts, and tell your friends about it! I’d love it if you “liked” the episodes you listen to, and I’d love it even more if you’d post a quick comment!

Please support Alligator Preserves on Patreon.  You will be rewarded!

Alligator Preserves Episode 39: About That Body

In this episode, I share some writings in poetry and prose on the topic “The Body” for a special project and discover something about reading instructions!

Listen Here:

Mum and me and our saggy cheeks, April 2017

Show Notes with Links:

Body Batik

A body batik, the most stunning creation on earth
Wrung from a lifetime—begun with a thought and a prayer
Lined by a hand unseen, wax designs sketched before birth
Patterns present themselves often before we’re aware

Skin of an infant, luminous, fragrant and pure
Hiding within it adventure and challenge and grief
Never foreseeing the hardships we all must endure
Born to exposure—a lifetime, though surely too brief

Teenage perfection with makeup and primping routine
Taking for granted the glowing of health and fresh youth
Carefree and negligent, no need to mind the machine
We were invincible, now we can laugh at the truth

Growing maturity, comfort and pride in our skin
“What are your secrets?” they’ll ask, as we gracefully age
“Having accomplishments, balancing yang with our yin,
We’re the creators of joy in our lives at each stage!”

Old age surprises us, creases appear to unfold
Splotches and patches of skin we expect to stay smooth
Thinning, translucent and bumpy, a sight to behold
Pricey medicinals, daily required to soothe

A body batik, the most challenging canvas from birth
Etched with experience, pleasure and pain and repair
Creases and wrinkles embellish us, value their worth
Live in them lovingly, cherish your internal flair

Crafted with purpose and care is our body batik
Each one unveiled as a masterpiece, each one unique

Enigmachine (a 200-word challenge about “The Body”)

This faulty machine I inhabit remains an enigma. “We can send a man to the moon,” but this arthritic bump on my finger and, and, and. The ands are too trite to discuss. I wrote a piece about menopause in which I addressed my Mum’s droopy cheeks, among other sagging things, when I became keenly aware of my own floppy parts. Her sister took umbrage. How could I be so disrespectful to my aging mother?

Mum laughed.

I watched as she disappeared, her hair and skin thinning, until finally she was gone. A breeze might have carried her away. I held her hand, a near duplicate of my own, and as her engine fluttered to failure, I marveled at the framework that had carried her through 89 years.

Will my framework carry me as long? Will my frequently fluttering heart match the mileage hers endured? Will I be as prepared as she was to leave the burden of a broken machine behind when new parts are no longer in stock?

Perhaps. Until then, I’ll (try to) control my displeasure as each new “and . . .” hijacks my machine. Until then, I’ll service and lube as necessary.

And I’ll smile.

Me and Mum. We’d laugh about being twins separated by 30 years!

More Links:

If you enjoy my podcasts, you might enjoy my books!

If you enjoyed this episode and others, please subscribe to Alligator Preserves on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts, and tell your friends about it! I’d love it if you “liked” the episodes you listen to, and I’d love it even more if you’d post a quick comment!

Please support Alligator Preserves on Patreon.  You will be rewarded!

Alligator Preserves Episode 38: June Trop, Woman of Mystery!

June Trop, Associate Professor emerita at the State University of New York at New Paltz, talks about the inspiration for her Miriam bat Isaac Mystery Series, her years of teaching middle school science, her twin sister, and lots more!

June during a WKNY interview April 12, 2018

Listen Here:

Watch Here on YouTube:

Laurel McHargue interviews June Trop, Woman of Mystery!

Show Notes with Links:

  • We share our connections between New Paltz, The Gunks, Leadville, teaching and writing
  • Who is June Trop and why was teaching middle school science her best job?
  • She told her student the plants outsider were having sex!
  • What it’s like being a twin, and the difficulties of childhood
  • Storytelling (embellishing and fabricating) in science class!
  • Her first story, written at age five and sold!
  • The state of education today
  • June has led “a life of crime”
  • Idea for Miriam bat Isaac series and a magical experience at the library
  • Maria the Prophetess
  • Why does she use 1st person perspective?
  • What is June’s writing process?
  • Her book From Lesson Plans to Power Struggles (a guide for new teachers)
  • Master mystery writer Lawrence Block
  • “Locked Room” dramas and June’s “Deadliest” series
  • Researching
  • Black Opal Books and the status of publishing today
  • June’s advice to writers and considering your audience
  • Contact: www.junetrop.com

More Links:

If you enjoy my podcasts, you might enjoy my books!

If you enjoyed this episode and others, please subscribe to Alligator Preserves on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts, and tell your friends about it! I’d love it if you “liked” the episodes you listen to, and I’d love it even more if you’d post a quick comment!

Please support Alligator Preserves on Patreon.  You will be rewarded!

Alligator Preserves Episode 37: Everybody Loves A Donkey Tale!

Laurel recounts the craziest race her husband, Mike, ever participated in: A pack burro race up Mosquito Pass and back during a Leadville Boom Days weekend. He raced with a rent-an-ass from Curtis Imrie (RIP) and met the legendary Ken Chlouber for the first time as well. This is a crazy-ass story with some poignant moments.

Curtis Imrie (RIP) and I were extras in The Weather Channel’s documentary “Dead of Winter: The Donner Party,” filmed in part in Leadville.

Listen Here:

Show Notes with Links:

More Links:

If you enjoy my podcasts, you might enjoy my books!

If you enjoyed this episode and others, please subscribe to Alligator Preserves on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts, and tell your friends about it! I’d love it if you “liked” the episodes you listen to, and I’d love it even more if you’d post a quick comment!

Please support Alligator Preserves on Patreon.  You will be rewarded!

Alligator Preserves Episode 36: Meet a Silver Queen–Alison Sandoval!

Alison Sandoval is a “Silver Queen” after completing the Leadville Race Series two-day race: a 50-mile mountain bike race on a Saturday followed by a 50-mile foot race the very next day, starting at over 10,000′ elevation and climbing through mountainous terrain from there! And she is the one who inspired her husband (who is the current record holder for the Leadman race) to start competing!

Alison Sandoval starts her new career as a magic paper artist!

Listen Here:

Show Notes with Links:

  • Alison tells us who she is
  • How she got into racing, her first race, and inspiring husband Wesley Sandoval (current Leadman record holder) to get into a fitness routine.
  • My interview with her husband, Wesley Sandoval
  • Alison’s philosophy on racing, her routine, what she wears and eats
  • Cycles of Life Bike Shop (Leadville)
  • Orange Mud hydration pack
  • GU energy
  • Being a woman in ultraracing, and family participation
  • Physical challenges and fear
  • Is there a Leadwoman in her future? Listen to find out!
We laugh about her possible career as a painter! (Magic Disappearing “paint” paper)

More Links:

If you enjoy my podcasts, you might enjoy my books!

If you enjoyed this episode and others, please subscribe to Alligator Preserves on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts, and tell your friends about it! I’d love it if you “liked” the episodes you listen to, and I’d love it even more if you’d post a quick comment!

Please support Alligator Preserves on Patreon.  You will be rewarded!

Alligator Preserves Episode 35: Chuck Bost Remembers

Chuck Bost is an 85-year-old Leadville native and he has stories to tell! He’s also about the nicest man you’ll ever meet. A miner like his ancestors, Chuck talks about what Leadville was like “back in the day” and what he has done for work and for fun all these years.

Chuck Bost visits with me downtown at Cookies With Altitude (owner Sherry Randall)!

Show Notes with Links:

  • Charles Joseph Anton Bostyancic, a.k.a. Chuck Bost, talks about his family name change
  • His father and grandfather were miners too
  • He remembers what Leadville was like when he was a child
  • His first jobs, the challenges he faces, and what he was paid: “It was pretty good for a young feller”!
  • Climax Mine work and moving houses to town in 1962

    Chuck Bost at 18, joined the Navy but got transferred to the 1st Marine Division
  • More about his mother and father, caring for his parents, and past girlfriends
  • Catholic grade school with the Sisters of Charity
  • Did he ever get in trouble?
  • “No more wine for you, little Charlie”!
  • Chuck’s relationship with his younger brother and sister
  • His memories of the Korean War and if he was ever afraid
  • We talk about skiing and hunting (Cooper Hill and 10th Mountain Division)
  • What are his concerns about this youngest generation?
  • Television, sports, and a typical day
  • We skirt around politics and end on happiness!
  • I sing a silly Marilyn Monroe-style birthday song for Chuck’s 85th birthday!

More Links:

If you enjoy my podcasts, you might enjoy my books!

If you enjoyed this episode and others, please subscribe to Alligator Preserves on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts, and tell your friends about it! I’d love it if you “liked” the episodes you listen to, and I’d love it even more if you’d post a quick comment!

Please support Alligator Preserves on Patreon.  You will be rewarded!

 

Alligator Preserves Episode 34: Mike McHargue (my husband) on Sacrifice and Suffering and So Much More!

Laurel interviews her husband, Mike McHargue, a four-time Leadman and two-time titanium man, about racing and sacrifice and suffering and some fun things too. As the Emergency Manager for his county and as a volunteer for Search and Rescue, he has experienced more unusual physical challenges than the average bear. Listen to his philosophy on pushing past self-imposed limits and on the different “types” of fun in the world.

Mike paints a bicycle he probably would not want to ride in any race!

Listen here:

 2006: Waiting at the finish line (after missing Mike at the 50-mile point because of chocolates)!

Show Notes with Links:

  • Why ultra-racing, and how did it start?
  • Bill Block, Frank Sobchek, and adventure racing
  • West Virginia 24-hour race (I cried…another story!)
  • When short races become “too comfortable”

    2006: Nick paced Mike from Twin Lakes to MayQueen!
  • Football “Double Days” in high school
  • Is racing in the DNA of a person?
  • Mike’s piece about why suffering is good, and “How is this fun?”
  • Shackleton’s recruiting advertisement for the crew of the Endurance and the Antarctic expedition: “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.” –Ernest Shackleton. 
  • Fruita Fat Tire Festival and “the Edge Loop” experience
  • Type 1 and Type 2 fun, The Fun Scale (which does include Type 3 fun–no fun at all!)
  • The Four Pass Loop experience

    Mike Lamond, Nick, and Mike at the start of the Four Pass Loop…
  • Have we made future generations “soft”?
  • Old Rag experience with children
  • Can one go too far in pushing physical limits?
  • Mike’s hardest 100-mile race, the year the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment lost crew
  • Navy SEAL 40% Rule
  • Introverts vs extroverts and what you cannot predict

    Mike Lamond, Nick, and Mike at the end of the Four Pass Loop!
  • New Year’s resolutions and starting the day with inspirational YouTube podcast . . . Jocko Willink’s “GOOD” episode
  • Mike’s man-crush: Teddy Roosevelt
  • We play the Newlywed Game!
  • Relationships and when there’s an imbalance in physical abilities
  • Episode with David and Jana Zangerle
  • Episode with Ken Chlouber
Mike coming through Twin Lakes, outbound, on August 11, 2018!

More Links:

If you enjoy my podcasts, you might enjoy my books!

If you enjoyed this episode and others, please subscribe to Alligator Preserves on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts, and tell your friends about it! I’d love it if you “liked” the episodes you listen to, and I’d love it even more if you’d post a quick comment!

Please support Alligator Preserves on Patreon.  You will be rewarded!

Alligator Preserves Episode 33: Brent Goldstein, the Tour Divide, and the LT100

Brent Goldstein’s bucket (list) is empty after completing the 2018 Tour Divide, but he’s back in Leadville to compete in his 12th Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race!

Brent Goldstein’s magic paper “painting”! (You paint with water and your work of art disappears quickly! Order yours at Leadville’s Fire On The Moutain)

Brent races for the First Descents (FD) Organization–he’s the Chairman of the FD Board–and is working on a book about his experience riding the Tour Divide and working with the FD organization. *

* Brent would like to make a correction to his response about why Brad Ludden founded First Descents: it was not his sister who had cancer, but his aunt.

Listen here:

Show Notes with Links:

  • Brad Ludden’s vision for First Descents
  • Preparing to include candidates with Multiple Sclerosis
  • Brent talks about the variety of adventure camps young adult cancer survivors/patients may attend
  • His friend Alan Goldberg convinced him to ride the LT100
  • Shaw Cancer Center in Vail
  • Brent discusses the greatest physical challenge he completed before the Tour Divide and how he prepared (or didn’t prepare!)

    Brent Goldstein at Great Basin on the 2018 Tour Divide! Photo provided by Brent Goldstein
  • Ride the Divide movie
  • Salsa Timberjack Touring Bike
  • Join Facebook groups to learn from those who’ve experienced the races
  • Brent’s favorite gear pick: JBL Bluetooth Speakers for his eclectic play lists
  • His worst day on the Tour, feeling fear, and his best day
  • Did completing the Tour Divide change his life?
  • Shout-outs to supporters, so many! His wife Lisa, Jackie, Gary Johnson (yes, that one), Kevin Kane, Jeff Hoffman, Bonnie Gagnon, Mario & Vincent Hammel, Wayne, Chuck, and more!
  • RULES SCHMULES!
  • Ken Chlouber’s mantra (listen to my interview of Ken here)
  • LT100 Mountain Bike Race goal for 2018 and tips for riders
  • Grace Ragland’s interview here
  • What’s the purpose of the book he’s writing?
  • Contact me: laurel@strackpress.com if you’re interested in purchasing Not Your Mother’s Book…On Being a Stupid Kid with Brent’s stories in it and I’ll donate proceeds to First Descents!
  • Find out how you can support First Descents here, and remember that another way you can help the FD family is by referring young adult survivors/patients to FD to attend their life-affirming programs.

More Links:

If you enjoy my podcasts, you might enjoy my books!

If you enjoyed this episode and others, please subscribe to Alligator Preserves on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts, and tell your friends about it! I’d love it if you “liked” the episodes you listen to, and I’d love it even more if you’d post a quick comment!

Please support Alligator Preserves on Patreon.  You will be rewarded!