Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer

1st and 2nd Wednesdays during Issues & Ideas (1-2:00 p.m.)

Tom Wilmer’s Lowell Thomas Award-winning NPR Podcast, recorded live on-location across America and around the world- showcases the arts, culture, music, nature, history, science, wine & spirits, brewpubs, and the culinary arts.

We cover nouns and verbs—people, places, things, and action—everything from baseball to exploring South Pacific atolls, and interviewing the real Santa Claus in the Arctic.

WWII troop transport birthed and open to the public at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco
THOMAS WILMER

San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf is one of the City’s iconic destinations for tourists from around the world, along with Alcatraz, Chinatown, Union Square and Coit Tower. Join Tom Wilmer in San Francisco for a visit with Rachel Brown, Marketing and Communications Director for the Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District.

Stax Museum of American Soul Music
Thomas Wilmer

Back in the 1960s Stax Records served as an incubator of the Memphis, Tennessee Soul Music genre.

Join Tim Sampson Communications Director for the Soulsville Foundation where he talks about the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the genesis of “Soulsville”, the astounding Stax Music Academy, and Soulsville Charter School.

Ford Research lab
Thomas Wilmer

Your new Ford might just come equipped with repurposed U.S. currency, flax, wheat, agave fibers, and a litany of organic auto parts. Ford’s tenacious quest to utilize sustainable materials includes a brilliant farm-to-car supply chain that’s already in place at the Ontario, Canada Ford plant utilizing wheat-straw produced by local farmers. Janice Tardiff, Elastomeric Materials Technical Expert, and Deborah Mielewski Ph.D., take us on a tour at Ford’s Research and Innovation Center labs in Dearborn, Michigan

Joe Thorner Brewmaster at Brew Detroit (Left) with Tom Wilmer at Brew Detroit
Brew Detroit

Joe Thorner, Brewmaster and Operations Manager at Brew Detroit, produces an array of brews including the iconic Stroh’s.  Back in 1850 German immigrant Bernhard Stroh started selling his beer door-to-door from a wheelbarrow and it’s remained as an iconic Detroit brew ever since. Thorner shares his passionate core philosophy of crafting zestful beers through his intimate understanding of the core ingredients: hops, yeast, and malt, and producing classic Stroh’s. 

Vista from Ragged Point Inn--at bottom of cliff wreckage of numerous cars rot away--and some locals claim the occupants of the wrecked vehicles still hang around as ghosts
THOMAS WILMER

The journey of driving along Highway 1 through Big Sur Country is one of the most spiritual routes in America, but unless you’re a Big Sur local, you probably didn’t know that it’s also one of the most spirit filled realms on the West Coast. Come along and listen to some tales of the ghosts and spirits that haunt Big Sur Country with Rory Cosma at Ragged Point Inn and Resort.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's line up for luncheon honoring their bravery
THOMAS WILMER

Saturday morning july 8th 2017 started out uneventfully at St. Vincent de Paul’s Circle V Ranch summer camp in the hills above Santa Barbara.

But a puff of smoke on the horizon alerted camp counselors that trouble was brewing. The Whittier wildfire came close to destroying the summer camp and threatened the lives of hundreds of campers and staff.

To honor the first responders who came to the rescue of the campers, St. Vincent de Paul hosted a special luncheon at Old Mission Santa Ines Parish Hall in Solvang, California. Join me for a conversation with David Fields, Executive Director St. Vincent de Paul, Los Angeles.

Detroit Beer book cover
Arcadia Publishing

Join author, podcast host, and Motor City Brew Tours founder Stephen Johnson for an insiders look at Detroit’s beer world, past and present.

Detroit brew tours include walking, biking, and by bus.

Enrique Rabsamen primary and secondary school in Southern Mexico City
Chicago Tribune

The September 19, 2017 magnitude 7.1 earthquake centered near Puebla, Mexico left more than 4,500 people injured and more than 220 dead in Mexico City alone.

Many of the 38 buildings in Mexico City that collapsed did so due to shoddy construction practices and corrupt building inspectors according to local activists.

Mexico City television and radio host, Victor Pineda lives just two blocks from the Enrique Rabsamen primary and secondary school. His house was unscathed while the nearby school collapsed, leaving 29 students dead.

The new Little Caesars Arena anchors a 50 block redevelopment in the heart of downtown Detroit
THOMAS WILMER

Detroit’s resurgence is propelling with a new light rail, the freshly opened Little Caesars Arena—an anchor of a 50 block downtown development project, the legendary Motown Museum’s expansion plans, and a visit with the owner of Michigan’s oldest licensed brewpub, Traffic Jam & Snug.

Costa Rica flower
Thomas Wilmer

Jim Damalas with Greentique Hotels in Costa Rica talks about the trend setting hotel group’s four distinctive properties, set within four of the country’s five tropical forests, and the group’s intrinsic philosophy of trendsetting environmental sustainability.  

Villa Blanca is set high in the cloud forest, while Si Como No Resort and Wildlife Refuge in Manuel Antonio National Park is Cliffside overlooking the Pacific.

Author, Amanda Summer is an archaeologist and award-winning writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Islands, Archaeology, Odyssey and The Best Travel Writing. For the past 30 years she has returned to the Greek island of Ithaka, where she searched for the palace of Odysseus starting in 1984 with a team from Washington University in St. Louis. 

1919 Green Bay Packers team
www.packers.com

Brenda Krainik and Candy Conard in Green Bay, Wisconsin share the back-story of how the Green Bay Packers came to be America’s only non-profit NFL team. More than 360,000 fans are ardent shareholders, and the concession stands at Lambeau Field are operated by local non-profit organizations. Brenda also shares insights about cool things to do and see in the little town of Green Bay—with the world’s most passionate football fans.

Sprint Center KC MO
Thomas Wilmer

  Celeste Lupercio, Director of Sales, Marketing and Events takes us on a fascinating journey of discovery at the interactive, very much hands-on College Basketball Experience at the Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

The National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and the College Basketball Experience are located inside the Sprint Center.

Tom Bradshaw, Lexington, Virginia
Thomas Wilmer

Tom Bradshaw was so fascinated with the old railway Caboose that he bought his own circa-1926 C&O “woody” and had it set on his property near Lexington, Virginia. Fully restored, Tom’s caboose serves as a memorable place to spend the night. Join Tom as he shares the tale of finding and restoring his iconic red caboose.

Underbed music: theme song David Holt’s PBS TV series Great American Railway Journeys from the album David Holt & Friends 

San Luis Obispo County outlaw from the 1800's Pio Linares
The History Center of San Luis Obispo County

Historian Jim Gregory says, “California was a wild and lawless place in the 1850s, and San Luis Obispo County was no exception with the highest murder rate in America.” Outlaws and bandits passed along El Camino Real leaving a trail of victims. The James brothers, the Daltons and even Al Capone made their mark here. 

Rock Harbor Marketing

Rock Harbor Marketing owner and social media marketer, Travis Ford, based in Morro Bay, California talks about the current social media landscape and how to manage the multiplicity of business options--from the best social business platform to scheduling posts. 

Jessica Potts, Executive Director of the Agricultural & Rural Life Museum at San Lorenzo County Park in King City, California in front of the old (circa-1903) King City train station--that was relocated to the park
Thomas Wilmer

The San Lorenzo County Park in King City, California showcases the agrarian roots of Monterey County’s Salinas Valley. A highlight of the park is the Agricultural & Rural Life Museum that includes King City’s circa-1903 Train Depot, a one-room circa-1887 Schoolhouse, a main exhibit barn, an irrigation history museum, along with than 50 antique tractors, and farm equipment. In addition to picnic spots, there are overnight RV and tent campsites. Executive Director Jessica Potts shares insights about this Monterey County hidden gem. 

Frank Lloyd Wright's Madison Unitarian Meeting House designed in 1946 and completed in 1951
Thomas Wilmer

March Schweitzer talks about the First Unitarian Society’s Meeting House in Madison, Wisconsin. Designed by parishioner Frank Lloyd Wright in 1946 and completed in 1951, his radical design served to transform 20th Century Church architecture. Schweitzer also talks about Frank Lloyd Wrong—a moniker earned via a heartless side of Wright’s personality.

Dave Lohrentz at Madison Sourdough
Thomas Wilmer

 Dave Lohrentz, co-owner of Madison Sourdough Bakery & Café talks about the passionate quest to source healthy ingredients locally, from Amish eggs, to wheat, rye, and cream. Madison Sourdough is ranked among Madison, Wisconsin's top three locally sourcing facilities. Come along and join the conversation with Dave Lohrentz.

Old Sugar Distillery's distinctive copper pot stills
Old Sugar Distillery

Nathan Greenawalt’s Old Sugar Distillery in downtown Madison, Wisconsin pays homage to the state’s history as a sugar beat producer.

Come along and join Greenawalt in his Madison tasting room as he talks about his passion for producing handcrafted Old Sugar whiskey. Find out what Old Sugar Distillery is up to on Facebook.

Otto Dilba at Ale Asylum in Madison, Wisconsin
Thomas Wilmer

Join Otto Dilba at the Ale Asylum in Madison, Wisconsin where they brew award-winning beer in sanity.  Ale Asylum takes the purest approach, just water, malt, hops and yeast—no spices, no fruit, no chocolate— As a testimonial to their craft, Bedlam brew was rated among the world’s top ten Belgian Style IPA’s by RateBeer.com

Ken Clark, manager at the newly renovated The Landing in Morro Bay proves that you do not have to stay at a waterfront hotel to capture an awesome view of the bay.
Thomas Wilmer

Join Jennifer Little with Morro Bay Tourism as we visit with the innkeepers at two waterfront boutique hotels, La Roche, and Estero Inn, and The Landing—an upscale reincarnation of the iconic Breaker’s Motel, just one block above the Embarcadero in the heart of California's Highway One Discovery Route.

Tony and Julie Hook at their Mineral Point, Wisconsin cheese factory
Hook's Cheese Company

From their non-descript cheese factory in Mineral Point, Wisconsin Tony and Julie Hook have carved an enviable slice in the world of Wisconsin cheese crafting, and have earned the formal title as “World Champion Cheese Makers”. Come along and discover why Hook’s Cheese Company makes some of Wisconsin’s finest, why the French now import Wisconsin cheese, and why the process of becoming a Certified Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker is equivalent to earning a PhD. 

Elizabeth Eckford runs a gauntlet of hate to attend high school in Little Rock. The young white woman just over her shoulder with her mouth open, yelling at her is Hazel Bryan-- Arkansas September 1957
Will Counts

September 4th, 1957 was the first day of school in Little Rock Arkansas. Nine black children attempted to start classes at the all white Central High school. Their entry was blocked by hundreds of Arkansas national Guardsmen who had been sent on direct orders issued by Arkansas Governor Orville Faubus to block the entry of the nine black students who will forever live on in history as the Little Rock Nine.

Colleen Bos at her Bos Meadery in Madison, Wisconsin
Thomas Wilmer

Mead, made from honey is the most ancient of wines with archeological evidence dating back 9,000 years. Mead got lost in the shuffle with the proliferation of grape wines over the centuries, but it’s definitely making stellar comeback today. Bos Meadery celebrating its 5th anniversary, is a shining star in Madison, Wisconsin with a growing base of ardent fans. Join mead-maven Colleen Bos, as she shares her passion for mead.

Host Tom Wilmer visits with Cal Poly Intern Randy Hair (Left) Virginia Scripps (Center) and Kain Tietzel, CEO of StartVR (Right) in the KCBX NPR affiliate studio in San Luis Obispo, California
KCBX

  

Kain Tietzel, CEO and founder of Sydney, Australia based Start VR talks about the newly released Atlas Obscura VR (virtual reality) hi-fidelity virtual travel experience.

Join Tietzel, Virginia Scripps with Los Angeles based Press Kitchen PR, and Cal Poly intern Randi Hair as we explore the new frontier of virtual world travel via a smart phone and headset.

Madison, Wisconsin's weekly Farmer's Market attacks more than 20,000 people every week throughout the summer season
Thomas Wilmer

Dane County’s weekly Farmers Market attracts more than 20,000 people during the height of the summer season, but it’s a year-round affair. With more than 275 vendors, more than 150 set up shop weekly. The market is much more than just a place to shop for fresh Wisconsin produce, it’s an epic place to socialize and bring the entire family. Tom Wilmer visits with Market Manager Sarah Elliott  at the Wisconsin State Capital Square in downtown Madison, Wisconsin  for the inside scoop.

The lakefront dock at The Edegwater Hotel in Madison where boaters tie up for free
Thomas Wilmer

It’s no accident that The Edgewater is Madison, Wisconsin's only Four Diamond hotel. Come along and discover why The Edgewater is a bellwether and trendsetter for America’s hospitality industry. 

FranK Lloyd Wright designed Monona Terrace in downtown Madison, Wisconsin
Thomas Wilmer

Tom Wilmer and his associate, Annita Thomas from Atlanta Georgia visit with Diane Morganthaler, Executive Vice President of the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau. Diane shares a litany of cool things to do and see for the entire family. 

Wisconsin Brewing

Brothers Mark and Carl Nolan, and Brewmaster Kirby Nelson started Wisconsin Brewing in 2013—and they never looked back. Join the conversation with Carl Nolan and Kirby Nelson and discover how their brew differs from the craft beer craze. They also talk about the industry-wide momentum across the country to modernize the industry through start-up/business friendly legislation proposals.

Wisconsin brewing is located less than 20 minutes from Madison, Wisconsin.

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