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.

Fanny Flagg with host, Tom Wilmer
Hartzler Communications

Ms. Fanny Flagg, born in Birmingham, Alabama, started writing and producing TV specials at age 19 and before long became co-host of the morning show on WBRC TV Birmingham. 

The Lorraine Motel, Memphis, Tennessee--frozen in time
Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Faith Morris, Chief Marketing and External Affairs Officer at the National Civil Rights Museum in MemphisTennessee.

U.S. Army Air Forces Crash Boats trained in Morro Bay but there's much to be learned about their mission here.
Library of Congress

Joe Dunlap, a class of 1966 graduate of Morro Bay High School, and a U.S. Navy veteran, has been a student of WWII history for more than forty years. His areas of specialization include the Richmond California shipyards, and the U.S. Navy and Army base at Morro Bay, California where troops trained for South Pacific Landings.

The Morro Bay Detachment, Training command Amphibian Forces Pacific Fleet Landing Craft School drilled as many as 16,000 troops daily. Come along and join Joe Dunlap on the Morro Bay waterfront as he shares informative insights about Morro Bay’s vital role in WWII.

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Denise the owner of Virg's Landing sport fishing company based in Morro Bay.
Jennifer Little

Virg’s Landing has been an iconic ingredient in the Morro Bay sport fishing experience since 1954. Come along and join Denise, the owner of Virg’s for the inside scoop on day-trip fishing expeditions out of Morro Bay, California.

Michael David Winery owner Michael Phillips
Thomas Wilmer

The wine label, Seven Deadly Zins, produced by Michael David Winery was instrumental in putting Lodi, California on the map as a world-class producer of fine wines. Join Mike Phillips and daughter Melissa at their Lodi winery for a fascinating conversation with Tom Wilmer that proves that a catchy label is just as important as the wine inside the bottle.

 

  A summer of ‘69 road trip through Southern Appalachia struck a cord with musician David Holt and determined his future as a passionate advocate for traditional American folk music and the rural story telling tradition. Join correspondent, Tom Wilmer for a conversation with David Holt along with some of his music, and a sampler of his craft as a storyteller. 

Giant Panda Research Base isa bamboo paradise
Thomas Wilmer

The Giant Panda is revered by not only the Chinese, but kids and adults alike around the world. The Chinese have long used the Giant Panda as a diplomatic ambassador of friendship. Correspondent Tom Wilmer explores the Giant Panda Research Base facility in Chengdu, China with locals Mavis Liu Mei and Tiffany Shi Shi.

S.C. Johnson & Son Research tower built by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1951
Thomas Wilmer

   Racine Wisconsin has been home to many iconic American manufacturers since the Civil War. Case New Holland based in Racine since the 1840s. Malted milk was birthed here in 1887. The garbage disposal was born here in 1927. It’s the home of Oster, Hamilton-Beach, Massey Ferguson, and the legendary InSinkErator. Racine based S.C. Johnson formed in Racine in 1886, produce Raid, Glade, Johnson Wax, and Windex and a litany of cleaning products. Join Chris Paulson, Racine Heritage Museum’s Executive Director as he shares Racine’s incredible history. 

Sandi Twist talks SUP with correspondent Tom Wilmer on the docks in Morro Bay, California
Jennifer Little

A visit with Sandi Twist, owner of The Paddleboard Company, fittingly located on the waterfront in Morro Bay. Twist walks about the explosive popularity of stand-up paddling (SUP) for both the curious and serious.

“Gio” Giovanni DeGarimore has been involved in the Morro Bay fresh fish industry since he was a kid. Join Gio talks about Morro Bay’s sustainable, vibrant commercial fishing industry. Gio’s Galley restaurant serves fresh al fresco fresh caught seafood. He also operates the gas dock, and Stax Wine Bar. He’s finalizing plans for a live music concert series on the waterfront this fall.  

John McCutcheon performing at Garth Newel Music Center
Thomas Wilmer

Five-time Grammy Nominee John McCutcheon has produced 34 albums and plays guitar, banjo, autoharp, mountain dulcimer, fiddle and more in addition to writing music and conducting workshops around the country.

William "Red" Lewis at his Auto Gallery in Green Bay, Wisonsin
Thomas Wilmer

Green Bay dreamer William “Red” Lewis created a unique non-profit event center housed in his Automobile Gallery. The repurposed Denil Cadillac Dealership, features more than 50 classics, including a dragster, big-fin 1950’s “land-yachts” and head-turners from each decade of the past 100 years. Join visionary car-guy “Red” Lewis for the inside story about the “Top-10” tourist destination in Green Bay Wisconsin.

Laurie McCandish King talks with correspondent Tom Wilmer about her new book, Your Crocodile Has Arrived.
Jim Shubin

 Laurie Mcandish King's brilliance as an author was succinctly summed up by noted travel journalist, Jeff Greenwald: "King's curiosity is contagious—whether she's visiting a shrine to Buddha's tooth, undergoing shamanic surgery, or crashing a convention of flying saucer sighters. Her tales glow with wit, warmth and a sense of wonder." Come along a join the conversation on the docks in Morro Bay, California with host, Tom Wilmer and Ms. King.

Tim McCormick Project Manager (left), Jim Fricke Curatorial Director (right), Tom Wilmer (center) at Harley-Davidson Museum
Harely-Davidson Museum

Join Jim Fricke, Curatorial Director at the 130,000 square-foot Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as he shares highlights of the legendary motorcycle’s 117-year history.

The first Harley was introduced in 1903. By 1920 Harley-Davidson was the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer with dealers in 67 countries. Discover how the motorcycle’s role in WWI and WWII propelled the legend of the Harley. 

On February 19th 1942 FDR signed Executive order 9066 requiring the relocation and internment of all California coastal residents of Japanese descent. Historian Jim Gregory, author of WWII Arroyo Grande shares the sorrows and triumphs of the dramatic period in Arroyo Grande history—a time when more than forty percent of the high school student body was of Japanese ancestry.

Taliesin--Frank Lloyd Wrights home in Wisconsin
Thomas Wilmer

Join Erik Flesch at Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright’s ancestral home in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Flesch is a longtime expert on Frank Lloyd Wright and his architecture and he's Taliesin Preservation’s Director of Development.

SRAM Design Engineer Will king shows off a Buffalo Bicycle
Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Will King, Design Engineer at SRAM’s San Luis Obispo R&D high-tech bicycle component facility. King talks with Tom about SRAM’s involvement with World Bicycle Relief a nonprofit organization mobilizing people through The Power of Bicycles. 

John Sepulvado KQED California Report Host
KQED

KQED's California Report host, John Sepulvado shares his passion for building relationships with NPR affiliate stations across the State. 

Blacksmith, Ralph Oalmann teaches history through his craft and presentations at Fort Gaines
Thomas Wilmer

Fort Gaines Historic Site on Daughin Island, Alabama was etched in to the annals of Civil War history as the site of the Battle of Mobile Bay where Union Naval Admiral Farragot shouted the legendary order, “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead.”

Shades of the Guggenheim in NYC at Monona Terrace
Thomas Wilmer

Madison, Wisconsin’s Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center was first proposed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1938. But it was 21 years before the project was completed, sadly just weeks after Wright’s death. 

Racine Museum of Art night scene
Racine Museum of Art

 Bruce Pepich, Executive Director and Curator of Collections at the Racine Museum of Art talks about making art relevant to the non-artist. Outreach programs where the art comes to the schools, and alluring programs where the people come to the art in Racine, Wisconsin.

Hull's Drive-in Theatre Logo
Hull's Drive In

Come along and join Jeremy Reter as he talks about how the Lexington, Virginia townspeople saved their drive-in theater. Reter also talks about the resurgence of Drive in Theaters in Virginia and around the country. Hull’s Drive-In Theatre has been a part of the Rockbridge area community for more than 50 years.

Jo Licata, Community Outreach Coordinator Hilton San Francisco Union Square
Thomas Wilmer

Jo Licata, Community Outreach Coordinator at the Hilton San Francisco Union square talks about the hotel's second use and higher purpose program that recycles soaps, shampoos, toilet paper, leftover items from conferences, hotel furnishings, and much more. One of Hilton’s many non-profit partnerships is Clean the World Foundation that distributes hygiene supplies worldwide.

National Park Ranger Jennifer Hale on the trail near Sugarlands Visitors Center
Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at the Sugarlands Visitors Center, just 11 miles from Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Ranger, Jennifer Hale talks about the park’s astounding biodiversity, activities and history.

Madison Museum of Contemporary Art metaphorical architecture
Tom Wilmer

Celebrating 116 years, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is the longest serving cultural organization in the city. Join Erika Monroe-Kane Director of Communications for an insider’s look at the ways the free-access museum brings art to the people and people to the art in Madison, Wisconsin

Madison Children's Museum

Join Gabriella Gerhardt, Development Officer at the Madison Children’s Museum in Wisconsin. It’s a hands-on engaging place where free-play is the operative. Discover why NPR ranked one of the exhibits among the top ten in America, and learn about the live chickens, the human hamster cage, the engaging new Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit, and more—just for kids.

GM's Aerotrain  at the National Railroad Museum
Tom Wilmer

Join Jacqueline Frank Executive Director of the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Mandated by Congress it’s the only National Railroad Museum in America. 

A sampler of the museum rolling stock includes “Big Boy” the world’s largest steam locomotive; Pullman cars, GG-1 America’s most famous electric locomotive; and the captivating aerodynamic “Aerotrain” built by General Motors and unveiled in 1955.

Green Bay, Wisconsin's City Deck redeveloped waterfront
City of Green Bay Wisconsin

Not too long ago downtown Green Bay, Wisconsin’s downtown fronted on a blighted, industrial riverfront—that was not people friendly. Jeff Mirkes, Executive Director of Downtown Green Bay Inc., explains how the town’s waterfront City Deck redeveloped riverfront attracted an influx of new business ventures and urban dwellers into the heart of downtown.

Henning's Wisconsin Cheese logo stamped on a block of cheese
Thomas Wilmer

The Courthouse Pub in Manitowoc, Wisconsin does a thriving lunch and dinner trade, and it was their killer fried cheese curds that were mentioned by everyone who recommended the place. We’ll also stop in for visit at Henning’s Cheese factory in Kiel, Wisconsin—the source of the pub’s coveted fresh cheese curds.

USS Cobia at Wisconsin Martime Museum
Thomas Wilmer

The history and science of the Great Lakes maritime world is showcased at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc. Set appropriately on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, the hands-on museum is Wisconsin’s first Smithsonian Affiliate facility. Among the many interactive attractions that appeal to young and old alike is America’s most extensively restored WWII submarine USS Cobia anchored out front. Next up, join us onboard the charter motor sailboat Parlay in Sturgeon Bay with Captain Tom for a Cruise through Green Bay and Lake Michigan. 

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