Archive for the ‘Kurt Vonnegut’ Category

PODCAST:

S2 – Year End Episode (season overview)*

Listen to the podcast here (click to play/right click and select “save target as” to download):

SHOW NOTES:

You will enjoy a mish mash of reminiscing thoughts on the 2nd season (year) of your favorite podcast, NDIOS. In this show, we ruminate and riff on the relevance of nebulous things such as ‘literary’ versus ‘genre’ type works, and whether ferrets are worthy pets.

-Rick
Wrap Up Weekend - set up

 

 

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

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PODCAST:

“Culver Indiana and Vonnegut: a documentary”

 

SUBJECT MATTER:

“Culver Indiana and Vonnegut: a documentary”

This video explores the rich history of Culver, Indiana  (and Lake Maxinkuckee) and its special relationship with renown author Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.. Join us as we explore the crossroads of culture and personal identity.

 

SHOW NOTES:

Lake Maxinkuckee (Panorama)

“That will always be an enchanted body of water to me, my Agean Sea, perfect in every dimension. When I was twelve or so, I swam its width, as had my father and my brother and my cousin Richard – – and I became a man.”  -Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. on Lake Maxinkuckee.

Ryan’s Notes:

vonnegut-cottage-814-east-shore-dr-summer-1889 (2)

Historical photo of 814 East Shore Dr.

Kurt Vonnegut spent his early summers vacationing along the beautiful shoreline of Lake Maxinkuckee in the town of Culver, Indiana. Located along this scenic, high-bluff of prime real estate were a number of cottages owned by Vonnegut family members. The entire clan traveled to this idyllic location set halfway between Chicago and Indianapolis (Kurt’s hometown). Vacationing here wasn’t simply a chance for the young author to get away from the city, it was also an opportunity to reconnect with extended members of the family and reaffirm the rugged individualism that was a part of the Vonnegut spirit.

 

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Clemens Vonnegut, Jr. House

Some time ago, NDIOS set out to do an episode on Kurt Vonnegut’s seminal classic “Slaughterhouse-Five“. We had a unique opportunity to record this episode at the Clemens Vonnegut, Jr, House. This  frame-cottage was formerly owned by Kurt’s great-uncle. We thought it might be fun to bring some gear out to this historical house and record our podcast review there.

 

 

Ryan, Rick and Jeff Kenney

In preparing for the remote recording, Rick pointed Ryan toward an article written by Jeff Kenney (Editor of the Culver Citizen newspaper, Curator of the Culver Academies Museum and a Local Historian) for the Culver-Union Township Library website (The Vonnegut Families of Lake Maxinkuckee). This article gave some details on the Vonnegut connection to the lake including some historical photos. We reached out to Jeff and asked if he’d sit down for an interview on the subject. He agreed.

To prepare, Ryan and Rick did some research checking out stuff written by Jeff and reading two books:

We Never Danced Cheek to Cheek

Majie’s book

“We Never Danced Cheek to Cheek: The Young Kurt Vonnegut in Indianapolis and Beyond” written by Majie Alford Failey. Majie who was a childhood friend of Kurt who kept in contact with the author, and had a unique inside perspective into the author’s personal life. She also spoke on Kurt’s connection with Indiana and the various locales he and his family were associated with.

Renovating Vonnegut

Sarah’s book

“Renovating Vonnegut: How a Black Sheep Opened the Side Door to High Society for a Band of Modern Misfits” by Sarah Handyside. Sarah was part of the team who helped to renovate the Clemens Vonnegut, Jr. House. The house was purchased by Old East Shore, LLC, updated with a care towards its vintage heritage and turned into a vacation rental property. During her time at the property, Sarah, researched the history of the town and the Vonneguts. Her book tells two parallel tales: the story of the town and some of its more well-known inhabitants, and the story of the renovation itself while she stayed there.

The more we looked into things the more it seemed that this place did have an interesting story, and the more it became apparent that this renown author was touched by his experiences there. So, we enlisted the many talents of long-time NDIOS ally Dole, for videography and musicology (and any other tricks he could pull out of his multi-talented repertoire).

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Toad near the Old Vonnegut Orchards

What follows is an interview  with Jeff (roughly an hour long), pieced together with musical elements, video footage of the locale, and historical photos. The story that emerges is the dual tale of a town and the familial history of the Vonneguts as it related to that place. Certain places touch people though out their life, and through our research it became apparent that this was one of those places for Kurt. Even after his various and numerous family members sold their property there, Kurt returned to this place at various points in his life, and also mentioned it in an interview and personal letter to a relative.

We hope you will enjoy our little documentary that focuses on a small, but important part of the author’s life. Join us as we explore the crossroads of culture and personal identity.

Thanks to everyone involved who helped us put this thing together!  -Ryan

Rick’s Notes:

Rick getting ready to cruise the lake

Our first NDIOS video production. It wouldn’t have been possible without all the talents and determination of John Doyle–audio video/editing, Jeff Kenney–historical perspective, and Ryan O’Reilly–creation and editing. Jeff did a great job providing great historical content about Culver. Dole was a true professional especially since his wife gave birth to their first child, Matilda, just a few days before the recording. I felt the show was good. My experience was exhausting not because I did any heavy lifting, but I had a temp of 101* (F.) and my throat felt like it had a few shards of glass in it. For those of you who believe sickness isn’t much of an excuse or don’t like to hear them, join the Marines.  -Rick

Dole’s Notes:

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Rick, Jeff Kenney, and Dole

Making the Vonnegut Film… This project has been a difficult one for all I think. That said, Ryan stayed the course through and through and I feel, as a result, he really helped to elevate the entire thing to another level that even I never thought we would reach when I first agreed to help out with production. After an exchange of numerous text messages, emails, phone calls, pdf files, and warped thoughts over the span of a good 4 months, the project has finally seen fruition and I have to say I am proud to have been a part of it. We all learned a lot from the experience and hope that people that watch it will too.  – Dole

 

 

UPDATE: Closed Captioning in English is available on the YouTube version of this video (located above and on our YouTube channel). Select the “CC” option in the lower right corner of the screen while watching the video.

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

Video Trailer for: “Culver Indiana and Vonnegut: a documentary”

 

SUBJECT MATTER:

“Culver Indiana and Vonnegut: a documentary”

Next week on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 at about 8:00 PM (CST) we will be releasing an NDIOS video special on our YouTube channel. This video explores the rich history of Culver, Indiana  (and Lake Maxinkuckee) and its special relationship with renown author Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.. Be sure to check out “Culver Indiana and Vonnegut: a documentary.”

 

SHOW NOTES:

“That will always be an enchanted body of water to me, my Agean Sea, perfect in every dimension. When I was twelve or so, I swam its width, as had my father and my brother and my cousin Richard – – and I became a man.”  -Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. on Lake Maxinkuckee.

During the ever important formative years of his youth, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. spent his summers vacationing along the shores of Lake Maxinkuckee in the town of Culver, Indiana. Kurt was part of the expanding Vonnegut clan whose earliest progenitors set up four cottages along this idyllic fresh-water body. It was here that Kurt got his first tastes of the rugged individualism that formed who he became as a person and a writer. A trait that started with his great-grandfather who immigrated to the United States from Germany during a period of social revolutions.

Click for website

Clemens Vonnegut, Jr. house

While recording our podcast episode on Kurt’s seminal work “Slaughterhouse-Five” we stayed at the Clemens Vonnegut, Jr, House (Kurt’s great-uncle). During the day we had an opportunity to explore the locale, and sit down with local historian and editor of the Culver Citizen: Jeff Kenney. Jeff was able to fill us in on the vibrant history of this unique mid-western town that is situated halfway between Chicago and Indianapolis (Kurt’s hometown).

We discussed the early Native American reservations of the Pottawatomi Indians, the arrival of the hunting clubs, establishment of the railroad, founding of the internationally renown military academy and lastly the summer cottage culture which brought Kurt to this place. This is the parallel history of a town and a family.

Ryan, Rick and Jeff Kenney

Ryan, Rick and Jeff Kenney

The documentary we have put together shows the intersection between person and place. We are born in one place and we die in another. This is true both physically as well as metaphorically. Whether we move away from our town of birth and establish our own tale within those very same city limits, or trek far across the globe to some foreign land–all things change. People grow and develop into a sum of experiences based on their genetics and interaction with their environment. A town is no different. The ground of its founding serves as the root of heritage and the people who populate its streets (be they muddy wagon worn trails or asphalt and concrete aggregate) bring the experience of environment.

Home is another thing, too. A concept of solace that is built upon both a physical location and an emotion of mood. Home is a place created for us, and one which we help to create. The condition of home is a multitudinous connection to the universe. An umbilical cord of community that attaches to some past feeling (and present sensation). Lake Maxinkuckee was a ‘home’ for Kurt.

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Rick, Jeff Kenney and Dole

In an article written for the Culver-Union Township Library website (The Vonnegut Families of Lake Maxinkuckee), Jeff Kenney reprints quotes in which Kurt cited his affinity for Lake Maxinkuckee: “everything about that lake was imprinted on my mind when it held so little and was so eager for information, it will be my lake as long as I live“.

With the help of NDIOS ally Dole, show hosts Ryan and Rick sat down with Jeff Kenney to parse out the dual histories which converged in this place. Included in this documentary are photos and paintings which help to illustrate these twin tales. Join us as we explore the crossroads of culture and personal identity.

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S2PB – Culver Indiana and Vonnegut: a documentary (preview)*

Listen to the podcast here (click to play/right click and select “save target as” to download)

 

SUBJECT MATTER:

“Culver Indiana and Vonnegut: a documentary”

Next week on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 at about 8:00 PM (CST) we will be releasing an NDIOS video special on our YouTube channel. This video explores the rich history of Culver, Indiana  (and Lake Maxinkuckee) and its special relationship with renown author Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.. Be sure to check out: “Culver Indiana and Vonnegut: a documentary.”

 

SHOW NOTES:

Wilk provides commentary about the upcoming Vonnegut video special worked on by Ryan, Rick and Dole, which features an extensive interview with local historian and editor of the Culver Citizen: Jeff Kenney. Ryan’s poem that Wilk mentions can be found at the website: The Site of Big Shoulders.

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

Listen to the podcast here (click to play/right click and select “save target as” to download):

S2E5 – Slaughterhouse-Five (book/movie)*

 

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

Ryan: 4 Stars “…Post-traumatic stress, time-twisting alien abductions, mid-life crisis meltdowns, and a meta-story on life…

Wilk: 5 Stars “…this is a book that everybody should read if you haven’t read it you should read it…

Rick: 5 Stars “…Kaleidoscopic story of a frail, confused shmoe who after experiencing hell in war and back at home, finds his sanctuary with a playboy bunny in the garden of Eden...

(Click the links to read full written reviews on Goodreads.com)

 

SUBJECT MATTER:

“Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut

Book: “Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse-Five is one of the world’s great anti-war books. Centering on the infamous fire-bombing of Dresden, Billy Pilgrim’s odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we are afraid to know.” (from Amazon.com)

*** * ***

“Slaughterhouse-Five” by George Roy Hill (Michael Sacks)

 

Movie: “Slaughterhouse-Five” by George Roy Hill (Michael Sacks)

“Based on the novel by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., this dazzling and darkly humorous film follows an ordinary World War II soldier who has mysteriously become unstuck in time. ” (from Amazon.com)

 

 

RICK’S SHOW NOTES:

Unfortunately I was damn sick and frail for this , and didn’t make sense half of the time. There were a few open-ended comments made without any attempt on closure. Ryan censored out most of a quintessential Wilk tirade on our beloved American military for better or worse. We included a fourth channel to capture the ambient sounds of Culver, Indiana’s mean streets. I think the police siren that can be heard on the recording came on as soon as Wilk made a few contentious points in his tirade–probably captured in a legal wire tapping effort to identify pinko hipster communiqué. The academy’s church bells rang in unison with the adoring comments made of the Vonnegut legacy. To compliment the cacophony, you will also hear the birds of Lake Maxinkuckee cry, ‘poo-tee-weet?’, and so it goes.

I hope you enjoy the episode; this one required a bit of effort. Check out the accompanying short film, which showcase’s footage of the Vonnegut House and surrounding area with Culver’s own, Jeff Kenney.

-Rick

 

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

Click to visit website and for booking info!

Clemens Vonnegut, Jr. House

This episode was recorded (in part) at the Clemens Vonnegut, Jr. cottage located on the beautiful and scenic shores of Lake Maxinkuckee (Culver, Indiana). Our thanks to Old East Shore, LLC for providing our accommodations that weekend. For more information on this historic cottage and booking a stay there for yourself, visit: http://www.thevonneguthouse.com/.

For more information on “The Vonneguts of Lake Maxinkuckee,” check out this article penned by Jeff Kenney for the Culver-Union Township Public Library: http://www.culver.lib.in.us/vonneguts.htm. As part of this episode, we filmed a special video companion piece interviewing Jeff Kenney (Editor of the Culver Citizen) about the local the history of Culver and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr’s relationship to this unique town. The video is available on our YouTube Channel and this webpage: “Culver Indiana and Vonnegut: a documentary.”

On the show we mentioned that Slaughterhouse-Five is a book that has been banned at times. Here is an article by the Atlantic discussing the history of this book’s banning “The Neverending Campaign to Ban Slaughterhouse-Five”: http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/08/the-neverending-campaign-to-ban-slaughterhouse-five/243525/

Wilk has more car trouble.

Wilk was supposed to make it out to Culver, Indiana to join Rick and Ryan for the recording of the podcast, but he inevitably had car problems. This picture is not directly tied to that particular incident, but it does relate to Wilk’s car. We present it here as part of the ever growing saga betwixt man and machine.

 

 

 

Last, but certainly not least, let us not forget Kurt Vonnegut’s cameo appearance in Rodney Dangerfield’s excellent comedy “Back to School” collected here on this YouTube clip:

 

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

Listen to the podcast here (click to play/right click and select “save target as” to download):

S2P5 – Slaughterhouse-Five (preview)*

 

SUBJECT MATTER:

“Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut

Book: “Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse-Five is one of the world’s great anti-war books. Centering on the infamous fire-bombing of Dresden, Billy Pilgrim’s odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we are afraid to know.” (from Amazon.com)

*** * ***

“Slaughterhouse-Five” by George Roy Hill (Michael Sacks)

 

Movie: “Slaughterhouse-Five” by George Roy Hill (Michael Sacks)

“Based on the novel by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., this dazzling and darkly humorous film follows an ordinary World War II soldier who has mysteriously become unstuck in time. ” (from Amazon.com)

 

 

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.