Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer

Segments air during Issues & Ideas (Wednesdays from 1 to 2 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, to interviewing the real Santa Claus in the Arctic. Come along!

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from the L’ecole de la Maison Cooking School at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. General Manager Lola Roeh takes Wilmer on a tour of the award-winning cooking school. 

National Archives and Records Administration

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Geir Gundersen, supervisory archivist at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Part of the same institution, the Ford Museum is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Alan Squire Publishing

Journeys of Discovery associate producer Laurie McAndish King visits with Linda Watanabe McFerrin about McFerrin's new book, Navigating the Divide, from Alan Squire Publishing’s Legacy Series. McFerrin is an acclaimed travel writer, poet, and novelist with a special talent for creating a sense of place in her work. The two discuss the 'personality of place,' the attraction of risk, and the boundaries between good and evil.

Thomas Wilmer

Located in a century-old building in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina, Elsewhere is a 'safe space' for LGBTQ+ experiences in the American Southeast. Artists from around the world sign up for residencies to explore their craft, and educational experiences range from QueerLab to creative retreats. 

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Joe Rotondi, executive director at the Forge Makerspace in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Forge is a collective, community gathering space for artisans who share a quest to work on creative projects, incubate new businesses and share ideas.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Robert Grese, professor of landscape architecture at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; followed by a conversation with Kevin Walsh, executive director at the Yankee Air Museum in Ypsilanti, Michigan where visitors can fly aboard WW2 aircraft.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Nawal Motawi, owner of Motawi Tileworks in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Motawi talks about her life journey as an artisan who started her business in a tiny garage back in the early 1990s. Motawi Tileworks was proclaimed by Forbes Magazine’s “America’s Best Small Companies 2017” as one of America’s 25 Small Giants.

Thomas Wilmer

The Detroit Street Filling Station is a vegan eatery where the owners build community in a safe space and host Ann Arbor’s monthly Lesbo-Bingo game that always packs the house. Nearby, Ann Arbor’s Hands on Museum offers kids of all ages interactive experiences, and is a trendsetter in interactive 'hands-on' learning experiences. 

Thomas Wilmer

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer for a conversation with Chris Canning, mayor of Calistoga, California, followed by a visit with Laura Kirk Lee at Knights Bridge Winery in downtown Calistoga. Situated in the northern reaches of Napa Valley, the town has retained its historic charms and slow-paced character.

Mount View Hotel

Situated in the northern reaches of Napa Valley, the Mount View Hotel has graced downtown Calistoga with its Art Deco motifs since 1919. Hotel owner Michael Woods is such a passionate community booster that he donates 50 percent of the hotel’s profits to local nonprofit organizations. 

hlh.org

The Honolulu-based nonprofit Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative is well underway toward reaching a goal of planting 1.5 million indigenous trees on Oahu and the Island of Hawai’i. 

Thomas Wilmer

The Ark started back in 1965 as an Ann Arbor, Michigan coffee house that morphed into a legendary live-music venue. The Ark consistently attracts big name acts such as Joan Baez and Arlo Guthrie in addition to regional performers. 

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, exploring the university's Museum of Natural History with museum director Amy Harris, and the Museum of Art with its director, Christina Olsen. 

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Dr. Catherine Person, director of education at the University of Michigan’s Kelsey Museum of Archeology in Ann Arbor. The Kelsey specializes in Classical, Egyptian, and Near Eastern archeology and sponsors ongoing field research. 

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from Birmingham, Alabama. Join Charles Woods III, education programs manager at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, for a TED talk-style walking tour of the institute’s museum and adjacent Kelly Ingram Park. The park was the site of major protests in the 1960s, where attack dogs were unleashed and the city's then-police chief directed assaults on the protesters with high-pressure fire hoses.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Dave Bateman-Kona coffee industry expert, lecturer and owner of Heavenly Hawaiian Kona Coffee Farms on the Island of Hawaii. Located high on a mountainside above Kailua-Kona, Bateman farms estate-grown beans, operates the popular Konalani Coffee Bar and an enticing vacation rental.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Karen Barry at the Kona Hawaiian Quilt Museum in Kailua-Kona,  Hawaii. Barry shares the story of quilting and its connection with Hawaiian history, and modern day quilting as an art form. Barry also talks about the museum’s connection with the annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival.

Thomas Wilmer

Henry Nicholas Greenwell started a family citrus and coffee farm in Kealakekua on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1850. Greenwell Farms’ first award dates from 1873 when Henry Greenwell's coffee received an award of recognition at the World’s Fair in Vienna, Austria. Today great grandson Tommy Greenwell's family is revered as the OG of Hawaii’s Kona coffee farmers. Correspondent Tom Wilmer recently spent the day with Greenwell at his coffee plantation, so come along and join the conversation about the family’s history and Greenwell’s evolution into high-tech farming, where artificial intelligence is ushering a new era in harvesting and processing coffee beans. 

Thomas Wilmer

Art is infused with the community at The Donkey Mill Art Center, situated on a mountainside in the village of Holualoa, above Kailua-Kona on the Island of Hawaii. Housed in a repurposed coffee mill, the art center is a multipurpose facility where community engagement is the operative philosophy. From art classes for kids and adults, to art shows and musical performances, Donkey Mill Art Center is a dynamic community center and gathering hub. Join correspondent Tom Wilmer for a visit with Miho Morinoue, youth program director, and Mina Elison, communications director and curator.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer explores Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Join the conversation with Shelly Harms, public relations director at Visit Sheboygan; Jamie Haack at John Michael Kohler Arts Center; Mayor Mike Vandersteen; Chad Pelishek, director of planning and development and Craig Trost, communications director for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. Come along and discover why Sheboygan is the Bratwurst Capital of the World!

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Eric Moore, Senior Interior Designer at Kohler Design Center in Kohler, Wisconsin. Moore shares insights about Kohler’s cutting-edge intelligent sinks, showers and toilets, as well as the manufacturer’s 146-year history.

Courtesy H.K. Roy

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with retired CIA operative H.K. Roy about his new book, American Spy. Roy’s 14-year career includes pursuing Russian spies, outwitting the Iranian Intelligence Service, hunting Bosnian war criminals, ducking Serbian snipers in Sarajevo and making-deals with Iraqi warlords.

Thomas Wilmer

The story of Kohler-as in toilets, sinks and bathtubs-is a tale of a family-owned business that is a classic American success story. The village of Kohler, Wisconsin was a model, futuristic garden company town when it was laid out at the turn of the 20th Century. Kohler’s immigrant employees were housed in a grand residence dubbed the American Club. In the late 1970s, the building was repurposed as a five-star, five-diamond resort. Join correspondent Tom Wilmer in Kohler, Wisconsin as he explores the history and present-day world of all things Kohler.

SRAM

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with design engineer Will King and director of design engineering Garrett Smith at SRAM’s high-tech bicycle component facility in San Luis Obispo. King and Smith talk about the company's nonprofit initiative in support of World Bicycle Relief and SRAM’s upcoming fundraiser/open house on December 13. World Bicycle Relief provides locally-assembled bicycles to students, healthcare workers and entrepreneurs in rural areas of developing countries around the world, connecting them with education, healthcare, and economic opportunities.

Thomas Wilmer

Chef Bradley Ogden’s stellar career includes more than fifteen international culinary awards including 2004 Restaurant of the Year for his Bradley Ogden at Ceasars Palace in Las Vegas, and “Best California Chef” bestowed by the James Beard Foundation. Even though Ogden remains involved in the management of Marin’s Lark Creek Inn and One Market Street in San Francisco, Ogden is now based in Lodi, where he is culinary director at Wine & Roses Inn and Resort. Join correspondent Tom Wilmer for a conversation with Ogden about his passion for sourcing farm fresh Lodi produce, and some creative ways he has served red meat with white wine and red wine with fish.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with David Lucas, founder of  Lucas Winery in Lodi, California. Lucas started the winery with his wife Heather in 1978, when there were only three other wineries in the entire AVA. Today there are more than 90 wineries in the region, but Lucas Winery has a unique niche, as they farm the oldest head-pruned Zinfandel vines in North America. Lucas discusses his passion for adhering to organic practices at his 100% solar-powered winery and current labor struggles due to restrictive immigration policies.

Thomas Wilmer

The Phillips family homesteaded in Lodi, California shortly after the conclusion of the Civil War. Fruits, vegetables and grapes were staple family crops for decades. The Phillips' roadside fresh produce stand remains a Lodi destination, but its shelves and bins are equally weighted with the family’s wines

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from Lodi, California, where he visits with Larry Mettler and his daughter Kim Mettler Ealls at Mettler Family Vineyards. In addition to producing a wide array of wines, the family farms more than 2,000 acres of grapes. In addition to winemaking duties at Mettler and nearby Michael David Winery, son Adam Mettler was the recipient of Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s prestigious 2018 Winemaker of the Year award.

Thomas Wilmer

Dan Panella is director of winemaking and co-owner of Oak Farm Vineyards in Lodi, California. He credits Cal Poly State University’s 'learn by doing' philosophy for creating prime graduates who are armed with the practical, hands-on skills sought out by the wine industry. Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Dan Panella and assistant winemaker and 2017 Cal Poly grad Sierra Zeiter.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from Lodi, California, where he visits with Markus and Liz Bokisch at Bokisch Vineyards. Proclaimed the 2019 Winery of the Year by Visit Lodi Conference and Visitors Bureau, Bokisch has evolved the region’s wine lexicon with award-winning Iberian grape varieties including Albarino, Garnacha and Tempranillo. Bokisch is the largest organic grape grower in the Lodi AVA (American Viticultural Area) with more than 400 acres under cultivation.

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