Hot Air: War Story

We often forget there’s still a huge number of people in this world whose lives have been affected and even largely formed by World War II.

You know, that black & white incident back in the days when pop music was driven by brass as opposed to guitars and then became the raison d’etre for the History Channel, right?

Bloomington author Annette Oppenlander is one of those people. As a little girl listening to snippets of her parents’ conversations, she’d hear oblique references to unimaginable things that’d happened when they were as young as she was. Annette’s family was from the German industrial town of Solingen in the Ruhr Valley. Much of Germany’s industrial might was located in the region bordered by the Ruhr, Rhine, and Lippe rivers. American and British bombers pounded the factory towns there for some four years before Allied land forces swept through the region in the second half of 1944. Citizens of towns like Solingen suffered as horribly as any soldiers on the front lines but it wasn’t until Annette reached middle age-plus that she finally heard her parents and grandparents’ full stories.

Oppenlander & Mocha

This was after she’d had a successful career in banking and finance and, later, in public relations. Then she realized she wanted to be a writer. One of the first things she did after trading in her corner office for keyboard and notebook was interview her parents about their lives in wartime. Oh, the things she learned!

She’s taken many of those stories and refashioned them into a coming of age love story set in Germany during the war and the years immediately after. The result was a novel, her fourth, entitled Surviving the Fatherland.

Annette joined me on this week’s Big Talk. Catch the interview here or here.

Big Talk is a regular Thursday feature on WFHB‘s Daily Local News. My next guest will be fats expert, Heather Bradshaw, researcher in Indiana University’s Dept. of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Yeah, it’s fats that help our cells communicate with each other, among other lipidomic functions. Heather concentrates on the fats in cannabinoids (pot) and olive oil. She’ll explain it all on the next Big Talk, Thursday, April 13, at 5:00pm on WFHB, 91.3 FM.

Quothe Prof. Bradshaw: “My passion is fats.” Hey, mine too, only for a different reason.

Hey Buddies, Can You Spare A Dime?

BTW: Notice there won’t be a Big Talk next week, April 6th? Starting tonight and running through Sunday, April 9th, WFHB will be holding its Spring Fund Drive. If you’re hot for Big Talk or for any of the great shows on Bloomington’s first community radio blowtorch, you might consider throwing a few bucks our way. Give a jingle at 812.323.1200 or go online and click the Donate Now button. Simple.

Radio, Radio

By a very young Elvis Costello along with his band, the Attractions.

From the chorus:

Radio is a sound salvation 
Radio is cleaning up the nation

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