Episode 10 – Sister Ardeth Plattie, OP

“If life is this short, let me do it well.”

Baltimore, MD
Aged 79

Sister Ardeth is a Dominican Nun, part of the Marywood Sisterhood in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Today she curates and cares for the oldest Catholic cemetery in Baltimore, as well as cultivates orchards and vegetable gardens from which 130 local families are fed.  She has led a life of activism and peace spreading, and has a lot to say about community.

Episode 7 – David Netterfield

Rantoul, IL
Aged 77

David told me of his cherished days working with his grandfather.  They were bored, and so they talked, a lot.  Could that happen today, or do we distract ourselves with our smartphones too often?

Episode 5 – HJ Smith

Midland, Michigan
Aged 74

HJ Smith is a former teacher and has a reputation for a steel trap mind.  Indeed, she remembers a song she heard on the radio years ago called “Kalvinator”.  In this clip, she explains what a Kalvinator is, and how it affected neighborhoods.

Episode 2 – Sonee Lavendette

Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Age 80

Sonee was born April 13, 1936.  During the hour and a half I spent with Sonee, I came to believe that she is my elder self.  She fought against a lot of chauvinism, and paved the way for women in the engineering and automotive industries – all without a formal degree (she earned her Bachelors at age 55, and her Masters at 58).  You’ll love her.

Recorded in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Episode 1 – Virgil Westdale

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Aged 97

Virgil Westdale is one of my favorite people and a fellow author.  He served in the most decorated battalions during World War Two — still more decorated than any other to this day.  In this episode, he tells the story of how he got home after World War Two was over, including liberating a concentration camp.