French Broad River Keeper is his Title: Torg Stories Podcast

I want to make a movie about the French Broad River, and so on this week’s Torg Stories podcast, I talk with Hartwell Carson, French Broad Riverkeeper. Carson works for an organization called Mountaintrue

You can listen to the podcast on the player below or on your iPhone by clicking here for the iTunes link.

Click player below to listen to podcast from this site

editorial note: I uploaded the raw file without the intro and music

Hope you enjoy getting right into my conversation with Hartwell!

***

For the first time ever, this week’s episode is also available as a video podcast:

I think my interest in making this movie probably has its origins in all the years I spent dinking around in a john boat on the Tippecanoe River in Winamac, Indiana. Now I live in Asheville, North Carolina where you can’t go anywhere without seeing a kayak or canoe on top of somebody’s car. I wanted to get on the river and as my wife and I looked at the cost of our options and what might fit us best, we decided on a used whitewater raft. We could be together as a family. The raft could do both the calm and more rowdy stretches of the river. To start the process of making the film, I knew I wanted to learn about the river, the community that uses it, and the social and political issues that surround it.

Carson and I talked water quality, Duke energy and their coal ash pits, the work he does as riverkeeper, and his favorite spots on the river.

If you’ve got ideas for how you could help with the Torg Stories river movie, please let us know in the comments section. I also hope you’ll take the time to share the post via social media or by email if you know of those who would be interested.

I hope you enjoy this week’s conversation with French Broad Riverkeeper, Hartwell Carson. Thanks for listening!

Check back or click around on the site for more updates on our French Broad River movie project.

 

 

 

Asheville, French Broad River, Hartwell Carson, Torg Stories, podcast, Mountaintrue

Armpit Travel and Beer Poems: Torg Stories Podcast with Editor Peter Gregutt

I met Peter Gregutt when he worked with me as an editor on a piece published in Asheville’s Mountain Xpress titled “How Christopher Mello Sows Peace and Community in his West Asheville Garden.” 

In addition to listening above, you can click here for the iTunes link or just search for “Torg Stories” in the Podcast App of your iPhone.

When I learned Peter had climbed volcanoes in Guatemala, trekked the Himalayas, and spontaneously took a boat to Africa, I wanted to get him on the podcast. I was interested in his time in New York City studying English at Colombia, that he’d spent decades as an editor, and I admired his clever phrase Armpit Travel as a way to capture some of his experiences on the road.

Armpit Travel, Peter Gregutt, Travel, Mountain Xpress

***

As a way into our conversation, I asked Peter to read from the introduction to his collection. Here it is:

 

My Slime, Your Dime, High Time

Some folks “travel” via flickering images that dance across the screen. Others prefer to plant their ample posterior on a cushy seat in plane or train or air-conditioned motor coach and watch the world pass by beyond the glass.

And then there are the Armpit Travelers, those intrepid souls who strive to sniff out places a less ardent sort might choose to skip entirely in favor of a visit to the proctologist’s office.

Guided only by their own nose or gut, these indefatigable wayfarers aim to see the world — to taste the motley pleasures of the road and touch the very essence of experience — while ducking the troublesome encumbrance of paying for it. (Inevitably, of course, one does pay, though perhaps in blood and suffering in lieu of legal tender.)

To some, the words “budget travel” evoke visions of bland, greasy food; filthy, flea-infested beds; bathing in frigid water thick with icky microbes; and long, arduous bus rides that seem to go from nowhere to nowhere else. But to the true Armpit Traveler, the rewards of the road don’t stop there.

Beyond thrift, beyond grit or grift, beyond sanity, even, there lies a further storied realm whose streets might well be paved with gold if only they were paved at all. And to those with ears to hear and a nose that isn’t overly particular, that unceasing siren song may ultimately prove as irresistible as the last unprepossessing-looking person who’s still lingering in the singles bar at 2 a.m., blurry but determined, and casting inflammatory glances your way…

No travel agent orchestrates the Armpit Path; no map can aptly delineate its putative treasures. No, it’s up to the self-annointed pilgrim to discern and pursue the elusive way, guided only by the kind of enigmatic inner prompting that drives the arctic tern on its annual pole-to-pole journey and makes lemmings take their fateful leap…

But to the curious, the damned, the misfit or the annelid, a hint or a whistle or a tissue of outright lies just might prove to be the fire that lights the fuse, the fire ant whose mordant mandible incites the sluggard’s reluctant posterior to forward motion…

And to any and all who thus succumb to the blandishments and ballyhoo presented in these pages, I bid you a hearty bon voyage, albeit tempered by the slippery wisdom of an old Scottish proverb: “What may be, may not be…”

Thanks for checking out this edition of the Torg Stories podcast!

Coming soon: French Broad Riverkeeper Hartwell Carson and Grail Moviehouse owners Steve and Davida

Owning Your Own Business: Writing and Social Media

Torg Stories Podcast / Recorded on Saturday, June 11, 2016.

Today’s episode is with entrepreneur and business owner Georg Efird. George is my plumber, and I’ve been impressed with his savvy use of social media in order to grow his business, Blue Planet Plumbing in Asheville, North Carolina.

small business, social media marketing, writing, composition, First Year Writing, William Torgerson

Georg and Miranda, owners of Blue Planet Plumbing

My primary interest in Georg’s work is related to the First Year Writing courses I teach at St. John’s University. Because students HAVE to take my course, I’m always trying to make sure what we do in class is relevant to the lives the students live outside of class. This means much of the writing we do is in digital spaces, and I’m always on the lookout for people outside the university who do a lot of writing so I can use their work as examples for the students.

Most impressive to me about Georg’s online accomplishments are the 215 reviews–he calls this customer feedback–posted on Google with an average rating of 5/5. Georg is obviously a savvy negotiator of digital spaces and does the kind of multimodal writing that makes use of images, links, color, and pictures.

small business, Asheville, Blue Planet Plumbing, Asheville

Georg on the job for Blue Planet

When Georg was seventeen years old, he had his first child and found himself working at a fast food restaurant trying to support a family when a friend invited him to tag along to an interview to be a plumber’s apprentice. Georg’s friend coached him up to say the following during the interview:

I have zero experience, but I am a hard worker, and I am reliable.

The advice worked and Georg was hired as a plumber’s apprentice.

 

Blue Planet Plumbing, Asheville, small business, social media marketing

 

Pro tip from Georg’s first days as a plumber:  a 1978 LTD won’t support 1,800 pounds of concrete.

Thanks to Georg for joining us on the Torg Stories podcast.

Thanks to you for visiting the website and listening to the podcast!

 

 

Podcast: Would You Trade Cam Newton for Andrew Luck?

Trade NFL Carolina Panther Cam Newton for Indianapolis Colts Andrew Luck William Torgerson Torg Stories podcast Kent Chezem Loogoottee High School Basketball

click on the player above or click here for iTunes

Cheese is back on the podcast! He’s a Colts season ticket holder and head boys basketball coach at Loogootee High School in Indiana. We talk about whether either of us would trade Cam Newton for Andrew Luck straight up. We also talk about Newton as a way into talking about our fandom and what we think of on field celebrations and post game press conference walk offs. I bring up Gronk’s party cruise and you’d be right to tell me to stay in my own lane when I speak the words, “Flo Rida.”

Loogootee High School gymnasium, Indiana, gym, basketball, Coach, Kent Chezem, Bill Torgerson

Loogootee H.S. Gym by Coach Chezem

 

Torg Stories Podcast is available in the podcast app of your iPhone. To help support us, you can subscribe and/or review the podcast. Thanks for listening!

p.s.   We would be totally pumped if you’d copy and paste this link to share on a social network.

Podcast: Let Your Macro Drive The Micro Edition

 

Torg Stories podcast, thetorg.com, Bill Torgerson, writing, basketball,

Torg goes it alone on this week’s podcast and begins by talking about some of the ideas in Howard Rheingold’s book, Net Smart: How to Thrive Online. Torg applies the idea of micro and macro thinking to his upcoming research leave and the coaching of his daughters’ basketball team. He finishes off by discussing an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, “Silly Sanctimonious Games: How a Syllabus Sparked a War Between a Professor and a College.” Torg explains why he thinks the claim in the article about the difference between a professor and a teacher is nonsense.