NEWBURYPORT – Are you missing the lectures, performances, festivals and events that make life an adventure in lifelong learning? If so, “there’s help — even while sheltering in place,” says Mary Jacobsen, host of "The Morning Show" on WJOP.
Each week on the radio show (8 a.m. on Friday, FM 96.3), Jacobsen interviews a local author, performer, historian or community leader.
“I’m astonished by the number and variety of fascinating and accomplished people who live in or pass through Greater Newburyport,” Jacobsen said. “I always have a backlog of guests I’m planning to invite for an interview.”
Even though the radio studio is closed due to the coronavirus, all past “Morning Show” interviews are available as podcasts on the Sound Cloud.
History lovers can listen to Bill and Liz Hallett discuss his book “Newburyport in the Civil War” (Air date: 10/11/19). Susan Harvey explores Newburyport’s involvement in slavery by virtue of the “Triangle Trade” (Air date: 8/30/19). Eric Jay Dolin, author of “Black Flags, Blue Waters,” shines a light on the dark history of pirates (Air date: 7/12/19).
Professor Kabria Baumgartner shares her research on African-American lives in Essex County. She also discusses her book, “In Pursuit of Knowledge,” which shows how black women and girls in the 19th century advocated for the desegregation of public schools (Air date: 1/17/20).
Listeners can meet distinguished local spiritual leaders, including the Rev. Rebecca Bryan of the First Religious Society (Aired on 10/18/19), Ahavas Achim Congregational Leader Alex Matthews (Air date: 11/8/19) and Buddhist teacher Matthew Daniell of the Insight Meditation Center (Air date: 10/4/19).
If you’ve ever wondered why the Pink House triggers the passion to preserve it among so many in the community, leaders of Support the Pink House explain it all (Air date: 6/7/19).
Animal lovers can listen to Dr. Amy Richardson of Newbury Animal Hospital describe serving as a vet to sled dogs participating in the legendary Alaskan Iditarod (Air date: 2/28/20).
Courtney Breen of Seacoast Labradors talks about the remarkable feats performed by service dogs and how she breeds and trains them (Air date: 8/16/19). Ashley Stokes of Seacoast Science Center’s Marine Mammal Rescue teaches you what to do – and not to do — and whom to call after spotting a seal on the beach (Air date: 8/9/19).
Susan Swan illuminates the brilliant insights of James Baldwin on the complex history of race in American history (Air date: 12/13/19). And local author Aine Greaney discusses issues of immigration explored in her book of essays, “Green Card” (Air date: 9/13/19).
Anyone grieving this year’s Literary Festival can find solace in the last 20 minutes of each episode of “The Morning Show.” During her "Books from Off the Beaten Path" segment, Melinda Everett reviews books and discusses writers, genres and trends.
Titles range from current nonfiction such as Ronan Farrow's "Catch and Kill" and "The Guarded Gate: Bigotry, Eugenics and the Law that Kept Two Generations of Jews, Italians, and Other European Immigrants Out of America" to fiction that Everett terms, "The best books nobody's ever heard of."
Examples of her "best unknown books" recommendations include Frederic Brown's 1961 collection of horror/humor/sci-fi short stories, "Nightmares and Geezenstacks" and "Lonely River Village," journalist Norma Libman's 2014 work of fictional short stories based on writings of unknown women in pre-Communist China.
The women, who were forbidden to learn Mandarin, told their life stories by embroidering clothing and linens with a secret Nu Shu script only they could interpret.
Whether the topic is typewriters (Tom Hanks collects them and writes short stories featuring them) or medical oddities (Berton Roueché's 1947 pre-“ER” classic, "Eleven Blue Men and Other Narratives of Medical Detection," Everett presents a fresh take on books worth knowing about.
Podcasts for “The Morning Show” are posted in the Sound Cloud at www.NCMHub.org. Click on the cloud icon in the upper right corner, then scroll through entries for “The Morning Show with Mary Jacobsen” to browse or to locate the desired date and guest.
Clicking on the heading for the show will provide access to a description of that week’s guest and topic, as well as the books reviewed by Everett and the time stamp for the beginning of her segment.