St. Louis on the Air

Noon-1 p.m. and 10-11 p.m. (repeat) Monday-Friday
  • Local Host Don Marsh

St. Louis on the Air creates a unique space where guests and listeners can share ideas and opinions with respect and honesty. Whether exploring issues and challenges confronting our region, discussing the latest innovations in science and technology, taking a closer look at our history or talking with authors, artists and musicians, St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region.

St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer, and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

Subscribe to our e-newsletterThe Talk Studio, to receive previews of upcoming guests, highlights from the most-talked about shows, and questions from our producers.

The show is sponsored in part by the Missouri Arts Council, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis.

In today's digital world, the rules of socially-acceptable behavior are changing. Or are they?
Jhaymesisviphotography | Flickr | http://bit.ly/293KxaL

Is this you?

It’s Friday night and you look on Facebook, seeing several event invitations that you’ve responded “interested” to. When the time comes, you decide you’re just not that interested in going to anyone’s party anyway and instead opt to spend the evening on the couch watching Netflix. Meanwhile, your friend who invited you on Facebook is desperately waiting for someone to show up to their taco happy hour and only a few people arrive who responded they’d be interested in coming.

Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

Original story published June 23, updated June 30 with audio from "St. Louis on the Air."

Just in time for summer, the Missouri History Museum is taking a road trip down Route 66 with a colorful exhibit on the Mother Road that opens Saturday.

The focus is St. Louis’ place along the famous roadway that opened America’s West to cross-country motoring in 1926.  The ribbon of pavement stretched 2,400 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles, touching eight states along the way. 

The Rev. Michael Kinman, dean of Christ Church Cathedral and Magdalene St. Louis board president during Magdalene House opening ceremonies May 30, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh spoke with Rev. Michael Kinman, dean of Christ Church Cathedral in downtown St. Louis. Kinman will be leaving St. Louis to serve Episcopal congregants in Pasadena, California this fall.

Don Marsh spoke with Tom Gasko, the proprietor of the cacuum cleaner museum and factory outlet in St. James, Missouri in response to a Curious Louis question Wednesday.
Usodesita | Flickr | http://bit.ly/29pXhu1

Those of you who have grown up in St. Louis might remember the name and personality of Stan Kann, the 22-year resident organist at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri. You may also remember him for his vast collection of vacuum cleaners, which made him the most frequent non-celebrity guest on Johnny Carsons’ Tonight Show with over 77 appearances.

William Freivogel, Elizabeth Sepper and Susan Appleton joined Don Marsh in studio Tuesday.
Kim Oswalt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh led a panel of local legal experts in a conversation about the month’s most pressing news about the law.

Guests:

  • William Freivogel, J.D., Professor, School of Journalism, Southern Illinois University - Carbondale
  • Susan Appleton, J.D., Lemma Barkeloo and Phoebe Couzins Professor of Law, Washington University
  • Elizabeth Sepper, J.D., Professor of Law, Washington University

Topics Addressed:

Mitch Huett is a local folk artist who owns a gallery/shop on Cherokee Street.
Kim Oswalt | St. Louis Public Radio

The Saint Louis Art Museum has an exhibit on display now through mid-September called, “Self-Taught Genius: Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum.” Defined as “art of the everyday,” folk art can take shape in a variety of ways and it often reflects a sense of place.

Mitch Huett, the owner of Cherokee Street's Panorama Folk Art and Antiques, joined host Don Marsh in studio Monday to discuss the genre of folk art and its relationship to St. Louis.

What is folk art?

A workshop at Firecracker Press with the Institute of Art and Olfaction.
Pulitzer Arts Foundation

What’s in a scent? On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, we discussed the role scent plays in our lives, memories and stories. We also discussed what the future of smells could be — scented text messages, anyone?

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed the top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week.

This week, we discussed the very public disagreement between area leaders over MetroLink expansion, some Missouri Republicans participating in a national ‘Dump Trump’ campaign and the role social media is playing in current election and politics coverage.

We were joined by:

NPR's ombudsman, Elizabeth Jensen.
James Wrona

In January 2015, Elizabeth Jensen was appointed to a three-year term at NPR as the organization’s ombudsman. What does that mean? Otherwise known as the public editor, Jensen is the public’s representative to NPR, answering thousands of listener queries and criticisms.

Jensen stopped by St Louis on the Air Thursday while she’s in St. Louis to attend the national conference of the Public Radio News Directors Incorporated. She talked with host Don Marsh about challenges she faces in working to develop a closer relationship with news consumers.

Paul Sableman | Flickr | http://bit.ly/28QjQfu

Ever wondered about that Optimist International building on Lindell across from the Basilica?

If you have, you’re not alone. Although many St. Louisans may be unfamiliar with the non-profit organization, Optimist International has over 2,500 clubs in 35 different countries. Its mission is serving youth, and its headquarters are located here in St. Louis.

What happens when farmers become friends with the animals they need to prepare for food?
Nina | Flickr | http://bit.ly/28NrntC

For many of us, our food arrives on a plate well-dressed and prepared for consumption. We rarely pause to think about what that plate of food was before we used it as nourishment. But for some local foodies and farmers, becoming friends with their food before they eat it is commonplace.

Joe Biden speaking at the August 23, 2008 vice presidential announcement in Springfield, Illinois, while presidential nominee Barack Obama listens.
Daniel Schwen | Wikimedia Commons

It seems like a silly time to ask the question “do vice presidents matter?” when every half hour there’s chatter on news networks about who Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will choose as their running mates. But, yet, the vice presidency wasn’t always considered as significant as it is now.

St. Louis Fire, illustration in a German book from 1857.
Henry Lewis | Wikimedia Commons

Fires, floods, tornadoes, oh my! St. Louis has been witness to many kinds of disaster over the years and on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we talked about the most disastrous ones … and where you can find remnants of their existence still today.

(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio)

A 100-acre site in north St. Louis will be home to the sophisticated, high-tech National Geospatial Agency facility in few years.

At the moment, archeologists are trying to find out how people on the site once lived.

"The whole idea is to understand what people’s lives were in past and get a better feel for that," said Joe Harl, principal investigator for Archeological Research Center of St. Louis.

Jesse Francis has worked his whole career to preserve historic French vertical log homes.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis area’s storied French past is well known — but do you know much about historic French architecture in the region? On Monday, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed the hallmarks of traditional French architecture, the vertical log home, with Jesse Francis, the cultural site manager for the St. Louis County Department of Parks and Recreation.

Forest Park turns 140 years old this year.
henskechristine | Flickr

St. Louisans have plenty to be proud of when it comes to Forest Park. In the summer, the park is bustling with musicals, plays, cool museums and many other recreational activities. Recently, the park was voted the best urban park in the United States by USA Today. It also made it onto a list of the nation’s best city parks, curated by Thrillist.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh was joined by Dr. Peter Raven, the former, longtime president of Missouri Botanical Garden, to discuss environmental issues. Raven recently celebrated his 80th birthday.

Even in his retirement, Raven is staying busy with his work on the board of the National Geographic Society and writing his biography. He is still deeply immersed in the challenges facing the planet today.

Jimmy Hawkins, center, stands at the Transgender Memorial Garden as marchers continue to arrive.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed the top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people who produced them and contributed to them. This week, we turned our discussion to the tragedy in Orlando and how the St. Louis community has responded to the mass shooting at a popular gay nightclub there that killed 49 people.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

It takes a special kind of inquisitive mind to step out of the body’s current state and examine what it would look like from an entirely different perspective. Horace Miner did it in 1956 with his radical paper “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema,” and author Chuck Klosterman has done it again with his new book “But What If We’re Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past.”

Quail Ridge Horseshoe Club

Joe Faron, the vice president of the National Horseshoe Pitchers Foundation, says the museum he helped create is one of the best kept secrets in the United States. The secret is so well-kept that people living right around the corner from the facility in Wentzville, often come up to him astounded that it’s been in their neighborhood for coming up on nine years.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The use of the term “Ferguson Effect,” first came into play in November of 2014, when city police Chief Sam Dotson said that police officers had reduced arrests following Michael Brown’s death and “the criminal element is feeling more empowered by the environment.” He used these ideas as reasoning for why the homicide rate in St. Louis was going up.

Brittish Williams and Lorenzo Gordon.
Anderson Group

St. Louis’ own Brittish Williams has made her mark on reality television in such shows as “Basketball Wives,” and, now, “Marriage Bootcamp: Reality Stars,” which premiered on June 3. She has also started her own clothing line.

Kameel Stanley, Alex Ihnen, Dustin Bryson, Wendy Buske and Adron Buske share their podcast wisdom at a St. Louis on the Air live recording event on June 9, 2016.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

“How long did it take you to get comfortable behind a microphone?”

“I’m concerned about sound…do you rent space in a studio or do it in your house? Also, with editing: do you do it yourself or do you send it out?”

“How can I use a podcast in the classroom?”

“How much do you focus on monetization?”

“What do you think, as a medium, podcasting can do to heal the region and promote social change in the St. Louis region?”

Did you know? St. Louis is considered the first major type foundry city in the Midwest.
Ian Britton | Flickr | http://bit.ly/1U07mgm

See these words on the screen right here? Do you see them? No. Do you really see them? Without realizing it, the words you’re reading right now are helping to give you a certain feeling. Not because of the boundless depths of meaning held within these sentences, but because of the typeface they are written in.

One of the world's foremost Wizard of Oz historians, John Fricke, will join St. Louis on the Air on Monday.
eyemage | Flickr | http://bit.ly/24GmVic

Ah, sweet summertime in St. Louis. The birds are chirping, our hair is frizzing out and another local tradition is about to begin its 98th season: The Muny. The first show in its lineup? “The Wizard of Oz.” But what’s the history of such a popular musical?

Dave Robertson, Jo Mannies and Vivian Eveloff discuss the presidential race on St. Louis on the Air.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed the top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people who produced them and contributed to them.

This week, we discussed the current state of presidential politics.

Joining us:

Chris LeBeau, Diana Zeng and Andrew Lee are all involved with Full Circle, a non-profit created to help recent college graduates connect with St. Louis
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

There are many factors that contribute to a young professional’s decision to stay or not stay in St. Louis after graduating college. For guests on today’s St. Louis on the Air, the potential to find and build community is an overwhelmingly important concern.

Dzemal Bijedic and Adil Imdad started the non-profit House of Goods in 2015 in response to the needs they saw in the St. Louis community.
House of Goods | Facebook.com

When St. Louis city police chaplain Dzemal Bijedic responded to a call for help from a newly-arrived family of Syrian refugees last year, he couldn’t have imagined that it would lead to the creation of a non-profit organization called Bait Ulmal, which means “House of Goods” in Arabic, to provide supplies to those in need at no cost.

Mary Lynn Faunda Donovan is the executive director of VOYCE, a local organization that helps people negotiate these conversations in the family at no cost to the family.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Have you had “the talk?”

No, not that talk — a talk that is actually far more awkward, unwanted and, indeed, painful to have: a talk about end-of-life and long-term care decision making between parents and children.

Author Tim Prosch has written extensively about this issue in his book dubbed “The Other Talk.” He said the issues is becoming more prominent because 77 million baby boomers “are marching into retirement” and will live longer and require more care for a longer period of time.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

In January, Jennings Superintendent, Dr. Tiffany Anderson, who is credited with turning around the district and helping it reach full accreditation, announced she was leaving to take the position of superintendent with Topeka Public Schools, effective July 1. 

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