Famous ragtime pianist Johnny Maddox visited Columbia this week as the guest of honor at the Blind Boone Ragtime Festival. In the height of his career in the 1950s, Maddox performed with names like Patsy Cline and released the first all-piano record to sell over 1 million copies. With millions of albums sold and more than 60 years working in the music industry, many ragtime fans would call Maddox a legend.
But our communities are filled with instances of people finding meaning outside of religion. The Boone County Veterans of Foreign Wars post, for example, offers veterans a place to unite around their experiences of serving in war. While people find meaning in all sorts of places, the VFW in many ways resembles a church.
Author Gennifer Albin is a self-described “recovering academic” – she got her Master’s in English from MU in 2006, then she and her husband settled down back near family in Kansas, where she was a stay- at home mom with young children. But after an unexpected lay-off she and her husband found themselves struggling to make ends meet.
Albin’s answer? Write a novel, of course. Albin went from bankruptcy filing, to living the writer’s dream … complete with agents and publishers competing for her first novel, Crewel.
Every Monday morning in Mexico, Missouri, a group of people pull out their cowboy boots and head to dance lessons. Except in this class, no one is younger than 65. The group is led by state champion line dancers JoAnn Roth and Beverly Talley. For these women, you’re never too old to dance.
At the Garfield Community Center in Mexico, Mo., JoAnn Roth and Beverly Talley’s class is standing in straight lines and ready to dance by 9 in the morning.
So, you know your Missouri and CoMo history, and you think you know all about “ragtime” musician Blind Boone, yeah? Think again. If you think he was all ragtime, and he was blind, you still might have a lot to learn.
It turns out John William “Blind” Boone was one of the first musical composers to blend European classical styles with folk music. He took African-American and Afro-Caribbean folk styles such as plantation melodies and minstrel tunes, and put them in classical forms, then performed the pieces in concert halls.
Last Friday, more than a hundred would-be entrepreneurs got together for an annual event called Startup Weekend. The fast paced, company building workshop brings big ideas down to earth in just 54 hours. 125 participants with laptop and smartphones gather to build small, lean companies that might grow into something much bigger.
This week: A volunteer in Columbia is using video games as an opportunity to teach kids about math, science and technology. Plus, the fourth installment of My Farm Roots, a series from Harvest Public Media in which we hear Americans’ stories and memories of rural life.
When author Pamay Bassey suffered the loss of two family members and the end of a relationship she embarked on a unique journey – she visited a different place of worship, every week, for a year, in search of guidance.
That experience became a book called My 52 Weeks of Worship, Lessons from a Global, Spiritual, Interfaith Journey.
Kristin Torres, reporting for KBIA and the Columbia Faith and Values desk, spoke to Bassey, before her appearance in St. Louis this weekend.