Tom Hayden: From Freedom Rider to Chicago Seven

The political turbulence of the 1960s has been well documented. and one name that appears prominently in that story is Tom Hayden.

One of the founders of the Students For a Democratic Society, Hayden was also a Freedom Rider in the south, fighting for civil rights, but also became one of the leading young voices against the Vietnam War.

Chicago Seven in 1970. Photo by Don Casper

In the historically tumultuous 1968, Hayden was among several high profile demonstrators at the notorious Democratic National Convention in Chicago. They were eventually brought to trial and became known as The Chicago Seven. Abby Hoffman and Jerry Rubin were also among them

Hayden was also married for many years to another high-profile anti-war activist, actress Jane Fonda.

In subsequent years, Hayden entered politics. He was elected to the California State Assembly and the California State Senate.

And in 1988, some 20 years after the Chicago Seven experience, Hayden wrote a memoir called Reunion. That’s when I met him.

So here now, from 1988, Tom Hayden.

Tom Hayden died in 2016. He was 76.

Empowering the Visually Impaired: Rose Resnick’s Legacy

Rose Resnick was a talented and successful concert pianist. She also played at clubs, and performed on the radio in the 1930s. She was also a music teacher.

And she was blind. Resnick, who was born in 1906, lost her sight from glaucoma as a child.

Over the rest of her life Resnick became a powerful advocate for the blind. She established the California League of the Handicapped, as well as other organizations for the visually imp[aired.

I met her in 1988.when we talked about her book Dare to Dream. So here now, from 1988, Rose Resnick.

Rose Resnick died in 2006, at the age of 99.

Celebrity Zookeeper: The Exotic Adventures of Jack Hanna

Photo by Phil Konstantin

Who doesn’t love going to the zoo? The chance to see wild and exotic animals up close is an experience that all ages enjoy.

But the modern zoo bears little resemblance to those you, or your parents, may remember. The cramped dirty cages that characterized the zoos of a prior era have now been replaced by more open settings that may mimic an animal’s natural habitat.

One of the principal architects of that transformation was longtime Columbus Zoo director Jack Hanna. He took over an aging and decrepit facility and turned it into a showplace, attracting thousands of visitors.

And Hanna himself became a celebrity. During the 1980s and ’90s he was on television all over the place. And he always brought an exotic animal with him.

I met him in 1989 when he wrote his memoir, called Monkeys On The Interstate.

And what animal did he bring with him the day I interviewed him? You’ll hear a Madagascar hissing cockroach.

So here now, from 1989, Jack Hanna.

Jack Hanna is 77 now, and lives with his wife in Montana. A couple of years ago he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Hanan Ashrawi: Bridging the Gap Between Perception and Reality

Photo by Carsten Sohn

Throughout the 1970s and 80s, the most prominent face of the Palestine Liberation Organization, or PLO, was its leader, Yasser Arafat. His was an image that many associated with terrorism and violence

In the early 1990s, the PLO put forth a new spokesperson, a well dressed and articulate woman in her 40s named Hanan Ashrawi. She became well known to American television viewers as a sharp contrast to the Arafat image.

Get your copy of Hanan Ashrawi’s book

I met her in 1995, when she wrote an autobiography called This Side of Peace. And given the context of today’s events, her remarks from nearly 30 years ago still resonate.

so here now, from 1995, Hanan Ashrawi.

Hanan Ashrawi is 77 now and continues her work as a civil society activist.

High-Flying Adventure: How Two Balloonists Conquered the World

Bertrand Piccard – Photo by COP PARIS
Brian Jones – Photo by John Mathew Smith

Hot air balloons, or lighter-than-air craft, have been around for centuries. But it wasn’t until March 1999 that humans were able to circumnavigate the entire world in a single hot air balloon flight.

The two guys who did it were British balloonist Brian Jones and Bertrand Piccard, a Swiss psychiatrist and balloonist.

They co-piloted a massive balloon called Breitling Orbiter 3, which launched March 1st,1999 from Switzerland and landed in Egypt 19 days and 27,900 miles laer.

Get your copy of Bertrand Piccard & Brian Jones’s book

I met them just eight months later, after they wrote a book about their adventure.

So here now, from November 1999, Brian Jones and Bertrand Piccard.

Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones remain active in ballooning.

And in 2016, Piccard was part of the first round-the-world solar flight in history, piloting the Solar Impulse 2 on one leg of its historic flight.

Laughing Through Layoffs: Annabelle Gurwitch’s Hilarious Take on Getting Fired

No matter where you work, no matter what you do, no matter how long you’ve done it, there’s a good chance you’ll be fired someday. Especially in today’s economy as employers don’t seem to have any loyalty to employees anymore.

Sometimes, though, the situation is so comical, the only way you can get through it is to laugh at it.

Get your copy of Annabelle Gurwitch ‘s book

Actress and writer Annabelle Gurwitch has been fired. And she knows lots and lots of other people who have been fired. So she gathered their stories in a book called Fired!

And if you’ve ever been fired, or you are about to be fired, you’ve got to listen to this interview.

So here now from 2006, Annabelle Gurwitch.

Annabelle Gurwitch is 62 now. She lives in Los Angeles.

Dean Koontz: Suspense, Horror, and 500 Million Book Sales

Most authors would be very, very happy if their books sold half a million copies.
Most would be thrilled if their books sold one or two million or five million or ten.

But Dean Koontz has sold 500 million books since his first one was published in 1968.

A master of suspense thrillers, with some horror thrown in, Koontz never fails to satisfy readers. His books routinely appear on major bestseller lists.

I’ve interviewed him several times, including our 2004 conversation about his thriller Life Get your copy of Dean Koontz’s bookExpectancy. What’s terrifying about the storyline is how ordinary his protagonist is, except for the deadly things that could happen to him

So here now from 2004 http://Get your copy of Dean Koontz’s bookDean Koontz.

Dean Koontz will be 79 years old in July.Get your copy of Dean Koontz’s book

Amber Tamblyn on Her Poetry, Her Family, and Her Creative Journey

Photo by Jerry Avenaim

Some might say that Amber Tamblyn was born to be an entertainer.

Her father is veteran actor-dancer Russ Tambllyn. Her mother is a singer and a teacher, and her grandfather was in vaudeville.

From the age of 12, when she joined the cast of TV’s “General Hospital,” Amber Tamblyn’s talent has made her a popular and award-winning actress. But she is also well known for her writing, especially her poetry.

Get your copy of Amber Tamblyn’s book

She has actually published seven books, including the 2009 collection Bang Ditto. It was while she was on tour promoting that book that i had a chance to meet her – and to hear what really matters to her in her creative life.

Amber Tamblyn will be 41 in May. Her latest movie role was in “You Hurt My Feelings” in 2023.

So here now, from 2009, Amber Tamblyn.