Terra Sigillata

Homer alert.

The title pretty much covers three of some of my favorite things about living in Durham, NC. From the Pharmboy mailbox and Durham Magazine website:

Catherine Clabby – former reporter extraordinaire for The News & Observer, current editor extraordinaire for American Scientist magazine and a long-time Durhamite extraordinaire – spent hours finding out why The State of Things host Frank Stasio has fallen head-over-heels for Durham. Sometimes it takes an outsider to help us all appreciate how good we have it. Frank’s doing that in a big way, both through his work at NPR and in his day-to-day life. Good on you, Frank and Catherine.

i-4607f8e596aa49b79d16b06441cb4804-stasio2.jpgThe focus of the article in the magazine extraordinaire, Durham Magazine, is Frank Stasio, host and interviewer extraordinaire of his noontime show, The State of Things, on our NPR affiliate, WUNC-FM, and the statewide North Carolina Public Radio network. Like many of us, Frank is a transplant (from DC in the case of his family) but has seized upon his new home with all the gusto of a Chamber of Commerce booster. I have learned more from Frank about music, writers, community, health, recycling, and hog farms than from any other venue in the state. The description of his show is:

The State of Things is a live program hosted by Frank Stasio devoted to bringing the issues, personalities, and places of North Carolina to our listeners. We present the Tar Heel experience through sound, story, discussion, commentary and listener participation through calls.

I should also mention Frank’s unsung hero, producer Katy Barron, with whom I had the pleasure of working during last year’s U2 academic conference and a recent book author tour. Garnering a photo from a studio glass reflection in the article, Katy is the ethereal presence of The State of Things, scheduling talent, listening to their music or reading their books in advance, and helping Frank stay on top of everything. Katy is the head of the production staff to which Frank deflects any compliment.

They run a civilized operation from one of the most comfortable radio stations I’ve ever sat in, offering glasses of hot tea to guests from their central location in the American Tobacco Campus, Durham’s example of warehouse revitalization.

(By the way, the irony is not lost on me that this month’s photo exhibit at the historic district is The New Face of Cancer Care: Portraits of Courage, Strength, and Hope from the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.)

As noted in the teaser above, the article is written by Catherine Clabby. Clabby is a fellow member of the board of Science Communicators of North Carolina, or SCONC, and has been a great supporter of all of our writing activities. Catherine was even kind enough to recommend a couple of fellowship opportunities for a freshman student of mine who accompanied me to a SCONC function on H1N1 at Duke University.

But the article isn’t yet available online – you either had to beat me at my mailbox or, better, go buy yourself a dead-tree version. The superb graphics, layout, and feel of the print edition reminds me that print is not dead.

The June/July issue is also a gem as it features “50 Ways to Love Your Summer,” which, somehow makes even me look forward to the sweltering months ahead.

And if you’re a former Dukie, NCCU alum, or anyone with a little Bull City in their heart, subscribe. There’s really something great about local mags – I still subscribe to Denver’s 5280 more than ten years after leaving the Queen City of the Plains.

As Frank is quoted in the article while playing bongos at a jam at our local bar, The Pinhook, “This is so Durham.”

Special thanks to PharmKid for picking her favorite picture of Mr. Stasio from the web.