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Stateside: GM layoffs a lesson for Trump; couple’s 61-year “Messiah” tradition; farmers swap stories

robert and bunny carlson
Courtesy of Ken Fischer
This year, Robert and Bunny Carlson will attend their 61st consecutive trip to hear Handel's Messiah performed by the University Musical Society.


Today on Stateside, we speak with a Grand Rapids couple about their 61-year-long tradition of attending University Musical Society's performance of Handel's Messiah. Plus, General Motors announced Monday it will cut 14,000 jobs in North America. We discuss the disconnect between the political promises President Donald Trump made to workers in the Rust Belt, and the reality of running a transportation business in 2018. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Howes: GM layoffs show disconnect between political promises and business reality 

Stateside’s conversation with Daniel Howes

  • Following this week’s bombshell announcement from General Motors, Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes helps us analyze the President’s unfulfilled promises to both white-collar and blue-collar workers.

Handel’s Messiah at UMS is a 61-year Christmas tradition for this Michigan couple 

Stateside’s conversation with Robert and Bunny Carlson

  • This weekend, the University of Michigan Musical Society is celebrating its 140th season of performing Handel’s Messiah. Robert and Bunny Carlson, both 92 years old, have made the trip to Hill Auditorium for the performance every holiday season for 61 straight years. 

Dear Black Women offers a space for "reflection and affirmation"

Stateside’s conversation with Florence Noel

  • Florence Noel is a dual graduate student at University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and School of Information. She created Dear Black Women, an affirmation movement for black women, by black women.
  • Dear Black Women will host its 25th Affirmation Circle in Ann Arbor on December 16th
  • This conversation originally aired on August 6, 2018. 

Dumb luck, death, and pigs: A rookie and veteran farmer reflect on the job


A “Work in Progress” conversation between retired farmer Frank Baffy and a newcomer to the career Dave Komasara

  • In this Work in Progressconversation, we speak to two farmers at opposite ends of their careers: Frank Baffy is a veteran farmer while Dave Komasara has just begun the job. They discuss what brought them to farming, the sustainability of the career, and the luck you need to succeed. 
  • This segment originally aired on August 2, 2018. 

Tribute wall brings history home for 97-year-old WWII veteran

Stateside’s conversation with Sean Tracy and Harold Becker

  • Sean Tracy travels through the Midwest recording veterans’ oral histories and crafting veteran tribute walls at Independence Village and StoryPoint, the senior living communities where he serves as the Veterans Project coordinator.
  • 98-year-old and veteran Harold Becker was a test pilot and fighter pilot for the Navy during WWII. Becker helps explain the importance of documenting veterans’ stories.  
  • This segment originally aired on August 28, 2018. 

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Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.
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