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Hear Past 'Preserving Our Voices' Stories Ahead of New Special Nov. 27


Wherever friends and families gather, they tell stories. And as we prepare to come together for the holidays, WKMS marks this custom on the Friday after Thanksgiving with Preserving Our Voices, a program of remarkable true stories told by loved ones to loved ones. Leading up to the debut our new special on November 17 at Noon, we listen back to some past stories on Sounds Good. Here's the schedule:

NOV. 9 - ROLF PITSCH (2013)

Rolf Pitsch comes from a large family. And those family members were turned into refugees in the aftermath of World War Two. The German immigrant spoke with Kentucky New Era Opinion Editor Jennifer Brown in Hopkinsville about their story of separation and escape.

NOV. 13 - MARY TRIPP-REED (2013)

Mary Tripp-Reed never really thought she would have a family of her own, but today she’s the single mother of her adopted daughter Maya. The College lecturer tells her friend Stephanie Nutter-Osborne in Murray that her change in plans began with the question, “What would you do if you couldn’t fail?”



The SR-71 Blackbird is the U.S. military’s fastest plane. It cruises at Mach 3.2, just over 2,400 mph at altitudes in excess of 80,000 feet. Few people have flown in this plane, which was used for Cold War reconnaissance. Thomas Schmittou of Almo is among that small group of officers who flew aboard the SR-71. Schmittou, now 80, flew 30 missions in the Blackbird and he tells his daughter Denise about his experiences.



Paducah real estate broker Jesus Menendez was born the town of Sagua La Grande, a commercial center on Cuba’s north coast. When Fidel Castro’s Communists toppled President Fulgencio Batista in the 1950s it was a town in crisis. At 17-years-old Jesus and his family were faced with a tough decision. Jesus talks about that choice with his wife Shirley.


NOV. 18 - BRYSON FAMILY (2013)

For some, starting a family is fairly simple. You meet someone, fall in love, and start having kids. But David and Jennifer Bryson of Murray turned to adoption when medical issues prevented them from having children of their own. In 2005 the Brysons found a child to adopt in Kazakstan, and they talk about the frustration and fear they experienced when they went to there to meet her, including a run-in with the local mob.


NOV. 20 - RONNIE YATES (2014)

More than 50 years ago, Dianne Ray had Ronnie Yates in her Ballard County High School homeroom class. Together they look back on the racism he experienced as he was integrated into a white middle school, becoming the only African-American in his class in 1963.


NOV. 23 - JESSICA PAINE (2014)

Twelve years ago Jessica Paine of Murray became pregnant, but what the ultrasounds revealed brought her both anxiety and resolve. She couldn’t have foreseen the journey with this child who transformed her life. She recounts the birth with her mom Vicki Hayden.


NOV. 24 - DICK WEAVER (2014)

87 years-old Dick Weaver of Murray parachuted out of airplanes 376 times in World War Two’s Pacific theater, in the Korean War. Weaver was drafted in 1945, joining the Pathfinders, soldiers who jumped into war zones ahead of the main force to set up communications links and scout drop and pickup zones. Weaver’s friend Chris Wooldridge asks him about pushing through hard times.


NOV. 25 - KAREN OLSON (2014)

Karen Olson is a mother, cancer survivor and widow.  But most importantly she’s a runner. Karen tells Constance Alexander how she’s persevered with running. Her story begins with her breast cancer experience 24 years ago.


Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
Todd Hatton hails from Paducah, Kentucky, where he got into radio under the auspices of the late, great John Stewart of WKYX while a student at Paducah Community College. He also worked at WKMS in the reel-to-reel tape days of the early 1990s before running off first to San Francisco, then Orlando in search of something to do when he grew up. He received his MFA in Creative Writing at Murray State University. He vigorously resists adulthood and watches his wife, Angela Hatton, save the world one plastic bottle at a time.
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