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Mo-Curious

Mo’ Curious: Saving the Hidden Stories of a Vanishing Rural Lifestyle

In this episode, we listen to the oral histories of Margot McMillen. We hear from a river boat captain, a train engineer and an independent woman. These and several dozen other Missourians were the subjects of Margot’s late 1970s oral history recordings.

At that time, Margot was a young mother of two, a graduate student in English and a budding author. She was also was a listener.

When the Union Electric utility started buying land from farmers in Southern Callaway County for a nuclear power plant, Margot jumped into action. With her recording kit and an abundance of curiosity, she set out to preserve stories of a rural lifestyle that was rapidly disappearing. The stories illuminate what a different world we live in 45 years after they were preserved.

Here’s some of the oral history work of Missouri author and radio host Margot McMillen.

Hear more episodes of the Mo’ Curious podcast at MoCurious.com and wherever you get your podcasts.

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Mo-Curious

Mo’ Curious: ‘There is a better way’

Whereas much of modern, industrial, late stage capitalism is based around competition for scarce material resources, there are a few among us who choose to work together to achieve a standard of living that’s good enough. In an intentional community, or commune, people organize themselves around cooperative activities.

In the first part of this two-part episode, we explored what 19th and 20th century Missouri utopias were like. In this episode, we head to Northeast Missouri’s Scotland County to meet some contemporary communards and hear what draws them to the land in search of a more intentional and low-impact life.

Part one of this two part series on Missouri utopias can be heard here.

Thanks for listening. Let me know what you think and share ideas for future episodes.

Contact me at Trevor@RecollectionAgency.com.

Kyle Yoder lovin’ on his cat at Dancing Rabbit near Rutledge, Missouri.

The Mo’ Curious podcast is generously sponsored by Missouri Life.

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Field Notes

Field Notes: ‘If they want me to give them two, I give them four.’

In each installment of my Field Notes from the Recollection Agency, I talk to someone with an interesting backstory. Here, Scott Lunceford* talks about government cheese, how re-enacting 1855 can be a family activity and why it pays to bring your harmonica to church.

Listen to other Field Notes and learn more about the Recollection Agency at RecollectionAgency.com and on social media.

*Scott says we “are always family”, but our official status is that of ex-step-cousins. -Trevor

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Field Notes

Field Notes: ‘Why would I be looking for you?’

This Field Notes post looks at the personal impacts of the coronavirus. Dr. Carmaleta Williams, the director of the Black Archives of Mid-America discusses holding picture parties, interviewing the elders and being the art teacher for a pair of her instantly home-schooled grandsons.

This audio is taken from a phone conversation of April 21, 2020.

Check out more Kansas City Black history by viewing the Beacon Hill oral history project here.