Tag Archives: JAMM-425

They See Her Rollin’, They Helpin’

One woman’s determination to succeed in school,
despite being bound to a wheelchair

By Jonathan Gradin

Most people take for granted the ability to walk anywhere, pass through any doorways, travel up and down stairs—even use the restroom without the need of railings or handholds. This ambulatory mindset, prevalent when the University of Idaho campus was built, creates problems for wheelchair-bound people on campus such as 24-year-old English student Ashley Centers.

Cerebral palsy has limited her to a wheelchair since childhood, but this does not stop her determination to succeed, even through academic obstacles independent of her disability. Continue reading →

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Preserving a Tradition: Moscow Barber Still Making the Cut After 35 Years

By Jonathan Gradin

The barber shop holds a quintessential place in Americana. From Andy Griffith’s Mayberry to Moscow, Idaho, barber shops functioned as places for men to hang out, share news and keep their hair trimmed. Nowadays, this tradition is gone, save for a few local shops.

“It’s a shame that the tradition of barbers has and is fading away… Traditionally, the barber shops were a place for men to B.S. and get warm by the stove,” said Bill Jones, 71, semi-retired owner of Bill’s Barber Shop on Second Street. It was “sort of a man-cave situation.”

Jones began cutting hair in 1979, when he he sold his convenience store in Calder, up the St. Joe River from St. Maries. He said he was tired of the seven-day-a-week and extra after-hours nature of the store, which robbed him of family time. Continue reading →

Order out of chaos: Jazz students exercise creativity with free improvisation

By Jonathan Gradin (Short Article Written Feb. 24 for JAMM-425 Feature Article Writing at the University of Idaho)

Nearly 100 elementary to high school students entered the Kenworthy Theatre Thursday morning for a workshop on free improvisation using wind instruments. As they chattered, Eli Yamin, the workshop instructor, walked through the aisles with an energy and personality reflected in his light bluish-gray paisley shirt.

“Got your instruments?” he asked each group, his wavy black hair slicked back despite his excited motion. “Get ’em out!”

Around the theatre, gleaming brass tenor saxophones, alto saxophones, trumpets, trombones, and a baritone horn emerged, as well as a few black clarinets. Those who didn’t have instruments present—including a dozen community members—could use their voices, they were soon told.

Before running through several exercises in free improvisation (music-making without set rules of chord progressions or tonality), Yamin polled the audience as to why the played, both musically and in general. Students around the room shouted responses:

“To be involved in the music!” Continue reading →

A Crash in Time Saves Lives

(Written Feb. 13, 2013, this was a short writing exercise for JAMM-425 Feature Article Writing at University of Idaho.)

By Jonathan Gradin

History student Matt McCune does not fit the traditional image of a priest. The 41-year-old clergyman of the Holy Name of Jesus Anglican Catholic Church resembles a rugged cowboy, with bushy red mustache, long hair tied back and lines of age and experience creasing his face. He wears an informal, black buttoned shirt and a long, gray coat and walks with a well-worn wooden cane.

Yet like the cowboys of olden days, McCune has experienced many trials, including a car wreck in 2008 that had providential implications for this man of faith.

“In April 2008, I had gone to Austin, Texas, ahead of my wife,” McCune Continue reading →