Tune into Arts in the Valley on Saturday July 14th (8 PM) and Sunday July 14th (2 PM) to listen to author Joseph Sutton, and author and radio host Hazel Kahan speak on her life in the Middle East.
Click onto the link to listen to Hazel Kahan:hazel
After a Lahore birth, a Pakistan childhood, boarding schools in Kashmir, India and England, years in Australia and Israel, Helen Kahan came to the United States. Her two children were born in London and Canberra. Helen has a Ph.D. In psychology, which led to a career in market research.
In 1999, she sold her loft in Manhattan and without much thought or planning, followed some innate sense to Mattituck on the North Fork of Long Island where she lives a bucolic life. After decades in corporate corridors and cubicles, hundreds of focus groups and thousands of frequent flyer miles, she now watches the rise and fall of the trees instead of the ticker tape. Helen interviews people not for clients but for her program, Tidings from Hazel Kahan on WPKN 89.5 Bridgeport, CT, an independent totally listener-sponsored radio station. Helen also creates leafages.
Leafages are made from real leaves, vines and tendrils interwoven with calligraphy, decorative pen and ink flourishes and imaginary Latin botanical names.
Leafages contain a philosophical or inspirational thought, quotation or verse from sages, poets or religious texts. Some leafages have been specially created for an individual, a couple or a family with words or leaves reflecting their personal narrative. www.helenkahan.com
Click onto the link to listen to author Joseph Sutton:joe sutton-1
After playing two years of junior college football in Los Angeles, Joseph Sutton entered the University of Oregon in 1960 on a football scholarship. He didn’t become an All-American running back as he had wished. What happened was that a knee injury led to his getting on the bad side of his coach. Hence, he was a fourth string football player who saw sporadic action.
A fellow fourth stringer asked him one day, “What are you going to do in life?”
“I’m going to be a writer,” Sutton blurted out. “I’m going to let the whole world know what it feels like for a fourth stringer to be treated like cannon fodder.” It was the first time the thought of being a writer entered his mind.
Upon graduating Oregon with degrees in philosophy and history, Sutton joined the Coast Guard reserve. Late in the morning on November 22, 1963, their ship docked in Alameda, CA, the crew heard the news of President Kennedy’s assassination. That night, because the president’s death hit him so hard, he did something he had never done before: he picked up a pen and started writing his thoughts and feelings. Little did he know he’d be doing the same thing to this day.
After completing six months of active duty, Sutton started teaching social studies at Fremont High School in South Central Los Angeles. Five years later, in 1969, he quit the teaching profession to follow his dream of becoming a writer. His first project was a novel, A Class of Leaders, about a white history teacher in a predominately black high school who throws the book away and lets his students teach. Sutton’s next work, a novel called Highway Sailor, deals with a man hitting the highways of America in search of himself and his country .
Ever since his Coast Guard days in Alameda, Sutton had always wanted to live in San Francisco. In 1977 he made the move. Within a span of four years, he met Joan Bransten, married her and they had a son, Raymond. Before Raymond was born, Sutton would write, wait until his money ran low, substitute in the secondary schools of San Francisco and start writing again when he could afford it. After his son was born, writing took a backseat to supporting his family, so he returned to teaching full-time.
Sutton taught for three years until he contracted asthma in 1984. He took his doctor’s advice and quit the profession due to the stress it caused him. He quickly landed a job as a sales representative for a costume jewelry company, and within six months his asthma faded away. Although he was making twice the money he had made as a teacher, selling costume jewelry didn’t give much meaning to his life. The only thing that mattered to him was writing. But how was he going to support a family when all he had earned in fifteen years as a writer was $4000? In his fourth year of jewelry sales, Sutton got the idea to compile a book of quotations on all aspects of health. His idea caught a publisher’s eye and Words of Wellness: A Treasury of Quotations for Well-Being was released in 1991. Since then he’s published seven more books, the latest being The Year the Giants Won the Series.
Sutton never forgot what he told his Oregon teammate when asked what he wanted to do in life: “…to be a writer.” ”The Fourth Stringer” was published several years ago in his collection The Immortal Mouth and Other Stories. www.joesutt.com