Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Fangirling Matt Siegfried

At 6 p.m. on Saturdays--a time once reserved for the dulcet tones of Garrison Keillor and his preoccupation with the mayonnaise-based cuisine of Minnesota Lutherans--BCB and I have started listening to the decidedly crankier rantings of local curmudgeon/King of Ypsi Mark Maynard. The signal for AM1700 isn't strong enough to get Saturday Six-Pack with Mark Maynard on our radio, less than a mile from the show's point of origin in downtown Ypsilanti, so we stream his show on a laptop, or, if we're in the car, on my smart phone. What can we say: if MM is talking, we gotta hear. We've been tickled, we've been entertained, we've basked in the warmth of our wacky community as showcased by this renaissance in radio. Mostly, we've been puzzled. It's all part of the Mark Maynard Experience.

Mark really outdid himself last Saturday when he brought on local historian/treasure Matt Siegfried. Matt has what seems to be an encyclopedic knowledge of local and Michigan history, with a focus on Native American and African-American perspectives. Here is Matt's website about Ypsi's historic African-American neighborhood. Here is Matt's blog post from yesterday about the history of the town's name (shout out to Ypsitucky). Here is a posting for his talk on the city's Native American roots at the Michigan Avenue library on February 26. Here and here and here are some times Mark interviewed him for his blog. Please enjoy these book recommendations he gave us on the air and over Facebook afterward:
  • Rites of Conquest: The History and Culture of Michigan's Native Americans by Charles E. Cleland
  • Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City by Greg Grandin
  • Henry Ford and the Jews: The Mass Production of Hate by Neil Baldwin
  • The Making of Black Detroit in the Age of Henry Ford by Beth Tompkins Bates
  • Unconquered Souls: The History of the African American in Ypsilanti by Albert P. Marshall
Let's take a moment to reflect on how our world is a little richer, a little brighter, a little better for the work of Matt Siegfried.

You can listen to the whole second episode here.

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