Yoset Altamirano grew up in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. After graduation, she spent five years teaching music at a private school, but felt frustrated that music education was not emphasized more in her native country. In this episode, she recalls trying to instill an appreciation of music in her students and in their parents as well.
Altamirano soon received a scholarship to attend university but because music was not offered as a major, studied marketing instead. She still made time to perform in plays and opera and while working on a production of an opera by Verdi she met her husband who was a classical musician studying at the University of Southern Mississippi. After they married in 1998, she travelled with him to Hattiesburg where she auditioned for the choir and was awarded a scholarship.
According to Altamirano, studying music in the United States was a great opportunity. At the time the interview was conducted in 2002, she related feeling torn between staying here and returning to Honduras.
As a third generation fisherman, Clyde Brown grew up hunting and fishing on the Gulf Coast. Even as he pursued a career with International Paper, he worked to preserve the natural resources of the Gulf and protect the interests of fishermen. In 1982, Brown worked to dredge out an access canal into Bayou Heron after it became filled-in through disuse. He recalls how they raised the funds for a landing to make Bayou Heron accessible for everyone.
Due to his interest in preserving our marine resources, Brown was appointed to the Gulf of Mexico Program for Fisheries. He describes his work with the program and how his desire to establish a reserve in Jackson County led the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve or NERR. Brown credits his wife’s pecan pie for sealing the deal.
Clyde Brown was awarded NOAA’s Environmental Hero Award in recognition of his thirty-year commitment to coastal conservation. He looks back on the occasion with humor and humility.
Sank Powe of Mound Bayou became the head baseball coach of Cleveland High School in 1971, one year after school desegregation. In this episode, he recalls the resistance he encountered both from white parents and the black community. As a coach of high school boys and girls for twenty-five years, Powe developed a coaching style that he describes as a mixture of enthusiasm, motivation and fear.
Looking back on his career, Powe points with pride to the impact he has had on his students and the importance of chemistry between a coach and his players. He also explains his philosophy of walking the walk in all aspects of life.
As Hurricane Katrina churned across the Gulf of Mexico in late summer of 2005, Steve Grimm of Picayune was busy attending to the daily challenges of running Highlands Community Hospital (then Crosby Memorial Hospital). While the storm ravaged the Gulf Coast on the morning of August 29, he and his staff tried to save medical records and equipment as the roof blew off the building.
In the episode, Grimm describes the situation they faced the morning after including, no security, only backup generators for power and shortages of food, fuel and other basic necessities of life. He explains how they began to pick up the pieces and prepare for the next time even as they struggled to return to something close to normalcy.
According to Grimm, lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina will not be wasted. He is proud of how his hospital staff stood up to adversity and confident that they will be better prepared moving forward.