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Tony Ganzer
Me, interviewing a Buddhist monk in Sedona, AZ.

Early in my career, just as I was leaving college, a radio program director told me to quit radio, and never look back.

“Your voice,” she said, looking to the side. “It’s just not…you should do something else. Radio’s not for you.”

Photo: Lucht Vier elementen (serietitel), marked by the Rijksmuseum under CC0 1.0.

For nearly 14 years I’ve carried with me an aging reminder that there is value in striving for growth; growth in relationships, the workplace, my faith…and growth in myself.

Before your imagination runs wild I’ll tell you the item is just a bag, and not a particularly impressive one by the modern standards of bags. It’s rectangular and woven from a synthetic blend, with just three pockets with zippers (two outside, and the main one.)

I’ve carried in it my audio recording gear, books, snacks, and more, from Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, to a Ricola herb farm in…

When I lost the ability to use my arms after a vehicle accident, my whole identity as a father — and a man — was lost also.

(Photo: Tony Ganzer)

Her screams cut me deeper than she meant them to, but the facts were clear: I was deficient, and this helplessness was a new layer to my trauma.

To her I’m a constant; one of two people she knows to rescue her from the hunger she can’t yet understand, and the fear of loneliness she knows only by instinct.

But in this state —without use of my arms after a vehicle crash— I could feel the vulnerability of not fully acting as the big, strong daddy my 7-month-old needs me to be; the one who can lift her the highest…

Screenshot of the moment before a car slammed into my Kymco People S250 scooter. (Tony Ganzer)

There is a split-second for your body to prepare for the trauma before the car slams into your left side, and a leisurely ride into work on a sunny day becomes an exhausting and painful day at the hospital.

Your fight-or-flight instinct is sparked by the adrenaline pumping through your vulnerable shell: your heart pounds; your muscles tense; your awareness is heightened, just as the worst of your situation becomes the prime object of your focus.

The hood of the car is, all at once, a white blur streaking toward you, and also a crystal clear threat to your existence.

Screenshot of John Kasich the CNN political contributor.

It seems to be its own past-time to ask John Kasich whether he’s going to run again for president, perhaps even challenging the incumbent Donald Trump.

CNN is especially interested in Kasich’s plans, and the network invited the two-term Ohio Governor to let viewers see into a crystal ball, and know if he sees a way to the White House.

“Right now, I don’t see it,” Kasich told the network, surely dashing the hopes of keen political observers wanting another narrative arc to follow.

“That doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be a path down the road,” he said, maintaining the possibility…

Crucifixes lay broken and exposed in a neglected graveyard in rural France in 2013. (Tony Ganzer)

The iron-framed grave markers of Eglise St. Martin look sadly and unnecessarily neglected around the church’s perimeter.

Some crucifixes are broken; the stone legs of a depiction of Jesus Christ sit disconcertingly on a pile of stone blocks. Some stone markers have crumbled or faded. Some wooden crosses are rotting away, but still stand above the remains of a person wanting to be remembered.

There is an understandable and appropriate silence about a graveyard. The dead are meant to be left to their stillness.

But the stillness in this small village in the French region of Picardie (Haut de France)…

My idea of cool cars nowadays. (Photo: Tony Ganzer)

Even mentioning my plans to look at minivans earned the kind of under-the-breath-but-actually-directly-at-you reactions you might expect.

“Well, well, well, a minivan, huh?! Going to be a van dad, huh?! Deciding to give up being cool, huh?!”

Even as jokes, the point seemed to be that entertaining the minivan — no matter the circumstance — constituted some failure on my part.

Let me say one thing from the outset: I place very little value on out-dated definitions of masculinity, strength, coolness, etc.

Any apprehension I had adopting the minivan did not hinge on any arbitrary definition of what constitutes a…

Photo illustration: Tony Ganzer

What used to be an exception in journalism seems to have become a norm: affording anonymity to sources offering some unattainable insight, intentionally-hidden fact, or, it seems, juicy gossip.

If-and-when to grant anonymity is one of the more controversial discussions in the journalism realm, and it should be.

A written, broadcast, Tweeted, Instagrammed, or whatever, record of a story or claim needs to carry credibility and provability, lest one be attacked for ‘fake news.’

At the same time, the eternal news cycle has led some journalists to seek big stories on tighter deadlines, and has led some sources to fear…

It’s a silly mash-up, but one driven by serious impulses.

As a journalist by profession and vocation, I listen with dismay to how some demonize the monolithic ‘media’ with a carelessness that does a disservice to valid perspectives and gripes.

I’ve written before that journalists are servants of the people at our core, and listening, responding to, and engaging with the community is vital even if it sometimes takes great effort.

As an amateur bread baker, I like creating and providing food for others to enjoy. It can be a social act, both the baking process and the eating that…

(Photo: Tony Ganzer)

Kevin McGinty was one of those people whose generosity of spirit cut through the callousness of a world drenched in cynicism.

He could be cynical, like all of us, but I only heard it in the form of his jokes, or anecdotes, or a few words of encouragement.

As I heard of his death at age 78, I wanted to offer an anecdote of a friend that I remember daily.

[Listen to a radio tribute to Kevin]

Kevin was a native of County Mayo, Ireland, and an icon of Northeast Ohio’s Irish community.

He made up half of the Sounds…

Tony Ganzer

Journalist, speaker, storyteller. Reporting from Oslo to Ohio to Zurich | | | Journalism, global affairs, society, more.

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