KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College,
and Maricopa Community Colleges

Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Arizona Storytellers

  • Michael Beyo grew up as an Orthodox Jew in Italy. Michael went on to become a rabbi and lived in Israel for 25 years. When he and his wife moved to the US, he experienced financial hardships that made even buying groceries difficult. It was during this period of hard times that Michael met a man from a different faith.
  • John Avila went to prison at 21 years old for a DUI. He says it felt like his life was over. John only had two-and-a-half years, but a conversation with a man with three consecutive life sentences put things in perspective.
  • Adiba Nelson says Christmas in New York is only magic if you're not poor. She grew up poor in Queens and says the holidays are what you make of them. When she was three, her mom told her that she couldn't afford to buy presents that year. But Adiba's mom was still trying to make Christmas special for her.
  • Willa Eigo says her house smelled like garlic and rosemary when she was a kid. Her dad stayed at home while her mom worked. Willa and her dad would make things together—cereal, mac and cheese, and steamed spinach—but the pasta is what she remembers most.
  • John Dunlap grew up in Flagstaff. His elementary and junior high schools were very close to the NAU campus and he says it always felt like going to college was an attainable goal.
  • Jimmy Jenkins grew up in a small town in Indiana. His house was directly across the street from farmland and a forest. But across the highway was a maximum security federal prison. The prison scared him and he often had nightmares about it as a child. → Hear more Arizona Storytellers
  • Jason Boatman has lived in the Bay Area, London, Berlin and moved to Phoenix in 2010. He says he’s been five years sober but that "growing up" has taken much longer than that. After a year of sobriety, Jason found he was discontent and was craving a deeper understanding and a search for meaning.
  • Melissa Dunmore met her would-be husband through a mutual friend. She says it was like living in a romantic comedy. They each had a dog and knew that their relationship could only work if the dogs got along. Melissa had a pep talk with her dog, Toby, before they all met together at a park. The dogs got along and Melissa and her partner soon moved in together.
  • Angelica Lindsey-Ali has a bold personality. As a Muslim woman living in Detroit, she wore large hoop earrings, and bright lipstick along with her headscarf. But when she and her husband moved to Phoenix, Angelica didn't quite fit in and was chided for her appearance.
  • Niki Cuccinotto says her large, loud Italian family has always been Cubs fans. From a very young age, Niki remembers seeing her Grandpa Joe in a crisp blue Cubs jersey while the whole family cooked on the grill during the game. He was a thin man confined to a wheelchair who couldn't speak, and Niki says it's because Grandpa Joe had Huntington's disease.