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This show packs a punch! It’s kicked off with a conversation that is near and dear to my heart: The Flint Olympian and CANUSA Games! The annual showdown between the USA (Flint) and Canada (Hamilton) is America’s longest running and only remaining international municipal athletic competition.

I am joined by Flint’s Director of Community Recreation, Sean Croudy, Director of Community Recreation for City of Flint, co-chairman Greater Flint Olympian Games and CANUSA Games , Mike Maienbrook, Director of Community Athletics for the Flint Community Schools and Crim Fitness Foundation and co-chairman of the Games, and Tony Sitkto, co-chair of Flint CANUSA Games, and retired administrative principal in the Flint Community Schools. We chat about the ongoing legacy of this cherished event and this year’s program.

The show slingshots from sports to literature in one deft move, when I’m joined by two terrific local authors, Connor Coyne, of Flint, and Boyd Craven, born in Linden, and now living, and writing, in Grand Blanc.

Each offer interesting and thought-provoking work, Coyne, with his latest offering, "Urbantasm", and Craven, a prolific writer, with titles such as, "Outside the Fire", published just last year.

What makes the conversation particularly delightful and fascinating is the unique juxtaposition of work, that on the surface, appears to be extraordinarily different. Coyne’s book is set in fictional Akawe, Michigan (spoiler alert: it’s Flint!), where Craven’s work happens all over the country. Coyne’s protagonist is a semi-hapless 7th grader learning the ropes of life in junior high, while Craven’s characters are ultra self-sufficient adults with a variety of skills including auto mechanic, survival, and self-defense.

However, both authors offer a dark view of life in a world challenged by gathering clouds, very real enemies, and risks. Both authors come from very different places ideologically, with Coyne, a self-described “Democratic Socialist Pragmatist”, and Craven a staunch Conservative. This juxtaposition in the interview is barely noticeable as the common human themes play out in the discussion of their work, their worldview, and their process as writers.

It’s a truly great discussion with similar creative proclivities, outstanding storytelling chops, and strong opinions—all usually exquisite ingredients for a lively conversation. Boyd and Connor do not disappoint!

Our apologies for the abrupt end of the show, due to (you guessed it) technical difficulties. Sure, it happens JUST as Boyd is going to impart "The Mentor's Wisdom" to my question, "Somebody wants to write a book, you're 28, you're 78, where do you start?" Connor answers, but then, I say, "Boyd"... and DEAD AIR! Of course, Boyd is known for his infamous cliffhangers, so you'll just have to tune in the next time to hear his answer!

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