107 episodes

We present audio and video podcasts about life and culture in middle America. Our essays and life histories share the story of people in America's rust belt.This podcast is born of blue-collar, working-class values. Our podcast has its roots in the greater Flint area. We dedicate this podcast to the beleaguered town of Flint, Michigan, and communities like it across America.Our podcasts subjects include true crime, law, history, sports, arts & literature, and the Flint water crisis, and more. Our interviews focus on society and culture in middle America.

Radio Free Flint Podcast Arthur Busch

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 15 Ratings

We present audio and video podcasts about life and culture in middle America. Our essays and life histories share the story of people in America's rust belt.This podcast is born of blue-collar, working-class values. Our podcast has its roots in the greater Flint area. We dedicate this podcast to the beleaguered town of Flint, Michigan, and communities like it across America.Our podcasts subjects include true crime, law, history, sports, arts & literature, and the Flint water crisis, and more. Our interviews focus on society and culture in middle America.

    Comedian Bryan McCree a Joyful Flintstone

    Comedian Bryan McCree a Joyful Flintstone

    Is it possible to make Flint laugh? If anyone can, it's Flint native Bryan McCree, a nationally known comedian, actor, and writer. He regularly tours America with shows marked by their insight into American culture and the oddities of life in our country. He is particularly astute at using humor to make us laugh at ourselves. 

    In this interview, Byran shares hilarious clips of his shows featuring humor about Flint, making the audience laugh at itself and its stereotypes about race and being poor.

    Byran has regularly appeared on Comedy Central, Mad TV, NBC, and Comics Unleashed with Byron Allen. He is the nephew of the late Floyd J. McCree, former Mayor of Flint. Mayor McCree was a  Michigan Civil Rights icon. Bryan's father was a jazz virtuoso, and his Great Aunt was a Broadway legend.   

    The Jherri curled comic has shared the stage with comedians such as Sinbad, George Wallace, and Robert Shimmel and with the group, The Isley Brothers. Bryan is a hilarious man with a demeanor and acting skills that can keep an audience in tears with laughter.

    He spent years acting at Flint's McCree Theater, a venue named after his famous uncle. It was there he honed his stagecraft skills and charm. Comedy allows McCree to assume himself as the character in his one-man shows.   He does all this with tremendous wit, insight, and a natural stage presence. 

    In this interview, he shares his life growing up in Flint, his family,  attending Flint Southwestern High School, etc. He shares humorous antidotes about his younger days in Flint. Bryan tells of giving comedy shows to his classmates on the school bus each morning on their way to school. He laughs at the neighborhood days of playing the game of twelve. He never gives up on his beleaguered hometown. 

    McCree describes what it is like to live in a blue-collar town like Flint, Michigan. He reflects a good-natured poke at his audiences and himself. 

    Visit Bryan McCree's website to discover his scheduled shows, watch videos of his act, or get branded merchandise.

    Watch Bryan McCree's comedy shows on his YouTube Channel or visit his Facebook Page.




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    • 31 min
    The Poet Daughter of Angelo's Coney Island

    The Poet Daughter of Angelo's Coney Island

    Carl Paul came to America through Ellis Island in New York from a country few in Flint, Michigan, know much about. North Macedonia, officially the Republic of North Macedonia, is a country in Southeast Europe. In 1991, the tiny country became recognized as one of the successor states of Yugoslavia. Today, the Slavic country is a member of NATO.

    Carl and many of his fellow Macedonian immigrants eventually found their way to Flint. They came from a small mountain village in southern Macedonia near the border with Greece.   The immigrants of Bouf, Macedonia, have contributed mightily to the Flint economy, culture, and business leadership.

    Once in Flint, Michigan, Carl Paul and his partner, Angelo Nikoloff, established one of the most loved and iconic restaurants in mid-Michigan. While the Flint-style Coney Island hot dog was not the invention of the two entrepreneurs, they certainly contributed to making a part of the culinary culture of the Flint region. 

    Ironically, in Macedonia, the coney island hot dog, Flint style, is nowhere to be found on the menu.   

    Our podcast episode guest, Karen Paul Holmes, grew up in Flint, her father, Carl Paul, and Angelo Nikoloff were the original partners of Angelo's Coney Island. While a teenager, Karen waitressed at her father's famous restaurant during summer school recess. Karen shares the story of her hardworking Flint family, whose life work defines Flint almost as much as trucks and cars made in the city.

    Karen reads three of her most endearing poems. The first poem recalls her father returning home for family dinners after a long work day at Angelo's Coney Island. The second poem is an emotional tribute to her father and his leaving Bouf, Macedonia, for a better life in the United States. The last is a poem of beautiful prose about the Great Lakes and cherry trees and the beauty of her father's newfound home, Michigan.

    Karen provides a near-recipe for Flint Style Coney Sauce in her second poetry collection, No Such Thing as Distance (Terrapin, 2018), which contains poems about growing up in Michigan and her parents' emigration to Flint from Macedonia and Australia. Poems from that book have been read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer's Almanac and by former U.S.Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith on The Slowdown podcast.

    Her first book, Untying the Knot (Aldrich, 2014), chronicles grief and healing from divorce. She has been published in over 100 journals and anthologies and was named the best
    emerging poet by Stay Thirsty Media.


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    • 36 min
    Prep School Transfers Impact Flint Prep Hoops and Culture

    Prep School Transfers Impact Flint Prep Hoops and Culture

    Flint, Michigan, has long been touted as a hotbed for high school basketball. Indeed, Flint has produced some of the top basketball talents in the nation. Many Flint athletes are playing in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and at major colleges and universities. Flint basketball players have had lucrative careers playing internationally.

    Flint area residents are accustomed to watching high school talents honing their skills in high school gyms against their favorite teams. However, watching those most likely to be the next NBA All-Star or college All-American player may be a thing of the past.

    A new trend has emerged in which teenagers as early as 10th-grade ship off for Prep Schools that promote basketball and play games against the best competition in America. These Prep Schools position themselves to show off all those talented players to college and professional scouts. 

    Brandon Green, ABC-12 Sports Director, joins Radio Free Flint to discuss the disappearing high school superstars who transfer to Prep Schools. We discuss the implications for young people placing a bet on basketball and eschewing the traditional path of community education. Is it too early to let teenagers put all their eggs in one basket and bet that this career choice will materialize? We know that only a tiny percentage of high school basketball players will sign on at an NCAA Division 1 College or University. Even a smaller percentage of college players ever make it to the pros.

    We discuss whether Flint has seen its better days of glory with the likes of the Flintstones, the Michigan State University national champs led by 5 Flint High School basketball players.  

    Please join us and meet Brandon Green, the new Sports Director for WJRT ABC-12 in Flint, as we discuss his welcome to Flint, his passion for basketball, and his love of High School athletics. 

    Read these interesting articles on High School Athletes and Prep Schools.


     Flint Hoopers Lost in the Shadows by Brandon Green, ABC-12, Sports Director. May 26, 2022Public prep transfers have taken over high school sports in Connecticut, but is that a good thing? By Shawn McFarland and Alex Putterman, Hartford Courant. May 10, 2019 



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    • 35 min
    Former Public Safety Chief of Bishop Airport Recalls Flint Terror Attack

    Former Public Safety Chief of Bishop Airport Recalls Flint Terror Attack

    Former Bishop Airport Public Safety Director Chris Miller discusses a 2017 terrorist attack at the Flint, Michigan, airport. He also talks about the changes the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America had on current operations at Bishop  International Airport.

    The retired Public Safety Director at Flint Bishop Airport, Chris Miller, was a hero in 2017 when he and an airport maintenance worker subdued a terrorist who stabbed a fellow police officer.  Miller's quick actions helped save the life of a fellow officer during a terrorist attack inside the Bishop International Airport Terminal.

    The attacker, a Tunisian national, was found guilty in 2018 on single counts of committing an act of violence at an international airport, interference with airport security, and an act of terrorism transcending national boundaries. He is serving a life sentence for the crimes.

    Chief Miller led the security detail at the Flint airport on the day of the 911 terrorist attacks in 2000. His law enforcement career has spanned nearly 40 years in the Flint area.   He also retired from the Genesee County Sheriff's Department after 20 years. He also worked for a time with the Mt. Morris Township Police Department.

    Miller shares his experiences as a young musician in the Flint area, growing up in a General Motors family, and his hobby of collecting Chevrolet Corvettes. He attended Flint Community Schools, C.S. Mott Community College, and Oakland University.

    Upon his retirement in 2021, the City of Flint Lifetime Achievement Award and a key to the city were presented to Chief Chis Miller.

    Visit the Bishop International Airport website to learn more about the airport.

    Check out a profile story about Chief Chris Miller at My City Magazine



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    • 39 min
    Keeping Old Documents,Photos and Donating Your Treasures

    Keeping Old Documents,Photos and Donating Your Treasures

    In our highly mobile society, figuring out what to do with our old papers, photographs, and keepsakes is challenging. We accumulate boxes of possessions over a lifetime, and when moving, retiring, or upon the death of a parent it sits in your house begging for a home. 

    Your junk can be true treasures that preserve the history of your community or your family.   

    What do you do with all those boxes and files that you will "someday" get around to sorting out? What is valuable, what is worth saving, and what is worth donating to a local historical society, library, or museum? 

    Lastly, what are the best ways to preserve the photos of four generations of family members? Should you frame them or keep them in your basement or garage? 

    Colleen Marquise is an Archivist at the University of Michigan-Flint Willson-Thompson Library and supervises the Genesee Historical Collection Center. She answers these many questions and more about how to sort out your valuable documents, how to store them, and whether they are worth donating. 

    Colleen is also a historian and shares her exciting views about the collective trauma the Flint, Michigan, area experienced over many decades. The UM-Flint collection reflects archives of materials explaining the Flint Sitdown Strike, the Beecher Tornado, and the Open Housing Protests in the 1960s. She also discussed the relative lack of public archives about one of Flint's most prominent residents C.S. Mott. 

    Colleen shares some humorous antidotes about the many donations of historical records she has processed. She also shares how a library archive views your "treasures" and what types of things are most needed to help keep the history of your community. Collen talks about what institutions do with your treasured photos and pictures once you donate them.

    Visit the Genesee Historical Collection Center of the University of Michigan-Flint Library website. They have an extensive collection of fascinating materials available online or for you to see in person.  


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    • 25 min
    A Conversation with Genesee Historical Center Archivist Colleen Marquise

    A Conversation with Genesee Historical Center Archivist Colleen Marquise

    Colleen Marquise, Associate Archivist at the University of Michigan-Flint, Francis Willson-Thompson Library, takes podcast listeners on a virtual tour of the Genesee County (MI) Historical Center archive collection. This historical collection has a fascinating collection of oral histories, documents, papers, etc. 




    The Center has three primary collections: Flint Labor History, Civil Rights, and Community Organizations such as the UAW Local 599. The local archives also contain the most definitive collection of materials on Flint area community development. The construction of I-475 through the heart of Flint was part of the disastrous urban renewal program that wiped out Flint's Floral Park and St. John Street neighborhoods. Memories of those African-American neighborhoods are found in a collection of recorded oral histories about the people, families, and culture. 
    The Center also has a remarkable collection of oral history materials ranging from musical histories of the area, including rapper MC Breed, Ira Dorsey, and others going back to Flint bands in the 1960s. 


    The Genesee Historical Center has recently developed a history collection about the COVID pandemic and protests. 
    Colleen Marquise shares with the podcast listeners stories about prominent Flint area historical figures such as Genora Johnson and Rev Bradford Pengelly, the colorful rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church during the 1920s. This virtual podcast tour of the University of Michigan-Flint, Francis Willson-Thompson Library is fascinating. This episode is Part 1 of a two-part podcast.


    The public can visit and listen to some local history collections online by going to the University of Michigan-Flint Library website. 

    Please leave us a voice mail or comments if you have questions or wish to share suggestions. We answer all such messages. Radio Free Flint appreciates your support when you "Buy Us A Coffee" by clicking on the coffee cup on the Home Page.


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    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
15 Ratings

15 Ratings

Balogney ,

Loved the episode with Skip Harbin!

Great conversation about FCS and the community education program. Enjoyed listening to Skip talk about the golden age of FCS.

Srubfthu ,

On Target

Your broadcasts are always interesting, informative and on point.
Many thanks.

BRL17 ,

Great podcast!

Fantastic guests, great host and a wealth of information shared!

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