They follow their own star: checking in with nomads Holly & Joe Whiting

“We really like leaving and the excitement of what’s next.”

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Merry Christmas and happy every other holiday in this joyous season! Today, because you’ve been very good, a special treat! We catch up with Holly and Joe Whiting, to whom we last talked in March 2021 when they were about to start their retirement years as nomads, living on the move in the small bus they retooled – called a skoolie — named Sandy. The headline on the openstudioradio.org blog post says it all: “A coupla crazy old people moving into a bus.”

Here’s a link to that show.

So. A year and three quarters in, how’s it going? We talked via Zoom from where they were parked – now in a new smaller, if you can believe it, vehicle, which they call their Nowhere Van, at a Texas truck stop. (We were reliant on the kindness of the hot spot gods so apologies for any audio anomalies!)

Follow their adventures @the.nowhere.van and nowherevan.blog.

Before we join Holly and Joe, I’d like to remind you that WESU is a community radio station, which means it largely depends on the generosity of listeners like you. Please, if you’re writing checks to worthy causes, spare a thought for the station, which brings you the kind of unusual programming you can’t find anywhere else. Just go here and give what you can. There are way cool Thanks!

It’s a tight squeeze, man. Case in point: “We have a toilet. It pulls out from under the bed.”

Top row: That’s their bed in the background; the kitchen; minimal decor

Middle row: Little is right!; a deep thought; they took their bikes

Last row: This is a still from a music video by favorite band Bright Eyes, from which they took the name Nowhere Van.

He shoots! He scores! The art of local photojournalism

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Today, he may be the hardest working man in photography. Wesley Bunnell shoots your kid’s heartbreaking championship game, the town’s fourth of July parade, the cloud of cherry blossoms in bloom at Wooster Square, soft mist over the water in Branford, anything and everything that’s photoworthy and some subjects that you wouldn’t think are photoworthy but that, with his poetic eye, he makes so. Wesley is the chief of photography for Shore Publishing, a group of seven local newspapers between the Connecticut and Quinnipiac rivers. Chief of photography is a grand title but really he’s pretty much a one-man band. I met him this past summer at an art fair where I was exhibiting and he was on the job, and busy as he is, he agreed to a chat for Open Studio. You can get a sense of Wes’s work at his website, wesleybunnell.com. As you’ll hear in our interview and see from his photos, he likes finding interesting juxtapositions, and, as a self-described introvert who enjoys meeting people, he’s something of an interesting juxtaposition himself. All I can say is, his heart is in it.

Oh, and if you enjoy this kind of programming — and really, where else are you going to find it but at WESU? — please donate during our current pledge drive by clicking here and giving what you can. It’s you who put the community in community radio! Thanks!