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Real Humans By Gina Kaufmann

KCUR's Gina Kaufmann brings you personal essays about how we're all adapting to a very different world.

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  • The MR340, a paddling race from Kansas City to St. Louis along the Missouri River, has a reputation for being not just difficult but crazy. After finishing last in 2020, one man is back for more—a real-life hero to "the average among us."
  • LC Richardson started his famous no-frills barbecue joint in 1986. His granddaughter, Tausha Hammett, worked the cash register before she was tall enough to see over it. Now she's ushering LC's into a new era.
  • Mark Angermayer used to be a pig farmer. When a back injury took that away, he forgot how to dream. His fruit orchard just south of Kansas City is a lesson in resilience and renewal.
  • Everyone deserves a safe place to swim, but we live in a region of pool haves and have-nots: Kansas City, Kansas, has zero public pools open this summer, while Lenexa has three pools for one-third the population.
  • The 400 block of Delaware Street always had charm, but for the longest time, no foot traffic. I know because my dad ran a bookstore there in the 1990s — right before he died.
  • When concerts dried up last year, the band Making Movies went all over the U.S. to ask legendary musicians what makes their music "American." The resulting documentary airs July 1 on Kansas City PBS.
  • Lawrence-based artist Roger Shimomura just received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Kansas for his impact on the art world. The recognition comes as the 81-year-old's work takes on new resonance.
  • All of the commentary about how introverts are going to have a hard time getting back out there is missing something important: There is more out there than just parties. I'm talking about bookstores, record stores, plant nurseries and art museums.
  • When these business owners hung closed signs on their doors, they didn't know if reopening day would come. Now Poi-O, Julep and Westside Local are flinging the doors back open, with the last year written all over some major transformations.
  • Nothing against brunch, but what would Mother's Day look like if it paid tribute to the work of mothers in all its complexity, particularly over the past year?