Saturday, December 30, 2017

MEMORIES of 2017 - Film Festival

My film with Montreal artist Philippe Van Eetvelt hits the big screen!  What an honor to participate in the Lake Champlain International Film Festival for the fourth year in a row.  The film, from my "Spotlight" arts series, focused on the innovative artist who sometimes paints with doctors syringes and devised a machine to help him paint with a piano.  The short film premiered at the festival this year, and I am excited to share it with a wider audience in 2018.  Another highlight for  "Spotlight":  nursing students at Pace University in Manhattan this past semester were shown the interview I conducted with author Roger Noyes, who wrote the biography of his great-great aunt, the notable nurse Clara Noyes, who helped advance the career of nursing in the early 20th century. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

MEMORIES of 2017 - Opera at last!

I fulfilled a long-time dream of mine to see an opera at the world famous Opera Garnier (home of the phantom) in Paris.  La Cenerentola by Rossini tells the story of Cinderella minus the magic, but the evening was no less magical.  Also in Paris, I had lunch at Le Train Bleu, a restaurant I've longed to dine in since 1988.  I amde some great friends in Paris (and thank you for the wonderful photos)! Italian opera, French dining and Britsh pop sensation Robbie Williams.  Paris est parfait!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

MEMORIES of 2017 - The Most Kissed Girl in the World

It's what you do in the medieval city of Göttingen, you kiss the Goose Girl.  I made a pilgrimage side trip to see her, during my stay in Germany.  The fountain is based on a Grimm fairy tale, and local doctorates kiss her when they graduate...tourists too.  I also met the Pied Piper himself in Hamelin.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

MEMORIES of 2017 - Nostaliga on the silver screen

In Portland, Oregon, The Kronos Quartet played the 1999 score to Dracula (1931) with its composer Philip Glass, a show I'd seen a few times before when the composition was new.  I also enjoyed the classics The Graduate, Suspiria (restored print), The Warriors (in Paris), Psycho II and Saturday Night Fever, all looking fantastic on the big screen.  New films I loved this year included La La Land and Disney's live action Beauty and the Beast.  My favorite new movie of 2017:  The Disaster Artist.


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

MEMORIES of 2017 - Door-to-door for Halloween

My nephew took me trick-or-treating during my autumn visit.  I'm grateful to have visited my family during a beautiful time of year. 

Friday, December 1, 2017


Sculptor Patrick Dougherty creates large pieces the public may admire, touch and even wander through, and a new cluster of them have grown at the Montreal Botanical Garden. 

I had the pleasure of exploring the sculptures myself, and of speaking with the artist about his choice of material, the help he gets from volunteers, and the temporary nature of grand art made entirely out of sticks. The three new works in Montreal are among the more than two hundred-seventy-five pieces the North Carolina artist has made all over the world, in places including Japan, France and all over the United States. 

Enjoy the video profile here.

This “Spotlight” segment premiered on the program Mountain Lake Journal. “Spotlight” is made possible, in part, by the Glenn and Carol Pearsall Adirondack Foundation, dedicated to improving the quality of life for year-round residents of the Adirondack Park. “Spotlight” is also supported by the chamber music organization Hill and Hollow Music.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Find your fall adventure on Mountain Lake Journal

Paul Larson hosts a pre-autumn edition of Mountain Lake Journal this week, as we explore activities to do and places to go for an Adirondack adventure this September.

First, we lose ourselves among the stalks of the Great Adirondack Corn Maze in Gabriels, New York.  During months when the crop revenue is down at Tucker Farms, this fun activity brings in tourist dollars.  Families enjoy exploring the maze together, and they may learn a bit about farming during the same outing.

Next, Jack LaDuke invites us into the iForest at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, an immersive sound experience celebrating the harmony of nature in an Adirondack Forest.

Then, Mohawk Valley author Dennis Webster asks us to fall into a good book, whether it's an Adirondack mystery from the anthology series he's curating, or the tragic true story of a North Country crime.  His book Murder of a Herkimer County Teacher tells of an early 1900s case involving a slain teacher, an event that still haunts an Adirondack village.  

You'll find more stories of authors and artists who shine brightly at
Spotlight is supported by the Glenn and carol Pearsall Adirondack Foundation, dedicated to improving the quality of life for year-round residents of the Adirondack Park.
Finally, people often take their fishing trips during a heat wave in the summer, but many anglers, including our Kevin Cooney, have discovered the cooler temperatures and changing colors make September an ideal time for fishing in the Adirondacks. That's just what he does in this edition of Northbound and Around. For fishing gear, tackle, guides and more, check out the Ausable River Two Fly Shop in Wilmington, New York

Mountain Lake Journal airs this Friday at 8pm, with repeats on Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 10am.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Harpists aim to change your mind about their instrument

What a pleasure it was to be challenged by Lilac 94!  Their music is a challenge to play, and it challenges its audience as well to open their minds about harp music. 

Christina Brier and Kathryn Sloat of the duo Lilac 94 appear the Mountain Lake Journal segment "Spotlight." They will perform music considered radical when it was composed the 1920s, music that still sounds unusual to many listeners in the 21st century.  

I spent the day with Christina and Kathryn in Saranac, New York, interviewing them and recording a rehearsal.   In the "Spotlight" segment I produced, the musicians say they hope to release the first complete recording of the harp piece Pentacle, by Carlos Salzedo.  They performed it live for the first time in Saranac this year, as artists in residence of Hill and Hollow Music. "Spotlight," on Mountain Lake Journal, presents stories about people who shine brightly in the arts.  Watch for the segment at 8pm Friday on Mountain Lake PBS. 

"Spotlight" is brought to you, in part, by the Glenn and Carol Pearsall Adirondack Foundation, dedicated to improving the quality of life for year-round residents of the Adirondack park.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Clara Noyes, Pioneering Nurse

SPOTLIGHT:  Meet Author Roger L. Noyes... 

Books begin in interesting ways.  When Plattsburgh native Roger Noyes inherited the desk of his great-great-aunt Clara Noyes, his curiosity about the life of his renowned relative grew.  This led him to pen the first biography about the nurse who who headed the American Red Cross Department of Nursing during the first world war, a time when leadership positions for women were scarce.  

I had the pleasure of speaking with Roger Noyes about the biography Clara D. Noyes, R.N.: Life of a Global Nursing Leader.  After conducting extensive research, he was able to detail Clara's rise through the ranks of nursing, as nursing itself became a more professional and respected profession.  Episodes in the book include how Clara helped her country through many emergencies by deploying nurses, both during and after the war.  Attitudes about women and race in the early 20th century are also explored in the text.

I hope you enjoy the conversation Roger and I had on Mountain Lake Journal.  It airs at 8pm Friday, with repeats on Saturday at 7pm, and Sunday at 10am.

- Paul Larson

Spotlight is brought to you, in part, by the Glenn and Carol Pearsall Adirondack Foundation, dedicated to improving the quality of life for year-round residents of the Adirondack park.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

This week on Mountain Lake Journal...

     This week on Mountain Lake Journal, an uplifting trio of segments as Paul Larson fills in for Thom Hallock.  Larson hosts the show from the sculpture garden at SUNY Plattsburgh, and his Adirondack Journeys segment this week invites us to tour the Museum Without Walls.

     Also, we'll follow the progress of a little Albany girl named Hannah Sames, as she battles Giant Axonal Neuropathy.  Her parents' ongoing efforts to organize fundraisers with various communities and navigate through the medical world are offering hope to Hannah and other people afflicted with this rare and fatal condition.  Hannah's own improvement with moving and speaking will be apparent to our viewers who have seen our previous stories about her.
     The program also takes a look at a unique way war veterans can find empowerment, by sharing their trials and triumphs with a some artists who turn their stories into serious comic books.

     Mountain Lake Journal premieres Friday, May 19 at 8pm on Mountain Lake PBS.  It repeats Saturday at 1am and 7pm, Sunday at 5:30am and 10pm, and Thursday, May 25 at 1pm.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Hosting Mountain Lake Journal!

Independence Cemetery, Saranac, New York
Tonight, subbing for Thom Hallock, I'm introducing the show segments from Independence Cemetery in Saranac, New York, where a memorial to war veterans sets the stage for two stories. 
First, a look at advocates for veterans.  Veterans returning to the North Country after overseas deploys sometimes return with issues such as addiction or PTSD, which can lead to issues with law enforcement. Rather than simply pipelining this vets through the legal system, Essex County has created a special veterans court, which provides mentoring, drug treatment, and/or mental health services, which helps vets cope with their issues and prevents further run ins with the law.

Next,  Glenn Pearsall discusses his first work of historical fiction, Leaves Torn Asunder.  The novel follows the lives of people living in the Adirondack region, affected by the horrors of the American Civil War.  Pearsall is a history buff who lives in North Creek, New York.  He has also written two non-fiction books.
Paul Larson with Glenn Pearsall
 Finally, the tone lightens as we explore a children's museum.   Kids' Station in Plattsburgh, New York enables kids to learn through productive play.  The exhibits allow families to explore science, the arts, career opportunities, robotics, fantasy, craft-making, and music.
Mountain Lake Journal airs on Mountain Lake PBS tonight at 8, Saturday at 1am and 7pm, Sunday at 5:30am and 10pm,  and Thursday, March 2 at 1pm.