This fall, I’ll offer two courses:
- A Short History of the Long Roads – The Interstate Highway System
“Coast to Coast without a Stoplight,” proclaimed the Saturday Evening Post in 1956. Planned as part of our national defense infrastructure, the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System transformed the mobility of civilians, and with it, American life. Distant locations were connected while communities inside cities were divided from one another, sickened by noise and pollution or obliterated altogether. We will study the Massachusetts experience, including the Massachusetts Turnpike, I-290, and the Big Dig. We will also see what’s been done to repair the ecological and social damage caused by these asphalt arteries and how infrastructure improvements will change highways of the future.
Recommended Reading: Divided Highways: Building the Interstate Highways, Transforming American Life, Cornell University Press, 2013
- Heard but Not Seen – The Studio Musicians
The bass line in Sonny and Cher’s “The Beat Goes On” came from Carol Kaye of L.A.’s Wrecking Crew. Funk Brothers guitarist, Robert White, pulls us in to “My Girl” by The Temptations. Elvis Presley wanted Nashville’s Boots Randolph’s saxophone as the lead on “Return to Sender.” Al Jackson Jr.’s simple cross-stick drumming picks up the heartbeat of Otis Reddings’s “Try a Little Tenderness.” Another Redding tune, “Respect,” was recorded at the Muscle Shoals studio with Jimmy Johnson’s instantly recognizable guitar hook. We’ll listen to these and other musicians, and, in the process, we will hear new layers of familiar tunes.
Registration for these and other WISE courses starts on August 29, 2022 at https://assumptionwise.org.