Mossback

The official podcast companion to Mossback’s Northwest, a historical video series from KCTS 9 and Crosscut hosted by Knute Berger.

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Episodes

Thursday Jun 09, 2022

Enjoy this short excerpt of Crosscut's newest podcast title, which features host Brooklyn Jamerson-Flowers touring the places that have fostered Seattle’s Black artists. Every episode of the Black Arts Legacies podcast explores the history and ongoing impact of an art spaces in Seattle, the stories of each built around the voices of the artists who claim these places as critical to their development and experts who understand their deep history. The podcast is part of Black Arts Legacies, a major multimedia project from Crosscut also featuring profiles, original photography, and videos all about Black arts and artists in Seattle.  Subscribe to the Black Arts Legacies podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Play.

Tuesday Mar 29, 2022

In pop culture, the relocation of 'marriageable' women to places like Seattle was played as a humorous, feel-good story. It wasn’t. In the midst of the Civil War, a man named Asa Mercer headed East to seek out women to move to the small frontier town of Seattle. It’s a familiar story, one that served as inspiration for a television show called Here Come the Brides and the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.  Those shows played the scheme for good-hearted laughs, but the reality was no laughing matter. Settling the frontier was a largely male enterprise, and the desire for women for labor, partnership and sex led to practices that highlighted the patriarchy, racism and exploitation that shaped early American life. Knute Berger touched on this history in a recent episode of his Mossback’s Northwest video series, but there is much more to discuss.  For this episode of the Mossback Podcast, Berger and co-host Sara Bernard discuss the conditions that gave rise to the so-called Mercer Girls, the racist underpinnings of early laws that helped lead to such trafficking of white women and how the mistreatment of Native and First Nations women and girls by white men on the frontier was a precursor to the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women of today. Before listening, we suggest you watch the original Mossback's Northwest episode about the Mercer Girls here. --- Credits Hosts: Sara Bernard, Knute Berger Producer: Seth Halleran Executive producer: Mark Baumgarten

Tuesday Mar 22, 2022

Horace Cayton Sr. headed west in the late 19th century and found success and opportunity in Seattle. Then an ugly new era changed the city and his family's fortunes. When Cayton moved out of the Jim Crow South in the late 19th century, it appeared that the young man had found a new kind of freedom and opportunity in Seattle. A member of the city's then-small African American population, Cayton started a widely read publication, The Seattle Republican, and with his wife, Suzie Sumner Revels, found considerable success.  Then, in the early 20th century, the forces of segregation and bigotry became much more prevalent in the city, erecting racial barriers and leading to financial ruin for the Cayton-Revels family.  Knute Berger touched on this history in a recent episode of his Mossback’s Northwest video series, but there is much more to discuss.  For this episode of the Mossback podcast, Berger and co-host Sara Bernard retrace the history of the family and discuss how the late-arriving influence of the Confederacy helped transform Seattle into a less tolerant place.  Before listening, we suggest you watch the original Mossback's Northwest episode about the Cayton-Revels family here. --- Credits Hosts: Sara Bernard, Knute Berger Producer: Seth Halleran Executive producer: Mark Baumgarten

Tuesday Mar 15, 2022

From Lewis and Clark’s trusted companion to a lifesaving sled dog, these canines have been honored with statues, taxidermy and legend. It is a well-documented fact that, in Seattle at least, dogs outnumber children. And while that ratio may even out as you look further afield, its hard to deny that dogs have a major influence over life in the Pacific Northwest.  That has long been the case and the roles that those dogs have played in the story of the region have been varied and include the woolly dogs bred by the Coast Salish peoples, an intrepid companion to storied explorers and one globe-trotting mascot to a federal agency. Knute Berger touched on this history of hounds in a recent episode of his Mossback’s Northwest video series, but there is more to explore.  For this episode of the Mossback podcast, Berger and co-host Sara Bernard delve deeper into the dogs covered in the video and tell the true story of Balto the Wonder Dog, who was maybe not as wonderful as early reports suggested. Before listening, we suggest you watch the original Mossback's Northwest episode about dogs of the Northwest here. --- Credits Hosts: Sara Bernard, Knute Berger Producer: Seth Halleran Executive producer: Mark Baumgarten

Tuesday Mar 08, 2022

Brother to Edward, Asahel Curtis had his own approach to capturing the culture of the region. The way we see the modern history of the Pacific Northwest would have been very different if a certain family of homesteaders hadn't settled in Kitsap County in the late nineteenth century.  Out of that family of farmers would come, not one, but two prolific photographers whose work would help define the region for generations to come.  Edward Curtis is the more famous of the two brothers, his stylized portraits of Native Americans securing himself a place in the pantheon of frontier photographers. But his younger brother Asahel has his own legacy and an encyclopedic portfolio of images that serves as a more accurate record of life in the Northwest at the turn of the century. Knute Berger touched on this history in a recent episode of his Mossback’s Northwest video series, but there is much more to explore.  For this episode of the Mossback podcast, Berger and co-host Sara Bernard go deep into the history of the Curtis brothers, detail their complicated relationship and discuss how Asahel managed to captured the spirit of the Northwest while assuring his own commercial success.  Before listening, we suggest you watch the original Mossback's Northwest episode about Asahel Curtis here. --- Credits Hosts: Sara Bernard, Knute Berger Producer: Seth Halleran Executive producer: Mark Baumgarten  

Tuesday Feb 15, 2022

No one really knows who made the first of these delicacies, but some sleuthing reveals an origin spurred by the gold rush and railroads. Crab has been a part of the culture of what we now call the Pacific Northwest for a very long time. But how the people of this region eat that crab has changed over the years and those changes can tell a lot.  Take Crab Louis, for instance. As a dish it is fairly simple: some crab, some vegetables, some red sauce. Yet the story of Crab Louis is one of western colonial expansion that brought with it new agricultural practices and norms.  It is a history that host Knute Berger touched on in a recent episode of his Mossback’s Northwest video series, but there is much more to the story. For this episode of the Mossback podcast, Berger and co-host Sara Bernard talk about how the gold rush and railroads changed cuisine in the Pacific Northwest and how tracking down the origins of a recipe is a lot like searching for the origins of folklore. Plus, Knute shares what it was like to lunch on crab with Anthony Bourdain. Before listening, we suggest you watch the original Mossback's Northwest episode about Crab Louis here.  --- Credits Hosts: Sara Bernard, Knute Berger Editorial assistance: Mason Bryan Executive producer: Mark Baumgarten

Tuesday Feb 08, 2022

The legendary lumberjack has been central to American identity. But who does he really represent? Over the course of the past two centuries, tall tales of Paul Bunyan have stretched across North America, from the frigid woods of the East Coast all the way to the Pacific. With his ax and his ox Babe, the legendary lumberjack is said to have single-handedly shaped the continent.  That was all fiction, of course. Much of the landscape that Bunyan is credited with creating was here long before any white man with an ax showed up. And the forces that would actually reshape the land in the 19th and 20th centuries consisted of multitudes, many of them felling trees in the Pacific Northwest. Knute Berger touched on this history in a recent episode of his Mossback’s Northwest video series, but there is much more to discuss.  For this episode of the Mossback podcast, Berger and co-host Sara Bernard dissect the folklore and ask why, exactly, Paul Bunyan was created, who did he serve and what we should make today of a legend that ignores the history and people that came before it.  Before listening, we suggest you watch the original Mossback's Northwest episode about Paul Bunyan here.  --- Credits Hosts: Sara Bernard, Knute Berger Editorial assistance: Mason Bryan Executive producer: Mark Baumgarten

Tuesday Feb 01, 2022

Headlines about sea creatures were once a regular occurrence around the Salish Sea. We take a deep dive into local lore. When it comes to cryptids, there is one creature that puts the Pacific Northwest on the map: Sasquatch. But Bigfoot hasn’t always had a monopoly on mysterious sightings in the area. Sea monsters long inspired horror and fascination around the Salish Sea and on the Pacific Coast.  Large creatures in the waters of the Northwest are depicted in Indigenous artworks from precolonial times, and frontier newspapers regularly carried tales of frightening sea creatures. The tales continued well into the 20th century. As recently as the 1960s, Seattle residents claimed to have seen a sea monster in the waters of Lake Washington. But if not monstrous beings, what were people seeing?  That is a question that host Knute Berger touched on in a recent episode of his Mossback’s Northwest video series, but there is much more to discuss.  For this episode of the Mossback podcast, Berger and co-host Sara Bernard unearth some of the region’s many sea monster headlines and discuss how mysterious the ocean really was before oceanography and resource exploitation made the creatures of the deep more familiar. Before listening, we suggest you watch the original Mossback's Northwest episode about sea monsters here.  --- Credits Hosts: Sara Bernard, Knute Berger Editorial assistance: Mason Bryan Executive producer: Mark Baumgarten

Tuesday Jan 25, 2022

A closer examination — with more theories — of the case of the world’s most famous mile-high bandit. On the afternoon of Nov. 24, 1971, a man calling himself Dan Cooper boarded a Seattle-bound 727 in Portland, with plans to pull off what would become a historic heist. Later that night, the man leapt from the plane with $200,000 in hand and, presumably, a parachute on his back. He was never heard from again.  Yet the story of that high-flying crime has been told innumerable times, turning the man who became known as D.B. Cooper into a kind of folk hero. Now, 50 years later, the questions surrounding the fate of the polite hijacker who claimed to carry a bomb onto a Northwest Orient flight have led to a bigger question: Why are we so fascinated with D.B. Cooper?  It is a question that host Knute Berger touched on in an episode of his Mossback’s Northwest video series late last year, but there is much more to discuss.  For this inaugural episode of the Mossback podcast, Berger and co-host Sara Bernard go deeper into the cult of personality that arose in D.B. Cooper’s wake. They discuss the rise of midair hijackings, the cultural climate that likely made the heist so irresistible to a broad swath of  Americans and what the tale of D.B. Cooper can tell us about our own fractured culture. Before listening, we suggest you watch the original Mossback's Northwest episode about D.B. Cooper here.  --- Credits Hosts: Sara Bernard, Knute Berger Editorial assistance: Mason Bryan Executive producer: Mark Baumgarten

Tuesday Jan 11, 2022

Mossback is the companion podcast to the popular Mossback’s Northwest video series that airs on KCTS 9. The Mossback podcast digs deeper into the topics that fans want to know more about from the current season of Mossback’s Northwest. Hosted by Sara Bernard, each episode of this series will feature an interview with Mossback, Knute Berger, about one episode of the video series. The podcasts will provide stories and factoids that were left on the cutting room floor, along with critical analysis from Berger and a greater context that will stitch each topic into the long, storied history of the Pacific Northwest. In this preview teaser, Bernard and Berger chat about the origins and aims of their new venture.  --- Credits Hosts: Sara Bernard, Knute Berger Editorial assistance: Mason Bryan Executive Producer: Mark Baumgarten

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Into the Deep Moss 

For years, Knute Berger has shared his unique view of Pacific Northwest history through his Mossback’s Northwest video series. Now, fans can go deeper into the moss through this weekly podcast. Hosted by Sara Bernard (This Changes Everything), each episode of this series will feature an interview with Berger about one episode of the video series. The podcasts will provide stories and factoids that were left on the cutting room floor, along with critical analysis from Berger and a greater context that will stitch each topic into the long, storied history of the Pacific Northwest.

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