Susan Sherali

November 1, 2021

One of nine siblings, Susan and her family fled the Taliban as its influence began growing in Afghanistan in 2000. They arrived in Amarillo as refugees. Susan learned English at Lamar Elementary School and First Baptist Church, and two decades later, her family still lives here. Susan is now a third-year medical student at Texas Tech University. “I really appreciated the breadth of this conversation, which ranged from the horrors of the Taliban regime to the Sherali family’s concern about fitting into a new place while also holding onto their heritage and traditions,” Jason says. “I was especially interested in Susan’s stories about practicing Islam in a predominantly Christian area. This episode is pretty inspiring. She’s so grateful for the opportunities she’s been given.” 

Judge Doug Woodburn

November 8, 2021

“I had never interviewed a judge before, so I wanted to hear more about the job and whether or not the realities of a local courtroom matched what we saw on TV and in the movies,” Jason says. Woodburn talks about those things, as well as about his career in family law before being elected to the bench of the 108th District Court in Potter County. “He came from a broken home and truly has a heart for helping families navigate the complexities of divorce and custody—and to do it as successfully as possible,” he says. Woodburn was also instrumental in helping launch a new indigent defense plan for Potter County and shares the origin of that work in this episode.

Jill Goodrich

November 22, 2021

Goodrich directs Opportunity School, which provides affordable, high-quality early childhood education for preschoolers. But she doesn’t have a long tenure in the nonprofit world. Or the educational world. In fact, Goodrich spent the bulk of her career in marketing and communications. But when the opportunity arrived to help kids achieve their fullest potential, she jumped at the career change. “Lots of people know and love Jill, so the popularity of this episode wasn’t a surprise,” Jason says. “But I was surprised to hear that her original connection to Amarillo happened because of a random college internship. She was assigned here. Otherwise she may have spent the rest of her life in Nebraska. Lucky us.”

Angela Workman

November 29, 2021

One of the quirkiest new businesses to arrive in Amarillo has been Aunt Eek’s Books & Curiosities, a bookstore that opened on historic Sixth Street in late 2020. “They are a Brick & Elm retail partner and sell our magazine, which of course I love,” Jason says. “But I also just appreciate the slightly spooky, cabinet-of-curiosities vibe at Aunt Eek’s.” In this episode, he speaks with owner Angela Workman, who grew up in River Road, spent time living in a car in New Orleans, and endured five years in Los Angeles before settling down in Amarillo. “She’s a veteran of the local antiques scene but didn’t want to open a ‘regular’ antique shop. She wanted one that makes a statement. That’s what makes her bookstore so much fun.”

Claudia Stuart

December 6, 2021

“Claudia had been on my list of potential guests for a long time, but the pandemic delayed our recording, so I was really glad to finally sit down with her,” Jason says. “There are just so many layers to her story.” A military brat, Stuart grew up in Germany. She became one of the first Black students at West Texas A&M University in the late ’60s and eventually became the first full-time, female African American faculty member at WT. “She’s also the co-author of the book African Americans in Amarillo, which has been so helpful to me in some of my writing projects and personal education,” Jason says. Their conversation spans from Stuart’s experience of the Civil Rights Era in the 1960s and ’70s to what it was like bringing Rosa Parks to Amarillo in the 1990s.