May 17, 2021
This local hotelier owns and operates several hotels and motels along Interstate 40, giving him an up-close-and-personal look at the travelers who stop in our city. Ragha grew up in a family-owned motel business—as a child, he literally lived in his family’s motel—but wasn’t sure he wanted to pursue that career as an adult. In this episode, he tells the story of what brought him back, and why Amarillo has such a vibrant hotel industry. “Vic is so attuned to the world of travel and tourism in Amarillo. He had a front-row seat at how COVID first disrupted that industry and then its rapid recovery late last year,” Jason says. “Locals rarely think about our hotels, so this conversation helps you see our city from a fresh perspective.”
May 24, 2021
Granger, the owner of Sunday’s Kitchen, was featured in our May/June issue, and that interview for print convinced Jason to host Granger for a longer podcast conversation. “That was a good decision,” Jason says now. Immediately after this interview—weeks before it was released—Jason couldn’t help but begin telling friends and family members how powerful it was. During the recording, Granger looks back at the opportunities he was given as his career developed, and the discussion takes a pretty emotional turn. “Ronnie got so vulnerable in this interview. I don’t think either of us expected it, but it was so refreshing to hear,” Jason says. “This was one of my favorite interviews in a long time.”
May 31, 2021
“I learned about Hayden’s business at just the right time, having spent a couple of hours on a Saturday troubleshooting my parents’ Ring doorbell,” Jason says. That business, UnSavvy Strategy, offers hands-on, face-to-face tech assistance to senior adults. Baca’s professional background includes customer service for companies like Apple and AT&T. She learned she had the patience and communication skills to teach older adults about their smartphones, laptops, Wifi and more. That led her to this business idea, which she launched after moving back to Amarillo. “I love what Hayden does. Every adult my age and younger will immediately see its value,” adds Jason.
Episode 200: Jackie Kingston Interviews Jason
June 7, 2021
In this special episode, the 200th of the podcast, Jason invited KAMR Local 4 News anchor Jackie Kingston to interview him. “Jackie is one of the best in the business, and I knew she was a loyal listener of the show. It felt a little self-indulgent to make myself the guest, but given the milestone episode, I pretty much gave her free reign to ask whatever she wanted,” says Jason. The two discuss Jason’s writing career, why he chose to stay in Amarillo despite opportunities to leave, and the current state of the local media environment. He also offers his own answers to the typical “Eight Straight” questions he asks all interview guests.
June 14, 2021
Pharmacy has changed dramatically over the past couple of decades, as big-box retailers replaced the small, independent drug stores that once reigned in Amarillo. Doug Lill is a prominent local pharmacist known for his expertise with vitamins and supplements, along with prescribed medications. He and Jason discuss the industry, including Lill’s career as a traveling relief pharmacist before his return to his hometown of Amarillo. “We did this interview in early June, which is Pride month, and Doug was kind enough to share how leaving Amarillo and then coming back as an adult helped him come to terms with his sexual orientation,” Jason says. “It’s a fascinating perspective.”