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Living Chapters, Spare Rooms, and the Amazing Linotype

Community artist Beth Barbush hands her life-story over to her friends; Matthew Bowden discusses his film, “Spare Rooms”; and Ray Loomis demonstrates the mechanical marvels of the Linotype.

  Ever wish you could do something to bump yourself out of the rut of your daily routine?  That’s how Beth Barbush was feeling.  But unlike most of us, she decided she was going to do something about it – something big.  Producer Aaron Henkin brings us the story of one very trusting woman’s yearlong leap of faith, a project she calls Living Chapters.


  "The key to a good lie is in its detail." That’s a line from Spare Rooms, a new film by Baltimore-based writer and director Mathew Bowden. The film tells a “family fiction” that closely resembles Bowden’s own childhood - growing up in a rural, same-sex household in the nineteen-eighties.  Bowden and film producer Joe Tropea speak to The Signal’s Lisa Morgan about the making of the movie. 

Matthew Bowden and Joe Tropea discuss their film-in-the-works, "Spare Rooms"


Ray Loomis at his linotype machine (age 84 at left, age 16 at right)

  Ray Loomis says he can read upside down and backwards just as fast as he can read the normal way.  That’s because he’s spent most of his life operating a late nineteenth-century marvel of engineering:  the linotype machine.  Aaron Henkin pays Mr. Loomis a visit at the Baltimore Museum of Industry.

Ray Loomis demonstrates the wonders of the linotype machine


Aaron creates and produces original radio programs and podcasts for WYPR. His current project is The Maryland Curiosity Bureau. Aaron's neighborhood documentary series, Out of the Blocks, earned the 2018 national Edward R Murrow Award. His past work includes the long-running weekly cultural program, The Signal, and the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings series, Tapestry of the Times. Aaron's stories have aired nationally on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered.