Twisted Artist Series featuring Cabinet of Curious Clay

Episode 114

For about a year I’ve wanted to start a series called Twisted Artists, where I bring a Pennsylvania artist or crafter who’s work I appreciate onto the show to get to know them, their mediums, learn more about their creations and how they began their journey as creators.  I am a huge fan of local art and artists, crafters, not just here in Philadelphia or Pennsylvania but everywhere.

Today I’m joined by Pennsylvania artist Lindsay Keating, creator of Cabinet of Curious Clay, unique pottery and ceramics with a dark, slightly macabre and certainly twisted flair. Lindsay is also the founder of Darksome Art and Craft Market, an event showcasing independent creators and their amazing work.

I’m thrilled to start the Twisted Artist series on TwistedPhilly.  Every few months I’ll feature a bonus episode like this one where you’ll get to know a Pennsylvania or Philadelphia artist.

You can learn more about Lindsay Keating, Cabinet of Curious Clay and Darksome Art and Craft Market on her website at https://www.cabinetofcuriousclay.com/ and follow Lindsay on Instagram @cabinetofcuriousclay

Thank you to Emmy Cerra for the music you heard in this episode of TwistedPhilly.  You can find out more about Emmy on her website at emmycerra.com and download her music on iTunes. 

For tickets to TwistedPhilly podcast live show with Hillbilly Horror Stories podcast, on Saturday, October 12th in Philadelphia,  go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/twistedphilly-and-hillbilly-horror-stories-live-in-philly-tickets-64698058635?aff=ebdssbeac

TwistedPhilly is part of the bPod Studios Network. bPod is dedicated to curating a diverse collection of audio offerings designed to inspire moments of surprise and delight. For more information about podcasts available on bPod Studios Network, check the website at https://bpodstudios.com/

Check out the TwistedPhilly merchandise shop.  Tees, bags, mugs, beach towels, multiple designs, colors and styles for the entire family (even onesies for the little twisters.  Onesies also make great dog tees.)   https://twistedphillypodcast.threadless.com/

Support TwistedPhilly on Patreon! Get access to exclusive content and podcast swag!  https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4093396

“If I Stop Today, It Was Still Worth It” – The Story of Gia Marie Carangi

Episode 113

Her faced graced the cover of vogue and cosmopolitan dozens of times.  She represented brands like Dior, Versace, Armani and Yves Saint Laurent.  She was photographed by some of the world’s greatest photographers including Francesco Scavullo and Richard Avedon.  She popularized the concept of a single name long before Madonna.  And she grew up in the great northeast – that’s northeast Philadelphia.

Gia Marie Carangi moved to New York City 1978 when she was barely 18 years old to pursue a career in modeling.  She’d been signed by the one of the biggest agencies in New York, Wilhelmina Models, Inc.   There was very little runway leading to success for Gia.  She landed and was almost instantly a superstar.  Within just three years her career was on the decline because of her struggle with drug addiction.  By 1983 she moved back to Philly permanently, hoping to overcome addiction and find a new path in life.  Sadly, Gia passed away in 1986 from AIDS related complications.  She was 26 years old. 

This is the story of Gia Carangi, a woman whom many call america’s first supermodel.  There are other women who believe they hold that claim to fame,  but when you realize how quickly Gia rose to the level of the most desired model in the world, it’s hard to attach that phrase to anyone else.  In this episode I’m joined by my good friend and podcaster, Margo D, someone who is also enamored with this beautiful young woman.  

Research sources for this episode include:

  • Gia, HBO Docudrama, released January 31, 1998, Directed by Michael Christofer, written by Michael Christofer and Jay McInerney
  • Thing of Beauty:  The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia, written by former Philadelphia Magazine editor Stephen Fried, 1993
  • Philadelphia Inquirer Archives
  • Philadelphia Daily Local
  • Elle Magazine, April 2013 interview with Stephen Fried
  • V Magazine, October 2014 interview with Sandy Linter
  • 20/20 January 6, 1983
  • Sandy Linter and  Harry King, 2012 interview 

Thank you to Emmy Cerra for the music you heard in this episode of TwistedPhilly.  You can find out more about Emmy on her website at emmycerra.com and download her music on iTunes. 

TwistedPhilly is part of the bPod Studios Network. bPod is dedicated to curating a diverse collection of audio offerings designed to inspire moments of surprise and delight. For more information about podcasts available on bPod Studios Network, check the website at https://bpodstudios.com/

Check out the TwistedPhilly merchandise shop.  Tees, bags, mugs, beach towels, multiple designs, colors and styles for the entire family (even onesies for the little twisters.  Onesies also make great dog tees.)   https://twistedphillypodcast.threadless.com/

Support TwistedPhilly on Patreon! Get access to exclusive content and podcast swag!  https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4093396



Part 2: The Luzerne County “Kids for Cash” Scandal

Episode 112

NOTE: If you have not yet listened to part 1, pause this episode and listen to part 1 first.

Judge Mark Ciavarella sent thousands of children from Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, to juvenile detention centers for infractions that in many cases might have landed them in after school detention. But even the school districts preferred his heavy handed “zero tolerance” policies about juvenile crime. Instead of calling someone’s parents, schools often called the police, and contributed to the funnel that kept the state’s juvenile detention centers full, especially two centers: PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care.

Over a period of years in the early to mid 2000s, judge Mark Ciavarella, and president judge Michael Conahan, accepted over $2.6 million in “finder’s fees” from the developers of two private detention centers. While they claimed this wasn’t a bribe, they entered into a placement agreement with these facilities, one that cost the state millions more and cost many children in Wilkes Barre, PA, their futures.

In 2009 Ciavarella and Conahan, along with others whom we’ll discuss in this episode, were charged with racketeering and conspiracy. They had a plea agreement in place which would have landed them in jail for about 7 years, but Ciavarella refused to accept the idea he took money to detain kids. And that refusal cost both him and Mike Conahan their plea deal.

In this episode we’ll talk about the indictments and trials, Ciavarella’s attempt earlier this year to garner a new trial, and you’ll hear more about children who were deeply affected by placement in juvenile detention at the hands of judge Mark Ciavarella.

Research sources for this episode include: 

  • Kids for Cash. 2012, by William Ecenbarger; available on Amazon in hardback, paperback or Kindle
  • Kids for Cash documentary, 2014, by Robert May; available for rent or purchase on Amazon Prime Video, rated PG-13
  • The Wilkes Barre Times Leader: 1994 – 2019
  • The Wilkes Barre Citizen’s Voice; 1994 – 2019
  • The Scranton Times Tribune; 1994 – 2019
  • The New York Times; 2009 – 2019
  • CNN Online; 2009 – 2019
  • The Associated Press; 2009 – 2019
  • Philadelphia Juvenile Justice Center
  • The Juvenile Law Center
  • The Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania
  • Democracy Now Online News Program
  • United States Census Bureau, City Data.com
  • PA State Juvenile Judge’s Bench Book
  • PA Courts.us – Juvenile Court Procedures

Thank you to Emmy Cerra forthe music you heard in this episode of TwistedPhilly.  You can find out more about Emmy on her website at emmycerra.com and download her music on iTunes. 

TwistedPhilly is part of the bPod Studios Network. bPod is dedicated to curating a diverse collection of audio offerings designed to inspire moments of surprise and delight. For more information about podcasts available on bPod Studios Network, check the website at https://bpodstudios.com/

Check out the TwistedPhilly merchandise shop.  Tees, bags, mugs, beach towels, multiple designs, colors and styles for the entire family (even onesies for the little twisters.  Onesies also make great dog tees.)   https://twistedphillypodcast.threadless.com/

Support TwistedPhilly on Patreon! Get access to exclusive content and podcast swag!  https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4093396



Part 1: The Luzerne County “Kids for Cash” Scandal

Episode 111

In January 1996, attorney Mark Ciavarella was appointed a Luzerne County judge in Wilkes Barre, PA.  Less than a year later he was made a juvenile judge, a position which according to the Pennsylvania State Juvenile Judge’s Bench Book gave him responsibility for presiding over juvenile cases and overseeing the entire juvenile delinquency program and operations in Luzerne County.  

In 1999 the Juvenile Justice Center of Philadelphia was contacted by the parent of a child in Wilkes Barre whom was sent to a juvenile detention center by Judge Ciavarella without legal representation.  The justice center escalated to the state supreme court and Ciavarella told the state he’d made a mistake, one he’d never make again.

It wasn’t a mistake, it was the M. O. of Ciavarella’s courtroom where between late 1996 and 2008 thousands of kid were sent to juvenile detention centers at a rate twice as high as any other county in Pennsylvania, and usually without legal counsel.   In part one of this two part episode we’ll take about Mark Ciavarella, the children of Wilkes Barre who entered courtroom, only to be ushered out within minutes wearing handcuffs and shackles.  Ciavarella didn’t do this alone – he had help in the form of a fellow judge, a local developer and a wealthy financier who paid Mark Ciavarella kickbacks to keep the bunks full at private juvenile detention facilities.

 

Research sources for this episode include:

  • Kids for Cash. 2012, by William Ecenbarger; available on Amazon in hardback, paperback or Kindle
  • Kids for Cash documentary, 2014, by Robert May; available for rent or purchase on Amazon Prime Video, rated PG-13
  • The Wilkes Barre Times Leader: 1994 – 2019
  • The Wilkes Barre Citizen’s Voice; 1994 – 2019
  • The Scranton Times Tribune; 1994 – 2019
  • The New York Times; 2009 – 2019
  • CNN Online; 2009 – 2019
  • The Associated Press; 2009 – 2019
  • Philadelphia Juvenile Justice Center
  • The Juvenile Law Center
  • The Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania
  • Democracy Now Online News Program
  • United States Census Bureau, City Data.com
  • PA State Juvenile Judge’s Bench Book
  • PA Courts.us – Juvenile Court Procedures

Thank you to Emmy Cerra forthe music you heard in this episode of TwistedPhilly.  You can find out more about Emmy on her website at emmycerra.com and download her music on iTunes. 

TwistedPhilly is part of the bPod Studios Network. bPod is dedicated to curating a diverse collection of audio offerings designed to inspire moments of surprise and delight. For more information about podcasts available on bPod Studios Network, check the website at https://bpodstudios.com/

Check out the TwistedPhilly merchandise shop.  Tees, bags, mugs, beach towels, multiple designs, colors and styles for the entire family (even onesies for the little twisters.  Onesies also make great dog tees.)   https://twistedphillypodcast.threadless.com/

Support TwistedPhilly on Patreon! Get access to exclusive content and podcast swag!  https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4093396

Cinema in the Cemetery: Young Frankenstein

Episode 110

This is a special feature from my second show: Educating Jeremy, a movie podcast I co-host with Jeremy Collins, host of the Podcasts We Listen To podcast. Jeremy and I watch movies I love, yet he’s never seen, then we talk about the films, what he liked (or didn’t like,) and talk a lot of smack on each other.

Last week Jeremy and I saw the 1974 film Young Frankenstein at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia, part of their summer movie series featuring films each month viewed outside under the stars amid the tombstones. In support of Laurel Hill’s programs and events that raise money to maintain the cemetery, I thought I’d share this twisted Philly themed episode of Educating Jeremy here with all of you.

If you like what you hear you can subscribe to Educating Jeremy on Apple Podcast, Google Play, Stitcher or where ever you listen to your favorite shows. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook at Educating Jeremy and join the Educating Jeremy Discussion Group to share requests and suggestions.

For more information about Cinema in the Cemetery, go to Laurel Hill Cemetery’s website at https://thelaurelhillcemetery.org/events

TwistedPhilly is part of the bPod Studios Network. bPod is dedicated to curating a diverse collection of audio offerings designed to inspire moments of surprise and delight. For more information about podcasts available on bPod Studios Network, check the website at https://bpodstudios.com/

Check out the TwistedPhilly merchandise shop.  Tees, bags, mugs, beach towels, multiple designs, colors and styles for the entire family (even onesies for the little twisters.  Onesies also make great dog tees.)   https://twistedphillypodcast.threadless.com/

Support TwistedPhilly on Patreon! Get access to exclusive content and podcast swag!  https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4093396

Twisted Road Trip: The Old St. John’s County Jail

Episode 109

Last week I was on the road for business, not far from St. Augustine, Florida. On my last evening in town I found myself standing outside the Old St. John’s County Jail, or the old jail as it’s called by many today.

The old jail is just shy of 130 years old. It ceased being a prison in 1953 and within just a year was converted into a historic museum. I’d like you to join me on a road trip down the coast to the old jail in St. Augustine, Florida. No, we’re not in the city of brotherly love, but this twisted little jail, which looks more like a hotel than a prison, is filled with history, hauntings and hangings. It is definitely worth the trip!


Research sources for this episode include:

  • Ghosts and Gravestones in St. Augustine by John Stavely
  • Old Town Trolley Tour (Tour of the Old Jail)
  • The St. Augustine Record
  • Florida’s Historic Coast
  • The Weekly Tribune, Tampa, FL (1890 – 1902)
  • The Oscala Evening Star (1906-1908)
  • Pensacola News Journal (1906-1910)
  • St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office

Thank you to Emmy Cerra forthe music you heard in this episode of TwistedPhilly.  You can find out more about Emmy on her website at emmycerra.com and download her music on iTunes. 

TwistedPhilly is part of the bPod Studios Network. bPod is dedicated to curating a diverse collection of audio offerings designed to inspire moments of surprise and delight. For more information about podcasts available on bPod Studios Network, check the website at https://bpodstudios.com/

Check out the TwistedPhilly merchandise shop.  Tees, bags, mugs, beach towels, multiple designs, colors and styles for the entire family (even onesies for the little twisters.  Onesies also make great dog tees.)   https://twistedphillypodcast.threadless.com/

Support TwistedPhilly on Patreon! Get access to exclusive content and podcast swag!  https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4093396

Juneteenth in the City of Brotherly Love

Episode 108


Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865, more than two years after the end of the Civil War.  In honor of this period in American history, I want to share with you a few stories of abolitionist history from Philadelphia. 

The earliest record of anti-slavery support in this country was a petition written by four German immigrants in 1688, founders of the city of Germantown in the northwest section of Philadelphia.  It took 160 years before our country considered their words and fought to end slavery in America.

While Philadelphia may be the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection, not everyone in the north was a true abolitionist.  Not all northerners treated African American’s with respect and dignity.  Even though Pennsylvania had societies dedicated to fighting slavery,  not all freed slaves were welcomed with open arms in the city founded on the beliefs of freedom.

In this episode we’ll talk about prominent abolitionist William Still, a free black man born in New Jersey in the early 1820s who moved to Philadelphia and played a prominent role in changing the lives of free and enslaved black men and women not only here but all over the country.  You’ll learn more about the Johnson House in Gemantown, the only stop on Philadelphia’s underground railroad that’s still accessible today.  

Join me for this special trip back in time where you’ll learn about the good, the bad and the twisted side of Philadelphia history in the fight to end slavery.

Research sources for this episode include:

  • Germantown Mennonite Historic Trust
  • The National Park Service
  • The Underground Railroad: Authentic Narratives and First Hand Accounts by William Still (1872; Edited with an introduction by Ian Frederick Finseth)
  • Still Family Library (Temple University)
  • National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
  • Wyoming & Republican Herald, PA, 1834
  • Philadelphia Inquirer Archives
  • US History.org hosted by the Independence Hall Association
  • Mother Bethel AME Church (motherbethel.org)
  • Philadelphia Encyclopedia
  • National Juneteenth Observation Foundation

Thank you to Emmy Cerra forthe music you heard in this episode of TwistedPhilly.  You can find out more about Emmy on her website at emmycerra.com and download her music on iTunes. 

TwistedPhilly is part of the bPod Studios Network. bPod is dedicated to curating a diverse collection of audio offerings designed to inspire moments of surprise and delight. For more information about podcasts available on bPod Studios Network, check the website at https://bpodstudios.com/

Check out the TwistedPhilly merchandise shop.  Tees, bags, mugs, beach towels, multiple designs, colors and styles for the entire family (even onesies for the little twisters.  Onesies also make great dog tees.)   https://twistedphillypodcast.threadless.com/

Support TwistedPhilly on Patreon! Get access to exclusive content and podcast swag!  https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4093396

Pride in the City of Brotherly Love

Episode 107

On Sunday, June 9, 2019, the city of Philadelphia celebrated pride month with our annual Pride Parade and Festival hosted by Philly Pride Presents. If you follow me on social media, you’ve seen some of the photos of that amazing event. This annual celebration takes considerable effort on the part of so many people in the city, the LGBTQ+ community and their allies.

The theme of this year’s parade was Stonewall 50, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riot in New York in 1969 which was the start lasting changes in the rights of LGBTQ+ persons in America. Years before Stonewall, men and women in Philadelphia held peaceful protests at Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell as reminders of the rights not afforded to gay and lesbian Americans.

This is the story of Philadelphia pride, from the Annual Reminder Days to this year’s incredible pride parade. We’ll talk about the history of the fight for gay rights in Philadelphia and a horrible crime in 2014 which served as the catalyst for changes in Philadelphia’s hate crime laws. Join me on this journey through time as we celebrate pride in the city of brotherly love.

Research sources for this episode include:

  • Philadelphia Inquirer Archives and Daily News Archives
  • Philadelphia Gay News
  • LGBT50.org
  • WHYY and PBS
  • The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia
  • The City of Philadelphia: phila.gov
  • Philly Pride Presents
  • CBS 3 and NBC 10
  • Philadelphia Magazine

Thank you to Emmy Cerra forthe music you heard in this episode of TwistedPhilly.  You can find out more about Emmy on her website at emmycerra.com and download her music on iTunes. 

TwistedPhilly is part of the bPod Studios Network. bPod is dedicated to curating a diverse collection of audio offerings designed to inspire moments of surprise and delight. For more information about podcasts available on bPod Studios Network, check the website at https://bpodstudios.com/

Check out the TwistedPhilly merchandise shop.  Tees, bags, mugs, beach towels, multiple designs, colors and styles for the entire family (even onesies for the little twisters.  Onesies also make great dog tees.)   https://twistedphillypodcast.threadless.com/

Support TwistedPhilly on Patreon! Get access to exclusive content and podcast swag!  https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4093396



Special Re-Release: Beyond the Bell Tours First Birthday!

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a first birthday party for Beyond the Bell Tours.  Founded by Haverford College graduates Rebecca and Joey, Beyond the Bell tours is “committed to putting the people back into people’s history” by sharing less well known stories from Philadelphia history which highlight people of color, women, LGBTQ+ and first nation folks.  

In honor of this incredible milestone I am re-releasing my 2018 interview with Rebecca about this incredible tour company and the mission she and Joey started which focuses on inclusive tourism.  

TwistedPhilly is part of the bPod Studios Network. bPod is dedicated to curating a diverse collection of audio offerings designed to inspire moments of surprise and delight. For more information about podcasts available on bPod Studios Network, check the website at https://bpodstudios.com/

Check out the TwistedPhilly merchandise shop.  Tees, bags, mugs, beach towels, multiple designs, colors and styles for the entire family (even onesies for the little twisters.  Onesies also make great dog tees.)   https://twistedphillypodcast.threadless.com/

Support TwistedPhilly on Patreon! Get access to exclusive content and podcast swag!  https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4093396



Ghosts of Germantown: Part 2 – Cliveden

Episode 106

The Germantown section of Philadelphia is filled with historic homes, many dating back to the 1700s, and the homestead of one is even older.  If you wander a little further along Germantown Avenue, past Grumblethorpe, you’ll come to rather imposing Georgian home called Cliveden Mansion, built by Pennsylvania Chief Justice Benjamin Chew in the 1760s. Chew and his descendants lived at Cliveden for over 200 years.

Like Grumblethorpe, Cliveden was occupied by the British during the battle of Germantown. Colonel Thomas Musgrave and his tropps used Cliveden as a stronghold. Marksmen from the  40th regiment stood post at second floor windows like snipers, shooting from above.  Washington’s army was told to “reduce” Cliveden – as in reduce it to rubble but neither cannon shots nor fire could bring down the house. 

Cliveden Mansion has a long history in Philadelphia, predating the Revolutionary War, and it’s history is filled with ghost stories. In part 2 of the Ghosts of Germantown you’ll hear the history and hauntings from Cliveden, as well as a few other haunted locations including West Allen’s Lane and Loudoun Mansion.

Research sources for this episode include:

  • Cliveden of the National Trust
  • Johnsonhouse.org
  • The Ancient and Modern Germantown, Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill by S. F. Hotchkin (1889; available online via the Hathi Trust)
  • Philadelphia Inquirer and Inquirer Archives
  • Philly.com
  • USHistory.org
  • VisitPhilly.com
  • Hidden City Philadelphia

TwistedPhilly is part of the bPod Studios Network. bPod is dedicated to curating a diverse collection of audio offerings designed to inspire moments of surprise and delight. For more information about podcasts available on bPod Studios Network, check the website at https://bpodstudios.com/

Check out the TwistedPhilly merchandise shop.  Tees, bags, mugs, beach towels, multiple designs, colors and styles for the entire family (even onesies for the little twisters.  Onesies also make great dog tees.)   https://twistedphillypodcast.threadless.com/

Support TwistedPhilly on Patreon! Get access to exclusive content and podcast swag!  https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4093396