Dan Kraker

I’m from Bemidji and I go home most weekends.

Anyone who has ever done the drive from Duluth to Bemidji on Highway 2 West knows that there isn’t much to see. You pass through tiny towns like Warba and see things like a building that is in the shape of a giant fish near Cass Lake.

When I first started routinely making that drive four years ago, I would only listen to music — never talk radio or podcasts.

Over the last year or so, I’ve learned that there are only so many songs a person can listen to on the three hour trip before you’re ready to jump out of the car.

That is why I’ve began to turn to NPR or other podcasts. These podcasts inspire me, intrigue me, or entertain me. And most importantly they don’t make me want to jump out of the car.

After listening to Dan Kraker’s audio stories, it reminded me of the other stories I so enjoy listening to.

He paints a mental image in my head by including the audio from water rushing near the Whole Food Coop. But he also does by explaining what he sees.

I can see the water rushing down the hill, I can see the Lake if I look behind me, and I can see the “war zone” streets around.

He also gives me new knowledge. The connection between ticks and a meat allergy? Not one I would have guessed before listening and reading his story.

Kraker lets the speaker tell their story — but he also fills in with other statistics or summarizing facts from the speaker.

I’m curious to know how Kraker chooses to describe his surroundings without painting too complex of an image for his listener.