The hidden history of Crypto-Jews in Colorado and the West

There are Hispanic Catholics in the American West who have Jewish ancestry. Yet their families hid, and sometimes forgot, their Jewish roots. These are descendants of Jews who converted to Catholicism five hundred years ago to escape torture during the Spanish Inquisition.  They are now known as Crypto-Jews or Anusim the ones forced to convert. Filmmaker Joe Lovett explores this history in a new documentary, “Children of the Inquisition.” Listen to his conversation with Ryan Warner on the Colorado Matters podcast.

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Want A Fun Road Trip Idea? Tour Colorado On A Penny Squishin’ Mission

Looking for something different to try this summer? Grab a roll of pennies, put the kids in the car and hit the road on the quest for places you can smash those pennies into souvenirs and see the state at the same time. From Leadville to La Junta and Frisco to Fruita – there are dozens of machines all over Colorado that press pennies into elongated shapes with a commemorative design.

Journalist Matt Masich has made just such a “squishin’ mission” and learned about collecting elongated pennies.

Listen to his conversation with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner on the Colorado Matters podcast.

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The Arab Spring, ancient pharaohs and 21st century garbage collectors are all part of #Colorado author Peter Hessler’s new book “The Buried: An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution.”

What do you do when you plan to move to Egypt and then a revolution starts there? If you are journalist Peter Hessler of Ridgway you are undeterred by the Arab Spring and head for Cairo. He spent five years exploring Egyptian culture, politics and history. Listen to his conversation on the Colorado Matters podcast about his new book “The Buried: An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution.”

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Mission: Wolf In Southern Colorado Helps Wolves And People Too

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Mission: Wolf – Photo by Shanna Lewis

There’s a wolf sanctuary in southern Colorado that doesn’t just help wolves. It helps humans too. Volunteers come to Mission: Wolf from around the world. A new documentary film Mission Wolf: An Experiment in Living takes a look at the lives of the people who live at the remote refuge, which was founded by Kent Weber high up in the Wet Mountains west of Pueblo some 30 years ago. Listen to Weber talk about the wolves and the people who care about them on the Colorado Matters podcast.

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Health Care In The Borderlands of Southern Colorado

Visit southern Colorado and you’ll find a blend of cultures. That’s partly because the region belonged to Mexico up until 1848. When the border moved south people from many backgrounds intermingled, melding their traditions. A new exhibit at the Trinidad History Museum looks at how the shifting nature of the borderlands shaped health care there. History Colorado’s Dawn DiPrince helped develop the exhibit “Borderlands of Southern Colorado: Remedios, Medicine and Health.”  Listen to her talk about this unexpected history on the Colorado Matters podcast

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Medical Aid In Dying: A Colorado Doctor’s Perspective

Dr. Cory Carroll helps his patients live well, as a primary care physician in Fort Collins. But when it’s clear they are terminally ill, and they ask, he’s there to help people die well. Listen to Dr. Carroll on the Colorado Matters podcast.

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Telluride poet Kierstin Bridger gives voice to prostitutes of the Old West in her collection, Demimonde.

Prostitutes in Old West mining towns were relegated to the shadowy world of night. They were often shunned by their communities… and yet they played an important role in the history of the west. Demimonde translates as “half world” – it refers to the unspoken world of night that old west prostitutes inhabited. Listen to poet Kierstin Bridger talk about her book Demimonde on the Colorado Matters podcast.

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Colorado Spring Gardening Questions Answered

Why mulch is your garden’s friend and weed barrier isn’t? Why growing cilantro isn’t easy? Take care of yourself while you take care of your garden. And more. Answers and advice from Colorado State University Master Gardener Loni Gaudet on the Colorado Matters podcast.

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Colorado Author Pam Houston’s Latest Book Is Deep Creek: Finding Hope In The High Country.

Twenty-five years ago author Pam Houston was living in her car. But her first book, Cowboys Are My Weakness, became a bestseller – giving voice to women across the nation — and it gave Houston just enough money to make a small downpayment on a ranch near Creede in Central Colorado. Now she reflects on what it means to be connected to that piece of land in her latest book, Deep Creek: Finding Hope In The High Country.

Listen to Pam Houston on the Colorado Matters podcast at cpr.org or wherever you get your podcasts.

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A Growing Number Of Coloradans Asked For Medical Aid In Dying Prescriptions Last Year

Emergency room doctor Harry Calvino’s wife Antje was among the 125 Coloradans who got prescriptions for drugs to help them die last year. That’s up some 74 percent from from the previous year, according to a recent state report. Most of those people were educated, white urbanites with a diagnosis of terminal cancer. Listen to Dr. Harry Calvino and Sam DeWitt of Compassion and Choices on Colorado Matters.

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