Special Guests

It has been an honor to have these special guests...

American Heroes...

Colonel Leo K. Thorsness

Surviving Hell: A POW's Journey

It was a great honor to interview AF Colonel Leo Thorsness, who received the Medal of Honor. An F-105 pilot who was captured and spent six years at a POW, Colonel was a great supporter of PatZi's Forgotten F-105 Warriors docu-drama.

Date: 07-07-15

Captain Jerry Yellin

The Last Fighter Pilot: The True Story of the Final Combat Mission of World War II by Don Brown

Capt. Jerry Yellin InterviewBestselling author Don Brown tells the incredible true story of the final combat mission of World War II made by Captain Yellin and his wingman, 1st Lieutenant Phillip Schlamberg. In this interview he talks about the amazing twist to his story -- his son married the daughter of another pilot -- a Japanese kamikaze pilot. Toward the end of the interview Capt. Yellin mentioned he was getting tired as he had fallen the previous evening. It says a lot about this hero of the Greatest Generation that he had not cancelled the interview. Just a few weeks later Captain Yellin took his final flight into the wild blue yonder...

Christina Olds

Fighter Pilot: The Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds

Christina Olds talks about her father Robin Olds -- a 'triple ace' whose exploits during WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War are legendary. 

Johnnie S. Clark - US Marine

Johnnie S. Clark is the author of the best selling Guns Up! He joined the Marine Corps at the age of seventeen and served as a machine gunner with the famed 5th Marine Regiment. Wounded three times (mortar round, grenade, and gunshot!) Johnnie was awarded the Silver Star, three Purple Hearts and many other medals. 

His book, Section 8, tells the little known story about President Truman's determination to disband the U.S. Marines. Really! It is hard to believe, but that was the plan. It is hard to imagine that the Marines could have gone the way of the Dodo. Read this delightfully crazy story filled with zany characters to find out the story beyond the story. It is great that we can still say: Semper Fi.

A poem by j.s. lamb

A listener, J.S. Lamb, was inspired by this interview to write this touching poem...  

The Silent Last Word

Robin Olds, triple Ace,
Had a moustache on his face.
Waxed it like a handlebar,
Looked just like a movie star.

Learned to fly in World War 2,
Courage, keenness, showing through.
Legends spread & many spun:
“Flew under bridges just for fun!”

White streaks foaming in the sky.
Life & death just soaring by.
Bombs & bullets, round & round.
Dogfights, done right, up & down.

When he went to Viet-nam,
Pilots said, “Now there’s a Man!”
Renegade par excellence,
Never showing arrogance.

Robin Olds, triple Ace,
Had a moustache on his face.
Waxed it like a handlebar,
Looked just like a movie star.


J.S. Lamb

Talented poet, J.S. Lamb is the author of Orange Socks and other Colorful Tales: How I survived Vietnam and kept my sense of humor -- a funny, sad, quirky and poignant tale of his service in the U.S. Navy.

"Very Special Guests"

Juan Felipe Herrera

It was a thrill to talk to Juan Felipe Herrara. I had only been on the air for a few months when I got a call from the Library of Congress about doing an interview with Herrera, who was the first Hispanic poet nominated to be the US Poet Laureate. I was happy that I was not only familiar with Herrera's work, but that I had seen him in person many years earlier reading his poems in Berkeley. Loved talking to him about his third grade teacher -- who believe in him -- and his mother -- who told him stories as they laid on a blanket under the stars. We joked that I was probably the only one to interview him who had also worked the fields picking strawberries. It was an honor to talk to him.

Debbie Reynolds

It was a JOY to talk to Debbie's dear friend, Dorian Hannaway, about the book that they wrote together: Make 'Em Laugh: Short-Term Memories of Longtime Friends. It is a book filled with Debbie's entertaining musings about her famous friends and her life in Hollywood. I joked with Dorian that my mother would wake me up singing "Good Morning, Good Morning" and that I had kept up the tradition by singing it almost every morning to my boys.

A number of years earlier I had written a screenplay for Debbie called The Sunshine Pilot, a comedy about a former WASP who owns a run-down airline in Florida. It was optioned in Hollywood and in 2008, with our producer, Jonathan Chambers, we were finalizing plans to film the comedy at Kermit Weeks' Fantasy of Flight in Florida. Unfortunately the financial crisis that year collapsed our funding and sadly we never got to shoot the film.

A few weeks after my interview with Dorian, Debbie called the studio to thank me for promoting her book and to tape a message for my listeners wishing them a Happy New Year. I never got to play the tape--she was gone before the end of the year. It was probably one of last recordings of Debbie's voice.

My husband, Asher Gil, Executive Producer of The Sunshine Pilot with Debbie. 

Forbes Riley

Whoosh! Forbes Riley came into the studio and the air tingled with energy. She's a phenomenon. She's a whirlwind. A bundle of energy. She charmed everyone in sight....she has a way to connect that few people possess. She takes over a room. She took over the studio! There was some random visitor in the waiting room that she delighted by striking up a conversation. She went into the control room and made an instant connection with the guy behind the control board. She twirled, yes, I think she twirls. She doesn't just walk a straight line. She turns to greet people. She waves. She hugs. Forbes Riley is impressive! No wonder she is such a success. She radiates it! 

Sanya Richards-Ross

I remember the day that Sanya Richards-Ross won the Gold Medal for the 400 meter race during the 2012 Sumer Olympics. She had finished third in the 2008 Summer Olympics and I remember thinking how joyful she looked when she finally won -- and with a Russian at her heels! It was a beautiful moment for her and for America.  So it was a JOY for me to talk about her love of racing and for her faith, her husband and family, and her work to help young people around the world to reach their goals.

Date: 06-01-2017

Eunice David

Wow! It was truly an honor to talk to Eunice David, who wrote this touching book about her late  husband Hal David, the brilliant lyricist of so many popular songs. His lyrics which are so clever and often so unexpected.  One of my favorites is sung by Aretha Franklin: The moment I wake up...before I put on my make-up, I say a little prayer for you....

On a Valentine's Day it was fun to chat with Eunice about their beautiful love story and to play some of Hal's greatest hits that are so familiar: I'll Never Fall in Love Again, The Look of Love and, of course, Raindrops Keep Falling on Your Head which earned him an an Academy Award.

One particular song was in my mind when I took off on my many journeys: Trains And Boats And Planes are passing by. They mean a trip to Paris or Rome...

Douglas Carlton Abrams

Douglas Abrams with the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond TutuIt's not every day that one gets the opportunity to speak to a good friend of two global heroes of our time - so I was thrilled to be able to talk to Douglas Carlton Abrams about - appropriately for Joy on PaperThe Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World.

Doug shared the fascinating story of his unique collaboration with Nobel Peace Prize Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu during the 80th birthday celebration of the Dalai Lama at his home in Dharamsala, India. 

Paula Poundstone

She's a hoot! Paula Poundstone   takes on science in the fun and touching book about the search for human happiness.

Her hilarious attempt to turn herself into a human guinea pig in order to find happiness is amusing and often very touching. From taekwondo to camping to meditation, she gave it a try. One does not need to interview Paula -- she just grabs the mic by the hand at takes over. She is delightful.

Dr. James P. Gills

A listener to my program recognized me at a library meeting and approached me. "Why haven't you invited Dr. Gills on your program," she asked. "He not only saved my eyes, his books saved my life." It intrigued me and I soon discovered that Dr. James P. Gills is an extraordinary man -- in fact, he is a real Iron Man in his spare time.  He had been the owner of the Ironman Brand and World Triathlon Corporation. A world renowned eye surgeon who founded Luke's Eye Cataract and Laser Institute, he has written over thirty books. Most of them are inspirational and all of them are based on his deep knowledge of science and his amazing faith in God. 

Dr. Bob Arnot

 I'm a Yooper and Yoopers have coffee in their veins -- so I really appreciated Dr. Bob Arnot's gift of a box filled with his Dr. Danger Coffee It's delicious! The former medical journalist for NBC and CBS talked about his project to help countries develop sustainable coffee crops to improve their economies. 

Books You Should Read

Readers Are Leaders


Jazz Anders

Jazz Anders loves to encourage kids to read more by reviewing books on his YouTube channel: Snazzy Reads. Many of the authors whose books he has reviewed have been guests on Joy on Paper, including Chris Grabenstein and Dav Pilke.

His own favorite books are The Martian, The Ables, A Brief History of Time, and Ron Chernow's Hamilton biography. 

Date: 07-07-15

Books to Read

Listen to Robert K. Tanenbaum review of Ron Chernow's Hamilton