Why's That?

Second Friday of the month at 6:44 am, 8:44 am and 5:44 pm

Why's That? explores the things in Southwest Michigan – people, places, names  – that spark your curiosity. We want to know what makes you wonder when you're out and about. 

Maybe it's a question you've had for years, or maybe it's just come up. Perhaps it rests on a subtle observation, like this one about ABC streets in Kalamazoo. Or maybe you just saw something, found it strange, and wanted to know more about it. That's what happened in "A Tiny Park with a Tragic Story."

From train signals to watersheds, from unusual houses to water hardness, we hope you'll let us know what in Southwest Michigan makes you ask "Why's That?" It could be the start of a great radio story.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

“If we get all the way to Decatur I’ll know we’ve passed it, but I think this might be it right here. Yep, that’s it right here!” 


Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Maria Scott was on Wheaton Avenue near Merrill Street in Kalamazoo’s Vine neighborhood when she noticed a strange object in a curb lawn. It’s about two and a half feet high, four-sided and rounded on top. One person described it as a mini-Washington Monument without the point.


Courtesy Jay Wesley

This month, “Why’s That?” brings you a fish story. Not a tall tale, but a question from listener and WMUK volunteer Maria Maki. She’s heard that Kalamazoo was once a globally renowned destination for fishing, especially for trout.


Western Michigan University/Zhang Legacy Collections

This "Why's That?" story originally aired in December 2017.

Some terms inevitably evoke the past. Think "orphanage" or "asylum," or perhaps "poor house." If that sounds like something you would find in nineteenth-century England, you don’t have to go either that far back or that far away. Many Michigan counties once had some kind of government-run residence for people in need. Kalamazoo had not just a poor house, but a “poor farm” on land that is now a county park.


Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Bonnie Nye does not love driving on Interstate 94. In fact, now that she's not commuting, the retired nurse from Lawton says she avoids that road "like the plague." But she does have a question about it. 


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