In this episode of Podcast Tactics, you will learn how to create a powerful legacy podcast. What’s a “legacy podcast”? Stick around… I can’t wait for you to find out!
In today’s show, you will meet a brother and sister who have created an inspiring and impactful podcast. Listen in to hear their story and learn how to create a podcast that celebrates and memorializes the life of a loved one.
What did you get out of this episode? Leave a review at https://www.podchaser.com/PodcastTactics
Learn More About the “A Long Time Going…” Podcast and Jami & John
- Listen: https://alongtimegoing.buzzsprout.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alongtimegoingpodcast
Episode recorded on March 1, 2021.
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Music by Valence – Infinite [NCS Release]
James: In this episode of Podcast Tactics, you will learn how to create a powerful legacy podcast. What’s a legacy podcast? Stick around… I can’t wait for you to find out!
Hello! I’m James. Welcome to another episode of Podcast Tactics. In today’s show, you will meet a brother and sister who have created an inspiring and impactful podcast.
Listen in to hear their story and learn how to create a podcast that celebrates and memorializes the life of a loved one. If you want more podcasting tips, tactics, and advice, join the mailing list at PodcastTactics.com to get new episode notifications.
Now let’s get into it.
Joining me at the mic is Jami Williams and John Hunt from Mexico, Missouri. Jami and John, thank you so much for coming on and joining me on the show.
Jami: Thank you so much for having us. We’re very excited.
James: What you’re up to with your podcast is extremely special. What is the name of your podcast and what is it about?
Jami: The name of the podcast is “A Long Time Going…”
And, the way that it started was my brother was diagnosed with stage four, colorectal cancer 11 years ago. And, um, he made it through chemo fine. Everything was fine. And then it recurred again two years ago, and then it recurred again, just this past summer. And so it’s terminal now. My brother is also autistic and developmentally delayed.
So they, the doctors were very surprised that he made it through the first round of chemo, and we were actually kind of convinced that it was the autism that kept him alive because he didn’t know to be afraid. You know? The emotional scale for someone who’s autistic of course, is modified when compared to people who aren’t autistic.
And so he, he went through that and then he went through some very traumatic surgeries. They removed all of the soft tissue in his pelvis about four years ago at Barnes Jewish. And they did a fantastic job with the surgery. We’re so pleased with the care that we got there. And then this time it’s just back, and all we can do is keep it at bay. And I actually am in an MFA writing program at Lindenwood University.
And I wrote an essay about a creative nonfiction essay about the day that I found out John’s cancer had come back after all of the soft tissue had been removed, and I submitted the essay. And it got picked up by a journal, and the local radio station here, KXEO has a morning show, and they invited us out to talk on the morning show.
And John had never been in a radio station. I was in radio for like 10 years after I got out of college. That’s what I did. You know, I was the laughing girl on the morning show. They don’t let women do a whole lot. They did it back then, but, um, and so we went out to the radio station and John just fell in love with the idea of the microphone and the recording of the voice and hearing himself.
And so, you know, he asked me, when, can we go do that again? And it just kind of clicked in my head that, you know, we should, we should do a podcast because number one, it’s fun. And number two, John loves talking into the microphone. And number three, you know, maybe there are other people that are going through this or other people who have loved ones that are autistic and, and don’t quite understand how to reach them or, you know, what they can receive from them, the blessing, you know, the huge blessing that they can receive from them.
And then also part of it was selfish because I just wanted. I wanted John’s voice and his memories to be something that I can keep. And this will last, this will be, this will last forever, you know? So it’s keeping a little piece of him here with me, when he goes and, and touching as many lives as we can, while he’s here. It’s all for him.
James: Yeah, absolutely. It’s a beautiful thing. I think you described it as a legacy podcast and that’s very appropriate. Even your submission, you said if that is such a thing and, um, I think you you’ve invented it, if it’s not such a thing.
Was that you, John, that came up with that?
Jami: No. He was very surprised Christmas morning when he opened up the microphones and then the little Zoom that we use the Zoom 4, P4. Yeah, we, we went through the first week and I have some, like I said, background in radio and I teach broadcasting at a high school.
And so I, I figured out how to hook everything up. And then the next week on Saturday, that’s when we record the next week he came downstairs and he said, I’ve got everything hooked up. We can record now. It just took one time, one time. He’s quick like that. So…
James: That is awesome! So John, the microphones, the equipment, what else?
What else do you love about podcasting?
John: Well, I think it’s a blast.
Jami: He thinks it’s fun. He enjoys it. Yeah.
James: Yeah, that’s fantastic. Is there anything that you hate about podcasting? These are my standard questions. I’m just, I’m not trying challenge you.
John: There’s nothing that I hate that I can see.
Jami: He hates the fact that it takes me so long to edit.
He’s ready for that. If that, when that podcast is recorded, it better be up the next day. He is impatient.
James: Yeah. So let’s, let’s talk about the editing process, because that was something… I did listen to an episode. Your editing was well done. I mean, I was wondering if you actually did edit it or if it was just a straight shot and you cleaned up the audio and stuff.
Yeah. Sorry, I’m going to shut up and let you talk.
Jami: I edit and I work with, um, at school, at the school where I teach, we have old cameras, old microphones. So I’m always, I always tell the kids, audio is everything. If you don’t have your audio, then it doesn’t matter how good your shot is. If, if it’s garbled, then it’s garbage. And so it just, I mean, I I’ve been editing since, Oh my gosh. Way back in the day. Remember when they had VCRs and you had to turn the dials! I’ve been editing since then. And, um, I, I just, it. It’s something that I enjoy doing. And I always listen to the podcast before I listen to the interview.
And if there’s anything that needs to be trimmed, which was a big, that was kind of a big decision for me. Do I trim out the pauses and the stumbles and things like that. And 90% of the time I’ve like, I’ve just left them in because that’s John, you know, so the editing process for me is, um, That’s the fun part.
I think that’s fun because I love that. It’s like a power trip!
You’re in charge of everybody’s voice, and what the world is going to hear. It’s like a little dictatorship complex I have!
James: So I’m going to say, I, you know, up to this point, at least I’m trying to remember if somebody has told me that they like to edit and I can only think of one other person.
And that was Sam Mitchell, who is also a podcaster who has autism. He edits his own podcast, but he is like, yeah, I love it.
Jami: It’s fun. You just, you just work with it until you get it there. I mean, You know, and that’s the thing, you know exactly where it’s supposed to be to be pleasing.
After being in radio, you learn. I learned how to, bleach my voice so I didn’t sound like I was from anywhere in particular. And John is very, he’s incredibly verbal and he has an excellent speaking voice, but, I discovered, I think when was it you started recording yourself, commentating on football games?
John: Hmm…. When I was… Are you talking about the high school games? Like back when I first started the videography business.
Jami: Okay. So John ran a videography business, actually back home in our hometown of Shelbyville. And he would video the ball games, the football games, and then he would add commentary. And he was, I mean, he was a pro at it.
He knew what the plays were. He knew what was coming up and what was happening. And so, so he’s got a little bit of experience with that too. So. We’re we’re actually, you know, two pros just trying to scoot in to the …
James: The amount of audio that you capture versus what you end up inside of with an episode. Let me, let me ask it differently, actually. So your episodes seemed to run about 30 minutes long. How much of the original audio are you leaving on the cutting room floor?
James: Okay. So you’re not really, I mean, when you say you’re editing, you’re, you’re cleaning up audio,
Jami: I’m mastering everything.
Yeah. I’m not, no… because, um, and like I said, that was a real pivotal point for me when I started this and I posted it in a community and asked what people thought. And some were like, yes, edit it. Some are like, no don’t. And then I really thought about the reason why I’m… we’re… we’re doing the podcast.
And the reason why we’re doing the podcast is not to sound super professional and not to blow anybody out of the water. This is something for me and the people who know John, and maybe the people who don’t know John to have forever and to say, I learned that life is so precious just from 30 minutes of listening to this man talk about his very simple life that has had very extraordinary consequences.
James: Yeah. It’s interesting to hear you say that you don’t want to blow anybody out of the water. I feel like that’s very humble of you to say because the project itself is, is mind blowing. It’s brave. Um, it’s very, it’s extremely touching, and my mind was blown just from the one episode that I had listened to.
So, I mean, it’s, it’s, uh, incredibly, I feel it’s incredibly important and it’s vital. Obviously for you as a family and you know, for brother and sister, but I mean, yeah, it speaks to that… love.
Jami: Yeah. Well, the tradition of oral storytelling has been around since, I mean, it was before people could even write that’s how they communicated their histories to each other.
And, I tell my kids that you, you put it on tape and it’s forever, you put it on the internet and it’s forever and you can’t, you just, can’t not share. You know what you have to say. And so I’m using this as actually a part of my master’s thesis, and there’s a book, I’ll have a book coming out with the same title that will be essays, creative non-fiction essays about John getting me in all kinds of trouble when we were kids, because nobody would ever believe that it was his idea to do the stuff.
And I was the dumb one that did it. But it was his idea to put the… remember when you told me to put the ivory liquid in the swimming pool? It was like a cake, a cupcake, it had a little filter. Our uncles bought it for us. We were so excited. We had a real pool. He had convinced me, we wouldn’t have to take baths. If we put the ivory liquid in the swimming pool, it went through the filter, and the whole, it just looked like a huge cupcake, and nobody would believe me that that was John’s idea. They were like, Jami, that’s terrible. I’m like, no, it really was, it was John’s idea.
John: That was the summer of 75.
Jami: I was only four years old. And you threw me to the wolves, threw me to the wolves!
James: And you… and Jami you’re younger than John.
Is that, is that correct? Yeah.
Jami: By four years. Yeah, just four years.
John: I was just going to second grade then.
Jami: Yup, you were going into the second grade.
John: I think you were starting preschool.
Jami: I went to headstart. Yeah.
James: I’m just, you know, I have two step kids and a four year old… Well, he’s going to be four years old. So you know, that, that age range is kind of right in that sweet spot that you’re talking about right now and I’m, I am, I can see the older ones kind of saying, “Hey, do this.”
Jami: Nobody would believe it. Nobody would believe it. It’s terrible that you would blame that on your brother. I’m like, Yeah, but he got payback.
James: In terms of the podcast, I think you touched on this a little bit, but, is there anything you’re doing to promote it?
Jami: We have a Facebook page that we put up, and we have a lot of people that follow that Facebook page.
It’s on Buzzsprout and then Buzzsprout sends it out to like, we made it onto like the iPod or I, you know, the Apple casting thing and Google, but I mean, that’s not right. Really the point of it, but yeah, I mean, when I, when I have time yeah. And I’m not working on the thesis along with the podcast, because we have to do it every week.
We have to do one a week. You’ve got to keep him happy because he’s the star. And, um, so I, yeah, I think once I get the book kind of reigned in that, yeah, I will, I’ll probably promote it with a little bit more zest through, uh, social media platforms, possibly some, uh, search engine optimization, that kind of thing.
James: Is there anything that the podcasting community can do to help you guys out? Is there anything you need from the community?
Jami: No, not really. We have everything that we need. I think we have a great setup for what we do. We’re gonna, we’ll probably add another microphone because we’ve got old classmates.
So John calling or sending messages and saying they want to come on and talk to him and ask him if he remembers this and that. So we’ll be probably adding a couple more microphones, but other than that, we’re great.
Just support us, listen, and, you know, and get, get encouraged from it.
That’s what we want. We want people to hear it and be like, how can he have so much faith and happiness? And, it’s just that whole mindset of it’s one day at a time, literally for him. So it’s just, we want people to be encouraged.
James: I listened to episode five, “Our House is a Very, Very, Very Loud House.”
So, the context of the podcast, it’s, it’s intense, it’s heavy. Um, but I love just the funny moments. Um, it’s very personal, but it’s also very relatable as well. I was, feeling my sister, you know, she’s five years older than me and it just has that … it’s about that love, uh, again, I’m going back to that, and that shines through in the episode that I listened to. The funny moments that stuck out for me was, John was sharing that…
I think your kids were using the F word in the house, kind of outing them. I don’t want to spoil the episode too, by the way. I do want people to listen in, obviously. Yeah.
And your reaction to John preferring… was it James driving? Yeah. Driving him to the doctor’s appointments.
Jami: Yeah. They’ve become great buddies haven’t you?
Jami: Yeah. So yeah, I have become, there’s been a shift now. I used to be the caregiver, but now I’m the caretaker, which means I take away the privileges and James gives the care. So I’m always the bad guy.
James: Yeah. I was going to say. So John, is Jami mean?
Jami: Tell the truth.
James: You’re very diplomatic, John. I’m going to say, even in the episode you are…
Jami: He wants me to take him somewhere, probably like ice cream or something like that. So he’s going to be good
John: Ice cream season will soon be coming up.
Jami: I know. Yes. Yes. We love ice cream and there’s a in back in our hometown, the best ice cream in the free world. And that’s in Shelbyville, Missouri, Phillips ice cream truck. They’ve had, they have a truck, they park it by the old grocery store that used to be a restaurant that then was another restaurant.
And now it’s closed down and I mean, they have the best ice cream in the world. I’m hungry now. Yeah. You got to get you, you got to make a trip and try it. It’s worth the drive worth. Definitely.
James: So tell me, how do you guys come up with your, uh, the topics for your shows? The episodes, I mean.
Jami: Um, usually that’s me, that’s me.
And I’ll, um, I’ll run it by John before, like on Friday, I’ll say, Hey, I’m thinking this week, maybe we’ll talk about what it’s like for you to live with us. Or, you know, the first episode was what… what did you love most about Shelbyville? Because that was the community… We’ve been so fortunate. I mean, I just, I can’t even, there’s no way I can express ever the compassion of the two communities where John has lived. Shelbyville, they raised him, they grew this incredibly strong, courageous, brave, independent man. And my mother was part of that community and she was active in the church there and they just loved him and they still love him so much. And then, he moved to Mexico and he’s in….
Tell him what you’re involved in here in Mexico.
John: Um, Mexico Optimist Club. I serve as the Second Vice President. And also the Mexico area Chamber of Commerce where I serve as an Ambassador.
James: That’s awesome. It sounds like a lot to take on.
Jami: It is, but he, you know, he likes to keep, he wanted to be part of the community.
I mean, how do you tell someone, “no?” When they say they want to be part of the community and then he also helps out the football coaches at the high school where I teach and runs the end zone camera. For them… For the football games.
James: You are busy, John!
Jami: He is. He is. He keeps himself busy.
James: I mentioned this earlier, the episodes are relatively short, about 30 minutes.
I’m assuming that’s intentional… is that… Do you have any intention of going longer? I’d love to hear more!
James: No. No intention of going longer. Denied!
Jami: Well, actually I’ve had a couple of people send me requests to do like two a week, but I think for John and the way that he the way that he verbalizes things and expresses himself, I feel like about an 18 minute interview, 18 to 20 minute interview with him.
And then my filler at the beginning of my filler at the end that I write each week related to his content, I feel like that’s, that’s a sweet, that’s the sweet spot for us. I don’t want to push him, and some of the stuff sometimes is emotional and it’s emotional, not so much for him, but for me, you know?
And so I don’t want to be that hysterical breakdown girl on the podcast. And I’d edit that out.
James: Yeah. Well, let’s talk about your intros and outros because your writing is just… awesome. It’s beautiful. It’s already a great story, and then the writing on top of it, it just is like this cherry on top of a cherry on top of a sundae.
Um, yeah, I mean, it’s really beautiful. I’m curious, so. I think you, you shoot on a Saturday, right? Saturday evenings. Is that right? And then John wants it to go up the next day, right? Yeah. I’m curious about the intros and outros that you write. Are you writing them after you do your recording session or do you, do you do it after?
Jami: Yes. I write after. I write both the intro and the SIG out after usually, uh, well, always I do, because I always find, I mean, I could try to write it before, but I’m afraid if I wrote it before I would steer him toward what I want and I don’t want that. I want that authentic John in there.
And so it’s easier for me. To write about the authentic John than it is for me to steer John to the fake Jami, you know what I’m saying? So, yeah, I listen to him and then I usually write the intro and outro.
James: How long does that take you? Can I ask?.
Jami: Yeah. Oh, you’re going to 15 to 20 minutes.
James: Oh my goodness. Okay.
Jami: Well it just, it, it, okay. It’s hard to explain. It just comes and I I’ve never been able to explain it. I started writing when I was eight, my grandmother and grandfather and mother always encouraged me to just write whatever, just write just, and, I told mom when I was eight. I said, I want to be a writer.
And she said, well, there’s only one way to be a writer. And I’m like, I don’t know how to get an agent. And she said, no, that’s write. You write. To be a writer you have to write. And so, I’m almost 50 years old and I finally got my nerve up to enter an MFA program at Lindenwood and, you know, that has been the best thing that I’ve ever done, because I’ve learned all of these different ways that I can write and express myself and, and help John express himself and, and hopefully reach other people and let them know that your story is worth telling.
I mean, everybody has a story that’s worth telling, everybody.
James: That’s the perfect segue into this next question, and I feel like we’ve touched on it. You’ve answered it a little bit in here, but I, I do, I do want to give you the opportunity to just encapsulate it in a moment right now.
And that is what do you want people to get out of listening to your show? Why should they listen to your podcast?
Jami: Well, because. We grew up in the seventies and the early eighties when autism was something that doctors didn’t understand. And, John went through a lot because of that. And it made him, instead of making him weaker, it made him and my, my mother who was a single parent. It made them so strong. And I think that John, my, my mom used to always say that John doesn’t need a purpose because he is the purpose.
And I never understood what she meant until I really watched him live. I mean, Breath in breath out, breath in breath out. That is his rhythm of life. No worrying, you know, it’s not worth worrying. He just lives and enjoys everything. I mean, even the, even like the rough stuff, like when the dog runs off or some little crisis like that, we always look back and we laugh.
And so I think what I want people to understand is that. It doesn’t matter who you are, and it doesn’t matter how the world is labeled you. You are a person of impact. I mean, John is a walking ministry and so how could I not, you know, how could I not share him with the world? So that’s, that’s why we do it.
James: I believe you say that in your outro as well, ” sharing John with the world” , and it’s, uh, it is such a gift. I do want to ask this other question. This is something that I generally ask podcasters. In the context of your podcast, this might be a little bit, it might be tough.
Let’s get into a time machine, and go one or two years down the road . What are your hopes for the podcast?
Jami: Well, I hope that John is still here so that we can do it. And, I hope that if he’s not that thousands of people listen to it every day just to get that inspiration.
And, I hope the book will tie in well with the podcast and I just, I. The hope for the podcast is the exact same hope that it was when we started that there’ll be something there to mark this monumental life. That was a part of this earth that maybe some people would have viewed as small or minuscule.
But you, when you know him and you live with him, you can’t live like that anymore. So that’s what I hope for the podcast that it really gets the point across that everything is beautiful and there’s glory in everything. You just have to find it. So…
James: I think you’re, you’re pulling that off right now.
This is a little bit of a silly segment that I have been throwing in, but I think it’s fun. And I, I would love to hear your guys’ thoughts on this. If your podcast gets developed into a movie who will play the leading roles?
John: Probably me.
Jami: You would play yourself. Wow. You’re so brave. Oh my gosh. Okay. Um, who would play me?
James: How about a celebrity, John? Is there, is there somebody famous or somebody you look up to that you would, uh, want to play you in a movie?
John: Can you think of anybody off hand?
Jami: I think Kevin Costner could play my brother.
James: Oh, that’s a good one. Yeah!
Jami: I really do. Yeah. Um, and then me, I don’t know. I don’t know. I like Scarlett Johannson.
James: Jamie and John, tell us where people can learn more about you and your podcast.
Jami: They can check us out on Facebook. We have a Facebook page that’s called a long time going podcast. Just all you gotta do is plug it into the search and it’ll come right up and you’ll see some of the photos that we had done.
One of the things that I wanted to do was, and it was really weird for John, but I think he understood what I was getting at… the cover that… our podcast cover or icon, whatever they call it is a photo of me, half of my face with John in the background. And we had a friend of ours, David Pickering do a whole set of photos where we tried to encompass in photos, what it was like… what it has been like for us. So there are pictures of me standing behind John and just bending over and screaming at the top of my lungs. There’s photos that are of he and I, when we were little kids, we used to put our heads or foreheads together because I thought I could. I thought I could read his mind, because he wasn’t, he wasn’t real communicative back then. He hummed and when he was humming high, that meant was happy, and when he was humming low, that meant he was sad. And so it was just, uh, you know, the… it was just… I’ve forgotten the question.
James: Where can people find out more about you and your show?
Jami: This is why I’m bad at self promotion. Okay. So, Facebook, “A Long Time Going Podcast”, or they could check it out on Buzzsprout, alongtimegoing.buzzsprout.com right now. And it’s also on Google Podcasts, Apple, Spotify. And then there’s a couple of others that I’m not real familiar with because to be honest, we just kind of record it and put it out there.
James: I would love to keep in touch and maybe catch up six months down the road. Maybe even do another interview if that’s all right with you guys.
Jami: Oh ya, that’d be fine.
James: The name of the show is “A Long Time Going…”. Incredible podcast. I wish the very best for both of you.
Jami: Thank you. We, we will take that.
We’re blessed every day. Every day.
James: Thanks again to Jami and John. Check the show notes for links to learn more about the “A Long Time Going…” podcast. And please leave a review on podchaser.com to let me know what you got out of this episode. Check the show notes for this and feel free to make suggestions for what I can do to make this show even better for you.
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