Ways of Life | WCAI

Ways of Life


Our series Ways of Life is a collection of stories about people who live down the street... our neighbors:  Fishermen, scientists, craftspeople, recovering addicts, surgeons, dog rescuers, motorcycle gang members, nursing home residents, musicians, the homeless, kid athletes, social activists, and all the others who share this place.

Each portrait becomes part of the surprising, interwoven tapestry of our lives together here on the Cape, Coast and Islands. 

Ways of Life is produced by our production partners at Atlantic Public Media  through their media training program: The Transom Story Workshop.

Ways of Life is made possible by The Circle of Ten, ten local businesses and organizations committed to local programming on WCAI.

Don't Throw Away Those Roller Skates

Jul 23, 2018
Photo by Robin Miniter


When was the last time you laced up a pair of quad skates? You better hurry: roller rinks across America are closing. The rink in Taunton was almost one of them. But there’s good news: life-long skating fanatic Forrest Welling came along to save it. That was three years ago. Since taking the place over he’s been determined to keep the doors open, and to keep skating. 

Photo by Jessica Yung 2018

It’s been 44 years since Shop Therapy opened its doors in Provincetown. It sells everything from drug paraphernalia to incense and MAKE LOVE NOT WAR t-shirts. But the store isn’t just any novelty head shop; it’s more like a portrait of founder Ronny Hazel’s life. 

Facing Down The Black Hole - When You Stop Hiding

Jun 25, 2018
Courtesy of Ralph Reese

Ralph Reese had a hardscrabble life in New York City before he met the legendary comic book artist Wally Wood. When they met, he was just a teenager. But after Wally took him under his wing, Ralph learned to ink, draw and color comics, setting him on the path for a career of his own. But even in his heyday, he felt a sense of dread gnawing at his gut. It was only in his 60’s, once he retired to South Dennis, Massachusetts that Ralph had the courage to face his past.

Photo by Bayla Metzger

Plenty of dogs are taught to do tricks, yet they still bark and bite. Dog trainer Melissa Berryman says that’s our fault. So, she doesn’t train dogs; she trains people. Her philosophy includes – among other things – teaching clients to speak “dog language,” a mix of high- and low-pitch tones. Melissa admits that training with her isn’t for everyone. Her clients have to work through their own issues in order to be effective leaders for their pets.


John Ohman of Dennis has been running Liam’s Clam Shack at Nauset Beach for the last 28 years. Since taking over operations in 1989 and naming the restaurant for his first son, John has been a fixture at Nauset Beach for locals and tourists alike. Liam’s is most famous for its onion rings, which have received a national reputation with rave reviews from both East and West Coasts. But this summer, visitors to Nauset will find that things have changed. 

Photo by Scott Christy

In Falmouth, architect Charles Orr has been patiently working with bonsai for over two decades. Right now he has over thirty active pieces, many of them growing in a workshop he’s built specifically for the trees. While Charles designs houses professionally as an architect, working with the trees has changed the way he looks at design today.

Age Is Just a Musical Number

Apr 16, 2018
Photo by Nicole Gowan

Beachside condos and bingo games may be how some people handle old age, but not Naomi Turner and Wilderness Sarchild. A dancer and a poet, they used their combined experiences to create “Wrinkles: The Musical, a celebration of women and aging.

photo by Hayley Fager

Artist Jeff Smith set out to build the smallest house in the world. No one else had done it, so why shouldn't he? He doesn't live in the home. It functions more as a performance art piece. And because it's bright green, he gets a lot of questions when he parks it in public places. It's also for rent...but it's complicated.

Photo by Alvin Melathe

Quirky local history. A chance to encounter the paranormal. Ghost tours are a staple of tourism all over the country...and Cape Cod is no exception. Since 2005, Derek Bartlett has led multiple ghost tours every week in Barnstable. Is there anything to be scared about?

Powassan: How One Tick Can Change Everything

Mar 5, 2018
Photo by Aviva DeKornfeld.

There are a few guarantees in life—death, taxes, and on Cape Cod, ticks. 2017 was the highest record ever for ticks on the Cape and with that increase have come new diseases, including one called Powassan. 

In the Ocean's Twilight Zone: Seeing With Sound

Feb 19, 2018
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Andone Lavery. October 2017

Dr. Andone Lavery is changing the way we understand our oceans through sound. She and her department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute are using a form of echolocation to map parts of the ocean, giving us better insight into underwater ecosystems. Over the summer, Lavery became the first woman to win the Walter Munk Award for her innovative research.

Photo by Lauren Black

When Greg Morris became a landscaper, he decided he wanted to pursue something that few people in his industry get: total creative freedom. In his forty years of landscaping, Greg has never drawn a plan for a client’s approval. Instead, he just asks his customers to trust him. From there, his process unfolds.

Art and Motorcycles: Alternative painkillers

Jan 22, 2018
photo by Rachel Ishigawa

Fall off your bike, get a band aid. Have a headache, take an ibuprofen. Pain is often fleeting…and there’s a cure. But what happens when pain is constant with no quick fix?  Fibromyalgia is talked about a lot more lately and that's thanks to celebrities like Lady Gaga  Morgan Freeman and Sinead O’Connor  sharing their stories. North Falmouth based artist, Terie Michon is also trying to get the word out. She’s developed her own pain relieving routine that’s anything but the norm.

Looking for Something? Try Listening...to the Birds

Jan 8, 2018
Photo by Caleb Kardell

In a busy world, everyone's looking for a place for peace.  Ask Skyler Kardell and he'll show you somewhere right in front of your nose.  All you need to do is...listen.  Skyler is a competitive birder on Nantucket who tries to see as many species as he can every year.  He uses his eyes, his ears, and his smartphone to spot all kinds of migrants in the trees.  Despite the birding community on Nantucket being small, he does what he can to draw people into the watch. 

Photo by Tom Burns

When he was a child, Tom Burns read a book on a very famous breed of animal. And he fell in love.

While his days are spent treating the sick and injured pets of South Yarmouth, his free time and holidays are devoted to finding and photographing something far more toothy: Sharks.