Stories about the people who helped make us who we are.

The story behind the project.

If not for my childhood trumpet teacher, Edward Treutel, every single thing in my life would be completely different. Who I know. What I know. What I’ve done. How I think. Who I am.

Between age 5 and 17, he made more of a difference to me than anyone else. More than my parents. More than my school teachers. More than my friends.

Sadly, I didn’t realize this until long after he died in 1997. So I never had a chance to tell him. It’s a daily lament.

This is why I started If Not For.

I wanted to create a way for people to share the stories of the folks who made them who they are — for free and without ads.

Featured podcast episodes.

If not for my mother, my father, my sister, my aunt, the kids next door who played the clarinet, Gerry and Shelly…

From Arlene Alda in New York City

Arlene, in her and her husband Alan’s New York City apartment, after our interview.

Links from this episode.

City University of New York interview about her book, Just Kids from the Bronx’ (video) — :25

Just Kids from the Bronx (Amazon hardcover) (Amazon audiobook) — :28

Bronx River (Bronx River Alliance website) — 11:27

New York Botanical Garden (website), rose garden (website page) — 11:37

Victrola (video) — 13:33

Evander Childs High School (Facebook page) — 14:26

Simeon Bellison, clarinet teacher (Wikipedia) (audio recording on Apple Music) — 19:12

Cologne Conservatory of Music (Wikipedia) — 22:30

Leon Russianoff, clarinet teacher (92nd St Y masterclass video) (NYT obituary) — 23:00

Léon Barzin, conductor of the training orchestra of the National Orchestral Association (WNYC music recording archive) (Wikipedia) — 23:33

Leopold Stokowski, conductor of the Houston Symphony (Wikipedia) (Houston Symphony recording) 23:42

Hunter College (website) — 23:54

Arlene’s books (GoodReads page) — 27:19

Henri Cartier Bresson, photographer (documentary) (Wikipedia) — 27:47

Magnum Photography (website’s history page) — 27:51

Leonia, NJ (Wikipedia) — 28:02

Crewel Embroidery (Wikipedia) — 30:03

International Center of Photography (website) — 39:38

Arlene Alda’s ABC (GoodReads) — 41:35

Sheep, Sheep, Sheep, Help Me Fall Asleep (GoodReads) — 42:47

Arlene Alda’s 1, 2, 3 (GoodReads) — 43:58

Pig, Horse, or Cow, Don’t Wake Me Now (GoodReads) — 44:14

Upcoming episodes.

Co-creator of Phineas & Ferb, Jeff Swampy” Marsh.

Graphic designer, storyteller, and typographer, Stefan Sagmeister.

Graphic designer, Paul Sahre.

Featured short stories.

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