All posts by A.W. Stephens

A father, life partner, musician, writer, and human rights advocate, my passion is to empower others, either through action or the arts. Blinded 29 years ago, my world view has been shaped through alternative sensory perception, which has afforded me a taste for things outside of the mainstream.

Stop That Or… (Show Notes – #2)

Welcome to another episode of the Stop That Or You’ll Go blind Podcast (#2!) Forgive the lo-fi as we’re still trying to get set up with a solid means of recording – I”m working out of a hotel room in Minneapolis and Evan was in his car staying warm in the parking lot of his local library in Denver).

In this episode, Evan and Tony open up about what it’s like to be a parent with a disability. They talk about the challenges that go with it, from social life, academics, and trying to raise kids. They then go into trying to instill good taste in music for their children, meeting them half way in the 1980s (Ok, maybe not half way), and we leave our crime fighters waxing on their college radio days.

We’re still trying to come up with a theme song — can’t wait for the S&A letters to start rolling in. Below are music links mentioned and/or shared in this episode.

“What a Fool Believes” The Doobie Brothers

“I Ain’t Marching Anymore” Phil Ochs

“I Heard You Looking” Yo La Tango

“People Mover” Servotron 

Feel free to leave comments (Please be kind, we we’ve yet to built up our thick internet skins. Follow us on Twitter @StopThatOr, and subscribe via iTunes.

Stop That Or (Show Notes – #1)

In the first episode of the Stop That Or You’ll Go Blind Podcast, Evan and Tony catch up on life, with the news of the day centered around the Trump inauguration. Tony tries to share the explanation behind the P***y Hat, which his wife was making several of that evening for the Women’s March on Washington. They share their own thoughts on the state of affairs for the media, having both been former journalists, and talked about how the world needs new protest songs.

Evan and Tony shared their own top protest songs.


  1. Won’t Get Fooled Again, The Who
  2. Land of Confusion, Genesis
  3. Give Me Some Truth, John Lennon
  4. Hey You, Pink Floyd (Fits the mood of the day)


  1. Accident Waiting to Happen, Billy Bragg
  2. Give Me Shelter, The Rolling Stones
  3. Dialogue (Part 1), Chicago
  4. Taking It To The streets, The Doobie brothers

Buffalo Springfield and Dylan get props.

Tony also shared his love of HBO’s daily news program, Vice. Then they closed with some parenting tips — NOTE: We- are in no way parenting experts.

Thanks for listening!

It’s Been a Hard Day’s Night

Hands down, the hardest job I’ve ever had is being a father. I think back to when I was in seminary, when I was studying to be a different type of father, the world seemed riddled with social experiments and arduous studies. They had us working in nursing homes, homeless shelters, or handing out meals on the frozen sidewalks along the Southside of Chicago. Continue reading It’s Been a Hard Day’s Night

The Never Ending Search

In the summer of 2001, I took a cross country trip on a Greyhound bus from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon – and many other points in-between. I had just left seminary, where I had been studying with Benedictine monks for two years, and I was on what you could call a spiritual sojourn, to try to find the America’s voice.<!–more–> I had recorded local radio stations over the 9,000 miles I had traveled, zig-zagging my way through 33 states and the District of Columbia. The whole trip took three weeks, with most nights spent on either a greyhound or the two nights I spent on Amtrak after deciding there was no way I could take a bus from Seattle to Chicago without loosing my mind.

When I returned home to Atlanta, I was left with a burning decision as to where to now pack my bags and move to call home. There were so many towns and big cities along the way, Chicago probably being the one that made the greatest impact. It had a feel like New York City, with a vibe that was more like Brooklyn or San francisco — where art and culture thrive despite the harsh winters (it was June when I climbed onto the ‘L train for the first time, and I had to buy a sweatshirt to stay warm, which I would abandon in Dallas three days later, going from 40 degrees to 100+).

I would end up in Chicago 18 months later, moving there to join a group of religious Catholic priests. It was in many ways yet another spiritual sojourn. That was fifteen years ago, but it truly feels like yesterday.  In December, 2005, I would pack my bags again at the Jesuit house outside Detroit where I was living, and have friends drive me to the Amtrak station in Toledo, where I could jump on a train after midnight to New York City.  Two months later, I would meet my future wife in Brooklyn — she hates the word “sojourn.” Nevertheless, to go from the back seat of a Greyhound bus rolling down U.S. HWY 41, to the cathedrals of Europe, to the spired skyscrapers of New York and stately facades of Washington, DC, my life has been full of twists and turns. this blog and podcast, in some ways, calls upon those experiences, while trying to figure out just what the future will entail.

Along the way, there have been close friends I have made, but probably none more close than Evan. We had met years before I sold everything and ran off to the monastery. We were both newly enrolled students at the University of Georgia, signed up for one of the most maniacal economic classes in history. We both were interested in signing up at the local radio station, WUOG 90.5FM. WUOG was legendary in the world of college radio, with Athens, GA being the birthplace of college and jango rock. We both joined the news department, which would allow uncool unhip volunteers like myself, and we soon developed a relationship that has lasted into its third decade.

Evan had worked for years with CNN, based out of Atlanta and then ending up in New York City. I’ll let him tell his own stories about those days. The experiences we shared have made us stronger over the years, and I’m deeply grateful for his friendship. Not just because he’s someone who you can call a real friend, but someone I could talk into doing a podcast with — it’s really more of a reason for the two of us to get together and hang, amidst the busy lives we live with our families.

In a lot of ways, this blog and subsequent podcast, the Stop That, Or You’ll Go Blind Podcast, is an extension not just of our friendship, but of our own adventures over the years. It grounds us in the very present reality; that is to say, speaking just for myself, I have no idea what the future holds, nor how to navigate it. Sure, there’s that gut feeling, but we’re moving into an era where the unknown is staring straight in front of us. My hope, for our children’s sake, is that maybe by getting together and reflecting on everything from parenthood, to politics, to pop-culture, maybe the path forward will drag us out of the darkness (Of course, I’m just speaking for myself, since Evan lives at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, where everything is a mile high and peachy).