The San Francisco Podcast
Richard Miller -- amateur historian, velvet-voiced storyteller and all-around lover of San Francisco -- is the writer and producer of Sparkletack, San Francisco's leading podcast about the city that loves to be loved.
Miller's masterful storytelling, insightful commentary and meticulous research result in enormously popular shows, drawing an audience from around the world with devoted fans listening in from Düsseldorf to Kyoto.
Thoughtful, intelligent, reflective, amusing and witty, Sparkletack manages to make local history accessible and intriguing without ever dumbing it down. Miller doesn't talk down to his audience either; he seems to couple his explanations with the assumption that his listeners are as smart as he is and apparently they are.
To quote the review in the January 2006 issue of San Francisco magazine:
"The posts are infused with Miller's quirky personal musings. He confesses, for instance, to a crush on Patty Hearst during her outlaw days. . . Miller's irreverence and good humor give even dry subjects an appealing intimacy."
Fan mail and show requests pile up daily and Miller, who already has a full time job as a graphic designer (thus the gorgeous sparkletack site) is hard-pressed to keep on top of it all. He holds himself and his stories to a remarkably high standard, spending his 'spare' time hunting down old books, visiting archives, investigating alleyways, prowling the internet and taking pictures.
"Sometimes I think about throwing in the towel or maybe just putting out a show once a month," he says. "But people are waiting for me every Friday. And the stories want to be told".
Anyone who listens to Sparkletack knows that this is true. And once a story is heard it's almost impossible to stop telling it. If anyone needs Sparkletack -- even more than its avid listeners -- it's the city of San Francisco whose stories want to be told.