Wednesday, Oct. 1st, 2008

Volume One in Morocco, on a Camel

Long time Volume One contributor Hannah has a day job that takes her all over the damn world. She sent us this sandy pic last year and said, "Hey, everyone – just got back from Morocco and here's the camel that took me into the Sahara – where we spent the night in a Berber tent ... er ... not the camel and I – the camel had separate sleeping quarters."

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Local Baby’s Birth Actually Like the Movies

If you’ve been anywhere near a woman in labor, you know that it’s not like the movies where ALL OF A SUDDEN THE BABY IS COMING OUT and everyone needs to hurtle themselves into a car and rocket down the highway at 80mph, and HOLY CRAP, you need to give birth in the backseat (at 80mph) while an unlikely person steps up to help deliver the perfectly healthy baby (at 80mph). More often than not, it’s like two days of annoyingly achy waiting that slowly builds to a very non-highway-related climax of lots of pain that might last a whole ‘nother day if you’re not lucky. Unless you are 20-year-old Ellie Godown. From

  • As their van barreled toward Eau Claire, little Mary Ann didn't wait for her mom to get to the hospital. She was born right here on I-94 at 80 miles an hour.
  • "It was shocking and kind of scary," Ellie says.
  • Racing down the interstate, the 20 year old remembers the pain, but now safely at the hospital, she says it all seems pretty surreal. That includes the fact that it was her 14-year-old friend who helped deliver her little girl.
  • "It's a miracle," says Abi Middleton, Ellie’s friend. "I was sitting there and all of a sudden it was like the baby was coming out and then the baby came out. We were driving really fast and then she was just in the bed. It just happened really fast."

Abi says she was totally freaking out, man, though witnesses in the car says she looked calm. I guess sometimes life is just like the movies. Or better.

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Tuesday, Sep. 30th, 2008

Water Street Weirdness

Monster Black Snake
Disturbing Peace of Residents on Water Street- Is Six Feet Long.
– Eau Claire Leader | October 4, 1906

Snakes are found in many other places besides Water Street, but large snakes and black snakes as large, black and intelligent as the particular individual which hangs out in the neighborhood of No. 6 fire hall, are uncommon reptiles.

Several residents who have caught sight of him say he must be at least six feet in length. His mouth is as wide as a crocodile’s, the body the size of a kangaroo. The big fellow is almost wise enough to talk and has conversed several times with West Side policemen who, of course, talk only in the language of the club.

Monday morning this descendent of Eden’s confusion was caught lounging on the sidewalk right in from of the Water Street fire hall and did not seem to be alarmed about it either, until one of the boys, Jim Weiss, we think his name is, ran at him with a piece of hose, but the reptile was too smart for him. He jumped through the rubber cylinder and escaped before Jim had time to turn around.

Several ladies of the west Side have also seen him on many occasions. One time the wary charmer was discovered climbing a telegraph pole to attach the beautiful bird house which the boys have built for the home of martens and other birds of paradise. Quite a number of the snakes have been killed this spring in various localities on the West Side, too, but the king of reptiles is still at large. If he is not captured within the next few days, the vigilant committee appointed to preserve order will play their last trump card. They will send for ex-alderman Martin Page, the hero of volumes of snake stories and other cheerful brevities Mr. Pages’ experiences in woodcraft has brought him in contact with many species of snakes, so the fate of the Water Street monster will be left to him. Martin is out of town present, but may arrive at any moment.

Chad's Take: Perhaps it still slithers ...

I absolutely love this story because it contains so many great pieces of Chippewa Valley history. I found it fascinating that the brave reporter took a good jab at the Eau Claire Police when he said that the West side Police “talk only in the language of the club.” It was common for newspapers of the time to poke fun at the perceived incompetence of the police force. Maybe this is why when faced with the task of removing this “intelligent” snake the town turned to an individual citizen named Martin Page. Unfortunately Mr. Page was out of town at the time, but the citizens did not panic as it was stated that Martin was due back in town shortly.

I have to admit that I really enjoy hearing about a giant snake terrorizing Water Street. I am grateful that the snake was long gone before my college days on the street. Yet now that I think about it maybe the people of Eau Claire were unable to dispose of this snake. The newspaper never ran a follow up story with the outcome of this situation. Perhaps the giant intelligent black snake still slithers its way down Water Street looking for another inebriated college kid to harass and scare. If this is the case, I can only say Godspeed snake, Godspeed.

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liveART lastFRIDAY

If you were one of the many people mingling with local artists on the stage of the State Theatre last Friday, you know that the bigwigs over at the Regional Arts Center may very well have stumbled upon the coolest event ever to combine two totally separate words, one of which is entirely in lowercase and the other is all caps. Seriously, the visual arts event was really cool. About 20 of the area's best artists painted, sculpted, melted, or beaded pieces together in a five-hour span that invited members of the public on stage to chat with the artists, silently bid on their pieces, and watch the creative magic flow. If you missed the event, shame on you, but take a peek at these photos taken by V1 photographer Jesse Johnson.

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Sunday, Sep. 28th, 2008

The Big Week, Sept. 29

Here's something new we'll be doing every Monday. Enjoy. With friends. And candlelight. And fine wine. Or Cheetos. And Gatorade.

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Weekly Shakedown

Here’s a big load of good stuff you might have missed last week at

  • • Make your ears ecstatic with a fine podcast: Local Independence talks with local music veteran Jon Seeley, Peer Validated listens to some short tunes, and This Way Out covers a week of local LGBT happenings.
  • • Make your eyes excited with our Beautiful & Treacherous photo blog (with pretty pics from V1 contributor photogs).
  • • Check out a gallery of sweet teas from Infinitea Teahouse (look in the right sidebar).
  • • Here’s a picture of a quasi-controversial T-Shirt we talked about.
  • • Read up on what Justin Vernon has been up too.
  • • And here’s a snark-tastic old video from UWEC’s TV-10.

Have a nice Sunday.

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Friday, Sep. 26th, 2008

Saturday: Melismatics

On Saturday, the Stones Throw will feature a local favorite from Minneapolis – Melismatics. They’re a swaggering, super-tight pop band that takes their own modern vision and sterling hooks and then tumble them around with the best aspects of the classics. While referencing points stretch from Big Star, Husker Dü, the Kinks, and Supergrass, to Devo and AC/DC, their catchy and euphoric noise is all their alone. 4 bucks, 10pm, Stones Throw.

Also on Saturday: Theater Discovery Day for the drama queens, Ice Cream and Pie Social for the friendly sweet toothers, pig and corn roast at Ray’s for the pork-lovers, Fiamma Fumana for the technophiles, Mojo Lemon for the blues-niks – and No Loving Place, Wrecking Day, and Orestus those who wear ear plugs.

Have a good one.

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Thursday, Sep. 25th, 2008

Chippewa Falls Keeps It Legal

You can still smoke the cigs in Chippewa, man. From the Chippewa Herald...

  • On Wednesday, [Transportation] committee members, Susan Zukowski, Jack Covill and Brian Flynn, voted to wait for state action. They agreed a local smoking ban would cause economic hardship to city businesses at a time the economy is struggling.
  • “Every bar owner in Chippewa looks at this as an attack on their business,” Covill said.

Obviously, a different line of thinking resulted in Eau Claire’s very own smoking ban. Yet, the Leader Telegram sez that...

  • Council member Jack Covill said he had spoken with an Eau Claire tavern owner who had seen his property value drop some $400,000. Eau Claire began a workplace smoking ban July 1.

Taking a much less controversial route, the Chippewa City Council decided to wait until the state Legislature tells everyone what to do in 2009.

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