Issue #405 March 4, 2020
peeling back the accumulation of winter reveals the earth – and ourselves
In 1996, I was 16 and living in Bethesda, Maryland (January mean temperature: 37 degrees). One ordinary brown January afternoon, my siblings and I went to see 12 Monkeys. While we sat in the dark theater ....
Issue #397 Nov. 13, 2019
discovering a new world of fun with the family by stepping onto the stage
by Reid Sollberger
I admit, I was playing the long game. In the summer of 2015, I took my family to see the Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It was always a ...
Issue #396 Oct. 30, 2019
frittering away autumn days as the Wisconsin winter closes in
Katie Venit, design by Serena Wagner
This morning, the kitchen thermostat reads 59 degrees. It’s still dark outside, so I can’t confirm the forecasted snow and wind. Either way ...
Issue #395 Oct. 16, 2019
brick by brick, a homeowner learns rebuilding is more than a ton of work – eight tons in fact
I wasn’t there when the deluge of water began gushing through the haphazardly-patched hole in the roof, but the expletive in the text message I received from my wife during a thunderstorm suggested trouble at home ...
Issue #380 March 20, 2019
sometimes Mr. Right is an old guy with a snowblower
The earth had once again shed its dandruff. All evening activities canceled, all highways shut down, and all streets littered with impatient people trying desperately to make it home just to be anywhere ...
Issue #378 February 20, 2019
opportunities abound in the close-knit local writing community
Katie Venit, photos by Michael Lundebrek
On a Saturday night in February, I slogged through slush to a celebratory reading, the capstone of the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild’s Weekend Writers Retreat at the Oxbow Hotel. Despite the weather ...
Issue #376 January 23, 2019
tripping her way into the puzzle of retirement
Thirteen below zero, with wind chills lower still, as I scrape scraps from the hearty casserole we’ve just eaten into the disposal. The recipe claims it’s just what we need to keep the cold outside ...
Issue #373 December 12, 2018
the city is talking about roundabouts, but we can try something even wilder
State Street will likely be closed for a time next summer and fall, and the time to start making your contingency plans is now. As a homeowner on the majestic artery itself, the thought of State Street torn up for months ...
Issue #372 November 28, 2018
an overflowing calendar and a profusion of tickets makes this fan thankful for the Valley’s scene
‘Tis the season to think of music! But I’m not talking about the fa-la-la-la-la stuff (although, I love that, too). I’m talking about the get-up-off-your-couch and go catch the live music scene. The other morning ...
Issue #369 October 17, 2018
in the Chippewa Valley, Halloween can sometimes look a lot like Christmas
Last Oct. 31 marked the day that I had spent more of my life in Wisconsin than in Indiana. The date seems appropriate since my interview in the summer was a total treat. I went from the soupy, boiling ...
Issue #368 October 3, 2018
Eau Claire should be proud to recognize its first-ever Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Oct. 8
Monday, Oct. 8, will be the first official Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the city of Eau Claire. A year ago, the Eau Claire City Council passed a resolution declaring the second Monday in October – which is many places is recognized as Columbus Day – as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Issue #367 September 19, 2018
defying rain, lightning, and familial fear to get the perfect photograph
Justin Patchin, photos by Justin Patchin
‘I think it would be a good idea if you got out of the water,” Dad implored as lightning brightened the dark sky above me. “Just a few more minutes,” I responded, as if this conversation had occurred 30 years earlier and
Issue #366 September 5, 2018
The Pablo Center at the Confluence will finally open Sept. 22, after six years of effort. And in that time, our community has found itself newly inspired – and on the brink of becoming a genuine destination ...
Issue #365 August 22, 2018
Beep Baseball World Series in Eau Claire highlighted athleticism of the visually impaired
Frank, my wife’s nephew, entered this world under emergency circumstances, and as a result, he is legally blind. Until I dated my wife, I had never known a visually-impaired person, so I treated Frank with kid gloves ...
Issue #363 July 25, 2018
the Chippewa Valley’s strong, supportive literary community draws one young writer back
Katy Hackworthy, photos by Justin Patchin
On a Sunday afternoon in July 2017, I drove down a spindly driveway away from one of the most special weekends of my life and toward what I believed then to be a new phase of my young adulthood. I had spent the previous four days at Cirenaica, a writing residency in the woods of Fall Creek put on by the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild.
Issue #362 July 11, 2018
a Wisconsin farm boy, a coveted ice cream cone, and the complexity of interpreting family history
There are few summer pleasures more pure, more wholesome, or more in keeping with Wisconsin tradition than enjoying an ice cream cone on a hot day. We are, after all, the Dairy State. One of ...
Issue #359 May 30, 2018
can legendary Lambeau Field compete with the “best night” of teens’ lives?
BJ Hollars, illustrated by Janae Breunig
On a recent visit to Green Bay, we do what is required of us: pay our respects to the hallowed ground of Lambeau Field. I am accompanied by my 6-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter, neither of whom ...
Issue #356 April 18, 2018
In a musically rich area like the Valley, we should take pride in enjoying different styles of music
There are times when nothing tastes better than a generous plate of spare ribs straight from the grill slathered in barbecue sauce, a cob of corn oozing with salted butter, and a heap of tangy coleslaw, accompanied by a pint of Lazy Monk’s Bohemian Lager ...
Issue #354 Mar. 21, 2018
despite claims to the contrary, libraries are still vital to our communities
Rob Reid, photos by Andrea Paulseth
If your image of public libraries is like that new Jennifer Garner “What’s in your wallet?” commercial – the one where the librarian is shushed by disgruntled library patrons trying to read – then you probably ...
Issue #352 Feb. 21, 2018
UWEC’s Fire Ball more than a drag show
Katie Vagnino, photos by Randy Lee, Luong Huynh
It was one of those bleak January days when it’s dark by 4pm and you wonder if the weather is trolling you. I had just finished teaching my last class of the day at UW-Eau Claire and was trudging through Hibbard Hall ...