Articles in this Issue


INTERVIEW: The Menards Guy

an interview with Ray Szmanda (a.k.a. “The Menards Guy” from 1976-1998)

can’t tell you how long I’ve wanted to chat with the almighty “Menards Guy” Ray Szmanda, a living legend for these past 83 years (his birthday is June 22). Long-time Volume One friend Jamey Brownell helped shoot Ray’s commercials ...

Comments 12

Editor's Notes
Opening Letters

"Udderly" Absurd

Get it? Like cow udders! Because this letter is about cheese.

... They assume there had to have been an incident in the past that locked up my ability to enjoy cheese.

Comments 6

The Rear End

A Trip Down Festival Lane

he who has the cheap plastic carnival prizes has the power

We had that one booth where kids scare the crap out of a table-full of goldfish by repeatedly pelting their little glass bowls with ping pong balls.

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Opening Shots
Athletic Aesthetic

Belting It Out at the Park

one man’s ode to the good ol’ Star Spangled Banner

"Complicating the matter, the anthem is not the easiest to sing, between a melody covering one-and-a-half octaves, and lyrics that can be easy to swap (gleaming/streaming and light/fight)."

Comments 1


Elephants on their Way

Shriners bring their annual circus back to town

Your inner child is beckoning, so go ahead and follow the sparkling spotlights to the Big Top of the annual Mehara Shrine Circus.

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Debauchery Downtown

‘Carnivalé of Debauchery’ slinks into the Stones Throw

Titillating, provoking, awakening, and enamoring. Such is the Carnivalé of Debauchery and Deviance.

Comments 3


Call to the Pen

former newsman hits for the fences, again

Chris Earl's newest book, The Last Out, features the ridiculously-awesomely named main character, Royal Cutter ...

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Encore for Legacy

Amazon to re-release local teen’s book

Legacy, a medieval fantasy written by local teen author Cayla Kluver, has cast its spell ...

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Visual Art

Forté Gallery

ECRAC’s Visual Art Committee hangs their own work up

For the first time ever, the Visual Art Committee of the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center is coming together to show their own artwork.

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Local Look

Stepping Off the Stage

an exit interview with the Tainter’s Gary Schuster

“Get more people involved in making art and you eventually have a prosperous art economy, because with personal experience comes appreciation.”

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Food / Drink

The Beer Here

Gordy’s Valley Spirits stages first ever beer festival

Not much goes better than a cold beer and a hot day, but Gordy’s Valley Spirits and the Chippewa Youth Hockey Association are up there.

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Kid Culture
Special Sections