Archive for November 2013

Over the River and Through the Wood: Thanksgiving, Pilgrimage and Gratitude

Over the River and Through the Wood: Thanksgiving, Pilgrimage and Gratitude
As I make my Thanksgiving trek – over the river and through the wood (such as it is), I’m thinking about pilgrimage and gratitude. I think about the idealism of that song, the aspirations we hold in our hearts as we plan our gatherings. And I think about courage in the face of adversity. Thanksgiving,... Read more »

My JFK Connection in One Family Photograph

My JFK Connection in One Family Photograph
I can tell you where I was on the day JFK was shot, and how I heard the news. And I can tell you what the following weeks felt like to a six-year-old girl in Northern Wisconsin during a dull November when all the adults around her were sad and a bit terrified. But I... Read more »

My Dad Survived a Plane Crash and Now He's 90: WWII Veterans and Courage

My Dad Survived a Plane Crash and Now He's 90: WWII Veterans and Courage
Walter John Chilsen, my dad, survived a plane crash in the fight for Iwo Jima during WWII. His plane took flak over Iwo Jima, and together with his crew, he navigated their ailing B-24 bomber back, where they crash-landed it in the ocean just off Saipan. The thing is, I didn’t even know about it... Read more »
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Raising the Flag for Veterans: Iwo Jima Photo a Living Diorama in Milwaukee

Parade float and living Diorama of the famous Iwo Jima flag-raising photo.
I was startled and impressed by a float in Milwaukee’s Veterans Day parade. A living diorama of the famous flag-raising photo made during the battle for Iwo Jima. Bracing cutting winds, six strong souls bravely gave their all to portray the soldiers immortalized in the photograph. I have a particular fascination with this type of... Read more »

Dutch Elm Disease Monoculture: Remembering Esther Parada

A nighttime view of the lovely elm back in its heyday.
A glorious Elm tree, sick with Dutch elm disease, bit the sawdust down the street yesterday. The neighborhood was lousy all day long with the sound of it; grinding, sawing, chopping, splitting. Huge machines and busy men, bringing memories of my friend Esther Parada, an internationally known artist from Oak Park. In the final decade... Read more »