Category: Wisconsin

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. Two people on the flight didn’t make it back.... Read more »

Homemade Help on Halloween - and raisins

Homemade Help on Halloween - and raisins
I was about 7 when I ‘went’ as the cowardly lion in a homemade Halloween costume. And the part that matters is that my mom helped me make my tail. I grew up in the country on an old farm with a yard that was pure mud for the first years my parents owned it.... Read more »

Hawk v Dove: Nature Red in Tooth and Claw

Hawk v Dove: Nature Red in Tooth and Claw
Have you ever seen a hawk attack a dove? I mean literally. Seems impossible, right? Even metaphoric. Yet, one day, over my morning coffee, this is what I saw. I was sipping said coffee when I noticed a flurry of activity on the roof of a garage across the alley. Stepping closer to the window... Read more »
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Resolutions and Best of the Year lists: Twelve Best Places of 2012

Door County’s as good a place as any to start an adventure by land and by sea.
Joining the spate of year-end round-ups; I thought I’d offer my list of 12 favorite and fantastic places I had the joy of being in at some point during this passing year. Below are images I made at each one along the way. Some of these places I’ve written about and some I plan —... Read more »

Welcome the Return of Light at an Ancient Wisconsin Effigy Mound Solstice Observance

New Year’s day; I love it. All the holiday parties are done, all the expectations met in one way or another. This is a day I can do whatever I want. Half the population is staying in with a headache or a football game, (or both); the streets and byways are quiet. With any luck there’s been some snowfall…. It’s a wondrously quiet day. Just me and my resolutions.
Every solstice and equinox, an observance ceremony is held on a small Native American Effigy Mound known as Frank’s Hill in southwestern Wisconsin. The site is on the National Register of Historic Places, and considered sacred by many. The hill – part of the Shadewald Group – is owned by a local farmer named Frank... Read more »

Independent publishing and bookselling in the heart of Wisconsin’s Driftless Area

The rolling hillsides typical of Wisconsin's driftless area.
The independent book publisher is alive and well in Wisconsin. Tucked into the southwest corner of the state, a lively, smart and diverse group of writers and publishers gathered on Thanksgiving weekend at the Southwest Wisconsin Book Festival in Mineral Point, Wisconsin’s creative beehive in the heart of the driftless area. I drove to the... Read more »
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