Tag: Wisconsin

Lessons from Scott Walker's visit to my father's funeral

Lessons from Scott Walker's visit to my father's funeral
One of my best friends died on Christmas morning. My dad, Sen. Walter John Chilsen, was 95 but he was so full of energy and life curiosity and joy that none of us was prepared for him to die. A few years ago, he had tasked me with writing his obituary and it took the... Read more »

Wisconsin's Lady "Forward": history offers hope

"Forward" frames the Wisconsin State Capitol
“Forward” caught my eye recently. She strides outside the State Capitol building in Madison Wisconsin; “Forward” being the state’s motto, and also an allegorical sculpture positioned outside the Wisconsin State Capitol building. Miss Forward, as she is sometimes called, was sculpted by Jean Pond Miner for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, and... Read more »

What, me worry? In search of a more perfect union at Democracy’s crossroads in Wisconsin

What, me worry? In search of a more perfect union at Democracy’s crossroads in Wisconsin
Throughout the hideousness that was this recent ‘election cycle’, I would often meditate on the presence of a charming little building out in the middle of what almost could seem like nowhere, deep in the Wisconsin driftless. Thinking about it kept me sane. Wisconsin’s first capitol in Belmont. I visited the site in February of... Read more »
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On Gratitude for the Commonplace

On Gratitude for the Commonplace
As I consider Thanksgiving this year, I find myself aware of, and grateful for, things that happen all the time; the commonplace. So I’m writing here with gratitude for the walk in the woods yesterday morning with my faithful dog companion. Sun glinting on the stream between the trees. Coco Wheats with my mom and... Read more »

Chicago Architecture: Summer Classics – Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio

Chicago Architecture: Summer Classics – Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio
I’ve been spending my summer with the classics: wonderful books on the history of Chicago, bios of FLO – Frederick Law Olmstead and FLW – Frank Lloyd Wright, visits to sites, random intersections, etc. Summer is winding down. I can tell, not only because it’s cool today, but because I’m back from my summer vacation... Read more »

Pilgrimage to Lake Michigan in Photographs: Day 27

Pilgrimage to Lake Michigan in Photographs: Day 27
It’s Valentine’s Day on Lake Michigan with a glowing full moon suspended overhead. Three or four boats out beyond the breakwater surprise me. They’re sitting still, so I imagine they are there because of Valentine’s Day. A quick search online indicates there are quite a few Valentine’s Day “cruises”. “Nothing is more magnificent, romantic, vibrant”,... Read more »
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Pilgrimage to Lake Michigan in Photographs: Day 11

Pilgrimage to Lake Michigan in Photographs: Day 11
When I first set out to do a pilgrimage to Lake Michigan every lunch hour I didn’t know what to expect. In fact I think it’s safe to say I had no expectations aside from just doing it. Now after two weeks it’s taking on a different dimension. For one thing I’m falling in love... Read more »

Pilgrimage to Lake Michigan in Photographs: Day 10

Pilgrimage to Lake Michigan in Photographs: Day 10
My Lake Michigan pilgrimage was more internal today. Internal as in inside. As in inside the house. The kitchen to be specific. A small plumbing disaster created our own little lake on the floor of my parents’ kitchen. Okay, it was a puddle. Together with a messy bunch of flooded under-the-kitchen-cabinet type stuff. But it... Read more »

Pilgrimage to Lake Michigan in Photographs: Day 9

Pilgrimage to Lake Michigan in Photographs: Day 9
Today I didn’t go to Lake Michigan on my pilgrimage because I am landlocked. I am in central Wisconsin, more-or-less midway between the two great bodies of water that border my home state: Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River. Being resourceful though, I went down to photograph the lake in my hometown. Out there were... Read more »
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Pilgrimage to Lake Michigan in Photographs: Day 5

Pilgrimage to Lake Michigan in Photographs: Day 5
Today my pilgrimage to Lake Michigan took a northern route. I left Chicago for the funeral of my Uncle Bob who passed away last week at age 95. There are few richer reasons to pilgrimage than to celebrate the life of someone who meant so much. Describing my uncle, his daughter put it best. “He... Read more »