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It's your place for engaging stories of the people that make Wisconsin feel like home.

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My Wisconsin Water

We all have our own reasons for loving Wisconsin. For John Galligan, it’s the water. He tells us how he found his connection to the state.

John Galligan is a teacher and novelist in Madison.

Photo: John Galligan 

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A Life in Gourds

Humans have used gourds for a variety of purposes for centuries. Artist Terri Schmit didn’t even know what a gourd was until she met her future husband. She’s since become the “gourd girl,” creating art and teaching others about this fascinating fruit. Judith Siers-Poisson has the story. 

Photo: Terri Schmit

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Making a Home

Ann Peters’ architect father designed and built her childhood home north of Fond du Lac. Everything about that house came to define her sense of place and what home means.

Ann Peters is the author of House Hold: A Memoir of Place, and is associate professor of English at Stern College, Yeshiva University.

Photo: Yeshiva University 

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Man with Dog

Many of us see the same people on the bus, in our coffee shop, at the gym, or walking to work each day. They are a part of our lives even if we don’t know their names. Patti See tells us about the regulars in her life. 

Patti See is a writer in Eau Claire. 

Photo: Doug Sharp

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Wisconsin in Watercolor

German immigrant Paul Seifert lived a varied and creative life in the Driftless region he called home. He painted vibrant watercolor farmscapes in the 19th century that are highly prized by collectors today. Wisconsin Historical Museum curator Joe Kapler tells us about Seifert, the man and his

An exhibit of Paul Seifert’s work is on view at the Wisconsin Historical Museum in Madison through August 30th.

Image: Wisconsin Historical Images

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Flags

Flags fly this week as we celebrate American independence. Writer and farmer Justin Isherwood tells us about the flags he raises above his Wisconsin farm.

Justin Isherwood is a writer and farmer in Central Wisconsin.  

Photo: contemplative imaging

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Isolation Bubble

Sight is something most of us take for granted. Kathie Schneider has been blind since birth. But a lack of vision isn’t really the problem she has navigating the world.

Katherine Schneider is a retired psychologist and author in Eau Claire.

Photo: Volume One 

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Racquetball Champ

Racquetball is a relatively new sport. Combining squash and handball, it was only invented in the 1950s. Milwaukee hosted the sport’s first national tournament in the late 1960s. Seth Jovaag introduces us to one of Wisconsin’s top players.

Photo: Alvin Trusty

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Citizen Stream Monitor

Across the country, trained volunteers monitor the condition of local streams, lakes, and wetlands. Writer Mary Ellen Gabriel tells us about the stream she watches with her sons and the experience of doing citizen science. 

Mary Ellen Gabriel is a writer in Madison. 

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Wisconsin’s First Teacher

Schools are important social institutions but they only came into existence in early Wisconsin once a critical mass of parents was willing to hire a teacher. On June 20, 1828, Electa Quinney became Wisconsin’s first public school teacher. Writer Karyn Saemann tells us about this well-educated woman from the Stockbridge Indian tribe.

Karyn Saemann is a journalist and author of Electa Quinney: Stockbridge Teacher.

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Wisconsin in Plein Air

For nine days, 160 local and national artists paint Cedarburg during the town’s annual Plein Air Event. It’s the state’s largest gathering of artists. Producer Nancy Camden went to discover the appeal of painting outdoors. 

Photo: Nancy Camden

Music: Signal from Matthew Schroeder 

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Family and Sunday Brunch

Father’s Day is this weekend. As kids, we tend to view ourselves as the center of our parents’ world. Writer Julie Pandl discovered a whole new side of her father when she went to work in the family restaurant.

Julie Pandl is the author of Memoir of The Sunday Brunch.  

Photo: Julie Pandl

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Nest in Peace

While backyard birders may enjoy hosting nesting birds, birds do not always build their nests in convenient locations. Mike Paulus has been fighting his avian neighbors for years now.

Mike Paulus is the online editor for the arts and culture magazine Volume One. A version of this story appeared in Volume One in April 2013. 

Photo: photoholic1

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Wizard of Waukesha

Les Paul was a musical legend whose pioneering work made the sound of rock and roll possible. In honor of his June 9th birthday, Dean Robbins tells us Paul’s story.

Dean Robbins is the editor of Madison’s alternative weekly, Isthmus.

Photo: Wikimedia

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Exotic in Wisconsin

Crystal Chan grew up a mixed-race kid in Wisconsin. She’s been finding her place – and answering people’s questions about her place – ever since.

Crystal Chan is a writer, professional storyteller, and the author of the YA novel, Bird.

Photo: Crystal Chan 

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