Community

Fri
31
Jul

Soothing music with a side of commodity cheese


Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Wade Fernandez plays a song on his acoustic guitar outside his home along the shore of Legend Lake. Fernandez has spent his life on the reservation and shares his home with his wife and five children.

Contributed Photo Wade Fernandez plays his native flute on a mountaintop in Italy.

Music constantly surrounds Wade Fernandez, whether it’s in a concert venue, at home with family, or teaching kids on the reservation.

Fernandez, a Menominee musician, has a number of awards sitting around his house, including a Native American Music Award, a Community Spirit Award from the First Peoples Fund, and a number of Indian Summer Music Awards.

The awards are not something he pulls out regularly, as he doesn’t see himself as a big music star. Instead, he sees himself as someone with a gift, and his mission is to share that gift with as many people as possible.

“The way I look at it is, if it was a gift I was given, then what’s wrong with giving that gift away?” Fernandez said.

Through that gift, Fernandez has created a number of songs regarding the Menominee people, including “Commodity Cheese Blues,” “Frybread Jones” and “Rez Runner.” He has been able to share that gift with his children and countless others.

Fri
31
Jul

Keeping memories of his wife close


Photo by Carol Wagner John Martin stands by one of the swings at Shawano Lake County Park that he had made in memory of his wife, Sandie, who died Oct. 9, 2014.

John Martin has overseen many improvements over the years at Shawano Lake County Park, but the latest upgrade means a lot to him personally.

The park has become a destination for campers and lake enthusiasts with 90 campsites, access to fishing and boating, sandy beaches, children’s play area, and a pavilion that welcomes weddings, birthdays, graduations, etc.

“Our popularity has grown through the roof,” said Martin, head ranger at the park, along with Hayman Falls in Pella and Wilson Lake in Wittenberg. It is a job he loves.

“I do a little bit of everything,” said Martin, who has been at the parks 31 years. “I devote a lot of my time to the park system. It’s basically my second home.”

For that entire time, he was married to Sandie, who understood his love for his job and sometimes helped him there, like when a storm took down trees and she helped pile brush.

“We used to camp here,” he said. “She knew I liked my job.”

Sat
25
Jul

Volunteer Profile


Photo by Carol Wagner Dick Gleesing is in the courtyard at Homme Home in Wittenberg. He often takes residents there when he volunteers at the home.

Dick Gleesing volunteers at Homme Home in Wittenberg.

Gleesing was born in Milwaukee and then moved with his family to Comstock, Michigan. After graduating from Comstock High School, he began a 45-year career as a truck driver, going to 48 states and southern Canada. “You name it, I’ve been there,” he said.

He served in the United States Army from 1951 to 1952.

Homme executive director Stephen Seybold said, “Dick’s one who will come no matter the weather. He doesn’t realize how important he is. They know he’s going to be here.”

Homme administrator Justin Cieslewicz said, “I don’t think he realizes all that he gives back to the residents. When he’s here, he sits down with the guys and he’s able to have that social connection with them.”

Gleesing and his wife, Edna, were married 38 years before her death in 2012. Between them, they have 13 children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He lives on 5½ acres in the town of Grant.

Sat
25
Jul

Nonprofit Profile


Photo by Carol Wagner Stephen Seybold, Homme Home executive director and Homme Foundation director, and Justin Cieslewicz, Homme administrator, sit by one of the three original bells at Homme Home in Wittenberg. The bells were at the first home, the orphanage, and the mission.

The Homme Home Foundation is a separate nonprofit entity from Homme Home for the Aging in Wittenberg. The foundation raises funds from donor gifts and bequests that are used to support the resident programs and building projects.

“The gifts from donors are tax deductible,” said Stephen Seybold, executive director of Homme and head of the foundation.

There are two main fundraisers: a golf outing and the Angel Appeal at Christmas.

The 19th annual golf outing is Aug. 1 at Indianhead Golf Course in Mosinee. There will be a pig roast, silent auction with Packers and Badgers memorabilia, and raffle drawings. The goal is to raise enough money to help 20 residents with the Resident Help Fund.

Donors who support the Angel Appeal are honored with colored angels on Christmas trees. The angel trees are displayed in the lobby during the holidays.

“The angel is returned to the donor as a thank you,” Seybold said. “It’s a real visible thing at the holidays.”

Sat
25
Jul

Calf in the cornfield

In the midst of the busy harvest season on the farm, we have cows freshening left and right. Normally things go well. Occasionally, we have a cow with issues, but for the most part, the newborn pops out, the momma takes over, we retrieve the little one from the cow pasture and we all carry on.

Once in a while things, don’t go as planned. One morning a cow didn’t come in with the herd. My husband figured she was freshening, so he left her be to finish her job as he milked. Later, as I was washing up milkers and before letting all the cows out for the day, he had gone down with the tractor to bring up the cow wagon and check on the progress of the new mom.

Sat
25
Jul

Wheelchair provides different perspective on life

One thing I learned during my stint in a wheelchair these past few weeks is a different perspective on things. I saw dirt in areas that I had thought were clean.

Take the ice and water dispenser on the freezer part of the refrigerator, for example. When I was standing upright, I didn’t notice all of the lime and hard water buildup that had accumulated on the spouts, but in a wheelchair, it is kind of right in my line of sight.

I find things on the floor that I hadn’t noticed before either, and I had no idea how dirty that toilet was until looking right at it from the height of the wheel chair.

Today there was a news item about the disability act and how it has helped those with disabilities to live a fuller life. While my disability is to be short-lived, it still gave me new ways of thinking about how life would be if it were permanent.

Wed
22
Jul

A lot to look forward to at arts and crafts fair


File Photo by Carol Wagner Marilyn Ness, right, and her sister, Kathy Yaeger, will be at the Shawano County Arts and Crafts Fair again this year after taking the top award last year for their creative bird feeders.

The 47th annual Shawano County Arts and Crafts Fair at Mielke Park on Sunday will have some new additions as well as the always popular vendors from previous years.

The fair is one of the longest running outdoor shows in the area that still gives out prizes to the vendors.

“They love the park and being outdoors,” said Cheryl Folkerts, art fair director.

She is expecting around 60 vendors, including last year’s winners, Marilyn Ness, of White Lake, and her sister, Kathy Yaeger, of Appleton, who make bird feeders out of teapots and other kitchen items.

“It was fantastic,” Ness said of winning Best of Show last year.

The sisters will have 50 to 65 bird feeders at this year’s fair. Ness said they sold feeders to people as far away as Alaska, Florida and California. Folkerts said people even called about them after the fair.

Wed
22
Jul

After 35 years, Clintonville family still close to visiting Girl Scout


Photo by Grace Kirchner From left, Jerre and Ginny Cummings welcome longtime friends Merete Arvik and Johan Nicolaisen from Norway earlier this month. Ginny and Merete became friends through the Girl Scouts.

Merete Arvik came to a Girl Scout camp in Amber in 1979, at age 17, to work as a counselor through an exchange program in her native Norway.

She stayed with four different families, the last one being Jerre and Ginny Cummings in Shawano. The Fox River Valley Girl Scouts had asked Ginny, who was a Scout leader for 25 years, to be a host.

Chalk Hills Camp, founded in 1939 on a flowage between two dams on the Menominee River in Marinette County, closed several years ago, but Arvik has returned to visit the Cummingses, who now live in Clintonville, almost every two years. The Cummingses have been to Norway twice.

“Norway is one of the most beautiful countries on earth, with the glaciers, mountains, and the fjords,” Ginny said.

The families have become such good friends that Arvik’s children refer to the Cummingses as their grandma and grandpa. Arvik’s daughter was an attendant for the Cummingses’ grandson’s wedding.

Sat
18
Jul

Owen Muthing leads Embarrass Fun Daze parade

Owen Muthing will be honored as parade marshal at the Embarrass Volunteer Fire Department’s 27th annual Embarrass Fun Daze on July 25 at the Embarrass Park.

Muthing was a 30-year member of the Embarrass Fire Department, serving from 1973-2003. During that time, he achieved the rank of captain and served as secretary of the department for 24 years. He was a co-owner of Zimdar’s Plumbing & Heating in Embarrass. Now retired, he and his wife, Bev, still reside in the rural Clintonville area.

The parade begins at 11 a.m. on the east end of town and proceeds down Main Street to state Highway 22. Cash prizes will be awarded in four categories: most original, most humorous, best commercial, and best club or church organization entry. For information, call 715-823-4783.

Fun Daze begins with the fifth annual craft and flea market from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will be held next to Zimdar’s Plumbing & Heating. For information, call Jeannine at 715-823-3655.

Sat
18
Jul

2nd-crop hay harvest

As of this writing, we’ve got a good start on our second-crop hay harvest. This time around the crop is cut, dried, side-raked and then baled. The process from cutting to harvesting takes days of sun in a row and a bit of wind to dry down the rows of hay.

We bale a few fields with our own equipment, using our baler, which makes those manageable, smaller square bales. There once was a time when we baled our entire second crop in that manner. However, as we age we find we need to manage the work a bit differently.

There are a number of ways to harvest hay, and each farmer decides what’s best for his needs at any given time. Last year for a couple of fields, we custom-hired a guy who baled huge, square bales that he dropped in the field as he formed them. Later, my husband went back and carted them home using a tractor with a three-point prong. This piece of equipment is better used for the large, round bales, rather than those huge square bales.

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