Wisconsin Life #203: “Reach for the Stars”

July 21, 2014


Meet a glider pilot, a boxer, a gospel choir and more in this episode.

As a child, Judy Ruprecht dreamt she could fly like a bird.  As a teenager, she went for a flight in a glider.  When the pilot turned over the controls to her, assuring her that indeed she could fly, Ruprecht was hooked.  She has since flown gliders for over forty years.  The sport is called “Soaring” and it involves much more than being pulled up high in the sky and gliding downward.  Experienced pilots like Ruprecht read the clouds and landscape to find where warm air is rising and use those updrafts to keep flying for a surprisingly long time.  Click here to learn a bit more about the science behind staying aloft on a glider.

Meanwhile, UW-Madison student Chandler Davis has successfully petitioned the university to bring back boxing as a club sport, following a 54 year absence of the sport on campus.

Our next story features Frank Kovac, who loved to take groups outdoors to lead astronomy tours of the northwoods skies– but hated to have those tours thwarted by clouds.  So Kovac says he took the next logical step… he built his own planetarium. Kovac now gives tours to more than 3000 people a year.

And… Ella Ray and her friends regularly sing to the heavens.  They’re part of a seven-member gospel quartet called the Queens of Harmony, and they’ve been singing around Milwaukee for almost 50 years.  Along with the joy of singing, their music has also taken these women around the world and brought them closer to one another.

Another story features Sarah Sparkles and her performance group, the “Madison Fire Tribe.”  The group loves, well… fire.  Sparkles also loves hula hooping and has found a visually arresting way to combine the two activities while making a living.

Finally, Michael Perry shares a bit of his unique Wisconsin life… this time, describing the perils of raising crops on his farm.

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