Wisconsin Life #304: “Boats, Brews & Boonducks”

October 23, 2015


A ferry boat captain, brewmaster and “boonduck” carver shares their stories in this episode.


You’ll meet a collection of people who share their Wisconsin lives including Manitowoc native Kevin Diedrich.  Diedrich always dreamed of a life on the water. He remembers as a boy watching the Badger Ferry, the largest car ferry on Lake Michigan, sail into port.  Diedrich now lives onboard for seven months as First Engineer of the only coal-fired steamship in operation in the United States. New equipment and mechanical updates are a key part of keeping the Badger Ferry sailing across Lake Michigan.


Next up, Jamie Baertsch shares her story of becoming the first female brewmaster in Wisconsin.  She’s mixing old world beer brewing recipes with her own original style at the Wisconsin Dells Brewing Company. Baertsch shows us what craft beer making is like with her own “six at a time” beer canning line and talks about how she’s helping other woman in a male dominated profession. She talks about the historical role of women in brewing and the meaning behind wearing pink boots.


Then we head to Wausau, where Dan (D.S. Sully) Sullivan has a love of old wood, seeing potential beyond the superficial. For the past few years, he has been carving old beams and fence posts into decorative duck decoys. The decoys, which he calls “Boonducks” are unique, not only because of Sullivan’s choice of wood, but because of an eye condition that changes the way he sees the world. Kathie Wagner, president of the VSA of Wisconsin – the state organization on arts and disability – explains how beneficial and transformative artistic expression can be for anyone with a disability.


Next, you’ll meet Joshua Mayer from Mountain, Wisconsin.  Mayer loves plants, photography and the outdoors.  He’s also making it his mission to visit all 673 Wisconsin Natural Scenic Areas.  Mayer is more than halfway through his list, and Wisconsin Life joins him on a few of his exploratory trips to find out why he’s inspired to check off every scenic area in Wisconsin.


Finally, Nataraj Hauser explains why he likes to do more than loosen up his tie after a hard day as a business analyst. Always a thrill seeker, the excitement of the flying trapeze leads Hauser to perform with Cycropia, Madison’s aerial dance collective.


2018-01-19T17:52:44-06:00Tags: , , |

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