Wisconsin Life #307: “Natural Talents”

November 12, 2015


A unique Milwaukee choir, chainsaw carver, Star Wars cosplayer and others share their stories in this episode.


In this collection of stories about life in Wisconsin, Medford resident Ray Tallman shares his story about a dark time in his life.  At a relatively young age, cataracts gradually took his vision, until he could only see in a dark room with a low light.  Tallman began to draw from memory, and after surgery gave him back his sight, he settled on chainsaw carving to satisfy his creative urges.


Wisconsin Life travels to Milwaukee for the next story, which features a choir that is using its love of music to deal with the memory loss that comes with Alzheimer’s disease.  A growing body of research indicates people with Alzheimer’s can benefit from music, especially from singing.   The Amazing Grace Chorus puts the power of song to the test, as this group of singers who are suffering from Alzheimer’s – or have loved ones struggling with the disease – gather to sing and find community together. Learn more on how the Amazing Grace Chorus began and how it helps its members.


Next, a Shawano family shares its love for the sport of harness racing.  The Magee family has been involved in harness racing for four generations.  Gary Magee, present caretaker of the family’s horse farm in Shawano, grew up in and around the racing stables in Illinois where his father made a living on the track.  While members of the extended Magee clan are among the winningest pro racers on the circuit, the Shawano Magees race all summer long at county fairs across the state just for the love of the sport.


Then, Wisconsin Life heads to Rock County, where Gary and Darcy Hess have made it their mission to help “keep nature going” by finding Monarch eggs and bringing them into their Newark home to raise as caterpillars.  After the caterpillars emerge as butterflies, they are released into the wild to make their long migration to Mexico. 


Finally, in a garage far, far away, Zach Wagner is building something out of this universe.   The Madison man’s passion in life is Star Wars.  To be precise, his passion is bringing Stars Wars to life.   Wagner is a “cosplayer” – an enthusiast who designs and then wears Star Wars-themed costumes to events and fundraisers throughout Wisconsin.

2018-01-19T17:52:46-06:00Tags: , , |

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