Wisconsin Life #510: “Rhythm Makers”

December 22, 2017


Wisconsin Life host Angela Fitzgerald heads to Blackhawk Island, near Fort Atkinson to explore the life of twentieth century poet Lorine Niedecker. Fitzgerald begins at the childhood home of Niedecker and travels to the Dwight Foster Public Library to speak with librarian Amy Lutzke. Then it’s over the Hoard Museum to learn more about the influential poet who was relatively unrecognized by her community until recently.

Fitzgerald also shares a new set of stories including a profile of a Pewaukee couple who were lucky enough to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus. John and Kate Nugent know Santa and Mrs. Claus, because they hired the famous pair for the holiday season. A hire that helped John land in the temporary staffing industry’s Hall of Fame. The Nugent couple continues to spread holiday cheer throughout the season to the young and old.

Then it’s off to Madison to meet a local trailblazer on the UW-Campus taking his talents and aspirations abroad. Deshawn McKinney is the head of the Union Directorate, active in the Black Lives Matter movement, Marshall Scholarship recipient, and artist. He had a difficult path to his success; but as he heads toward graduation, a promising future awaits him… in London.

Next up, we meet a second-generation Mexican-American who has taken up a new musical hobby. When Margarita Sandoval Skare retired, she wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps as a musician. One problem: Skare had never played an instrument. That didn’t stop her from igniting her passion for Latin music. She now shares the folkloric songs in a group called Grupo Renacer, or “rebirth” in Spanish.

Finally, we share a story of a 96-year-old who creates flower bouquets out of beads in her spare time. Velma Cox makes art with beads so small, she can fit dozens into a single flower petal. Over time she has made 30 bouquets and given them all away.  Now all of her friends sport brooches and hair clips with Cox’s bead flowers.


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