Wisconsin Life # 702: Sawmills, Skiers and Stratocasters

October 10, 2019


Wisconsin Life host Angela Fitzgerald hits the water of Plum Lake with the Plum Ski-ters Water Ski Show Team during a practice session. The ski team performs weekly during the summer providing an entertaining evening of gravity-defying stunts from one-person routines to large group pyramids. She talks with Cheryl Carper, an original team member at the age of twelve about how the ski team got its start in 1960. The organization also involves the community and provides access to the sport with “Learn to Ski” events.  Fitzgerald also talks with Carolyn Bohm, a Plum Ski-ters team member about joining the team, practice sessions and what spectators can expect to see during a show.


Fitzgerald also shares more all-new stories from the Wisconsin Life team, including a profile of a Mequon teen working hard to bring increased accessibility to the sport of water skiing. Grace Petzold founded Graceful Wakes, a non-profit organization with a mission to “enhance the quality of life” for physically and mentally disabled individuals and their families. The organization’s annual adaptive waterski clinic clinics is held in northern Wisconsin where participants can water ski using special equipment.

Next, we travel to Neopit where workers at the Menominee Tribal Enterprises sawmill have developed their own unique sign language to communicate on the noisy mill floor. It’s not based on American Sign Language or Menominee language. It’s believed that this sign language has been around since the mill’s inception in 1908. The workers “talk” about cutting lumber and the goings-on of every day.

Then we make a stop in La Crosse. For guitar players, visiting Dave’s Guitar Shop in La Crosse is an awe-inspiring experience. Upstairs, owner Dave Rogers’ collection of vintage guitars grew to become a museum of electric guitar history including Fenders, Gibsons, Rickenbackers, Gretsch, Paul Reed Smith.

Finally, we meet Stephanie Schultz, a fashion designer and the tenth artist-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee. With her passion for fashion, eye for design, and skill at pattern-making, she is making high fashion garments inspired by the Victorian paintings at the hotel. The program gives a local artist a stipend and studio space while the artist incorporates the historic hotel into their work.


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