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Takin' the Blog for a Walk

Join Waukesha resident Brien Lee and his blog, Sir Fido, as they explore the city and report on the interesting things they find.

Email Brien at

You too can be a Friend of the Poor

7) I simply remember, helping, St. Vincent, St. William, Waukesha Food Pantry, Friends of the Poor

I'm not the only one who thinks the annual St. Vincent de Paul Friends of the Poor Walk should be renamed The Roy Thater Memorial Walk for the Poor. Not only was Roy known to put on many miles walking the neighborhoods, to church and Christina's, but there's nothing Roy wouldn't have done for the poor, or for any neighbor for that matter. Roy was a huge inspiration with his dedication to the poor through volunteering at the St. Vincent store and his many years of service to the needy through the St. William conference of St. Vincent.

I blogged here after visiting Roy at the hospice in Dec. '09.   With health failing due to cancer; his wife having recently passed; and doing everything he could to be helpful in this life, the end for him came very naturally and comfortably. What I didn't mention in the blog is his gift to St. Vincent de Paul upon his death. Even in death Roy was a friend of the poor.

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untitled, part I

7) I simply remember, 8) my favorite things, art, 1) sound of music, full of hot air, helping, Les is more, let us pray

Titles are often the hardest part. It doesn't help when the one I want to use is taken. I was going to call this one blogstipation to reflect the two weeks I haven't written but someone had already thought of it first. I've been busy with work and play and regret not blogging more frequently, mainly because now there's almost too much to write about.


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untitled, part II

Waukesha Civic Theater, , Spring City Grass, Friday Night Live, Freeman, 1) sound of music, 2) raindrops on roses, 8) my favorite things, John Schoenknecht

Several news items caught my eye last week. The series is over now, but I thoroughly enjoyed John Schoenknecht's Freeman columns on the County Fair. I especially enjoyed reading about ballooning at the fair and had no idea it went as far back as 1880!

Last Tuesday I could smell burning wood outside work. Some coworkers were talking about the smell coming from Minnesota. No way! It was verified to be coming from northern MN and I could hardly believe it. No idea you could smell something from 400 miles away.

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Another Apple Fest Has Fallen From The Tree

Retzer, helping, art

Retzer Nature Center's annual Apple Harvest Festival was last Saturday. I've previously always mentioned it ahead of time to let readers know about it but didn't this year. That's how busy I've been. Fourteen hours of overtime last week with a chance to work Saturday too, but I was previously committed.

I showed up at the Retzer's cider stand to take up my position at 8:30 in the morning even though the fest didn't start until 9:00. Cider sales captures people as they're leaving the fest and they haven't even arrived yet. Two other people were there with me with three more scheduled in two hours. I checked with Holly to see if they could use me somewhere else. I checked at apple pie sales. Nope. The food tent. Sorry. I passed up working to not work?

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Les Talk, More Music

1) sound of music, 8) my favorite things, Les is more, YouTube

Sue Baker's letter to the Freeman after Les' memorial dedication reminded me that there is a really great website for the Les Paul Foundation on which she serves. My first thought was "hey, the Les Paul Google Doodle is still available," and I started playing with that. In preparation for this post I took another look at the site and "hey, the entire dedication is on video!" If you have any interest at all you should take a peek.

Back on June 9th I blogged about the Google Doodle for Les' 96th birthday. Since then I've seen a lot of creative things done with it on YouTube. At first I thought you had to use just the mouse, but it's far easier to use the keyboard. Many of the Google Doodle YouTube videos show the key combinations in the comment section so you can play it yourself. You have to push the record button to start using the keyboard. The recording will soon stop, but you can keep playing. One of the easiest and recognizable tunes I've found with instructions is Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. Have a listen. You have to watch it on YouTube to see the comments with key combination.

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Feathered Festival Free

Waukesha County Museum

Coinciding with the current Owen Gromme exhibit at the Waukesha County Historical Society and Museum is a day of feather-centered events tomorrow, Saturday. Lots of fun for everyone, including live birds of prey. Since Saturday is also Smithsonian magazine museum day you can also get in for free by printing the ticket found through their website.

I hope to see you there. I'd love to see the Gromme exhibit and the exciting new things happening at the museum.

"Museum Man" makes rare appearance at Waukesha County Museum

Owen Gromme, , Waukesha County Museum, art, counting cranes

Thoroughly enjoyed Waukesha County Museum's Owen Gromme exhibit. I learned a lot from reading the labels at each painting and artifact. Some were funny stories behind the subject of the art or the reason for the painting, while others told how they were done or, like color studies, why they were done.

As a counter in the Midwest Annual Crane Count myself, I was surprised to learn Gromme was an early benefactor and board member of the International Crane Foundation and sandhill cranes one of his favorite subjects.

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An Affordable Smoke

Friday Night Live, Waukesha Civic Theater, 1) sound of music

Sadly, some things are soon coming to an end. Did you have a good summer? I had a good time working and playing hard. I'm ready for yet another wet fall and long, cold, dark winter. Change is good.

One of the best reasons for looking forward to the weekend, the eight free outdoor stages of Freeman Friday Night Live, ends for the season with this coming Friday the 30th. Some businesses will continue live entertainment indoors, but it's just not the same. FFNL was blessed with good weather most of the summer. Street closing went a long way to bring more people downtown, especially families with young children. 

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Local Walk for the Poor Makes Big Splash

Friends of the Poor, St. Vincent, St. William, 2) raindrops on roses

At first I debated even putting up the canopy. The sky looked great out to the west from which we get most of our weather. After we finally erected the canopy over the tables of food the dark sky to the east continued to spread out in our direction, but I remained optimistic. We even took time to do lots of chalk drawings on the pavement, figuring they'd probably be there a while.

Scattered showers were predicted for the weekend. Ours wasn't the only walk held on Saturday, but naturally the showers would miss ours. Just a quick two mile hike. How long could that take?

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