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March 6, 2017

Winter isn't over yet, and our crews continue to travel the state meeting people living their Wisconsin Life. This week we have a fun collection of stories that offers a unique look at our state with some surprises along the way.

Did you know that Wisconsin has an annual hot air balloon festival in Hudson? Or that there is a Milwaukee teacher who loves his job so much that he has continued working into his 90's?  Or how about a story featuring a little Irish charm, just in time for St. Patrick's Day? 

You'll find it all right here in this week's newsletter!

- Your Wisconsin Life team
Have You Heard?
Milwaukee, an Irish Dancing Hotspot
Irish dance is booming in Milwaukee. While we tend to associate Milwaukee with its German immigrants, the Irish were the city's first major immigrant group.  The Irish spirit has never really disappeared.

Irish dancers typically keep their arms straight at their sides while their legs quickly leap, kick and shuffle across the floor. We curled our hair and tried to learn a few steps
Have You Seen?
Milwaukee Teacher Still Lecturing at 90
Ed Drexler, a long time teacher at Pius High School in Milwaukee, has been teaching for more than 50 years. Generations of families have passed through his classroom. Check out the newest video story from Wisconsin Life here.
Out In the Field 
Hudson's Annual Hot Air Affair 
For more than 28 years, the first weekend in February has been reserved for the “Hot Air Affair”. The weekend long hot air balloon event kicks off with more than 30 hot air balloon pilots parading through historic downtown Hudson and shooting their flame throwers 10 to 20 feet in the air to break up the cold winter air with a blast of heat.
Here is a look at the “Moon Glow” or “Field of Fire” event. This year, no hot air balloons were launched due to weather conditions, but pilots still lit up the skies and offered patrons a close up look. 

While at the balloon fest, we met Chris Swarbrick of Hudson who has a particular fascination with ice. He is a self-taught, master ice carver with world-class skills that can transform 600 pounds of ice into the Statue of Liberty by using a chainsaw. 
We Love to Hear From You!
Here's a letter we received from a Wisconsin Life fan who was moved by a story we shared about a "yesteryear" museum...  

A few months ago, you aired a show that featured the Chudnow Museum in Milwaukee.  Watching that episode caused a light bulb to go off in my head.  I had a vintage dress worn by my great-aunt who moved to Milwaukee from rural Wisconsin in the 1930's.  The dress is in excellent condition but very fragile (it's nearly 90 years old).  I contacted the Chudnow Museum and spoke with the curator Joel who graciously accepted the donation. 

I have been trying to find a good home for this family heirloom for years.  Thank you for making this possible.  That episode really made a difference and helped me to be a good steward of a family treasure.

-Meredith, Wisconsin Life Fan

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"Something About A Flower"

Storyteller Rodney Lambright II's comic series features the rich, multi-generational relationship between a single father, his young daughter and his retirement-age parents. 

Having trouble reading this? Click here to open the comic in your browser.
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This newsletter was sent to <<Email Address>>. Wisconsin Life is a coproduction of Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television. Funding for Wisconsin Life comes from Alliant Energy, Lowell and Mary Peterson, the Wisconsin Humanities Council, and the Friends of Wisconsin Public Television. For questions or comments about Wisconsin Life, please use our contact form.

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