As I drove by a house in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, “a town with just the right speed,” I spotted a woman raking leaves in red, rubber boots. Recorded in the yard of Chris and Joy Krogstad, this interview takes us back to Joy’s childhood, through Chris’s challenge to get his degree, to the parenting of a son with a cognitive disability. With four children from seven to twenty-one, this family lives Joy’s favorite quote, “If you believe, you receive,” not only at Christmas but always.
I headed to a small town simply because the name, Ladysmith, Wisconsin, intrigued me. I ended up recording a glimpse of the guarded memories of a WWII vet who had been wounded in the jungle of New Guinea, one year to the day after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. When I sat down at ninety-four-year-old Clarence Stine’s kitchen table, I had no idea what this quiet man was about to share. Clarence’s wife, Irene, had always wanted the story to be recorded. (Listen between the sentences to what is not shared, to what it must have been like for the 21 year old.) I was led to the Stines by a chance meeting at a military veteran’s mural that had just been installed a few days before I happened to drive down that street in Ladysmith, Wisconsin. (Click the words in blue to see photographs of the mural by artist Kelly Meredith. Clarence Stine’s great, great niece Neveaha Wicke stands under the image of Clarence in his uniform.)
SPOTTING WISCONSIN is a free podcast. In a few weeks, the first episode will be released. Join Nancy Camden on this journey to discover the human heart in the heartland through on-the-spot interviews with randomly spotted strangers. Camden bikes trails and wanders streets and roads of cities, small towns and the glaciated landscape of rural Wisconsin. Follow by subscribing in iTunes or by ‘liking’ and checking ‘get notifications’ (drop down menu under ‘like’) on the Spotting Wisconsin Facebook Page.