2010 Reflections: Back to My Roots

This summer and fall – the 19th my husband and I have spent in Door County – was a very special time. My fourth book, See You Under the Stars…The History of American Folklore Theatre, was released at AFT’s Raise the Curtain event on May 30. We fell in love with this wonderful troupe on our first visit to Door County in 1990, which coincided with its first season. I’ve seen every one of the 44 shows they’ve produced. Reliving all the wonderful memories as I worked on the book was very special. And sharing them with people who bought the book was special, too.

Since 2008, I’ve been proud to be a contributor to Door County Living. In May, I got a call from Peninsula Pulse editor Myles Dannhausen that took me back to my first job out of J-School at the University of Missouri – spending summer months in the early 1960s as the substitute for the vacationing editors of three community newspapers. This was the day of hot type, hand-set headlines and, on Wednesday afternoons after the papers had been put to bed, tea and pastries on “the stone” where pages were composed. If you fall in love with newspapering, as I did, it’s always in your blood. After 27 years in public relations and 17 as a freelance writer, that first love came back stronger than ever.

I’ve had the opportunity this summer to meet and write about amazing people for the Pulse: 98-year-old Herbi Hardt, who, as a kindergartner in Germany during WW I, met the Red Baron; the 23 bakers at Seaquist Orchard Farm Market who turned out 2,116 pies in one seven-hour shift; the nine cheesemakers at Renard’s who produce 7,000 pounds every day; Miss Wisconsin, Kim Sawyer, and her sister, Katie, first runner-up; George Evenson, Door County’s official historian; Patti Ligman and her leader dog, Lily; and so many more.

Thanks, Myles, for making me feel like a cub reporter again. I’ve loved every minute!