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Category: People

  • Bonnie Paruch

    Cover Painting Auctioned for Charity

    The third annual Philanthropy Issue of Door County Living is devoted to the spirit of giving, a thread that runs strong through the fabric of the Door County community. It is in this spirit that Bonnie Paruch, the artist behind our cover image, has generously offered this work for auction to benefit a local cause. […]

  • Living in Door Launches Kimberly Sawyer, Miss Wisconsin

    The Illinois woman stood on the Baileys Harbor dock questioning me about living in Door County. “What are the schools like?” I explained that with so few students in the school, our children competed in three sports, sang in the school musical, organized prom, and served as class officers. The young mother’s face showed concern […]

  • Ephraim’s Go-To Girl

    Finally, you arrive in Door County. Map and guidebook in hand, you scan lists and advertisements for a plethora of restaurants, shops, galleries, wineries, taverns, parks, orchards, and more. You wonder where to rent a kayak. You wonder where to find live music. You wonder where you can buy a can opener. You realize this […]

  • Even a Big Boat’s Small: Palmer Johnson Craftsman Rusty Lardinois

    Down on Shiloh Road, a few miles outside the city of Sturgeon Bay, there sits an old barn. Non-descript and a bit worse for wear, it’s built snug into a slope behind an old farmhouse, and nothing of its exterior hints that inside is the home workshop of one of the finest carpenters Door County […]

  • Catching Up With Sevastopol Football Coach Ron Frank

    Tonight, Ron Frank and the Sevastopol Pioneers make their first step ever into the WIAA State Football Playoffs, taking on Coleman at Coleman. It has been a long road for the Pioneers, but especially

  • Easy Riders

    After the passing of actor Dennis Hopper earlier this year, television news programs showed clips of the iconic film Easy Rider. For some of us, meeting a group of bikers on the highway conjures images of Hopper’s counter-culture character, and we flip the locks of our car doors. According to Door County biker Rol Grabenkort, […]

  • Sailing to Door County on a Trolley

    To say that Oprah Winfrey is responsible for all those red trolleys seen around Door County is not an exaggeration. The multi-million dollar queen of daytime television didn’t back the company financially or even tout it in O magazine; but, had it not been for an Oprah episode in the late ‘90s, A.J. Frank would […]

  • Family, Love and History

    On any given summer day, you might find Katie Dahl picking cherries on her family’s orchard north of Sister Bay or singing about the same fruit trees before a packed house of adoring fans. This singer-songwriter is by no means new to Door County, where she has been a smiling face all around performing arts […]

  • Thumb Fun – Door County’s Accidental Icon

    Standing amid the suburban-style condominiums that make up the Northhaven development in Fish Creek, one can’t help but be struck by the contrast between what was and what is. Here, where water sprays into the air from the middle of a pond ringed by 141 condominium units, is the land that was once the site […]

  • John Carmody, Door County’s Last Thresherman

    John had kept it running until 1980, making him the last farmer in Egg Harbor, and possibly all of Door County, using the old machine.

  • Ephraim’s Herbi Hardt Looks Back on 98 Years

    Herbi Hardt saw World War I his German homeland, came to America in 1923, and got to know a man named Jens Jensen in his early years in Door County. All just part of a colorful life.

  • Freddie Kodanko, Door County's Polka King.

    The Polka King – A True Door County Character

    The late Freddie Kodanko (or Freddie K, as he is remembered around these parts) was a man who wore many hats:  potato farmer, spider dancer, crate builder, bean farmer, ballpark DJ, cat lover, among others. The hat I’ll always remember was a large, blue, puffy, jewel-studded crown. This crown was also accompanied by a long […]

  • Conducting an Orchestra…in Paradise

    Before I speak to Victor Yampolsky, Music Director of the Peninsula Music Festival (PMF), I get more than a little nervous. The questions that I’ve jotted down to ask him just seem so simple, especially for a man who in 2010 will celebrate 25 years as PMF’s Music Director – a post that he has […]

  • Devotion to Duty: Norman Carol, WWII submariner, recalls life in the Pacific

    Beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean in World War II, torpedo man Norman Carroll manned his station on the USS Guitarro as the Gato-class submarine patrolled the waters to the west of the Philippine Islands, unaware how close he was to his missing brother.

  • Reggaebilly Soulgrass

    If it’s later than 5:00 pm and the Door County snow has melted, chances are that somewhere – not too far away – Nick Steingart is making music. Follow the sound of mandolins, violins, banjos, guitars and harmonicas; join the crowd, sit back and enjoy the show. For many locals, the first spotting of Steingart’s […]

  • Small Town Girl Runs with the Big Dogs

    Most elite runners arrive at events wearing high tech running gear in the company of their personal trainers and coaches. Wendi Ray travels with her parents and carries gloves that sometimes have holes in them. But unlike some of her picture perfect competition, Ray is one of the top women marathoners in the United States; […]

  • Generations of Generosity

    Lee Traven was eager to meet me for an interview one Wednesday morning in September [2008], but his time for conversation was limited. By the time he and I met at 9:00 am, Traven had already finished a meeting with one of the many committees on which he serves, discussing the ways in which the […]

  • County Advocate Charles Jarman Died at 73

    The first memory I have of Charlie Jarman was on a cold and snowy evening, the night of my first snowmobile ride. I managed to plow through not one but two sides of an electrified barbed wire cow fence on his dairy farm and looked the worse for wear, as I stumbled dazed into the Jarman farmhouse with a shredded jacket and gloves.

  • Living for Purpose & Possibilities

    For those who may not know her, Judy Drew is the Executive Director of the Third Avenue Playhouse (TAP) in Sturgeon Bay. She came to the position in August of 2004 after working many years dealing with insurance and financial services. On the surface, it was quite a shift. Here’s how she describes it. “When […]

  • A Long Circuitous Path: Arvid Munson

    Arvid waits in the corner of Leroy’s like he is part of the décor, like he belongs, wearing a red and yellow plaid shirt and silver rimmed glasses, in the rustic Ephraim coffee shop. “How will I know it’s you?” I asked when I called to set up the interview. Arvid replied, “Just ask whoever […]