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Winter 2014/2015 – volume 12 issue 4

Executive Editor Madeline Harrison

Editor Jim Lundstrom

Assistant Editor Alissa Ehmke

Arts & Lit Editor Alyssa Skiba

Contributing Editors:  Myles Dannhausen Jr., Alissa Ehmke, Jess Farley, Stephen Grutzmacher, Laurel Duffin Hauser, Andrew Holdmann, Gary Jones, Katie Lott Schnorr, Roy Lukes, Jim Lundstrom, Ryan Miller, Richard Purinton, Alyssa Skiba, Len Villano, Patty Williamson

Photography Director Len Villano

Illustrator Ryan Miller

Advertising Sales Madeline Harrison, Jess Farley, Steve Grutzmacher

Publisher David Eliot

Owners Madeline Harrison & David Eliot

Door County Living magazine is published five times annually by:

Door County Living, Inc.

P.O. Box 695, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202

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Courier The Paper Boy, LLC

Distribution Experts Guy Fortin, Sam Nelson, Dave Prescott, Leah Biwer, Jeff Stayton

Total Copies 35,000

Mailed Copies 6,170

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@2014 Door County Living, Inc.  All rights reserved. Unsolicited materials must be accompanied with return postage.  Door County Living magazine assumes no liability for damage or loss.

In this issue

  • Len Villano

    The Making of Third Avenue Playhouse

    Lucky the town that has a theater. The rhythm of an ever-changing marquee (playing now, coming soon, playing now, coming soon) is like a steady, collective heartbeat, a 100 percent reliable indicator that “there’s life in that thar town.” A theater’s vibrancy spills over into surrounding restaurants and coffee shops. It adds dimension to the […]

  • 50 Years of Icelandic Horses

    Two Icelandic immigrations came to Washington Island, one human and one animal. The most celebrated immigration began in 1870 when four young Icelandic men found work on Washington Island. They encouraged countrymen to follow, soon making this an Icelandic settlement. Nearly 50 years ago, in 1964, a group of friends gathered at the home of […]

  • Thordarson’s Rock Island Boathouse: A Door County Treasure

    Patty Williamson takes us through history and inside the stunning walls of Rock Island's majestic Thordarson boat house.

  • Icelandic Emigration to Washington Island

    In his role as a bookseller, my father was often asked to give talks about Door County books and authors to various groups and organizations. In those days, most Door County literature was either memoir or history, so my father often began his talks with:  “Never has so much been written about a place where […]

  • Toddy Time

    Her name was Thalia and she tended bar at a local dive in Chicago’s Logan Square. She was a Canadian girl with long black hair, bewitching eyes, and no green card. My husband was a bit besotted with her and honestly, after she made me my first hot toddy, I was too. It was a […]

  • Len Villano

    Meatloaf Shmeatloaf

    Do you remember the holiday movie A Christmas Story? Toward the beginning, there was a family gathering around the dinner table. Randy looked at his plate with grotesque disappointment, “Meatloaf, shmeatloaf, double-beatloaf. I hate meatloaf,” he said. Followed up with Dad saying, “All right, I’ll get that kid to eat. Where’s my screwdriver and my […]

  • Len Villano

    New Fest, New Fun

    The best of Door County’s festivals start with fun at heart. Fall Fest began as an end-of-season party for the locals. Fish Creek Winter Games earned its crowd not from tourist trappings, but from local oddities like the cherry pit spit and bike toss. And the county’s most popular parades – on New Year’s Day […]

  • ‘Tis the Season for Crafts, Board Games & Other Indoor Fun

    It’s here … the season of winter winds, shuddering bodies, frozen breath and the constant question you ask yourself while shoveling your walk or scraping your windshield – why do I live in Wisconsin? Haven’t I learned enough about its winters to know they aren’t always as pleasant as they might sound during July’s heatwaves? […]

  • Roy Lukes

    The Mourning Dove

    What a delightfully peaceful atmosphere the Mourning Doves provided for us while we were growing up in the small city of Kewaunee, Wisconsin. They’d perch on the power lines high above our backyard and sing non-stop, a gentle “oh WHOoo who who.” It was when I was cutting the large lawn at my mother’s cousin […]

  • Ted Olson: A Peek into History

    Theodore “Ted” Olson spends most of his time in Washington, D.C., where the 73 year-old attorney has earned a reputation as one of the top appellate lawyers in the country. He has argued more than 60 cases before the United States Supreme Court, including some of the most influential cases of the last two decades. […]

  • Len Villano

    Highland Road Plays Tribute to American Roots Music

    It is a rainy Wednesday night in October at Tad Gilster’s home and one by one, the members of Fish Creek’s only bluegrass band show up, ready to rehearse for that Friday’s show at The Cookery. Gilster’s guitar is in his lap, having just shown me the difference between flatpicking and fingerpicking. We’ve been talking […]

  • Luca Fagundes

    A Fat, Transformative Ride

    The burly hum of the tires on dry pavement is akin to a semi-truck barreling down an empty highway on an otherwise quiet night. The sound is incessant, relentless and transformative. The consuming roar envelops the rider. In turn, the rider becomes emboldened atop the two-wheeled behemoth and once pavement is left behind, the rider […]

  • Len Villano

    Agriscience Teacher Jeanna James Achieves National Recognition

    Theoretically speaking, Jeanna James is not only the best young agriscience teacher in Wisconsin, but also one of the top six in the United States. However, anyone who watches her working with students might well maintain that the designation is not theoretical. “Jeanna is a model teacher and keeps every student at the center of […]

  • Len Villano

    Our Local Luthier

    When Dale Kumbalek was a kid, one of his favorite trees served a dual purpose as a jungle gym and mini-maple syrup factory. Little did he know that as an adult in Door County, pieces of that tree would make their way into his woodworking shop and leave as a beautiful, one-of-a-kind, hand-built guitar. It […]

  • Dale Kumbalek: Door County’s Local Luthier

    When Dale Kumbalek was a kid, one of his favorite trees served a dual purpose as a jungle gym and mini-maple syrup factory. Little did he know that as an adult in Door County, pieces of that tree would make their way into his woodworking shop and leave as a beautiful, one-of-a-kind, hand-built guitar. It […]

  • Highland Road.

    Highland Road: Taking The Musical Road Less Traveled

    It is a rainy Wednesday night in October at Tad Gilster’s home and one by one, the members of Fish Creek’s only bluegrass band show up, ready to rehearse for that Friday’s show at The Cookery. Gilster’s guitar is in his lap, having just shown me the difference between flatpicking and fingerpicking. We’ve been talking […]