Letter to the Editor: Former Illinois Resident Responds

Wow! William Berglund, talk about painting everyone with a broad brush!

Where to begin…..No, my husband and I did not leave Illinois because of taxes or politics – we moved here because my husband, a native of Milwaukee, wanted to come home to Wisconsin when he retired from teaching. We bought a beautiful old home that had been empty and on the market for 9 months and moved in 13 years ago. My husband was a teacher for 35 years and I was an administrative assistant – what we used to call a “secretary.” We never wanted to (nor could afford to) live in the North Shore suburbs, so that is why we chose to live in Sturgeon Bay – a diverse, working class city, much like my Hermosa neighborhood in Chicago and my husband’s neighborhood around 24th Place and Keefe in Milwaukee.

We brought with us the values from those working-class neighborhoods – a dedication to hard work and volunteerism. The first ten years we lived here, we served thousands of volunteer hours to Sunshine House, Third Avenue Playhouse, Isadoora Theatre, and the Sturgeon Bay School District. We were director-actors at TAP and worked on many shows there, in addition to running the six-week, daily summer childrens theatre camp. This only ended when the new management took over and we were no longer needed. We also worked for Isadoora Theatre at the same time. And, we co-directed all of the Sturgeon Bay High School musicals from 2007 until 2017. My husband has been a special ed substitute teacher for Sturgeon Bay for a decade,and I have held a series of part-time jobs.  

And as far as politics go, I can tell you that Chicago has nothing on the political circus that has taken place in Sturgeon Bay, Madison and Washington DC politics since 2016.

If it makes you feel any better, Mr. Berglund, when I die, I will arrange to have my ashes transplanted back to my family in Illinois.

Renée (Kujawski) Bauernfeind

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.