Essay

flickr, spacejulien

I went to France for Christmas this year. My son and his petite amie (girlfriend in French) live in Normandy. I had been taking French lessons at L'Alliance Francaise of Milwaukee, but I was terrified to actually speak to a French person in France.

flickr, Jonathan Thorne

[Originally aired September 2012]

225 years ago, on September 17, 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed their names to the final draft of the United States Constitution.  Less than a year later, on June 21, 1788, when New Hampshire became the 9th state to ratify it, it became, as it states in its own Article VI, the supreme law of the land. 

Essay: The Zen on a City Bus

Aug 1, 2014
flickr, Milwaukee County Transit

Although I take public transportation all the time when I’m in New York, I hadn't been on a Milwaukee bus since I got my driver's license at 16.  But half a century later, I’m old enough to get a discounted fare again, so when work took me downtown on a regular basis last winter, I decided to bury my old prejudices and take the bus. 

That was when I discovered the zen of riding the bus. 

Essay: Prohibition's Impact on Milwaukee

Aug 1, 2014
Wikimedia commons

When you ask most people what they think of when they hear the word Prohibition, they will probably tell you “speakeasies and gangsters.”  Prohibition is a perfect example of the law of unintended consequences-- a law meant to curb drinking that encouraged it. The widespread flouting of this law made criminals of people who would never have dreamt of breaking the law before it was passed. 

Essay: Reflection on 50th High School Reunion

Aug 1, 2014
flickr, Beth Scupham

[Originally aired in August 2011]

About 30 years ago, when my father’s class from Milwaukee’s old North Division High School got together for their 50th reunion, they enjoyed it so much they decided to keep on meeting annually. They elected my dad their class president, a post he held for many years until his advancing Parkinson’s kept him from attending the annual get-togethers.  Every year he would prepare a speech that was really an essay, looking backward over the decades, and memorializing those who had died in the intervening months. 

Essay: Anniversary of the 19th Amendment

Aug 1, 2014
Wikimedia commons

[originally aired in August 2011]

Picture this. You are a woman lawyer clerking for a federal judge, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the United States of America. It is September of 1970, with revolution in the air, a time of long hair on men and short skirts on women.  You join a group of fifteen or so of your male law school classmates (women had constituted less than 3% of the class) for lunch in the restaurant at the top of the Marine Bank (now the Chase Tower).  

Natevawser, flickr

When I was pregnant with my son I was lucky enough to work with many new moms. We would take short breaks to grab a cup of joe, in my case, decaf, and I would ask countless questions about what was to come.

Liam Callanan

Lake Effect essayist Liam Callanan essayist goes on a thematic road trip.

Thinkstock.com

'I have, as of late, lost all my mirth,' Hamlet, the soul-searching twenty-something, uttered to his school buddies Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

Essay: Super Toddler

Jun 23, 2014
Rubén Pérez, Flickr

It is officially playground weather here in the Brew City, and when you’re two and a half years old, a jungle gym has its own magnetic pull.

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