Ever hear of a memory café?

February 29, 2016

By Jill Rothenbueler Maher

Reassurance can come from being with others who are in the same boat. That’s true for people dealing with early-stage Alzheimer’s, mild cognitive impairment, or other types of dementia.

People can find others who know their struggles at the monthly “memory café” held in the Bay View United Methodist Church.

The casual group doesn’t specifically discuss religion and is not a support group. Instead, it’s a meetup of mostly seniors and their loved ones—a social outlet for sufferers and exhausted caregivers.

Memory cafes meet around the world. The Bay View location formed in March 2015 and currently attracts around 10 attendees plus volunteers and Pastor Andy Oren. He and associate pastor Kelly Fowler have been formally trained to lead these groups.

The volunteers, like Valanee Schmitz, a member of Bay View United Methodist Church, offer coffee, hot tea, water, and perhaps a cookie. She and others lead activities and group conversation, sometimes punctuated with a group song.

Combats Isolation

Unbridled isolation can be a big problem for both sufferers and their caregivers, so free, low-key meetups help lift their spirits.

“We’ve heard it over and over again that this is just a great outlet for them,” said Oren. “We get people talking about, What do you remember about this from when you were a kid?’ or whatever, to trigger memories.”

Carl and Carol Kucharski moved to the area in August from West Virginia, after Carl’s diagnosis of frontal lobe dementia, to be near their daughter and her husband. The two couples live in neighboring condos.

“[The memory café] doesn’t make you feel so isolated. It’s something different every time we meet. We have learned a lot about the area and people really welcomed us… I was a schoolteacher and this isn’t what I intended for retirement,” Carl said.

The couple said they view his diagnosis and their relocation as a new adventure. After coming to the church for the memory café, they eventually joined the congregation.

Chris and Laura met on Match.com seven years ago and had their first date at Starbucks. After being together for only a few years, Laura began suffering from primary progressive aphasia, a degenerative brain condition. They’ve enjoyed the memory café; other social groups have been awkward since Laura has difficulty speaking.

“It’s a good program. It’s a place Laura can feel very comfortable sharing, even though it’s difficult to talk,” Chris said. She works from home and adjusts her hours to attend the group with her wife.

 Pastor Andy Oren, Bay View United Methodist Church, was instrumental in establishing the Memory Café at Bay View United Methodist Church. PHOTO Jennifer Kresse


Pastor Andy Oren, Bay View United Methodist Church, was instrumental in establishing the Memory Café at Bay View United Methodist Church. PHOTO Jennifer Kresse

Origin

Pastor Oren was inspired to create the memory café at his church from a July 2014 M magazine article about former Wisconsin Governor Martin Schreiber’s difficulty coping with his wife Elaine’s Alzheimer’s disease. Schreiber was honest about the challenges of taking on the cooking, cleaning, errands and other chores and losing time for his work and exercise. The article was accompanied by a mention of memory cafés and Oren realized there weren’t any in the Bay View area. His father had dementia so Oren has a personal connection to the project.

Upcoming meetings are March 21 and April 18 from 1pm to 2:30pm at Bay View United Methodist Church, 2772 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. (bayviewumc.org)

For more information about Alzheimer’s or to RSPV a meeting at BVUMC, contact Wendy Betley of the Alzheimer’s Association, 414-479-8800.


Stately companion of grace and grandeur

December 31, 2015

By Katherine Keller

 With a girth of 16 feet, this silver maple dwarfs Gladys Vaught’s home on Griffin Avenue. It is estimated that the tree is about 120 years old.     — PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

With a girth of 16 feet, this silver maple dwarfs Gladys Vaught’s home on Griffin Avenue. It is estimated that the tree is about 120 years old. — PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

About two months ago I met Gladys Vaught. I went to her home to pick up photographs and news clippings of the Quonset and Wingfoot homes that she and her family lived in after World War II. As I walked toward her front door, I was awestruck by the enormous silver maple tree that stands next to the house.

Gladys and her husband Harlan bought their house, 3410 S. Griffin Ave., in 1961.

After looking through her collection of clippings and photos, we talked about the tree, a silver maple. She told me of her love and admiration for the tree and of her attachment to it.

The silver maple in 1961. COURTESY GLADYS VAUGHT

The silver maple in 1961. — COURTESY GLADYS VAUGHT

This photo from the 1920s shows the silver maple as a ‘mere sapling’ compared to its present height and girth. — COURTESY GLADYS VAUGHT

This photo from the 1920s shows the silver maple as a ‘mere sapling’ compared to its present height and girth. — COURTESY GLADYS VAUGHT

Referencing a 1920s  picture of her home, Gladys told me, “The maple is in that photo and it was already a big tree back then,” she said. The house was built in 1910.

I think that maple is one of the biggest trees I have seen in Milwaukee, although the Copper Beech in South Shore Park is nearly as large in girth, if not height. I decided a story about the tree would be of interest to our readers, and I wondered if we could determine its age.

I asked John Ebersol to measure the circumference because that is the starting point when calculating the age of a living tree. He did. He said it’s 16 feet.

I found two websites that each provided metrics to estimate the age of a silver maple but they produced conflicting results. So I turned to an expert, here in our backyard, for advice.

FUN FACT On March 26, 1895, King Alfonso planted a pine sapling near Madrid and started Spain’s Arbor Day.

“A 16-foot circumference would equal about a 61-inch diameter,” said Dave Sivyer, City of Milwaukee Dept. of Public Works Forestry Services Manager. “The silver maple is a fast growing species, so if it averaged 0.5 inches diameter growth annually, it would be no more than 120 years old.”

Gladys Vaught said her tree’s roots run under her house and extend far and wide beneath most of her lot.   — PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

Gladys Vaught said her tree’s roots run under her house and extend far and wide beneath most of her lot. — PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

That means the giant maple tree sprouted about 1895.

“Still, that’s quite old for an urban tree,” Sivyer said. “The American elm, another fast growing tree in our area, averages about 0.4 inches diameter growth annually. So 0.5 inches, while it doesn’t sound like much, is probably the maximum average annual growth rate for the silver maple.”

The silver maple is native to North America and is one of the most common trees in the United States. Its wood is used as pulp for paper, and for furniture, flooring, and musical instruments. Its sap can be used for making maple syrup but its sugar content is lower than that of the sugar maple, a close relative to the silver maple, which is the preferred source for syrup makers.

Gladys reveres the tree and said, with a twinkle, she tells it that she wants it to stay around longer than she does.

I asked her if she would share more of her thoughts and memories about the tree. This is what she wrote.

For 54 years I have been privileged to share my yard with Ms. Maple aka Her Majesty. She is not just a tree; she is a part of our family.

Through the years, four children, six grandchildren, and now six great-grandchildren, have enjoyed her many gifts. In the spring, her helicopter seeds rain down on them. 

Through the summer, they enjoy the shade she provides. In fall, they run through the blanket of leaves she lays out over the lawn.

In one of her huge arms is a hollowed out cavity that becomes the nursery for two to three baby squirrels, and then she’s their playground for the rest of the summer.

One year I saw a mother raccoon carry her two babies up into that cavity to keep them safe from danger. They lived there for two months, and when they left, the squirrels moved back in.

In heavy winds, her dead branches break off, which then are used for our many family bonfires.

Many species of birds can be seen and heard singing in her mighty branches and the woodpeckers enjoy the insects in her bark.

Her Majesty’s branches loom over my home and her vast root system runs under the house and lawn. She’s my air conditioning in the summer.

Family and friends come to sit on the patio under her canopy of branches and they tell me how they feel stress-free as they relax there.

If you lean up against her for a time, you may just feel her energy as I have many times.

No, she isn’t just a tree, she an old friend.

  —Gladys Vaught


Tippecanoe Library’s vibrant makeover dazzles

December 31, 2015

By Katherine Keller

More than 1,600 people toured the renovated Tippecanoe Library when it reopened December 12. — PHOTO PAT A. ROBINSON

More than 1,600 people toured the renovated Tippecanoe Library when it reopened December 12.    — PHOTO PAT A. ROBINSON

After months of operating in temporary headquarters in the Copper Kitchen’s banquet hall, Tippecanoe Library re-opened December 12, when more than 1,600 patrons were ushered through its shiny new front doors. The dramatic renovation transformed the former 1969 interior, a claustrophobic cavern that was illuminated with limp fluorescent lighting, to a warm, open space that gleams with natural light and razzle-dazzle.

— PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

— PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

“An interesting thing is that it looks so much bigger, more spacious,” said District 13 Ald. Terry Witkowski, whose district includes Tippecanoe Library. “There are more windows on the north side. It’s brighter, more open, and reeks of newness.” Witkowski credits residents in the neighborhoods who shared their ideas and suggestions about what they wanted in the redesigned library. The library held meetings during the planning and design stages of the project to solicit residents’ input.

The $4.5 million renovation focused on a new interior design and upgrades to the infrastructure including mechanicals and HVAC. With the exception of modifications to the north wall and a new entrance on the southwest corner, the exterior structure remained intact.

More bike racks were added to better serve patrons. The new entryway features a canopy that shelters the sidewalk approach. — PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

More bike racks were added to better serve patrons. The new entryway features a canopy that shelters the sidewalk approach. — PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

The redesigned entryway features an automated book return, and there is another on the exterior of the building, on the south wall, that is accessible 24/7. Tippe now offers express self-check-out stations, like those found in other MPL branches and libraries in metro Milwaukee.

A new perk, sure to please, permits patrons to purchase restorative brews from a “high-end coffee machine.”

There is an independent study room, a unique area for teens to meet and socialize, and a children’s area with early learning materials. New bumped out windows were added along Howard Avenue to provide expanded reading and studying space. The windows flood the space and adjacent stacks with light.

The northwest corner of the library serves as a multi-purpose area. At times it is an open space with tables and chairs, plus some upholstered easy chairs. At others, it is a meeting or conference room, when two sets of sliding glass panels are unfolded to enclose the space.

The new interior design illuminates the library’s vaulted wood ceiling and the vibrant Guido Brink sculpture. — PHOTO PAT A. ROBINSON

The new interior design illuminates the library’s vaulted wood ceiling and the vibrant Guido Brink sculpture. — PHOTO PAT A. ROBINSON

New light fixtures illuminate the vaulted wood ceiling, drawing the eye to a vibrant sculpture that’s suspended from the ceiling. The Spirit of the Manitou was created by Guido Brink, a German émigré who taught at the Layton School of Art from 1955 to 1974. Later, he was instrumental in founding the Milwaukee School of Art and Design, where he served as its first president. The sculpture was removed, cleaned, and reinstalled on the ceiling.

During construction, the Tippecanoe Library staff placed a time capsule filled with historical and everyday library items in the walls of the new library. The time capsule is registered with the International Time Capsule Society at Oglethorpe University.

The land around the building was not ignored during the planning sessions for the renovation. A number of green landscaping elements were incorporated. Witkowski said many members of the newly formed Airport Gardens Neighborhood Association and Town of Lake Neighborhood Association took an active interest in expressing their support for the library and voicing their suggestions about its design, especially landscaping and green and sustainable components.

The bioswales, located in the center of the parking lot, will host a rain garden that will slow and filter parking lot runoff water. — PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

The bioswales, located in the center of the parking lot, will host a rain garden that will slow and filter parking lot runoff water. — PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

“There are bioswales and permeable pavers in the low spots of the parking lot to purify water, divert it to plants, and contribute to the reduction of pollutants flowing off the parking lot,” Witkowski said. “They kept the big trees by the parking lot.“

The bioswales, located in the center of the parking lot, will host a rain garden to slow and filter runoff water. There are also rain garden swales along the south side of the building. New trees and perennials were planted.

Raised beds for community gardens were made possible by private funding. A  secret garden was funded by Barbara Stein, a Milwaukee Public Library Foundation member, a tribute to Milwaukee Public Library Director Paula Kiely, who frequented Tippecanoe Library as a child.

Witkowski said that at the re-opening ceremony he watched people come and go and was impressed by how many arrived by bike, which he said was possible because of the unusually mild December weather. “More bike racks were installed with the renovation,” he said.

The project was funded by the City of Milwaukee capital projects fund. The Milwaukee Public Library Foundation funded additional features. A donor wall will be installed later this year to recognize those gifts.

Engberg Anderson designed the renovation project and the construction contractor was Creative Constructors.

The Tippecanoe collection contains over 50,000 items as well as full access to library materials from every member library of the Milwaukee County Federated Library System (MCFLS). The collection includes books, magazines, newspapers, DVDs, CDs and access to all library digital resources from free music and video streaming to e-books and digital magazines. More info: mpl.org/Tippecanoe

The new building at 3912 S. Howell was opened for service November 17, 1969 and served the community until January 30, 2015, when it closed for renovation. During the renovation temporary quarters were established across the street at 3933 S. Howell, in the banquet hall of the Copper Kitchen restaurant.

The library’s name was derived from the area in which it is located. Research disputes any claim linking the Native American tribe or the famous historical battle of the same name to the local area. The most popular explanation of the name is offered in Paul Gauer’s book, The Gauer Story: A Chronicle of Bay View. According to Gauer, there was “…Tippecanoe where the Savelands and The Sandersons had a lake and the young swains of their day would go canoeing. That was how Tippecanoe got its name.” It would seem that the name Tippecanoe was derived from the fact the young men of the time could go “tippe” (canoeing) in the nearby lake.

The library boasts a large metal sculpture created by artist Guido Brink, which highlighted the modern industrial and computer technique of the late 1960s. The sculpture represents the ancient Indian god spirit Manitou as inspired by the Native American origins of the name Tippecanoe.

Guido Brink (1913-2003) settled in Milwaukee in 1953 following life and studies in Germany and Paris. He is known worldwide primarily for his metal sculptures, brightly colored abstract compositions of reds, yellows, dark blue and black, that decorate public and commercial buildings. Guido taught at the Layton School of Art from 1955-1974. He was instrumental in founding the Milwaukee School of Arts (now the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design), and served as its first president.

Source: Milwaukee Public Library brochure published in conjunction with the December 12, 2015 Grand Reopening


BOOK REVIEW — Finding Yourself in the Kitchen

November 30, 2015

Reviewed by Katherine Keller

Finding Yourself in the Kitchen Dana Velden Rodale Books, 24.95

Finding Yourself in the Kitchen
Dana Velden
Rodale Books, 24.95

Finding Yourself in the Kitchen Kitchen — Meditations and Inspired Recipes from a Mindful Cook

Dana Velden’s new collection of essays has found its way into our culture amidst a cascade of cookbooks, blogs, podcasts, and television shows that accompany the Big Food Bang, the American food revolution that began in the 1960s.

Meditation began to make its way into our culture at the same time though it grew more slowly and with less glamor. The number of Americans exploring and practicing meditation has burgeoned, especially in the past 20 years.

As such, it seems a fitting time for the emergence of a book that teaches readers how to meld mediation with their experience in the kitchen.

Finding Yourself in the Kitchen — Kitchen Meditations and Inspired Recipes from a Mindful Cook is a collection short essays and 15 of the author’s personal recipes.

Velden, who grew up in Wauwatosa, is an Oakland-based food writer and Zen priest. She has written for the food blog The Kitchn since 2008, where her column, “Weekend Meditations,” has gained an enthusiastic following.

In the first essay, “On Why I Wrote This Book,” Velden spells out the theme that informs her essays. “There is a hunger today for a more considered life, one where our everyday circumstances are not a series of inconveniences to get through (or around) as quickly as possible but rather a source of our awakening and pleasure. …I wrote this book to take up this less examined side of cooking, to encourage and inspire a more deeply experienced life, and to help us discover that no matter what the circumstances, we all have the capacity to deeply nourish ourselves and those around us.”

The text is filled with Velden’s suggestions about how to practice mindfulness and receptivity in the kitchen, so as to open one’s self, as she explains, to intimacy.

For Velden, intimacy is openness to experience, an opportunity to “allow something (or everything!) to make contact with us, to touch and therefore change us, often in ways we cannot predict or control.”

There are benefits, she writes, to dropping one’s protectiveness and being available to something outside oneself and to new experiences and ways of perceiving and reacting.

Take the experience of a cup of tea. Velden starts her morning with a contemplative ritual. She spends about 10 minutes quietly sipping her tea, being present with that tea and those moments, watching whatever happens to wander into her mind, she says, rather than worrying about what needs to be done that day or ruminating on past hurts. Notice the light, she advises, the songbirds, the scents in the room.

“What burdens can be put down when we redirect our energies not toward the goal but into the process itself, into each moment along the way? What treasures are waiting there?” she writes.

Velden gently urges her readers to deepen their experience in the kitchen by illustrating the opportunities it offers for transformation. A deliberate, considered approach to kitchen tasks, she tells us, can develop deeper self-awareness and opportunities for personal growth as we navigate the banality, toil, frustration, skill, failure, triumph, discovery, and pleasure of the kitchen.

For me, one almost completely unfamiliar with the theory or practice of meditation, Finding Oneself in the Kitchen, is a series of lessons that provide an opportunity create devotional-like experiences as one works in the kitchen.

Along with Velden’s advice about using time in the kitchen for meditation and all that it confers are generous dollops of practical advice. Some of the fundamentals for happiness in the kitchen are, she says, a full pantry, pots of herbs, filling a basin with warm sudsy water as a preliminary to starting the steps called for in a recipe and washing utensils as one uses them, keeping knives sharp, a bowl full of lemons.

There was a question that niggled me as I read through Velden’s sagacious essays, and that was how would one practice these meditations with a toddler pulling at one’s apron? How would one find time to be alone in the kitchen, free of distractions of family members, their chirping and buzzing devices, of the natural needs and demands children have in what is often the dearth of time they have with a parent?

Velden’s easy, sophisticated prose comes with insight, great warmth, wisdom, chattiness, and good humor. As she reveals herself through the essays, one begins to feel this woman would be a most interesting dinner companion and probably a lot of fun to drink a little too much wine with.

Her recipes are appealing, straightforward, and uncomplicated. Following is one that is just right for this time when we move into the winter and relish the warmth of classic baking spices, especially when delivered in an easy-to-make cake.

Finding Yourself in the Kitchen
Dana Velden
Rodale Books, 24.95

Full Disclosure: Dana Velden and I were once colleagues at a children’s book publishing company in Milwaukee.

My Mother’s Spice Cake

My mother serves this with a classic cream cheese frosting but it is just as delicious, or maybe even more so, served plain with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. People who say they don’t like cake tend to like this one.

Makes two 8-inch round layers

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Butter and flour two 8” × 2” round cake pans

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream

IN a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt so that everything is incorporated.

IN a large bowl or using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until fluffy, scraping the bowl, as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, followed by the vanilla and the sour cream.

ADD in the flour mixture, beating until just incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed.

POUR the batter into the prepared pans, dividing evenly. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cakes begin to pull away from the sides and the middle springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 10 minutes, then invert each layer onto a rack and let cool completely.

WRAP one cake in double layers of plastic wrap or waxed paper and freeze for up to 3 months. Be sure to label it with the date and contents. Wrap the other layer in waxed paper and store in an airtight tin for up to a week. It will improve with age.

Reprinted from Finding Yourself in the Kitchen by Dana Velden (Rodale Books).
Available wherever books are sold.


Saint Lucas students explore tomorrow’s careers through new STEM program

November 30, 2015

By Sheila Julson

Employment in occupations related to science, technology, engineering and math will grow to more than 9 million between 2012 and 2022, according to a 2014 U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report.

To prepare students for tomorrow’s workplace, Saint Lucas Lutheran School, 648 E. Dover St., introduced STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in its sixth through eight-grade curriculum beginning in January. Over the summer, two classrooms were converted to a new STEM lab, complete with a large 3D printer, height-adjustable desks, Dell desktop computers, drill press, band saw, and more. A dedication ceremony was held Oct. 11.

Noah Geluk traces the Eiffel Tower with a 3D drawing pen. —PHOTO JENNIFER KRESSE

Noah Geluk traces the Eiffel Tower with a 3D drawing pen.  PHOTO JENNIFER KRESSE

Wendy Greenfield, spokesperson for Saint Lucas, said the project has been in the works for a few years. “We wanted a new science curriculum,“ she said. “We had a team that researched and looked at different programs at many schools. It became clear that Project Lead the Way was the way to go.”

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) is a national nonprofit that delivers STEM programs to public, private, and charter schools throughout the country. In January, Saint Lucas began PLTW’s Gateway to Technology program, which focuses on engineering, biomedical, and computer science for sixth through eight grades.

A display of objects printed in the Saint Lucas School STEM program lab with the 3D printer. —PHOTO JENNIFER KRESSE

A display of objects printed in the Saint Lucas School STEM program lab with the 3D printer.   PHOTO JENNIFER KRESSE

At the beginning of this school year, Saint Lucas added PLTW’s Launch, a program geared for kindergarten through fifth grade, which focuses on problem solving. This is the first year Launch has been available nationwide, Greenfield said.

“We wanted to ensure that our students are college- and career-ready and that they could develop 21st century skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration,” said Greenfield. “That’s what this program does.”

Saint Lucas’ $400,000 STEM lab was funded by grants from foundations, individuals, and businesses, including the Theodore W. Batterman Family Foundation, the Siebert Lutheran Foundation, and the Louis Calder Foundation, Greenfield said.

“We’re thankful and feel blessed to have this program here in our school,” said Mike Koestler, Saint Lucas principal. “The hands-on and project-based approach of PLTW is very engaging for the students, and they have fun learning.“

Teacher Andy Baxter and Manuel Bingenheimer. PHOTO JENNIFER KRESSE

Teacher Andy Baxter and Manuel Bingenheimer.
PHOTO JENNIFER KRESSE

Hands-On Experiences
Andy Baxter, middle school teacher and PLTW delegate, guided students as they took their creations from paper to reality. “They can see how engaging science is,” Baxter said. “Other teachers are now being asked (by the students), ‘When’s science?’ and not ‘When’s recess?’ or ‘When’s lunch?’ The students want to learn.”

This is Baxter’s first experience teaching a PLTW STEM curriculum. He said instructor training consists of a three-day period for the K5 through fifth grade level. The middle-school-level training is three to five days per course. There are six courses for STEM middle school grades.

Kindergarten students, after listening to The Three Little Pigs, discussed and built structures for houses that could protect the pigs from the huffs and puffs of the wolf. First graders experience astronomy by using the iPad app Star Chart to locate constellations. In second grade, students examined properties of matter and built coolers to slow the transfer of heat from an ice cube to prevent it from melting. Third graders began the year by studying aspects of flight including lift, weight, thrust, and drag. Fourth graders examined collisions, including safety restraint systems to keep their passenger—an egg—safe. The fifth graders delved into robotics and automation by designing, building, and driving robots, via remote control, to move hazardous material.

Kaysha Henry studying the contours of a nautilus shell. PHOTO JENNIFER KRESSE

Kaysha Henry studying the contours of a nautilus shell.  PHOTO JENNIFER KRESSE

The Compass stopped by Saint Lucas to see some of the ongoing projects the sixth through eighth grade students are working on, which involve tools such as Autodesk Inventor, a program used by professional architects, and the 3D printer, to bring their projects to life.

Isabella Delwiche is standing next to the 3D printer where she printed a replica of a fossil skull. PHOTO JENNIFER KRESSE

Isabella Delwiche is standing next to the 3D printer where she printed a replica of a fossil skull.  PHOTO JENNIFER KRESSE

Seventh grader Isabella Delwiche, said her experience with STEM has inspired her to plan to pursue a career in computer technology. She is intrigued by the 3D printer. “I think it’s pretty cool because if you have an idea about something, you can actually make it and be able to hold it and not just see it on paper,” she said.

Sixth graders Jordan Otto and Carmelo Ortiz partnered to design a Christmas tree-shaped switch plate. “You can change colors and textures, or move it to see the full image,” Ortiz said as he used the mouse to point to their design on the computer screen.

Jordan Otto, Carmelo Ortiz, and Gavin Wohlfard display their light switch plates—two Christmas trees and a cityscape. —PHOTO JENNIFER KRESSE

Jordan Otto, Carmelo Ortiz, and Gavin Wohlfard display their light switch plates, two Christmas trees and a cityscape.  PHOTO JENNIFER KRESSE

The switch plate was originally sketched on graph paper. “It’s an asymmetric sketch to figure the different stages of the project,” Otto added. The pair took measurements from a real switch plate on the wall, and then used a caliper to measure the sketch and transfer the dimensions to the computer design.

“The tree with the triangle shape is more complicated because we had to make sure it covered all the wires, or else someone would get electrocuted,” Otto said.

Some students were using Autodesk to sculpt replicas of fossils. “It’s like they’re actually taking a piece of clay and molding it or modeling it,” Baxter said.

Student Kaysha Henry, who designed a bowl, said she enjoys art. Autodesk lets her choose the design material, colors, and sizes for her fossil.

Other students used the ROBOTC tutorial and VEX Robotics kits to make Clawbots—robots with a functioning claw. Baxter said their goal is to get the Clawbots fully functioning for upcoming robotics competitions.

Humbertos Pedroza, Jr., Corey Tipton, Jr., and Hannah Behroozi. —PHOTO JENNIFER KRESSE

Humbertos Pedroza, Jr., Corey Tipton, Jr., and Hannah Behroozi.
PHOTO JENNIFER KRESSE

As some students test-drove their robots-in-progress, others used a 3D pen to create an image of the Eiffel Tower. A thick pen prints plastic lines by heating and melting a thin tube of plastic inserted at one end. A motor inside the pen pushes out a line of plastic onto the paper. The plastic images dry, are peeled from the paper, and assembled to stand upright.

Other seventh and eight grade students are working on projects related to flight and space, and energy, and the environment.

Baxter said Saint Lucas is working on networking with small businesses who would send representatives to the students about STEM-related careers. Greenfield added they welcome any business owners who may be interested in a potential partnership.

Saint Lucas has open houses throughout the year when STEM projects are showcased. Greenfield said members of the community who are interested in seeing the STEM lab should contact the school to arrange a tour.

Spotlight

Founded: Saint Lucas Lutheran School opened in 1872 shortly after Captain Eber Brock Ward opened the Milwaukee Iron Company in 1868. The Village of Bay View was incorporated in 1879.

Enrollment: 204 students in K3 – Grade 8

STEM: All student in K5 through Grade 8 participate in the Project Lead The Way or STEM program.

Choice School: Saint Lucas has participated in Milwaukee Parental Choice Program since 2007. According to Wendy Greenfield, school spokesperson, “The school’s financial aid program ensures that students from all backgrounds are able to take advantage of and contribute to the Saint Lucas community. Tuition is $7,750. Congregation members do their part to assist the neighborhood by making up the difference between what families can afford to pay and the actual cost to educate a student.”

MPS STEM Programs in Bay View

In Bay View, MPS schools that offer Project Lead the Way are Bay View Middle & High School and Humboldt Park School.

Trowbridge School of Discovery and Technology and Fernwood Montessori both engage in technology programming although neither school offers traditional STEM or Project Lead the Way programs.

Trowbridge is in the process of installing an aquaponics lab funded by a grant from the National Education Association. Trowbridge is one of only two MPS schools to receive such a grant.

Fernwood began operating its greenhouse and aquaponics system in 2007.

Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and blogs at cappersfarmer.com/blogs/return-to-our-roots


Out of the Darkness Community Walk Oct. 4

August 29, 2015

By Sheila Julson

Humboldt Park event promotes suicide awareness

A child drops flowers into the Humboldt Park Lagoon in a ceremony that was part of the 2014 Milwaukee Out of the Darkness event. PHOTO COURTESY GENA ORLANDO

A child drops flowers into the Humboldt Park Lagoon in a ceremony that was part of the 2014 Milwaukee Out of the Darkness event. PHOTO COURTESY GENA ORLANDO

Twenty years ago, when former Bay View resident Gena Orlando was 19 years old, one of her close friends, also 19, died by suicide. Two years later that friend’s brother died by suicide. The loss of the brothers left Orlando with countless questions and a gamut of emotions.

The experience led her to become a leader in the Wisconsin chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Orlando, who now lives in Theresa, Wis., is secretary of AFSP’s Wisconsin chapter and chair of the annual Milwaukee Out of the Darkness Community Walk.

This year the walk, which takes place in Humboldt Park, is October 4.

Founded in 1987, AFSP is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing suicide and does so through research, education programs, and advocacy. It also provides support for survivors of suicide. AFSP acts as resource, Orlando said, directing people to resources where they can find help.

AFSP is not a crisis center and doesn’t treat people, but they do fund some of those programs, Orlando said.

The Out of the Darkness Community Walk event began in 2005 and took place in 24 cities. Participants walked overnight from dusk to dawn, symbolizing walking “out of the darkness.” According to AFSP, the first year attracted 4,000 participants. This year, 350 nationwide walks are planned with the participation of an estimated 200,000 walkers. Orlando said the walks generate funding for AFSP.

Jessica Borkowski, AFSP Wisconsin board chair, organized the first Milwaukee walk in 2008 before Wisconsin had its own chapter. At that time, all money raised was given to the programs of the national office. Since the Wisconsin chapter was established in December 2013, half of all money raised from the Wisconsin walks stays in the state for its programs. The other half goes to AFSP’s national programs.

This year Wisconsin’s Out of the Darkness Community Walks will take place in Milwaukee (Humboldt Park), Madison, Eau Claire/Chippewa Valley, Wausau, Walworth County, and Antigo. Each walk has its own volunteer chairperson who organizes the walks on their own time.

Orlando said she’s looking for additional sponsors and in-kind donations for raffle prizes. She’d like to get more Bay View businesses involved. 88NINE Radio Milwaukee will sponsor this year, Orlando said, as will the Hupy and Abraham law firm, and the Bradley Corporation, a manufacturer of plumbing fixtures in Menomonee Falls.

This year’s walk, approximately three miles, will be three laps around Humboldt Park. There is no charge to participate, but individuals and teams are encouraged to raise sponsorship donations. Dogs are welcome but there is a charge. People can register their canine companions for $10 each.

Honor beads are a big part of the walk. Each walker wears a string of beads of a color that signifies their loss—white for loss of a child; red for a spouse or partner; gold for a parent; orange for a sibling; and purple for a relative or friend. Green beads represent a personal struggle; blue beads show support of the cause, and teal indicates support of a family or friend who is struggling with depression.

There are also other gestures and ceremonies that take place during the event. Flowers are floated on the lagoon before the walk. There are children’s projects that are built around themes such as “picking up the pieces together,” where they draw on large puzzle pieces. Families often bring photos of loved ones who died by suicide. After the walk, raffle prizewinners are announced.

Orlando said suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and that 20 percent of suicides are military veterans. Yet research about suicide is one of the least funded. “There’s a stigma attached to suicide and mental illness,” Orlando said. “Like any physical illness, [mental illness] can be fatal if it goes untreated. We are trying to get rid of the stigma and get people talking. We want people who are facing suicidal thoughts and depression to know that they’re not alone.”

She recalls that it was uncommon to talk about mental illness in the 1990s when she lost her two friends to suicide. “It was really shocking. It was a blow to everyone they were close to. You go through different types of emotions, like ‘is it my fault?’ Dealing with any type of death is hard but with suicide we’re often angry with the person we’re mourning,” Orlando said. “There are different stages of feelings that we normally don’t go through when somebody dies of a heart attack. You can be angry at the heart attack, but if somebody hurts themself, dealing with that and the emotions that go with it is so complex.”

Orlando said AFSP strives to start the conversation, to be a voice for those suffering, and to support people who lost loved ones to suicide. The organization also holds International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day annually on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

In attempt to bring more resources to rural areas, this year’s event is Nov. 21 at the Washington County Public Agency Center in West Bend.

Humboldt Park Oct. 4. Registration begins at 8:30am. Opening ceremony at 11am. Walk begins at 11:30am.

To donate $10 by phone, text AFSP MILWAUKEE to 85944.

Donations can also be taken by texting AFSP MILWAUKEE to 85944 (there must be a space between AFSP and Milwaukee).

More info: http://afsp.donordrive.com/event/Milwaukee.


South Shore food pantries coping with FoodShare changes, for now

August 29, 2015

By Sheila Julson

On April 1, changes went into effect for Wisconsin residents receiving food assistance benefits from FoodShare, the name of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Wisconsin.

The FoodShare program is administered by the Department of Wisconsin Health Services. According to its website, adults ages 18 through 49 who have no minor children in their home may need to meet a work requirement or meet an exemption to continue receiving FoodShare benefits. These work requirement rules will affect FoodShare members who must renew, or who apply for FoodShare benefits on, or after April 1, 2015.

Under the new changes, if participants who fall into the above category do not either work 80 hours per month, participate in an allowable work program for 80 hours each month, or both work and take part in an allowable work program for a combined total of 80 hours per month, they may only receive three months of FoodShare benefits in a 36-month period. Those requirements come on the heels of federal and state changes to FoodShare benefits in 2013 and 2014.

Advocates for food justice such as Sherrie Tussler, executive director of the Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee, have publicly spoken out against Wisconsin’s work requirements, noting that they will put a strain on nonprofit food pantries.

The Compass contacted four South Shore food pantries to discover if they’ve been affected by the new requirements.

Linda Nieft, president and CEO of the Bay View Community Center, 1320 E. Oklahoma Ave., said its food pantry saw a slight increase in users in June, which is typical during the summer months because children are on school vacation and not receiving school lunches. In June, Bay View Community Center’s food pantry served 58 households and 160 individuals—103 adults and 53 children.

Nieft pointed out that many people who receive food assistance have their eligibility status reviewed yearly and won’t necessarily receive a reduction or be cut from FoodShare benefits until their review, so there may be adverse effects yet to come.

“I think people are confused, as [the changes to the program] happened so quickly. There was a lot of talk about it, and then, boom—it happened,” Nieft said.

She added that some people don’t keep abreast of state legislative changes to the FoodShare program. Her staff tries to keep people informed, but since recipients can only come in once per month, staff members sometimes don’t see them until after changes are announced.

Bay View Community Center also refers people to other organizations if they need more help.

To supplement the Bay View Community Center pantry’s food supply, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 3200 S. Herman St., and Tippecanoe Presbyterian Church, 125 W. Saveland Ave., donate fresh vegetables grown in their raised bed gardens. “People are excited to get fresh produce,” Nieft said. “Because prices of fresh vegetables have gone up, it’s quite a treat for people to go from canned to fresh food.”

Nieft said that she welcomes donations and encourages people to give cream and broth soups (no ramen noodle soup); cereal; canned fruit; canned tomato sauce; and canned proteins.

Debby Pizur, program director of Project Concern Cudahy/St. Francis, 3658 E. Plankinton Ave., in Cudahy, reported that the organization usually serves 30 to 35 households per month. In June, the number of new households that applied for assistance increased to 45. She said it’s too early to tell if the increase is tied to the tighter FoodShare eligibility requirements.

“Because [the work requirement] has just started, we’re not feeling stressed yet. And food donations are always down in the summer, so it would be normal for us to be running a little lean at this time,” Pizur said.

The Cudahy Community Garden, located on the grounds of the Cudahy United Methodist Church, 5865 S. Lake Dr., is in its second year of growing vegetables on its property that its members donate to Project Concern. There the greatest needs are canned proteins, canned fruits, and dried beans.

Hope House, 209 W. Orchard St., partners with Friedens Community Ministries to operate its food pantry. Friedens is a network of food pantries in Milwaukee with additional locations at their main office in the Marcia P. Coggs Human Services building, 1220 W. Vliet St., and at Despensa De la Paz, 1615 S. 22nd St.

Executive director Catherine Draeger-Pederson said Friedens has seen a lot of fear from its community members concerning the FoodShare changes, as well as members’ uncertainty about paperwork and other requirements for participation in the program. “They fear what is happening and what is going to come,” she said.

Like other pantries, summers are busy at Hope House since kids are home from school. Draeger-Pederson said that Friedens is currently meeting the needs of its users, but as the year goes on, they will probably will see more of an impact because July 1 marked the first cycle of the three-month-limit since the new restrictions went into effect. “We currently have the resources to meet a higher need, but my hope is that we don’t have to, and people will somehow be able to keep their benefits,” she said.

In June, Draeger-Pederson said Friedens served approximately 1,200 families at the three locations. Friedens’ needs include canned protein, as well as condiments people enjoy but cannot afford to purchase such as mayonnaise, ketchup, salt, and pepper.

United Migrant Opportunity Services (UMOS), 2701 S. Chase Ave., a nonprofit advocacy organization, also has a food pantry. Rod Ritcherson, special assistant to president Lupe Martinez, reported no change in the number of people who visit its food pantry. “It’s a little too soon to see any impact,” he said.

According to Ritcherson, UMOS’ Chase Avenue location provided 550,000 pounds of food to users during its fiscal year July 2014 through June 2015. Ritcherson said UMOS receives 80 percent of its pantry’s food from the Hunger Task Force. The rest comes from donations from Roundy’s Supermarkets, Inc., Molina Health Care, and area high school food drives.

Sheila Julson, sjulson@wi.rr.com, is a freelance writer and blogs at cappersfarmer.com/blogs/return-to-our-roots


IN BALANCE — Nurturing children with ADHD

August 29, 2015

By Aleisha Anderson

 

Aleisha Anderson Head ShotBittersweet are emotions for many children and parents as the new school year begins.

For parents with children who struggle to tune in and adjust to new routines and expectations at school, the stress that accompanies a new school year can be overwhelming.

Children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are not all the same. There is a diverse spectrum of behavior exhibited by children with an ADHD diagnosis.

Traditional Chinese medicine’s five-elements typologies can help sort out ADHD imbalances and offer valuable insight to parents about the “true nature” of their child’s attention challenges.

Chinese medicine’s five elements theory is based on the notion that all natural processes and phenomena can be classified. The five natural elements possess unique characteristics. These elements are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Each individual has their own “true nature” and belongs to one of these five elements or types. One’s type influences how one asserts oneself in the world, how one copes with stressors, and how one seeks comfort.

With ADHD, behaviors and coping mechanisms can be exaggerated.

When imbalanced, a child’s (or adult’s) natural strengths are overshadowed by negative behavior.

Wood types are easily frustrated, hyperactive, angry, and have explosive outbursts.

Fire types are impulsive, silly, lazy, and get bored easily.

Earth types are worried, obsessive, disorganized, and tend to be indecisive.

Metal types are rigid, hyper-focused, stuck, and show compulsive behavior.

Water types are withdrawn, daydreaming, slow, and apathetic.

Each type benefits from different therapeutic approaches in Chinese medicine. For example, the indecisive earth child who complains of stomach aches, often cannot fall asleep at night due to over thinking and may struggle with worry about how they will fit in to a new classroom or please their teacher. Helping this child feel more secure is the first step. Adding humor will lighten this child’s mood and ease the burden of over-thinking.

Allowing the earth child to do homework in the dining room rather than alone in their bedroom can improve concentration because the child is no longer worrying about being separated from the rest of the family. Before bed, a parent can sit with the child and talk about the day or massage their child’s belly. Adding light music can soothe and prevent a child from becoming too caught up in their own thoughts.

Stagnation and food accumulations in the stomach mirror the obsessive thinking that trap an insecure earth child in their thoughts. These children should avoid foods that cause slow digestion, such as excessively cold food like ice cream and raw food. Comforting foods such as soups and stews will heal poor digestion. When the symptoms are more severe or have been occurring for a long time, incorporating gentle acupuncture and Chinese herbs that “warm the middle” can promote digestion and aid attention.

The importance of recognizing different ADHD types and how they relate to the five-element typologies helps inform how best to nurture, support, and restore balance to children with attention challenges.

Further reading: Fire Child, Water Child, Stephen Scott Cowan, MD.

Bay View resident Aleisha Anderson, L.Ac., is the clinic director and acupuncturist at Mke Mindbody Wellness, an integrative wellness center with holistic therapies focused on mental health.  More information visit mkewellness.com.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this column is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or care. 

 


End of an Era — Gallery Books

July 2, 2015

By Katherine Keller

Gallery Books was tucked away at 2124 E. Rusk Ave. Although it was a retail bookstore, some might say it was more like a clubhouse for its owner Frank Mente, who had a prodigious yen for collecting books.  —Photo Jennifer Kresse

Gallery Books was tucked away at 2124 E. Rusk Ave. Although it was a retail bookstore, some might say it was more like a clubhouse for its owner Frank Mente, who had a prodigious yen for collecting books.
—Photo Jennifer Kresse

The inimitable Frank Mente who operated Gallery Books in Bay View died June 6. He was 84 years old.

Mente, a passionate bibliophile, sold books and vinyl records at his store for 32 years, opening for business in January 1983, with his business partner Malcolm Nelson. Nelson later left the partnership when he moved out of the state.

Mark Gubin, who owns the building that housed Gallery Books, 2124 E. Rusk Ave, said, “Frank was always entertaining as hell. He talked three times faster than anybody else. I didn’t charge him much at all for rent, sometimes almost nothing, depending on his finances that month.”

—Photo Jennifer Kresse

—Photo Jennifer Kresse

As anyone who patronized Gallery Books will tell you, the store was stuffed to the brim with books, and it was decorated with posters, photographs, and a bricolage of kitsch. The stairway leading to the basement was piled with books. Gubin said that Mente filled the basement under the store with even more books. He estimates that there are about 100,000 volumes in Mente’s inventory “and that most are not worth much.”

Mente acquired books at library sales and rummage sales. “That was his whole life,” Gubin said. “He bought bags of books for a dollar. And he gave away lots of books.”

Born Nov. 25, 1930, Mente worked as a journalist for the West Allis Star until it folded, and then for an insurance company. He lived in Franksville, Wis.

His parents and siblings preceded him in death.

“I think he was terribly lonely,” Gubin said. “I certainly will miss him.”

Gallery Bookstore Interior SMALL KRESSEThe fate of Mente’s vast collection is up in the air, Gubin said, indicating that Mente apparently died without leaving a will.


BID’s baskets damaged by wind 

July 2, 2015

By Katherine Keller

The day the baskets were hung, they looked like they did in the above photo. But the chartreuse vines of the sweet potato plants in the BID’s floral baskets looked like dead spiders after being exposed to 36-hours of incessant cold wind on May 30 and 31. —Photo Katherine Keller

The day the baskets were hung, they looked like they did in the above photo. But the chartreuse vines of the sweet potato plants in the BID’s floral baskets looked like dead spiders after being exposed to 36-hours of incessant cold wind on May 30 and 31. —Photo Katherine Keller

Sixty floral baskets, a project of the Kinnickinnic Avenue Business Improvement District (BID #44) were hung along Kinnickinnic Avenue on May 29, where they glowed with bright chartreuse and magenta and pink hues. However, within 24 hours, a cold, incessant wind blew for a day and half, desiccating the flowing sweet potato vines. The petunias survived the onslaught, but the vines withered and turned brown.

Commenting a few days after the wind damage, Mary Ellen O’Donnell, a member of the BID board and its streetscaping committee said, “The KK BID flower basket program took a hit this past weekend with unexpected, unseasonable, seriously cold, and windy weather. There has been obvious damage to  the baskets. The plan, after an assessment by the Plant Land team, is to rejuvenate the baskets by trimming them back over the next few days. That work will be done by our maintenance partner, Black Eagle Construction. If all goes well, we should see an improvement in the appearance of the baskets in the next 10-14 days.”

Karen Matt of Plant Land garden center, who created the baskets, said that after an initial assessment, she thought that while the vines were withered, she felt confident that the sweet potato plants had survived the wind damage. On June 17, she said that when the baskets were trimmed and the dead foliage removed, that the sweet potato plants were improving. “They are recovering nicely,” she said. “The roots weren’t affected, just the foliage.”


Help make it well again!

October 1, 2013

The Pryor Street Iron Well, the only extant public well in Milwaukee, has fallen into dramatic disrepair but there is a plan afoot to repair and restore its obelisk and foundation. Project leaders are relying on the good people of Bay View and others who love the well   and drink its water   to throw in a few bucks to help fund the restoration.   —photo Katherine Keller

The Pryor Street Iron Well, the only extant public well in Milwaukee, has fallen into dramatic disrepair but there is a plan afoot to repair and restore its obelisk and foundation. Project leaders are relying on the good people of Bay View and others who love the well and drink its water to throw in a few bucks to help fund the restoration. —photo Katherine Keller

Nichole Williams of the Bay View Neighborhood Association is leading the grant writing and fundraising drive to pay for the restoration of the Pryor Street Iron Well. Over time, the original decorative stone that sheathed the structure was in disrepair and has fallen from the surface of the obelisk. Structural rebar has rusted causing the exterior to crack and crumble. The base of the obelisk is deteriorating to the point that plants are growing in its chinks and crevices.

The Bay View Historical Society has volunteered to receive donated funds for the project, which will cost about $5,000. The goal is to restore the structure as close as possible to the original appearance by the end of October. Paul Jakubovic of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission is overseeing the restoration. (The story of the restoration will be published in the November issue of the Compass.)

If you wish to contribute to the effort to restore the Pryor Avenue Iron Well, contributions should be directed to:

Bay View Historical Society — Well Fund
2590 S. Superior St.
Milwaukee, WI 53207

Please use the “for/memo” line on your check to designate your contribution as “BVHS Well project.”

BVHS is an affiliate of the Wisconsin State Historical Society and a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. Your cancelled check is your receipt.


Mid-century furniture a specialty

October 1, 2013

Evon Smith and Corey Sweet, proprietors of R Vintage N More.  —photo Jennifer Kresse

Evon Smith and Corey Sweet, proprietors of R Vintage N More. —photo Jennifer Kresse

By Sheila Julson

Evon Smith, one of the owners of R Vintage N More, LLC, 2653 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., carefully wraps a set of sleek mid-century emerald green bar glasses in tissue paper for a 20-something male customer. The glasses, decorated with images of ducks, came with  a metal display rack.

“I couldn’t pass them up,” the purchaser said enthusiastically as he paid for his vintage treasure.

Smith, who owns R Vintage N More with Corey Sweet, said their shop specializes in mid-century antiques. The term “mid-century” in antique terms is typically defined as furniture and decor from the 1940s through the 1960s and is known for simple lines, lighter finishes, bold colors, and 3D wall art.

“The mid-century look is very popular with the younger crowd,” Sweet noted, although their store attracts customers of all ages. Those who grew up in the era enjoy the trip down memory lane and fondly recall items in the store that are similar those in their childhood homes. The younger crowd is there discovering the look for the first time.

Smith pointed out that vintage items are also more durable and better quality than some new items are today that are made from pressed particleboard coated with materials that peel easily. He said his parents were antique collectors, and he often accompanied them on their hunting excursions for vintage and antique items.

Smith and Sweet sold antiques for several years at flea markets and antique malls. In 2011, they opened a store at 916 Milwaukee Ave. in South Milwaukee. They noticed their customer base was predominantly was drawn from the Riverwest, Shorewood, and Bay View communities, so they began searching for locations in Milwaukee. Before the Bay View location was chosen, they also considered sites in Walker’s Point and Lincoln Village, near the Basilica of St. Josaphat.

“The neighborhood has been very welcoming,” Sweet said of Bay View. The store opened in July in the building also occupied by Brickyard Gym and Bay View Books & Music. The new space has 2,500 square feet — up from their 625 square feet in South Milwaukee. They find items for the store at estate sales and auctions.

Smith cited the resurgence of classic television shows and movies on channels like Me-TV for motivating the demand and interest in mid-century decor. “That dining room set is like the one they had on Hazel (an early 1960s comedy about a live-in maid),” he said, pointing to a 1959 Thomasville dining set.

Their furniture collection includes sofas and sectionals, tiered end tables with a blonde or mahogany finish, buffets, wall units that have built-in locking liquor cabinets, and accents such as lamps. Sweet pointed to a pair of large ceramic lamps finished in ivory faux stucco with teak embellishments. He said that large lamps were a popular way to fill space, especially the expansive picture windows en vogue during the mid-century.

R Vintage N More specializes in furniture from the 1940s through the 1960s.  — photo Jennifer Kresse

R Vintage N More specializes in furniture from the 1940s through the 1960s.
— photo Jennifer Kresse

The store’s collection also features working radios, hi-fi sets with turntables, lots of barware in assorted colors and kitschy patterns, art, and sculptures. They carry some jewelry and Victorian-era antiques.

Sweet said he feels that R Vintage N More can coexist with other antique dealers in Bay View, including Tip Top Atomic Shop, which also specializes in mid-century items. “I’ve known Jim (Dutcher, who owns Tip Top Atomic Shop with his wife, Lisa) for years, and he carries a lot of vintage clothes,” Sweet said.

Since R Vintage N More carries mostly furniture, the two refer customers to each other.

There is also a sign-up “wish list” for customers seeking specific items. If Smith and Sweet find the item or one that is similar, they contact the customer.

R Vintage N More also offers a layaway plan.

R Vintage N More
2653 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
(414) 243-1838
rvintagenmore.com


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