Fox River Cleanup, Wisconsin Legend, Creativity

Air Date:
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Do you think you’re not a creative person? A cartoonist joins Rob Ferrett and Veronica Rueckert to help us tap into our inner creativity. Plus, they get an update on the ongoing effort to remove PCBs from the Fox River, and they get to know Wisconsin Legend Walter Sanger.

Featured in this Show

  • Wisconsin's Most Popular Spectator's Sport: Bicycling?

    As spring approaches, many might think about hauling out that bicycle and tuning it up for the first ride of the year. It’s a tradition that goes back a long way, and from the beginning, Wisconsin has been a hotbed of bicycling.

    This month is the anniversary of the birth of a Wisconsinite who was one of the sport’s pioneer racers: Walter Sanger.

    Sanger was once known internationally as one of the greatest competitors in the sport, according to Nick Hoffman and Jesse Gant, co-authors of “Wheel Fever: How Wisconsin Became a Great Bicycling State.” At his peak in the 1980s, Sanger became famous for his speed and his strength.

    “Walter Sanger was described as being herculean. He’s kind of built like a fullback in the NFL today, so he had this raw strength that just wasn’t seen before,” Hoffman said.

    Sanger’s winning streaks were often the result of last-minute bursts to the finish after otherwise holding back throughout a race, according to Hoffman.

    Thousands of people would show up to see Sanger’s races, Gant said. Much like today, these sporting events garnered sponsorships and corporate interests. One meet in Appleton in 1896 drew a crowd of 8,000, according to Hoffman.

    It was around that time that Sanger met his match. A racer named Eddie Bald beat him three times in a row, having cracked Sanger’s code for last-minute bursts to the finish line.

    Sanger competed until the 1890s, but as the years went by, automobiles, motorcycles and other technology began to spark his interest. Racing eventually took a backseat. He ultimately settled on the upper east side of Milwaukee and opened a car dealership.

    Sanger died on Dec. 6, 1941. Though a lengthy tribute might otherwise take precedent in local newspapers for a sports legend such as him, the news of the following day — the attack on Pearl Harbor — overshadowed all else.

    He was, however, posthumously recognized for his contributions to the state’s rich athletic history in the 1960s, when he was inducted in the first class of the Wisconsin Sports Hall Of Fame alongside fellow Wisconsin legend Curly Lambeau.

  • Fox River Cleanup Efforts

    A $54.1 million dollar settlement between paper companies in the northeast Wisconsin area and the federal, state, and tribal governments will help pave the way for further cleanup of the Fox River. A guest explains how PCBs contaminate the river and what it takes to clean them up.

  • Wisconsin Legend: Walter Sanger

    As spring approaches, we think about hauling out that bicycle and tuning it up for the first ride of the year. Today is the anniversary of the birth of a Wisconsinite who was one of the sport’s pioneer racers, Walter Sanger. Two historians tell us more about him.

  • Getting In Touch With Your Inner Artist

    Cartoonist, artist, and creative maven Lynda Barry joins us to talk about how to awaken our inner artist.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Cynthia Schuster Producer
  • Norman Gilliland Producer
  • Ed Culhane Guest
  • Nicholas Hoffman Guest
  • Jesse Gant Guest
  • Lynda Barry Guest
  • Veronica Rueckert Interviewer

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