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CONTENTS september/october 2021

vol. 75

publisher Amy S. Johnson


editorial director Amy S. Johnson

lead designer

arts Clay, Glaze & Firing: Indiana........32

Linda Walker


senior copy editor & lead staff writer

Heather Wentler............................24

Kyle Jacobson

Paradoxical Gardener..................18

copy editor & staff writer

Power and Privilege......................40

Krystle Engh Naab

Toxic Brewing: Sexual Harassment

sales & marketing director Amy S. Johnson

designers Jennifer Denman, Crea Stellmacher, Barbara Wilson


Cloaking in Progress...................42

dining Sardine.............................................6

food & beverage Dream Cheeses from Four Chefs

Debora Knutson

and a Writer................................14

contributing writers Anna Thomas Bates, Sandy Eichel, Jeanne Engle, Chris Gargan, Katy Nodolf, Anne Sayers, Lori Scarlett, DVM




Eric Tadsen

Shorewood Hills.............................10

JustDane: The Journey Home.......26

additional photographs Anna Thomas Bates, Jeremy Hogan, JustDane, Kevin Montague, Serena Nancarrow, Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Justin Rothshank, Visit Beloit, Heather Wentler


subscriptions Madison Essentials is available free at

Uncovering Wisconsin’s Hidden

over 200 locations. To purchase an annual subscription (six issues), send mailing information and $24 to Madison Essentials, c/o Towns & Associates, Inc., PO Box 174, Baraboo, WI 53913-0174. Or sign up for a FREE online subscription at

Listening to a Hack........................30

travel Gems: Beloit................................44

including From the Publisher...........................4 Contest Information......................46 Contest Winners............................46


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We welcome your questions and comments. Please submit to Madison Essentials, c/o Towns & Associates, Inc., PO Box 174, Baraboo, WI 53913-0174 or email


To place an advertisement, please call (608) 215-5240 or email

all rights reserved. ©2021

No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without prior written permission by Madison Essentials. Towns & Associates, Inc. PO Box 174 Baraboo, WI 53913-0174 P (608) 356-8757 • F (608) 356-8875

Watch for the next issue November/December 2021. Cover photograph—taken by Anna Thomas Bates Photographs on page 3: top— Scoop on Base by Malcolm Mobutu Smith taken by Kevin Montague middle— Grilled Marinated Sardines taken at Sardine by Eric Tadsen bottom—Shorewood Hills home taken by Eric Tadsen

from the publisher Eighteen years ago, I imagined a magazine that would tell stories about the places we live, neighborhood businesses, people whose efforts positively affect and influence us, and the many things we can explore throughout our community. Madison Essentials has done that and more since its 2004 debut, including talking candidly and creating thoughtful discussions about some tough topics: racism, racial justice, guns, mental health, voting rights, the environment, free speech, and domestic abuse. But when we first started talking about our copy editor Kyle’s favorite topic of beer and breweries, we never imagined it would lead to lending our voice to a disturbing industry exposition—sexual harassment. When an east coast brewer vented on social media and asked if others were experiencing sexist comments on the job, the response was beyond anything she could have imagined. The stories shared in over 1,000 responses delved deeper and were much darker than the brewer’s inquiry. Why are we talking about and exploring an east coast story in Madison Essentials? Because the responding voices were from across the country, and they resonate in Dane County and across our state. Erica DeAnda, Tumbled Rock’s brewmaster and former Pink Boots Society chapter leader, has been part of our beer discussions. Erica reached out to Kyle about the social media response and what has been occurring, and asked if we’d be willing to write about it. Kyle came to me—visibly upset—and asked if an article would fit within the parameters of our magazine. While I knew it would be more news-oriented than our regular feature-based pieces, I said I not only wanted to write about it, I felt it was our duty to do so. That we also need to share this newfound awareness of the dark side of an industry we’ve long touted in support of the victims, making it clear with the strongest statement possible that sexual harassment is intolerable and unacceptable everywhere. We all need to raise our voices, including those who support and those who work in the beer industry. It doesn’t mean Madison Essentials won’t continue to highlight and support local breweries—we believe these instances are exceptions and not the norm—but we also believe and support the victims. We’ll continue to write and continue to be clear about our intolerance to what has and is occurring in the beer industry. In addition to the article inside, we’ve included stories that have been shared with us at I hope that when you read the article and online stories, you’ll join us in being vocal and acting to increase awareness and create change.

amy johnson

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e ssential dining

s a r d i n e by Anna Thomas Bates The 2020 pandemic was a chaotic year for the service industry. Some businesses have closed, others still might, but for Sardine co-owners and chefs Phillip Hurley and John

Gadau, 2021 is full of hope.

​ Phillip and John met in 1997 as neighbors in the same brownstone apartment near Wrigley Field in Chicago. Before teaming up, they worked separately in a number of prestigious restaurants in Chicago and California, like Café Provencal, Cartucci, Citrus, and Zuni Café. Together, they moved their families to Madison in 2000 and opened Marigold Kitchen, a cozy breakfast and lunch spot off the Capitol Square. Just this

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“We’ve settled into a direction of cooking that is truly

us, more so

than before,” says Phillip. “The rails were going in a different direction, and we wanted to take

this opportunity to home in on simplicity, beautiful flavors, and a few less ingredients.”

year, they sold Marigold Kitchen to their very first employee at the restaurant and her husband, who she met while working at Marigold.

new spices, and did a lot of baking and made desserts. We’d take photos of what we were making and eating and text each other all the time.”

When a space in the historical tobacco/ icehouse became available in 2006, the chefs jumped on it and opened Sardine, a French-inspired lakeside bistro. At 15 years old, Sardine is part of an elite club of long-time, classic Madison restaurants.

And they have taken that energy and momentum into relaunching Sardine, which opened this past summer. Some changes are apparent, but others are behind the scenes. “We’ve settled into a direction of cooking that is truly us, more so than before,” says Phillip. “The rails were going in a different direction, and we wanted to take this opportunity to home in on simplicity, beautiful flavors, and a few less ingredients.”

But the pandemic didn’t make this last year easy. Sardine shut down March 15, 2020, two days before the mandate to close was issued. “Reservations had been steadily dropping, and there were too many unknowns and question marks,” says Phillip. “Is it going to be two weeks? Two months?” John adds, “And on a personal level, our staff didn’t feel safe. It was easier for everyone to stay home and spend time with their families rather than coming back just for a shift or two. And honest to God, would we still want to be doing this if we’d worked that year? It was a pitiful grind to figure out how to stay open. Now we have so much more momentum. We were lucky to have a thoughtful landlord who worked with us and acted as a partner.” Even though Sardine was closed, that doesn’t mean the two sat idly. “John and I cooked a ton at home. We experimented, we had fun, tried out

plate. But diners will see new flavors, like Middle Eastern and North African, which are common in France and make sense to include here. The kitchen is using more olive oil than butter, and crisper, lighter flavors are the focus. The kitchen will stay nimble, and menu items will change more frequently as

Streamlining the menu and ingredients per dish was a purposeful move toward regaining simplicity for Sardine. It also helped staffing and cashflow. While Sardine retained most of their front-ofhouse staff and managers and more than half of their kitchen staff (much better than the average Madison restaurant that fully reopened), there still was not enough staff to reopen at pre-pandemic capacity. In late summer, they were still pumping the brakes on reservations, ensuring everyone who walked through the door received the best service and experience. Being more efficient also allowed Sardine to increase staff wages. Doing more with less was a lesson born out of the pandemic. Several of the classic Sardine dishes remain on the menu: salmon and lentils, duck confit salad, and a beautiful cheese

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seasons progress and different produce is available. “We had lots of time to study our past menus and think about how busy, chaotic, and hard things had gotten,” says John. “It all goes back to the menu and how can we create one that’s tighter, more efficient, hire less people, pay them more, and be more profitable.” Both chefs agreed things have changed since Sardine opened. Diners are more sophisticated and more knowledgeable about food, and it allows restaurants to push the envelope a bit. John says, “Spaghetti and meatballs used to be exciting, but people are traveling more, exposed to more, and they want more from their restaurant. Expectations are higher, it’s more competitive, and this pushes us and makes us better.”

Moules Frites

“We want to create a place that’s hopeful

and generous, and we could not have done it without our

8 | madison essentials


Phillip added, “And the restaurant landscape has changed. There are a lot more good restaurants. Madison is growing, the population is young, and everyone has more sophisticated palates. … We didn’t want to open

the exact same restaurant because everyone’s changed. We’re really proud of the Sardine we’re reopening.” Going forward, John thinks restaurants will survive, if not thrive. “Things are going to look different; there will be more online stuff, more takeout. Everyone who can have outdoor seating will have a patio and a plan if something similar happens again. … We want to create a place that’s hopeful and generous, and we could not have done it without our staff.” Phillip and John have no plans to leave anytime soon. Their profound appreciation for those who make their restaurant a success and the community that supports them is evident in the time spent reflecting, rethinking, and reopening their restaurant with fresh changes in classic Sardine style. Anna Thomas Bates moved to Wisconsin 21 years ago, and after shopping at the Dane County Farmers’ Market and wandering through the Driftless Area, she hasn’t looked back. Co-owner of Landmark Creamery in Paoli, if she isn’t tasting/ selling cheese, you’ll find her writing about food, reading a good book, swimming, or hiking with her two boys. Photographs by Eric Tadsen.

Pan-Roasted Halibut Anna Thomas Bates

SARDINE 617 Williamson Street Madison, WI 53703 (608) 441-1600

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e ssential landmark

Shorewood Hills Home to Historic Districts BY JEANNE ENGLE When one looks out on the Dane County landscape today, it’s hard to imagine that a community like the Village of Shorewood Hills, just to the west of Madison, was once farmland a little over a century ago. But a young man, John Charles McKenna Sr., who came from a family of community builders, looked out on the land and saw a place to build a home for himself and others. McKenna Sr. had moved to Madison with his family in 1901. The story is told that one Sunday afternoon, being homesick for the rolling hills on the Pecatonica River in his native Iowa County, he walked west. McKenna Sr. came upon a rustic bridge over a ravine that led to Lake Mendota. It was here that the 23-year-old envisioned a new community. 10 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Two historic districts, both listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002, make up Shorewood Hills. College Hills Historic District, the older of the two, is the eastern half of the village. The area was platted between 1912 and 1915 by McKenna Sr. The district is roughly bounded by University Bay, Harvard, and Amherst Drives and the corporate limit of Shorewood Hills. The Shorewood Historic District was platted, again by McKenna Sr., in the 1920s. Its boundaries are Lake Mendota Drive, Tally Ho Lane, Shorewood Boulevard, and the Blackhawk Country Club. In 1927, residents voted to consolidate the two plats, and the Village of Shorewood Hills was born. McKenna Sr.’s family had been involved in real estate for two generations before him. His great uncle was John Falls O’Neill, born 1792, who moved to Mineral Point in 1827 with his wife when that city was being established. According to newspaper accounts, O’Neill bought up much land and built a lovely two-story home named O’Neill’s Grove. Being an engineer, he was credited with using his skill to lay out Mineral Point. O’Neill was one of three commissioners, along with James Doty and Augustus Bird, who supervised the building of Wisconsin’s capitol building in Madison in 1837. O’Neill’s sister, Sarah, born 1805, married Francis McKenna, born 1802, in Ireland. They came to America and eventually settled in Iowa County in 1846. Francis McKenna and two others built roads from Mineral Point in the township that would become Waldwick in 1848. Then in 1860, eastern sections of Waldwick were organized into a separate township, Moscow. McKenna was elected its first chair that same year.

McKenna was involved in the real estate business in Madison until 1913. John Charles McKenna Sr. joined his father in the real estate business in 1905. Then in 1912, he started his own University Bay Land Company. McKenna Sr. purchased a 68.5-acre portion of the Jacob Breitenbach farm in the Town of Madison and platted residential lots. Calling the plat College Hills, McKenna Sr. named the streets after either American or English colleges and universities. His intent was to emphasize the relationship of the new suburb to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He also wanted to appeal to the welleducated elite. “A Neighborhood of High

Class Homes” and the “Plat that Appeals to Good Judgment and Sentiment” were some of the advertisements that McKenna Sr. put out to sell the lots. McKenna Sr.’s grandson, John C. McKenna III, thinks it likely that his grandfather was competing with the older suburb of University Heights to the west and adjacent to the UW campus where many UW faculty and staff lived. McKenna Sr. probably hoped his development would entice the same folks since the UW was expanding and enrollment was growing. Ossian Cole Simonds, well-known Chicago landscape architect, was hired by McKenna Sr. and developed a plan that included irregular-shaped lots and organic, curvilinear streets. John III

Sarah and Francis McKenna had a son, John Falls McKenna, born 1834. He ran a large stock farm near Blanchardville for many years before moving his family to the east side of Madison. This John

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relates that his father, John C. McKenna Jr., told him how McKenna Sr. would walk the land with his designer carrying a bundle of wood lath, pounding a piece into the ground where a house should be. McKenna Sr.’s vision for College Hills was helped with deed restrictions. No more than one dwelling could be built on a lot, no house could cost less than

$3,000, and no trees and shrubs could be planted without being approved by McKenna Sr.’s company. One exception was made for McKenna Sr.’s barber, whom he visited daily for a shave. The barber bought a lot and built a small cabin on it. But there was no restriction on the style of the house. According to the National Register nomination, “Period revival

style homes mix harmoniously with neighbors designed in both the earlier progressive styles (Prairie School, Arts and Crafts, American Craftsman) and later contemporary style buildings. Many of the houses in the district are also the work of prominent Madison and regionally notable architects.” Lots in College Hills sold slowly, but that didn’t deter McKenna Sr. In 1914, he purchased another 30 acres contiguous to the original plat from the farmer Lewis Post. That same year, he built a house for himself. Within a year, he sold that house and built another close by. McKenna Sr. built a total of three houses in College Hills. John III tells how he learned from his father what happened when World War I broke out. John Sr. came home from work one day, threw the newspaper on the porch where his son was sitting, and said, “I’m ruined.” Even after declaring bankruptcy, he kept going, according

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McKenna Sr. stayed in the real estate development business and created the Eagle Heights Land Company in 1921. He purchased a strip of land along the Lake Mendota shoreline and called his new plat Shorewood Hills. Proceeds from the sale of these lots were used to purchase more land to the south. By 1929, there were five additions to the original plat. Eventually, all the land between railroad tracks to the south; Lake Mendota to the north; the original College Hills plat to the east; and Blackhawk Country Club to the west, built in 1921, became the entire plat. On July 27, 1927, in an article in the Wisconsin State Journal the writer noted concerning John McKenna Sr., “He has spent his life, his energy, his thoughts, and his soul in the building of Shorewood Hills, and it has paid him. In money, yes. But in satisfaction, happiness, and the feeling that he has done his level best and completed that which he started, much more.” “My grandfather left Shorewood Hills because he thought he did all that he could do there,” says John III. McKenna Sr. continued in real estate development with his sons, John Jr. and Donald, until his death in 1949. Some of his other developments in the Madison area include Sunset Hills and Westmorland

July 27, 1927

“He has spent his life, his energy, his thoughts, and his soul in the building of Shorewood Hills, and it has paid him. In money, yes. But in satisfaction, happiness, and the feeling that he has done his level best and completed that which he started, much more.”

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as well as Quaker Heights, Homestead Highlands, and Frost Woods in Monona. When McKenna Sr. died, one of the long residential streets in Monona was named McKenna Road in his honor. Watch for the next issue, where some of the more well-known residents of Shorewood Hills who built the original homes will be featured. Jeanne Engle is a freelance writer. Photographs by Eric Tadsen.

Jeanne Engle

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essential food & beverage

Dream Cheeses from Four Chefs and a Writer by Anna Thomas Bates

Wisconsin produces more cheese than any other state. Six hundred varieties are crafted here, double that of runner-up California. Ninety percent of the state’s milk is turned into cheese, and not only has Wisconsin won more cheese awards than any other state, but it has won more cheese awards than any other country. It’s not surprising that chefs have strong opinions about the cheeses they eat and serve their customers. Here are the dream cheese boards of four chefs and a writer who specializes in cheese. Maggie Roovers is the general manager at Fresco and was previously the head chef at Forequarter. Maggie’s dream cheese board? “I prefer softer cheeses for a cheese board. I like things that I can 14 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

spread on a cracker with some sweet stuff. One of my favorite pairings that I’ve done in the past was Petit Nuage (Landmark Creamery) with rhubarb jam. “At Forequarter, Mel Trudeau encouraged me to make dishes that highlighted cheeses in ways that didn’t always fit the traditional cheese board format. This made me think about the seasonality of cheeses themselves. I associate fresh sheep- and goat-milk cheeses with spring, so I love to pair them with things like asparagus, spring onions, basically anything green. “Ricotta and any form of mozzarella are my summer cheeses. My most popular cheese dish at Forequarter had to be the marinated summer squash with

stracciatella. We served it with the most delicious sourdough from Origin Breads. The way that the cream and the sunflower oil from the squash marinade combined made for the best bread dipping. I don’t know if I’ll ever beat that dish. Alpine cheeses are my go-to for fall, and I love them with all of the winter squash. Bleu cheese is my choice for winter. Working a creamy bleu into a root vegetable puree (especially rutabaga) takes it to another level!” Jon Rosnow is the chef and owner of Common Pasta and formerly of Heritage Tavern. Jon’s dream cheese board? “Mine has more cheeses on it than I could certainly eat in one sitting. I would have a bit of each though: Landmark Creamery Rebel Miel, Emmi Roth Surchoix, Dreamfarm Roseblossom, Uplands Cheese’s Rush Creek Reserve, Milton Creamery Prairie Breeze,

Not surprisingly, many cheeses on these cheese boards are made in Wisconsin.

Daniel Bonanno is chef/partner at A Pig in a Fur Coat and a partner at Alimentari. What’s Dan’s dream cheese board? “I love harder, aged cheeses on an evening cheese board: 10-plus-year cheddars, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and bleu cheese served with rich preserves, bread, crackers, and dark honey. For my

morning board, I love soft/fresh cheeses, like Brie, fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, burrata, and Alpine cheeses served with fresh tomatoes, melons, toast, and light jams.” Patrick DePula is CEO/chef at Salvatore’s Tomato Pies. Salvatore’s

Délice de Bourgogne (France), and Bleu d’Auvergne (France). “I thoroughly enjoy jams and marmalades with my cheese. I make my own jam, and some of my favorites are strawberry-tarragon-black-pepper and spiced tomato plum. I also like to snack on candied almonds with my cheese. Lastly, I enjoy some lightly dressed bitter greens, like frisée, to counter all the dairy.”

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recently launched a frozen pizza line. What’s Patrick’s dream cheese board? “Oh boy—this is tough. I’ll start with my current cheese crush: Hook’s Hurdy Gurdy. It’s a goat-milk Alpine-style cheese that’s super rich with protein crystals that crunch a little when you bite it. I’d include that on my dream board paired with grilled Batch Bakehouse Scali bread and chilled, grilled peaches drizzled with spicy honey and a touch of salt. I’d add Driftless Provisions outstanding soppressata, Nutkrack, Landmark Creamery Pecora Nocciola, landjäger from Wisconsin River Meats, Sartori SarVecchio, Wisconsin apricots, currants, Uplands Rush Creek Reserve, Door County cherries, Roelli Red Rock, Farmer Johns’ cheese curds, and imported Locatelli Pecorino Romano (Italy).” Jane Burns is a freelance writer who frequently writes about cheese. What’s Jane’s dream cheese board? “When I do a cheese board, I like to make it a

mix of things I want people to try and things that won’t intimidate them. Even a dream cheese board doesn’t make me want to budge from that.

Not surprisingly, many cheeses on these cheese boards are made in Wisconsin, even though no one was limited to cheeses made in their home state.

“I’d go with Big Sky Grana from Bleu Mont Dairy for the way it’s so easy to nibble to the point where you even want the crumbs; Prairie Breeze from Milton Creamery, a tasty accessible cheddar from Iowa; Hook’s 20-Year Cheddar because we are dreaming, after all; and while we’re dreaming, and because you can’t have too many cheddars, I’d want to throw on some English Wookey Hole Cave Aged Cheddar just so I could say Wookey Hole Cave Aged Cheddar; for a little sweet and color, I’d opt for some Dreamfarm Apricot Honey Lavender chèvre; Marieke Foenegreek Gouda, which is magical in so many ways; Hook’s Blue Paradise, which always lives up to its name; BellaVitano Raspberry, so beloved by every member of my extended family that we just call it The Family Cheese.”

Anna Thomas Bates moved to Wisconsin 21 years ago, and after shopping at the Dane County Farmers’ Market and wandering through the Driftless Area, she hasn’t looked back. Co-owner of Landmark Creamery in Paoli, if she isn’t tasting/ selling cheese, you’ll find her writing about food, reading a good book, swimming, or hiking with her two boys. Photographs by Anna Thomas Bates.

Anna Thomas Bates

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So what’s on your dream cheese board?

To read more cheese Q&As, go to FRESCO 227 State Street Madison, WI 53703 (608) 663-7374

COMMON PASTA 1 E. Main Street Madison, WI 53703 /commonpasta

A PIG IN A FUR COAT 940 Williamson Street Madison, WI 53703 (608) 316-3300

SALVATORE’S TOMATO PIES 5507 Monona Drive Monona, WI 53716 (608) 305-8611

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essential community

Paradoxical by Katy Nodolf I have a confession. I’m a paradoxical gardener, full of contradictions. I don’t like the feeling of dirt under my fingernails, but I love to put my hands in the soil. I’ll also (sheepishly) admit that I get squeamish when I happen upon the creepy crawly bugs, grubs, and wiggly worms that live underground, but I’m fascinated with their habitat and ecosystem. I’m a gardener, but I’m a lazy one and don’t aspire to spend all my free time caring for plants. Perhaps the largest and most egregious contradiction, at least for a gardener, is that I logically and wholeheartedly understand the positive reasons to have a yard full of plants—they turn our carbon dioxide into oxygen, support insects and wildlife, and contribute to making our planet a better place for all of us. But, and this is a big one, I don’t intend to turn every square inch of my yard into garden beds. We have garden areas, both perennial/ floral/ornamental and vegetable, and some are quite large. However, we also have a typical suburban lawn that, generally speaking, has very few positive impacts on the environment. However, the yard is where my daughter plays soccer with the neighbors. It’s where

18 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s


Photo by Kevin Sink

my dog stretches out on warm summer days to soak up the sunrays. It’s where we have campfires and make memories. So how do I mentally reconcile the desire to have a large garden that has many benefits for us and the planet with the reality that it’s very unlikely to happen in my current stage of life, and possibly never? Here’s the secret: it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can make an impact no matter the amount of garden space you have (or lack). You don’t have to turn your entire lawn into a native garden— just start with one garden bed. Look at one area in that bed or just one square foot of space and think about what you can do in that area to make an impact. In his book Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, author James Clear writes that when humans desire to create or break a habit, we often go all in. We try to change too much too quickly, and usually don’t succeed. Instead, he suggests focusing on small improvements that, when

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applied for weeks, months, and years, have an accumulated benefit. In fact, he asserts that just a 1 percent improvement will have the biggest impact over time. So ask yourself, “How can my garden be 1 percent better today?” Here are some ideas to get you started.

Add a Native Plant

According to the National Wildlife Federation, a plant is considered native if After 48 years downtown, we have a new it “has occurred naturally in a particular home on Madison’s East side. region, ecosystem, or habitat without It’s a new beginning but our mission remains. human introduction. They will thrive We’re dedicated to providing you the full in the soils, moisture, and weather of range of health options & the information your region.” To know if a plant is native you need to make informed decisions. to your area, use the National Wildlife Federation’s Native Plant Finder site, When you’re ready to make a purchase, you’ll most likely find the largest selection of native plants at a local greenhouse or garden center (as opposed to a big-box store).

130 S. Fair Oaks Avenue (Across from the Garver Feed Mill Entrance) 608-251-3242 Prescriptions 608-251-4454

To know if a plant is native to your area, use the

National Wildlife Federation’s Native Plant Finder site /nativeplantfinder.

20 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Designate Your Garden as a Homegrown National Park™ Homegrown National Park is a term coined by author and entomologist Doug Tallamy. His goal is to create 20 million acres of native plantings across the United States—the equivalent of about half of the lawns on privately owned properties. While it seems like a lofty goal, remember that small improvements have accumulated benefits. If you add 1 percent more native plants to your yard, and so does your neighbor, and then everyone on your street, and so on, think of the amount of new plantings out there! Once you have your nifty new native plants in the ground, head over to to designate your garden a Homegrown National Park.

Leave Plant Material Standing in the Winter This idea is one of my favorites because it gives you permission to relax. Come fall, all you have to do is nothing. Seriously, don’t cut your perennial plants down at the end of the growing season. Leaving plant material standing during the winter provides habitat for insects, like native bees who overwinter in the hollow stems of some plants, and food for wildlife, like birds who eat the seeds from coneflowers.

Think Twice About Using Herbicides Reaching for a bottle of weed or pest spray may be the easiest option, but is it the best? If insects are bugging your perennials and shrubs, consider using less drastic measures. For example, knocking pests, such as Japanese beetles, into a container of soapy water might be a better option all around. The same principle applies to lawn

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areas. When you look at your lawn, how much is actually weeds? Probably no more than 10 percent, so why spray every square inch of your turf with an herbicide? Consider not using herbicides at all and tolerating a few dandelions or patches of clover in your yard. If you do use chemicals, spot spray the areas that actually have weeds instead of treating the whole lawn.

Take One Hour to Educate Yourself This is the most important thing anyone can do to be 1 percent better. Maybe you don’t have a garden space and aren’t able to do any of the previous ideas. That’s okay! Take some time to educate yourself about native plants, insects, and wildlife. I recommend starting out by watching a presentation by Doug Tallamy on YouTube. Just search his name or the title of his book, Nature’s Best Hope.

of life and limited time, rest assured there is a middle ground. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Start small. It might seem like one native plant won’t make a difference, but it does— small improvements have accumulated benefits. Look at that one area or one square foot of your garden and ask yourself, “What’s the best thing I can do to make the most impact with the time I have?” and grow from there. Katy Nodolf is the public relations & marketing manager at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Photographs provided by Olbrich Botanical Gardens.

If you’re a paradoxical gardener like me and find yourself trying to balance your desire for a large, sustainable, ecofriendly garden space with the reality

Katy Nodolf

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We love the new graphic design art created by Michael of Braley Branding! Our collection of postcards, canvas prints, and stickers featuring Madison images has recently expanded. Little Luxuries 230 State St., Stop 2, Madison

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Heather Wentler No Wrong Turn by Kyle Jacobson Webster’s dictionary defines doyenne as a woman considered to be knowledgeable or uniquely skilled as a result of long experience in some field or endeavor. I’m not forcing clichés into the world’s most obscure wedding speech, just figuring out what doyenne means. It’s also the name of Heather Wentler’s organization focused on, per mission statement, unleashing and igniting the power and potential of women

"So part of why I wanted to become a teacher was so students wouldn’t feel the same way I did.”

entrepreneurs to create entrepreneurial ecosystems where all women thrive. Through more than coincidence, igniting and unleashing one’s potential speaks to Heather’s personal journey. Experience has since shaped her reality, but we’ll start with what she roadmapped beforehand. When Heather was young, she knew who she wanted to be professionally, and opportunities that weren’t stepping stones to that end were questioned with prejudice. “I have a vivid memory of being in algebra class in high school and sitting there going ‘why do I need to learn this?’ The teacher, having this poster that had all of the concepts that we were learning in class relating to different jobs, she said, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ “I said, ‘I think I want to be a teacher.’ “And she was like, ‘Well that’s exactly why you need to learn this.’ “And I go, ‘Nope. I don’t want to be a math teacher. I want to be a social studies teacher, so what else you got?’

Photograph provided by Heather Wentler

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“Why should, beside the fact that you get to check a standards box, why should I have to learn this? And no one ever had a good answer for it. So part of

Photograph provided by Heather Wentler

e ssential community

why I wanted to become a teacher was so students wouldn’t feel the same way I did.” As fate tends to play it out, she did end up teaching math. Still, she had built up in her mind a way to teach that she believed would be better than what textbooks could provide outside a general outline in concept. Instead of studying geometry in the abstract, Heather took students to the basketball court. Instead of learning fractions through story problems, she brought the stories to life through brownie recipes. To the dismay of some students, those recipes were baked per their math, and Heather would discuss with them why the brownies didn’t turn out. She got a lot of pushback from the school. Disenchanted with what she would be able accomplish in the classroom, Heather saw the door closing à la Indiana Jones, grabbing what she could before the door closed completely. It was her husband, Chris, founder of Sector 67, who showed her that what she thought was her path in life wasn’t set in stone. It was 2011 when Heather started her first business, Fractal. “I did S.T.E.A.M. enrichment programming for schoolaged kids. It started as a partner program with MSCR for summer school, and then I also worked with the children’s museum. People kept saying, ‘Can we

She found her role as educator best fit in supplementing and expanding on the basic skills students were learning in the classroom. “Just to see their eyes light up to be like, ‘I’m six, and I learned how to solder this week. Look, I have no burns on my hands.’” Kids were also becoming familiar with the role of failure as an instrumental part of the learning process. This was what that teacher so long ago was unable to communicate to Heather. The following year, Chris was one of the organizers for Startup Weekend in Madison, and he wanted Heather

like Madison SOUP. In 2017, Amy left teaching, and Heather officially ended Fractal. They were all in on Doyenne. Tragically, the day after Christmas in 2019, Amy and her daughter were involved in a fatal helicopter crash in Hawaii. The following March, COVID-19 hit. It is said that when it rains, it pours, but this was more like getting hit in the gut and then finding yourself caught off guard by the uppercut. “Amy was a huge supporter and believer in me. Losing her has been really, really hard, and trying to figure out...I know I have a really big Doyenne network that supports me... but I don’t have my sister anymore. My work wife.” Though Amy’s loss still weighs heavy, after the somersaults and efforts to regain her balance, Heather seems to

Photograph provided by Heather Wentler

Igniting the power and potential of women entrepreneurs to create entrepreneurial ecosystems where all women thrive. to come. “I was like, I don’t want to go to this. I’m already seeing that the entrepreneur scene in Madison was very male focused, and I didn’t want to be the only woman in the room again. I wasn’t going to go, but Chris called me and was like, ‘You gotta come meet this woman, Amy Gannon. She’s here, and she’s saying all the same things you’re saying about how there’s no women here.’” The two hit it off. While Doyenne was becoming what it is today, Amy was a professor at Edgewood College, and Heather was continuing her work with Fractal while experimenting in other entrepreneurial endeavors,

have landed on her feet. The impact of having Amy in her corner through the years pushes Doyenne’s success even today. As many moments as Heather finds her missing Amy, she finds ones where they’re still connected. She told me she just had a dance party with Amy in the office the other day, and “every single day, I’ll get an email, and I’m like, ‘Oh my god, I wish Amy was here to share this with her.’ We’d just be able to laugh about it or roll our eyes together about it.” Amy was also the filter for Heather’s snarky side. We’re all capable of great things. Seriously, you can do darn near whatever

you set your mind to, but it needs to be fueled by passion and regarded with humility. And most of us can’t do it alone. Without guidance and motivation, we’re victim to our own limitations and blind spots. Being reflective, always growing, these have served Heather better than inclined certainties. Listening to herself now means listening to all those voices that have been fundamental in developing her path—those who’ve never questioned her capabilities, pushing her to be the person she was always searching for. Kyle Jacobson is lead writer and senior copy editor for Madison Essentials.

Kyle Jacobson

Photograph by Barbara Wilson

have more of it?’ ‘Are there ways for my kids to get involved with this other than summer-long programs?’” Soon, winter and spring-break camps involving 3-D modeling and printing became part of Fractal.

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e ssential nonprofit


by Kyle Jacobson

How much of your day, heck, how much of your year is spent thinking about how those released from prison are doing? If they’re able to get a job? If they’re finding housing? You’re certainly not alone if you answered somewhere around the zero-second mark, but what if I asked whether or not you think we should work to reduce recidivism rates? I imagine many would think it the moral direction. Well, if someone released from prison can’t find housing or get a job, it’s not hard to imagine the odds of them going back to prison increase. Addressing the issue probably isn’t in most people’s wheelhouse; thanks to The Journey Home, a signature initiative of the United Way of Dane County implemented in collaboration with JustDane, it doesn’t have to be. Executive Director Linda Ketcham explains, “The Journey Home is a program that’s really focusing on areas where people often hit barriers when they come out of 26 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

prison, connecting them with support in the community, which might be making new connections with friends, creating new friendships. It might be support groups, like AA and NA. And then we also focus on connecting with educational resources, so if they’re wanting to complete their GED or HSED because they didn’t get their diploma, we can connect them with that and connect them with other educational training programs.” It goes without saying that reacclimating to society isn’t a natural transition. It takes work on both the released person’s part and society’s part: the former seeking to stay out of prison and the latter offering services and resources to guide the released person away from a life they might’ve adjusted to over their time in prison or jail. This starts with building new relationships for support and reestablishing once-healthy relationships fractured over that time.

The Journey Home program provides a once-a-week support group, The Phoenix Initiative, which aims to motivate those involved with the justice system to move beyond the parts of themselves that got them in trouble in the first place. The Journey Home also offers a “monthly service fair. A one stop shop where people can come and meet other agencies. There’s usually an inspirational or motivational speaker— someone who’s been through the challenges themselves.” One group of released persons that have a unique task ahead of them are parents. Oftentimes, there’s a whole family dynamic that’s been built back up while the released person was away, and the released person needs to work to be a part of that system. “Parenting Inside Out is an evidence-based curriculum working with parents, particularly dads, who are returning home from prison or jail working to help strengthen their


part of THE JOURNEY HOME, works with volunteers in the community

to create circles of four to six people who agree to meet weekly with someone who’s newly released to fill gaps in the released person’s network.

relationship with their kids,” says Linda. “Also with any other caregivers that are involved with the kids. That might be the other biological parent; it might be a grandparent the kids have been staying with. It really engages the whole unit in the class.” For many released persons, the nature of their crimes will make things more difficult in their futures. Certain offenses equate to having an additional set of rules on top of the ones the rest of us are meant to follow. This is where the idea of building social capital comes in. Circles of Support, part of The Journey Home, works with volunteers in the community to create circles of four to six people who agree to meet weekly with someone who’s newly released to fill gaps in the released person’s network.

disparities in terms of access and various things, they might not know people who own businesses who are hiring or who own property or who know landlords. It’s this idea of being able to build social capital, building relationships and friendships with people in the community who have those ties and have those connections within the community.”

Each of these programs feeds the mission of The Journey Home: to reduce recidivism rates. According to, “Of Wisconsin’s 23,775 prisoners in 2018, about 37 percent behind bars were there due to one of these revocation-only admissions. Black Wisconsinites are particularly affected by this system. The Census states that fewer than 7 percent of state residents

“So many times, one of the gaps that people coming out of prison have, particularly when you talk about racial

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identify as Black. But from 2000 through 2018, 60 percent of prison inmates there for a revocation-only violation were Black.” Linda informed me that 66 percent of those released from prison in the state of Wisconsin go back within two years. However, those who go through The Journey Home have a recidivism rate of only between 7.0 and 14.9 percent. “That’s one of the measures we look at,” says Linda. “But we also look at how many people found jobs who needed them. How many people found housing.”


is a ONE STOP SHOP where people can come and meet other agencies.

Subscribe To UMOJA Magazine! Positive news about our African American community.

Founded bypublisher longtime and Madison Milele Chikasa Founded by longtime andpublisher Madison icon, Milele Chikasaicon, Anana, and now led by

Anana, is your source for positive the Black community. Subscribe the Black community. Subscribenews today about at— you simply cannot findtoday at this—you of news and stories about Black people anywhere UMOJA Magazine. simply cannotexcept find this type of news and stories about Black people anywhere except UMOJA Magazine. and nowYvette led by Publisher &Magazine Editor Yvette Craig, Magazine Publisher & Editor L. Craig, UMOJA is your L. source forUMOJA positive news about

28 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

The majority of those in prison are there because the way they learned to live wasn’t compatible with the social contract that we’ve collectively grown to accept. More often than not, these contractual terms make sense when addressing the safety of a community; persons convicted of rape, murder, violent crimes, and DWIs—which made up almost half of the prison population between 2010 and 2014—are pretty universally seen as harmful to others without some form of intervention. But these crimes are not indicative of the entire prison population, and, regardless, if we’re to see time served as fulfilling some aspect of answering for a crime committed, then rehabilitation needs to be part of that process. Otherwise, how

can we claim to be giving an individual another shot at integrating into society? When prisons were overcrowded during COVID-19, and prisoners were released after being denied parole for 30 years, where were these people expected to go? Their friends are gone. Their families are gone. The Journey Home isn’t just providing a solution to an oft-ignored problem, they’re fulfilling a role that a just and equitable society would already have in place. Kyle Jacobson is a writer and copy editor for Madison Essentials.

Kyle Jacobson

Photograph by Barbara Wilson

Photographs provided by JustDane.

Tadsen Photography Drone/Aerial Imagery


Fully licensed - FAA part 333 Waiver Stunning stills and 4k video - - 608-469-2255

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essential pets

Listening to a Hack by Dr. Lori Scarlett, DVM If you have a cat (and possibly even if you don’t), you know how a hairball cough looks and sounds: the cat crouches down; extends its head and neck to make a long, fairly straight body; and then has a dry, hacking cough. Sometimes there is gagging afterwards and a hairball might come up, but often you just hear the noise and then the cat is fine. Many people don’t realize that their cat is actually coughing and not trying to bring up a hairball. Vomiting up hairballs happens in most cats, but

shouldn’t happen more than one or two times per month, and it’s a different action from a cough. Coughing in dogs sounds more like a cough that a human would make, but dogs can make weird noises that some people describe as a cough that doesn’t involve the lungs. A reverse sneeze is irritation in the back of the throat/pharynx area and isn’t forceful like a cough. The dog sounds like it’s in distress, but it’s more the equivalent of a

sneezing fit when you have allergies. A dog with a collapsing trachea will make a coughing sound, but it’s more of a honk. In this condition, some of the cartilage rings around the trachea weaken. When the affected dog breathes in, the trachea flattens, preventing the air from getting through. The dog will then have a dry, harsh cough, often described as a goose honk. Collapsing trachea coughs are worse with excitement, when the dog is trying to breathe in more air, or when a collar is pulled. Cats don’t usually cough, so if you hear what you think might be hairballs, there’s a good chance it has feline asthma, or feline allergic bronchitis. Dogs are also commonly affected by this disease. Bronchitis, like other -itises, is inflammation of the bronchi, or the airways in the lungs. If the cat or dog is sensitive to allergens or other irritants in the air, the airways produce more mucus and will spasm, decreasing the amount of air into the lungs and causing a cough and wheezing noise. Over time, the mucus starts to accumulate in the lungs, which can lead to secondary bacterial

30 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Common irritants include cigarette smoke, room deodorizers, dust from litter boxes, air pollution, essential-oil diffusers, perfumes, scented laundry detergent, mold, and mildew. Seasonal allergies from pollen can also cause inflammation in the airways. Cat dander can be an inciting cause in some dogs, though it’s not a reason to give up your cat! While any cat can develop asthma, it’s most frequently seen in cats between two and eight years old. Siamese cats seem to be at higher risk. Asthma is also seen more frequently in overweight or obese cats. For dogs, bronchitis is more commonly diagnosed in smaller breeds also between two and eight years old. If your pet is coughing, it’s important to get her checked out by a veterinarian. If you can get the coughing on video, that can be helpful (they never cough in the exam room!). Although bronchitis is the most common cause of coughing in cats and can affect dogs, it’s important to rule out other causes. Heartworm disease in cats often causes coughing; a blood test can quickly check for that. Dogs with heartworm don’t usually cough until late in the disease, when the heart is in failure or if the dog is too active after being treated for the disease. Lungworms, which are seen in cats worldwide, can cause coughing. Cats

are infected with lungworms by eating intermediate hosts (slugs and snails) or by eating transport hosts (birds, rodents, frogs, and lizards). Dogs can also get lungworms, but it’s much less common compared to cats. Pneumonia will cause coughing, particularly in dogs. Dogs with congestive heart failure cough due to the enlarged heart pushing on cough receptors on the trachea and because of fluid accumulation in the lungs. Primary or metastatic lung cancer will also lead to coughing. Dogs with an upper respiratory infection, such as kennel cough, will present with a deep, hacking cough too. Chest x-rays are an important diagnostic tool for coughing animals. Bloodwork to look for heartworms or check for increased white blood cells may be performed. A fecal check or giving the cat a deworming medication is worthwhile. Your vet may recommend doing a tracheal wash with the cat under sedation to collect some of the mucus in the airways to look for certain types of white blood cells (eosinophils) or bacteria. If a dog is suspected to have kennel cough, sometimes antibiotics or cough suppressants are prescribed. Kennel cough is often due to viruses, but secondary bacterial infections can occur. (The kennel cough vaccine is against the bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica, which can worsen the disease. Unfortunately the Bordetella vaccine doesn’t prevent kennel cough itself.) Treatment of bronchitis often involves the use of steroids. Sometimes a course of doxycycline or other antibiotic will be given first in case there is a secondary infection. Doxycycline has some antiinflammatory properties, so that may be enough to decrease the coughing. Oral steroids or injectable steroids are often given and may be needed long-term to control the inflammation. Some cats and dogs with severe asthma may need an inhaler containing both a steroid and a bronchodilator. While the inhaler used by people suffering from asthma is often prescribed, cats and dogs need a spacing device which allows the medication to be inhaled through a mask. Needless to say, cats (and most dogs) don’t tolerate having something placed over their nose

and mouth, so it takes time, training, and something yummy smeared on the inside of the mask before the cat will allow for this treatment. Cats don’t normally cough, so it’s a good idea to get your cat checked out if you hear noises that make you think a hairball is in the offing. If your dog or cat is coughing multiple days in a row or is lethargic or not moving much, it’s important to get them seen by a veterinarian soon. Lori Scarlett, DVM, is the owner and veterinarian at Four Lakes Veterinary Clinic. For more information, visit

Lori Scarlett, DVM & Charlie

Photograph by Brenda Eckhardt

infections. Eventually there will be lung damage, and the pet will be unable to get enough oxygen.

Madison’s LGBTQ magazine since 2007

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Photograph by Serena Nancarrow

essential arts




Ted Neal

Photograph by Serena Nancarrow 32 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Every good artist has at least two traits in common with his or her peers regardless of their chosen media: they provide the viewer with an entry point to their work and their thinking, and they provide a reason to linger once entrance is achieved. Memory, narrative, familiar iconography, and emotional tension are all devices that

artists will utilize to attract the attention and emotional interaction required of the viewer to successfully complete the creative act. Ted Neal creates a poetic resonance by evoking a memory of place and occurrence without devolving to something maudlin, or sentimental. His work is as much a celebration of industrial presence and passing as it is

Silo Jar “Opening the kiln,” Ted says, “is like opening presents on Christmas morning.” a mnemonic of an era of prosperity and unconscious consumption. He presents us with a marriage of rustbelt ephemera and forgotten rural architecture.

Photograph by Serena Nancarrow

Ted made the journey from Galway, in upstate New York outside of Saratoga, to Utah State University and its legendary art department, and came to work with artist and professor John Neely, who profoundly changed the direction of Ted’s artistic life by encouraging him to go to grad school in ceramics. He landed at Southern Illinois at Edwardsville, where he worked with Dan Anderson and Paul Dresang, both of whom helped to shape his iconography and his methodology. After earning his MFA, he taught at Edwardsville before returning for five more years to work as the technology instructor and studio coordinator for the ceramics area at Utah State University. From there, he moved to Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where he is now a full professor in the art department as well as graduate coordinator. Ted spends much of his summers traveling the country building kilns, a practice he perfected while at Utah State, for various colleges, universities, and arts and craft schools. They vary from wood fired, salt, and soda to reduction style. He considers this a part of his academic research and service, as he often accompanies these events with workshops to pass these skills on to the next generation of artists. Having worked in a broad array of materials while he acted as a tech instructor, Ted is comfortable with most welding disciplines, not only informing his kiln building but also finding expression in his artistic work in which he combines sophisticated metalworking with his ceramic pieces.

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Much of Ted’s work can initially suggest they are crafted from COR-TEN steel (a process that utilizes steel alloys to create a rust-like surface that stabilizes without painting) or cast iron. In fact, the surface quality is a result of adding slip, a creamy mix of water and clay, to previously fired work which is then refired in a reduction process. The added iron compounds in the slip combined with careful temperature adjustment and aided by a given piece’s location in the kiln allows Ted to exert some control over the color variations he achieves. There is, however, a serendipitous quality that evinces when the final piece is revealed. “Opening the kiln,” Ted says, “is like opening presents on Christmas morning.” This ability of ceramic to mimic another material was demonstrated to him by Paul Dresang, who creates astonishing trompe-l’oeil (fool the eye) sculptures of unzipped leather satchels containing gilded ceramic vessels. Ted has taken

this concept further by mimicking the appearance of rusting steel silos, including climbing fixtures and fastening hardware, and then mounting them on welded steel frames that appear indistinguishable in material from the ceramic structures. This playfulness characterizes much of Ted’s work in his efforts to conjure an illusion of material combined with an evocative form intended to stir a memory of forgotten architectures and places. Critical to Ted’s identity as an artist is his calling as a teacher. Working with his students in the studio, doing the projects alongside them so they can track the development of his thinking and craft, is an essential part of his creative process. The students can witness not just the ideation and inception of a concept, but its fulfillment and final evaluation. Ted Neal is an artist whose creativity is truly realized in the making of his art and in the sharing of its secrets with the next generation of ceramic artists.


Photograph by Serena Nancarrow

The ceramics showcased for Ted Neal are wood fired stoneware, reduction cooled, with fabricated steel.

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Malcolm Mobutu Smith Professor Malcolm Mobutu Smith of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, is an amalgamator: a modernday alchemist who combines and transforms experiences, influences, inspirations, flights of spontaneous imagination, social conscience, and clay into ceramic art that is compelling and powerful, even magical. He’s an artist who utilizes exquisite craftsmanship to strain the boundaries of ceramics, blurring the lines between conventional function and pure aesthetic form. “Art,” he says, “functions implicitly.” The expressive intention and demand is not worn superficially; it’s imbedded within the piece as its function.

Whitewash 2010 handbuilt stoneware

The son of two artists trained at Michigan State in the 1960s, Malcolm’s artistic journey began as young man. He was captivated by ceramics and Photograph by Kevin Montague

"Art,” he says, “functions implicitly.” The expressive intention and demand is not worn superficially; it’s imbedded within the piece as its function. Relic I Cloud Scoop 2020

thrown and altered stoneware forms

Photograph by Jeremy Hogan

started showing and selling while still a teenager. Fortunate enough to study with high-school mentor Paul Bernhardt of the Conestoga High School in the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District outside of Philadelphia, he found direction and came to greatly respect and emulate Bernhardt, who had studied at the world-renowned Alfred University in New York State, the same institution where Malcolm would earn his MFA. His undergraduate training initiated at the Kansas City Art Institute and was completed at Penn State in State College, Pennsylvania. Along this path, he met numerous artists who helped guide and inspire him to the artistic achievements he is celebrated for. But Malcolm is not just an artist of academic presence and legacy. His influences extend into the arena of

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Farroh Cloud Scoop 2019

thrown and altered stoneware forms

Photograph by Jeremy Hogan

the tenure of Barack Obama as president, a time which Malcolm felt was only temporarily masking the real racism at the heart of much of America. His vision now seems prescient. But this is only a small fraction of his encyclopedic output. Malcolm is also a trained draftsman, like his father, and he worked to master the CAD (computer-aided design) system that is so ubiquitous in the studios of working architects. These systems allow him to design three-dimensional forms that would be almost impossible to envision with traditional drawing. Relying on the CAD system, he can build models he subsequently can print out on sophisticated 3-D printers. He describes this endeavor as working on a “pluralistic platform” that allows for “pure plastic potential.” It has been possible for him to design forms that can literally not exist as three-dimensional entities. In some cases, the printer simply ignores the impossibilities and creates workable interfaces while declaring in other cases

His current work, which will be displayed at the prestigious Wexler Gallery in Philadelphia in the upcoming fall season, is both a return to and reinvention of earlier explorations featuring letter and word forms sculpted into vessel-like structures that have moved away from his earlier polychromed forms returning to an acknowledgement of the monochromed essential nature of ceramics. He is now also included in a three-person exhibition at the 411 Gallery in Columbus, Indiana, which happens to be home to one of the great collections of public mid-century modern architecture in America. His show, Felsic Morphology, showcases his newest vessel forms in tableau format. “These new decorative objects operate as signifiers of an acculturation to aestheticized things reflecting desires and imaginations,” says Malcolm.

We Did It 2010

handbuilt stoneware

Photograph by Kevin Montague

graffiti writing; hip-hop music; break dancing; popular comics, especially of the 30s and 40s; jazz music; pre-Columbian pottery; Etruscan vessel forms; and, most importantly, his experiences living as an African American man in the complex bargain insisted upon him by a country that never fails to reinforce his Blackness and remind him daily of the struggle that he and fellow Black Americans face. He has recently completed a series of tableau-like pieces consisting of teapot-sized sculptures sitting on rectangular or wedge-shaped plinths with eccentrically shaped brightly painted backsplashes. From a certain point of view, the sculptures might conjure a memory of early modern sculpture or mid-century container forms, but the shock comes when the back of the piece is viewed: a bent plane is covered with an image drawn from the most-offensive caricatures of Black children sourced from racist cartoons and publications dependent on the promotion of stereotyped depictions. Most of these works were made during

that the form cannot be realized. By asking his drawings to do the impossible, he breaks the traditional relationship between foreground, middle ground, and background. He has partnered with scientists and mathematicians at his university to engage in what he refers to as “reimagining science.” Together, they have produced fantastic, spontaneous forms that can be built and produced on a 3-D clay printer.

36 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Justin Rothshank

Wood/soda fired bottles, stoneware with shino glaze

A portion of Justin’s work is created specifically to enable him to contribute to social causes, such as Black Lives Matter, and other progressive entities. This year, he adorned two sets of mugs with portraits of Amanda Gorman,

the young poet who achieved virtually overnight recognition when she read her work at the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden, and Dolly Parton, who released a statement last August supporting BLM and is also known as a promoter of LGBTQ+ rights. The images on the mugs were done by Brooke, who is an illustrator and painter of

miniatures. The full sets of these mugs will have 100 percent of the proceeds donated to organizations that promote the principles and ideals that the Rothshanks use to guide their lives. Brooke also collaborates with Justin on other pieces in his catalogue of work. Justin uses ceramic decals as a way of

Photograph by Justin Rothshank

Justin Rothshank is a potter who considers his and his family’s role in the larger society and environment with the same attention and enthusiasm that he brings to the aesthetic decisions that inform his work. Justin’s studio is located in Goshen, Indiana, which is also home to Goshen College, a Mennonite-affiliated liberal arts school that he and his wife, Brooke, attended. While he took art classes in school, he did not get a BFA, the more traditional route taken by artists who make their livings solely from their artwork. But his college experience and his faith inform a significant aspect of what Justin does. On his website, he writes about his family’s commitment to issues of social justice, environmental responsibility, historical knowledge and understanding, and family values.

Photograph by Justin Rothshank

Wood fired basket, earthenware, porcelain slip

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Justin’s work is solid, authentic, comfortable, and clearly the expression of a midwestern life lived with sincerity and conviction.

Wood fired basket, stoneware

Photograph by Justin Rothshank

Kamala Harris Plate

Photograph by Justin Rothshank

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learned that the political pieces sell well in east coast establishments while the more decorative and collectible works do better in community clay displays, museum-quality gift shops, and dedicated art galleries. With the wide range of venues that offer his work for sale, few of them offer the full range of what he creates. All of Justin’s work is done in earthenware, a red-bodied clay that he chooses because of its connection to the material of many Indigenous cultures, such as African pottery, Native American pottery, and Spanish majolica ware as well as its far more ecologically friendly economy of firing resources. Earthenware requires a firing temperature of at least 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, 200 degrees below that of stoneware. While that temperature differential may seem small, Justin points out it can cut the firing time in half with the concomitant savings in fuel and the reduction of added environmental burden. While the vocabulary of forms that Justin works in, cups, mugs, platters, pitchers, jars, and candle holders, might initially seem limited, his imaginative flights and inventiveness are more often expressed in his surface treatments: decals; rich glazing; choice of images; textures; and soda firing, an atmospheric

process in which he introduces baking soda or soda ash into the atmosphere of a gas-fired kiln to create surfaces that cannot be realized in any other fashion. Justin's work is solid, authentic, comfortable, and clearly the expression of a midwestern life lived with sincerity and conviction. Chris Gargan is a landscape artist and freelance writer working from his farm southwest of Verona. You can find his work at Abel Contemporary Gallery in Stoughton. He is seen here with his dog Tycho Brahe.

Chris Gargan

Photograph by Larassa Kabel

placing images onto the surface of his various forms. Some of these are flowers and plant segments; some are wildlife representations; and some feature photo images of current and historical figures, like Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Harriet Tubman. Brooke helps create some of the illustrated elements and others are commercially sourced then collaged together to create various new relationships of pictorial interaction. Justin indicated that not all of the over 30 venues that display and sell his work carry the full line of his output. Because his work appears in museum shops, gift shops, and boutique design stores in vacation destinations, he has

Ted Neal Malcolm Mobutu Smith Justin Rothshank

we make a difference | |

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e ssential community

InclUSion US Power and Privilege by Sandy Eichel Welcome back to the “us” in inclUSion. This series discusses how we’re responsible for the culture we live in and for the changes that need to be made. We’re in this together, but we all have to do some work individually too.

It’s our responsibility, and it will take all of us contributing to make real change. In our previous segments, we talked about what it means to be an ally or advocate to diverse communities, examining and challenging our own biases and what systemic oppression is and what it looks like in the everyday life of people who experience it. In this segment, we will talk about one of the most sensitive topics for white, straight, cisgender people: privilege and the power that comes with it. I have seen people react to the word privilege in a dramatic way. The definition of privilege simply means, as defined by Sian Ferguson, “a set of unearned benefits given to people who fit into a specific social group.” That may sound simple, but the effects of privilege are much bigger on our society. Privilege doesn’t mean you haven’t had struggles; it doesn’t mean that everything has been easy or handed to you. It doesn’t mean you are a bad person. Privilege is the advantage that systemic oppression (how society is set up to oppress certain

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groups of people) doesn’t affect you on a daily basis—that you don’t have to think about certain things to live your daily life. Often when people bring up this word, because of the misunderstandings of what it means, people and the conversations shut down. Previously, we talked about leaning into being uncomfortable. We can’t change our society and make it better for anyone if we aren’t willing to be uncomfortable and challenge our own thoughts and biases. Talking about privilege is not supposed to be comfortable for anyone. Now that doesn’t mean you need to feel bad or guilty. As one of my Black friends explained to me, “Your guilt does nothing to make things better for Black people.” Also, having one type of privilege doesn’t mean that you aren’t oppressed in other ways. Folks say to me, “I don’t feel privileged. I grew up poor. We had so little. There was always food and housing scarcity my whole childhood.” Oppression exists in many forms. It can be very difficult for white people who have experienced poverty to realize or

feel like they have any privilege because all they have felt is their own struggle. You might have been so desperate that you stole food or other items for your family to survive. But having white privilege, for example, means that you have a much smaller chance of being arrested, incarcerated, or killed for stealing. Even an oppressed person can have privileges that they are unaware of. Notice how you go about your life and engage with parts of our society that you have no problem with. For example, do you have to think about how you’re dressed when you leave your house for fear of being pulled over? When you see a cop car, you might worry about getting a ticket and how much that will cost rather than fearing that you may not come home from that interaction. Have you ever worried about being beaten up because you are holding hands

with more privilege than the oppressed group can make the biggest difference, have the loudest voice, and can make the most change. I have talked to many white straight cisgender men that feel beat up on when we talk about privilege. They feel like people judge them or that they are bad for something that they cannot control. Again, feeling bad helps no one, and the fact of the matter is we need you. We need you to help us, to advocate for us, because your voice carries more weight and power than ours does. When you show up, people notice and they listen. Other white straight men are more likely to listen to you and are more likely to change. That isn’t how it should be; it is how it is, and it will never change without your help. Isn’t that more inspiring than a guilt trip? The more that each of us can realize our

People with a greater amount of privilege have the ability to change the system more than people who experience more oppression. with your significant other in public or because of how you look or dress? These are just a few examples, but if you don’t have those types of daily fears, you have some level of privilege. Having privilege is not your fault, but with privilege comes the power and the responsibility to use it for good and to make things better for others with less privilege. As Spiderman learned, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” People with a greater amount of privilege have the ability to change the system more than people who experience more oppression.

own privilege and the ways that society has been designed to make things easier for us, the more we can realize what others have gone through and have to go through on a daily basis. This awareness is something that we can help others like us to realize and, hopefully, get more people working to change these things. It’s a super power that you have! The “us” in inclUSion means having awareness of your privilege and power and leaning into that uncomfortable place so that the world can be made better for everyone.

Sandy Eichel is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Speaker and Consultant.

Sandy Eichel

The people that have the highest level of privilege in society are the people who can have the most impact on society and the culture. If Black, Indigenous, people of color, women, and the LGBTQ+ community could fix the problems in our society that cause them to have disadvantages without getting allies with more privilege to advocate for them, they would have done it a long time ago. But the reality is that they can’t do it alone. Every community that faces oppression relies on its allies. People

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e ssential community


Brienne Allan, brewer at Notch Brewing in Salem, Massachusetts, shook the craft beer world when she vented on Instagram, asking if anyone else was experiencing sexist comments on the job. She didn’t know what to expect, but just needed to put it out there. Over a thousand responded. Stories went beyond sexist comments, describing events ranging from unprofessional to horrific. When Erica DeAnda, brewmaster at Tumbled Rock Brewery and former chapter leader of Wisconsin’s Pink Boots Society, reached out to me to

write this article, I had no idea what she was talking about. I hadn’t been paying attention. Sure, I’d followed the ongoing #MeToo movement and celebrated its exposing of some powerful and vial persons, particularly in Hollywood, but never did I take a step back to look at our own brewing community and consider it’s happening right here. I struggled to even sort out my emotions on the topic. First off, I was angry...I’m still angry. Much of the craft brewing world is backed by ideas of social progress—some of the best labels promote important causes

and constitutional rights. I know there’s a strong marketing aspect to it, but maybe I’ve been underestimating just how much. After I’d sorted through my anger, or at least compartmentalized it, I talked through the right way to approach this subject. I thought about discussing toxic masculinity, the idea that harmful and aggressive traits have, for some, become determining factors for assessing manhood, but then I thought of those close to me who have experienced sexual assault. It became clear that this isn’t about educating others on heavily researched social theories, and it’s not about sex or gender. This is about returning voices to silenced victims. I interviewed five people concerning their experiences with sexual harassment and worse in breweries in and just outside of the Greater Madison area. Almost every single one of them started by discussing how they rationalized what was going on. How it was their first brewing job, and they just assumed it was normal. How, given the setting of a brewery is much like a jobsite, certain behaviors just come with

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the territory. Just because there are dirty jokes and limericks floating around doesn’t mean, as per one of the replies to Brienne’s post, it’s okay for a superior to tell you that you look sexy when driving a forklift. And on making everyone in the workplace comfortable, it’s also not a bad idea to pull people aside and sincerely ask them if the jokes make them uncomfortable. I’ve worked a little in the trades around southern Wisconsin and, more often than not, people are pretty open to changing their behavior if asked. The problem is how infrequently anyone is asking, preferring to just brush it off and get the job done. Side note: saying, “Hey, you’re not offended, right?” after the fact is not going to get a real answer. If any of the above sounds familiar and you work in the brewing industry or have seen it from the other side of the bar, it’s not normal, and it’s never okay. And if you were like me, to say it bluntly, sexual harassment is happening in breweries in and around the Greater Madison area.

brewery a place of camaraderie fueled by a shared interest in good beer. To do that, we have to look out for each other and our brewers. The good news—it’s not happening everywhere. In fact, many breweries are taking the issue very seriously. I applaud those breweries and am confident they’ll continue doing what they can to create a healthy work and drinking environment. I also encourage them to set a standard they challenge their peers to meet. They know better than I do what’s at stake in terms of craft brewing’s inclusive reputation if this issue isn’t addressed. Even after months of thinking about what’s going on, the best thing I feel I can do is spread awareness. I can’t make a brewer change their behavior. I can’t make a server stand up for themselves. I can’t make a patron call out sexism every time they witness it. And, honestly, that wouldn’t be enough anyway. I want a place where the brewer who engages in sexual harassment changes their behavior because they realize who they are is not going to be tolerated. A place where a server knows they can go to someone who will listen and address the issue immediately. The world of craft beer and what we have as beer drinkers right now is incredible. It wouldn’t just be unfortunate if we watched toxic persons take it from us, when it comes to the well-being of some of our favorite servers and brewers, it’s downright dangerous.

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It’s the minor things, like in the above example, that lay the groundwork for people to accept a normal entirely manufactured from the insecurities of others. Not every patron is going to be comfortable telling someone else to get a grip, and hats off to those that are, but we should all work to make the

Kyle Jacobson

Photograph by Barbara Wilson

Idealistically speaking, we live in a country, and certainly a community, where no one should have to put themselves in a position where they feel unsafe or where they’d question their inherent worth or ability due to their sex or gender. As patrons, we can do more to be aware of the situation. One issue that came up multiple times is people coming into the brewery and quizzing a female brewer as I don’t wish to speak for anybody who has a story to though she doesn’t know her tell, so please visit to read stuff. This might not be sexual the handful of stories shared with me by anonymous harassment, but it certainly servers, brewers, and builders in the industry. endorses a sexist mindset. I would suggest that the Kyle Jacobson is a writer and copy editor individual just have a flight. If they’re as for Madison Essentials. good with beer as they think they are, they’ll know the salt of the brewer.

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essential travel


hen you drive from the south into Wisconsin, as so many Illinois folks do to experience the incredible vacation destinations in the Badger State, those using Highway 90 are welcomed by the city of Beloit, the gateway to Wisconsin.




And it’s lucky for you because Beloit is an incredible destination all its own. Named an All-America City by the National Civic League and one of Travel + Leisure’s Greatest American Main Streets, Beloit is a historic city offering the best of a small-town getaway with big-city attractions, including top-ofthe-line culinary experiences, unique cultural attractions, and gorgeous views along the Rock River. Beloit has been called the mostunderrated city in Wisconsin, so plan to do what more than one million other tourists do each year—make some time to discover the unexpected in Beloit with the help of the following itineraries.

THE FAMILY TRAVELER On the banks of the Rock River, the Ironworks Hotel has industrial character and rustic charm with everything you need for the whole family (even offering a special room service menu for your dog!). This boutique hotel is within walking distance of many attractions in the area. In fact, it’s just a 15-minute walk from one of the crown jewels of Beloit, Riverside Park. The 23-acre park comes alive in the summer, and visitors can rent paddleboats, fishing poles, and tandem bikes to make for a fun day. The kids will love Turtle Island, a playground that features a treehouse, a lookout, a sandpit, and a shipwreck to explore. If the team is in town, take the family out to the ballgame to see the Beloit Snappers for major league talent at minor league prices. The games even feature fireworks at Saturday games in the summer.

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THE HISTORY BUFF If you dig history, you’re going to be busy! Beloit has seen nearly 180 years of American history unfold in its city. It served as a way station of the Underground Railroad, was a major player in the Industrial Revolution, and did you know Beloit is where the automotive speedometer was invented? To start the day, get something sweet from the Old Fashion Bakery, operating since 1932 and offering traditional and fresh-baked goods, from donuts, brownies, and cookies to eclairs, cakes, and more.

If you need a pick-me-up with all that activity, try the Flying Pig. The café offers excellent coffee for parents as well as shaved ice, ice cream, gourmet popcorn, cookies, and other sweets for all ages. You can also have a great meal that comes with a family-friendly activity at Double B Farm Country

Enjoy some of Beloit’s scenic wild beauty when you kayak down Turtle Creek and view Tiffany Bridge, the state’s oldest stone arch bridge. You’ll also want to see Beckman Mill, an authentically restored, operational, 1868 grist mill, offering weekend tours for just $3 a person. And, of course, take a walk on the historic Main Street and check in with the local experts at the Beloit Historical Society. Settle in for authentic Wisconsin cuisine and colorful history at The 615 Club, a supper club that’s been in Beloit since the 1940s. You could also check out Merrill & Houston’s Steak Joint, a fine dining restaurant with abundant photographs of Beloit’s history. There’s no better place to call it a night for a history enthusiast than 1810 Emerson Bed and Breakfast. The bed and breakfast is a 1930 Georgian Colonial Revival in downtown Beloit that not only serves breakfast, but also early-evening appetizers, complimentary wine, and an evening dessert.

Store & Café, where they serve farmto-table breakfast and lunch. Since it’s a working farm, kids can see goats, ducks, chickens, and pigs up close. If you’re looking for dinner, order some mouthwatering burgers and deep-fried cheese curds at Lucy’s #7 Burger Bar, perfect for a hungry crew (and there’s an outstanding beer selection).

out the rooftop for craft cocktails and spectacular views. Head out into downtown Beloit to check out the incredible variety of shopping with many upscale boutiques and wares made by local artists and artisans. Check out the Gallery ABBA, a downtown gallery that promotes works from Beloit College. Relax at any one of the downtown day spas. For more culture, the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra will be per-

forming again this season. The Beloit Civic Theatre has been running since 1932 and stages three productions each season at the Elizabeth Reinholz Theatre downtown. For dinner, look no further than Velvet Buffalo Café, housed in the Hotel Goodwin, with expertly chosen wine and an upscale, curated menu offering flavors from around the world. This is just a sampling of the fun to be had in Beloit. Visit for more ideas and inspiration. Anne Sayers is the acting secretary for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. Photographs provided by Visit Beloit.

THE UPSCALE TRAVELER If you have a taste for the finer things, Beloit has you covered. Start your stay at Hotel Goodwin, a chic and classic hotel with a mix of history and modern luxury. Each room has unique art, turntables with a record collection, and modern fixtures. Be sure to check

Anne Sayers

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advertiser index association

entertainment & media

Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce..... 47

Olbrich Botanical Gardens........................... 19

Dane Buy Local............................................... 29

Our Lives Magazine........................................ 31

Dane County Humane Society...................... 2

UMOJA Magazine........................................... 28

Green Lake Chamber of Commerce............ 9

WORT-FM........................................................... 16

PuppyUp........................................................... 29 Sauk Prairie Area Chamber of


Commerce.................................................. 27

Bergamot Massage & Bodywork.................... 5

Town of Merrimac............................................ 12

Degnan Design-Build-Remodel................... 48 The Edge of Freshness Hair Studio LLC......... 41

dining, food & beverage

Four Lakes Veterinary Clinic.......................... 30

Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream..................... 22

Monroe Street Framing................................... 22

Clasen’s European Bakery............................... 7

Petinary Clinic.................................................. 25

Fraboni’s Italian

Tadsen Photography...................................... 29

Specialties & Delicatessen......................... 13

WESLI................................................................. 46

Lombardino’s................................................... 19 The Old Feed Mill Restaurant........................ 40


Old Sugar Distillery.......................................... 13

A Room of One’s Own.................................... 41

Otto’s Restaurant & Bar.................................. 15

Abel Contemporary Gallery......................... 33

Paisan’s............................................................. 11

Anthology......................................................... 23

Paoli Schoolhouse American Bistro............... 5

Avid Gardener................................................. 23

Sugar River Pizza Company........................... 34

Community Pharmacy................................... 20

Tempest Oyster Bar......................................... 43

Deconstruction Inc......................................... 42

Tornado Steak House..................................... 43

Fontana Sports................................................... 8

Vintage Brewing Co. ........................................ 5

JNJ Gifts and More........................................... 8 Katy’s American Indian Arts.......................... 28 Little Luxuries.................................................... 23 National Mustard Museum............................ 36 Ulla Eyewear..................................................... 23

CONTEST Win a One-Hour Massage at INFUSE


($80 value)

Question: “Which restaurant co-owners met as neighbors in the same brownstone apartment near Wrigley Field?” Enter by submitting your answer to the above question online at or by mail with your name, mailing address, phone number, and email to: Madison Essentials c/o Towns & Associates, Inc. PO Box 174 Baraboo, WI 53913-0174 All entries with the correct answer will be entered into a drawing for one of two gift cards for a one-hour massage. Contest deadline is September 30, 2021. Gift card will be honored at Bergamot Massage & Bodywork.

Good Luck!

Winners Thank you to everyone who entered our previous contest. The answer to the question “Which local restaurant preceded La Kitchenette at 805 Williamson Street?” is Chez Nanou. A One-Hour Massage gift card at Bergamot Massage & Bodywork was sent to each of our winners, Emily Halter of Wauwatosa and Stephanie Watson of Sun Prairie.

CONGRATULATIONS! 46 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Prost! BaraBoo oktoBerfest saturday, sePtemBer 25

ZeItPLaN Thursday, September 23 SSM/St. Clare Auxiliary Oktoberfest Dinner • 5-8 p.m. • Glacier Rock Friday, September 24 Brew-Ha-Ha • 6-9 p.m. • Downtown Baraboo Saturday, September 25 Baraboo Oktoberfest – Noon to 10 p.m. • UW-Baraboo

LoCaL Beers PoLka musIC HuGe PretZeLs HammersCHLaGeN tHe sWING CreW masskruGstemmeN


Profile for Towns & Associates

Madison Essentials Sept/Oct 21  

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