Shawano is filled with interesting people


Lorna Marquardt, Leader Columnist

“When we’re connected to others, we become better people.” — Randy Pausch

Being your mayor has allowed me the opportunity to meet many interesting, caring and genuinely nice people here in our community. It is the people who make the city of Shawano a great place to live/visit. In today’s column, I’ll share with you the personal and professional stories of two such folks.

Are you aware a well-known and much respected professional walleye angler lives here in Shawano? Her name is Marianne Huskey. At age 6, her grandfather took her fishing on Lake Michigan. Her first trip out on the lake was on his 26-foot Sea Ray in the rain. They fished for perch and salmon. Huskey commented, “I was so excited from the moment I put my first crawler on the hook. That excitement has never worn off.”

Huskey is the only female pro on the AIM Pro Walleye Series circuit. In 2010, she was awarded the Dave Anderson Sportsman of the Year Award for promoting the sport of angling. Huskey won by a landslide. It is clear to see why fellow anglers would vote for her. What a passion she has for her sport! Marianne made professional fishing history when she won the AIM Angler of the Year award. It was the first time in major professional tournament circuits that a female won this prestigious title. The award is given to the angler who amasses the most points over the course of a season.

Fishing might have once been considered solely a man’s sport. However, Marianne Huskey can tell “fishing stories” with the best of them.

She also has a love for youth. As a director of youth clinics for the National Professional Anglers Association, she works very hard encouraging and motivating young people. She gives about 50-80 seminars throughout the Midwest during the winter months.

Huskey commented, “We need to get our kids outside. It doesn’t need to be fishing; it can be camping, hiking, hunting, canoeing or whatever they enjoy doing. But don’t allow them to take their cell phones, iPods and video games with them. Our children are missing out on what’s around them. Their heads are down and they aren’t engaged in enjoying nature.”

Another person I was pleased to have a recent visit with is Sol Grosskopf. I know Sol through his tenure on the first Mayor’s Youth Advisory Board. Sol was instrumental in helping to formulate the by-laws for the board. He was an active member and leader of the group.

Grosskopf, the son of Scott and Edi, graduated from UW-Madison and then went on to the Concordia Seminary.

Sol is spending some time with his family and friends prior to leaving for Norway on Aug. 12. While there, he will be living in Volda. He’ll be starting a campus mission in Volda and assisting a Lutheran congregation in Bergen (a larger city) twice a month. He’ll be there a minimum of one year. His plans are to one day become an Air Force chaplain.

Grosskopf commented, “Although currently I will be going through a nomadic period in my life, one day it would be nice to get back to the Shawano area. I still consider this my home.”

It’s really nice to hear our Shawano grads say they want to return to Shawano. As they go off to college and live in other areas, many realize they want to return here to live and work. Our community is always happy to welcome them home.

Getting to know the people in this community is so enlightening. Everyone has a story. Everyone is unique and interesting. Take time to visit with people. They are only strangers until you talk with them.

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.” — George Washington Carver

The answer to last week’s question—Why did the fire whistle blow every day at 10 a.m. starting back in 1914?— is the weather forecast was given by whistle signals. One long blast meant fair weather; two long meant rain or snow; one short meant lower temperature. And so on

This week’s question is: In what year did WTCH go on the air?

Happy 50th anniversary to my brother Pat and his wife, Rozanne.

Lorna Marquardt is the mayor of Shawano