Joel Waldinger

Joel Waldinger is a reporter for the "Wisconsin Life" project and considers a sunset over the “big island” on Manson Lake to be a perfect ending to a day of fishing and fun in the Northwoods. 

Stories from Joel Waldinger

Ice fishing off Sister Bay
July 12, 2017

Commercial ice fishing can be an unpredictable winter venture. Will Henriksen and his life-long ice fishing buddy John Koessl apply their trade off the shores of Sister Bay in the dead of winter. They commute to work more than two miles out onto the ice shelf by snowmobile and can haul in 300-400 pounds of fish a day for Door County restaurants.

Gymnast on a German Wheel
July 11, 2017

Just over a decade ago a niche sport rolled into Madison. In Europe and specifically Germany it has become a national phenomenon.  Here in the United States, not so much. However, two Wisconsin athletes are changing that perception. The German Wheel can best be described as a giant hamster wheel. Discover how Jeremy Perkins and Carly Schuna are helping to make Madison a mecca for German Wheel.

UW Polo
January 18, 2017

Polo star Alyssa Daniels battles in a competition described as the “Sport of Kings.” A fierce competitor on a horse named “Breeze”, Alyssa swings into action in a sport most people never even knew existed at the University of Wisconsin.

Zaria Roller
January 12, 2017

Zaria Roller is a Verona’s High School Exploration Academy student who has found success on stage and in the classroom. Her proud parents have been guiding this young musical talent but no one could have anticipated the feedback from a high profile speech she delivered at the Wisconsin state capitol.

Lavender Fields Forever
October 13, 2016

Washington Island is home to Martine Anderson and the largest lavender farm in the Midwest. With more than 16,000 plants the farm is still growing in size. Discover how a French entrepreneur with a background in high fashion and haute couture became a lavender farmer in one of the most remote spots in Wisconsin.

Stuffed Animals
November 24, 2016

This retired nurse is in her 80s and still finding new purposes in life. Pat Hilpert is a matchmaker that brings together thousands of unwanted stuffed animals with kids in need. The idea has now caught on in her hometown of Stevens Point.

Japanese Fine Artist
November 24, 2016

Japanese Artist Manabu Ikeda creates a mind-boggling world within a world of minute detail in his landscape art. It took him three years to complete a 13x10 feet masterpiece while finishing just four square inches a day. His painstaking detail became even more amazing after he dislocated his right shoulder, forcing him to paint with his left arm in the middle of his project.

Body of Art
November 10, 2016

Madison artist Dawn Marie Svanoe uses the human body as her canvass to create mind-bending images. Her models are nearly nude when she applies special makeup like paint on her living canvass. Her “body of art” includes a matador, mermaids, a broken doll, and a chess board. Transforming the human body into a work of art, her artwork is here today but gone tomorrow.

Philippe Coquard
November 3, 2016

Philippe Coquard arrived in Wisconsin in 1984 as a French exchange student with 500 years of family tradition riding on his shoulders.  Thirty years later he has parlayed that experience into a career at Wollersheim Winery where he has made a life for himself and his family at one of the most successful Midwest wineries.

Ho-Chunk Life
October 20, 2016

Jon Greendeer is a renaissance man and in so many ways he is self-taught. As an adult he taught himself his native language, how to make ceremonial wooden bowls and the importance of self-discipline. The Former Ho-Chunk President shares his values, struggles with addiction and his way of life as it relates to sovereignty in the future.