Welcome to January

Erik Flesch & Sara Lomasz Flesch

We’re delighted to welcome you to the first issue of a new year of Voice of the River Valley.
This new beginning brings you the voices of Keith Burrows, Marnie Dresser, Mary Friedel-Hunt, Doris Green, Don Greenwood, Susan Krause, Pam Norman, Lynda Schweikert, Kathy Steffen and Etienne White; the photography of Kevin Dodds and Rob Steffen; five pages of calendar listings and more.
Our first issue of 2020 is covered in beautiful views from Rob Steffen, who gives us a double starburst sunrise on our cover, and Susan Krause, who contributed both her poem and one of the views that inspired it on our back cover.
Inside, Don Greenwood writes about the journey of guitar builder David Riedmiller, while Keith Burrows previews the new season of “Wisconsin Foodie” with Driftless hero and chef Luke Zahm. And Pam Norman shares her perspective on the experience of helping to remove the colony of feral Global View cats after Marion Nelson’s gallery and shop of Asians arts and crafts closed in October. We’re grateful to Kevin Dodds for sharing the photograph that accompanies Pam’s piece.
Our regular columnists — Marnie Dresser, Mary Friedel-Hunt, Doris Green, Kathy Steffen and Etienne White — offer up a host of nurturing viewpoints. We’re pleased to welcome “guest star” Lynda Schweikert back to John Heasley’s “Driftless Dark Skies” space this month. And with gratitude we bid a bittersweet farewell to Marnie, who gives us her last “Pedagogy Stew.” Marnie’s ideas about creativity and education have enriched these pages for seven years, and we’re excited to see where her creativity consulting business goes from here.
Another contributor update: “Garden Blitz” columnist Patrice Peltier is taking a break for the winter but will return this spring to share more wit and wisdom during the gardening season.
Many thanks to our advertisers and subscribers, to our contributors who shared their voices and events this month, to the volunteers distributing this month’s issue, and to all our readers! We hope the shiny promise of a new year motivates your appreciation for and exploration of our nook of the Driftless Area, and we wish you happy reading!