Lights of the Lakes Shows – April

4/6 – Ovation Jewish Home (R&R Club) – Milwaukee

My first show in April required an early-morning trip to Milwaukee at the Ovation Jewish Home on Prospect venue. The audience this time was about 12 members of the R&R Club.

The show went well. The audience didn’t come in until right around 10:30, and took their seats the Helen Bader executive conference room. The group was a mix of normal-looking and acting folks, and several with obvious health issues. Pretty typical for a senior care facility. What surprised me was the fact that there were three or four men in the audience, and they were all alert and seemed to be very interested in the program. I got a lot of compliments afterwards.

There was one unexpected disaster during the program. My foot bumped the surge protector/power strip under the table, turned it over, and shut it off. That killed the projector and sound system, which were plugged into that unit. I had to restart the projector and lost a couple minutes during the show as a result of this mishap.

As I was packing up my gear to go home, a vicious wind cutting into me, it was snowing heavy flurries. No accumulation, but snow twice in the same week in April tests one’s patience. Some mild weather would certainly be welcome!

4/10 – Dickson Hollow (Menomonee Falls)

I left at 1:00 pm today, headed for Dickson Hollow to do today’s Lights of the Lakes show. It took me almost exactly my estimated amount of time to get there: 45 minutes. I got there right on time and quickly found the room where the show would take place. It was the back half of a large room also used as a chapel and church on weekends. Since this was a Presbyterian Home facility, that makes sense. The altar was at the opposite end of the room from where I presented.

I was able to use the house projector via an HDMI cable connection direct from my MacBook. There was a new type of projector I’d never seen before. It stuck out only a couple of feet from the wall above the screen, and projected down onto the screen.

Dickson Hollow - Entrance

Dickson Hollow – Entrance

Dickson Hollow - Sign

Dickson Hollow – Sign

Dickson Hollow - Audience

Dickson Hollow – Audience

4/12 – ElderCare Focus Group (New Berlin)

Today found me at the New Berlin Public Library at 9:00 am to set up for the ElderCare Focus Group Lights of the Lakes show. I was second presenter on their agenda. The first speaker was a woman who spoke on Wisconsin tourism and things to do and places to go to enjoy Wisconsin’s many attractions.

The morning commute was a hassle. As usual, there was an accident on I-43 which stopped southbound traffic at Mequon Road. The crash occurred just south of Brown Deer Road. In addition to that mess, there were at least three other places where the traffic flow came to a halt on I-43 and I-94. I profoundly hate driving the Milwaukee area freeway system at rush hour.

The show in New Berlin was a success. I didn’t do the Edmund Fitzgerald segment due to time restrictions, but everything else went well. They had a great ceiling-mounted projector that threw a 12-foot-wide image on the screen—wonderful! About 75 seniors saw today’s show.

On my way home, I went back to Dickson Hollow to get the location pictures I missed when I was there on Tuesday. I also stopped by Menomonee Place, the site of tomorrow’s show. I wanted to find the location, as well as take pictures of it, in case the weather is lousy tomorrow.

New Berlin Public Library

New Berlin Public Library

4/13 – Menomonee Place (Menomonee Falls)

Well, I’ve arrived at the last day of this busy week. This morning I head out to do my third and final show of the week, at Menomonee Place in Menomonee Falls. As mentioned yesterday, I scouted this place the day before, in order to find it and photograph it in good weather. Next week will bring even more travel and more shows during this busy season for Lights of the Lakes.

Menomonee Place Entrance

Menomonee Place Entrance

Menomonee Place - Sign

Menomonee Place – Sign

4/17 – Oak Park Place (Green Bay)

4:00 pm – Days Inn & Suites, Green Bay. I left early enough this afternoon to get here with time to spare before tonight’s Lights of the Lakes show at Oak Park Place on the east side of Green Bay. I’m closer to downtown, about five miles away. I decided to spend the night here after the show, in order to avoid a long drive home late at night.

This place really got dumped on over the weekend. I took a wrong turn getting to the motel and Google Maps directed me to take a side street to get back on track. That road was the pits: poorly plowed; rutted; narrowed by cars parked along both sides. At least the main roads are OK, but in poor shape. It’s obvious that a lot of work is needed, at least on Mason Street, which is a main east-west thoroughfare in Green Bay.

Later – The show was a success. Big crowd: about 70 people. The best “refreshments” I’ve ever seen a host provide: sandwiches, chips, lighthouse-decorated cookies, soda, beer, wine, and coffee. Amazing spread! I deliberately skipped dinner, as I often skip meals before I speak. This was another of those show-off events intended to draw potential residents to the facility. My host, Tonya Slack, offered facility tours after my show.

On the way back to the motel, I heard on the radio that Barbara Bush died today at age 92. She was married to George Bush (41) with whom she held the record for the longest marriage of an American president: 72 years. Incredible first lady.

Oak Park Place Green Bay Sign

Oak Park Place Green Bay Sign

Oak Park Place Green Bay Entrance

Oak Park Place Green Bay Entrance

Titletown Decor

Titletown Decor

Refreshment Table

Refreshment Table

Beer, Water, and Soda Station

Beer, Water, and Soda Station

Wine and Coffee Station

Wine and Coffee Station

Lighthouse Cookies

Lighthouse Cookies

Equipment Setup

Equipment Setup

Audience

Audience

4/19 – Menasha Historical Society (Menasha)

The next Lights of the Lakes show took place at the Menasha Public Library, hosted by the Menasha Historical Society. 47 people enjoyed tonight’s show. Afterwards, Nicholas Jevne, MHS president, said:

Thanks for your fantastic presentation of the lighthouses on Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. The Library staff, attendees and the Menasha Historical Society were very enthusiastic in telling me how informative your program was. The Library informed me specifically that they would like to co-host future programs with us again.

Menasha Public Library

Menasha Public Library

Electronic Event Board

Electronic Event Board

Menasha Historical Society Audience

Menasha Historical Society Audience

4/19 – Oakridge Gardens (Menasha)

The final Lights of the Lakes show in April took place on the 19th at Oakridge Gardens Rehabilitation and Memory Care in Menasha. This was a small facility, which yielded an audience of about 15 seniors.

Oakridge Gardens - Entrance

Oakridge Gardens – Entrance

Oakridge Gardens - Sign

Oakridge Gardens – Sign

 

Lights of the Lakes at Heritage Elm Grove

Heritage Elm Grove Entrance

Heritage Elm Grove Entrance

On Thursday, March 29, 2018 a sequel presentation of Lights of the Lakes was presented at Heritage Elm Grove. The popularity of last year’s presentation led to a repeat booking. Around 30 residents and guests enjoyed today’s show.

Heritage Elm Grove Sign

Heritage Elm Grove Sign

The show was promoted to residents by the flyer shown below.

Heritage Elm Grove Flyer

Heritage Elm Grove Flyer

Lights of the Lakes at St. Paul Elder Services

Hoffman Memory Care Resource Center, St. Paul Elder Services

Hoffman Memory Care Resource Center, St. Paul Elder Services

St. Paul Elder Services in Kaukauna, WI was the host for two Lights of the Lakes shows on March 26, 2018. The first program was presented in the morning to an audience of about 15 residents and guests at the Hoffmann Memory Care Resource Center (above).

St. Paul Elder Services Main Entrance

St. Paul Elder Services Main Entrance

The second program was presented in the audience to an audience of about 30 residents at the St. Paul Home (above).

 

Lights of the Lakes at Regency Senior Communities

Lights of the Lakes at Regency Senior Communities

ProHealth Care Regency Senior Communities is a prominent chain of retirement residences located in the western suburbs of Milwaukee. It was my pleasure to present Lights of the Lakes three times this week at the Muskego, Brookfield, and New Berlin locations. The shows were all open to the public.



Regency Muskego

The Lodge at Regency Muskego

The Lodge at Regency Muskego

On Tuesday, 3/20/18, Lights of the Lakes was presented in The Lodge at Regency Muskego. An audience of 37 seniors and guests from the Muskego area attended today’s show.



Regency Brookfield

Regency Brookfield Senior Community

Regency Brookfield Senior Community

On Thursday, 3/22/18, Lights of the Lakes was presented at Regency Brookfield. An audience of 27 senior residents enjoyed today’s show.

Regency Brookfield Audience

Regency Brookfield Audience



Regency New Berlin

Regency New Berlin Senior Community

Regency New Berlin Senior Community

On Friday, 3/23/18, the final Lights of the Lakes show of the week was presented at Regency New Berling. Again, an audience of 27 senior residents enjoyed today’s show.

Regency New Berlin Audience

Regency New Berlin Audience

 

 

 

Lights of the Lakes in Hales Corners

Hales Corners Historical Society – Special Program

Hales Corners Historical Society – Special Program

What do Lights of the Lakes sponsors think of the program? Here’s the latest endorsement from a satisfied client:

“On February 7th, the Hales Corners Historical Society presented a program, “Lights of the Lakes,” by Phillip Block, featuring lighthouses on Lakes Superior and Michigan. Our Society schedules four programs annually with a focus on Wisconsin history. With only a few exceptions, our speakers have provided photos, illustrations, maps, etc. using laptops with PowerPoint technology.

Mr. Block was the first to incorporate music and the sounds of waves lapping at the shores and even the foghorns of ships and lighthouses themselves. Phil’s knowledge of the subject was incredible. A majority of the photos used in the program were taken by Phil on location, and many of these lighthouses are difficult to reach. His research allowed him to show previous photos of these locations for comparison purposes. In addition, Phil’s narration provided details on lighthouse construction and their technology as well as insights into the various industries that depended on the lighthouses to help them ship their products safely across the Great Lakes.

Our audience was transfixed, and afterwards, asked more questions than any program before. On behalf of our Society, I can most assuredly recommend “Lights of the Lakes” as a HIT-storical program for any organization.”

Sincerely, Alan J. Strekow
President, Hales Corners Historical Society

Lights of the Lakes – January Shows

Lights of the Lakes Banner

Lights of the Lakes Banner

1/11 – Evergreen Retirement Community (OshKosh)

Evergreen Retirement Community – Entrance

Evergreen Retirement Community – Entrance

On a very unusual weather day for January in Wisconsin, I headed out to Oshkosh to do the first Lights of the Lakes show of 2018. It was drizzling when I left Port Washington, but by the time I was north of Fond du Lac, a steady rain had set in under a dark, ominous sky. It was almost 50º, but that warmth wasn’t going to last. By the time I got ready to drive home, the temps had dropped to near-freezing, and the rain had turned to sleet. Thankfully, the roads weren’t icing up, although the salt trucks were out. I got behind two of them on my way home. I’m very grateful that I made it home safely, as hazardous driving conditions are what I least like about winter travel.

Evergreen Retirement Community – Behnke Center

Evergreen Retirement Community – Behnke Center

About 30 Evergreen residents enjoyed today’s show. They were a responsive and appreciative audience, which I always appreciate!

1/16 – Harwood Place (Wauwatosa)

Harwood Place Sign

Harwood Place Sign

Originally scheduled to take place in October, 2017; rescheduled for December, 2017, and rescheduled again for January, 2018, I finally got to present Lights of the Lakes at Harwood Place, a large senior community in Wauwatosa, WI. As you can see in the above photo, we were back to normal winter weather following last weeks warm spell. Driving to this destination was uneventful, and the temperatures were relatively mild, which made for an enjoyable trip.

Harwood Place – Entrance

Harwood Place – Entrance

Around 45 seniors enjoyed today’s presentation of Lights of the Lakes. They were engaged with the program, asked lots of questions afterward, and were a pleasure to work with.

1/31 – South Shore Yacht Club (Milwaukee)

South Shore Yacht Club – Milwaukee, WI

South Shore Yacht Club – Milwaukee, WI

January ended with a return trip to South Shore Yacht Club. This was the fourth time I’ve been invited to present Lights of the Lakes to SSYC members. Previous shows were presented in 1992, 1996, and 2014. When I booked the show, I was afraid that some of the older members would object to repetitive presentations of the show. However, club membership changes, and so does Lights of the Lakes. The show is continually refined, updated, and polished as opportunities present themselves for me to do so.

The largest audience so far this year enjoyed the show: 65 people. Because they were all boaters, many of them had seen various lighthouses in the show during their boating travels. Boat and yacht clubs make great audiences for Lights of the Lakes, and this was no exception. They loved the show, and I loved presenting to such an appreciative audience!

Lights of the Lakes Shows – November

November continued October’s hectic pace for Lights of the Lakes programs.

11/7 – Elm Grove Woman’s Club

My first Lights of the Lakes show of the month drew one of the biggest audiences in a long time: 105 women. Except for a guy who was part of the catering team, I was the only male present. I joked about being the “token male.” This was one of the most alert and responsive audiences I’ve enjoyed working with in a while.

Elm Grove Woman’s Club Sign

Elm Grove Woman’s Club Sign

Elm Grove Woman's Club Entrance

Elm Grove Woman’s Club Entrance

Elm Grove Woman's Club Audience

Elm Grove Woman’s Club Audience

11/8 – Marla Vista Assisted Living (Green Bay)

Marla Vista is a small assisted living and memory care facility on the north side of Green Bay, WI. I visited this location on a bright but cold day in early November. About 15 Marla Vista residents enjoyed Lights of the Lakes.

Marla Vista Sign

Marla Vista Sign

Marla Vista Entrance

Marla Vista Entrance

At Marla Vista, I had a surprise guest: the house mascot, Monkey Moo. This friendly pooch came up to greet me as I was getting ready for the show. She must have been curious about the guy setting up all that strange equipment in the Activity Room. Quoting the Marla Vista web site.

Monkey Moo is a nine-year-old Shih Tzu/Poodle mix. She has lived at Marla Vista since May 2017. In her free time she enjoys visiting with elders, sleeping, eating and taking walks. Monkey gets along with everyone including people, other dogs, and kittens.

Marla Vista also featured Lights of the Lakes in their monthly newsletter:

Marla Vista Newsletter

Marla Vista Newsletter

11/9 – Pewaukee Public Library

Pewaukee Public Library

Pewaukee Public Library

Today’s journey took me to the Pewaukee Public Library to present Lights of the Lakes in a 6:00 pm public showing. The program had been promoted online and in local media outlets by the Friends of the Pewaukee Library. Library staff also created the flyer shown below, which resulted in a great turnout of around 60 lighthouse enthusiasts.

Pewaukee Public Library Flyer

Pewaukee Public Library Flyer

One elderly woman, Joyce Thompson, even brought a handmade quilt she had made and lighthouse artwork created by her late husband, Bruce. I brought a smile to her face by telling her she got “extra credit” for wearing lighthouse clothing.

Joyce Thompson’s Quilt

Joyce Thompson’s Quilt

Bruce Thompson’s Artwork

Bruce Thompson’s Artwork

I really felt like was on the top of my game at tonight’s show. The interested, responsive audience brought out the best in me during my presentation.

11/10 – Laurel Oaks (Glendale)

Laurel Oaks, Glendale

Laurel Oaks, Glendale

Under an overcast sky that was dropping the first snow flurries of the season, my final trip of the week took me to Laurel Oaks, an independent and assisted living community in Glendale, a North Shore Milwaukee suburb. Around 35 seniors attended Lights of the Lakes here.

Laurel Oaks had a balcony overlooking the great room where the show was presented. I went up to the second floor and took a picture of the setting at this location. Opportunities like this one bring out the photographer in me. I like to get shots from unusual angles such as this one.

Laurel Oaks Great Room

Laurel Oaks Great Room

11/13 – Ridgeview Highlands (Appleton)

Ridgeview Highlands Senior Apartments Sign

Ridgeview Highlands Senior Apartments Sign

To deliver this week’s first program, I traveled to Appleton, destination Ridgeview Highlands Senior Apartments. This was a large independent living senior apartment complex. A group of about 60 seniors gathered in a large special event room to enjoy Lights of the Lakes. They were a very interested and engaged audience, which brings out the best in me as a presenter.

Ridgeview Highlands Senior Apartments Audience

Ridgeview Highlands Senior Apartments Audience

11/15 – Bellevue Retirement Community (Green Bay)

Bellevue Retirement Community Sign

Bellevue Retirement Community Sign

Bellevue Retirement Community Entrance

Bellevue Retirement Community Entrance

On a wet mid-November morning, I headed out for Green Bay, destination Bellevue Retirement Community. The drive up was tolerable: light traffic and intermittent drizzle under overcast skies.

The client prepared a really nice flyer prior to the show, and even submitted it to the local press. Here’s the flyer:

Bellevue Lights of the Lakes Promotional Flyer

Bellevue Lights of the Lakes Promotional Flyer

Lights of the Lakes was presented to a rather small group, given the size of this facility – about 15 residents. Several left before the hour-long program concluded. Those who stayed thanked me and said they enjoyed the show.

The drive home was ugly: light traffic, but steady rain and mid-40s temps for the first half of my return trip. A strong crosswind had come up as well, making driving more challenging. By the time I got home, I was grateful for safe travel and for having had the opportunity to share another program with another audience in another place.

11/28 – Bella Vista (Oshkosh)

On November 28th, I traveled to Oshkosh, destination Bella Vista Independent and Assisted Living. The drive up was uneventful: mild temps and no precipitation—a pleasant day to go for a drive. Upon arrival, I found myself at an older apartment building near the shores of Lake Winnebago. Additions have updated it to become a modern, full-service senior living community.

Bella Vista Sign

Bella Vista Sign

Bella Vista Entrance

Bella Vista Entrance

When I arrived, I was surprised to literally see my name in lights. For the first time, my program appeared on an electronic event board.

Bella Vista Event Board

Bella Vista Event Board

As usual, I was there to present Lights of the Lakes to another group of seniors. I set up in the Lounge, an all-purpose gathering place. Around 20 people came to see today’s show.

Bella Vista Lounge

Bella Vista Lounge

11/30 – Waukesha Public Library

My last show of the month took place on November 30th at the huge Waukesha Public Library. The program had been promoted both online and via posters hung on bulletin boards at the library.

Waukesha Public Library Poster

Waukesha Public Library Poster

The pre-show publicity brought out a good crowd. 46 people attended the show, and they were a very responsive audience. I love presenting to a group that really gets into the program!

Waukesha Public Library Audience

Waukesha Public Library Audience

Well, that does it. I’ve survived another busy month presenting my lighthouse show. It’s taken me to new places, and I’ve met and entertained new groups of lighthouse enthusiasts. This is one of the rewards of the way I spend my retirement!

Light of the Lakes Shows – October

October 2 – Bay View Historical Society

The first show this month is described in a separate post. Read it.

October 12 – The Meadows of Fall River

The Meadows of Fall River Sign

The Meadows of Fall River Entrance

To present October’s second Lights of the Lakes show, I traveled to Fall River, Wisconsin. This was my first visit to this tiny rural town near Beaver Dam. The building, decorated for fall, is shown above.

The Meadows of Fall River Sign

The Meadows of Fall River Sign

After being welcomed to this friendly and unassuming place, I set up right in the lobby near a fireplace. About a dozen seniors attended the show at The Meadows.

October 16 – Charleston House

Charleston House, an assisted living unit of Landmark Senior Living, hosted the third Lights of the Lakes show this month. On another beautiful fall day, I traveled to Beaver Dam, WI to present there.

Charleston House Sign

Charleston House Sign

Bright sunshine and above-average temperatures made for shirtsleeves weather here in mid-October.

Charleston House Entrance

Charleston House Entrance

This location had a second-story balcony which allowed me to get an unusual overhead shot overlooking the Great Room where I presented the show. About fifteen seniors attended; all but one female.

Charleston House Great Room

Charleston House Great Room

October 18 – Touchmark on West Prospect

The stretch of sunny, warm mid-October days continued into mid-week. Today’s journey took me to the Fox Valley of Wisconsin to present at Touchmark on West Prospect. This building was an upscale independent-living apartment complex.

Touchmark on West Prospect

Touchmark on West Prospect

I delivered the fourth Lights of the Lakes show of the month in the Touchmark Chapel, a theater-style room that was perfect for the show. For a chapel, it was completely devoid of any religious artifacts. I was able to tap into their house media system, which included a ceiling-mounted projector, large screen, and room-filling stereo system. For the first time in memory, I didn’t need to use any of my own equipment beyond my laptop. I did have to go back out to the car to get an HDMI cable, though, in order to connect to the system.

My audience was unusual for a group of seniors—it was about two-thirds men. Normally, my senior audiences are overwhelmingly elderly women; usually in their 80s; sometimes their 90s. My contact, Kylie, was only 25. After the Edmund Fitzgerald segment at the end of the show, she told me she was born in 1992 and never knew about the shipwreck.

October 20 – Avalon Square

Avalon Square, Waukesha

Avalon Square, Waukesha

Avalon Square is a large senior residence in Waukesha, WI. It was the site of my third Lights of the Lakes show this week. The audience was very typical: about fifteen eighty-something women, and a couple of elderly men. What made this outing memorable was that the temperature was 80º on October 20th…highly unusual for Wisconsin!

October 25 – Majestic Heights, Hartford

Majestic Heights Sign

Majestic Heights Assisted Living Sign

Majestic Heights II Assisted Living Entrance

Majestic Heights II Assisted Living Entrance

On a decidedly cooler October day, I traveled to Hartford, WI to do my next Lights of the Lakes show. The venue was Majestic Heights Assisted Living. In a building not quite a year old, I entertained a group of around 20 senior residents of the facility.

October 27 – Bethel Home

Bethel Home Sign

Bethel Home Sign

Bethel Home Entrance

Bethel Home Entrance

As November approached, an the weather turned decidedly chilly, I trekked to Oshkost for the last Lights of the Lakes show of October.

Bethel Home Audience

Bethel Home Audience

This has been another busy month for and yours truly, but more of the same is on tap for November. Check back as the year winds down for more news about my travels presenting Lights of the Lakes.

Lights of the Lakes in Bay View

Phil Block was the keynote speaker at the Annual Membership Meeting of the Bay View (WI) Historical Society on October 2, 2017. About forty members and their leadership gathered in the 1872 Beulah Brinton House, which is their headquarters.

Beulah Brinton House

Beulah Brinton House

Advance Publicity

The Bay View Historical Society provided advance publicity for Lights of the Lakes, as shown below.

BVHS Web Site Announcement

BVHS Web Site Announcement

I also got a nice mention in the BVHS Historian, their newsletter:

Bay View Newsletter Excerpt

Bay View Historian Excerpt