What I Wanted to Say …

by John Bloner, Jr. This is my final article as Racine Writer-In-Residence as I will hand off its baton to the next honoree on July 1st. Thank you to ArtRoot, the Osborne & Scekic Family Foundation, Nick Ramsey, and the Racine Literacy Council for their support and encouragement. Over the past six months, the Krazines,…

Mattias and I: A True Story

When I came across Mattias’ work five or six years ago, I became captivated by his highly-populated cityscapes and his rooms stuffed with bric-a-brac and odd technology. This is the kind of art I want to make!, I told myself.

Drawing Tom Waits

As much as I love the sound of Tom Waits – blues shouter, field hollerer, junkyard dog howler, carnival barker – I also am jazzed by the man’s countenance and love to draw pictures of him.

Who Is This Masked Man?

Over the past year, we’ve worn a lot of masks to prevent spread of a virus, and over our lifetimes, we put on many masks of a metaphorical-kind to guide us through social situations, whether in the workplace, family gatherings, or at parties.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

You’re probably familiar with the Muses, those Greek goddesses of the arts and science, whom many through the ages have called upon for inspiration, yet you may not know of the Muses of Mirth, birthed here in southeastern Wisconsin by the multi-talented Monne Haug of Kenosha to not only inspire clever souls but to feed them, too.

Mixing It Up

Call Me DJ Jazzy Johnny. My younger self could make a pretty cool mixtape, first on cassette and later on CD. I never played them in clubs – I cannot stay up past ten o’clock, and I hate crowds, even in pre-COVID times. Nowadays, I prefer to mix things up on paper or canvas instead.

Ask a Mortician

Thank you so much to those folks who attended the obituary writing workshops. Great information and wonderful personal stories made it an event to remember. Part of being a funeral director is the ability to disseminate information in a way that is direct, honest and without judgement. My next workshops, offered on October 19th and…

6th Street Love

I love hanging out on 6th street. Even though I am a Kenosha girl, born and raised, I have found a second home on 6th street in downtown Racine. First there are my beloved Over Our Head Players. This group and the crazy kind, ever expanding group of folks who work there came to me…

What’s Your Story?

What is your defining moment? What one event in your life represents all of your triumphs and struggles? What part of your story is the most important? If you are a regular human like the rest of us, this is not easy. Our lives are made up of interconnected moments; joys and sorrows that comprise…


So many folks say that our interest in our phones to the exclusion of human interaction, and our time-consuming ego-driven social media frenzy along with the isolation that comes from feeling that while we are surrounded by information, we are bereft of genuine communication. And to those folks I say, “Cut back on your caffeine…