Out and About In Eau Claire

Although we're very busy with work, seminar, and meetings, we've tried to get out and about as much as possible.   One of the historic landmarks is Carson Park's baseball stadium where All-star baseball player Hank Aaron got his career started playing for the then Eau Claire Bears.  It is now home to the Northwoods League Eau Claire Express.  The league is similar to the Cape Cod League in that it's an amateur one in which current college players can hone their skills.  Here is a link to the league's website (http://www.northwoodsleague.com/).  They live with host families during the season, and provide a pretty good show for the fans.  We finally had a chance to go to a game, although the weather was still a bit damp and chilly.

Here is a picture of the park…


… and the Hank Aaron exhibit under the grandstand…


…as well as his bronze statue out in front of the stadium…



 Like many communities around the country, summer time means music in the park, and every Thursday evening, there is music at the Sarge Boyd Bandshell in Owen Park right on the Chippewa River.   The Eau Claire Municipal Band, the city's oldest community musical organization, was founded in 1902 when August William "Gus" Bock purchased musical instruments for his sons—Joe, Edward, James and Leo—as well as other area boys. He hired Frank Wentworth to teach and conduct them while his role was that of manager and disciplinarian. The group achieved a certain amount of fame,sometimes travelling as far as Madison to perform. Originally called Bock’s Boys Band, it became the Eau Claire Boys Band in 1904 after Bock and Wentworth parted ways. When the boys reached adulthood, the group renamed itself Wisconsin State Band-Eau Claire. In the late 1910s and early 1920s it became known as the Liberty Band and in 1927 received its present appellation.

After class last week, Dr. Baker walked over to the park to listen to the band (wishing he'd brought his trombone)….


Finally, June is Dairy Month in Wisconsin, and Chambers of Commerce all over the state sponsor some sort of event to celebrate.  In Eau Claire, the event is "Breakfast in the Valley" and we ducked out of work for 90 minutes last Friday to check it out.  The City Manager, Russ Van Gompel, was one of the contestants in the milk drinking contest, and we hoped to be able to watch the competition and cheer him on, but the line for food was so long that we missed it.   He ended up losing to Alice in Dairyland (seriously, that's her title).   We did enjoy our breakfast, though, and once again, our animal lovers, Karen and Shelby got to pet another animal.  This time it was a cow.