Men and Women Talk Group

Men and Women Talk Group
2nd and 4th Tuesdays at 10:00 AM

January 2020

January 14 

A Double Dipper


Jerry Grajkowski like to break precedent and he is going to report on two books, alleging that one supports the other; but which is which? The books are “Horse Soldiers” by Doug Stanton published in 2009. The other is “Surprise, Kill, Vanish” by Anne Jacobsen published in 2019.

January 28

Open Conversation


The new leadership team of Donna Cangelosi and Jerry Grajkowski will lead the conversation and involve the attendees in future programming

December 2019

December 10



Did you, at one time, receive a toy train for Christmas? Was it a wind-up or electric?  Did it have an oval track or a figure eight? Bob Krembs of Verona owns a whole railroad! It’s in his lower level! It is an HO scale Milwaukee Road that is set in the environs of Milwaukee, and the passenger station on Fifth Street is under construction. We will be his guests for this meeting.  We will car pool from the senior center depot.

December 24

No Meeting today


See you in January…

November 2019

November 12

What Lies in the Future?


More than 2 and 1/2 years ago Man Talk was formed at the Senior Center, meeting twice a month for conversation.  Local concerns drifted into book reviews.  Soon presenters were invited.  Then women were included.  Tours became regular events. Participation increased to a regular 12 to 16.


Now we will have Tom Bauer lead us in a discussion on where we go from here.  The Participatory Learning And Teaching Organization (PLATO), a U-W Madison extension program of education, will have
representatives joining in the conversation.


Join us as we look ahead.

November 26

Learn about Japan


In his free-time, Verona Public Library Reference Librarian, Mark Cullen, has been traveling to Japan off and on since 1992.  Join us as Mark helps us discover the intricacies of the geography, the arts and culture, and the oddities that make this country so distinctive and fascinating.  Just in time for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games! Special emphasis will be given to Northern Japan where his wife’s family resides.

October 2019

October 8

Natural Path Sanctuary


We will tour the Farley Center and the Natural Path Sanctuary west of Verona. The Sanctuary is an all-natural burial site in the beautiful wooded hills of southwest Wisconsin.  We will hear a presentation as we walk through the burial area led by Shedd Farley. We will carpool, leaving the Senior Center at 10 AM and return at noon. Wear good walking shoes!

Bill's 1/16 horse farm tools

October 22

Farm Toys


In 1977, one of our own, Bill Rettenmund, bought a 1901, 1/16 scale horse barn for his daughters. Bill wanted to sell it in 2013 as it was a collectors’ item. However, his girls would not permit him!  The result?  Bill began constructing miniature buildings of the family farm in Black Earth, as well as 1901 farm machinery.  He has shown these at toy shows and will retrieve them from the Black Earth museum in order to share them with us!

( Note: click on image for a larger view of the picture or pictures. )

September 2019

September 10 

Field Trip to Local Science Lab 



Promega in Fitchburg is a worldwide leader in applying biochemistry and molecular biology to develop products having to do with genetic identity, drug discovery, diagnosing and treating of diseases and development of various therapies. Scientist Jim Cali will address us on some of their 4,000 products and their $155 million dollar new expansion. We will then have a guided tour of some of the lab areas.

September 24 

Missing in Action

Recovery and Identification Project


Having just returned from a recovery assignment in Belgium, Charles Konsitzke will explain how lost soldiers are found and returned to loved ones. Though working in several war theaters, the team, which will have several members present, is currently working mostly in Europe.

August 2019

August 13 Verona Painting Artist


One of our own, John Scharer, will present several of his works of art.  These include nature scenes, still life, wild life and building structures.  John has used several mediums for his works, from water paints to oils.

August 27 The Business of Farming

Keith O’Connell will inform us of the joys  and frustrations of today’s farming. With his brother and other employees, Keith works 2,000 acres of cropland in the Blue Mounds area and milks 230 cows.  Learning about the O’Connell farm will help those attending to understand more about herbicides, milk pricing, government subsidies and conservation farming methods.

July 2019

Tuesday, July 9  @ 10:00 AM –

The disappearing water of the American West.


We learn about the disappearing water of the American West.


Jerry Grajowski will a discussion of the book, Cadillac Desert, dealing with irrigation, diverted rivers, dams and early Mormon water usages and water reclamation efforts from 1860-1980.


The story of the American West is the story of a relentless quest for a precious resource: water. It is a tale of rivers diverted and dammed, of political corruption and intrigue, of billion-dollar battles over water rights of ecological and economic disaster. … (Amazon)

Tuesday, July 23 @ 10:00 AM  –

Alternative arrangements for funerals and burials


On July 23 we invite a larger audience to join us as Jonas Zahn of Beaver Dam presents alternative arrangements for funerals and burials that do less damage to the environment. His company uses only woods from Wisconsin trees and products that are 99% biodegradable. He will inform us on how to have a carbon negative funeral.  This event is open to all participants of the Senior Center as well as to the community.  Local funeral directors and pastors are being invited and may be available for consultation. Regular attenders are encouraged to bring spouses, friends and neighbors to this event.

June 2019


Tuesday, June 11  @ 10:00 AM – ISIS Reviewed


We will learn about the background, motivation and purpose of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) the militant Islamic organization that has recently been in decline. The presenter will be Steve Sheets.



Tuesday, June 25 @ 10:00 AM –

Antique Cars, a Field Trip


We will carpool to New Glarus to visit with father-and-son dual of Gary and Wade Kuhl at their restoration shop. They will tell of their hobby and show a few gems from yesteryear. We will leave the Senior Center at 10:00 AM and return about noon.




Extensions to the outing (were added at the June 11th meeting):

Have lunch in New Glarus (optional)

Tour of the Brewery (optional)