My website

My website

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Police Beat - Markesan Wisconsin

I'm immersed in editing my new book, Dessert First, so I'll say hi to you by way of "Police Beat" (entries compiled by Scott Mundro for Markesan Regional Reporter):

7/07/13 - SUSPICIOUS - Shortly after 4:00 p.m., police were contacted regarding a suspicious vehicle that had been parked on North Margaret Street for approximately a half-hour with a male waiting inside. Police approached the vehicle and made contact with the owner who stated he was waiting to meet up with someone for work. Police made contact with the second individual, a local resident, who confirmed the man's story.

7/03/13 - SUSPICIOUS - Police were contacted by a concerned citizen who believed he had witnessed a "drug deal" take place. Police made contact with one of the individuals involved. The individual was cooperative during the conversation and allowed police to see the contents of his pockets. Police observed no money and no drugs. Police were unable to locate the second individual.

7/02/13 - CRIMINAL MISCHIEF - Police were approached by local resident who stated she believed that her house had been shot. Police arrived at the home and observed three small holes near the front door. Police spoke with neighbors who stated the home's previous tenant was very "rough" on the house, often shooting it with a pellet gun, bow and arrow, and even hitting it with a hammer. Police contacted the property owner who was unaware of any holes in the property from the previous tenant.

7/01/13 - TRAFFIC HAZARD - While on routine patrol, police observed a low-hanging branch over Manchester Street. Police contacted Public Works, and employees removed the hazard.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Police Beat - Markesan, Wisconsin


On 6/29/13, Markesan experienced an armed robbery. Someone used a gun to hold up the local pharmacy. The robber wanted prescription drugs. Most of the police reports in Markesan resemble these as reported for the Markesan Regional Reporter by Scott Mundro:

6/3/13 - NOISE - Police were contacted by an anonymous complainant regarding a noise problem at an E. John Street residence. Police located the source of the noise and made contact with the residents, instructing the individuals to turn the music down or off. The individuals understood and complied.

6/16/13 - FOUND PROPERTY - Police were contacted by an individual who had lost his wallet and had learned that it had been found and would be turned in to the police department. Police were later contacted by the individual who found the wallet and wished to arrange a time to drop the wallet off. Once the wallet was in police possession, the owner was contacted.

6/13/13 - ANIMAL PROBLEM - Police were on routine duty when three cows were observed on Highway 44 in the ditch walking toward the roadway. With the assistance of a Good Samaritan, the cows were walked back to the property and the owner of the cows was contacted to secure the animals on the property.

6/11/13 - LOST PROPERTY - Police were contacted by an individual regarding a lost iPod Touch during June Dairy Days. The item was discovered lost after riding one of the carnival rides. The complainant spoke with the ride operator who stated someone did approach him with the iPod, at which point the operator instructed the individual to drop the iPod off at the ticket booth. After the complainant spoke with the ticket booth, however, it was discovered that no iPod had been dropped off.

6/11/13 - ANIMAL NOISE - Police contacted a local resident regarding her dogs that allegedly bark when no one is home. The individual advised that she would try to keep the dogs quiet.

6/11/13 - ODOR - Police were notified by dispatch of an anonymous complaint of a smoldering fire pit at a local business. Police arrived on scene and spoke with the owner of the business who stated he had cleaned out his office and was now burning numerous old binders, books and paperwork. Police asked that the fire be extinguished immediately. The business owner complied with the request.

6/10/13 - ANIMAL PROBLEM - A concerned citizen contacted police about a dog that was found in the roadway in front of Markesan State Bank. The dog was wearing a collar but no tags. The dog was transported to the Markesan Vet Clinic.

6/10/13 - ESCORT - Markesan police escorted a funeral procession for a local funeral home to Holy Family Parish. The escort took place without incident.

6/29/13 - CAR/DEER - During a routine traffic stop on Highway 44 in southern Markesan, police observed a semi tractor hit a deer. After being hit, the deer ran off, and police were unable to locate it.

6/29/13 - LOCKOUT - Police were dispatched to a N. Margaret Street address on the report of a subject locking his keys inside the vehicle. Police verified the driver's registration and gained entry to the vehicle. [There were two more such incidents reported.]

6/26/13 - CITIZEN ASSIST - Police made contact with a citizen who requested assistance in retrieving a carpet cleaner from a second party. However the complainant was unable to make contact with the second party. Police told the complainant to call if further assistance was needed.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Nancy Reinsvold has a new address: in heaven


          The day a doctor told Nancy she had four months to live, she cried and cried. She was not ready to leave this earth. That was back in March of 2011, when she was 77 years old. She had a big free rummage for her friends that summer. I got several lawn ornaments. Eventually a doctor told her she’d make it to age 78 and beyond. He was right. She missed her lawn ornaments, so I gave them back. Nancy lived to 79 years and two days. Her room at Zilber Hospice was filled with people celebrating her birthday last week Friday.

          The nurses said they’d never seen a patient with so many friends. I can tell you why. Nancy was quick to love people, and we knew we were loved. She called us all "Sweetheart." She gave us smooches right on the lips. We hugged her skinny bones and she us hugged right back.

          Nancy loved to laugh. One time I visited her, she told me about a robber who drove his car through the glass windows of an Apple store, in order to steal a bunch of computers. Unknown to him, the license plate fell off his car in the process. The police were waiting for him when he got back home.

          Boy, did Nancy laugh at that story.

          She was proud of her ability to turn junk into beauty. When you visited Nancy, you might find her with fingers covered with green paint. She liked to turn second-hand vases and lawn decorations into fine art objects with her spray paint can.

          Before she broke her hip, she was down to 100 lbs. and wore a size zero jeans. She told me the story of how her pants fell off her one day. Her arms were full of non-alcoholic beers her son had given her, and all of a sudden she realized her pants were around her ankles. She looked back at her son and said, "I'm mooning you."

          She added that that the falling-down trousers were the red ones with the manufactured torn-up look – a tear here, a tear there, threadbare, like the ones worn by young people and Hollywood stars. Nancy liked to dress spiffy.

          The day she broke her hip, I visited her in the hospital. She had dirty fingernails and I knew why. She had surely been in her garden that morning before she fell. She loved to toil in her vegetable and flower gardens. Many times when I visited, her trousers had dirt-covered knees. One day she told me she had worked so hard that she had to come in and rest. She had already put in hours with her hands in the dirt. And it wasn’t even 8:00 a.m. yet. She used to wake up early and wait for the sun to rise so she could go work outside. I took a photo of Nancy last summer. It shows her holding an enormous tomato – one she grew. She was so proud of it that she called me to come see it and enjoy a BLT.

          She was tough. She tried to move a heavy lawn ornament one spring. It fell on her and afterward, her side "hurt a lot." But she never went to the doctor. Three months later, the doc looked at an MRI and said, "You broke your rib a while back." She had cancer but she still healed well.

          Sometimes Nancy talked about serious stuff like the terrorists and the stormy weather. She said, "I don't know what's gonna happen to our world. The killing and the taking God off our money and the hurricanes and the drought."  But Nancy didn’t talk about these things often. And she never complained about her own lot in life; more commonly she complained about silly annoyances, and laughed at them.

          She reminisced about being a single mother to three young boys, working in the factory full time for almost four decades to keep a roof over their heads, never having a car. "I had to take my baby in a stroller through the snow to the babysitter at 4:00 a.m.," she said. "I don't know how I did it…. But you do what you have to do."

          Nancy's husband abandoned her when they had two young sons and she was pregnant with their third. She always had a heart for single mothers. I met her when she became a volunteer for HOPE Network for Single Mothers. She was a hilarious volunteer, part of a team that sorted and folded donated clothing. She was the one to put funny donated hats on her head. Always the clown. She shared some donated clothing with Erik, her garbage man, for his grandchild. Erik was one of many people who had become a friend. He stopped every week and parked his big garbage truck in front of her house. She always had a treat for him.

          She volunteered for a lot of charities – all without having a car. She received a commendation for her volunteerism from the president. It hangs in a frame on her wall.

          Nancy's mother died when Nancy was an infant. In all her years, she never knew a mother's love. She raised her three sons without the support of a partner or a mom. She told me that she looked forward to meeting her mother someday in heaven. But right up until the last days in hospice, she talked about the flowers and vegetables she had planted in her yard. She still was not ready to leave this earth. Finally at the end, she became tired, very tired.

          In heaven, Nancy will surely have no more chemotherapy, needles, pills, Ensure, oatmeal, yogurt, pudding, or applesauce. If God needs a volunteer, Nancy will surely be there working and putting funny hats on her head. Meanwhile, she’s left some things behind: a yard full of flowers and vegetables...and lawn ornaments! 

          She also leaves behind many friends and family members who have hearts full of the love she spent so lavishly. We are her sweethearts.

Gail Grenier is the author of Calling All Horses, Dog Woman, and Don't Worry Baby, all available from