Other Side of Ninety

Matthew Rethaber / WXPR News

Some listeners might recognize the name Harold Ehlers.  He was a longtime jazz host on WXPR, and former owner of the Ehlers General Store in Cornucopia.  

WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski spoke with 90-year-old Ehlers about growing up in Cornucopia and the store that shaped the town.

Ehlers also used to a host a weekly music program on WXPR called “30 Minutes of Jazz,” which he would record and mail in on a cassette tape.  He's collected thousands of records.

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

This month marks 70 years since D-Day, the landing operations at Normandy during World War 2.  

This Memorial Day…we hear from veteran Glenn Johnson.

Johnson served as a paratrooper in World War II in the 101st Airborne Division.  He was injured after parachuting into German territory just prior to the Normandy invasion in 1944.  There he was captured and imprisoned for five months.    

Johnson describes how he and two others escaped one day while on a work detail near the border of Germany and Czechoslovakia. 

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Today in our series “The Other Side of Ninety” we hear from a voice familiar to many WXPR listeners: Charley Requa.  

He was a longtime host of the big band show Your Favorites…with his daughter Tuckey Requa.  Charley grew up in Lakeforest, Illinois and spent summers in Phelps…where he located permanently in 1971.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski spoke with Charley a few days before his 97th birthday…which is today.  

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Today we debut a new series of interviews with Northwoods residents over the age of ninety.  Allen Krueger served in the U.S. Navy and had a career as an electrician, before retiring in northern Wisconsin.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski went to meet Allen…and his dog Zoe…at his home in Monico.

Matthew Rethaber / WXPR News

On Veterans Day, we remember the service of veterans from many wars.  

Walter Wendt served six and a half years in the Navy in World War II.  He was onboard the ship the Helena when it was hit by a torpedo during the attack on Pearl Harbor.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski talked with 95-year-old Wendt at his neighbor’s home in McNaughton, Wisconsin.