“For every bottle of brandy he would buy, she would buy a rosebush…”

I grew up near Stanley, on five and a half acres, about two miles out of town. We weren't a farming family; my father was a teacher.

Photos by Megan Monday

Paul | Madison, WI

“Stanley had a circus, and a few other things came to town because of it. When business got lean, Stanley started a rodeo. Everybody thought, ‘Well, this is an odd idea for the town.’ But there’s a lot of dairy farms around, so cowpokes have a stake in. It actually became pretty popular. Now they have a rodeo every year.”

Paul lives in Madison, but grew up in a small town with a rodeo. That might seem like another Wisconsin oddity, but the huge amount of cows there made a rodeo make sense. He has a colorful family history with a lot of great stories, but we love the story about how his grandparents’ drive got filled up with rosebushes the best.

"The old joke was that for every bottle of brandy that my grandfather would buy, my grandmother would buy a rosebush. There's pictures, and there's just rosebushes all the way down the lot. She loved to garden, but that was quite something. He drank a lot of brandy."

“In the 1930s, just after the logging finished, [my dad] got this little piece of land and lived in a shack. Later he met my mother, who’s from Boyd. He was 42, she was 21. It was kind of a scandal. My dad’s side was like, ‘Whoa,’ but she loved how he danced, so they got married.”

– Paul | Madison, WI

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