Where Are They Now: Tracking Down the Best of Yesteryear
Best TV Personality
After a quarter-century in Madison, Elmer Childress bid farewell to the city in 2006 and moved to Benton, Arkansas. As a child he lived in a rural area and Benton was “our going-to-town place on Saturdays.” Childress won the favorite TV personality award multiple times during his seventeen-year tenure at WMTV, Channel 15. His easygoing style and affable personality made him one of the most recognizable residents of the city. While retired, the 81-year old Childress remains busy golfing and doing an occasional television commercial. He and his wife June also continue their weekly radio program, “The Elmer Childress Gospel Hour,” which can be heard locally at 7 a.m. Sundays on WEKZ-FM in Monroe. Elmer and June still have a Wisconsin connection—a daughter and three grandkids live in Oshkosh. Fondly recalling his days here Childress says, “Tell everyone hi for me.”
Best TV Personality
A fixture of the Madison airwaves for decades, Loew now co-hosts the PBS news program “In Wisconsin” when she isn’t busy teaching in the UW Life Sciences Communication department, writing books (she’s currently working on a collection of biographies of Native American environmentalists), and traveling to Mozambique with Terra Institute, a Mt. Horeb sustainable development nonprofit, to train community-based journalists to become “agents of change” through digital storytelling.
Clarenbach left Madison in 1995 to run the Victory Fund, raising money for openly gay elected officials. Life took an unexpected turn when he was diagnosed with a chronic neurological condition several years ago. On his good days, he’s still fighting the good fight for social justice. On his bad days, he’s learned to slow it down and appreciate the finer things in life: a good crime novel, a strong cup of coffee and the mellow tones of Tom Waits. He recently jettisoned the D.C.-Madison shuffle and has firmly replanted himself back home in Madison to be closer to his friends, the community he loves and the world champion Packers.
Sharpless is a UW–Madison history professor who once dabbled in politics—he ran for Congress and lost to incumbent Tammy Baldwin in 2000. (“I ran as a moderate Republican but we don’t exist anymore.”) He’s been a regular pundit on Wisconsin Public Radio for years. A natural orator with a dry, self-deprecating sense of humor, Sharpless “makes lectures very bearable and even entertaining at times,” according to one review on ratemyprofessors.com. Outside of politics and academia, Sharpless enjoys canoeing and motorcycle touring all over the United States and beyond. Among his favorite adventures was a solo, 8,800-kilometer road trip in the Patagonia region of South America. Sharpless recently battled throat cancer and won.
Adrienne Michel Sager
Best Local Artist
This multiple winner and 2001 Hall of Famer has taught college art and art history, leads hundreds of Madisonians on art tours to France and lectures in the Louvre and other major Paris museums. “I still love to paint and have recently traveled to France to interview and thank the Parisian violinist whose album of Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons’ I listen to while creating a canvas.” This fall Sager will be back in Paris to lecture on Art Nouveau architecture before making a regular pilgrimage to Giverny to visit Monet’s gardens—“the original source of inspiration for more than one hundred of my paintings.”
This UW–Madison All-American middle linebacker who was a Madison Magazine favorite in 1982 went on to play for the Cincinnati Bengals, made it to Super Bowl XXIII (though was badly injured early in the game), coached the defensive line for the Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs, and recently joined the coaching staff of the United Football League’s Hartford Colonials. With unsurpassed Badger records for career solo tackles and career tackles by a defensive lineman, Krumrie was inducted into the UW Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999—for both football and wrestling.
An All-American runner at UW–Madison, Bremser went on to win the silver medal in the 1,500 meters at the 1983 Pan American games and finished fourth in the 3,000 meters at the 1984 Summer Olympics. “I ran through the ’88 Olympic trials but had a lot of injury problems,” she says. Her personal records include: 15:11 in the 5,000 meter, 8:28 in the 3,000 meter and 4:04 in the 1,500 meter. “Those are still pretty fast times,” she says. And make no mistake, Bremser still has running in her blood. “I still run and I always will, I hope,” she says. Plus, she’s coached boys’ and girls’ cross-country at Middleton High School since 1999. Bremser also works with kids in her day job as a nurse in Madison public schools, and she has two of her own with husband Kim Whitmore: Taylor, a student at the University of Minnestota, and Jacie, a freshman at Middleton High School.