Bill Dyke: His Expression of Art was a Gift to Us
Bill contemplates his children’s visit,
watching them from his driveway until
he could no longer see them. He was a
thinker and often would take quiet walks
to consider his next painting.
There’s a Wisconsin jurist-artist, Renaissance man, missing in our cover article, Lawyers & the Arts. When looking for lawyers to profile in this special focus issue, Bill Dyke readily came to mind. Of course!
He was an avid painter, and his work reflected his evolving interests in local historic landmarks (from courthouses to train stations) and his respect for nature and wildlife. Each December we’d look forward to receiving his iconic hand-painted holiday cards featuring one of his paintings.
Bill supported arts in his community – using the halls of Wisconsin’s oldest operating courthouse to showcase the works of local artists. He illustrated a children’s book. Produced a cult-classic science fiction movie, “The Giant Spider Invasion.” Need we say more?
Bill Dyke appreciated the light in his groundfloor
studio. It’s where he worked on his paintings
of courthouses, local homes, and wildlife.
Working through a list of interviewees for this issue in early March, Bill was next on our call list. However, our timing was not good – he was at a Dodgeville health care facility. “Got some bad news,” he said.
During that phone call, we talked about his health, the painting he had just completed. We talked about this issue’s focus on arts and the law, and having lunch the next time he was in Madison. Despite his barely audible voice, he was eager for an interview. “Just set it up with Tari” (his longtime judicial assistant), he whispered. We didn’t get that interview. He passed away several days later.
You likely know Bill as the Honorable William D. Dyke, or the two-term Madison mayor, or the person who unsuccessfully ran as Wisconsin governor and U.S. vice president.
For two decades, he served as the circuit court judge of Iowa County, a position he described as his “dream job.” During that time, he served six years as the Chief Judge of Wisconsin’s Seventh Judicial Administrative District and one year as the Chief of the Chief Judges of the state.
Bill enjoyed sending out an annual Christmas card that featured local landmarks
including noteworthy homes, historic buildings, and local landmarks.
In 2015, he received the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Bench and Bar Committee’s Lifetime Jurist Achievement Award. Those attending the event last June will remember Bill’s unusual acceptance speech, surprising his wife Christine in renewal of their wedding vows. That was a first.
For Bill, art was more than personal expression. It was a gift to friends, and it served others.
As a member of the 2000 Inaugural Class of Fellows of the Wisconsin Law Foundation, he donated prints of his water color painting, “Belmont 1839: A Place of Beginnings,” to support public understanding of the law. In this 1992 painting, the Belmont courthouse door is intentionally positioned open, reflecting Bill’s belief that the court system should be accessible to the public. (By the way, signed and numbered prints are still available for a $75 donation.)
According to Christine, his last subjects to paint were animals. Made into greeting cards, they are destined for distribution at humane societies for fundraising purposes – a cause near and dear to him.
He put that radio-announcer voice to good use, for years recording each issue of this magazine on audiocassette to aid members with vision issues. It was his idea, and it forced him to stay up on case law, he would tell us.
We knew Bill for his big smile, quick wit, kind words, and ready hugs. We will miss his unexpected visits to the Bar Center – and that holiday card in the mailbox.
Special thanks to Christine and family for giving us permission to share a couple of their personal photos and an example of his greeting cards. “He was a thinker and often would take quiet walks to consider his next painting or ideas,” says daughter Katie.
Regulating Wisconsin Breweries
Mr. Glazer’s article “Starting a Brewery: A Web of Regulations” (Wisconsin Lawyer, March 2016) is incorrect. He states, “Breweries may have up to two taprooms or restaurants – one on site and one off site – and offer free sampling. Unlike a brewpub, the brewery’s restaurants cannot serve liquor. Moreover, breweries can sell in their taproom or restaurant only beer “that [has] been manufactured on another brewery premises in this state.”
Wisconsin Statute 125.29(3)(e) under brewers permitted activities says, “(e)Notwithstanding ss. 125.04(9) and 125.09(1), the retail sale of fermented malt beverages that have been manufactured on the brewery premises or on other premises of the brewer for on-premise consumption by individuals at the brewery premises or an off-site retail outlet established by the brewer.”
The rest of the code allows even more. Brewers may sell their own product or that produced by other small Wisconsin breweries for on- or off-premises consumption. They may sell it or offer free samples. That code changed several years ago. Here is the code.
Mr. Jim Kennedy, President
The Benjamin Beer Co., Pleasant Prairie
Response: I will admit that the article failed to mention that breweries may also serve their own beer. It was an oversight that assumed the obvious: breweries can always serve their own beer. I was focusing on the limitation that if breweries want to serve beer other than their own that beer must be Wisconsin-brewed beer. But, yes, breweries (and brewpubs) may serve their own beer. I appreciate Mr. Kennedy taking the time to point that out.
Atty. Jeffrey M. Glazer
U.W. Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic, Madison
Learning to Overcome Fear
In his Final Thought column, “I’m Not Afraid of Barry Alvarez” (Wisconsin Lawyer, April 2016), State Bar legal writer Joe Forward reflected on how learning to overcome fear when facing new situations or circumstances is one of the best life skills one can develop.
He told how, as a young sports writer, his hesitation cost him an interview with U.W. football coach Barry Alvarez. And, more important, how he vowed, as a result, that his fear would never get in the way again. Readers responded positively, as the example below illustrates.
Response: I just read your article in the Wisconsin Lawyer. I thought it was absolutely terrific. It speaks to all of us and the fears that all of us face every day, in both our personal and professional lives. I thank you for your inspiring thoughts.
I have a request. Would it be possible for you to send me either an electronic version of your article or an email copy of it so that I might forward it to my family. Even though many of them are not in the legal profession, your words can inspire all of them in facing the myriad fears that simple life throws at us.
Hon. William E. Callahan Jr.
U.S. Magistrate Judge, Milwaukee
Kid Pic Tweet Nets Kid Pic Tweet
Do you remember Dexter our youngest fan? His mother, Atty. Rebecca Markert, found him wide awake at 10:30 one night reading her January 2016 issue of Wisconsin Lawyer. He told her it’s his favorite magazine! We shared her letter (March 2016 Inbox) on social media and had a huge response: our Facebook post was seen by 1,254 people, viewed 3,462 times, and clicked on 163 times. Our Twitter post was viewed 500 times, including by Atty. Gottlieb (John) Marmet.
John tweeted back this drawing by his daughter, 5-year-old Natalie. In her kindergarten class assignment about occupations, Natalie revealed that when she is big, she wants to be a lawyer. That’s hardly a surprise given that both parents, John and Lisa, are 2004 U.W. Law School graduates practicing in Milwaukee; her aunt is a 2007 Marquette Law School graduate with the Wisconsin DNR; and her paternal grandfather is a 1970 Northwestern Law School graduate in Illinois.
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