In the 608: Meet the ‘Ice Whisperer’ of Madison

MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin winters can be brutal, especially if you don’t like to be outside in all the elements. For one area man, though, it’s what he’s made a career out of.

We’re talking about Warren Lyerly, but everyone calls him “Junior.” You’ll see the Madison native most days at Tenney Park.

“I enjoy what I do, and I love what I do,” Lyerly said.

In the winter, that means tending to the ice rinks, but if you think this is an easy job, think again.

“I’ve fallen through before and never touched bottom,” he explained. “It’s kind of a nerve-racking thing, but the days go by really fast, and it’s really rewarding at the end of the day.”

He’s been with the City of Madison for more than 32 years, most of that time with the parks division. Junior says it’s his colleagues that keep him coming back.

“This is a great group of guys,” Lyerly laughed. “We’ve been together for a really long time.”

Like a lot of his colleagues, Junior grew up not far from Tenney Park. He says they all take this job to heart.

He can’t help but smile at the end of the day as he drives by seeing all the skaters taking advantage of what living in the 608 has to offer.

“I always get stopped with people giving us the thumbs up and telling us they appreciate what we do,” Lyerly concluded. “It keeps us motivated.”

Click here for skating hours and rental prices at Tenney Park.