I've lived in various parts of the U.S., and have traveled extensively in Europe and North America. Now back in the Milwaukee area, I am once again reminded of the poetic majesty of autumn here. If I ever write a poem [highly unlikely], it will be about autumn in this area. I've written before about our timidity and inferiority complex in Milwaukee. But there is so much to celebrate about the area. And I think it is about time that we establish a regional organization to set up a sort of Hall of Fame for people from this area or people with strong ties to this area.
I offer the following people who might be considered as nominees. You could add many others, I'm sure. Think of us honoring these people in a Hall, say in a beautiful area like the end of Wisconsin Avenue, across from the Art Center on the land that should be lowered so the sweep of Lake Michigan can be viewed as one drives east on the main street of Milwaukee. Here is my initial, quickly offered list:
Christopher Sholes, Ned Day, Orson Wells, Woody Herman, Frank Lloyd Wright, Spencer Tracy, Pat O'Brien, Jack Carson, Dennis Morgan, Hildegarde, Harvey Kuenn, Carl Schurz, Robert La Follette, Liberace, General Douglas MacArthur, General Billy Mitchell, Edmund Fitzgerald, Elroy Hirsch, Les Paul, Dan Jansen, Harry Houdini, Victor Berger, Golda Meir, Alfred Lunt, Harley and Davidson, Fred MacMurray, Ole Evinrude, Solomon Juneau, Bob Uecker
Of course there are many, many more. I had to start someplace. None of the above are from a minority race. That will be the topic of a further blog post. And qualifications would have to be established, such as the geographic boundaries. And there are people, like Al McGuire, who really became Milwaukeeans.
Further, there are products, industries, movements, etc. that carry generic names that may have had very important singular names to give nomination: Johnson's Wax, Schlitz, Pabst, Blatz, Miller, Bradley family, Usinger, A.O. Smith, Nash autos, and the possibilities are endless.
I call on civic-minded people of the area to convene a group of like-minded people to begin work on establishing such a recognition for the area. Qualifications of the nominees, their connection to the area, what constitutes "fame" or "famous," nature of contribution, etc. would have to be established. A steering committee could be formed, and a mission statement developed, and whatever it takes to get the ball rolling is needed now! Certainly philanthropic finances should be no big problem.
It is time, Milwaukee, it is time.