Game Day: Bay View

December 30, 2011

Story & Photos by Sheila Julson

Jennifer Heise and Dave Van Sweden catch the game every week at Franky’s Newport Lounge.

Bay View’s blue-collar roots have always created an active bar scene on Packer Sundays. Today, hipster vibes are woven in with drink, food, green-and-gold attire, and team spirit, forming a unique Game Day ambiance inside local taverns. Patrons are just as faithful to their chosen watering holes as they are to the Green Bay Packers, and the Compass checked out the scene at four taverns during the Packers-Raiders game Dec. 11.

Kickoff

Palomino

While Palomino has gained a reputation for their Sunday brunch, the establishment also attracted diehard Packer fans who staked out favorite seats at the bar well before kickoff. With beers in hand, the patrons stared intently at the mounted television in the corner—a snapshot of the old-school corner tap.

Bartender Bill Rouleau has worked at Palomino for nine years and tends bar every Sunday for games. He said it doesn’t matter whether the Pack is doing well or not. “People are always happy about the Packers.”

Palomino serves free shots with every touchdown, accompanied by a bouncy 1960s fight song—“The Fighting Pack” by Larry Schneider. Fans had the opportunity to hear the ditty in the first quarter when Packers running back Ryan Grant ran 47 yards for a touchdown. “Go, go, go!

Frank Skalecki and his father, Art, enjoy the Packers-Raiders game at Franky’s Newport Lounge.

Second Quarter

Franky’s Newport Lounge

With the Pack up 14-0, there was standing room only at Franky’s Newport Lounge. Owner Franky Creed provides the main dish for game buffets, and his regulars bring sides and desserts. Packers faithful in their warmest green and gold watched the game, cheered, and ate while Creed’s dog, Patch, roamed about.

“Packer fans are so loyal. It makes no difference whether they’re winning or losing,” Creed said. For noon games, some of his regulars are knocking on the door by 10:30am. “Seats are important,” Creed explained. “Some people believe in lucky seats. I just hope I can sit down.”

Regular Frank Skalecki sat alongside his father, Art, and enjoyed lime vodka touchdown shots. Skalecki said he’s a lifelong Packers fan and catches the games at Newport because of the warmth and hospitality.

Between serving all those touchdown shots, bartender Michelle Rick sold tickets for the Clay Matthews jersey to be raffled at halftime. Rick said there are raffles every game.Jennifer Heise and her friend, Dave Van Sweden, enjoy the food and friendships of the same people every week. Heise joked that the Packers were winning every game “because we’re here.” (No word on if the couple was at Newport for the Dec. 18 loss to Kansas City.)

Stacy Marshal has been a Newport regular on Packer Sundays since she moved to Bay View from Oconomowoc. She enjoys the diverse crowd and close proximity to her home. “It’s 45 steps from my house,” she said. “I counted.”

Victoria’s on Potter bartender Kelly Sobek holds the hammer above the Hammerschlagen stump at halftime during the Packers-Bears game on Christmas Day. ~photo Michael Timm

Third Quarter

Victoria’s on Potter

A few blocks away at Victoria’s on Potter, there was little Packers attire, but a lot of spirit as patrons cheered on the Packers and their generous lead of 31-0. As people snacked on peanuts served from dog dishes, shells dropping to the floor, bartender Anne Klught said 2011 was the first full football season Victoria’s has been open, but it has quickly become a neighborhood destination. Their spread offers ham, rolls, and food brought in by the bartenders and patrons.

As for free touchdown shots…

“It’s called Packer Piss,” Klught said. “Lime vodka and lemonade.”

Grace Cord and John Monty, who used to live in Bay View, were in attendance. The couple has since moved to Cesar Chavez Drive, but return to Victoria’s on game days.

“The level of enthusiasm and community spirit at Victoria’s is strong,” Cord said. While she had never been a Packers fan before dating Monty, his love of the game drew her in. Cord is a mathematician, and said she appreciates the math and strategy it takes to win a football game.

As a Packers field goal was scored, Chelsea Doxtater cheered loudly and rang a plastic cowbell. Originally from Bowler, Wis., Doxtater said the ambiance at Victoria’s reminded her of bars Up North. “After one Packer game, you’re like family here,” she said.

She planned to take in the remainder of the Packers schedule at Victoria’s.

Evening bartender Raff Quintero handed nails and a hammer to customers who chose to partake in Hammerschlagen, a German drinking game where players take turns hammering nails into a tree stump. When the Packers scored another touchdown, a Hammerschlagen player cheerfully tapped the hammer on the stump.

Fourth Quarter

Bay View Sports Bar & Grill

With the score 43-7, the game was in the bag for the Pack as multiple televisions at Bay View Sports Bar & Grill kept fans abreast of happenings around the NFL. Bartender Malinda Gonzalez said they attract fans of all stripes—even Dallas Cowboys fans… “But we have diehard Packers fans,” she said.

“Green Bay’s gonna go all the way!” predicted Dennis Kryszewski, a “born-and-raised south sider.” He said his ideal Super Bowl match-up would be a Packers-Jets bout, and predicted the Packers would beat Rex Ryan’s squad by 21 points.

Jan and Mark Kolancheck discovered Bay View Sports Bar & Grill during the Bay View Bash. An avid sports fan, Mark said he most fears the New Orleans Saints as playoff opponents.

The couple praised Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, as did many Packers fans that day. As for that other guy who, once upon a time, carried the Pack to greatness in the 1990s…

“I was never a fan of Favre,” Mark said.

“But,” remarked Jan, “he trained Aaron Rodgers.”


Ambrose F. Ferri survived Pearl Harbor, grew up in Bay View

December 30, 2011

By Anna Passante

Ferri in 2008 conducting a Two-Bell Ceremony Memorial Tribute for the seven Chicago Sailors and Marines who sacrificed their lives aboard the battleship USS Arizona. ~U.S. Navy photo by Scott A. Thornbloom


Ambrose F. Ferri of Waukegan, Ill. died this past October of heart failure at the age of 92. He was a survivor of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, while serving on the USS Vestal. Ferri grew up in Bay View. In a phone interview this past summer, Ferri recounted his memories, including exploits of mischief perpetrated by him and his buddies.

Born Oct. 29, 1918, in Rockford, Ill., when Ferri was 4 his family moved to Bay View’s Little Italy. He attended Dover Street School and Trowbridge School and played at the former Wentworth Street Playground (2500 block) and the Pryor Street Playground (now Lewis Field). He graduated from Bay View High School.

To go for a dip in the lake, young Ferri and friends descended the stairs at the foot of E. Russell Avenue and swam off the piers in their birthday suits. Katie Canning, a former Bay View resident, remembers standing with her friends on the hill, spying on the boys swimming naked. Miss Elizabeth Morgan, a Trowbridge School teacher known as “straight-laced,” lived on the hill and chased the girls away. One time, Ferri recalled, a patrol officer caught the boys climbing the stairs. With bodies dripping wet, they denied the charge of unlawful swimming. Luckily, Ferri recalled, they got off with a warning.

Spending money was tight in the Depression years of the 1930s, but a paper route earned Ferri a few dollars. He also sold the Milwaukee Sentinel in front of the drugstore at the southwest corner of S. Delaware and E. Pryor avenues, whose name he did not recall. Business was good, since it was a streetcar stop.

Ferri also made money by going door-to-door on Saturday evenings to collect weekly dollar streetcar passes. Though they may have been used for the entire work week, the passes didn’t expire until midnight on Saturday. Hence, the teenage Ferri realized they had value to those slightly elder “young fellas,” who used the streetcar to pick up their Saturday night dates. Ferri, the young entrepreneur, resold them the passes for 10 cents each.

Ferri recalled that some earnings were spent at the Lake and Avalon movie theaters. The show began with a newsreel, then “funnies,” and finally the main movie. At the conclusion the ushers escorted everyone out of the theater before ushering in the next group of moviegoers. Ferri and friends would hide at the rear of the theater to see the films a second time.

Another bit of mischief was to get a free ride on the streetcar. Some of the boys entered through the front, paid their fare, and then ran to the back door to let their friends on. Sometimes they got caught.

Bust of Ferri by Dick Wiken. ~photo courtesy Jori Wiken Flanner

A bit of the mischievous may be glimpsed in the likeness of Ferri sculpted by a former Bay View High School student, Dick Wiken, who assisted the art teacher after he graduated. Ferri sat as Wiken’s model in a high school art class. At the time Ferri was 15. Entitled Little Italy, the sculpture was exhibited at the 1933 Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors exhibition and the 1935 Bay View Art Exhibit. Wiken became a well-known architectural sculptor. The whereabouts of the sculptured head is unknown.

At age 20 Ferri joined the U.S. Navy and in 1941 was serving as a third-class petty officer on the USS Vestal, a repair ship attached to the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor. Ferri was on the Vestal during the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The Vestal sustained some damage during the attack but did not sink. Seven crewmembers were killed.

After his discharge from service, Ferri married Ruby Nasett and bought a house on S. Superior Street near Potter Avenue in Bay View. In 1953, Ferri was called back to service for the Korean War and remained in the Navy until his retirement in 1966. He was residing in Waukegan, Ill. at the time of his death.


Does your face light up?

December 30, 2011

By Jill Rothenbueler Maher

Insightful parenting advice hit me as I lay on the couch at 3:30am trying to return to sleep. At that early hour, nobody but Oprah wanted to talk.

An episode of Oprah’s Lifeclass, which originally aired Nov. 2, 2011, unexpectedly made me want to take notes. Since it was hours before sunrise, I simply re-saved the episode on our DVR and promised myself I’d revisit the dialogue.

The crucial aspect was a replay of a 2000 interview with author Toni Morrison, who asked, “When a kid walks in the room—your child, or anybody else’s child—does your face light up?” Morrison realized that she was too often spending those precious opening seconds with children scanning their appearance for things like uncombed hair and slouchy socks.

Gulp. At times like daycare pickup, I know I sometimes focus on an unzipped coat or missing mitten more than my joy at seeing our daughter. My smile or “Hi, honey” can be de-emphasized by mildly critical comments. The criticism can start off the evening on the wrong tone and I’d rather let it slide for a few minutes.

The Oprah episode remains in our list of recorded shows and I’ve listened to chunks more than once. The concept—communicating positive emotions first—seems to make more sense with each viewing.

The lesson can apply to adults, too. On a busy weeknight, I can forget to kiss my husband before we talk about dinner or mundane details.

Letting one’s face show what’s in the heart is a great way to start a conversation. It’s certainly more important than an unzipped coat.

I’m giving more heartfelt greetings a try. The practice strikes me as a great New Year’s resolution. If it incrementally improves my relationships, it’ll be a lasting gift from an unanticipated source.

The author is a freelance writer and mother of one. Reach her with comments or suggestions at jill@bayviewcompass.com.



To teach or not to teach

December 30, 2011

By Jay Bullock

Two years ago in this space, I wrote a column I remain quite proud of—a letter to the student teacher I hosted that semester in my classroom.

I was also very proud of that student teacher, one of the best young teachers I’d ever met, with a sense of humor and a sense of purpose on top of a tremendous base of knowledge. I was very excited for him and his future students at the end of our time together.

He now makes his living tending bar.

This fact, among many, many others, has led me to reconsider that letter from two years ago. In it, I thought I offered sound advice for slogging through the unpleasant morass that is teaching in the Milwaukee Public Schools: be patient, be the students’ ally, be the good teacher they need in their lives—plus, don’t let the bureaucrats grind you down.

Not that any of that is bad advice. To be sure, when a new student teacher arrives in my class later this month, I will repeat it and repeat it and repeat it like a mantra.

What I am reconsidering about that first letter, though, is the imagined conversation between the Me of Today and College Me, the one just starting his own student teaching—whether the Me of Today shouldn’t have just screamed, “Run away!”

This question about whether to teach is not unique to me. Both the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators have noted the significant spike in retirements among teachers in 2011. A quick googling finds that enrollment this year in schools of education is down from Long Island to Los Angeles. More teachers are getting out, and fewer teachers are getting in.

Bill Henk, dean of Marquette University’s School of Education and a former teacher, blogged last October to try to explain why enrollment was down in his program. After 1,300 words chronicling reasons not to teach, he wrote, “There is no question that the work would be significantly more of a struggle in every respect than what I experienced in the classroom. Times have definitely changed, and I can’t say for the better.”

Like Henk, it would take me a lot of words to list the changes I’ve seen since I started: the way that teachers are beat down from outside the school walls by politicians, by media, by budgets, by semi-literate internet commenters; the way that teachers are beat down from within the school walls, by “data,” by strict curriculum and pacing guides, by a school board that slashes pay, by students who just don’t want to learn. This is not what College Me expected life as a teacher to be like.

Last month, I got new glasses, and the young woman helping me at the counter saw on my form I had written teacher as my profession. “I’m going to UWM next fall,” she said. “I want to be an English teacher so bad.” She was so excited.

“How is it being a teacher?” she asked. “Do you like it?” I hesitated.

Right then was probably the closest I would ever come to seeing College Me at a moment when one word of warning would really make a difference. Teach, or not?

“Yeah,” I finally said. “It’s worth it for the kids.”

Jay Bullock is an English teacher at Bay View High School who blogs at folkbum.com. Contact him at mpshallmonitor@gmail.com.



Reminder: county legislation accessible online

December 30, 2011

Milwaukee County legislation is now publicly viewable online:

county.milwaukee.gov/CLIC


Biking Santas

December 30, 2011

—photo Frank Damico

Iris Mowery is surrounded by Biking Santas (and a Candy Cane) on the corner of Lincoln and KK Saturday, Dec. 17. ~photo Frank Damico


Sven’s Café downtown expansion

December 30, 2011

By Katherine Keller

Steve Goretzko, owner of Sven’s European Café, 2699 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. in Bay View, is opening a second café downtown in the former Steamer’s Coffee, 624 N. Water St. (see map)

Steamer’s Coffee was created by Peter Renner (Renner Architects, Milwaukee) in 2005 and operated by his wife Mary Renner. It was purchased by E.L.K., LLC (Kevin Riordan and two partners) in 2007. It closed last October.

Goretzko had been looking for a second location for  several years but settled on downtown Milwaukee, where he eyes thousands of potential customers. “It’s the busiest corner in Wisconsin because of the businesses around there,” Goretzko said. “There are 13,000 workers down there. Being from Berlin, Germany [as I am], you like a lot of foot traffic and hustle and bustle.”

The new café has 2,300 square feet that Goretzko said seats 60. The Bay View café seats 50 in the 1,300 square-foot-space. The downtown café doesn’t include a meeting room but proffers a large table that will seat 9-10 people, according to Goretzko.

Goretzko said he’s replicating the Bay View café’s name, menu, eclectic decor, and the menu that includes a selection of breakfast and lunch items; Sven’s coffee (he roasts his own); and a large selection of tea, pastries, and chocolate.

The downtown café is scheduled to open March 1 and will operate M-F, 6:30am-3pm. Goretzko projects that he will employ four full-time and six part-time people at the new location.


District 14 aldermanic candidates square off Feb. 7

December 30, 2011

The Bay View Compass and Bay View Neighborhood Association will host a candidate forum 7-9pm Tuesday, Feb. 7 at Humboldt Park School. (see map)

Confirmed guests include the candidates vying to represent the city’s 14th Aldermanic District, incumbent Tony Zielinski and challenger Jan Pierce, plus incumbent Milwaukee County Supervisors Marina Dimitrijevic and Jason Haas, for the Fourth and 14th districts respectively.

The forum will be moderated by the League of Women Voters. The event is free and open to the public. Bring your questions for the candidates or email them in advance to editor@bayviewcompass.com, subject line: FORUM.


Bus routes change Jan. 29

December 30, 2011

New bus routes take effect Jan. 29 when the GreenLine Express begins its runs from the airport to Bayshore. GreenLine Express replaces Route 11 south of downtown. Route 15 remains unaffected from South Milwaukee to downtown Milwaukee, but Route 15 replaces Route 11 from downtown to points north. GreenLine Express replaces Route 15 from downtown to points north. More info: ridemcts.com.


Licenses update

December 30, 2011

The Backyard, AA Entertainment, LLC applied for a new Amusement Machine Premises licenses for 2155 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. on Dec. 2.

Bayview Liquor, MPR Corporation, applied for a new Class “A” Malt & Class “A” Liquor License for 2273 S. Howell Ave. on Dec. 6.

AK Food Mart applied for a new Class “A” Fermented Malt Beverage Retailer’s License for 2305 S. Howell Ave. on Dec. 16.


Kids computers for day care center

December 30, 2011

St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care, 2801 S. Morgan Ave., received over $80,000 worth of technology from IBM and its charitable outreach, Good360, in late 2011 as part of the KidSmart grant initiative.

St. Ann received 20 new Young Explorer computers and workstations for its child day care. They will not be connected to the internet at large but are equipped with software to help children ages 3-7 learn math, science, and language skills. Each unit comes housed in plastic furniture, with a bench where two children sit side by side and stare at the same screen.


African solar power

December 30, 2011

~photo courtesy Swee Sim

Swee Sim atop the convent roof in Cameroon working to install the Tertiary Sisters of Cameroon’s first solar photovoltaic system. Sim recently traveled to Africa with Sr. Edna Lonergan of the St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care, who is involved in its Chicken and Goat Fund.

 


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