As the 105th anniversary celebrations for Harley-Davidson near, it seems the entire city is getting ready. And that preparation is taking place in the biggest office in City Hall, too.
The other day I chatted with Mayor Tom Barrett...
OMC: How's your summer going? Are you having a good Milwaukee Summer?
Tom Barrett: Summer's going very well. I'm having a very good Milwaukee Summer.
OMC: Have you been getting out to the festivals?
TB: I've been going to festivals; I've been spending a lot of time with my family; I've been spending some time riding the motorcycle.
OMC: Is this something new?
TB: This is something in preparation for ... possibly, the 105th parade, but there has been no decision made. It all will depend on whether I feel I would do the city proud.
OMC: Have you passed the test?
TB: I have passed the test.
OMC: I hear that it's hard to pass.
TB: Well, I'm not disagreeing.
OMC: You didn't get a pass because you were the Mayor? They didn't automatically stamp your application or anything like that?
TB: No they did not, they did not. (Laughs)
So, keep your eyes open when the Harleys start roaring past, you just might see the mayor headin' out on the highway.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.