You can see a tragic and remarkable Milwaukee film and get a look inside the MSO’s new Bradley Symphony Center, in the stunningly renovated Warner Grand Theater, 212 W. Wisconsin Ave. this week.
The documentary “Finding Loren” screens in the building at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25. The screening is free and open to the public, but donations will be accepted. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. with complimentary beverages and snacks, as well as self-guided tours of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s new home, available before the film.
Please bring proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test.
For many years Milwaukee’s beloved writers Martin Hintz and Pam Percy worked on “Finding Loren,” the story of Marty’s father, a fighter pilot who died during World War II when he plane crashed into a farm field not far from Bologna, Italy.
Hintz had expected to fly his final mission soon after that terrible day.
While it’s the story of Loren Hintz’s youth and his path to becoming a fighter pilot, and, of course, of that tragic crash, the film also the remarkable story of how Marty and his family – especially his nephew, Loren’s grandson Hans Wronka – worked tirelessly with a group of Italians, to locate the crash site.
They were successful in this venture and were also able to recover Loren’s remains and inter them in an American military cemetery near Florence.
Over the years, Marty spoke to me often about his efforts and though he passed away one year ago today from cancer before the film – produced and directed by Percy – was completed, I’m excited to be able to finally see it come to fruition.
Last year he asked me to write a letter of support for the film that would be used to help secure a grant. I don’t know if that grant ever arrived, but I know this final email from Marty did:
“Thanks, Bobby, great job – red carpet writing. CYA at the flicks after the pandemic.”
I won’t see Marty sitting next to me at the screening, but I know he’ll be there. You should be, too.
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.