There’s an image popping up all over social media this week that features a slew of Milwaukee’s most recognizable unofficial mascots.
TV attorney David Gruber, the late Frank "Pepperoni Cannoli" Pecoraro, John Hamann aka “The Milverine”, superfan Mike “Freeway” McCarter, the late year-round sunbather and nudist Dick Bacon, and Brother Ron and his Religious Car are repesented in this epic Brew City collage.
The storied "Purple House" is in the background.
Shane Bakken created the image via Google images and Photoshop and is surprised by the strong reaction.
“I saw someone posted a picture of Milverine walking down the sidewalk as Brother Ron's infamous car was parked in the street. People kept making comments about how awesome it was, but would be even better if so-and-so was in it too,” says Bakken. “Everyone had their own idea about which Milwaukee icon/landmark should be in it. I thought, 'Well, I can make all of them be in one.'”
Bakken, a structural ironworker and photographer who also freelances in digital marketing and advertising, had made similar “movie style” posters / composites in the past.
“I found the photos on Google that I wanted to use and made the collage,” says Bakken.
Did he capture the essence of quirky Milwaukee figures – or is there still someone else you’d like to see included? Bob Uecker? The late Polaroid artist Bob Watt? Anchorman Mike Gousha? The late Marco from the BBC? Can anyone think of a woman who might fit into this group? Mama Calderone? The late Mary Nohl of The Witches House?
Bakken has no intention of selling this mash-up of eye-catching Milwaukeeans, but is happy his creation made an impression on so many people.
“I really thought it would bring back some memories for people, and some laughs. I had no idea it would have this kind of response,” says Bakken.
Andy Tarnoff contributed to this story.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.