The Great Milwaukee Quiz, a collaboration between OnMilwaukee.com and M Magazine, has been a great Milwaukee success, creating a buzz around town.
In fact, one group enjoyed it so much, it made a day of it. On Saturday, Sept. 8, MINI Cooper Car Club of Southeastern Wisconsin -- or The Milwaukee MINIS for short -- started by Wade and Theresa Nemetz in 2006, got together to do a mobile version of the quiz.
A parade of Minis might have conjured images of “The Italian Job,” but these drivers were coursing through Brew City, not Turin (or Venice, if you're a fan of the remake).
“Our recent event was quite unique and ended with each participant completing the OnMilwaukee.com Great Milwaukee Quiz,” says Theresa Nemetz. “The Brew City MINI Tour (was) not a scavenger hunt or twisty curvy drive, but rather a great event for anyone with kids, anyone who loves Milwaukee and anyone who loves their Mini. We even had several non-Mini Cooper owners join us that read about the event on OnMilwaukee.com's calendar. They had mini-vans, so close enough!”
Nemetz said the group gathered for a meeting at 9:30 a.m. and then started the event with a group photo in front of the Milwaukee Art Museum.
“We then scrambled in different directions throughout the city, visiting Brady Street at Sciortino's for cannoli, Old World Third Street for Usinger's sausage and Wisconsin Cheese Mart cheese, and The Windmill on Howard Avenue for a cornflower -- a traditional British flower in honor of the British car.”
Other stops included St. Francis Seminary, the Riverwest car graveyard, and the East Side boathouse.
“Our final destination along the Mini adventure was ‘Mini’ bowling at Koz's,” Nemetz says, “and then we met for lunch together at Friday's Front Row inside Miller Park.”
We understand why these folks love Milwaukee and enjoyed the quiz, but what makes them so passionate about the Mini Cooper?
“The Mini Cooper has struck a chord with car lovers throughout Wisconsin,” says Nemetz. “There have been approximately 4,000 sold in Wisconsin and it has won numerous awards including receiving four stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in its crash and rollover tests.
“Originally designed in 1959 by an eccentric British genius who was later knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his success, the company was bought out by BMW in 2000. BMW decided to maintain the Mini’s overall design but added some of its renowned German engineering to make the MINI one the world's most innovative modern cars.”
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.