This weekend, I visited the Milwaukee Public Museum for a thorough Father's Day exploration of the museum with my kids. We were everywhere, from the rainforest to the Streets of Old Milwaukee to the igloo on the third floor and the North American village on the second floor.
It was in a display in the village -- where we realized someone could probably secretly live for a while without being noticed -- that I saw the sign above.
It reads, "At the request of the Hopi tribe of Arizona the material in this exhibit case has been removed. Please return to see a new exhibit in this space in the spring of 2014."
I asked Carrie Trousil Becker, communications director at the museum, what it meant.
"These masks were removed from exhibit at the request of the Hopi tribe," said the museum's anthropology curator, Dawn Scher Thomae.
"Just to clarify, they did not ask for a return of the material, as some people have assumed. These particular masks are now considered sacred and should not be 'awake' 24 hours a day but should be resting if not in use -- as in ceremonies. They are now comfortably resting in our storage.
"A Navajo gentleman was in the Milwaukee Public Museum late last summer and saw the masks. The Navajo are neighbors of the Hopi so he was familiar with these masks and he contacted the tribe, who contracted us to politely ask to remove them. I have developed an exhibit on (anthropologist) Samuel Barrett to go into that case."
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.