Originally, Jason Hilleshiem and Pete Prodoehl constructed the colorful, oversized Pacman and ghosts icons for Milwaukee Makerspace's Maker Faire. The hope was they'd be used every year as a designated fun spot for people to take photos and selfies.
However, when the Faire was canceled for 2020, and the vibrant video game cut-outs started to collect dust, Hilleshiem got permission to install them on his porch in Bay View. Of course, he had to clear it with his wife, Dena Nord.
"I wasn't sure how she'd react to the idea, but she liked it," says Hilleshiem.
Since September, the pellet-chomping Pacman and his four ghost enemies have peacefully co-existed, affixed to the railing of the couple's porch. The house is located on the North end of the Bay View neighborhood.
Not surprisingly, the response has been extremely positive from people walking by. A couple of onlookers have asked why Pacman wasn't chasing the ghosts like he does in the game.
"In the game, Pacman can't chase the ghosts until he eats one of the large pellets and they turn blue," says Hilleshiem. "Just a fun tidbit."
Hilleshiem plans to decorate Pacman this weekend for Halloween and then remove it before the snow starts to fly. He will reinstall it in the spring.
"I'm happy I got to save them from a dumpster and am able to give people something to smile at during these stressful, COVID times," says Hilleshiem. "We just wanna brighten people's day."
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.