After I did it a couple of months ago, I had a lot of people who I met on the street tell me how much they appreciated my "Milwaukee people who should be famous" column.
As I am always interested in making people happy (insert laughter here) here comes "Milwaukeeans who should be famous, Part 2." And again, this list is not comprehensive. It's just a few people who should be getting more fame than they've gotten. Some I know, some I don't.
Dr. Howard Fuller – This is kind of a hard one for me, especially since Dr. Fuller fired me once. But his dedication to helping disadvantaged people knows absolutely no bounds. He's had huge jobs with the state. He was Superintendent of Schools at MPS.
But several months ago I saw him Downtown. He was wearing a red T-shirt with the name of a school on it. He was with a young man. I said hello and asked what he was doing. He said they were parking cars in a lot to raise funds for the school. Then he showed a BMW where to park. There is nothing Dr. Fuller won't do for kids and he should be widely acclaimed for his heart and his work. In addition his famous chili has a name: "Jump Back Hold the Dog Chili."
Peter Jest – Peter runs Shank Hall, arguably the most storied live music venue in Milwaukee. Some musicians love him, some don't. But whatever it is, his commitment to bringing a wide range of music to Milwaukee is legendary. He has other work that provides an income for him, but his dedication to music, both local and national, is one of the things that make Milwaukee such a great place to live. Along with Bob Babisch at Summerfest, we have two music impresarios who are an integral part of our lives.
Dr. Patricia McManus – Dr. McManus is the CEO of the Black Health Coalition in Milwaukee. She has been fighting the infant mortality problem in our city for decades. She is an articulate and very smart woman who shows absolutely no fear in going after high-powered executives who think that misguided ad campaigns are going to change behavior. If we all listened to Dr. McManus and followed her advice we might actually make a dent in this problem. She's a nationally recognized expert but almost unknown in her hometown. That's a shame.
David Seebach – Milwaukee's premiere magician, for four decades Seebach has been thrilling and mystifying audiences in Milwaukee and around the country. He was a theater major at UWM when the program there was one of the best in the country. His magic show brings that theater training to the stage. If you've never seen his Halloween show, "Illusions in the Night" you have missed an unbelievable (literally) experience. Find a kid and take them to the show. He's one of the top regional magicians in the country and has a commitment to Milwaukee that deserves to be recognized.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial Board – This group should be famous for an altogether different reason. Collectively they are a waste of newspaper space. You can probably count on one hand the number of people who read or pay attention to the editorials. This board sits around, rubbing its collective chins and ponders deep issues before coming up with an editorial position that doesn't even make it into the public debate. It's would be a joke if it didn't take itself so seriously. It should be held up to almost universal ridicule.
Mike Tofﬂer – In 1972 Tofﬂer opened an ice cream parlor in Cedarburg called The Chocolate Factory. For 40 years the company has been providing ice cream treats and sub sandwiches. Coincidentally, that was the same year that another company, Cousins Subs, was formed. The two of them introduced the concept of the sub sandwich to Milwaukee. Tofﬂer has headed the Chocolate Factory since its inception and has pleased countless customers since the very beginning.
Bango – I don't know if you've ever seen the mascot for the Milwaukee Bucks. But he is amazing. He can do everything from incredibly acrobatic tricks to coaxing a young girl to try making a basket. Remember when the San Diego Chicken was a ubiquitous presence in commercials and television spots. Well, Bango deserves the same treatment. I've seen lots of mascots in my day, and none of them hold a candle to Bango.
With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.
He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.
This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as OnMilwaukee.com keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.
Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.