Was in Milwaukee over the weekend for a wedding and to research the great pitcher Warren Spahn. The research consisted mainly of sharing a few beers with people who remembered the Hall of Fame lefthander.
When it comes to American cities, Milwaukee is our best kept secret. Its entire Lake Michigan shoreline is a continuous beach of white sand. There are no railroad tracks, landfills or garbage dumps getting in the way. Too bad we don’t have the same thing here. It would be the greatest summer ever on the Lake Erie beaches. Water temperature off Cleveland is now an all-time record 80 degrees. Our water temperature usually peaks at about 76 degrees. Eighty is like swimming in a tepid bathtub. It’s a good time to be a fish.
Their old neighborhoods are well maintained and clean. They have street festivals every weekend and neither vandals nor hooligans ruin them. I saw no pot holes, vagrants or bums.
Their old downtown office buildings are respected and preserved. Their ornate architecture is reminiscent of their European origin, much of it German. They did not tear down their old buildings and replace them with taller, ugly ones.
Milwaukee is still the home of some of the most venerable brand names in American history — Miller Brewing Co., Pabst, Blatz, Schlitz and Old Milwaukee.
Maddy and I discussed this and concluded that compared to Milwaukee, Cleveland has completely screwed things up. We once had breweries — Erin Brew, Gold Bond, Leisy Light, POC, Carlings, Schmidt’s, to name a few. But they dried up or went away.
“It’s better to build a city on beer and cheese than steel and car parts,” Maddy remarked.
That’s all for now. As for Warren Spahn, I’ll tell that story in my next book that will be out in time for Christmas of 2013. However, you know the old saying. If you want to give God a good laugh, tell Him your plans.