| Thanks to Ken Josephson for sending
in the above photo from a 1966 GMC catalog. Remember the old orange &
silver GM buses used by the Milwaukee
Transport Company? These were known as the 'fishbowl' series, due to
the bulbous front window which resembled a large aquarium.
Construction started on the horticultural domes in the background in
1959, the project was completed in 1967.
More info on 'Milwaukee Transport
memories sent in by Dick Golembiewski
Here are my memories of
In 1966 or 1967, my folks bought my brother and I a set of inexpensive
walkie-talkies. We lived on South Congo Ave. in
Milwaukee. Our block was
bordered by West Burnham on the north, West Forest Home Avenue on the
south, and Winona Lane on the east. Congo Ave. is an angle street which
runs from 19th to 18th streets. It is one block long. West Rogers St.
(another angle street) runs into it from the west.
The old King Braeger Chevrolet dealership was nearby. Braeger had moved
to its present location by 1967, and the dealership sat empty for some
My brother and I listened intensely to the CB traffic. I believe we were
on ch. 14, but also seemed to get ch. 9. There was a CB'er who lived on
20th and Forest Home (we think), who used the handle "Garbage Can".
Because he was so close, we got him VERY clearly. Another I reall from
those days was "Jolly Green".
During the riots in the summer of 1967, we would sit on our front porch
(Milwaukee was under a curfew for a few
days.) with our folks and listen
to the walkie-talkies. There was a great deal of police traffic on the
CB at that time (ch. 9?). It was like having a police radio. We would
hear about suspicious persons being stopped, break-ins, etc. Well
"Garbage Can" kept yacking away. He was told to get off the channel by
official sounding folks, but kept talking. A short while later, we saw a
white Milwaukee Police squad car drive SW
on Forest Home Avenue with its
lights on, but no siren. We later heard on the walkie-talkie that they
were chasing at least one individual through the old King Braeger
Chevrolet dealership lot! It must have been "Garbage Can"!
We never met him, but he sure made an impression on us. Our
walkie-talkies were low-power so we could OCCASIONALLY speak to him, and
perhaps 1 or 2 other folks. prior to the big truck-inspired CB craze of
the 1970's, it was sure fun to listen in, 'though!
Visit Dick's interesting site regarding early
Milwaukee TV Horror
Link to actual
Milwaukee CB radio recordings from the late 60's early 70's
Memories Sent in by Viewer 'Tim H'
Man oh man do I love your site.
I grew up in Fort Atkinson, and Milwaukee
TV was my best friend and constant
companion in the sixties and seventies. I have oft fantasized about leaving
Rockford--where I currently reside--and moving back to Wisconsin to research
a book of memories from post-war
Alas, I am not an author--as you can prob'ly tell by my use of such words as
"oft" and "alas" and "prob'ly"--so I've been waiting for someone else to do
And it looks like someone HAS with this great site!
I am forty years old and can't remember if I paid the phone bill last month
or not, but some of my Milwaukee Memories
are as clear as a brown bottle!
Here's what I can contribute:
I remember WISN-TV 12, every Christmas Eve, would have little "news breaks"
between commercials during prime time programming (CBS in those days)
featuring Howard Gernett (sp?) reporting on Santa's progress from North Pole
to every kids house in the world!
This was filmed--I recall--in the news studio at WISN and interspersed with
animation of the sleigh, with Santa and the reindeer intact, leaving the
North Pole like a rocketship. Then, throughout the evening, Mr. Gernett
would keep us updated as to which parts of the world Santa was flying over.
I remember watching Channel 12 all night for this purpose--nowadays I see
what a great marketing tool it was. (But a fun one, nevertheless.) I also
recall Mr. Gernett's hair beginning to grey over the years on Dialing for
Dollars, yet on Christmas Eve during these Santa Updates, it'd be back to
black. That's when I figured out they were just rerunning the clips every
year! See? As I got older, I got wiser even though I was sitting in front of
a TV most of the time!
I have since wondered if those news breaks were part of a syndicated package
that was sent to all CBS affiliates and each local would just "insert your
own host" or if it was specially produced for Channel 12. And who did the
animation? And where is that footage today? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
Speaking of Howard Gernett (Gernettski?) remember when the weather map
wasn't computerized? It was a map of the state or the USA behind a sheet of
plexiglass that the weatherman would actually write on with a big El-Marko
magic marker. I always thought Howard made the greatest "arrows" when
showing where the "cold front" was heading. He did it in two swoops,
starting at the hind end of the arrow, swooping up to the tip of the arrow,
and then a mirror image swooping from the tip back to the hind end. Voila! A
perfect arrow. Okay. So I was easily amused.
I also dug the children's show on WITI-TV 6. (Dig? Dug? Is my age showing?)
I remember three incarnations, although I may be wrong about one of them:
Cartoon Alley with Barbara Becker and Albert the Alleycat and a Cigar (!)
chomping gorilla puppet and I believe an alligator(?) or am I getting that
mixed up with the dragon on Kukla, Fran and Ollie?
Anyway, it was definitely Barbara Becker and Albert.
The second one I remember was a more colorful, graphically modern set called
The Funny Farm, also with Barbara Becker and Albert and they added a Mr.
Greenjeans-type character named Homer Gerkin. I remember their names
incorporated in the theme song (sung by Ms. Becker?) "Barbara Becker, Homer
Gerkin, on The Funny Farm" to the tune of "Ain't We Got Fun."
And then the third incarnation I recall was a cheaper cartoon show with NO
human hosts nor puppet hosts nor ANY hosts at all, called Cartoon Capers. I
may be wrong about this one. It may not have even been on TV6. But I
remember a voice over saying something like "Welcome Kids, to Cartoon
Capers," but there was no theme song--just some stock music--and no
set--just a still title card with the words Cartoon Capers on it surrounded
by stick-drawings of kids climbing on the letters.
Geez, getting all of this stuff out of my brain is like cleaning off a hard
The other things I remember are the local commercials. Phil Tolken Pontiac.
Now, I'm too young to remember Ponty, the singing car, but I have seen
footage of it. If I recall, it was a 1959 Pontiac Catalina and the hood
opened and closed like a puppet's mouth while it sang the Tolken jingle.
As I say, I was born in '62 so I must've seen that clip later in life. But I
DO remember SEVERAL singing cars in a commercial with Phil Tolken at the
helm conducting them. Perhaps this was a seventies version of the old '59 ad
and maybe they included the original clip in the spot. I'm not sure.
But I remember Mr. Tolken swinging his baton (is that was those are called?)
as the hoods of half a dozen cars began singing: "We are the Phil Tolken
Singers, a very fine lot indeed, we're here to tell you all about our
Pon-ti-acs..." and then one of the salesmen--poorly dubbed, if I
recall--sang a baritone solo "Phil Tolken the dealer who gives you more!"
"Who do you know wants to buy a car" was more in the eighties, I think, but
I will always remember where Ernie Von Schledorn's (sp?) EVS Country was
located: "Main Street in Menomonee Fallllllsssss." "Shop the great warm
Thanks to the jingle, I will always know where Hall Chevrolet was located,
too. Another smart marketing move--putting your address in your jingle. I
remember the ads for Hall Chevrolet had Mr. Hall as an animated caricature
with a hard hat "building a big name for himself" as he drove rivets into a
giant steel name: HALL. "Hall Chevrolet--Hey!--Eleven-O-Eleven west North
What else? Dr. Cadavarino, of course...I already mentioned Dialing for
Dollars--although I remember it being hosted by Howard and Rosemary (nee
Ross) I seem to recall an earlier version--not necessarily a talk/news/game
show--with Howard and another male host. I can't remember his name, but I
liked Rosemary better anyway.
"Nelson loves me, Nelson loves me, Nelson Brothers loves me--and they'll
love you too."
Krazy King Konzol the Karpet King... or was that a Saturday Night Live
sketch? Nope. It was real.
"Get-Get-Gettleman's!" I could go for a cold Gettleman's.
And help me out here, anyone (Bueller? Bueller?): Was Toy's-R-Us a
store originally? I remember a toy store commercial with a giraffe, but I
remember it being for "Bargain Town! Lower Prices Every Day!" The announcer
(just a voice over I recall) doing a carnival barker imitation "Step right
up folks" "Bargain Town! Bargain Town! Bargain Town!" He'd say it three
times like Get-Get-Gettleman's. I always wondered if that was where Geoffery
the Giraffe and Toy's-R-Us originated. (?)
Well, my brain's cached. I think I need a George Webb and a Gettleman's.
Thanks for letting me unload.
"WOW...wow...wow...I just stumbled across your site...WOW. It is
incredible....especially the Czarninia Kid..holy cow...I have not
in 20 years...AND EVEN THEN IT WAS OLD. You should be proud of the
site...it is great and really made my day. I moved away from
about 12 years ago and was looking around the net for an old WISN
commercial...actually two of them...first, Hello
Milwaukee (the full
version) and then Hello Milwaukee
with Robin Williams. But I found so much
more on your site!
Anyway, GREAT site...I am so grateful you made it and happy I found
Have a great day."
Even More Memories
"Cool site. I have a few fond memories of the great city of
How about the old Kooky Kookie House @ Christmas in the Capitol
Or Funtown in the out lot of Capitol court.
Not many people remember the in-ground trampolines on Capitol drive
about 68th street.
Hampton Heights grocery store 102nd and Hampton.
When the Oscar Meyer weinermobile used to park down on State St.
Red Owl food stores.
IGA food stores
Spherris Sporting goods (Capitol dr)
Times Square shopping center (76th & Capitol)
Mayfair mall before it was enclosed...
1960's Desing Pontiac on 3rd street,
Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby Chevrolet!
WOKY & WRIT where head to head competition.
Rock & Roll WOKY was on Sherman Blvd & Fond Du Lac.
Bob White the radio D.J (used to make the whistle noise as his
Bill Carlson (weatherman WTMJ)
Albert the Alley Cat. Ward Allen & Albert the alley cat (doing
Dr Cadavereno (Jack Dublon) along with Igor (the headless person)
Cartoon Alley (with Barbara Becker) channel 6.
When Channel 6 was on 27th South of Silver Spring,
Shock Theater (Saturday nights) always played old Frankenstein/wolfman/The
mummy flicks. Sears dept store on Fond du Lac & North
(used to go there with my DAD on Saturday Mornings.)
Starlight drive in theater, Victory drive in theater.
There are probably tons more, but I grew up in Milwaukee and still
work there (though I live an hour north). I have tons of
memories surrounding my time in Milwaukee and surrounding areas."
"Can you post photos and info on the TV6 tower of
light? I remember the tower from my childhood and late nights waiting
for Nightmare Theatre."
Editors Note: Channel
6's tower in Estabrook Park was briefly the tallest free-standing TV
tower in the world. After it was completed, it was strung top to
bottom with over two thousand, 25 watt light bulbs and proclaimed
Milwaukee's "Tower of Light". It was
an impressive landmark at the time. The lighting was turned off when
the "energy crisis" hit. Afterwards it was lit only for 'special
occasions'. The tower today is dwarfed by the new digital broadcasting
towers nearby. Thanks to Dick Golembiewski
for sending in the photo below.
"Who alive then
can forget the helicopter shots of the tower, and the announcer
intoning, "From Milwaukee's tower of
light, the TV6 Late Show. Tonight:....." "
(Quote by Dick Nitelinger)
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