More Milwaukee Memories Page 8

I was born in Milwaukee in 1961....
, and grew up in St. Francis. In 1983 I moved to New York City. Since then, my work has allowed me to travel all over the US and Europe; and while I love the Big Apple, Chicago, Philadelphia, Rome, Paris, Zurich, Milan, Copenhagen, etc., Milwaukee will always be home.

As a child I used to love to go "Downtown" with my grandfather. He lived on the North Side on 27th Place between 1933 and 1975. We'd go to Wisconsin Avenue and go to the department stores like Woolworths and Gimbels. We would also go to the museum. I loved these Saturday excursions.

St. Francis was almost exclusively a residential /suburban area, and didn't have the great number of shopping centers it has now. There was Layton Mart on Layton and Nicholson. A few others. Cudahy had some cool attractions on Packard avenue. The Cudahy Hobby Shop where on Saturdays I would go and buy candy and the latest issue of Mad magazine, or my other hobby supplies (much of which you can't get anymore without being answerable to the FBI). at the time, you could buy some kinds of candy for two or three for a penny. If you had $0.50 or a dollar you were guaranteed a good time. Movies were fifty cents; and you saw not only the movie (sometimes two) but you also got a few Bugs Bunny cartoons and a Three Stooges short.

I lived near the airport. Back then, you used to be able to walk around the perimeters of the airport without being accused of being a terrorist. I would walk the train tracks, sometimes jumping on slow moving trains and riding to the other side of town. Now, some of those old train tracks are highway.

Then there was Belaire Music Store. I took my first guitar lessons there in 1971. That was the beginning of what would eventually be my career. A brand new top of the line Fender Stratocaster was $250. Now? Forget it.

Saturday nights I would be allowed to stay up late and watch Nightmare Theater (or Shock Theater) with the great Dr. Cadaverino. That was so much fun! I loved it! I tell young people these days about that program, and they can't believe it. There just isn't anything like that anymore. Jack DuBlon, RIP, and thanks for all the great entertainment!

Milwaukee television was in its adolescence, and the industry was still relatively new and experimental. Sure, there was a lot of garbage on TV (today, I refuse to watch TV at all). But it had a personality that is lacking now. Especially concerning local programming.

I went to elementary school at Willow Glen Elementary, and to high school at St. Francis High School. I recently had the chance to visit my old Alma Mater after having been away for decades. Things are quite different now.

As I grew up and started exploring the world on my own, I still found a lot in Milwaukee that was interesting. The downtown area and the north side were places that truly had their own personality. Brady Street area was hip when hip was dangerous. The parties we had in Grant Park, and other places were something else.

After high school, I started to move out into the world. I traveled in a number of rock bands. We always loved to play in the local places; the Stone Toad, Teddy's, The Palms, The Electric Ballroom, and places in Cudahy like Scandals and Harlow's.  Wild times indeed.

I try to visit Milwaukee whenever I can. Its a special place for me. The changes that happened (not all of them good; many of the woods and fields where I used to play as a child are all ugly apartment buildings and shopping malls now) remind me of how precious those memories are to me.

Thanks for putting up this website! We need this.

                                                    Stone Toad Photos Contributed By Steve Dragosz


    
                                     Retro Matchbooks and Sign Contributed By Steve Dragosz

I grew up in Greendale
(graduated in '69) but the Milwaukee memories ring true for me.
Took piano lessons at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music (on Prospect?)--my instructor was a dazzling strawberry blonde named Karen Mozach who was Miss Milwaukee one year.
I remember my father taking us to our first McDonald's on 76th and Oklahoma and his pronouncement that the chain would never succeed because the burgers had no meat and the fries were too skinny!
Did anyone else take school field trips to the Milwaukee Journal and bring home a souvenir miniature edition? 
   Was '68 Summerfest's inaugural year?  I remember being there that summer when a sudden thunderstorm collapsed the main tent.
My high school boyfriend was one of the Drews boys (of Variety Store fame), and I spent quite a bit of time hanging around those stores, hoping to run into him.  He went to Concordia High when it was a boy's boarding school which seemed pretty exotic at the time. 
Remember when reserved seats were sold for first-run "big" movies at the downtown theatres (The Towne)?  A friend of mine told me that he always bought three seats for these shows--one for his date, one for himself, and one for their coats!
I remember shopping with girlfriends at Mayfair for matching Villager skirts and sweaters in heathery pastels.  We loved the Singer store and the 5-7-9 shop--I bought my first prom dress there for a whopping $54.00.
The Marc's Big Boy at 27th and Loomis was a late night hang-out where we'd split chocolate cream pie and onion rings with vanilla Coke chasers.
Later, when I was at UW, I'd take the Badger Bus home from Madison and hop a city bus south to Oklahoma, transferring to another westbound bus to 29th to meet my mom at her job at St. Luke's for a ride to Greendale.  I remember being delighted to understand snatches of Polish and Serbian being spoken by other riders on those lines--evidence that the Russian I was taking at UW wasn't as "totally useless" as my parents claimed.
I still crave the Buttercrust rolls from Bomberg's (later Grebe's) bakery, Gimbel's fabulous potato salad, and the bulk cookies from the Johnson factory.  And Usinger's gift boxes will always beat Harry and David's on my Christmas shopping list.
Speaking of Christmas, I remember the Holly Days sponsored by the Wisconsin Avenue merchants each Thanksgiving weekend--shoppers were given branches of fresh holly, a festive start to the season.
Does anyone else remember Dutch's Sukiyaki House?  Or The Embers?  I remember post-dance dates at Salen's, The Timbers, Ray Bussler's, The Leilani, Fox and Hounds.  Also the constant debate over whether Gilles or Leon's was the superior purveyor of custard.  (We preferred Gilles for cones, Leon's for turtle sundaes--those salted pecans were spectacular!)  Time has passed and things have changed, but a Friday fish fry at Serb Hall or  Turner's is still a great (and delicious) value.  I try to sneak one in every time I visit home (I've been a FIB since '73).
Milwaukee was indeed a great place to grow up--safe, sheltering, and with enough ethnic and economic variety to make it lively and interesting.
Thanks for the memories,
Just found your site and have spent some time reminiscing thru it, Wow, we sure didn't know we were having so much fun.  I lived in Milwaukee in the sixties and can still taste the fish frys at Steve's Tavern right next to Miller Brewery, and can't forget the Ham & Egger on Water st.  The owner would bring us his left over dished after he closed.  Can't forget Jerry Dembinski, the old bridge tender.  I spent a lot of cold nights in the bridge house thanks to Jerry, ( Too Tipsy to drive home).  All have gone by way of the past but they sure was great and always will be. Thanks.  Bud Fultz, Homosassa, Fl

 
I too love your site
 
I have 2 questions for you real old timers. When I was a kid in the 30's there was a place on the south side that had a cobblestone square  and in  the middle was a horse trough to water horses. We went to some dump nearby and got filthy and I remember washing up at the horse trough. My sis thinks it was near or could have been Walker Square.
The second place was a very large fountain where we kids  were allowed to get in and swim. It used to be loaded with screaming kids having the time of their lives. I'm 81 and can't remember where this was. Could it have been at Pulaski Park?
I was probably the only kid on our block who wasn't Polish. I grew up with a lot of Polish customs. Back in those days we had lots of elderly persons who only spoke Polish. What a wonderful childhood I had on 15th and Becher St. I recall the old Polish grandmas going to Mitchell Street to the butchers to buy a duck. When she found the right one, the ducks feet were tied and a piece of butcher paper was tied around the squirming duck. The duck would quack all the way home. I also remember the dead rabbits with their skin still attached hanging over barrels outside the store. We kids were fascinated and stared at them intensely.
I remember going with my Polish friends to St. Hyacinth
church to take the Easter dinner to the church to have it blessed the day before Easter. My neighbors colored eggs but not with the usual dye. Their mom boiled the eggs in onion skins and the eggs were all one color. I thought how deprived they were.
We used to walk a couple of miles to Jackson Park to go swimming and it was all free. I wonder how the city provided everything for us during those depression days. We had libraries open ,free pools and summer fun at Forest Home School. There were all kinds of crafts going on and free dance lessons. I remember at the very end of this wonderful summer, we had a program for all the parents.
I loved the streetcars and the smell and clang of them bouncing down the street. I too remember Mitchell Street and all the doings  in our own part of town, I used to go to the dime store at Easter time and watch the girls decorate chocolate eggs and hoped I would get one with my name on it. Going into Schusters was another world with the smell of the cosmetic counter and oh how we drooled at the deli counter in the basement . The wonderful potato salad and the big fat sausages and the cold slaw. The only thing my mom ever bought from Schusters was a small keg of pickled herring for New Years Eve. Our main source of supplies usually came from Goldmans and Hills. I vowed that some day I would have enough money and shop at Schusters and Chapmans downtown. When I finally could afford them, they were gone. Wouldn't you know it!
I love Milwaukee and the pride of being a Milwaukeean never leaves me .Why wouldn't I have a real attachment for the town. That is where I met a sailor from Great Lakes in 1943 and married him a year later. I live in Oregon now but go back "home" every year. In fact I will be back at my old stomping grounds in October. I can hardly wait!!
Best wishes and thanks, June[Schultz] Pratt
South Sider - Born 1943 - Raised mostly on 12th and Oklahoma 
I worked at Kuhlman's Bakery on Mitchell Street for two years when I was 16 and 17.  I would kill for a walnut cream cake with crushed nuts around the sides!  The recipes were closely guarded by Mr. Rueben. Mr. Rueben was the manager, smoked a big fat cigar all the time and told us we could eat anything we wanted except for the whip cream tarts because they cost 25 cents. So we all snuck the little whip cream tarts and put them in our apron pockets only to find them squashed into a pile of mush at break time!  Mr. Rueben died right outside the door of Kuhlman's bakery, had a heart attack.  That was the end of the store. He asked me to stay after I graduated from high school, would give me a dollar an hour.  I worked for 75 cents an hour while in high school.  I was tempted but instead took a full time office job at American Appraisal on Michigan St.  If only I could have one of their famous Christmas cookies! They would have a husband and wife come from Germany to bake for the holidays!  She taught me how to decorate birthday cakes.  Some of my fondest memories are of my first job working at Kuhlman's.
I remember shopping at the Grand with my dad who took me and bought me a prom dress for my junior prom at Pulaski, Habor Lights.  I remember Boys Tech Prom the same year, 1960.  My dad put the copper roof on South Division Dome which is now at Bluemel's nursery on Loomis Road.  Glad it got saved!  Remember Mazos and Walker Jr. High?  I went to school at St.Gerard's, Oklahoma Ave., Walker and Pulaski.  We were the 8th grade class who threw a bottle of ink out of the window at Oklahoma Ave. school and it stained the front of the building's bricks. For years I would drive by and wonder how long before that stain would fade.  Piezcheks on 13th soda fountain - the place to go after school for a malt.  The theatre on 13th and Oklahoma (forgot the name) where I had my first date (With Alan Sharafinski (sp) and saw Sink the Bismark.  How about the A&P on 13th and Oklahoma where my brother worked for years.  And Jerry's gas station right behind the A&P?   I remember my first car, 1956 Ford Convertible. I would wax it inside and out every Saturday after working at Kuhlman's!  I now have a restored 1957 Ford Convertible that I cherish.  My friend Faith and I would walk down Oklahoma Ave. listening to my transistor radio, a white Zenith I got for 8th grade graduation.  When I got my Ford, we'd drive down Wisconsin Avenue waving at the sailors who were here on leave from Great Lakes!  That was nuts!
Thanks for letting me share happy times. 
Rosemarie Frey (Ivkovich)
Burlington, WI
Oops, I forgot Model bakery on 9th & Oklahoma and Tompkins ice cream on 10th & Oklahoma! and Blohowiak dairy on 9th street where you could get scrumptious grape drink in glass bottles...

What a marvelous site this is! 
Thanks so much for the tears of nostalgia these memories brought.  My mouth hurts from smiling so much as I clicked away.  As soon as my hubby gets over here, I'll share these memories with him, too.  We're nearing 60 years old and he'll get as big a kick out of this as I have!
Bless your heart for caring enough to share your memories with all of
us!
Pam Bredeson
Greenfield, Wisconsin

Moved to the Northwest side in 1954 from 33rd and Scott
 Villard ave was still dirt West of 51st. 60th street didn't go through to Silver Spring, there was a foot bridge across the creek at Custer ave. You had to go to 51st or 64th to get straight through from Villard. The movie house on the Villard ave business district between 37th and 35th was still called the Ritz , right east of Wilbur's bakery. We use to buy ten tickets at MPH for Saturday afternoons for $2.50, that was TWO full length movies and cartoons at intermission, that was ten weeks worth. There was a patch of woods to play in on Villard until we had the Town Pride at 61st and Villard, where 1 scoop of custard cost .05 cents. We had Mil-Kay food store on 51st next to the A&W next to the Wisco 99 across from the Sheridan Inn. You could stop for gas at the DX, Pure, Cities Service stations on 60th and get Ethel for 22.9 with a glass and your windows wiped clean while your gas was being pumped for you. You could then stop over at the Golden Point on 58th for a 15 cent hamburger. You could go over to Toms beer and liquor for some Big Cat malt liquor , $1.25 a six pack. We'd ride Villard ave all night for a buck or two. We'd get our desert boots at Kosell's , but never buy anything except the DB and Tankers there. George Webb's was on 35th where Uncle Jim's tavern turned up. The Mid-West auto supply was where the Q-Room pool hall took over. Custer High was still on 37th and Custer(Now Edison Jr) before moving to Sherman Blvd. There was Dog'N' Suds down by the Park(McGovern) that had Two lagoons and a pool and you couldn't see through the woods from Custer to SS like you can now. We went to Freise Lake and Lannon Quarry and had a ball. Went to Wyler's on Fridays and the Old House on Saturdays. Always stopped at Eddies and Tessies on Hwy 33, for 15 cent tappers on the way. Bought our 1st Harleys at Westside cycle from Uncle Ralph for $500, couldn't touch anything in there or you were filthy, best biker shop around!!!!  You could always go down to Knuths on Fon du Lac to look at newer Harleys next to Sears where they had a guy up in the window directing traffic. Some folks went over to Hertings(south east sales now) on Appleton  to look at Triumphs. We had the Star Light drive-in and Victory drive-in on our side of town. Some of our crew had names like Lutz, Louis, Peterson, Meyer, Fink, Froehlich, Hill , Lorenz , Gindt, Barzack , VanRoo, Ehley, Mead , Wick, Stanke, Springer, Baker, Scherr, Swicker. Moss , Nelson , Erdmann, Zuba, Leach and so many many more.  This site that was found by accident has brought back many good memories from when Milwaukee was a great town.

Jim M.                
I was born in Milwaukee at Deaconess hospital on Wisconsin Ave...
....
, now I believe it is an MU Dorm. Many memories growing up on the south side. Attended Clement Avenue Grade school, Mr. Bersch was the best GYM teacher, remember the air raid drills and heading to the school basement. Riding our bikes to Sheridan park and the Wilsonpark pools. Ice skating at Humboldt park in the winter, with
the green dinosaur on the island. Walking to Fritsche Junior high, sometimes hopping the train. Graduated from Milwaukee Tech in 1977, took the city, route 52 then transferring to route 15. Cruising 27th street, hanging out at
McDonald's. Picking up my Dad from second shift at Johnson Controls and ending up at George Webbs on KK ave. The toboggan slide at Whitnall park followed by hot chocolate at Dutchland dairy. My grandmas place on 13th st
one block from Sears on Mitchell Street. The first Summerfest, seeing Steve Miller in 1977. Treasure Island on 27th st and on hwy 100. walking through the airport meeting the bucks in 1971, wish I still had the autographs. County Stadium for brewer games and concerts. Saturday afternoon
football games. Paul's hardware, Ben Franklin, Gimbels, Southridge, the State Fair. The bike trails, I've lived in Chicago for 20 years Milwaukee has the best parks and bike trails. Roccos in Cudahy, The packing house across from Mitchell field, the last UWM football game, the 4thof July parades and family picnics that followed. Playing
football in Tippecanoe park in the fall, basketball all day in the summer. First job at The Red Carpet hotel. Sonic Booms at night. Thomas

 
My memory of Snirkle candy goes back to Borchardt Field,...
... home of the "original Milwaukee Brewers" of the American Association.  We took the Burleigh bus to 8th Street and went staight for the bleachers.  It was the only place in the park, because of its odd construction, where you could see the entire field.  Both outside and inside the park, vendors sold the daily score cards.  In each score was a "lucky number".  Some time later in the game the lucky number was announced and the winner received a box of Snirkles.  I never had enough money to buy a score card, so I never had the lucky number.  But, I do remember the Snirkle bars with the alternate ribbons of marshmallow and carmel and the Lucky Number Scorecard.
 
Bill Vaitl 

Hi to all!
I grew up in Bay View and West Allis in the late
sixties and '70's. Someone mentioned coffee cakes with
cream in the middle and crumbles on the top. You can
purchase those at the National Baking Company Bakery
on 16th and Euclid (three or four blocks north from
Morgan ave). Anyway, I remember when WOKY played
disco! My favorite D.Js were Brian Phoenix, Chucker
Lakefield, Rusty Ford, Bob Barry and Rob Edwards...Rob
is at WOKY at this time! Anyway, I remember a time
when Bob Barry broadcasted his morning show during
Christmas week live from Gimbles show window on the
corner of Plankinton Dr. and Wisconsin Ave. I was on
my way to School that morning. I attended St. Joan
Antida High. In Bay View I remember attending St.
Augustine's Elementary on KK, Haas Butcher shop,
Tastee Freeze, Metucheck's corner grocery off Lincoln
and Clement Streets, Kroger's grocery and attending
music in the park at Humbolt Park band shell. I'll
never forget the time when I was in a bike accident
and took a trip in a white station wagon ambulance to
Johnson's Emergency Hospital on 13 and Grant.
My uncle worked at Dutchland Dairy and brought us
haystacks and custard. What a treat! In West Allis, I
lived off Greenfield Ave. and 73rd street, so I
remember Tagway shoes, JC Penny's, McCallister
Pharmacy, F.W. Woolworth (my friend Carol and her mom
worked at the luncheonette), Soundesign Records, Sound
Stage Records, Wooden Nickel Jeans store, Neptune
Subs, The Magic Lantern, Milwaukee County Bank,
Freezes Candy, Fanny Farmer Candy, Walgreens (went
there for my wonka bars and Blue Jeans Perfume by
Shulton), Butter Bun Restaurant, Pill and Puff, Big
Boy Restaurant, A&W Restaurant, Skelly's Restuarant,
Quality Candy, Coast to Coast Store ( I bought my
first Huffy and California Free Former Skateboard from
there).
My guy friends and I took the skateboards to
McCarty Park and rode them in the empty pool in the
autumn of 1977! The police chased us out!!! My friends
and I also went to McCarty park on our bikes to go
swimming. On our way there, we stopped at Ryan's on
76th and Becher to get penny candy and popcicles.
Those were the days! Back to the Sout Side, I also
remember going shopping with my parents down on
Mitchell Street to Sears for hot fresh popcorn and
candy corn. From there to Goldmann's for candy raisins
and candy cherries on wires at Christmas time.
I also remember the Kookie Cookie House at
Capitol Court and Breakfast with Santa at Boston
Store. I remember Farrel's at Southridge when the guys
had on hats and red and white striped jackets and
carried huge sundaes on a stretcher to someone's
table. All night skating at Skate U on 108th and
Oklahoma in the Disco era...By the way, my boyfriend
has been floorguard there since then! I remember when
he had a full head of hair and a mustache!! I took my
daughter skating in 2004 and that's how we
met...again!!! I thought he looked familiar!! never
knew I'd still see him up there, I still skate, but
not as much as I used to! Yes, those were the days and
I often share my memories with my 10-year-old
daughter. I'm glad I surfed on this sight! One more
thing....Well maybe a few...Larry the Legend on WZUU
and the Z Morning ZOO, Ward Allen and Albert the Alley
Cat (those were the days when they DREW on the weather
map board Howard Gurnett and Rosemary on Dialing for
Dollars, and Dr. Demento on WRKR. I better stop.
Thanks for creating this site!! How about Dick Johnson
on Bowling for Dollars???
C. Bluma
 
          
Dick Johnson

Dutch's Sukiyaki House
Hello. Just to let you know I've listed a sake bottle from the former
Dutch's Sukiyaki House in Milwaukee, on eBay.
The url is:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330172560402
Please excuse this notice, if you are not interest in viewing the item -
#330172560402

Vintage sake bottle from Dutch's Sukiyaki House, which used to be located on Layton Ave. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.(In 1978 - after 25 years as owner of Dutch's Sukiyaki House - Harold "Dutch" Ullmer retired to Las Vegas with his wife.  He passed away in 2001, at age 89.)  
Regards,
Bill Blair

I was born in 1941 in Cudahy...
..
but spent many later years in Milwaukee.
Remember some hot night spots in the 60's: Monreals on 16th & National;
Gallaghers on 3rd & Wells; Claude's on 35th & Villard; Galaxie in
Cudahy: O'Brads on E. Locust; Weilers and the Old House in Ozaukee Co.; the Scene
and The Attic downtown; Spa on 5th & Wisconsin. The "teen" halls -
Muskego Beach, State Fair Park, Bert Phillips Ballroom, S. Side Armory,
Machinists Victory Hall in Cudahy, Marty Zivko's in Hartford. Some of the popular
bands that played these places: The Legends, Little Artie & the Pharaohs,
Renegades (which I was a member), Royal Lancers, Bonnevilles, Mad Lads,
Mojo Men, Apollos, Electras, Twistin Harvey, Lee Brown & the Cheaters,
Noblemen, Jr. & the Classics, Saints Five, Walking Sticks (which I started & named),
Robbs, Skunks, Jack & the Beanstalks, Comic Books, Ronnie Premiere,
Terry Galecki, Sam McCue, Paul Stefen, and others.
DJs Barney Pip, Bob White, O.C. White and Dr. Bop, Eddie Doucette, King
Zbornik, Mitch Michael, Bob Barry, Sam Hale. The Raynard record label. West
Allis Music and Ralph Hanzel. Faust Music N. of KK and Lincoln.
Remember 'Nehru' suits without a collar? Snap-tabs (shoes with the tongue on
the outside), ivy-league pants.
The Braves lineup virtually the same for 10 years: Eddie Mathews, Hank
Aaron, Billy Bruton, Johnny Logan, Joe Adcock, Del Crandall, Wes Covington,
Warren Spahn, Lew Burdette, Bob Buhl, Andy Pafko. The day 7-31-1954 when
Adcock slammed 4 HRs and a double against the Dodgers. When Harvey Haddix
pitched a 12 inning perfect game against the Braves in 1959 and lost!
The Prinz Willem ship sinking off the harbor in 1954. The 'Wonder Bread'
blimp flying over our house. The horse-and-buggy guy yelling "rags old
iron". Eddie Mathews "Bat-a-way" on 27th and Grange, where for 25c you could
select the speed of the pitches to be thrown to you. The trolley buses
where kids would pull the cables off the upper electric cables, and the bus
would stall.
The TMER & L train accident in Sept. 1950 near 99th & Cleveland where 10
people were killed when a color-blind conductor took the wrong spur,
collided head-on with another. This happened just behind & N of my uncle's
home.Our bikes had license plates that were purchased at the Town of Lake water
tower on 6th & Howard.The delicious steaks at Nino's Steak house downtown.
The drive-in on 60th & Layton where kids went after dancing at Muskego
Beach. Giuseppes on Hy 100 & Greenfield. Chalet on the Lake in Mequon.
Many other memories, but I'm too long already. I live near Seattle, WA
but I sure miss Wisconsin; the food, family and friends, and the neighborhood
pubs where food & drink is reasonable and tastes great! Hail to all "youse guys"!
Richard 'Dick' Schurk Cudahy class of '59


Born in ’46 and lived on the south side...
..until heading out of town in ’72.  Attended St. Alexander, a military school in Watertown, MU High School and then MU.  Left in ’72 for Louisville, KY and then Chicago in ’74.  Been in Florida since ’79. My memories include Kuhlmann’s, working at Grebe’s on the “burden crew” for 75 cents an hour.  We cleaned and oiled baking pans, cleaned mixers and unloaded flour from railroad cars.  This was the main plant.  Played football for St. Joseph’s Orphanage, though not an orphan.  Only organized team in my area  at an early age.I recall the first McDonald’s on 26th and Morgan, the opening of Southgate and Kiddieland, which was a kid’s amusement park south of Morgan on 27th.  Marty Zivko’s in Hartford, where the drive back home was always faster than the drive to HartfordLeon’s on south 27th. Went to high school with one of the Klements and to this day we get an occasional fix shipped to Florida.  Nothing like riding our bikes to Lake Michigan and trying to get used to the water even in July.   Remember walking home from MUHS when the snowstorm had everything just about shut down.  I remember when one of the Miller family was killed in an air crash near Mitchell Field, the original Mitchell Field. How about the Hinky-Dinky electric train that ran from Chicago to Milwaukee on the elevated mound along 6th street.  I remember the naval recruits from Great Lakes coming to Milwaukee for weekend entertainment.  How about Great Lakes Dragaway? Though I’ve been away since ’72, there are many things, sights, sounds and smells you just never forget.  How about the flame atop Wisconsin Gas?  The Milwaukee Braves, Mad Man O’Hara, Dr. Bop, OC White, South Side Armory, Johnny Logan,
Jim F.

I Was born in Milwaukee on Palmer Street in 1937
 Four girls in one bedroom and my parents slept on a bed that rolled out of a closet in the lliving room.  I went to Palmer Street school, Lincoln High School and Rufus King High school.  I remember Billie the Brownie, Schusters on 3rd street.  Omar Bakery, Riverview skating rink.  The movie houses were The Fern, Garfield, Alahambra, Climax, Peerless.  Pig and Whistle on Capitol Drive.  Let's Pretend on Saturday morning, the Shadow, The Lone Ranger.  Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Hopalong Cassidy,  The Natatoriums.  I will have to come back to this site when I can remember more.   Carol 
I lived on 2nd and Mitchell and went to Walter Allen School.
 Than they closed and I had to go to Allen Field. I was born in 1959.
I had 5 brothers and 1 sister all older than me. They all grow up there too. I remember all the kids I went around with. Never kept in touch and I wish that I was able to.
We would all play block tag and things like that. Back then it was a great time to live there. I remember the Big 3 restaurant  And the Platter restaurant. and George Webb.
We live at 1732 2nd St a big brown house. I remember The Corner Bar. Also My Dad hung out at the 333 bar. down the hill on 3rd or 4th My Dad was a Truck Driver.
In the alley way there was a big wall and we would always sign our names on it.  Any one else out there live around 2nd St.?    Deb

Hey I was born in Milwaukee in 1957.
 Here are some my favorite memories:
WTOS underground radio
NFS Records
Sanctum-Regnum

 And this jingle:

 “On the corner of Jefferson and Wells,

You can hear cathedral bells..

Milwaukee Federal Savings and Loan “

I enjoyed the entries of this site.
 I was born in 1928 four blocks west of the Wisconsin State Fair. I'll become 80 in June of 2008. The Wisconsin State Fair's Midway (A permanent, operated amusement park on the fairgrounds from 1924 to 1960 and opened 6 days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day) has been mentioned a number of times. I have volunteered for the past 12 years as the WSF Historian. For those who have questioned some of the rides I will list a number of the favorites. Of course the wooden roller coaster, the Sky King, was the favorite. Many thought when it was removed in 1960 that it was taken to Muskego Beach, which had become DandiLion Park. It was not, it was bulldozed to the ground. (The Muskego Beach roller coaster met the same fate in the late 1970s.) The WSFP's historical Merry-Go-Round, known and registered as the PTC #15, was moved to Muskego Beach after the WSF's Midway closed in 1960. If one wishes to ride it again it has been restored and is now showcased in the Nyack Palisade Mall in Nyack New York.

Other rides were the Old Mill, Hey Dey, Bug, Octopus, Lindy Loop, Whip, Ferris Wheel, Loop-O-Plane, Caterpillar, Uncle Bob's Train, and a handful of children's rides located where today's WTMJ Communication Building Stands. A favorite memory of the Old Mill was it's surprise ending and it is a true test if a person truly took the ride. As the boat ended its ride and began to exit into daylight again, a donkey with its hind quarters facing the boat and its riders would raise up its hind legs, bellow and kick out at the boat. Also favorites were the Ski Roll Palace, Shooting Range and Penny Arcade. Within the Midway was the Modernistic Ballroom, (first known as the Cardinal Ballroom) which and because of an adjoining outdoor dance floor, was known as the largest ballroom in the USA. All the Big Bands such as Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington played at the popular ballroom. Frank Sinatra was one of many famous singers that also appeared during that wonderful time.

The Midway was closed in 1960 because, after W.W.II, returning service men and their families began to travel and did not visit the Midway enough to make it profitable to operate from late May to Labor Day. It was decided to bring in traveling Midways which continues today. (It took Walt Disney a few years to reinvent the wonderful Midway for us to travel thousands of miles to enjoy the same, wonderful experience again!)

In 1961 the first traveling Midway was the Royal American Shows which traveled by train. The many carloads would be parked on the former railroad sidings east of the 84th and Schlinger Ave. entrance. Today the Tommy Thompson Youth Center and the WSFP Maintenance Department are located on that location, and it is the Murphy Brothers Midway that arrives each Fair by truck.

For those interested in the history of the WSFP a large History Museum is set up each Fair in the Exposition Building. A sampling of artifacts can be seen (free) within two, large display cases inside the main lobby of the Tommy Thompson Youth Center.

Anyone wishing to donate and add to the WSF Historical Collection is encouraged to do so. Please contact me, Jerry Zimmerman, at:

Jerry.Zimmerman@wisconsin.gov
 

I just found the website that had this Email address
 My memories are from the early 60's, 70's,. I lived on 35th. And Mitchell. Right on the corner there. Lived across the street from Greenfield Elementary school. Remember Burnham Park, Anyone? How 'bout the old "National Tea Company" grocery stores? And, "Ben Franklin" 5 and dime stores?? You could get a 45 record there for .5 cents. Remember All Star Wrestling, On 18? "Dialing for Dollars", The "Goldcoast" at Suburpia sandwich "Shoppes", Ray Vanuk's Butter Buns on National ave, The "National" theatre on National? (10 cent movies, 5 cent Popcorn) Tony Marasco's toy store? The Original AW restaurants, McDonalds on 76th and Greenfield, "Nightmare Theatre" on 6?  I wonder if anyone remembers "Boyblue" Ice-cream parlors?? There was one on 37th and Burnham. "Big Boys" on 73rd and Greenfield, "The Hutch" Restaurant where Greenfield and National meet, And the Split in the intersection there. "South shore Water Frolics", The Milwaukee Crusher, Butcher Vachon, And his Brother Wrestling on 18, Hiway 41, (27th Street)? The Pabst Brewery, 27th. St. Viaduct? The Mitchell Park Domes, "Suicide Hill" at Mitchell Park? McKinley Marina, "Brady St. Days", "Kieshka"? Man, The Memories I have of there. I attended Greenfield Elementary on 35th. and Mitchell in the 60's, Went on to Solomon Juneau Junior High in the 70's, The on to West Allis Central High School until '77. I remember "Wooden Nickel Jeans", You buy Jeans there for $5.00, And you get a "Wooden Nickel" with every Purchase. When you have 5 "Wooden Nickels", You get a free pair of jeans!! I gotten my first Bicycle when I was 8. It was a "5 Speed"!! With Stick Shift, Banana seat, upright Handlebars, Generator light, The works!! Used to ride it in the alley behind our house there on 35th St. Does ANYONE remember Kim Wickers from back then?  ( Back in the 60's and 70's). I used to give her rides on my bike back then. We'd ride to the 43rd. St. Railroad Tracks and back. Remember the Church on 36th and Mitchell? It was St. Ignacious Catholic. Well, I'm getting a bit teary eyed, Reminiscing here. More later, as my memory works!!
      Walter Ritter

I was born in 1944 and went to St. Cyril’s
.....where the School Sisters of Notre Dame provided education with a bit of discipline added.  There was Lincoln Avenue with Tata Ryby cigars sold on 16th street and Red’s Lunch. The comic book store on 17th street would provide comics 2 for 5 cents.  High School was Don Bosco which provided me with the best educational experience of my life.  The Brothers of Mary were tough but fair.  Back then we could smoke in the parking lot with a permit.  The lunches were the greatest.  I would give anything for a helping of the meatloaf or the chop suey.  Back then I was lucky enough to see the greatest baseball players to ever step on a diamond.  Lower grandstand tickets were $1.85 and watching Hank Aaron, Warren Spahn, Eddie Mathews, Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays, Ernie Banks and countless other great players will be never forgotten.  There was Leon’s (still there) with their Custard and Spanish Burgers.  Who could forget Southgate and Marc’s Big Boy.  I lived in Kentucky for a while but currently live in Greendale.  It is great to visit a site like this and go down memory lane.   

What a great website!
I was born in Milwaukee (18th and Clark) in 1939, now living in Waterford. Memories from the 40's are the big celebration downtown on Wisconsin Avenue on VJ day, the Green Sheet and Picture Page (Milwaukee Journal), George Webb's 7 hamburgers for 99 cents on Saturday, taking the streetcar and annoying the conductor by clanging the bell in the back of the car, the big snow storm in 1947(?) when someone skied down 18th street and there were no cars on the road for several days, gazing at Christmas time window decorations on "The Avenue", building the Arena, listening to Billie the Brownie at Christmas time, trying to get Chicago TV stations after Milwaukee's stations shut down for the evening.
The 50's brought the Braves and Billy Bruton's 10th inning home run to win the first regular season game at County Stadium (we were allowed off from school for the afternoon to attend the game), Friday nights at "the Pig" (Pig N Whistle on Capitol Drive), the Redwood drive in on Port Road, North Division as the first Milwaukee high school basketball team to make it to Madison for the State Tournament, the big celebration downtown when the Braves won the World Series. Saturday afternoons at the Franklin Theater - 7 cent admission and 10 cent popcorn, 2 movies (usually cowboys), a cartoon, and a "serial". Wow. And we actually clapped at the end of the movie
Howard
 
I grew up in Whitefish Bay...
, gave drum lessons my junior and senior years in high school at La Duca Brothers Music store at 24th and North Ave, later at the Academy of Music, about ten block east of La Duca Brothers.  My dad was an art teacher at Boys Technical high school.  I still cherish his water colors of the old third ward.  Weekends I used to hang around WFMR, the classical station at the top of the Wisconsin Tower building at 6th and Wisconsin.  Often I’d find some way to make an announcement or two, later pulling an occasional air shift.  During my senior year at Whitefish Bay high school I also worked eight hours on Saturdays as a board operator at WTOS in Wauwatosa when it was in a basement on Blue Mound Road.  WTOS was an ethnic station then.  Often I didn’t have a clue what the program host was saying.  He would simply point as a cue to go to the next commercial or record. 

In 1966 I took over a weekly column in the TV Screen section of the Milwaukee Journal called “Tops with Teens.” That lasted until 1969.  When I couldn’t find work in radio, I still played in bands during college, including one summer stint on the Milwaukee Clipper, which crossed between Milwaukee and Muskegon until 1970.   Later I worked as a DJ at WZMF in Menominee Falls when it was in a small new building that looked more like a house in the middle of a field.  That took me to WOKY in 1969 and 1970 as the weekend warrior.  WOKY was at its best in the 50’s and 60’s.  George Wilson was program director.  Jacky McCoy did afternoon drive and later nights.  Doug Harmon did WOKY Talky at 11 PM, Jack Lee, Bob Barry, Carl Como, Jim Brown, Ronnie Knight, Gene Johnson, David Haines, Bob Sherwood, Bill James, Si Nelson all worked there when I was there.  Later Jack McCoy, Doug Harman, George Wilson and I moved to WRIT.  I did 6 to 10 PM at WRIT.  Then George Wilson returned to WOKY taking me and a few others with him.  Eventually George came to the conclusion that maybe I should find a new line of work, to go to law school or something, which I did.   I got out of radio after awhile but not before Jack McCoy, Doug Harmon and I moved to KCBQ in San Diego in the early 70’s. 

Other Milwaukee memories:  There was the beautiful old Chicago and North Western railroad station at the foot of Wisconsin Avenue.  From the Lincoln Memorial bridge before the art center was built, hundreds of train cars were shuffled around on a dozen tracks below.  Not quite as grand was the Milwaukee Road station within a block or two of the current Amtrak station.  Both old stations were gone by the mid-sixties.  South of the art center site, between the train tracks and the lake was a small airport that was closed about 1955.  Was that Curtis Field?  In the late fifties the area around the lakefront and Lake Park was dug up for the installations relating to our national defense system, including Nike missiles. 

I remember heading with my dad and sister to the lakefront one evening to watch the Kaiser Wilhelm, a freighter, sink about a mile offshore.  Nothing seemed to come from all the talk about raising the ship for a couple decades after that.

  Gretchen Colnick, who wore huge, homemade hats, had a television show sponsored by Mrs. Carl’s Fine Bread on WTMJ for years.  Gretchen and my mother were friends.  Usually she would come to our home, always wearing one of her latest hat creations.  Even in the early seventies, she maintained her home with all her father’s ironwork despite a freeway ramp encircling the entire home.  You knew her home by the bright red front door.  Gretchen was an avowed socialist. 

I don’t make it back to Milwaukee often, but it’s still home, with lots of vibrant memories.

RBY

 

 

On to Page 9 of Memories

Back to Page 7 of Memories

Back to Retro-Milwaukee Home Page

Send us your Milwaukee Memories from the 50's, 60's and 70's