Family lured Jerrianne and her husband to South Milwaukee in 2002 from Southern California where she worked as, first, a journalist, then, as a court information officer. She now stays busy with media-relations consulting, playing with her three grandchildren (part of the lure), writing, discovering her new environs, and hoping her garden will produce before the first fall frost.
Capping a few weeks of making phone calls for Barack Obama with four days of knocking on doors in support of his bid to become president of the United States not only felt like we were making a contribution, it was pleasant. The weather helped. Blue skies, warm temperatures, light breezes. But a huge part of it was meeting lots of neighbors – we walked primarily South Milwaukee streets – and picturesque, Norman Rockwell neighborhoods with attractive and cozy-looking homes, well-manicured lawns, profusions of flowers and some of the best Halloween decorations we’ve ever seen.
Sure, we were met with stony stares at a couple of houses and a few people didn’t answer their doors – although we did schedule our outing on Sunday to avoid conflicting with the Packers game. We didn’t, however, run into anything as unpleasant as a canvasser who stopped by our daughter’s house and told about a woman walking her dog who had cursed her and about a man who came to his door and said something even more offensive.
Our neighborhood lost one of its longest-time residents on Sunday. Bob Miech passed on. That’s what he was known to my husband and me – Bob. To others he was known as ‘the judge’. Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Robert J. Miech and his wife, Betty, were among the first families to move into what more than six years ago became our neighborhood.
Back then – more than forty years ago – their street wasn’t paved and their house, along with the houses of the few neighbors at the time, was surrounded by open fields and woods. That’s where their daughter, Kathy, grew up and played with the Spaltholz kids who lived across the street and the McCarrier children who lived around the corner in what is now our house. From tales neighbor Nancy and Bill Spaltholz and their son, Tom, who is now our son-in-law, have said, it was a fun time that conjures up images of a Norman Rockwell era.
At least one house in the neighborhood might not look the same this years as in past holiday seasons. In years’ past the front picture window of a house near us would be decorated with painted scenes of snow and snowmen, holly boughs and poinsettias, reindeer and Santa. This year instead of artistic Christmas wonders, the window might contain a single wreath against a backdrop of drawn drapes. The reason? The window inexplicably was used as a target by some drool-brained retard who should never have been trusted with sharp objects much less a BB gun.
BBs shot at our neighbors’ house about 5:15 p.m on Monday – just minutes after the homeowner had closed the drapes for the night – left four holes in the window.
After touting fellow South Milwaukee authors, Janet Halfmann and Lisa Holewa, and their books in this blog, I'll now tout me and mine.
Anatomy of a Trial: Public Loss, Lessons Learned from The People vs. O. J. Simpson was released last week by the University of Missouri Press.
Anatomy of a Trial is officially launched. University of Missouri Press released the book last week, sent review copies to a couple dozen reviewers, news releases to a few dozen publications and news outlets, and its fall catalog featuring the book to a few thousand universities and colleges.
And today I had my first signing. Ida and Tom Spack graciously and generously offered to host an event at their place, Nona's Café, on 10th Avenue in town.