Go!

Just a couple of photos from a gray day in Milwaukee. I actually took these pictures over a month ago (October 22), but as today is another gray day, I decided to share them. Sometimes, like today, I’m feeling “gray,” I guess. Which I suppose is better than feeling “blue.” 😀

This first picture I decided to title “Go!” for obvious reasons.

I was not taking a photo of the stoplight so much as documenting the Highway 32 sign above it. The little red arrows are the insignia of the 32nd Infantry Division, and now the 32nd Infantry Brigade. After some impressively fierce combat in World War I, the 32nd became known as the Red Arrow Division (for “piercing” the enemy line). The French nicknamed them “Les Terribles,” which captures their fearsome nature pretty nicely. (Wikipedia article on the Red Arrow Division HERE if you’re interested.)

Looking at this photograph again today, I decided that I really like the vertical and horizontal/diagonal lines. Plus I like the way the stoplight dominates. Actually, as long as I am identifying things I like about this picture, I guess I would also give a shout-out to the colors. Just a very nicely balanced composition of color and line even if I do say so myself!

The Starbucks I regularly go to down the hill from my office at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) is situated in Red Arrow Park, which is part of the Milwaukee County Parks system and contains both the “Slice of Ice” ice-skating rink and the large red granite Red Arrow monument. (See a photo HERE in a post I wrote several years ago after a man named Dontre Hamilton was killed in the park by a police officer within several feet of the monument.)

Anyway, the day I took this photo it was because I had just noticed the little red arrows on either side of the number for the first time, and I thought it was interesting. No other state highway sign has markings on it like this.

The second photo is one I took right before getting ready to leave work that October day. I was the only person left in the building, and when I took some paper to the shredder bin, I just really liked the colors and lines that I was seeing through the window next to it.

When I was titling this photo, I almost called the large reflective building in the middle the “Municipal Building,” because that’s what everyone refers to it as. But then I realized that it must have a more specific name, so I looked it up and discovered that it’s officially known as the Frank P. Zeidler Municipal Building. Frank Zeidler was mayor of Milwaukee from 1948 to 1960, one of several socialist politicians to serve here. (Another was his brother Carl, “The Singing Mayor,” who resigned from office in 1942 to join the Navy only to be lost at sea, perishing off the coast of South Africa.)

I used to work with Frank Zeidler’s daughter Anita at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I have not thought about her in at least 25 years, ever since leaving for MSOE, having kids, etc., so I looked her up to see what she’s been doing. Sadly, I discovered that she died a few years ago. Anita was a really nice person. I want to put this statement out into the world since I have a blog and can do that. Just a really nice person who I’m sure is greatly missed by all who knew her❤️ (Here’s the article I found about her death in 2018.)

So that’s it for today. Just some rambling “gray day” thoughts that don’t exactly fit with the title of this blog post.

Although I suppose one could say (if one were seriously committed to making such a stretch) that this gray day gave me the green light to inspire that rambling 😀

About Katherine Wikoff

I am a college professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering, where I teach literature, film studies, political science, and communication. I also volunteer with a Milwaukee homeless sanctuary, Repairers of the Breach, as chair of the Communications and Fund Development Committee.
This entry was posted in History, Milwaukee, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Go!

  1. MELewis says:

    I am amazed that Milwaukee had a socialist mayor, or even that there were several ‘socialist politicians’! (Anything left is always perceived in the US as being borderline criminal!). Glad you were able to make the most of a grey day with these interesting captures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right! Milwaukee is unique among US cities in that regard. We had socialist mayors (and I believe one US Congressional representative) for much of the first half of the 20th century. They were called the “sewer socialists” because of their focus on clean government and building up a strong foundation of basic municipal services (like a good sewer system). They shaped this city in interesting ways. We have lots of parks and lots of tiny houses on tiny lots because the socialists believed everyone should be able to live in their own separate dwelling and have access to nature. And Milwaukee is still the cleanest city I’ve ever seen. It was the first thing I noticed when I moved here, and because I’ve heard other newcomers mention it, too, it’s not just me who thinks so.

      Liked by 1 person

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