By Janine Feil
The Milwaukee Gathering started off on a crisp Friday evening, feeling more like October than early September. I arrived early evening to a group gathering, ready for some fun. Many of the Calls had already found their fix of Wisconsin custard already at the Kopp’s next door to the hotel, having arrived earlier than I.
We rounded up the crew and most of us walked the 1/2 mile to the Hot Wood Fire Grill at the Bayshore Mall. The company was great and we got a bit loud as more than 30 attendees were chatting and laughing in our own private space. It took a while to serve such a large group and the big kids (that some of our members are) took me back to my childhood by making paper airplanes and launching them down the tables or across the room. Drinks were good and the dinner entrees were filling. Generally a positive review by the crew and then back to the hotel for more drinks and conversation.
Saturday morning the crew gathered for a group picture in front of the Kopp cows before carpooling to the Harley Davidson Museum. This started a discussion of why there is only one black cow amidst a dozen or so white ones and if that was a question of diversity. Who knows? Maybe one of our Milwaukee friends knows the answer to the mystery.
At the Harley Davidson Museum, we enjoyed the exhibits of motorcycles and tales of biker lore. You could see everything from early 1900’s models to today’s big bikes. Famous Harley’s such as the one Evil Kenevil used to jump over multiple school busses, the Easy Rider hog, and the one The Terminator rode in the first movie were also on display. Exhibits on biker culture such as how Harley’s have been portrayed in movies was interesting to see. We even met a boy scout troop who were exploring the science behind the trademark Harley motors.
A busy morning such as this deserves a fun lunch. Off to the Safehouse, a spy themed restaurant near the lake in downtown Milwaukee. If you didn’t know the password to enter, you were given a task to perform to earn your entrance. My group got to do our best Ninja poses, and of course, the folks who were already inside got to see our antics on closed circuit tv. Great food and then a chance to explore the decor, complete with a genuine chunk of the Berlin Wall and a magician performing behind the second bar. Awesome!
After a rest back at the hotel, we gathered again for the walk (or short drive) over to Bavarian Bierhaus Park for the promised Gemutlichkeit. Our fearless leader, Barry, again had us ready to go. Tickets were pre-purchased and all we had to do was check in, we were on the list. After various types of wurst, chicken, pretzels, etc were consumed and the beer had been flowing, participation in the dancing was high. Organized dancing by costumed German dancers started the evening and then the audience was included before turning the floor over to the revelers.
Great reviews by all of those in attendance and kudos to Barry for driving the bus. He did a great job organizing, directing and checking in with folks to make sure everyone was having a good time. If he’s hosting another party, count me in!