Friday 20 July, 2012

Day 36 – Small Town respite


Because Milwaukee is rotting from the inside, many important businesses are relocating or shutting their doors. The motorcycle shop that I found was located a half north of Milwaukee in the town of Port Washington. It’s right on lake Michigan and has a neat little marina. John, the mechanic, offered the use of his bike [...]


Because Milwaukee is rotting from the inside, many important businesses are relocating or shutting their doors. The motorcycle shop that I found was located a half north of Milwaukee in the town of Port Washington. It’s right on lake Michigan and has a neat little marina.

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John, the mechanic, offered the use of his bike while mine was being worked on. It was a brand new Yamaha R1. The latest and greatest supersport, it makes about 160 horsepower and weighs about as much as the average American. Of course I had to try it out.

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Bikes like this don’t really make sense on public roads. I used about 1/10 of its potential, but it was still memorable.
Back at the shop, my bike was wearing new tires, break pads and fresh oil. I couldn’t believe the transformation. She handled like new. The uncertain cornering and spongy breaks were gone, replaced with a sure footed, nimble machine.

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I then visited Cedarburg, a gem of a town that is what everyone thinks of when they picture the ideal small American town. I would have taken pictures, but I was enjoying just being there too much.
I returned to Milwaukee to a restaurant that my dad used to take me to. Solly’s is a Milwaukee tradition. Their claim to fame is the butter burger. A fresh ground sirloin patty, smothered in stewed onions and cooked with a pat of butter. The bun acts as a sponge, turning into a wet buttery mess. I used to love it, but now it’s too much. Butter overload! Still, a neat place. The interior hasn’t changed at all. In fact, I recognized the waitress from 30 years ago. The only real difference is that you no longer look through a haze of cigarette smoke.

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My final visit is to the Turning Page, the comic shop where I discovered comic collecting. It’s been around for 30 years, and I don’t think it’s ever been organized. The owner, Ron has his own system for storing and cataloging back issues. He is getting up there in years but still sharp as a tack. He seems to have a sizable workforce of volunteers who stop by Wednesday to help him out with the new comics and also try to wrangle the back stock. If it didn’t have a sign in the door you would think it was just a hoarders’ apartment. I wanted to thank Ron for his contribution to the community and for giving me a hobby that still enriches my life. But the store was busy and I got shy, simply saying that he had a great shop as I bought a bunch of back issues.

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I’m ready to leave the city, and for the first time, I feel like I might not be back.

2 Comments

  • Scott Nelson says:

    Good stories, Scott. I bet Skyler and Ben would love The Turning Page too.

  • Jack VanHesteren says:

    Wow!!! Can see why you enjoyed this place, Scott. It was probably a good thing that I was not with you on that stop. It would have been hard to leave, without spending several hours there… Jack VH


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