Posts Tagged ‘Milwaukee Museum’

I’m a week away and unfortunately missed the return of happier days and the “Bronze Fonz” dedication

This week Henry Winkler was in Milwaukee to dedicate a Fonzie statue (located on the west side of the river at the Rock Bottom Brewery) along with Anson Williams (Potsie) who toured the Harley-Davidson museum and even Cindy Williams from Laverne & Shirley stopped by the Miller brewery.  I guess to reminisce about Schotz Brewery, a fictitious analogy to “the beer that made Milwaukee famous”… the Joseph Schlitz brewing company.

The show Happy Days ran for 11 seasons on ABC starting in 1974 and was cancelled in 1984.  It was inspired by the real-life experiences of Thomas Miller who served as exec producer on the series and grew up in Milwaukee.  

A lot has changed in Milwaukee in the past 25 years  The positive aspects of TV for one and the good nature and optimism of life. The Milky Way Drive-In which was the original inspiration of Arnolds Drive-In has long since been demolished and clearly Joanie no longer loves Chachi (Erin Moran and Scott Baio) a testament to how life is now much tougher to live.

For those of you who are too young to remember or too old and can’t get enough of the show here is an online tribute site.

Oh yeah, for those of you curious about which type motorcycle “The Fonz” rode during the 11 seasons…in the early days he rode a custom Harley Knucklehead then drove a variety of other bikes like a Triumph (TR6 Trophy), Triumph 500 cc twin and a BSA.  In real life Henry Winkler was afraid of motorcycles.  In the only scene he was ever taped riding a Triumph he didn’t know how to stop the bike and crashed into two production assistants.

Poster courtesy of the web site.

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This week Harley performed a “ribbon-cutting” ceremony that made welder’s around the world proud…using an acetylene torch Jerry Gagner (museum maintenance crew) lit the torch and let the sparks fly as he cut through motorcycle chains to officially open the new Milwaukee museum.
At a cost of $78 million the 130,000-square-foot museum includes exhibits, a 150-seat restaurant called Motor, a take-away restaurant called Café Racer, along with special events and meeting space and 20 acres of outdoor green space.  The overall theme of the museum is to tell stories about the people, products, history and culture of Harley-Davidson. The stories are told through Vintage photographs, posters and other artifacts which explain Harleys history.

But most (including me!) of the 105th Anniversary attendees will be locked out!  Harley tells it like this:

Myth #4:  You can get into the Museum during the 105th Anniversary celebration in August.
Busted: Museum tickets are not available during the Harley-Davidson 105th Anniversary Celebration August 28-31, 2008. To ensure an excellent experience during the 105th Anniversary Celebration, tickets to the Museum were already distributed via a lottery system; therefore, the Museum is closed to the public during the 105th Anniversary.

Those who are planning to come to Milwaukee during the 105th Anniversary who don’t have a Museum ticket still will be able to enjoy the Museum grounds. In addition, those who would like to visit the Museum and didn’t receive a ticket through the lottery can purchase Museum tickets before and after the Labor Day weekend (while supplies last).

It turns out that people who purchased tickets for the 105th event prior to November 30, 2007 were part of a random drawing/lottery to receive Museum tickets.  Sure, I’m welcome to hang out on the Museum grounds, enjoy the river walk and green space, listen to bands, people watch or try and locate a rivet, but I’m bummed
Photo Credit : Scott Paulus and the Milwaukee Business Journal.  Museum credit Harley.

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