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Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012

Boris and Doris On the Town

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Museum Milestone: Jim Kelly, head of exhibits at the Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM), had planned to complete a half-century tenure there. But budgets cut short his plan at the 48-year mark. The effervescent Irishman was, however, granted emeritus status and plans to write the definitive history of the museum's exhibition department.

To celebrate this milestone, a party in his honor was held at Trinity Three Irish Pubs, ironically on the exact date of his initial hiring two score-plus decades ago. Organized by artist Nancy Kruschke and taxidermist Wendy Christensen-Senk, more than 120 pals ranging in age from 20 to 90 came from far and wide. Yet Kelly's wife, Carol, admitted she was worried that her ever-humble husband might not show up.

He was glad he did. Connie Sayas, former MPM artist and plant modeler, and her husband, Pat, flew in from Colorado; Carol Amour, former MPM scriptwriter, came from California; Rolf "Wisconsin" Johnson, former MPM geologist and now director of Green Bay's Neville Public Museum, drove down for the festivities; and Ruth Shelly, the Madison Children's Museum's director, and her husband, Kevin, were among the assemblage.

Also partying were master carpenter Marv Rosenau, who built MPM's Streets of Old Milwaukee and the European Village, recently celebrating his big 8-0; international artist and teacher Peter Sheehan and wife Carol; geology curator emeritus Ken Schellin and Karen Gill, who recently returned from a yearlong trip around the world; former carpenter Joe Rebatzke; museum painter Steve Sanfilippo; Nancy O. Lurie, former anthropology chief; Neil Luebke, botany curator; Beth Chapman, longtime volunteer and still-philanthropist; Jean Lindemann, former fundraising diva and director of the Friends of MPM; curator emeritus Nate Kraucunas and many other ex-museumites. The soiree thundered well past midnight.

Searching for Continuum:
With the announcement of the opening of “Stages of Art,” celebrating the 20th anniversary of Arts Wisconsin, B&D headed to the InterContinental's Gallerie M. The juried show was newly hung, an exciting and eclectic display. The paintings were inspired by local notables, including musicians Les Paul, Stas Venglevski, Guy Fiorentini, Frank Morgan, De La Buena and others. But there were no other visitors in the gallery. Thinking we were early, we left and came back later. Again, no one. But in the lobby were artists Blanche Brown, Ruthie Joy and Rhonda Gatlin-Hayes, who solved the mystery, saying that there was only a closing reception in September.

The next night, armed with passes and email confirmation to the Sony Pictures Classics advance screening of Searching for Sugar Man, B&D arrived at the Downer well in advance, only to find out that it was already sold out. Truly, it was B&D “on the frown.”

Abbondanza:
Wild Earth Cucina Italian, the just-opened Potawatomi restaurant, serves a delicious blend of traditional and contemporary cuisine like zuppa di miso, panzanella, homemade mozzarella, steamed mussels, tasty spaghetti and meatballs, plus an amazing tiramisu. The all-female staff of chef Audrey Vandenburgh, sous chef Maggie Haller, general manager Vita Fugarino and restaurant manager Sandra Groom made the preview a delight.

Other Potawatomi powers circulating were executive sous chef Steve Johnson; external communications manager Ryan Amundson and PR specialist Kimberly Dicke; operations manager Jeff Cook; and beverage chef Donald Sally, there with his dapper dad, Don Sr.

Enjoying Tom and Ted Pappalardo and Pete Balistrieri of the strolling Sicilian Serenaders II were Bob Piekenbrock, 620 WTMJ account manager; Milwaukee Food Tours' Wade and Theresa Nemetz; meat maestro Bruce Pritzlaff; Alterra Coffee's Christy Rodriguez and boyfriend Michael Talarczyk; and Key Magazine's Beth and Roger Stafford.

Afterward, we stopped at Cempazuchi, where culinary arts pro Liz Crawford was celebrating 50-plus-one with photographer John Ruebartsch, Robert and Adriana Ragir, Kathy Fortier, Laura Murphy and her brother Eric, his wife, Elissa, and little Robert Crawford.

Neighborhood Fun:
Wauwatosa's Enderis Park is a charming neighborhood oasis, especially during the recent “Concerts on the Green” Semi-Twang performance with John and Mike Sieger, Jason Klagstad, Bob Jennings and Bob Schneider.

Spotted in the crowd were Dr. Mary Washburn and husband Bob Boucher; Linsey Sieger of Third Sector Creative; dietitian Cindy Thorne and her husband, attorney J.D. Thorne; musician Kurt Koenig; Alterra's graphic designer Kevin Callahan and his wife, Amy; Express Yourself Milwaukee board member and MPS teacher Liz Schoone; Michael Fleming, lyricist and musicologist; Enderis Park residents Paula and Dave Hoose, the concert committee chair; and Kathy Flanigan and Duane Dudek with his daughters Molly and Emma, with her adorable son JJ.

Ward Art:
Downtown was hopping with the first Third Ward Art Festival, featuring more than 100 artists and music by Cirrus Falcon and Mark Adamczyk. Organizer Amy Amdur headquartered in Richard Koenings' soon-to-open Red Elephant Chocolate café, while Historic Third Ward czarina Nancy O'Keefe and marketing coordinator Kristin Amenson helped supervise. Milwaukee artists included Ann Powell, Richard Patt, Marina Lee, sculptor Mary Hager and Don Nedobeck.

If you have any tips for Boris and Doris, contact them at borisanddorisott@aol.com. Their next column will appear in the Sept. 20 issue of the
Shepherd.
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