Working on the City Guide issue has certainly reinforced that idea. With so many festivals, concerts, running trails and boating opportunities, plus a plethora of other activities, it was a real challenge choosing what to feature on our pages. I hope you are as inspired by all there is to do as I am.
One of my favorite features in this issue is the collection of summer-themed essays. I particularly enjoyed reading about Claire Hanan’s stint selling lemonade at Miller Park, and Tom Tolan’s adventure working on a ship.
For me, the summer job that stands out is when I went on tour as a Care Bear. My try-out was a meet-and-greet in a suburban mall. Inside the suit, the environment was like something you’d find in a jungle. Hot. Humid. Smelly.
A store manager walked me to the designated spot, and young children appeared instantaneously, like ants to a picnic. As they pressed their tiny bodies against my dirty, mangy fur, my mouth curled upwards into a spontaneous grin inside the giant orb of my Care Bear head. I tried to embrace them all in a giant group hug.
When I graduated to the stage show, I got to take a star-turn with a Care Bear dance, the highlight of which was when I’d turn my backside to the audience and shake my tail. This crowd-pleaser generated an adulation so intense, I felt like the Elvis of the under-5 set.
But the initial headiness was soon undercut by a number of incidents – belligerent older kids mauling me at a zoo, an outdoor performance in the rain where I feared that one misstep of my giant paw might get me electrocuted, and an emergency landing of a plane that quickly brought me to my senses, making me realize I didn’t want my stint as a Care Bear to be the most noteworthy thing in my obituary. I ended up quitting the tour after less than a month. Still, the memories live on. And when I’m feeling the spirit of summer, I am sometimes moved to reprise my Care Bear jig.
What about summer in Milwaukee inspires you to do a jig, Care Bear-style or otherwise? Tell me at Carole@milwaukeemag.com!