Join Waukesha resident Brien Lee and his blog, Sir Fido, as they explore the city and report on the interesting things they find.
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The Walldogs have cleaned their brushes. The Gibson bus has traversed Main one last time and just kept going. Fifteen new ten-foot guitar creations are temporarily put back into storage.
Read this week that the Les Paul exhibit at the Waukesha County Museum finally has an opening date. . . and it's not too far off. June 9th would've been Les' 98th birthday, a good day to open a long-awaited exhibit on his life. That same weekend is also the GuitarTown II and Waukesha's Freeman Friday Night Live kick off, so it should be pretty busy around here. Hopefully the events will work together to benefit the museum, as the reason for the exhibit is why GuitarTown is here in the first place.
Back in June when I saw how the GuitarTown sculptures were mounted I commented here how flimsy the mounting looked. I didn't say it then, but anyone with an electric saw or bolt cutter could probably get through the pipe or padlock before anyone noticed. The pipe is small and apparently not hardened steel and the padlock is on the small side considering the value of what it's protecting.
Everything seemed so new and different. I don't recall ever visiting the Lakefront Festival of Arts before. I was blown away by the creativity.
Saturday's weather was absolutely gorgeous after two days of cold and rain. I started by travelling to Prairie Home and the Les Paul memorial to talk to and hear from Rusty Paul, but he was called back East for some unknown reason. Sue Baker was there and I collected a first day of issue Les Paul card from her for which I'm appreciative.
Made it down for Friday's unveiling and first Friday Night Live of the year. Almost all businesses were open and most were busy, which was good to see. The crowd wasn't nearly as large as the Harley anniversary event, but then again beer wasn't allowed in the streets. Just as well. The weather turned cool and wet, was 51 degrees by the time I left, and hot drinks were the preferred beverage.
Three "Racing Gibbys," or whatever you want to call them, made the rounds during Monday's Memorial Day Parade. They were handing out fliers for this weekend's GuitarTown festivities and generating interest. I noticed the one most similar to a Les Paul Gibson is left-handed. Les was a righty.
GuitarTown unveiling is this week. I'm still encountering lots of Waukesha citizens who know nothing, or next to nothing, about it even though it's been in the news for months. There's probably not too much that can be done about that now, if they don't follow Waukesha news... Maybe they'll see the sculptures around Downtown in the coming months, but it does reinforce my belief that at least one of the ten foot guitars should be placed closer to one of the main roads bypassing downtown, North Street or St. Paul, to draw interest and for more visibility.
I tagged along for the ride as Waukesha artist Tom Noll said goodbye to the baby he has fed and nurtured these last several months. "The Founder" has kept him awake many late nights, but it was time to turn him loose and trust you've raised him right.
Not much going on to celebrate the Cinco-Sesqui, it's the 150th anniversary of the Mexican Army conquering French in the Battle of Puebla 5/5/1862, but lots going on here anyway.
GuitarTown was in the news yesterday. Channel Four's 10 p.m. newscast had a nice little segment on Waukesha. Take a look.
The Les Paul of Waukesha artists, Tom Noll, has condensed 200 painstaking hours of work into two minutes of sheer enjoyment. It's mysteriously coreographed to appear his pace picks up when the tempo speeds up. Perfect accompaniment for a perfect accomplishment.
As the photos emerge of GuitarTown playable guitars and sculptures I am in awe. I can't believe the quality, variety and creativity Waukesha is getting. My original fear was "what if we get some clunkers we'll have to look at for the next couple years, and all this effort wasted?" I clearly underestimated the talent of local artists and organizers for putting the best of them together.
There's been no shortage of controversy to stir up emotion lately... recalls, street closure, mayoral antics... Interesting Sound Off in Thursday's Freeman. Makes me want to sound off myself.
A couple days after Les died two and a half years ago I posted a photo of what I felt his monument should look like. It wasn't a suggestion he be laid to rest in Meier Festival Park where the photo was taken though.