Saturday, June 25, 2011

Wingra Park in the Dark: Where Zeke Blew It

Wingra Park in the Dark

Things started out so auspiciously for Zeke, the wayward protagonist of the stirical novel, My American Unhappiness, by Dean Bakopoulos.
Thirteen dollar Belgian beers are quite potent, it turns out. Elizabeth and I walk, arm in arm, down Monroe Street and she suggests we walk to the lake. It's a cool night, and we huddle together out of both drunkeness and cold. The stars are out and when we get to the lake, she leaning in so close to me that I can feel her heartbeat, we sit on a bench and look up at the sky.
Zeke, of course blows it -- hilariously. One of my favorite scenes in a novel set in Madison.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hard Times, Sickness, Financial Distress

Tell Scott Walker You Don't Want Credit Unions to Become Banks

I photographed this Mirro Employees Credit Union billboard in Manitowoc, WI in 1980. Mirro Aluminum Company, the famous aluminum cooking utensil company, was once one of the largest employers in Manitowoc. Much of it had already been moved out of the city when I took the photo, and now it's all long gone now.

The sign points to an earlier era in credit union history, when they were chartered as cooperatives to provide financial services to working people at a time when banks mostly did not serve people of limited means. The umbrella was a familiar symbol of the credit union movement. Most credit unions no longer market themselves this way. Instead, they position themselves as member-owned banks, providing a full range of modern banking services to their members.