Thursday, July 17, 2008

What made Milwaukee famous

East out of Minnesota past the twin cities international airport where I once changed planes for Denver back in the early nineties. A stopover in Menomonie to visit The Mabel Tainter Memorial Theater - an old community project built on lumber money. Back on the highway and we run into the mother of all rainstorms. I switch on the emergency flashing lights as we drive through the downpour, worried about more flooding, as if the midwest hasn't had enough already.
The headline on this story does not refer to the beer although I did sample a couple Miller High Life last night - no, I am talking about Harley-Davidson. We recced the location of the power train division of H-D yesterday in preparation for a visit first thing this morning. First come first served so we are up early at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Milwaukee-Wauwatosa and will be out to the factory where the H-D and Buell engines are made after breakfast.
How did this company survive when so many other midwest manufacturers failed to dodge the bullet? The Rambler car, made in Kenosha, Wisconsin and the Checker cab from Chicago have gone the way of the Dodo - but H-D lives on - hope we'll find out why?

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