What Did You Do on Wauwatosa's Big Day Outdoors?

If you tried hard, you still probably couldn't do everything there was to do in Tosa on Saturday without setting foot indoors.

Saturday was a day to dream on. Sunny, 75 degrees, a nice breeze.

And oh, boy, plenty to do.

Memorial Day weekend may be considered the official starting point of summer, but Wauwatosa just starts its motor, waits another week and then pushes the throttle wide open.

On top of those scheduled first-time or one-time events, there were of course numerous other excuses to go outside and stay there.

  • Soccer games on every remaining flat open space
  • Tosa Pool, the coolest swimmin' hole this side of the Dells
  • A brand new and awesome public playground in
  • A beautiful network of biking and jogging routes
  • Parks, parks, parks, for picnicking, play, golf, lounging – even fishing
  • Rummage sales galore!
  • And for any stray stay-at-homes – yard work.

Did anybody stay inside Saturday if they could possibly help it?

"Oh, I hope not," said Wauwatosa Police Officer Chad Geizler. "That'd be a shame."

Geizler and two other officers were dutifully foot-patrolling the Village, which was teeming.

I asked Geizler about drawing a shift on a Saturday.

"It doesn't get any better than this," he said with a broad smile. "I'll take this duty any time."

Tell us what you did

What I'd like to know is, what did you do Saturday? How much of this did you take in? What did you find to do that I've left out of the list?

Tell us about your day in the comments, and by all means upload your favorite photos to the gallery accompanying this story, or "like" Wauwatosa Patch on Facebook and share them there.

I saw hundreds of cameras pointing every which way. There must be thousands of great shots of Tosa's super Saturday.

OK, here's what I did

To prime the pump, here's how my day went:

Up early, coffee, newspaper and a healthy, hearty breakfast for a planned long day. Bathe, don Patch baseball cap and T-shirt.

After a brief tour of the yard to admire the flowers and curse the weeds, we left the house at 9 for Wisconsin Avenue Park, where I would throw out a first pitch at a 9:30 Tosa Baseball League game (and run into Lisa Sink, editor of the Brookfield Patch – she lives in Tosa and had a kid in the game).

Then I interviewed the members of for a story, marveling that they would be spending their whole Saturday playing the National Anthem before 19 games at three different locations.

After a brief stop at the County Grounds to harvest some milkweed stalks for wife Kathy's "livestock" of 100 or so monarch butterfly caterpillars, we headed to the Farmers Market.

I dropped Kathy and son James off because the very large parking lot west of Harwood Avenue was chock full, as were the curbs for blocks in every direction. I finally parked up at the top of Dewey Hill.

At the market, I ran into buddy Ed Haydin, who was wearing a Tosa Baseball League cap in anticipation of his son's game in the afternoon.

I also chatted with Dennis McBride, my alderman, who was farm-marketing with his family after having started his day by swimming half a mile at Tosa Pool.

I dropped my family off at home, refilled my traveling coffee cup, then went back out to visit more venues. At , there were surprisingly few folks on the playground – no doubt because there were so many more places to be. But one family of four was at the pond, enjoying some fishing.

There was plenty of activity on the new Hart Park playground, and no doubt there would have been more, but lots of cars were turning away from the packed parking lot, spillover from the Highland Games.

was also bumper-to-bumper with parked cars for a quarter of a mile west from North 68th Street. State Street was likewise.

At the Highland Games, burly men in kilts were tossing the weight, bagpipes were keening, and some guys were playing cricket – which I thought surprising, since I think of it as an English sport, but these Commonwealthers have no doubt long-since adopted it.

I strolled the Avenue of the Clans, again marveling at the number of Scots about and their fierce devotion to heritage.

At the Village Green Street Fair, one could look down Harwood Avenue from in front of and see the mass of Tosa humanity looking like swarming ants all the way across the choked Menomonee footbridge and up the hill on the other side.

The thing that struck me as I made my way down there, over and back, through the throng, was that everyone was grinning. Giddy grins. Almost goofy grins. Everybody appeared to be near-deliriously happy. No wonder the police were grinning, too. Maybe I was grinning.

It was as if we all wanted to burst out and say, "Wow, isn't this just grand? Is there any better place to be today than Wauwatosa?"

I made my way up the toward Tosa Pool and, as I approached the soccer fields in , cleared my trip odometer at the first parked car. Once again, for a measured quarter of a mile, there were cars parked front to back.

Like Jacobus Park, Tosa Pool was strangely empty, only a couple of families in the water, outnumbered by lifeguards. But it was only noon, and again, there were just so many other places to be.

I made another stop at home, downloaded, uploaded and edited photos and started my story about the Baseball Band. But I ran out of time before I had to load up my guitars to go play at Village Green with my band, BluesKopf (Rich Sternkopf on harmonica, Michael Juley on bass).

We played until 3, then walked home past all that surging, happy humanity once more, stretching from the heart of the Village to 68th Street.

I sat down to finish the story begun earlier while Kathy barbecued ribs for me, Rich and his son Pete. We all sat out on the deck under the oak tree and supped heartily, then Rich and I packed up our gear again and we set out for a second music gig at , back in a much quieter Village.

Nevertheless, a nice and appreciative crowd developed. The grins had not faded, and wine glasses clinked merrily as a counterpoint to our music.

We played from 7 to 10, but fell in with some friendly folks and chatted with them until 11:30 before finally packing up and heading home, making it a dawn-to-midnight day, for me with only about one hour total spent indoors in front of a computer.

I hope I haven't bored you. To me, what might really have been mundane seemed somehow exalted on Saturday. Just walking around here – the privilege of it, on such a day – struck me as magical.

Julie O'Keeffe Henszey June 04, 2012 at 01:13 PM
The VillageGreen Street Fair was wonderful. I was part of the organizing team and we loved seeing all the families and individuals out enjoying the entertainment and vendor booths. There is truthfully no better place to live than Wauwatosa. I was up at 5:00 am to help set up for the fair. When it ended at 3:00 pm, I was inside for a while, then drove out to Oconomowoc for a high school graduation party and sat outside around a fire pit until 11:00 or so. Enjoyed the gorgeous weather all day!
Scott Mason June 04, 2012 at 02:40 PM
A great day to be out in Wauwatosa. Looking forward to more like Saturday.


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