Milwaukee Brewing Up a Symbol

--St. Louis has the Gateway Arch, San Francisco its Golden Gate Bridge--and Milwaukee has an identity problem. "We need a unique, striking symbol of the city," Milwaukee Mayor Henry Maier said in his recent state of the city speech. The city needs something to emphasize its own heritage, he said. The suggestion drew an immediate response, and the Milwaukee Sentinel began running coupons on which readers could send in their suggestions. One called for a large statue of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, as tribute to the city's ethnic festivals and parades. A local company, KBS Marketing Inc., proposed an immense fountain in Lake Michigan, spewing water 1,000 feet in the air and forming the letter M. Some suggestions reflected the city's history as a brewery center. One anonymous writer suggested that the city erect a gigantic eagle grasping a bratwurst in its beak and a stein of beer in its talons. Another called for a 200-foot statue of Mayor Maier holding a beer and a bratwurst. The mayor has named a seven-member committee to consider all suggestions.

--Two recent defectors from the Soviet Union are learning that it's a real circus out there--and that's just the way they like it. Luba Pisarenkova, an aerial acrobat and contortionist, and Yuri Krasnov, who specializes in balancing acts and gymnastics, over the weekend gave their first circus performances since they defected last Sept. 22 when on tour with the Leningrad Music Hall performing troupe in the Seychelles. They appeared with the Mizpah Shrine Circus at the Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Ind.

--Cupid has outdone himself this year. As a result, the two chapels in the Smoky Mountain resort of Gatlinburg, Tenn., will be echoing with "I do's" Saturday as 71 couples mark Valentine's Day with nonstop wedding ceremonies. "It's an unprecedented marriage marathon," said the Rev. Ed Taylor as he contemplated working 24 hours straight officiating at the love fest. Couples have reserved his Little Mountain Church chapel in the shadow of the Smoky Mountains beginning at 12:01 a.m., when Mickey West and Helen Massey of Carthage, Tenn., recite their vows. "We wanted to get a little snooze, but I don't think we'll get it," Taylor said. The nondenominational wedding ceremonies normally last an hour, but Taylor is cutting them to 30 minutes on Saturday to accommodate the rush. Two other ministers will be available to officiate: his son, the Rev. Rick Taylor, and the Rev. Bob Parsons. "Couples are coming from as far as California, Nebraska and Florida," Ed Taylor said. He marries 12 to 20 couples on a typical Saturday at the wedding chapel.

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