Delegating Denver #55 of #56: Wisconsin

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

View larger image


Total Number of Delegates: 92 Pledged: 74 Unpledged: 18

How to Recognize a Wisconsin Delegate: Across the nation, the symptoms of severe depression often include the binge-drinking of cheap beer, the over-eating of fried foods and the complete lack of interest in meeting people and learning about the rest of the world. But "up nort," these are just considered the most popular ways to show "Wisconsin Pride." Surviving the bitterly cold winters and sweltering mosquito-soaked summers has produced a breed of Americans who are above the laws of nature and man -- and brag about it incessantly until the supper club closes, the keg runs dry or they pass out, whichever comes first. Wisconsinites aren't called Badgers because they resemble the solitary nocturnal creatures that live in holes. The most famous Badger in state history was Senator Joseph McCarthy. Even when his name was used as a synonym for demagoguery and defamation, he boasted that the term "McCarthyism" simply meant "Americanism with its sleeves rolled up." And now, some fifty years later, Wisconsinites still dress to avenge. By wearing those cheesehead hats, the residents of America's Dairyland have turned what was once an insult from the snotty fans of Chicago sports teams into a relentless Green Bay gloat. In Denver, Cheeseheads will be easy to identify. They'll be the delegates standing around with a can of beer in one hand while they use the other hand to demonstrate how a shithead from Illinois tows a boat. Females will be the hot chicks with beer bellies dressed in daytime casuals from Shopko and by night will wear Croft & Barrow sateen tops with floral burnout skirts from Kohl's. Males will wear the gold and green Joe PackerFan bodylifter pants with a variety of favorite sweatshirts, the newness of which corresponds directly to the formality of the occasion.

Famous Wisconsinites: Native American advocate Ada Deer; waterskiing showman Tommy Bartlett; outboard motor inventor Ole Evinrude; safety razor inventor King Camp Gillette; supercomputer architect Seymour Cray; Prairie School architect Frank Lloyd Wright; artist Georgia O'Keeffe; photographer Edward S. Curtis; writers Laura Ingalls Wilder and Thornton Wilder; cartoonists Lynda Barry and Denis Kitchen; goofy movie producers Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams and David Zucker; greatest male star of all time Orson Welles; actors Spencer Tracy, Gene Wilder, Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Rae, Tom Hulce, Tyne Daly, Chris Farley, Mark Ruffalo, Tony Shalhoub and (Malcolm in the Middle's mom) Jane Kaczmarek; adult actress Kayla Kleevage; musicians Les Paul, Liberace, Steve Miller, Jerry Harrison and Al Jarreau; bands: Violent Femmes, Underground Sunshine, Die Kreuzen, Killdozer, Garbage and The Frogs; world curling champion Nicole Joraanstad

Famous Wisconsin Democrats: 18th Secretary of Defense Les Aspin; former United States Senators William Proxmire and Gaylord Nelson; current United States Senators Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold; United States Representatives Tammy Baldwin and David Obey; Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett; Eleanor Roosevelt's special friend Lorena Alice Hickok

Famous Wisconsinites with Denver Connections: Elizabeth Bonduel McCourt a.k.a. Baby Doe Tabor; fifth,tenth and fourteenth Colorado governor Alva Adams; 38th governor Richard Lamm; Chedd's Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich founder Dirk Bruley; Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce business recruiter Laura Brandt; artist Mai Wyn Schantz; toy designer Gwen Austin Yuffa; rock ’n’ roll poster designer Jay Vollmar; 2008 DNC deputy CEO for public affairs Jenni Engebretsen

State Nickname: America's Dairyland, The Badger State, the Cheese State (official); Up Nort, Wizzconsin, the Buick State, Minnesota Junior (unofficial) Population: 5,556,506 Racial Distribution: 86% white, 6% black, 1% Native American, 2% Asian, 5% Hispanic Per Capita Personal Income: $30,898 Unemployment: 6.3%

Recommendations for the Wisconsin Delegation

Most Wisconsinite Denver Neighborhood: Indian Creek

Most Wisconsinite Bar: Swanky's 1938 Blake Street Denver, Colorado The bar food may be Cajun, but the atmosphere is much like the parking lot of Lambeau Field on game day.

Most Wisconsinite Restaurant: North Woods Inn 8109 Blakeland Drive Littleton, Colorado The decor, the menu and the waitstaff's hairstyles are all reminiscent of a supper club dining experience... circa 1963.

Wisconsinites in need of a quick fix of chili cheese fries, cheese curds and/or frozen custard, can find it at the familiar favorite: Culver's ButterBurgers & Frozen Custard 9790 North Washington Thornton, Colorado

View larger image

Best Day Trip: Manitou Springs Frank Lloyd Wright, the Jesus of American architects, was born and raised a Unitarian Minister's son in the Wisconsin Dells. Here, his disdain for vacationing Illinoisans most assuredly inspired the drafty homes with leaky roofs he designed with a vengeance for the Chicago millionaires who made him famous. Wright is the undisputed prince of "Wisconsin Pride." To add insult to injury, when Wright relocated to Illinois for work, he bought the nursery of renowned landscape architect John Blair to build his Oak Park home. Blair had lost his job with the Chicago Parks Department after the great fire had depleted the city budget. General William Jackson Palmer, the Colorado Railroad builder and founder of Colorado Springs, then hired the designer to build parks, walkways, cemeteries and public gardens in his new city. Palmer also wanted to build a resort, west of town, in a verdant box canyon nestled in the foothills at the base of Pikes Peak. Deposits of minerals dating back thousands of years had created large natural basins into which mineral waters erupted and then overflowed into a nearby stream. As time passed, Manitou Springs was transformed from a luxury resort designed by Blair to a tubercular asylum, and when the automobile arrived, the springs were paved over to make way for motor courts, dance halls and penny arcades. Today, the funky little town of oddballs and artists retains a perfect mix of touristiana where Wisconsinites may experience a moment of Dells deja vu. To get to Manitou Springs, ask the concierge at the hotel for directions to southbound I-25. Take I-25 South for 69 miles and at exit 141, turn right onto westbound U.S. Highway 24 and drive another seven miles to the Manitou Avenue exit. This well-preserved main street is lined with stone Victorians, art deco arcades and craptastic plastic facades from the 1960s. Of special interest to cheeseheads who love to drink, the mineral springs have been uncapped and visitors are free to drink from the spigots that dangle from numerous artsy fountains placed along the sidewalks. The flavor of the fizzy earthen brew changes at each location, depending on the minerals present in the ground, and is thick enough to walk on. Perfect for proud Wisconsinites who are above the laws of both nature and man. --Kenny Be

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.