Sunday, October 28, 2007
Three Supersized Egos
The top three American egos of the twentieth century belong to a trio of Wisconsin boys. Their names are (and always will be) synonymous with their respective crafts. Frank Lloyd Wright is architecture, Orson Welles is film directing, and Douglas MacArthur is the American General. Of the three, Orson was the most genial. He could laugh at himself. The other two belong in the Horses Ass Hall of Fame. Their egos certainly drove them to great heights. MacArthur, the grandson of the richest man in Wisconsin and son of the Milwaukee born Civil War hero who first cried out, "On Wisconsin!" (while leading the 24th Wisconsin regiment up missionary ridge), was born an Army Brat on a military base in Little Rock. He eventually returned to native soil and completed his school years at home in Milwaukee. His up and down career would, incredibly, lead him to the role of Shogun - absolute ruler of Japan from 1945 to 1949. Welles, a Kenosha native, was the century's official genius. And Wright, born in Richland Center, was it's reigning architect. Speaking of Mr. Wright, I can't let him get away for stiffing my great uncle, a small town grocer, for a couple of melons. "I'm on my way to Madison, put it on my tab," the great man supposedly said as he walked out of the Mickelson store in Deerfield, Wisconsin unpaid melons tucked under his arm. We're still looking for that tab.