Friday, April 11, 2008

Calm before the Storm . . literally

OSHKOSH UPDATE 1:36 see below in blue

Regular blog
As you would imagine I have been receiving a lots of crystal clear photos of Oshkosh and Aurora of the sets and so forth and I look at them and to be brutally honest, they are all looking a little like the next bunch of photos that I'll look at or the LAST bunch of photos I looked at.

But once and a while out of the blue I'm flipping past photos and I stop and I mouse wheel back because something caught my eye.

This photo was sent to me from Aurora, not that you can tell what city or anything. It's not crystal clear, it's not perfectly framed and it's even a little pixelated. THAT is what caught my eye. It's not a perfect picture.

For ME - it captures the essence of all the excitement that has been flowing here in upper Midwest.

Marcella sent this to me and I can just feel the excitement that is surrounding this photo. It tells a story. JD's expression is like the Mona Lisa's! I can't stop looking at it!

Marcella - he is looking at YOU!

Nice shot!

While I wait for any reports from Oshkosh I want to post an email and I hope people involved in the city read this. I have heard this a number of times and this is a real problem with Columbus!

Thanks for posting the PE blog. I have had fun reading about the wonderful goings-on in Columbus. When my husband and I decided to move to a small city with a historic downtown, we searched and searched SE Minnesota and south and central WI (Mineral Point to Stevens Point to Chippewa Falls to Winona) and finally landed in Neenah WI. It is beautiful here. But I am surprised that we never “discovered” Columbus (Hey, that’s kind of a funny pun!). So I’ve been really happy to look at your beautiful buildings on your blog.

Yea - never discovered Columbus. Like people that live in Madison just 20 miles away never knowing about Columbus.

Is there a tourist czar for Columbus? I never saw advertisements for the Columbus Carriage Classic or Red Bud Days. I never knew what a Main Street Community was or that Columbus was even classified as a Main Street Community. We need signs that will draw people to the city. Has anyone ever seen a "Rustic Road" sign and taken it just because it said "Rustic Road"?

Put a sign on US151 with "Visit Columbus a Historic Main Street Community" and you can bet we will get travelers. Then you have to have phase two in the works. Beautify the town with Master Gardener flower boxes. Put photos of the movie being made in empty windows, put that awesome popcorn cart out where people will see it.

As Boyd Kraemer the (City Admin) said Columbus is not like any town America - it has something a little special. Yet . . . no one outside City Council knows it. I think before the movie most of the citizens of Columbus didn't even know it.
hmmmmmmm - It's like the calm before the storm.

If you want to read about my gardening adventures you can check out my Garden blog that will need to be updated soon. I have a Butterfly garden in the works and two other gardens that are in stagnation still (actually I'll take photos this weekend of the Autumn Joy Sedium that are poking their little heads above the soil.

Lasagna Gardens for Beginners

Friday - DJ and I will be hanging at the Kurth for a while early in the night. Come on in and have a brew while there is still Hops in Wisconsin. There is a huge worldwide hops shortage. For years and years there was a over supply of hops so farmers stopped planting it. Now that trend is hitting the market and with the micro explosion for brewery's. There is a shortage.
zit for now
I'll have more as I get them.

BTW - blog continues to grow. 78% of the readers are form the U.S with Japan and France accounting for 10%. Wisconsin is the big state with Illinois, Michigan, New York and California are the other states.

Kitty B'gosh with a short report.

The weather here is Oshkosh continues to be just plain miserable. Heavy rains, winds, thunder and lightening early this morning. We got break about 7 am and its been overcast and damp. Expecting a few inches of snow to come in tonight and into Saturday.

I have yet to locate a base camp. Although they do have some of the larger parking lots blocked off. Right now it looks like everything is in the final preparation stage. Looking kind of doubtful we will see any filming today.

Main Street is finally closed to street traffic. Pedestrian traffic is allowed as the workers continue to complete the set. Street lights have been coming down all morning. The cobblestone has been unloaded and placement on Main Street has started. There are still finishing touches to be completed on some of the store fronts.

The bank. I got a peek at the vault today. I was told that at one point they had decided against using it because it is in the basement, not in the main lobby. That changed yesterday and they have now decided they will be using the vault.

Pioneer Airport. Took a look out there this morning and nothing going on there--yet. I heard the Color Me Blonde gals were out there yesterday in the rain and wind trying to get one of the hangers re-painted.

Getting ready to head back to see what progress has been made at the airport and downtown.

On a side note - check out school article
christine - the historian wrote for a class

Public Enemies vs J. Edgar Hoover


  1. Rod,

    What a wonderful blog!! You just know how to get to the meat of things, such as the photo you posted and the non-tourist promotion of Columbus.

    Not only is the filming of PE good for Columbus' tourism, but you do a pretty good sell on the area as well.

    You and Michael Mann have made a small town into a major event. It's obvious that I'm a history fanatic - referring to my posting ID - and the fact that Columbus' history has been kept secret is sad, but thank goodness that with the filming of PE and your blog the whole world now knows about the little town of Columbus, WI.

    It will be interesting to see what happens to Columbus when all the mania and camera flashing fades away. I would like to hope that somehow Columbus continues to get the recognition it deserves for its historical significance.

    Thank you so much for allowing us to view your small town and the filming of PE through your eyes and the eyes of visitors.

  2. The Main Street . . group is preparing an GREAT history book of Columbus - I can't wait.

    When I moved here I was begging for some history and the only (easy) place to find it was from a menu from a restaurant.

    You can tell I love this city and perhaps I get a little preachy at times. Sorry

  3. For a fedora - have you tried State Street/downtown Madison thrift shops? I got a fedora at one of those shops a few years ago, although the shop I got mine at is no longer there. (It was called JuJu and Moxie's.)

  4. Rod, you are doing a terrific job of promoting our wonderful town! I don't intend to make this a political piece, so please do not flame me for mentioning that the current mayor of Columbus was the Main Street Director before she was Mayor.

    I really liked the idea of T-shirts so we could all recognize each other - and so we could perhaps capitalize on this Columbus/PE Momentum.

    Christine, I share your love of history, as do many of us in Columbus. I hope you get to visit us sometime!

  5. While we have been able to find each other ok through the joys of cell phones, as I have been saying, t-shirts would be fun :) Plus, the money could go to the awesome auditorium cause.

    I have to thank all of you for providing such a warm and friendly environment. I am taking an online class and just got the most hateful discussion thrown my way. I think I am composed enough now, thanks to the calm here, to respond. UHHHHH!!! So, thanks everybody.

  6. You know. The more I read this, the more I want to venture up there when PE filming returns...even though it's a REALLY long drive and I technically can't afford it. I just want to see the town in person and meet all you awesome people.

    Oh, and I got myself a fedora at Target, but I'm sure you'd like something a bit more authentic so my suggestion is pretty useless.

  7. If you don't mind a short drive...come up to Lucky's Mens Clothing store in lovely downtown Oshkosh....we have lots of fine hats on display in our front window. I'll just grab on for you...I'm sure the set dressers won't miss one hat...this movie has a 8 or 9 digit budget doesn't it? lol.....

  8. Rod, check Todd's Carriage Shop, across from the Senior Center. He has had lots of hats in the past-- not sure if he has a fedora, though.

    There was talk of a billboard being made off the highway, about discovering the architectural treasure that is Columbus, but I haven't heard about it in a while.

    I have had the privilege to work on the Carriage Classic committee for the last five years, and it's a beautiful event. This will be our tenth year, and we are looking to plan some special activities. Anyway, I hear you -- we have to work harder to promote our town for the gem that it is. Having the movie here was a great opportunity, now we must move into action and seize the moment.

  9. Semi Trucks and cars and black vehicles with men with ear peices and police barricades are all over the area of Basler at the Airport grounds.

    I have photos from my car, but they aren't the most wonderful. I spotted it in an attempt to goto the post office, but it is/was such a downpour of rain.

    It's since lightened up so I'm going to make reattempt. Maybe get a better photo, but with 10 month old twins, unsure how that'll go in the rain.

  10. I was just did Michael Mann discover Columbus for the PE Movie? I don't think I have seen any mention of that....thanks Rod, for the more that fun blog...


  11. that photo gave me goosebumps...

  12. Anonymous - Columbus was "discovered" because of the Merchant's Bank was listed as a "location" register filming company's use.

    There was going to be one scene filmed inside the bank. When the production crew entered C-bus to take a look at it, Mann and team stopped in the middle of the intersection and got out of their cars.

    Stood in the middle and looked around pointing and gawking making traffic go around them.

    It was at that moment that he knew he had discovered a gold mine.

    All small towns have old buildings and signature structures. But Columbus has then all together with no "new" ugly buildings in between.

    Now - the entire town of Columbus is listed on some official "location" register used world wide.

    I BET this is not the last filming company to visit.

  13. Well base camp is set up on EAA grounds it doesnt take a rocket scientest to know where Johnny will be staying makes sense. A huge caravan of white trucks pulled in today around noon. All the old cars are parked there too. I saw lots of people standing in the rain watching.

  14. Thanks Paul (you will now be called male #4).

    Blog has been updated with Kitty B'gosh news and a link to Christine - the Historian school article!

  15. To the people of C-bus that are tired and concerned about the lack of action about non-tourism promotion, you should 1) vote out the clowns that are do-nothings and 2) get people into office that actually have ideas that will be good for the city.
    I live in Grafton, which is next door to Cedarburg. If you know Cedarburg, you know that the city has their "sh*t" together and are very proud of what they have and work hard to promote it and keep it.
    Voters of a city have the power to change things.

  16. Base is indeed EAA grounds, it seems like it's more like Basler/Orion/Whitman from what I Saw, thougH I didn't go to EAA grounds.

    I have photos in my flickr account of what I was able to gather by driving by.
    I do have more, but these were the best. Will add them in a little while.

  17. Why do you want a fedora???

    Also, you should run for city council someday!

  18. you rock Kamie, thanks for the pics. I brought my 5D and 400mm lens, I'll see if I can pop off some pic as long as its not raining too hard.

  19. Yeah, I so wish I had a better lens. I had on my 18-55 so it was crummy.
    That and if I had been able to get out and go a little ways, but my 10 month old twins were in the car. :(

  20. Jenny, we are thinking the same things.

  21. Kathy, Jenny - Ditto! = )

    I'm bummed, I was plannning on stopping in at Kurth's tonight on my way to Oshkosh but I got soaked running erands earlier and can't warm up. I think I'm staying in tonight... = (

    Diane, I really wanted to see your USS Indy pics.

  22. Note to Anonymous.

    I'm sitting here wondering what I should do about your post.

    On one hand I know many people that agree with you.

    On the other hand all I'm trying to do is get people involved in Columbus - I'm not about to try a military coup.

    Every town is different with different problems that need to be dealt with in in their own unique way.

    Lets not have any more name calling and so forth. There are better ways to express yourself adult to adult.

  23. Rod-
    Thanks for posting that about the picture from Aurora. My sole picture of Johnny had to be cropped and zoomed in from the original so you could see him. You can almost see Jerry better than him (haha) and looking at the pictures everyone else has sent in makes me wish I had a better photography class a few years ago (or should spring for a better camera). But what you posted made me smile :)

    I had some ideas for funding for the about making ornaments with the auditorium on them? The town I live in has an ornament that comes out every year around Christmas with a selected town landmark. They sell for around $10..or what about a calendar? Also, the library I work at, there is a group called the Friends of the Library and they have booksales and raise a lot of money. Nothing like hundreds of thousands of dollars, but they have helped us buy things and put money towards projects we may not have been able to save up for otherwise. Maybe there could be "Friends of the Auditorium" or something. Do you know if they have applied for grants?

    Thanks for the Target fedora tip! were they in the ladies or mens department? I usually end up at Target once a week with my sister for some random reason or another, so I'm def. going to check it out :)

    Today while I was taking a test there was a question about Watergate and Deep Throat and I thought about changing it to Depp Throat because I remember reading about it somewhere on the blog, but I didn't think my prof. would appreciate it and I didn't feel like explaining myself, lol.


  24. NEW UPDATE - Filming will start later this afternoon and continue into the night - weather is not a factor.


  25. thanks for the heads up grinder

    Is anyone planning on sticking around oshkosh and searching for the filming location? I'll be without internet and I was hoping someone could call me if they get a tip.

  26. Anonymous 2:57

    They were in the men's department. And bravo for you shopping at Target. Wise choice, my friend.

  27. wlkingbluepirate--
    Thanks again for the tip! I love has just about everything!! (well if it's a Super Target..but we don't have one around us).


  28. Since this already happened, I don't feel bad about posting it. Today JD was at Lambou Field (spelling?) in Green Bay. He got a private tour of the stadium. Makes sense since he mentioned to an extra that he wanted to see it.

  29. Why would Johnny wanna see Lambeau? He doesn't strike me as being into Football...

  30. Reposting the link to Pioneer Airport's live webcams:

    I'll hopefully be heading to Oshkosh shortly. Have to dig out the heavier jacket, round up the cameras, etc.... Wheee!

  31. Hey....Lambeau is a lamdmark in Wisconsin. You really don't have to be a football fan to appreciate it's tradition and the honor it holds around the United States. I bet he loved it! Maybe he got to meet Brett if he is still in Wisconsin!

    Rod...Thanks for the history on how Michael Mann "discovered" Columbus!


  32. Can anyone tell me if they can see the airport action from the webcam? I've peeked in on it a few times today, but I'm not seeing what is being reported. waaahh, help. Thanks

    Btw, I got a great fedora on ebay a few years ago. It's a Borsalino, the type Johnny seems to favor.

  33. Hi Shakenbsis: You know I was outside in the rain and cold yesterday for about 30 seconds and could not stop shaking!!

    I hope you feel better soon--we will meet up again another day I am sure!! :) I don't think I'm bringing my book with me tonight anyway, I am really DRAGGING today and I think that I will simply fall asleep on my beer glass--yes I am going for it-beer and popcorn tonight! LOL

    Take care of yourself!! :)

    (Hey if anyone knows how to STAY ASLEEP all night and not toss and turn for hours on end, please let me know--you will be my hero)

  34. The fact that JD wanted to see Lambeau Field makes him even more endearing! He really is an interesting person!

    I do know the Historical calendar thing has been done in Columbus, but how about a map and booklet describing the history of all these historical buildings and homes which now can include info on their use in the movie. All the ideas are wonderful for our little city, we just need the right people to tie it all together!

  35. It's getting busy on 20th Ave in Oshkosh near the airport as others have already posted that is where base camp is. Luckily my son lives one block away and has a window view of everything going on. I will be there most of the day watching. Got a few pictures already. This is so exciting for Oshkosh as it was in Columbus. Stay warm everyone.

  36. DJ, maybe some of that Kurth brew will help you sleep better tonight?

    Have a good time!

    I was up from 2am until 4am, now I am a walking zombie. Ughhhh. Can't go to Kurth tonight, tho. Some other time.

    Thanks debsmad for the live cam link again.

  37. "You don't really get much one-on-one time with (Depp), but he sits there and talks to people," Feller said. "He was inquiring about Lambeau Field Tuesday, said he wouldn't mind seeing it."

  38. I want to tour Lambeau Field and I don't even really like the Packers..just Brett Favre. My mom, dad and sister like them so I've gotten used to watching the games and we've thought about taking a trip there. I wonder if they have the "Lambeau Leap" ice cream there because they used to sell it a couple years ago (and this is in the Chicagoland/Northwest Indiana area) but we can't find it anymore.

    I wonder if they let him do the Lambeau know I'd try but I'd probably fail miserably..


  39.'s actually "Frozen Tundra" ice cream..


  40. Just a few pics from this afternoon

  41. Filming will start later this afternoon and continue into the night - weather is not a factor.

    But where? Everything is at the airport today? Anyone know?

  42. Someone was just injured on the set with second degree burns from a flair. Ambulance is on their way.

  43. I thought it would be nice to have a blog solely dedicated to the filming in Oshkosh. I'll be updating often and will be on location daily. Is there anyone else in Oshkosh that would be interested in helping me keep this current?

    I would like to post information about local hotels and good places to eat. It seems like a resource like this would help people visiting the city. Let me know if anyone is interested.

  44. Great pics, Lynn! Thanks for sharing them with us.

    I added more photos from the Columbus shoot today, maybe 25 or so. I went through my files, decided to play with more of them in Photoshop and had a lot of fun.

    Rod, I plan to stop in to the Kurth tonight... 7 or so. Once my husband is home and Julia is tucked into bed.

  45. Let me know Andy!

  46. Michelle, I love what you did with the pictures...Excellent!

  47. Just a heads up for people who live far away...I think they are setting up at the EAA for the plane shots because there seems to be lots of activity going on through the webcam. :)

  48. Hey Anon-there's a great hat store on state st in Madison called "Sacred Feather" (I think they also have a website under that name) we were visiting last Sat and they have a cool pic of Johnny wearing his trademark fedora in their window! (also one similar for sale right behind the pic) COOL!! They also have a pic of "Indiana Jones" in hat. ( I bought several berets from them when I was a bald chick from breast cancer chemo.

    Keep the info and pics coming Rod and PE fans...thanks for keeping me updated.

  49. Hey just visited the EAA webcam and you can toggle the camera using the camera logo on the right...

  50. I may have been wrong about the EAA filming set up because according to Oshkosh Northwestern, they are filming at Wittman or Basler airport...I'm not familiar with those so I'm not sure if its part of the EAA. :)

  51. Lynn - thanks for sharing!
    Michelle - your photography really touches me...

    DJ - I hear you! and whoever wrote that they are up between 2-4 am every night, that's me too!!! ARGHHGHG! good luck with the ale... = )

  52. Great pics, Lynn! Love all of yours, Michelle!!
    Why WOULDN'T Johnny want to see
    Lambeau Field? It is unique and has a history all it's own! I wonder if we'll see photos on the web of his stop there?? I love the Packers; that would be a double dream come true (to see Johnny at
    Some great ideas coming in to help with the Auditorium. I hope someone is listening and taking notes! Keep up the GREAT work, Rod!!

  53. Must have been something in the air last night. I was up from 3 am until around 5. I hate when that happens.

  54. I just got back from the Wittman airfield in Oshkosh. A plane scene was being filmed. A helicopter with a camera attached was filming the plane while flying. The plane sort of looks like the Spirit Of St Louis. Theres still 1930's police cars parked by the Basler builiding with what looks like extras standing by them.

  55. An airport article and pic here:

    And another article here:

    My plans fell thru and I did not make it there tonight. *grr*

  56. WOW! Been gone most of the day and look what happened! Thanks y'all for posting so much detail. I can't be there, but I sure felt as if I was! I hate it when the real world gets in the way of the PE chronicals. ;)

  57. Just got back from the cold and rain of wittman field. Just added a few pics for everyone. I myself didnt see Mr. Depp but others say they have seen a small pea size glimpse.

  58. Michelle -I looove your pictures what camera do you use? Lynn thanx for keeping our curiosity at bay with your pictures--Columbus doesn't seem the same-- I am anxious for the return of the cast and crew to Columbus.
    Rod keep up the good work and have one for me at the of these days I will get there.

  59. Here's some photos from tonight at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. It was a cold rainy night, but worth it once we saw Johnny Depp. It was great meeting some of you that were out there.

  60. Ty,
    that pic you said was Johnny was a confirmed stunt double. A group of us was there after dark and found out he didn't come to the scenes until 6:30ish. Some of us didn't believe that, but when I looked at the pictures I had, even though they were blurry, I could tell they weren't Johnny! Just wanted to let you know.

  61. Laura, I just saw your comment -- I use a Canon Rebel XT. Most of my set shots were taken with a 75-300mm lens, but a few were taken with a 50mm f 1.8.

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