Posted inNeighbor Spotlight

Instant Family Addition

by Peter Schmidtke / photo by Peter Di Antoni

Sometimes, life can be hard to figure out. Former Riverwest residents Melissa and Matthew Karpowicz were confronted with that reality last year when Melissa’s aunt and uncle, Constance and Gary Kadlee, passed away less than two months apart, leaving behind three school-aged children.

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Clinton Clay

by Sonya Jongsma Knauss / photo by Peter Di Antoni

Clinton Clay was born in Mississippi and raised in the streets. He has bounced around from town to town, but somehow, after all these years, he ended up in Riverwest. It feels like home. The 76-year-old Clay puffs on cigarettes as he talks from his “office” at a table in Onopa. “The most beautiful women in the world are here!” he says of Riverwest, looking out the big windows. It’s a topic he likes to come back to. “And they all are friendly!” he says.

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by Jeff Johnson

Riverwest is home to [an] urban, post-modern circus. Proclaimed in flyers as the “Scariest Show on Earth,” Milwaukee Brewzerkus quarters in a Booth Street home known by its inhabitants as the “Clown House.” There a front porch spills over with “tall bikes” used for parades; a backyard harbors a car and van festooned like clowns; an attic and basement brim with puppets, stages, and props; living room, kitchen, and bedrooms host costumes, makeup, and poster/stencil making materials.

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Nancy Centz

by Sonya Jongsma Knauss

“Never grow weary of doing good.” –Galatians 6:9. These are the words Nancy Centz lives by. Whether she’s picking up trash between the Riverwest Co-op and her house on Booth Street or snuggling with her grandson on the couch before his parents take him back upstairs to their flat for bed, Nancy does it with an energy that is remarkable.

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Nick Reuland

by Jan Christensen

Nick has been an Animal Control Officer with Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control for almost two years. He’s a familiar sight in Riverwest, both in his “civilian clothes” and nose ring, and when he has made his rather startling metamorphosis into “Nick the Dog Catcher,” in his navy blue uniform with the big silver badge. “Look,” he says, chuckling, “it’s got the Great Seal of the State of Wisconsin on it!”

Nick’s happiest times are when pets and owners find each other again. And it happens a lot where he works.