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A love story in Barton – Marketing a growing business district

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Jackie Krewald from The Sign Shop walked out cradling the new Barton business sign like she was about to hand over a baby.

Build, Boost, & Buy in Barton weighed in at a little less than 3 pounds.

Hank and Essie couldn’t believe it. Clean. Bright. Adorbs…. with flair of the 1940s.

“How you like it Haaaaank,” cooed Jackie.

It was known community wide she had a crush on Hank.

He blushed a bit, downplayed her puppy-dog eyes and sidled up to Essie.

“What do you think Essie,” he said.

Essie looked at the sign with more of an eagle eye. She knew a big decision was on her shoulders as she’d have to answer to business owners in town like Deb at Over the Moon, Jeff at Wisconsin House Woodwork, and Diane and Kay at Joker’s 5 Bar & Grill.

The wheels were in motion to ramp up Barton’s marketing effort and the couple behind the campaign were feeling the pressure.

“What do you think?” she said to Hank, answering a question with a question. It was one of the signature characteristics of Essie’s personality and Hank liked it not at all.

“Love it,” said Hank confidentially. “We’ll take one.”

Sign Shop owner Kenlyn Schwinn took a step back. “We can make more than one Hank,” she said. “We’re pretty advanced that way.”

Hank said he wanted to show it off around town; see how it fit in window displays and on walls at shops around town like West Bend Glass Block, 1527 N. Main Street,  Mies Products  and Woodland Iron & Firearms.


As Hank settled up on the sign, Essie scooted out the door. She promised Geri Tackes she’d be at Play ‘n for Pennies and she was running late. Essie was working to find a new dress and the St Mary’s School reunion on April 22 was the perfect excuse.


“Classy but not too dressy,” was the strong suggestion from grandma. “You should get something that you can wear for other occasions” she advised.



Essie looked through the various racks of long dresses, winter sweaters and suit coats. “You’re right between seasons,” said Geri as she brought over one suggestion after another.


Out of the corner of her eye Essie spotted something red. She remembered Hank was especially fond of the red dress she wore for their first date on Valentine’s Day.



Bright colors were very popular after the war. Upon closer examination, it reminded her of the new style that was all the rage – the nautical look. It had padded shoulders, just like the actresses wore.



She tried it on, and it fit perfectly. She knew Hank would love it.


Down on Barton Avenue Hank was busy with errands of his own. Small Town Bait & Tackle, 1805 Barton Avenue, was making a donation to the West Bend Early Risers Kids Free Fishing Clinic.


The weather was cold and the wind was brisk on Saturday morning but the sun came out and 255 kids took advantage of the clinic at Kiwanis Early Risers Pond at Regner Park.


Kids were able to fish from shore or the new pier. Helpful organizers from the Kiwanis and volunteers helped the kids bait their hook with corn or a squirmy work and they picked up some fishing tips and learned how to tie flies.


Owen Schmidt caught a nice perch while a mom showed her two daughters how to catch a tree.

The volunteers at the event were very helpful.

The event was cosponsored by Southeast Wisconsin Trout Unlimited and the WI Dept. of Natural Resources in cooperation with the City of West Bend Park, Recreation & Forestry Department. Contributing sponsors also included Klotz’s Piggly Wiggly, Washington County Walleyes for Tomorrow, Small Town Bait & Tackle, Bitzer Creek/Time Investment, McDonalds, DAIWA and WI Pharmacal Co.


After volunteering for much of the day, Hank took his cane pole and walked back home to Barton.

Photo of Owen Schmidt is courtesy the West Bend Early Risers.


Build. Boost & Buy in Barton  – – Shop these local businesses

          Wisconsin House Woodworks 

           Undercar Service & Repair

          Albiero Plumbing

         Master Electric

           Mies Products
           Lake Lenwood Beach and Campground

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