Because a Hotel Has Known You for Decades

Posted by on Nov 19, 2017

Mike says that ten years ago, the Pfister saved his mother-in-law’s life. His wife’s parents were celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary and were just about to leave the hotel to meet their family for a party when his mother-in-law suffered a heart attack in her room. Pfister staff called an ambulance and kept her calm during the whole ordeal, until the handsome firemen showed up and amiably took over the duty of distraction. Thankfully, she was alright, and Mike remembers both the gentle helpfulness of the Pfister staff that day and also how they extended his in-laws’ stay, on the house. For Mike’s in-laws, the Pfister had been the natural choice for such a momentous anniversary celebration because

their daughter and son-in-law had stayed there to commemorate many of their own wedding anniversaries. Whenever they did, the next morning Mike and his wife Sue would invite their parents and nieces and nephews to come join them for a swim in the Pfister’s pool because of the glorious view of Milwaukee from the 23rd floor. All of their family loved to come to the Pfister, not only to splash in the pool but also to remember how

36 years ago, Mike did the Duck Walk to a raucous live band at his own wedding reception in the Rouge. He and Sue had chosen to get married at the Pfister because

on a date night in the Rouge ballroom, Mike had slipped an employee, who’d been vacuuming with gusto, five bucks to leave the ballroom so that he could propose to his girlfriend Sue. It made perfect sense for him to ask her to be his wife at the Pfister since

as a young girl, Sue’s father would rent rooms for his family at the Pfister every year so they could all watch the Christmas parade downtown and

Mike also grew up coming to the Cafe at the Pfister with his family. The feelings of familiarity and tradition from these childhood visits made Mike decide

to bring his own children to take pictures with the lions in the lobby every Easter and later

to take his aging in-laws back to the Pfister Café to visit with staff like Betty and Annie who’d known them for decades, and again

when his photography career had taken off and he was often asked to photograph events in the Rouge ballroom, he’d be reminded

of that evening so long ago when he’d spun his new bride under the chandeliers during their first dance,

and he remembers all of this again this afternoon

as he has his portrait taken in the studio in the lobby

of the hotel that’s quietly witnessed so many
of the shining moments
of his life.

Ambrotype by Margaret Muza


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