Menomonee Falls residents welcome John McGivern with open arms

Jim Schneider has a bit of fun with MPTV Videophographer Justin Migliano and John McGivern while filming a portion of "Around the Corner with John McGivern" on Menomonee Falls at Schneider's home on June 3.

Jim Schneider has a bit of fun with MPTV Videophographer Justin Migliano and John McGivern while filming a portion of "Around the Corner with John McGivern" on Menomonee Falls at Schneider's home on June 3. Photo By C.T. Kruger

June 6, 2014

Menomonee Falls — A special visitor to Menomonee Falls had the village buzzing last week. As the crew of "Around the Corner with John McGivern" made the rounds through the village, people stopped to take notice.

"I'm such a big fan," said Menomonee Falls resident Melanie Glander, who literally pulled over at the sight of McGivern and company. At the time, the group was filming a portion of the show featuring a conversation between McGivern and Village President Randy Newman at the clock near the intersection of Appleton Avenue and Main Street. "I hit the brakes the second I saw him," Glander gushed. "I can't believe he's really here!"

Over brunch at Ally's Bistro, two different groups of ladies raved about his work on the show.

"He's such a stitch," said Menomonee Falls resident Chris Schultz, who is also the secretary for the Menomonee Falls Historical Society. "We have so much to see and share here in the village ... I'm so happy he's here." His ability to bring his experiences to life is why Fran Marlenga, who was visiting Menomonee Falls from out of town, tunes in to the show every week.

"He is so relatable and down to Earth, and tells stories in a way that makes it so real," said Marlenga. "You almost feel like you're right there experiencing it yourself."

Producer Lois Maurer said the buzz is par for the course, as McGivern frequently attracts a lot of attention when filming the show, which highlights the people and places of local communities on Milwaukee Public Television.

"It happens all the time where we'll have fans coming up to ask for autographs or pictures," said Mauerer. "And the best part is John will put anyone at ease in 10 seconds flat. That's his gift."

It was a gift he demonstrated with not only the fans, but with those he interviewed for the show during his visit to the village June 3 through June 6.

"I could spend a whole day showing him around," said Newman, following his on-camera interview with McGivern, who gave Newman 30 seconds to sum up why Menomonee Falls is a great place to live, work and play. "It's definitely a situation where we know what we love about the village, but it's neat to have the chance to share that with others outside Menomonee Falls."

Discovering and indentifying what makes communities unique is one of the reasons McGivern says he loves what he does.

"I'm always surprised at what new things we find wherever we go," said McGivern, moments after he almost lost his eyebrows to a hot flame in the kitchen of Harvey Moy's Chinese & American Restaurant. There he caught up with owner Harvey Moy, as well as his two sons, Julian and Elliot Moy, who were all pleased to welcome him to the restaurant.

"It's very exciting," Harvey said between takes. "I was very nervous at first, but now that he's here and I've talked with him a little, I'm just excited."

Davian's Banquet and Conference Center and Old Falls Village were among the other stops the "Around the Corner" crew made for the show, which will air on Milwaukee Public Television in mid-January.

"I can't wait to see it," said Glander of the Menomonee Falls episode of the show, "and to think I was here for part of the filming? I think this made my year!"

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