Local celebs take on Valentine’s Day
Some people love it, others dread it, but one thing’s for sure: No one can deny it. The town is painted red, and the chocolates are stuffed on store shelves. Valentine’s Day is almost here!
Recently, ThirdCoast Digest contributor Hope Stolarski caught up with four Milwaukee notables to see what they thought of February 14, and how their positions in the community influences others on this holiday. It’s a look at love from many different viewpoints.
A popular way to express love is through music. One of my favorite musicians in town is Zach Wade, known for his acoustic storytelling. Wade had mostly good things to say about the holiday — for good reason.
ThirdCoast Digest: Do you love or hate Valentine’s Day?
Zach Wade: I never started celebrating Valentine’s Day until last year, and that’s when I got together with my current girlfriend.
TCD: As a musician, you write songs about everything, including love, right?
ZW: When I write a song, it’s to tell a story. If I can put something into music, and it portrays a part of somebody’s life and they connect with it, it makes me feel … it’s just amazing.
TCD: As a guy, what do you think women want most on Valentine’s Day?
ZW: Flowers, flowers.
TCD: Anything else you want to say?
ZW: Grab the one that you love, and dance to the song that you like. Have a good time. If love is in the air, the tune will carry it.
The next notable we spoke to had a slightly different view of Valentine’s Day. Chanel le Meaux is the lead singer with the Brew City Bombshells Burlesque group.
TCD: Do you love or hate Valentine’s Day?
Chanel le Meaux: I think it’s a little bit of both. As I’ve heard from a lot of people, I think it depends on if you’re with someone or not! (she laughs)
TCD: So, are you guys going to play on the whole idea of love and hate, and have fun with it? (Editor’s Note: The Bombshells have a Valentine’s Day show on Feb. 20.)
CLM: Yes, exactly. One of the songs I’m doing is “I Just Want to Make Love To You” by Etta James. So, I think we’re not taking it for the sentimental kind of holiday that it is; we’re taking it, and really “burlesque-ing” it up, and making it like really sexy and kind of raw.
TCD: Real love is not always pretty.
CLM: Yeah, exactly. We’re gonna take you through the tour of emotions!
TCD: What does love mean to you?
CLM: For me, I would say that love is about being supportive to someone, about making someone the most important person in your life.
Our next person brings us the local news every night. Although much of it can be depressing (like Valentine’s Day for some people), she likes to focus on the inspirational stories. TMJ-4 anchor Carole Meekins has some advice for all of the struggling single ladies out there.
TCD: What does Valentine’s Day mean to you?
Carole Meekins: When I think of Valentine’s Day the only thing I think of is sweethearts, and you know, celebrating your relationship if you have one.
TCD: As a television news anchor, any message you have for others?
CM: If there’s anything I’d like to say to any young people, particularly women, it is please don’t think of a relationship as the cake. It is not the cake; it is the icing. You are the cake — you have to make yourself happy.
TCD: You married later in life. What can you say about that?
CM: I just realized at a certain point, a man does not complete me. He can add and enhance your life, but he does not complete you. I was blessed because I not only found a man who has enhanced my life — we have fun, we get along and we’re good friends.
TCD: With so much depressing news, and the economy, do you think people are going to celebrate Valentine’s Day differently this year?
CM: Happiness does not come with wealth. The wealthiest spirits, the wealthiest hearts, from people I’ve interviewed, and I’ve interviewed thousands, come from just simple people who accept what they have.
Our last local celebrity probably isn’t the first person you think of when you hear the word “romance.” It’s 10th District Alderman Mike Murphy, who shows he has a soft, comical side under the tough political exterior.
TCD: What do you think of Valentine’s Day? Do you love it or hate it?
Michael Murphy: My wife loves it, so I love it.
TCD: Good answer! Is it only the wife or does the holiday extend to other family members and friends?
MM: It extends to your mom, and then to your wife, or your significant other… In this case, it will also extend to my four-year-old, who will get a big kick out of it.
TCD: As an alderman, what do you do to spread the idea of love?
MM: I give roses to every registered voter in my district.
TCD: I wish I lived in your district!
MM: I do not do that … But I think you demonstrate it by your actions. Our job is about service, and it’s public service, so I try everyday to keep that in my mind that I serve the public. It’s a great privilege, and as I represent them at that capacity, I treat people with respect and dignity.