At 07:17 PM 3/7/2004, you wrote:
I approach the issue of the
proposed Harley-Davidson Museum from
several different, but complementary perspectives. The first is
that of a native Milwaukeean who takes great pride in the city
where I reside. The second is based in my experience as a
teacher. The third is that of a salesman and the fourth is based
in my theological studies. All of these perspectives share one
notion when it comes to major projects or developments : Think it
This means asking the following questions:
1) What are you telling people about yourself as they see the
finished product? Are they perceiving thoughtfulness, broad
vision, an appreciation and respect for the setting and the
people where the project is located? These would be the hallmarks
of an artisan, a craftsman for the ages.
2) How will this affect the image my company/product currently
has with the buying public? For Harley-Davidson, the image of
quality oriented, Midwest values holding,
symbol-of-the-American-Heartland company/product is at the core
of its success. A mediocre, half-baked, ill-conceived effort with
its museum would contradict and damage its image: locally and
with the many devoted Harley owners who make pilgrimage to
3) How will my decisions and actions now affect others in the
future? (Long and short term) The wisest businessmen, the
successful companies, realize that carelessness and
thoughtlessness will come back to haunt them. People remember and
nature has no mercy. Sooner or later, the price of short-sighted
selfishness will have to be paid. Conversely, the benefits of
consideration and conscientious effort will be reaped.

I close by emphasizing that I admire Harley-Davidson. I am proud
to tell people world-wide that I live where Harley has its roots.
It is a great delight for me to provide directions to the plants
to interested visitors. What I am asking the company to do with
the above questions is to exert the same efforts in concept and
design to the museum and its location that they have in the
construction and maketing of their famous motorcycles. Phrased
with a different emphasis, I ask that Milwaukee in general, and
Menomonee Valley in particular, be given the same admiration and
respect which the company has received from the people. It will
be to their lasting benefit.
John Thielmann
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Last edited by g.   Page last modified on December 07, 2004

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