'Around the Corner' visits Brown Deer

MPTV Sound Technician Gail Grzybowski sets a wireless microphone on John McGivern as Videographer Jeff Janca make the first of many shots on July 10 at the River Lane Inn.

MPTV Sound Technician Gail Grzybowski sets a wireless microphone on John McGivern as Videographer Jeff Janca make the first of many shots on July 10 at the River Lane Inn. Photo By C.T. Kruger

July 15, 2014

Brown Deer — Brown Deer had a special visitor last week: John McGivern, the host of "Around the Corner" television series that highlights communities across Wisconsin.

Over the course of four days, he visited the Brown Deer Pond, stood on top of the roof of Badger Meter and, at Tapco sign company, received a special street sign that mimics the Around the Corner's street sign logo. McGivern also toured popular restaurants like River Lane Inn, Larry's Market and Poco Loco Cantina.

Before coming here to tape his show, McGivern said he hadn't spent much time in Brown Deer. He said he enjoyed breaking away from the main drag at Brown Deer Road and Green Bay Road and discovering hidden gems like the shops in the "original village" area on Deerwood Road.

With only four days in the community, how does McGivern know where to go and how does he decide? He said one of his staff members contacts community organizations for ideas — although the decisions are ultimately made by the show's producers.

"We focus on working, living and playing," McGivern said. "We go to businesses, we go to people's porches and we go to restaurants."

Among the people he interviewed were business owners, chefs, community leaders and former North Shore NOW reporter Mary Buckley. McGivern was especially excited to interview Mike Novak, Brown Deer High School's athletic director, and his son, Utah Jazz forward Steve Novak.

In his interviews, McGivern said he is curious to hear how Brown Deer plays a role in the daily lives of its residents.

"We try to keep it community centric," he said. "We touch on their job and how they ended up doing it, but also why they picked to do it here. I ask them what it's like to have a business here, or what it's like to sit on your front porch in this block in this neighborhood in this community."

One of the community leaders he interviewed was Village President Carl Krueger, who said the arrival of camera crews caused a buzz in the community.

"I think it's a great thing for the village of Brown Deer," Krueger said. "It's a great way to spotlight Brown Deer as a great place to live."

Lois Maurer, the producer of Around the Corner, said she was impressed by the number of Brown Deer advocates in the village.

"There are a lot of good proponents here," she said. "They're not afraid to tell you about Brown Deer."

After Brown Deer, McGivern said he was headed further away from the Milwaukee area to Spring Green, then Bayfield and Rhinelander.

So, after visiting more than 40 Wisconsin communities, we had to ask him: Which community is your favorite?

"The one I'm in today," McGivern answered with a smile. "Next week, I'll have a different answer. I really do feel that way, though."

The Brown Deer episode of Around the Corner will air on Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. Village officials plan to invite community members to a public screening party shortly in advance of the television broadcast.

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