“Wait one second, I thought this plane was flying to…Milwaukee!?”
That statement has probably been asked to fellow airline passengers on in-bound flights to Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport – or just processed as a thought coupled with a moment of shock on some personal level – I can’t even begin to fathom how many hundreds of thousands of times.
It’s all thanks to this awesome guy, Mark Gurbin, who just so happens to own an office right in the flight path airline pilots take as they make their landing descent for touch-down at MKE.
For 27 years it’s been up there on the flat roof of Mark Gubin’s building in the flight path of Mitchell International Airport. A sign painted in letters 6 feet tall tells people arriving here by air: “WELCOME TO CLEVELAND.”
“There’s not a real purpose for having this here except madness, which I tend to be pretty good at,” Gubin said Tuesday when I stopped at his place in Bay View to see the sign.
Gubin, a nearly retired photographer, has an art studio in this building that once housed a movie theater here on the corner of Delaware and Rusk avenues. And his living quarters are where the balcony used to be.
And above that is the roof, where he was having lunch one day in 1978 with a woman who worked as his assistant. Taking note of all the low-flying planes, she said it would be nice to make a sign welcoming everyone to Milwaukee. “You know what would even be better?” Gubin said.
In all seriousness, I think he probably thought of doing this the very day he bought the office. You can just tell he’s the trolling type. Don’t get me wrong, he’s fucking fantastic it at, though.
I mean, if I saw this enormous sign for the very first time, I would instantly have a moment of WTF induced panic, as I’m sure many passengers destined for MKE have for quite some time now.
Literally, the thought running through my mind would be something like, “Nooooo, this can’t be happening to me right now…Cleveland!? That’s the stuff my nightmares are made of.”
Great troll job, Mark. Stuff of (Midwest) legends, indeed.