COLUMBUS -- Everywhere else in Wisconsin, we are glad to see the snow finally melt. Here, we watch the quick reinvention of winter -- a machine that shaves ice into flakes and instantly whitens the street curbs.
Talk about split personalities. To you, it's south central Wisconsin. To them, it's Indiana.
Outside the pharmacy, a window mannequin flaunts finely tailored women's fashion. Above a tavern is a sign that says "funeral home." Inside the bank is an art gallery, but that's for real.
A St. Pat's reveler steadies a video camera instead of a mug of green beer. Lawn chairs meant for summer picnics hold people cocooned in layers within quilts and parkas.
Some wait all day for a glimpse of Hollywood as they've never seen it.
The filming of "Public Enemies," a movie starring Johnny Depp, has begun -- and we're not sure what to expect or make of it. Consider the phone calls that Kim Bates fields, through the Columbus Visitor Center:
Where's the viewing area? (There is none; "some people thought there would be bleachers.")
What's the filming schedule? (If one exists, it is not made public. Film sites change daily.)
When will autographs be given? (By chance/luck. There are no guarantees.)
Filming continues here for at least another day or two, then moves to Darlington, Oshkosh, Madison and Milwaukee -- not necessarily in that order.
"Ladies, if you're here to marry him, I'm sorry," jokes a security guard, puffing on a cigarette. "I can't help you.
"And the rumor that Johnny Depp is signing autographs at 7:30 p.m.? Not true."