Faracy Family Finds the Arts Everywhere!
Feb 03, 2014 03:20PM ● Published by Laura Ustanovska
Gallery: Faracy Photos [8 Images] Click any image to expand.
“Dad's last move brought us to the suburbs of Chicago,” explains Brian. “That's where my heart still lives. I love my Bears and, of course, for character development and pain tolerance, my Cubs. I also love my Blackhawks; can you say third Stanley Cup in five years? Go 'Hawks! Being born of Irish Catholic descent naturally means I am a Notre Dame fan as well; I think that was written on my birth certificate.”
Brian stayed in Chicago for his education, graduating from Loyola University Chicago with a major in English and a minor in theater. He spent a year in the workshop company at Chicago's famed The Second City. “I can actually say I was on stage with Bill Murray,” says Brian. “I bet he doesn't remember me!”
After spending the first part of his working life in radio advertising sales in Chicago, Brian took a position at WMIL-WOKY in Milwaukee. “I did a lot of on air commercial work because I called on mostly independent businesses that didn't have ad agencies, so I often wrote and recorded their commercials,” explains Brian. “I was always sneaking on the air to do bits with the air personalities. I couldn't help myself; I was a frustrated talk show host – I really wanted to be on air but wound up in sales.”
In 1993 Brian changed paths, leaving radio and going into the wealth management industry. He enjoys the sense of independence he finds in the field and likens it to owning one's own business. Although Brian started with Dean Witter, he now works out of Ameriprise Financial's Brookfield office.
“I enjoy my business,” relates Brian. “I find satisfaction in helping people figure out what they have and how to accomplish their financial goals.” He recently taught a wealth management class at Waukesha County Technical College for the Learning in Retirement organization. “It was a six-week course, and I relished every moment of it!” exclaims Brian, whose clients chose him as a Five-Star Wealth Manager for Milwaukee Magazine in 2011 and 2013. “Thank you!” says Brian.
As for the rest of the family, Susan, a dental hygienist, is a great mom and a fabulous cook. “One doesn't get to look like I do by accident,” quips Brian. Susan also enjoys quilting and even sewed costumes for a recent production – that's what happens when budgets are tight!
Kathleen attends Kettle Moraine High School's charter school, KM Perform, and is planning to major in music at college. She plays the piano and tenor saxophone. Katy has shown an interest in theater and has appeared in several KM productions. “I thought she and her castmates did an exceptional job in the summer musical Thoroughly Modern Millie,” says Brian. “It was a great show.”
Although Brian enjoys his career, a part of him still longs for the stage. “I founded the SummerStage in Lapham Peak State Park in 2006, primarily with the help of attorney Susan Marquet,” explains Brian. “I wanted to create a space for music and theater here in the Lake Country. My dream is to bring real actors, directors and musicians to our community. There is plenty of fine amateur theater around, but I want to support people who are making a go of their craft as a way to put bread on the table.” Over the summer, Brian was able to perform with an excellent cast and crew of professionally experienced theater folk in The 39 Steps at SummerStage, which he produced in cooperation with the SummerStage Board.
The Faracys even find time to appreciate the arts while on vacation. When recently visiting the Big Apple, the family saw James Earl Jones, John Larroquette and John Stamos in The Best Man. Katy wouldn't leave New York until the family also saw The Phantom of the Opera. Brian offers a few tips for fellow travelers: “You have to go to the Statue of Liberty; if looking up at her doesn't fill you with emotion, I don't know what will. She is magnificent. Ellis Island is a wonderful visit as well. It is important to understand what people went through to get to this country. I had to see Ground Zero, having spent time in the World Trade Center (back in 1993 when training with Dean Witter). A walk through Central Park is a treat; there are musicians and street performers, Strawberry Fields and lots of, well, New Yorkers!”
Brian's most moving trip, however, was two years ago. He traveled to Saipan in the Mariana Islands and stood on the beach his father came ashore on with the 24th Marines, 4th Marine Division in June of 1944 to drive out the Japanese. “The invasion beaches are pristine to this day and look the same minus the carnage of war,” reports Brian. “I was made welcome by the native Chamorro and Carolinian people of Saipan, who are friendly and good-hearted. There are still reminders of war positioned around the island. The most striking is a knocked out American Jeb Stuart light tank sitting where it was destroyed in 1944; it just so happens that it now sits on one of the tee boxes of the Lao Lao Bay Golf Resort.”
Brian's father was wounded on Saipan but survived only to be sent into the bloodbath of Iwo Jima. “How he and the rest of those men came home from that and led normal lives and raised families I will never know,” reflects Brian. “God bless him and all who answered the call.”
Returning to life in Delafield, Susan found the lot the Faracys built their home on in 1992. “It's beautiful here,” says Brian. “We were so impressed with the contribution Bob Lang made to downtown Delafield and how the city preserved the historic feel to the downtown area. Anyone who visits us is always so impressed.”
The Faracys especially enjoy their next-door-neighbors, the Heckenkamps. Brian and Jason Heckenkamp have imagined a reality TV show, Neighbors! The two have also worked together an various projects at both their homes – from landscaping to installing wood floors. Brian says, though, that he is moving into a more “supervisory role” in these projects; he also supplies refreshments. Life is good!
In December of 2011, while standing on the beach of Saipan, Brian captured his feelings and wrote the following in honor of his father, Stephen Joseph Faracy Jr. Back home, he placed them, along with some sand from the beach, in a shadowbox.
On Saipan’s Shore…
when the word was given…
Here, where I stand
on this cream-colored sand
bloody-turned in June of ’44.
Now, on this tranquil isle’s rose-colored eve,
alone on this sacred strand
in silent, longing tribute I stand,
gazing ‘cross time like the endless placid sea.
Then, as a distant voice of valor whispers in the wind…
Solace… at long, long last, comes to me.