R.I.P. Frank “Pepperoni Cannoli” Pecoraro
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Milwaukee lost an indelible character last Thursday, as multiple sources reported that Frank “Pepperoni Cannoli Guy” Pecoraro had died at age 76. Pecoraro was a familiar face on Milwaukee’s East Side, hawking pepperoni and cannoli to late-night bar dwellers eager for a quick snack. Sometimes friendly and warm, sometimes gruff and cantankerous, Pecoraro—forever toting around his cannoli-filled cooler—was a Milwaukee institution. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, Feb. 21 at St. Rita’s Church (1601 N. Cass St.) at 4 p.m.
Along with self-professed “dirty old man” Bob Watt, Pecoraro is the second iconic Milwaukeean to pass away this year. With these losses in a field that once included the likes of nude sunbather Dick Bacon, the city is beginning to seem a little less colorful. So who remains among our lovable local eccentrics? Only a few names jump immediately to my mind:
We know this list is missing plenty of folks, though we’re not interested in compiling a definitive list. (We trust you’ll fill in some blanks for us.) We simply want to shine a light on the remaining local characters roaming our streets, and voice hope that a new and younger group is out there, waiting to join their ranks. A Milwaukee without a handful of junk-collecting beachcombers, loudmouthed eccentrics, and late-night pastry salesmen doesn’t seem like Milwaukee at all.