Wednesday, July 25, 2007

From Today's Milwaukee Journal- Sentinel

Now his face can be shown.

Dennis Getto

Posted: July 24, 2007

Dennis Getto - restaurant critic for nearly 25 years at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and The Milwaukee Journal - died Tuesday of pulmonary fibrosis. He was 57.

Like the newspaper's own Clark Kent, Getto went to great lengths to keep his identity secret, wanting to have the same experience that any other diner would have. He often disguised his appearance, growing assorted beards, wearing awful wigs and even a cowboy hat.

He always made reservations under assumed names and paid in cash. Friends dining with Getto soon realized that he kept a small tape recorder in his shirt pocket, the better to discreetly dictate notes.

And Getto's face never appeared on the newspaper page. But he did pose with a grocery bag over his head in promotional ads. Yet another classic showed only Getto's green eyes peering through two Krispy Kreme doughnuts when the franchise hit the Milwaukee area.

In yet other chapters of his life, Getto taught journalism at the University of Wisconsin, swearing any students who worked in restaurants to secrecy. They couldn't tell their bosses when Getto was on the job.

"Students loved him and flocked to his courses," said David Pritchard, a journalism and mass communication professor. "I can't tell you how much we're going to miss him. He was very warm and witty and very good at telling politically incorrect jokes."

In addition to his wife, survivors include son Paul and brother Carl.

Services are pending.

Dennis Getto, was the best writing teacher I ever had. If you have ever enjoyed anything I have written, a good deal of credit and thanks goes to this man.

Thanks Dennis.

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