Friday, May 06, 2011

Suzanne Bible Waters died March 25, 2011

Suzie Bible died on March 25, 2011 in Florida. The full (but brief) published obituary is in the CHS Obituary Archives.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

John Geiger died Saturday, March 12th

John Geiger died Saturday, March 12th, 2011. There will be a funeral service on Saturday, March 19th, 2011 at Ryan Funeral Home in Madison. The complete obituary is posted on the CHS Obituary Archives.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Update on Madison Central High School Class of 1965 Reunion


The class reunion committee met last week to discuss plans for the reunion , which is scheduled for October 23rd, 2010. The location has still not been determined. At this point, it will probably be either the Coliseum Bar or the Elks Club. Stay tuned. I'll post an update when a decision is made.

If you're interested in helping with reunion plans or mailings, please send me an e-mail and I'll put your name on the committee mailing list. If you've changed your name or address or e-mail address since the last reunion, please send me updated information.

Stop asking me when the East High School Class of 1965 is going to hold its 45th reunion!


Photo from either the 15th or 20th class reunion for the Madison High School Class of 1965 reunion held at the East Side Businessmen's Association Clubhouse. Left to right: [unknown], Cheryl Bradley Klein, [unknown], and Kristi Svanoe. Contact me with additions or corrections.

Over the years, there have been two questions people asked me which, for many years, I have had no answer: (1) When is the East High School Class of 1965 reunion? and (2)Where is Jeffrey Jackson these days? I still can't tell you where the former basketball player turned librarian is hanging his hat these days; but as of Sunday, I do have an answer to the first question.

The Madison East High School Class of 1965 will hold its 45th class reunion from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 24th at Kavanaugh's Esquire Club, 1025 N. Sherman Avenue.

This information comes from a newspaper organizers ran in the Wisconsin State Journal. I'm reproducing it here as a JPG so you can find the necessary information if you plan to attend, but spammers won't be able to harvest the e-mail address.



Any additional questions? Call Claudia, not me.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

"Do you want to be the wife of the President of the United States?" and other questions for future Central alumni

It was Easter Sunday, April 17, 1960: Less than two weeks earlier, John F. Kennedy had defeated Hubert Humphrey in the Wisconsin Primary.

Earlier in the year, four black students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University begin a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth's lunch counter; an earthquake destroyed Agadir, Morocco; the 1960 Winter Olympics opened in Squaw Valley; Elvis Presley returned home after serving two years active duty in Germany; "Ben Hur" won an Oscar for Best Picture; and the United States announced that 3,500 American soldiers would be sent to Vietnam.

It must have been a slow day in the Wisconsin State Journal newsroom, because the newspaper ran a front-page story with the headline "Average Pupil Doesn't Want to Live in the White House." Members of the Class of 1965 were not featured in this article: They were under the protection of Vida Smith, who probably wouldn't have given a hall pass to a reporter who wanted to ask some dunderhead questions; or they were still ensconced in junior high schools too far away from the newspaper's S. Carroll Street headquarters.

No, the unfortunate task of answering ridiculous questions about what they wanted to be when they grew up fell to fifth and sixth grade students at Lincoln School on E. Gorham Street – some of whom who "grow up" to become Madison Central High School alumni (members of the Classes of 1966 and 1967).

Perhaps if all the students had been queried about whether they wanted to one day be president, this small, unscientific survey might have seemed less objectionable a half-century later. But they weren't…

Despite the fact that Lincoln had a female principal (Lillian Simonson), despite the fact that Margaret Chase Smith had been a U.S. Senator since 1948, reporter William C. Robbins (who would later become the newspaper's managing editor) didn't ask the girls if they wanted to one day be President of the United States; he asked them if they wanted to be the president's wife. The results were as follows:

"Of 13 boys questioned, all said they have ambitions other than being president. Of 23 girls, all said they prefer other roles than be the president's wife."

While I don't know what all the students who are named in the article grew up to be, I do know that at least a couple of the girls went on to careers that were definitely not dependent on their status as a wife: In 1970, Peggy Williams (Class of 1966) became the first female clown at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College in Florida. And "Debby" Hastings (Class of 1967) spent 23 years as Bo Diddley's bass player as part of the Debbie Hastings Band.

For your edification and convenience (and to attract the attention of the search engines), I've transcribe the entire April 17, 1960 article and am appending it to this post. Read, enjoy, rage, laugh – and then leave a comment, especially if you can update us on the whereabouts of some of the other students mentioned in the article.

Average Pupil Doesn't Want to Live in the White House

By William C. Robbins
(State Journal Staff Writer)

In this presidential election year, the average Madison grade school pupil has little or no ambition of ever living in the White House.

The boys would rather be astronauts, sports stars, businessmen, marines, detectives, or doctors than be president of the United States.

The girls would rather be married to doctors, lawyers, jet pilots, businessmen, lion tamers, or businessmen than be the nation's first lady.

That was the definite answer given in a survey of fifth and sixth grade pupils at Lincoln School, 702 E. Gorham st. Evelyn Simonson, 303 Princeton ave., is school principal.

Of 13 boys questioned, all said they have ambitions other than being president. Of 23 girls, all said they prefer other roles than be the president's wife.

They had their reasons, too. They said there is too much responsibility and public attention involved.

"I would not like to be president because every five minutes you have problems and large arithmetic problems, too," Karel Vlasek, 301 N. Livingston st., said. Karel said he would like to be an astronaut and help explore outer space.

"It involves too many decisions, worries, and responsibilities. He would not be able to spend enough time with me and the kids," Peggy Williams, 503 E. Gorham st., said. She would prefer her future husband be a doctor, she said.

What do they want to be someday? Here are the answers the boys gave when asked to name their No. 1 job ambition: doctor 2, lawyer 2, businessman 2, astronaut 2, marine 1, veterinarian 1, reporter 1, television cowboy 1, and comedian 1.

Here are the answers the girls gave when asked what job they wanted for their future husbands: doctor 7, lawyer 3, businessman 3, scientist 2, athlete 1, jet pilot 1, lion tamer 1, zoo keeper 1, FBI agent 1, interpreter 1, horse trainer 1, and teacher 1.

When the 13 boys were asked directly if they wanted to be president some day, only one said "yes." He was Dick Sweet, 18 Sherman terrace, and his first choice was astronaut.

"I would like to take trips. I would also like to live in the White House," Dick explained.

When the 23 girls were asked directly if they wanted their husbands to be president, only four said "yes."

"I would be able to travel with him and help him make decisions and help the United State," Sandra Gasen, 2426 A Truax Field said.

Debby [sic] Hastings, 10 Sherman terrace said, "I would like him to be president so I could see him on TV and we could go on trips together. And live in the White House."

The pupils also had a chance to state preferences between being president and holding a number of other jobs. The boys said overwhelmingly they would rather play for the Milwaukee Braves than be chief executive. The vote was 10 to 1. They would also rather be a lawyer (8 to 1), detective (10 to 0), clergyman (7 to 4), and businessman (10 to 1).

The girls agreed. They said they would rather be married to a baseball player (20 to 3), lawyer (19 to 2), detective (17 to 6), or a businessman (19 to 4). The only reversal was president over clergyman (13 to 9).

The reasons the students are not interested in the presidency reveal their understanding of the responsibility of the position.

Mickey Toseff, 243 A Truax Field, television performer: "It is too hard. You have to talk all day. I don't like it. It is not exciting."

Work all the time

Steve Reynolds, 130 N. Blair st., lawyer: "I would not like to make speeches and go to meetings and take trips. I would rather stay close to my family."

Danny Walker, 124 N. Hancock st., doctor: "There are too many important decisions to make."

Steve Bruns, 5 Sherman terrace, doctor: "You have to work all the time and worry too much."

David Williams, 503 E. Gorham st., businessman: "It is a big job that I think is a bit too big a job."

Jacqueline Harrington, 414 Washburn, pl., lawyer or doctor: "I would not like him to be president because we would be too high and mighty and I wouldn't like that life."

Too Much Strain


Trudy Halla, 822 E. Gorham st., scientist: "Because I wouldn't want my children to grow up in politics. I'd like them to grow up in the country."

Patti Anne Notes, 741 E. Gorham st., teacher: "I'd have to live in the White House and go where the president goes—too much attention."

Mary Jo MacMillian, 126 S. Hancock st., anthropologist: "I would not like him to be president because of the dangers of assassinators and enemies he would make. He would have too much responsibility and there would, be too much physical and mental
strain on him."

Susan Brockett, 1026 Sherman ave., lawyer: "He would have no time for me. He might go away often. He might get to be a swell head."

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Central Arch and "The Ash Street Project"

While persistent, unsubstantiated rumors flutter around about the possibility that MATC may make another attempt to tear down the historic Central Arch, West High School alumni are about to embark on a fundraising campaign to "have a grand new entrance" on Ash Street. According to a story in this morning's Wisconsin State Journal:

"Later this month, about 20,000 West High graduates will find in their mailboxes a donation plea for "The Ash Street Project," a $400,000, front yard reconfiguration of a building that many consider a Near West Side landmark. Designed by Madison landscape architect Ken Saiki, a West High alum, the new entry will have a symmetrical, formal staircase, decorative walkway and performance area.

Referendum funds and grants will cover $250,000 to replace the school’s crumbling steps and make the new entry comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. But it’s up to West to raise another $150,000 to fund Saiki’s design, a vision approved by a community committee, said Principal Ed Holmes.

Technically the district money is enough to take down what we have and put it back the way it is," Holmes said. "It’s time for a renovation, kind of a starting over. The Ash Street entrance is really the symbol and the image of West High School that people have had over the generations."

Friday, January 09, 2009

Keeping abreast of new posts and updates

The blog list in the sidebar automatically updates when I post something new in one of the other Madison Central High School blogs. Recent updates include an announcement about the date for the 2009 All-Central Reunion in Alumni and Reunion News; an obituary for Fess Hotel owner, Perry Fess (Class of 1906), accompanied by a newspaper article featuring artwork from two other Central alumni, photographer George Stein and illustrator John Schmelzer, in the archive for obituaries published prior to 1990; an obituary for Thomas Lloyd Jones, a Madison [Central] High School school principal who was also the cousin of another MCHS alumnus, architect Frank Lloyd Wright, in the obituary archives for teachers, administrators, and staff; and a 1970 poster by the ubiquitous John Schmelzer in the Central history blog.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A bit of Christmas nostalgia: A visit to see Santa Claus at Manchester's on the Capitol Square

Photograph by Arthur M. Vinge, probably taken during the late 1940s; Wisconsin Historical Image ID:WHi-34497

Did you go to see Santa at Manchester's? Leave a comment and share a Christmas season memory.

From the archives: "Things my father shared with me: a bit of Christmas magic on Madison's East Side"

A few days ago, I received an e-mail from Doug Strand, asking if the house on Upham Street was decorated for Christmas this year. Between a busy schedule and way too much snowfall in the past several weeks (more than 35" in December and there's still a week left in the month), I haven't had time to drive over to the East Side and have a look (and take a new photo). In the meantime, here's a reprint of my post from Christmas 2006 about the House on Upham Street (pictured above).

Most Christmas magic can't be captured on film or a computer chip, but sometimes an image can help to evoke a memory, or send someone else on a quest to experience the magic in person.

The above photo is of a house on the 2500 block of Upham Street on Madison's East Side. My father introduced me to this glowing work of art, so I know it's been a part of my Christmas celebration for more than a decade. The first time I saw this house, my father was my guide, the man behind the wheel who wanted to share his discovery. When he could no longer drive, I drove and we continued to enjoy this extravaganza together every year. After he died, driving past the house on Upham Street became an annual ritual, a way to remember my father, a way to be with him in spirit during the Christmas season.

Some years I've been able to introduce friends to the house on Upham Street, sharing a bit of one of my Christmas traditions with them. But even when everyone else was too busy to go for a ride, I've made a trip across town to make certain the Christmas lights were still aglow.

And as often as possible, I try to park a block or so away from the house on Upham Street, and take a walk to see what can't be shown in a single photo. What really makes the decorations on this house special is that the lights cover and illuminate the entire house: front, back, sides, and backyard. I've peeked around corners and craned my neck to catch a glimpse of as many lights as possible, but ever the obedient daughter, I follow my father's instructions and stay on the sidewalk: I don't go too close, I don't trespass, I don't ring the doorbell. I don't want to break the spell. I want the magic to endure year after year after year.

Note: You may also find fellow alumnus Madison Guy's blog post, "Helping the University Avenue Holiday Lights become a permanent institution," worth a visit. And while you're there, check out his extraordinarily beautiful photograph looking down State Street from the steps of the State Capitol.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

All six Madison Central High School blog templates have been updated; plus how you can contribute to this ongoing project


This blog was only intended to involve a short-term commitment of time – from the summer of 2005 until the Class of 1965's 40th reunion in October 2005. Instead, it's become a long term project and has acquired five siblings: one for the history of Madison Central High School, one for obituaries of alumni who died after 1990, one for obituaries of alumni who died prior to 1990, one for faculty and administrator obituaries, and one for alumni news and reunion announcements.

Unless you've used some of the links post texts or in the sidebar, you may not have even been aware that there were other Central blogs – especially since most Class of 1965 obituaries are posted on this blog, as are many teacher obituaries.

In the past several weeks, I've upgraded and customized the templates for all six CHS blogs in order to make them easier to navigate, as well as encourage people to take a look at their contents. In the sidebar to the right of this post, you'll find a list of the other blogs that includes a brief excerpt from the latest post. I hope you'll be curious enough to visit some of them. Among recent posts on some of the other blogs are the following: an obituary for an obituary for James Dalbec, Class of 1966; an obituary for Dr. Frederic E. Mohs, Class of 1927, renowned for his work in cancer surgery (post-dated to reflect the original publication date); an obituary for Alfred Patek, Class of 1876, a newspaperman who staked his reputation on a hunch about the Titanic disaster – and won.

On the history blog there two recent posts listing the names (and occasional biographic information) of the members of the Class of 1907, a class that included Gladys Owen, who married legendary University of Wisconsin economics professor "Wild Bill" Kiekhofer; Alfred Buser, captain of the undefeated 1912 UW football team,; and former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Timothy Brown. The alumni and reunion blog features information about the upcoming Class of 1964 reunion.

Other new features include links on the history blog to complete editions of the 1935 and 1937 Orange & Black yearbooks (the name for the Tychoberahn during the 1930s), as well as to the complete archives for The Madison Mirror. Several of the blogs also feature highlights from (and links to) the CHS Alumni Flickr account.

Contributions welcome (and encouraged)

And speaking of that Flickr account, if you enjoy reading these blogs and checking out the photographs, perhaps you'll consider making a donation to the cause. The Alumni Flickr account is at capacity (200 images) right now. A donation of $25 would allow me to upgrade that account to "Pro" status for a year; this allows unlimited images to be uploaded and visible. Donations also help support expenses such as the server space I'm beginning to use to upload and make available PDF files, and the cost of making copies of obituaries, graduation lists, and other CHS-related stories on microfilm.

In addition to cash donations, I'm always eager to accept donations of Madison Central High School yearbooks from 1900-1969. Most are called Tychoberahn, but during the 1930s and 1940s, the yearbooks were also called Orange & Black and The Mirror. I'm also interested in paper ephemera (graduation programs, photographs, reunion lists). Eventually, all of this material will be archived in a local library.

If you have copies of alumni obituaries that do not yet appear in the more than 600 I've posted thus far, I'd appreciate copies. I'm also interested in any tips about alumni in the news. And if you want to be a guest blogger, I'm certainly interested in that, too.

If you're willing to contribute in any way – cash, yearbooks, paper ephemera, photographs, blog posts, send me an e-mail. If you want to talk, include a telephone number and I'll get back to you in a timely manner.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Another slice of the Greenbush Neighborhood will soon be replaced by yet another apartment complex

The Capital Times reports that another Greenbush landmark is [finally] headed for destruction. Destroyed by a fire in 2004, the building that once housed Josie's Spaghetti House, co-owned by Joanne Schuepbach Jensen (Class of 1956), will be demolished and replace by a six-story apartment complex.

According to an article by Lisa Schuetz, published in the Wisconsin State Journal on July 20, 2004 (a few days after the fire):
Josie's [was] a longstanding neighborhood fixture and the last restaurant of any kind on the corner of Park and Regent streets, an area nicknamed Spaghetti Corners by Truax Field servicemen in the 1940s.

The building originally held Jimmie's (Puccio) Spaghetti House. It's neighbors were DiSalvo's Spaghetti House, Bunky's (Capadona), The Roman Inn (Ciulla), and Tiny's (Quartuccio) Lunch, according to Catherine Tripalin Murray's foreword in "A Taste of Memories from the Old Bush" cookbook.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association inducts Joe Franklin (Class of 1964) into its Hall of Fame

Joe Franklin was inducted in the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame Saturday evening. I attended the ceremonies, talked with Joe and his brother Jerry, and took some photographs. You can read more about the event and see all the photographs if you read my post on the Madison Central High School history blog.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Bonnie (Schaub) Hocking, long a familiar face at Ella's Deli on State Street, has died

Photo of Bonnie (Schaub) Hocking taken at the All-Central reunion on February 12, 2006

When I saw Bonnie Hocking at the 2006 All-Central reunion in 2006, I was surprised. Until then, I hadn't realized that she was a Central alumna (Class of 1956). She was, however, a familiar face: I'd seen her many times over the years when I dined at Ella's Deli on State Street.

Ellas Hirschfeld opened Ella's Kosher Deli and Ice Cream Parlor at 425 State Street in July 1963. Bonnie told me she was there from beginning to end. For many years, she worked as a waitress. In the early 1990s, she and her husband Gordy bought the business from Nate Balkin, who had purchased the deli from Ella in 1967 when she left Madison.

In 1999, Bonnie and Gordy sold the business. Today, the site is home to Hawk's Bar & Grill.

If you want to read more about Bonnie, I've posted her obituary in the Madison Central High School obituary archives.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Obituaries archives updates

Just a reminder: I regularly update the obituary archives for Madison Central High School alumni. Yesterday, I added one for Ralph W. "Pat" Loy, a member of the Class of 1926, who had celebrated his 100th birthday in February of this year.

Last Monday, I added one for Lee M. Wagner. I'm not certain what class he was in, but I believe he was a year ahead of us. I do recall that he was blond and handsome (and that I wasn't the only girl in the seventh grade that thought so...).

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Identifying the players on the 1946-47 Madison Central High School Basketball Team

This afternoon, I added a post to the Madison Central High School History blog, asking for help in identifying the players in a photograph of the 1946-47 basketball team. Even if that was long before or after your time at Central, take a look at the photograph (taken in the gym). If you can identify any members of the team, leave a comment or send me an e-mail.