Thursday, December 29, 2005

"Whiskey High" Website and DVDs

Jeff Mattox spent his senior year at Madison Central High School and graduated in 1965, but he says he left his heart at Wisconsin High School.

Founded in 1912 as the University of Wisconsin's experimental "laboratory school," Wisconsin High School closed its doors in 1964, merging with Madison Central High School, which was thereafter called Central-University High School.

In 2000, Chris Cain, a member of the Class of 1964, the last class to graduate from Wisconsin High School, found a cache of films in the Wisconsin Historical Society archives that should be of great interest to those who attended Wisconsin High in 1960, as well as their friends. For two months in 1960, some 7th, 8th, and 9th grade classes at Wisconsin High School were televised and recorded onto film. Among the faces on those films are Cain and Mattox, as well as some other names familiar to the Madison Central Class of 1965, including Doug Edmunds and Pat Mulhall, who's still listed among the "missing" classmates for the Class of 1965. Students weren't the only people to transfer from Wisconsin High to Central, so did some teachers. One of the films is of Mr. Everard teaching an art class about "Working in Clay."

Jeff and Chris have managed to view some of these films and convert them to DVD. You can read all about these films, as well as explore some of the history of Wisconsin High School at the Wisconsin High School website. I've also added a permanent link to the Wisconsin High School website to the list of links on the right side of this blog.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Mirror, Miror on the Wall, Who's the Least Changed of All?

My October 16, 2005 post asked those of you who didn't attend the 40th reunion to guess which one of three people had been voted "least changed" by those who did attend. There were not a lot of responses to this challenge, perhaps because, unless you hauled out your Tychoberahn, there was little basis for comparison between then and now. So here we go again... This time the photo from the 40th reunion is accompanied by the yearbook photos of the three finalists. Enter your guesses in the comments section. I'll post the answer after the New Year.

From left to right: Nancy, Tom, Janet

Another Gift Idea Featuring a Central Alumnus

Today is the official release date for the DVD edition of "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill," a widely praised documentary movie about "a Bohemian St. Francis and his remarkable relationship with a flock of wild red-and-green parrots," featuring a score by Madison Central High School alumnus Chris Michie (Class of 1966)

Chris Michie was the art editor of the 1965 Tychoberahn, but it was his outside activities that shaped his career path. He loved the sound of the guitar and learned to play it, practicing at home for hours. On February 27, 1965, his band, The Grapes of Wrath, made its debut at The Loft. Other band members were Greg Loeb (Class of 1966), Tracy Wolters, and Joe Wilson.

Chris eventually left Madison, moved to California, and became a sessions guitarist in 1972. He subsequently recorded or toured with Van Morrison, Link Wray, Stevie Wonder, Boz Scaggs, Jerry Garcia, The Pointer Sisters, Jesse Colin Young, and Maria Muldaur, and shared the stage with Neil Young, B.B. King, Albert King, Big Mama Thornton, Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Paul Butterfield, and Elvin Bishop.

The score for "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill" was Chris's last project. He died of melanoma on March 27, 2003. The movie is dedicated to him.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Rosettes, Lefse, and Trollin' for Feeney

Mount Horeb is one of the few places around Madison where you can buy fresh rosettes and lefse all year round, not just at Christmas. Mount Horeb is also proud to call itself the troll capital of the world.

Last Thursday, The Capital Times published an article with the headline "A Trollin' We Will Go," written by the aptly named Susan Troller. But despite the headline, this was shopping story, not a troll story, as we learn in the first sentence, which reads, "There's more to shopping in Mount Horeb than just mustard, trolls and antiques."

So if you're looking for more information about Mount Horeb's trolls, you'll have to search elsewhere. And if you're wondering what connection all this has to Madison Central High School, here's the scoop.

The man who carves the trolls is not a Norwegian, but a guy with a really Irish name: Mike Feeney (Class of 1963). That's him on the left (and yes, it does look a bit like brother John, who would have been a member of the Class of 1965 if he hadn't transferred to West his sophomore year). To read more about what Mike's been up to since high school graduation (and to see a more recent photo of him), click HERE to go to his website and read his artist bio.

Unless you can hop in your car and drive to Mount Horeb in the next few days, it's probably too late to give someone a Chicken Thief Troll (like the one pictured above). But you can order one for yourself, or to give to someone next Christmas, by clicking HERE. Or perhaps you'd rather have some of Mike Feeney's Maritime Mutant Minnows or a set of Troll Collection Notecards.

Why Are These Guys Laughing?

From left to right: Steve Holmgren, Michael Fullwood, Larry Lewis, and someone
who looks a bit like a young Tom Cruise. Can anyone provide his true identity?

Among the many features that made the 1963 Tychoberahn one of the best ever, was its extensive use of candid photographs. Most of them, however, had no captions. So more than 40 years later, we're left wondering just why these guys were laughing. Any guesses?

UPDATE 12/24/2005: Doug Strand and Janet Stevens have both emailed me and identified the guy on the right as Rich Kearns.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Some Very Central Christmas Gifts

Still looking for the perfect Christmas gift for your honey, your kids, your boss, or your great aunt Violet? Consider giving a gift featuring a Central alumnus. The following CDs, books, and DVDs are all available for under $25 and may be purchased online if you can't find them in your local retail outlet.

Whether you've followed her career for the past four decades, or haven't seen her since she graced the stage of the Central High School auditorium playing Cornelia Otis Skinner in "Our Hearts Were Young and Gay," you may want to listen to the latest CD from Tracy Nelson (Class of 1963). "Ebony and Irony" is Tracy's twentieth record and it's available through her website for a mere $15 -- and if you request, she'll personally autograph it for you.

Patrick McGilligan (president of the Class of 1969, the last class to graduate from Central), has more than a score of books in print. He's written biographies of film stars Jack Nicholson and Clint Eastwood, but his latest book "Alfred Hitchcok: A Life in Darkness and Light," is available at many retail book stores, as well as at where they're charging on $13.57 for the paperback edition.

Our very own Mickey Crocker (a.k.a. Mickey Gartland) will be appearing in Madison Repertory Theatre's production of "Our Town" from February 15 - March 12, 2006, but you can add one of her performances to your home DVD library if you buy a copy of "The Right Stuff," the 1983 film about the original U.S. Mercury 7 astronauts, based on Tom Wolfe's book. Mickey plays Marge Slayton, wife of Deke Slayton, the astronaut born in Sparta, Wisconsin.

And don't forget Gerri DiMaggio's recently released CD, featured in my September 24th post. Gerri is also mentioned in an article about women in jazz in Madison published yesterday in The Capital Times.

Links: They're Not Just About Golf and Sausages

Just a reminder about links for those of you who may not be familiar with all the ways links are used on a blog. You know that you can click on a link on the right hand side of the blog to be connected to an obituary or a website featuring one of your classmates, as well as other resources such as the local Madison newspapers and the Madison Public Library. But did you know that all those highlighted and underlined words and phrases in the text of each post are also links? Click on them and they'll take you to websites with additional information about a subject (or occasionally to another post within this blog). I often spend a lot of time on research to provide you with links. I hope you'll click on them and find them interesting or useful.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Nineteenth Century Principals

Our school principal, Earl Brown, who retired in 1963, always seemed old to me, especially when compared to many of the younger teachers at Madison Central High School. Now I know why. I've just finished posting Mr. Brown's obituary on this blog, and when you "do the math," as many of us do when we read obituaries, you'll see that he was born in the 19th century, as was Vida V. Smith, who was principal of Madison Central Junior High School when I entered in 1959.

Interestingly, both Mr. Brown and Miss Smith were graduates of Madison Central High School (still called Madison High School when they graduated). So was Miss Mackin, although since she was born in the 20th century (1901) she was bit younger than the two principals. Coach Harris was also an alumnus, but by the time he graduated, the school was called Madison Central High School.

The information about Mr. Brown's status as a Central alumnus comes from a "Your Madisonian" feature in the Wisconsin State Journal, published on March 3, 1959. Back then, being chosen to appear in the weekly "Your Madisonian" feature was very prestigious, its subjects the most important and influential people in Madison. When you read the article (reprinted below), you'll discover that it was probably used as the basis for much of the information in Mr. Brown's obituary.

Note: If the "Your Madisonian" article is difficult to read, try double clicking on the image to enlarge it in your browser.

Selmer Gilch Tells All: The Madison Mirror Gossip - November 1, 1963

I'd forgotten The Madison Mirror had a gossip columnist who lurked behind a pseudonym. The November 1, 1963 column shown below has several items that should be of interest to members of the Class of 1965. Accompanying it is a photo (obviously not from The Madison Mirror, since it's in color) which offers some visual evidence that Selmer Gilch was right about boys from Madison Central dating girls from Madison West.

Since the content of the column isn't searchable (because treats it as if it were a photograph), I'm going to list the members of the Class of 1965 mentioned in the gossip column, so anyone searching this blog (or, perhaps, the blogosphere in general) should get a link to this post. Here goes: Mike Davy, Jim Kinder, Steve Fix, Steve Arnett, Doug ("Skip") Edmunds, Nils Olsen, Larry Lewis, Mike Fullwood, JoAnn Benell, Russ Loniello, Curt Larson, Bill Buffo, and Ed Nelson.

Note: If the gossip column is difficult to read, try double clicking on it to enlarge the image in your browser.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Way We Were: Madison Central High School Tennis Team 1965

This photo was one of a series published in The Madison Mirror on April 9, 1965 under the headline "Spring Sports Teams Begin Action This Week."

Lots of Men Checking Out the Food at the 35th Reunion at the Argus

At the 40th reunion at CJ's, dinner was served family style. Is that why most of these guys didn't put in an appearance?

More "Nail's Tales" from Camp Randall

In my previous post about "Nail's Tales," the recently installed 48-foot sculpture outside Camp Randall, I noted that artist Donald Lipski had compared his controversial creation to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The Winter 2005 issue of On Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Alumni Association magazine, offers a some more commentary by Lipski, who calls "Nail's Tales" a contemporary take on the obelisks that stood outside ancient temples. But then he adds. "Hopefully people will make their own metaphors. Maybe they'll see a striving to get to the top."

Of course, not everyone agrees with Lipski. Is this $200,000 sculpture a fatuous football folly, a marvelous modern metaphor, or an excuse for awesomely annoying alliteration? Please opine.

Just one more thought: If the scupture is named after Lipski's old roommate, Eric "Nails" Nathan, isn't the apostrophe in "Nail's Tales" in the wrong place? Dodgeville's Lands' End admits its misplaced apostrophed is an error that was too expensive to correct. Is the misplaced apostrophe in "Nail's Tales" an erorr, too? Can it be blamed on some youngster who never learned to diagram sentences or use proper punctuation? Comments from grammar mavens and other pernickety people welcome. Persnickety, by the way, is an alternate spelling of pernickety, so let's not debate this issue. Class dismissed.

Monday, December 05, 2005

A Pioneer of the Modern Skyscraper

If you're planning to visit New York City before New Year's Eve, you may want to pay a visit to The New-York Historical Society, located at 170 Central Park West. Among its current exhibits is one that should be of special interest to alumni of Madison Central High School: "Thou wondrous dizzy pile!" Selections from the Cass Gilbert Collection.

Here's how the the society describes the exhibit, which runs through December 30, 2005:

Cass Gilbert is perhaps best remembered as the architect of the Woolworth Building, for years the tallest building in the world. Yet, his work also included such monumental public buildings as the U.S. Custom House in Lower Manhattan and many state capitols. He created ornate Classical buildings but was also a pioneer of the modern skyscraper. This small exhibition in the library showcases material from the Cass Gilbert Collection from the Society's library collection. It features early twentieth century photographs, drawings, letters, brochures, and ephemera from Gilbert's extensive collection of personal and professional papers.

So, to ask again the questions posed in my November 19 post, what's the connection between the architect of the Woolworth Building and a high school in Madison, Wisconsin that closed its doors in 1969? Very simple: Cass Gilbert was the architect who designed the building on Wisconsin Avenue that housed Madison Central High School -- a building demolished in 1986 to create space for an MATC parking lot.

Cass Gilbert also was the architect for the U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C. He's the Central connection I was looking for in my November 28 post (as well as the model for the figure on the other side of Order).

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Another Photo From the 35th Reunion at the Argus

From left to right: D. Fiscus, T. Oscar, and R. Guerin

The Saga of the Shorewood Students - Part One

Some of us spent six years at Madison Central High, but many members of the Class of 1965 didn't enter until they were ready for the ninth grade. In Fall 1961, students entered from Franklin, Madison Lutheran, St. Patrick's, St. Raphael's, and Badger School (send an email or leave a comment if I missed the school you attended before you were a freshman). Some also arrived from Shorewood.

The Shorewood students had to attend Madison Central High School for their freshman year, even though West was closer. The following year, they had a choice to transfer to West or stay at Central. If they stayed, they're probably on our mailing list (or we're working hard to locate them if they're missing). If they transferred back to West, they've often become subjects of gossip and speculation. We know what happened to Rip Van Roo, but what about the other Shorewood students who left Central?

Clarke Caywood, Susan Derse, Susan Flynn, Steve Holmgren, Marilyn Marling, Russ Nelson, Ethel Shideman, Virginia Steeper, Kathy Tallard, and Nancy Washburn -- where are they now? Stay tuned or help us update their whereabouts -- and if this list isn't complete, send an email or leave a comment indicating who I've omitted).

Friday, December 02, 2005

Happy Birthday Linda and Jim!

Some Centralites have super memories. They send me emails to remind me what happened nine months before they were born -- and no, this has nothing to do with what mom and dad were up to in the weeks before Christmas. The reminder has to do with who's older than most of the rest of us (including, of course, my informant). It's Jim Kinder, born on this day in 1946. Next year he'll be 60! Among the younger members of the Madison Central Class of 1965 is Linda London (that's her in the middle of the photograph taken when she starred in "Cheaper By the Dozen"), who just turned 58 yesterday.

The Way We Were: Madison Central High School 1965 Track Squad Members

This photo was one of a series published in The Madison Mirror on April 9, 1965 under the headline "Spring Sports Teams Begin Action This Week."

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Way We Were: Madison Central High School 1965 Golf Team Members

This photo was one of a series published in The Madison Mirror on April 9, 1965 under the headline "Spring Sports Teams Begin Action This Week." The golfers include one of our "missing" classmates. Please contact me if you have current information about the whereabouts of Curtis Larson.

Monday, November 28, 2005

The U.S. Supreme Court and Falling Marble: Egad! Another Central Connection

Newspapers, radio stations, and television stations throughout the world today carried a story (usually from either Reuters or the Associated Press) about the basketball-sized chunk of Vermont marble that fell from the facade (West Pediment) over the entrance to the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday. The Supreme Court building, completed in 1935, is currently the subject of a five-year renovation program.

It's been very interesting to read the various reports because each newspaper puts its own spin on the story. The Associated Press story reads very differently from newspaper to newspaper. Compare, for instance, London's The Guardian, USA Today (which offers a link to a video), and The Seattle Times (with an eBay comment that doesn't appear in the other versions).

The Dallas Morning News reported that, "The chunk of Vermont marble was part of the dentil molding that serves as a frame for nine sculptural figures completed in 1935. The piece that fell was over the figure of Authority, near the peak of the building's pediment, and to the right of the figure of Liberty, who has the scales of justice on her lap."

According to the Supreme Court's Information Sheet on the West Pediment, if you look at the close-up of the figures below, you'll see Liberty is in the middle. Authority is on her left. Order is on her right. The figure on the other side of Order is the reason for this post on falling marble. He's THE CENTRAL CONNECTION. Who is he? And what's his connection to Madison Central High School?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

A Blast from the Past - From The Madison Mirror - Thursday, October 8, 1964

We know where the girls are, but how about that guy all alone in the rear? We don't have a current address for Jack Wake. Please help us find this "missing person."

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Obscure Male Bonding Ritual at the 35th Reunion at the Argus?

Who are these men and why are they raising their arms? And who is the woman on the left side of the photo who's paying absolutely no attention to them? This is not a quiz. I don't know the answer to these questions -- but someone must. Leave a comment or send an email.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Woolworth and Central Connection

Located in lower Manhattan, a few blocks from where the World Trade Center once stood, the Woolworth Building was the the world's tallest building from 1913 to 1930. This 792 foot high skyscraper, constructed in the neo-Gothic style, remains one of the 50 tallest buildings in the United States.

There is a strong connection between this building and Madison Central High School. Do you know what it is?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Just the Cold Facts and a Mystery Woman

Saturday, I attended a memorial service for Joel Gersmann, the former artistic director of Madison's Broom Street Theater, who died in June. Lots of shared memories, lots of food -- and lots of hugs and handshakes. And we all know where that may lead us, especially this time of year, don't we? Yes, indeed: straight to bed a few days later. All alone because you really don't want to share the cold that's making you feel so miserable: the sniffles and sneezes, the cough, and the vexing fatigue.

But there actually are people who'd like you to share your cold -- or at least the gory details. So that's why I volunteered for a cold study being conducted by the UW-Madison. Somebody really wanted me to contribute a bit of that sniffle stuff to their Petri dish. Somebody wants to make me feel useful when I'm too tired to do much of anything. In turn, I have to fill out questionnaires twice a day and ingest large pills four times a day that may (or may not) speed my recovery. It's a blind test and I don't know whether or not I'm taking Echinacea.

All of which is a long way of saying I've been too exhausted for the past several days to do much blogging. I'll get better sooner or later (with or without Echinacea), so there will probably be some new posts by the weekend. In the meantime, I need some help with a photo caption. I know the photo below, taken at the 35th reunion, features Tom Sorenson on the left. But who's the woman? I queried She Who Knows All, but the response was less than complete. She Who Knows All says it's "somebody's wife," but not Tom's. Probably not a member of the Madison Central High School Class of 1965. Somebody out there must know the identity of this mystery woman. Leave a comment or send an email. Sorry, this is not a contest: it's just one of those projects in cooperation we sometimes have to confront.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Why Russ Loniello Wasn't at the 40th Reunion

Russ Loniello sent an email to the class on November 9, 2005. Here's what it said:

Dear Class 65,
Saw the web page today wish I could of made it.
Had a show in Detroit.
Nice photo’s and articles everyone looked great.
Hope to see everybody at the next reunion or at Nancy Ellis home for dinner.
Russ Loniello

I delayed printing it for a few days because I'd hoped that he would respond to my request to let us know the dates for some of his upcoming shows, but Russ must have been too busy to check his email. However, his website is now back up and running, so if you want to read more about what he's up to these days, click on the link in the right-hand column under "Links to Classmate Websites."

Monday, November 14, 2005

Statistics About Where We Live Now

If she'd been able to attend the 40th reunion, JoAnn Benell would have certainly been the winner of a door prize for "traveled the furthest," since she lives in Norway. Two other members of the Madison Central High School Class of 1965 also live outside the United States: Elizabeth Weissinger (Germany) and AFS student Jillian Hayman (Australia). Unfortunately, we don't have current addresses for either of these women, so they wouldn't even have known about the reunion (unless they discovered this blog on the Internet). Jack Wake was living in England recently, but the address we have for him is no longer correct, so it's not clear where he is these days.

Of the 211 people in our data base for the Class of 1965 for whom we have a current address, 156 -- almost 74% -- still live in Wisconsin. Here's a breakdown of where the remaining 55 live:

Arizona: 3
California: 11
Connecticut: 1
Colorado: 2
Florida: 3
Hawaii: 1
Illinois: 7
Louisiana: 2
Maine: 1
Maryland: 2
Michigan: 2
Minnesota: 2
Nebraska: 1
Nevada: 1
New York: 2
Ohio: 1
Oregon: 2
South Carolina: 1
Texas: 2
Virginia: 3
Washington: 4
Overseas (Norway): 1

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Another Photo From the 35th Reunion at the Argus

From left to right: Nancy Logan, Larry Shapiro, Terry (Burrows) Orvold

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Assistant Yearbook Editor Found in Florida

Ronna Paris has been a regular on the list of missing classmates, but she was never really lost. After she graduated from the UW in 1972, she decided to move to a place where she could "stay outside all year." She's been living in Florida for 33 years. After beginning a career in teaching, she earned a master's degree and went into educational administration. She's currently the principal of Gilbert W. McNeal Elementary School in Bradenton.

It took me a quite a while to locate her because her last name is now Moore. But when I telephoned her, the voice, the enthusiam, and self-confidence were just as I remembered. We chatted for quite a long time and exchanged email addresses. This past weekend, I sent her an email requesting some information.

Here's an excerpt from my email:

I'm in the process of writing up a short piece about what you've been up to all these years and wanted to check on one thing I didn't have in my notes (I almosts always take notes when I'm on the phone -- habit I guess). Anyway, "same county for 33 years" -- does that mean you drove to Florida right after you graduated from the UW? I want the chronology to be accurate.
Rather than try to paraphrase Ronna's reply, I'm going to reprint her reply here almost verbatim (just a couple of tweaks such as adding a link):

Yes, that's exactly what I did! I knew I had an entire world to choose from to build a future and Florida looked really good to me, so I did what I needed to do, secured a job in the area I wanted to be (the gorgeous S.W. coast, aptly named the suncoast), packed my stationwagon and off I went.

I've never regretted that decision. I think I've been really blessed with a career I love, two great kids who turned out to be independent, intelligent, successful, caring adults, and a life I wouldn't trade with anyone, for anything.

One part of my life I'm most proud of is what I've been able to do for public education in Manatee County with my awesome staff. Most of them started with me at Braden River Elem and then transferred with me to build and open McNeal three years ago. We are the first public elementary school in Florida to be an Attuned School; this is part of the Schools Attuned program from Mel Levine in Chapel Hill, NC. Our entire program is based on teaching specifically to the neurodevelopmental learning profile of each student. We were determined to be one of the top 100 highest achieving schools in the state based on last year's achievement testing.

I trained with my staff, so I am a certified SA specialist, and I'm also a facilitator/trainer now. This may be something I do on a part time basis after I retire.

RETIRE???!!!! aarrgghhh....I'm not one bit ready to retire! There are so many things I still want to do! Since I've spent my entire professional life in public education, I can't imagine living a day without the hugs and smiles of my little ones every day. I've decided the book I'll write when I retire will be, I Did It For the Cupcakes; A Study of Contemporary School Leadership. :-)

Another Photo from the 35th Reunion at the Argus

Sending greetings to an absent Mike Davy are (from left to right): Brent Arnold, Rich DiSalvo, Rachel Hefty, and Tom Oscar

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Changing Madison Landscape

Yesterday was a brisk but sunny Sunday afternoon in Madison and there was very little traffic on Regent Street. It was time to snatch an opportunity to snap some photos of "Nail's Tales," the new 48-foot-tall sculpture by Donald Lipski, recently installed at the intersection of Regent Street and Breese Terrace near Camp Randall Stadium and the Wisconsin Field House.

The $200,000 sculpture was funded by Wisconsin's Percent for Art Program, which "was established in 1980 for the purpose of placing artwork in the public setting, both to beautify our public buildings and urban environments and to draw attention to the wealth of artistic expertise within our region." And futhermore, "Under the legislation for the program, two-tenths of one percent of the total construction costs of new state building or renovation projects is designated for the commission or purchase of artwork. Only state buildings with a high degree of public access are eligible for Percent for Art funding."

Love it or loath it, the sculpture is clearly attracting a great deal of attention, but fortunately not from pigeons (or any other kind of birds), even though a student who lives nearby was quoted in Doug Moe's column in The Capital Times saying, "Coming down the street it looked like a huge ear of corn."

While it looks a bit different from the much taller Nelson's Column in London's Trafalgar Square, "Nail's Tales" shares that famous monument's extreme vertical orientation and insistent upward thrust. What it lacks is a cozy place to perch.

Several years ago, London Mayor Ken Livingston took action to eliminate the pesky (or popular, depending one your viewpoint) pigeons from Trafalgar Square, blaming corrosive pigeon poop for more than £140,000 of damage to Nelson's Column and the square. I've seen Trafalgar Square before and after the pigeon feeding ban, and believe me, after is better. So that's why, when confronted with a local phallic symbol on Sunday afternooon, I looked for the birds. There were more than a few in the neighborhood, but they preferred the roof of the Wisconsin Field House. Clearly they weren't about to tackle the task of landing on some very hard footballs.

Before you make up your mind about Lipski's sculpture, take a look at the photos of some of his other works, posted on the Kansas City Public Library website, and read the names he's given them. This man has a sense of humor. Lipski told Moe this sculpture was named after his old roommate, Eric "Nails" Nathan. Now there's a man whose stories I'd love to hear. Were those tales about footballs? Were they tall tales? Does size matter?

And if you still don't think this is your kind of public art, consider this quote from Lipski included in a UW-Madison press release: "People hated the Eiffel Tower when it went up. They thought it was brutal and completely out of scale with the landscape. Now, imagine Paris without it."

Sunday, November 06, 2005

History Quiz

Who earned his way through college by giving horseback riding lessons? Who spent time time in uniform serving as General Douglas MacArthur's headquarters band leader in the Philippines near the end of World War II? And who, sadly, died when he was only 51? The answers to these questions may be found by clicking on the links in the "Teacher and Principal Obituary" section of this blog, located on the left of the page. Today, I added two more teachers to this growing list.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Travel Was No Obstacle...

Rachel (Hefty) Seffrood and Dave Schutz didn't have to travel far to attend the 40th reunion, but some people no longer live in the neighborhood. Nancy (Ellis) Schuttenhelm came from California and Dick Gerou came from New York.

From left to right: Rachel, Dave, Dick, Nancy

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Seen at the 40th Reunion at CJ's

From left to right: E. Nelson, L. Hill, C. Grintjes

Why They Couldn't Attend the 40th Reunion - Part 1

Shirley (Hierlmeier) Bateman sent a letter explaining why she couldn't attend the 40th reunion. Reprinted here, with her permission, are excerpts from that letter:

Thank you so much for the reunion letter invitation. I truly have enjoyed each and every one of the reunions. Would love to attend and not break my record of making all the reunions; however, over the past few years I have had a lot of medical issues and will not be able to make it this year. Had back surgery a few years ago and have to have another one before the end of the year. A long trip, whether by car or plane, is out of the question at this point...even had to miss a family gathering in Madison this past weekend.

Please give my best to all and let anyone know that I am sorry I could not make it. Would love to see all of you and will look forward to the next reunion. We have no plans to move so my information will remain the same. If anything changes, I will contact you.

Another Photo from the 35th Reunion at the Argus

Shirley and Bonnie

Monday, October 31, 2005

Reunions and More Reunions

Members of the reunion committee will meet at 6 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday) at Fyfe's to discuss, among other things, setting the precise date for the 45th reunion. There was a consensus among those who attended the 40th reunion on October 14th that the 45th reunion should be in October 2010, but not during the week of the World Dairy Expo (September 28 - October 2, 2010) or on a weekend that there's a UW Badgers home football game. The last criterion may delay the setting of an exact date, since the UW Badgers football schedule is currently only posted through the 2008 season.

In the meantime, there's always the All-Central Reunion, held every February at the VFW on Lakeside Street in Madison. I can never remember the formula for figuring out the exact date of this annual event (I think it's always the second Sunday in February), so I tried to telephone Rich Bennett, who organizes the party, at Bennett's Smut-N-Eggs (that's how it's listed in the telephone book) on Park Street. No answer. I'll try to catch up with him later and post details after I talk to him.

And yes, that really is how his establishment is listed in the telephone book. Smut-N-Eggs is well-known beyond the borders of Madison. Try a Google search for "smut and eggs" + Madison: You'll be amazed at how many hits it returns. Or better yet, stop by and ogle his collection of clippings from national newspapers and magazines. Amazingly, he doesn't have a website -- but then maybe he's so successful he doesn't need one.

A Politically Correct Photo from the 35th Reunion at the Argus

A splendid example of politically correct imagery, this photo correctly shows Janet on the left and Tom on the right. Note the significant amount of distance between this former registered lobbyist and former Dane County Board member. Viewing this, how can anyone deny that a picture is worth a thousand words (or whatever lower amount may bring it into line with campaign spending limits)?

We know the identity of the subjects, but who's the photographer?

The photo below is from the 35th reunion at the Argus. It is one of many that were pasted on the walls at CJs during the 40th reunion. I'd like to post more of these photos (perhaps even create a FLICKR account for them), but I'd like to know who took them. I asked Ralph and he didn't know. If you know who took them let me know, so I can give the photographer credit.

Bob and Raven

Friday, October 28, 2005

Obituary: Ronald Schenck

Posted below is an obituary for Ronald Schenck, who taught math at Madison Central High School for several years. The photo at left is from the 1965 Tychoberahn (where he is incorrectly identified as "Ronald Schenk," another of the many errors in that yearbook).

MADISON - Ronald Hanson Schenck, age 81, was born on March 3, 1924, and passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2005, at the Don and Marilyn Anderson HospiceCare Center, Fitchburg. Ron was born in Jackson, Mich., to Elvina (Hanson) and Chester Schenck. Ronald graduated summa cum laude from Winona State University (formerly Winona State Teachers College) with his B.S. degree in music and mathematics. He taught instrumental music at Harmony High School, Harmony, Minn., from 1948 to 1952. He returned to Winona State for pre-engineering courses. While in Winona, he played several instruments with the Henry Burton dance band. In 1954, he and his wife moved to Madison where Ron earned a B.S. in electrical engineering at UW. He was an instructor in the engineering school for the next seven years. He then returned to high school math teaching, five years at Central High School and 20 years at East High School, retiring in 1984. In 2000, Ron and his wife moved to the Oakwood East Apartments. He is survived by his wife, the former Judith Ferdinandsen, whom he married on March 10, 1948. He is further survived by a sister, Nancy Schenck of Galesville; a brother, Robert (Enid) of Palatine, Ill.; a niece and three nephews. According to Ron's wishes, there will be no funeral service or memorial services. Cremation rites will be accorded by the Ryan Funeral Home. His family is most grateful to the staff at the HospiceCare Center for their wonderful care. Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services 2418 N. Sherman Ave. (608) 249-8257

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on October 28, 2005

Thursday, October 27, 2005

More Classmate Obituaries

I have added an obituary for Patricia Friske (photo on left) who died in January of 2004.

I have also added an obituary for Stephen Rasmussen, who doesn't seem to appear in any yearbook photos, but is listed as a 1965 graduate of Madison Central High School. I am fairly confident that the man described in the obituary is our classmate (the age is within the correct range, and the middle initial matches the one on the list of 1965 graduates obtained from the Board of Education), but have been unable to locate any family members in order to confirm this. If you knew Rasmussen, please contact me with any additional information that might be useful in confirming that this is the correct person.

These two obituaries may be viewed by clicking on the appropriate link on the right under "Student Obituaries."

I also have located information that suggests that Darlene Grignano died in November 2003. We had her listed in our address files from previous reunions as Darlene Miller. In the Capital Times records listings for November 7, 2003, there is an entry for Darlene Miller, 57. I believe this is our classmate. However, I have been unable to find an obituary. Again, if you have any addition information that might be useful in confirming that this is the correct person (especially a published obituary), please contact me.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

What Ever Happened to Rip Van Roo?

Whenever a group of people get together at a reunion and reminisce, there are bound to be "whatever happened to?" questions. Rip Van Roo, who attended Madison Central High School in the ninth grade and then transferred to West the following year, was one former classmate whose name came up during such a discussion. Most people knew that Rip had died, but few had seen his obituary. Ed Nelson, however, had not only seen it, but he'd clipped it out and saved it for more than 40 years. Ed mailed me the obituary, which I've scanned and posted below:

This obituary was originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal in April 18, 1965. At this time, obituaries were still “news stories,” written by newspaper staff, not families.

The Way We Were: Ninth Grade Homeroom (part 8 of 9)