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