There were lots of folks at work setting up equipment so they'd be ready to sell ice cream cones to people attending the final event of the 2006 Concerts on the Square, but Chuck Deadman, who founded the Chocolate Shoppe in 1962, was kind enough to give me a few minutes of his time to set the record straight on the "Central connection"
Chuck is an alumnus of Madison Central High School, but he's not a graduate. Blame (or credit) belongs to a girl. Here's the scoop.
Chuck grew up on Helena Street and attended Marquette Elementary School (my alma mater). His family moved to Green Bay for two years and then returned to Madison, where they lived on Baldwin Street, which meant he was in "the neutral zone" (he could choose to attend either Central or East). He chose to attend Central for two years from 1948-1950 (8th and 9th grade). Then he chose to transfer to East, where he graduated with the Madison East High School Class of 1953.
Here's a photo of Chuck Deadman and his wife, Nancy (the reason he chose to transfer to East)
Chuck told me his brother, Mike Deadman, did graduate from Central in 1963. Chuck also had fond memories of some of his former Central classmates who graduated in 1953, including Joe "Buffo" Cerniglia. I told him I'd email him some URLs from the Central History blog, so he could see some recent photos from the All-Central Reunion and Festa Italia.
I asked Chuck about the connection between the Chocolate Shoppe and the Ice Cream Shop that used to be located at the corner of Fourth Street and East Washington Avenue (across from East High School) and he said that there wasn't one. However, he told me that members of the Cnare family (owners of the Ice Cream Shop and among the founders of Badger Cab Company), the Thomsen family (which has owned Schoep's Ice Cream since 1937), and the Deadman family have been friends for decades.
While I can't remember ever buying an ice cream cone from Doug when he worked at the Chocolate Shoppe (but I do remember a really cute guy from La Follette who worked at the Chocolate Shoppe near C&P on Cottage Grove Road), I do know that when it comes to the best ice cream cones, sundaes, and malts in Madison, I don't even think about those guys from Vermont: I head right to the closest Chocolate Shoppe location.