Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay"


Last December, I wrote a post about "Remembering Otis Redding 39 years after his death in Madison's Lake Monona" that included a few paragraphs about my efforts to take some photographs of the Otis Redding Memorial in the William T. Evjue Rooftop Garden of the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. The post features a couple of photographs and an image of the headline in the December 11, 1967 Wisconsin State Journal, the day after the crash, as well as an imbedded YouTube video of Redding performing "Try a Little Tenderness."

This year, instead of writing another post about the tragedy, I decided to take a different approach and try for a larger audience. Yesterday afternoon, my feature story about Otis Redding was posted on msnbc.com. If you haven't read it yet, click HERE to go to the story. If you're from Madison, you'll probably recognize a couple of names in the story. If you're a member of the Madison Central High School Class of 1965, you may recognize a few more names. But the story isn't really about Madison, it's about Otis Redding -- a terrific singer and songwriter whose music still resonates today.

And now you know at least one of the reasons why I've been too busy to blog.

Remember, however, that I do maintain the alumni obituary archives and add to them daily, if necessary. There are two archives: one for obituaries published after 1990 (obituaries in chronological order) and one for obituaries published prior to 1990. The latter archive is very labor intensive, so there aren't as many posts there. I have, however, added a few new ones in the past couple of weeks, so if you haven't visited this archive recently, you may want to check it out now.

Update: My most trusted advisor just e-mailed me and suggested I clearly identify the members of the Class of 1965 who are featured in my msnbc.com story -- and since I usually heed his advice, here are the names: Ed Nelson and Michael Barr. Michael is also the subject of a wonderful feature story, written by Kristian Knuston, that's currently featured on the Isthmus Daily Page. In that story you'll notice he's referred to by his first name. Don't let the "William" confuse you: This is our Michael Barr.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Restoring the Central High School arch


There's always something else to do... but I can tell you what's engaged a lot of my time and attention for the past several weeks: researching and writing an article about the restoration of the Central High School arch on Wisconsin Avenue for the Wisconsin State Journal. The article was published on Halloween on the front page of the newspaper. If you didn't catch it in the newspaper, there's on online version of the story at madison.com

When I have some more time, I'll post some more photographs of the restoration work and answer some of the questions I've received from alumni. In the meantime, rest assured that the arch is still standing.

Note: This post also appears on the Central History blog.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Update on memorial service for Marie Garness

I've updated the obituary for Central English teacher Marie Garness to include information about the celebration of her life held yesterday at Oakwood Village.

In addition, I took some photographs of people attending the event and have posted them on the Central Alumni Flickr photostream.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Another Class of 1965 obituary added

I've posted an obituary of Thomas Baron, a member of the Class of 1965 who died last week. You may access it by using the link on the right hand side of the page under Classmate of 1965 Alumni Obituaries.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Memorial service for Marie Garness

Marie Garness, who taught English at Madison Central High School, as well as directing many of the school's theater productions, died August 12, 2007. I've added her obituary to the list of links to teacher obituaries on the right hand side of this blog, as well as to the list of links on the Central History blog. Friends, colleagues, and former students are invited to share in the celebration of Marie's life on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2007, from 4 p.m to 6 p.m. at the OAKWOOD RETIREMENT CENTER - WEST, 5205 Mineral Point Road in Madison. Please enter the main entrance of the Heritage Building.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Central High School representation at the upcoming "Fesstical I" reunion

A reunion party "for those who loved The Fess Hotel" is scheduled for Sunday, August 12, but don't cancel that fishing trip or splurge on an airplane ticket, until you read further.

First of all, it's not going to be held at The Fess Hotel, because even though the structure is still there, the building now houses The Great Dane Pub. So the event is being held at Restaurant Magnus -- and that, so we're told, is why attendance is limited and you have to be on the list.

So undoubtedly lots of people have been checking the to see whether they rated an invitation -- and countless others have no doubt been checking to check up on the status of their friends, relatives, and fellow cubicle dwellers (in the same way they wile away hours checking up on political contributions to find out who gave how much to what candidate, or checking out assessed value of the house down the street).

The Fesstical I invitation list is a fascinating blast from the past: lots of political types, more than a few journalists, a fair share of creative types, and a couple of people who may have left the party already. It also has a fair number of Madison Central High School alumni on it, including two members of the Class of 1965: Gerri DiMaggio and Suzy Bible. There's also a Cerniglia, but I don't know if it's this one or that one; although I suspect it's probably that one. Missing from the list is another member of the Class of 1965 who surely ought to be there, but she told me she's not likely to avail herself of the option to call the Fesstical I organizers and ask to have her name added to the list.

A fellow alumnus from another class recently called me "the human chronicler of Madison Central High," but that doesn't mean I've memorized the names of everyone who attended CHS in its 100+ year history (although it's beginning to seem as if I'm moving in that direction). So if you look at the Fesstical I list, you may detect a few more alumni names. I know there's at least one person on the list whose father was a Central alumnus.

Arguably, every CHS alumnus has some "connections" to The Fess Hotel that makes her or him eligible to attend this reunion: Perry Fess (Class of 1906) and Marie Fess (Class of 1907). Alas, I haven't had time to track down more information about these alumni and their relationship to The Fess Hotel. I think they're grandchildren of the founder, and I believe they were the last two members of the family to be involved with the hotel before its ownership changed. One of these days, when I have some time, I'll do some more research on this subject. Perhaps by the time Fesstical II rolls around, I'll have the scoop.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Class of 1966 reunion photos and "Something else to do..."

There are already quite a few photos from the Class of 1967's 40th reunion, held this past weekend in Madison, posted on their Flickr photostream. You may want to check them out.

You may also be interested in a series of posts on my "Something else to do..." blog focusing on restaurant postcards, many of them from Madison.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Send photos, send news

Joanne (Libert) Yazzie recently e-mailed me a copy of a current photograph, and I've posted it to the Central Alumni Flickr account. It would be terrific if some of the rest of you sent current photos to post, too.

Additionally, Doug Strand has suggested that some of you may have stories you want to tell. E-mail them and I'll be glad to post them here, complete with your byline.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Activity update

Most of what I've been posting, lately on the Madison Central High School blogs has been a bit behind the scenes. I continue to update the obituary archives. Recently, for instance, I've posted obituaries for a member of the Class of 1920 and a member of the Class of 1967 in the archives for obituaries published after 1990. I've also posted an obituary for a member of the Class of 1966 and a member of the Class of 1907 (whose five children later graduated from Central, too) in the archives for obituaries published prior to 1990.

The Blogger search engine (upper left hand corner of the blog) has been greatly improved. If you're looking for a particular person or date, try using it. And, as always, if you have a copy of an obituary for someone who is not yet included in the archives, please contact me so I can add it.

I continue to do research about the history of Central, but don't have the time to write about all my discoveries, especially since I've started a personal blog covering a wider range of subjects. I hope you'll take time to visit it, too. Tonight, I posted a continuation of the "Dirty dancing" and "Puking in the parking lot" posts there. When they were originally published here in January, they prompted a lot of comments. I hope more people will join in the conversation now that I've resumed it in a more general forum.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Teacher Obituary: Mr. Lindl

Mr. Lindl, who taught at Central for many years, died Tuesday. The obituary is posted in the archives. Click HERE to read it.

Friday, June 01, 2007

The East Side History Club

If you have roots in Madison's East Side, or you have friends and relatives who live there, or even if you're just curious and want to learn more about Madison history, check out my post about Looking at the "informal clutter" of daily life on my personal blog. The post, which is based on an article I wrote for the weekly Neighbors section of The Capital Times and the Wisconsin State Journal, is about the Easy Side History Club, and includes several vintage black & white photos all Madisonians -- not just Eastsiders -- may find interesting.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Another alumni Flickr account

Will Elmendorf sent me an e-mail to let me know he's started a Flickr account for his class, the Madison Central High School Class of 1967. He'll be adding more photos after their reunion, but if you want to see what's been posted thus far, click HERE.

I've asked him to create a Flickr badge and send me the code so I can add it to the sidebar.

A reminder, if you have a current photo of yourself you'd like to add to the Central Alumni (all classes) Flickr account, send it via e-mail as a JPG file.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Memorial Day posts about two Madison veterans


There are a couple of Memorial Day posts you may want to read. One is on the Central History Blog. It's about Marion Cranefield, a member of the Class of 1914 who was killed in World War I and is now buried in Madison's Forest Hill Cemetery. The other, on my personal blog, is about actor Ed Maxcy, one of the veterans who will be honored during this year's Memorial Day Program.

Roger Boeker (Class of 1960) provided the information about Marion Cranefield. Roger is also Officer of the Day for the Memorial Day Services at Forest Hill, the first part of Madison's Memorial Day Program. The second part will be held at the Dane County Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Something else to do...

Yes, the rumors are true: I've created another blog that doesn't have a "Central connection." I have no plans to abandon this blog or its siblings, but I want to focus my energy on the Central History Blog, as well as on writing about a wide range of other topics, too.

The new blog is called "Something else to do..." and if you want to take a look at it, click HERE. Rather than starting from the ground up, I've populated the new blog with some posts that originally appeared here, as well as posts from the now defunct Madison Culture Vulture experiment (too limiting). There's also a post that began as a long Flickr description, and several recent posts, including one about Sunday's Syttende Mai parade in Stoughton.

I've also done some housekeeping on this blog. I've removed (and archived) many of the posts that were stale announcements of events long passed. I'm also continuing to replace the old "washed out" photos that appeared in many posts with the original images that I once believed were too dark (until my new monitor revealed otherwise).

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Construction season

You remember, I'm sure, the old joke about Wisconsin that notes we have only two seasons: Winter and Construction.

Road construction is already playing havoc with traffic, as this photo of traffic on the Beltline, posted on Flickr by Mazda6, makes perfectly clear.

And construction season is in full swing here, too.

Two weeks since the previous post and I'm still in the process of reorganizing and restructuring this blog and its cousins.

In the meantime, I will be adding new material to the Madison Central High School history blog and updating the Madison Central High School alumni obituary archives on a regular basis.

I will also be posting photos to my Flickr account several times a week. Most of them will be photos of the Madison area. Although they will not necessarily have a "Central connection," I hope you'll find some of them to be of interest. Yesterday, for instance, we went to see Dr. Evermor's Forevertron. I took a gazillion photos (oh, all right, more like 200) and have posted some of them on my Flickr account, which includes an ever-growing set of photos of Dr. Evermor's sculptures.

I'm also working on some Madison stories and hoping the Central alumnus who secretly taped Harvey Goldberg's history lectures will get in touch, so I can post a little bit about that news, too.

Monday, April 30, 2007

[Re]Construction season

I'm in the process of reorganizing and restructuring this blog, so it may be a week or so before I start writing new posts -- including an update on some favorite local bars from the 1960s.

In the meantime, I will be adding new material to the Madison Central High School history blog and updating the Madison Central High School alumni obituary archives on a regular basis.

I will also be posting photos to my Flickr account several times a week. Most of them will be photos of the Madison area. Although they will not necessarily have a "Central connection," I hope you'll find some of them to be of interest. Lately, for instance, I've been dashing about town at night taking photos of neon signs to add to my signage set.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Madison Public Library: Then, now, and starting today...

The Central Branch (Downtown) of the Madison Public Library:

THEN:

NOW:

Click HERE for recent photo posted on Flickr


STARTING TODAY:


Note: Double click on the image to enlarge it in your browser window for easier reading.

Hey! I not only wrote this article (published last week in the Neighbors supplement to The Capital Times and Wisconsin State Journal) about the big book sale that starts today at the Madison Public Library, I took the photo of the president of the board of directors of The Friends of the Madison Public Library that accompanies it.

If you're in the Madison area and want to make some additions to your personal library, be sure to check out the sale, which runs through Saturday.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Another venue for commenting

Signing up for a Flickr account may change your life -- or at least give you something else to do in your spare time. It's easy to sign up, it's free, and if you sign up you can leave comments on photos.

I know a lot of you have visited the Class of 1966 Reunion Flickr photo stream and the Central Alumni photo stream, and some of you have even taken a peek at my Flickr photo stream (which, as of early this morning, includes the earthworm photo accompanying this post. Wouldn't you like to leave a comment or two? Maybe let someone know you were glad to see them again? Or perhaps you could leave a note about who's who in some of those photos Gerhard Ellerkamp submitted that have no identifying labels.

And, of course, if you sign up for Flickr, you can upload your own digital photos for all the world to see (or label them so that only family or friends can see them). You can post a lot of photos for free. But if, like me, you want to create sets and upload lots and lots of photos, you'll eventually pay the relatively modest annual fee charged for a "Pro" account.

All you need to sign up for a free Flickr account and start commenting is a Yahoo e-mail address (if you don't have one, go to www.yahoo.com and sign up). Then just head on over to www.flickr.com and sign up for a free account. You'll have to pick a display name, so you can be creative about what you call yourself in the Flickr universe. I'm Central Historian, but you can be Captain of the Football Team or Cutest Cheerleader if you want (providing no one else has claimed that name).

Still dazed and confused by all this Internet stuff? If you're a Central alumnus, I'll try to help you navigate the system. If you're not, I suggest getting in touch with a teenager -- most of them know more about all this than you or I will ever know.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Party photos from Thursday (and why you might want to look at them)

Most of the time, I'm not willing to share details of my social life on this blog (and you probably don't want to read about it anyway), so you may have wondered why I commented on my upcoming party plans in the previous post. There was a reason...

But instead of writing about it here, I've written about it on one of my Flicker sets, which you can access by clicking HERE. Even if you're not interested in photos of hors d'oeuvres and people you don't know, you may still find some photos of interest among the 25 I posted. That's because the party was held atop the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art on State Street, and, as a result, I was able to take some really interesting shots that allow you to see parts of State Street from an all-new perspective.

I spent a lot of time adding descriptions to the photos in this set and you'll find interesting links to old photos included in some of the descriptions. Click on the links and you'll find photos of what a building I photographed yesterday looked like 80 or more years ago. Have fun!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Some (but certainly not all) of what I do the rest of the time...

Even though it seemed for a while that all I did was blog, I do have a life outside the blogosphere. Right now, I'm taking a brief break, but here are some of the things I've been up to lately besides worrying what I'm going to wear to a party tonight: Interviewing people for articles I'm writing, taking photographs, editing other people's writing, designing a web site, and, as always, pitching stories and trying to obtain more work, more assignments (if you want to hire a good writer, definitely get in touch with me!).

Yesterday, Neighbors, a special Wednesday section of the Wisconsin State Journal and The Capital Times, featured one of my articles (see scanned image below). Since it focuses on an upcoming Friends of the Madison Public Library book sale, I wanted to bring that event to your attention in case you need to increase the size of your personal library. But I also wanted to call your attention to the tiny print under the large photo of the president of the Friends organization: I took that photo. And while, as I wrote on my Flickr profile, I consider myself to be a writer, not a photographer, I've learned that a good photo will help draw a reader into my story, so I'm increasing my efforts to take photos -- and trying to become a better photographer in the process (really, the photos I take at the 45th reunion will be much better than those I've taken at other reunions).

And now its time to end this break and return to working on a report that needs to be finished by tomorrow. And, yeah, worrying about what to wear to that party...







Note: If that little photo of the library doesn't look familiar, it may be that you haven't been in Madison for a long time. The wonderful building on North Carroll Street behind Central High School was demolished years ago.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

When I finally set aside a bit of time to blog...

Blogger seems to be hiccuping again today. I've been trying without success to upload some photos to Blogger. No photos, no commentary. Maybe tomorrow...

In the meantime, if you haven't visited the Central History blog lately, you probably haven't read my most recent post or noticed that almost all the old, faded-looking photos have finally been replaced. I've adjusted the settings for the Central History blog so that all the posts now appear on a single page. If you want to read the whole blog from beginning to end, you may now do so without having to click through the archives links.

And if you really want to see the photo of the bear wearing a hot pink bra I took on Sunday, you'll have to check out my Flickr account. Unlike Blogger, Flickr was letting me upload photos tonight.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Spring Snow in Wingra Park











Check out Madison Guy's Flickr photostream to see what else he's been up to lately. I've stayed inside all day, but his photo may inspire me to head outside with my camera.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Madison Signage

The Madison, Wisconsin Flickr pool recently held a photo contest on signage. The winner hasn't been announced yet, but I thought you might be interested in viewing the entries, which you may do by clicking HERE.

You'll see some familiar and not-so familiar signs among the contest entries, as well as some "only-in-Madison stories" told in photos. It may take a while for the entire set of photos to download, but it's worth the wait.

I've been too busy to take many photos lately. Saturday's Easter candy extravaganza was an exception. I did, however, take one photo on Easter that may stir a couple of memories. You can see it if you click HERE to be taken to my Flickr account.

Remembering the Shangri-Las and catching up with the former Leader of the Pack,

No, the woman in this scan from isn't a Central alumnus: She's Mary Weiss, former lead singer for my all-time favorite Girl Group, The Shangri-Las. Last month, she was the subject of a feature story in New York magazine because she's staging a comeback as a solo artist.

There was a time in my life when I knew all the words to songs such as "Leader of the Pack" and and "Remember (Walkin' in the Sand)" -- and after chugging down beer and raw clams at a party on the grounds of a college not far from where J.D. Salinger was reportedly living, I seem to recall singing the lyrics with a band. Or perhaps that story is apocryphal. In any case, I digress.

I'm in the process of pulling together all the information I want to include in an upcoming "Oldies But Goodies" post about a local band most Central alumni of a certain age are bound to remember, but until that task is complete, I thought I'd direct your attention towards Mary Weiss.

For those of you who, for whatever reason, can't remember the Shangri-Las, here are a couple of YouTube videos to refresh your memory. The sound on the first one isn't terrific, so you'll really have to turn up the volume. The sound on the second one is much better, but it doesn't show the Shangri-Las in performance.







In addition to reading the New York magazine article about Weiss, you may want to visit her MySpace site, which includes songs from her new CD. Really! You didn't think MySpace was just for kids, did you?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Sharing my Easter candy: Part 2

Late Saturday afternoon: My kitchen floor is full of pastel shredded Mylar. My dining table is covered with an odd assortment of things: a white banker's box cover, a shiny decorated serving platter, some green Tupperware, a blue plastic cutting board, lots more pastel shredded Mylar, and a tempting collection of chocolates from James J. Chocolate Shop. Who knew photographing Easter candy could be so time-consuming?



Blame it on Flickr. Blame it on maki in Switzerland, whose illustrated story about making a chocolate Easter bunny on a Vespa started me thinking about Easter candy. Blame it on one of my Flickr contacts, sirwiseowl. He's the chap in New Zealand who invited me to join the Creative Tabletop Photography pool. And if I started out to be a bit of a contrarian, blame it on Bolobilly in Minnesota, whose "Got Milk?" photo started me thinking about cows.

I didn't have time to make my own chocolate Easter bunny. I wanted to contribute to the pool. And I wanted to stand out from the pack, show a little Wisconsin pride. Hmmm. How about an Easter cow from America's Dairyland?

Drove over to James J. Chocolate Shop on Friday afternoon. Was diverted from my mission by some Canada Geese across the street in the Arboretum. Took lots of photographs, then back to business: Bought a chocolate cow, some tiny white and dark bunnies for decoration. Couldn't resist temptation: Bought four coffee caramels with little beans on top that looked a bit like eggs, and two chocolate bunnies. I really didn't intend to buy any large bunnies, but I couldn't resist the saxophone player and the drummer.

Almost gave up when I couldn't find Easter grass (see Part 1 of this saga).

Back to Saturday afternoon. Checked out the action on Flickr. It seemed as if almost everyone was posting cool Easter photos. I forged ahead.

It's not easy being a food stylist. I took 85 photos: Decided there were five I was willing to show the world. One of them is near the top of this post. You'll have to head over to my Flickr account to see the other four. All I can say is thank goodness someone else is preparing Easter dinner. I'm bringing wine, chocolate, and, of course, my digital camera.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Sharing my Easter candy: Part 1

It's a little after 6 p.m. on Good Friday and there's a traffic jam at my local Target store. Scores of red plastic shopping carts, anxious grown-ups, and whiny children are moving towards the rear of the store. Gridlock seems imminent.

What's left of the Easter treats and supplies has been stowed in a small area behind the food section. There are blue and pink Peeps, but nary a yellow one in sight. There are cream-filled chocolate eggs of the so-sweet they make your teeth ache variety. There are a few Easter baskets, an assortment tacky knick-knacks, and some packages of Easter egg dye. There is no, I repeat no! Easter grass.

I scurry over to the gift-wrap section, but crinkly, shredded green paper just won't do. Perhaps this is a sign. Perhaps I should just abandon my grandiose plans and just serve my chocolate bunnies Easter Bunny 2 for dessert on Easter Sunday. Forget about the photographs. Forget about posting some Easter photos on my Flickr account.

Can't do it -- at least not yet. One more stop: the discount greeting card and party store.

Find something labeled "Easter Grass" and it's absolutely disgusting looking: Looks like slimy Shamrock green noodles clumped together under great duress. Finally settle for some pastel shredded Mylar from the gift wrap section. The cellophane Easter grass from the days when I still believed in the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny exists only in my memory.

Tomorrow I'll preserve those bunnies for posterity.

To be continued...

A dog on the roof isn't always a sure sign Spring has arrived in Madison...



On March 26, 2007 this photo, which is also included in my Flickr photostream, was featured on schnaufblog as part of a post titled "it's getting warmer." But Spring remains elusive in Madison. Check out this amazing photo taken at James Madison Park, if you want to see what the weather was like yesterday.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A story about Purgolder John Verwiel

If you're reading this, you're probably among the millions of people who've used Google to search for someone -- a former teacher, a relative, an old boyfriend, or even yourself.

Last Fall, John Verwiel, a Purgolder (Madison East Class of 1965), entered his own name into a Google search and found this post about the East High Junior cagers. He sent me an e-mail and I went to visit him. That's when I learned about his volunteer work for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

As a writer, I'm always on the lookout for great story ideas, and when I learned what John had been up to recently, I knew his was a story that needed to be told. Lots of people do volunteer work, but what makes John's story so remarkable is that he's actively engaged in helping others even though he's battling Parkinson's disease.

My story about John is in the current (April 2007) issue of 50 Plus Lifestyles. I hope you'll pick up a copy and read about John. The magazine is available in the Madison area at most grocery stores and public libraries, as well as some Walgreen's store. It's free and filled with interesting articles.

Many of the stories are also published on the magazine's web site, but as of today stories from the April issue haven't yet been posted. If you're not in the Madison area but want to read the story, send me an e-mail and I'll send you a copy.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

What did you do when you received a copy of the Yellow Book?

I've been working hard the past few days -- too busy to blog, and definitely too busy to head outside with my camera.

There are some things I'm eager to post, but they need a bit more research before I'm ready to launch them into cyberspace. In the meantime, I thought I'd share a very funny YouTube video I discovered during a late afternoon break. I was looking at The Chronicle of Higher Education web site and stumbled across a short article about college pranks. I'd noticed some wonderful examples of "TP parties" around Madison this winter, but never seemed to have my camera with me at the right time to take photographs of trees enshrouded with toilet paper. Since I only had time to check out one of the videos mentioned in pranks post, I went for the one about paper. Here it is:



Hope you enjoy it (I laughed out loud). I'm off to a meeting. Hope to post something with a bit more local flavor soon.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Tornado warnings, April Fool's Day and some Dr. Evermor sculptures

Another sign Spring has arrived in Madison: The tornado warning alarms blared last night. It rained most of yesterday and it's still raining this morning, so I'm getting a lot of work done, since I haven't been eager to brave the elements (i.e., go outside and play).

There's reportedly going to be a zombie lurch this afternoon in Downtown Madison, but I'm not inclined to grab my camera and rush out to take photos because today is also April Fool's Day and it's difficult to know what's real. There are, for instance, reports on the Internet that Google will offer free in-home wireless broadband service and GMail paper.

But read the find print and you may not find yourself celebrating these exciting developements. Notice that the wireless broadband service is "offered entirely free to any consumer with a WiFi-capable PC and a toilet connected to a local municipal sewage system" and "Gmail Paper is made out of 96% post-consumer organic soybean sputum."

This post is not my version of an April Fool's prank, so I want to warn you that by the time you read this post, the folks at Google may have realized they've been punked and the links in the second paragraph may reach dead ends.

The photo accompanying this post is not an April Fool's joke. It's part of set of photos I took of the Dreamkeeper sculptures by Dr. Evermor that now reside at 211 S. Paterson Street. You can view all nine photos in the Dr. Evermor set on my Flickr photostream.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

A photo from the 1964 Tychoberahn: Class of 1965 Junior Class Officers



From left to right: Vice President - Doug Edmunds; Secretary - Terry Burrows; President - Jim Kinder

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

An evening at the UW-Madison's 109-year-old dairy barn

After a long day of hard work, I decided to take a break and attend the public program celebrating the designation of the UW-Madison’s 109-year-old dairy barn as a National Historic Landmark.



There were lots of speakers, and lots of slides and photographs. The program was rich with historical information, and, of course, I took some notes. But a long post about the event will probably have to wait until the weekend, when I have more time and energy and no looming deadlines.

After the program, there were tours of the dairy barn -- or you could just wander around and take lots of photos and ask lots of questions. Thanks to Professor John Parrish, I now know a great deal about the tools and techniques involved in equine reproduction management -- and I have lots of instructional photos.

By the time I finished asking all my questions, the National Historic Landmark plaque had been removed from the easel where it had been on display for the program and packed away in a box, where it will reside until it can be installed in a large boulder in front of the barn. However, I managed to convince someone to open the box for a minute so I could take a photo of the plaque.

Here are a couple of other photos from this evening's adventure in history and husbandry. More later. Right now, my energy is flagging and I need to crawl under the covers for the night.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A vanishing breed: three obituaries for Madison Central High School Alumni

Central alumni are, as we all know, a vanishing breed. It's not often, however, that I find three obituaries in a local newspaper in a single day.

The obituaries section of this morning's Wisconsin State Journal includes three Central alumni, ranging in age from 56 to 98: Eric Russell Schwartz; Frank J. Rane, Sr., and Vincent J. Colletti. Collectively, their lives span almost three generations. Although none of the obituaries lists a class year, based on information in my copy of the 1924 Tychoberahn, Colletti probably graduated in 1927. Based on their dates of birth, Rane probably graduated in 1939 or 1940 and Schwartz probably graduated in the late 1960s.

Colletti and Rane both had strong ties to the Greenbush Neighborhood. You'll find a lot of local history in their obituaries. Rane's , for instance, mentions that, "He, with his lifelong friend, Nick Stassi, was instrumental in having placed a marker on the corner of Regent and Park Street in memory of the 'true heart' of the long-gone but not forgotten neighborhood known as the 'Greenbush.'"

Last spring, I took photos of this marker, but until recently I haven't had time to do background research on its origins and history. I've included one of these photos with this post. Eventually, I'll write more about it and include close-up photos of various sections of the marker, which feature short quotes and biographies of people who lived in the Greenbush Neighborhood, many of whom are Central alumni. I've also taken photos of the tiles surrounding the marker because they are inscribed with names of people who supported the creation of this marker. Again, many of them are Central alumni.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Writing jobs are going to keep me hopping (not blogging) this week

I'm going to be very busy writing during the upcoming week, but not for this blog. I have some writing jobs with tight deadlines and they take priority over blogging, taking photos, and answering non-business e-mail.

Whether you're here in the Madison area, or far away, I'd like to suggest that, since I'm going to be too busy to provide much reading material, you spend some time looking at photos of Madison. I recently accepted an invitation to join the Madison, Wisconsin Flickr group. Right now, it has 522 members who've posted 5,716 photos of Madison. There are some wonderful photos in this group and I think you'll enjoy looking through them.

Or if you haven't already done so, take some time to read the 33 obituaries for Central alumni I've posted thus far on the archives blog for obituaries published prior to 1990, including such recent additions as Ramon Coffman (Class of 1914), whose syndicated column "Uncle Ray's Corner" ran in newspapers for a record-breaking 62 years, and Gunnar Quisling (Class of 1929), one of the founders of Madison's Quisling Clinic.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Woolworth's on the Square

Remember Woolworth's on the Square? It was less than a block away from Madison Central High School. Did you ever eat lunch there? Buy a tube of Tangee lipstick there? Or a bottle of "Evening in Paris?" Or was it just a place to sneak a smoke?

If you can't quite remember what interior of the store looked like, take a look at this photo by Angus McVicar, who also took many photographs for the Tychoberahn.

But if you'd rather read about politics than look at photos...

Here are some links to recent Isthmus "take home test" answers from Madison School Board candidates Tom Brew (Class of 1965) and Johnny Winston, Jr.(son of Class of 1969 alumna Mona Adams Winston):

"Winston and Brew discuss poverty in Madison schools"

"Brew and Winston discuss budget cuts for Madison schools"
"Winston and Brew discuss 'disconnected youth' in Madison"

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Another New Blog Toy

I've used two PictoBrowsers to create the sets of images in this post. To use this nifty widget, move your cursor over the row of small images to select the one you want to see. Click on it once. This will replace the current large image with the one you've selected.

In order to fit the photos onto this post in a way that doesn't allow them to bleed over the margins into the column on the right, I've had to scale down the dimensions of the photos, so what you're seeing is slightly cropped version of what appears on a Flickr account. If you want to go to Flickr to see the uncropped image, click one the "photo link" that appears above the row of small images when you select one.

The first Pictobrowser features photos from the 2006 All-Central Reunion set on the CHS Alumni Flickr account.




This second PictoBrowser features photos from Mercat de la Boueria set on my Flickr account. La Boqueria is No. 32 on The Guardian's list of "The Top 50 things every foodie should do." These five photos are among the scores I took in Barcelona in December 2005





The photos on the Flickr accounts are apparently of interest to more than a few people. The CHS Class of 1966 Flickr account has registered almost 900 views since it was created. A photo of Angie Loniello and Monsine DiSalvo is remains at the top of the list of the "most viewed."

Note: Thanks to Pim Techamuanvivt at Chez Pim for featuring PictoBrowser on her blog. That's where I discovered this latest addition to my collection of blog toys.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Some "Central connections" to Madison Modernism

I've been doing battle with a nasty cold bug and trying to meet some writing deadlines, so I'm too enervated to write and post very much right now. While you're waiting for some more new posts, have a look at the photo on the left and try to figure out what the "Central connection" to this building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, might be. The building is located on the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and East Gilman Street. Here's a clue to the "Central connection."

The Madison Trust for Historic Preservation cites this building as an example of "Madison Modernism." Two other buildings in the vicinity -- one on Wisconsin Avenue and one on West Gorham Street are related to this one -- both architecturally and in terms of a "Central connection."

And if you're an Elvis fan, you'll probably be excited to learn that the building on Wisconsin Avenue also has an "Elvis connection."

Friday, March 16, 2007

Two recent photographs of the Central arch

Walking on West Dayton Street towards Wisconsin Avenue this afternoon, I stopped to take a photographof the Central arch, the only remaining vestige of the Cass Gilbert-designed building that was home to Madison Central High School until from 1908 until 1969.

I wanted to take some photographs of the inside of the arch, but there was no access from either the MATC side or the Wisconsin Avenue side. Perhaps the orange barrier is seasonal. Let's hope it's not a harbinger of another attempt to demolish the arch.



Note: This post also appears on the Central history blog

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Made in Madison: Remembering Red Dot potato chips

Red Dot Foods was founded in 1938. Most Central alumni probably remember Red Dot potato chips, which were made in Madison until 1961. That's the year the company was sold to H.W. Lay and Company -- and not long after that, many of us who used to pack Red Dot potato chips in our brown paper lunch bags started eating corn chips instead.

The Red Dot factory was located at 1435 East Washington Avenue. The building is still there, but the factory was closed in 1973. If you want to read more about this bit of local history, check out the Wisconsin Historical Society's online exhibit, "Chip Chat: Red Dot and the Potato Chip." Lots of fun. Lots of memories. No calories.

Another source of information about the Greenbush neighborhood

Those of you interested in learning more about some of the families who lived in the Greenbush neighborhood before "urban renewal" forced most families to move to other parts of Madison may want to visit the "Greenbush Cultural Tour" web site. It takes many clicks to visit all the various sections of the site, but if you're persistent you'll find a lot of information and some interesting old photographs. You'll also find lots of names with Central connections, including Gervasi, Dockery, Canepa, and Schiro. One of the best places to start discovering all the material available on the web site is this page.

France issues Harry Potter stamps (absolutely no Central connection)


I just finished a humongous editing assignment and decided take a mini-break by surfing the Internet and checking out some of my favorite news sites. That's how I discovered the Londonist post titled "The French have stolen our wizards!"

The post starts out provocatively: "So if you had to choose between licking the backside of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley or Hermione Granger which would it be?"

But before you use their new blog toy to cast your vote, read a bit more of the post. That's how you'll learn that the subject is postage stamps, not what actor Daniel Radcliffe, who potrays Harry Potter in the movies has been exposing recently during his performance in a London stage production of "Equus."

Break's over. Time to go back to work.

Greenbush celebration at the UW-Madison


Organizers are calling it the "first Greenbush Day" celebration. It's being held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's new Welcome Center at 21 N. Park Street.

According to a UW-Madison press release about the event, "The Welcome Center is situated in the historic neighborhood known as "the Bush," an area in which Madison's Italian and Sicilian immigrants, Jews and African Americans lived side by side until urban renewal displaced them in the early 1960s."

After you read the press release, you may want to check out the "Greenbush Day" web site, where you'll find links to names of exhibitors and an entertainment schedule. If you attend, be sure to let the rest of us know what "light refreshments" we missed by playing hookey.

Note: If you want to download a copy of "Triangle Redevelopment and You," the condescending pamphlet to to Greenbush area residents in the 1960s I mentioned in a previous post about the neighborhood, the Friends of the Historic Third Lake Ridge web page with the link to the 3MB pdf file is now up and running again.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Some lunch hour loopiness: More evidence that spring is on the way (accompanied by a musical memory)

It's time for lunch and I haven't even eaten breakfast yet, so I'm a bit loopy from hunger. But before I brew a pot of tea and dive into a bowl of Bear Naked granola and Traders Point Creamery yogurt, I want to post another bit of evidence that spring is on the way -- acquired during my Monday afternoon ramble around State Street, Langdon Street, and West Gilman Street. I snapped this photo of a dog relaxing outdoors on the roof just moments before someone signaled him (or her -- I wasn't close enough to tell) to come back inside.



And then, as I prepared to post, I started humming "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?" and decided that if a snippet of the song was going to run through my mind in a continuous loop this afternoon, I might as well share this musical memory. And yes, I know, the doggie I saw on Monday wasn't in the window, it was outside a window, but sometimes your subconscious plays tricks and take shortcuts.

Anyway, without further ado, here's a YouTube video of Patti Page singing that song about the cute doggie in the window:

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Class of 1965 photos added to all-alumni Flickr account

I've just posted a large group of photos of members of the Class of 1965 to the Central Alumni Flickr account. You may access it my clicking HERE.

There are also photos from other classes posted on this all-alumni account. I'll continue adding photos as time permits.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Signs of spring on State Street

Monday's warm weather lured me away from the Library about 4:30 p.m. I walked around State Street, Langdon Street, and West Gilman Street -- and even though the light wasn't terrific, I took lots of photos (so I wouldn't have to write too much tonight).

The fruit stand in front of the University Book Store was open for business

Although there is still some evidence of the heavy snowfalls we've endured lately, the snow was melting rapidly -- and there's a bit of green showing on Bascom Hill.


A few people were drinking on the patio at State Street Brats

Three sidewalk signs on State Street

I photographed this intriguing collection of advertisements for goods and services in front of the Stop-N-Shop at the intersection of State Street and West Gilman Street late Monday afternoon. And that's all I'm going to say about them.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Visiting the former site of Wisconsin High School on Henry Mall -- or, at least Madison Central alumni still have an arch

Today was the last day to see the exhibit of paper dresses at the Design Gallery in the UW-Madison School of Human Ecology (formerly known as Home Economics) Building on Linden Drive -- and since I once owned a couple of these dresses, I decided to indulge in a bit of nostalgia.

While I was in the vicinity, I decided to indulge in some more nostaliga by walking to Henry Mall (see photo below) to take a look at the building that replaced Wisconsin High School and try to locate any clues (plaques, markers) that the school, which merged with Madison Central High School when it closed in 1964, had ever existed.

Looking up Henry Mall (from University Avenue) towards Agricultural Hall


The building that housed Wisconsin High School for 49 years (1915-1964) was first remodeled to provide space of the UW School of Journalism and the Library School. In 1972, it become home to the School of Social Work. It was demolished in August 1993, to make way for the construction of a new Biotechnology Center.

Genetics Biotechnology Center at 425 Henry Mall, former site of Wisconsin High School

There was no plaque or marker indicating that Wisconsin High School had occupied this location for half a century, although there are three historical markers across the street They commemorate the "Treatment of Iron Deficiency Anemia," "Pioneering Bacterial Genetics," and the "Discovery of Vitamins A and B."

The Cass Gilbert-designed building that housed Madison Central High School was razed in 1986 to make room for an MATC parking lot, but at least the Central arch remains on Wisconsin Avenue, a visible reminder of the school's long and noteworthy history, albeit one that remains threatened.

When I began to search for images of Wisconsin High School this evening, it took me a while to find one. While I knew that Jeff Mattox had one on the Wisconsin High School web site he maintains, I thought there might be at least one photo of the Wisconsin High School building among the thousands of images the Wisconsin Historical Society has posted on its web site. No success. I finally found an excellent collection of images of Wisconsin High School in the UW-Madison Collections. Including these two:

The construction of the Wisconsin High School building in 1913



Wisconsin High School in 1933 (the street on the right is University Avenue)

To see more photos of Wisconsin High School, as well as read a brief history of the school and the building that housed it, click HERE (if you haven't already used the link above). You'll also find photos of the razing of the building if you use the link.

Yes, the weather was beautiful this weekend, but...

until the snow melts and the grass starts growing, lawns tend to look really ugly.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Is there life after Smut n' Eggs?

It's still too cold and wet to head out to Glenway Golf Course yet, but now that he's no longer producing weekend entertainment in the form of Smut n' Eggs on Park Street, maybe Class of 1966 alumnus Rich Bennett (on left in white shirt and sandals) will be able to spend more time on the links and less time cooking links.

Yesterday, The Capital Times featured a story, written by the always delightful Samara Kalk Derby, about the sports bar that's scheduled to open in the building that once housed Bennett's on the Park. The new bar will have a "1920s speakeasy theme."

If you're nostalgic for the old place, check out cfarivar's collection of Smut n' Eggs tagged photos on Flicker, including this one of the menu.

And now, I really think it's time to scrape off the plates and move one to another subject -- but, hey! Smut n' Eggs seems to attract more readers than "Breakfast and old boyfriends." Nonetheless, I'd rather enjoy some luscious food photos from one of maki's Flickr photo sets (many of which also appear on her food blog, Just Hungry), than stare at (or eat) something like this egg concoction.

Besides, it's not too soon to start thinking about some other links that have nothing to do with golf balls or clubs: bratwurst. Right now (about 9:37 a.m. CST), there are only 74 days and 23 minutes until the start of The World's Largest Bratfest, one of the highlights of Madison's social season.

Note: The photo of Rich Bennett at Glenway Golf course was taken on September 29, 2006 (probably by Gerhard Ellerkamp, Class of 1966). It's one of the scores of photos of alumni from the Class of 1966 posted on their Flickr site.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Advertisements, excuses, and divertissements

The 1964 Tychoberahn featured advertisements from many long-time supporters -- more than a few of whom were alumni, or had other connections to Madison Central High School. There were ads from Harry S. Manchester ("your Official Photographer"), Badger Candy Kitchen, Baron's, Weber's Restaurant, The Hub, The Yarn Bar, Plaza Lanes, Rennebohm Rexall Drug Stores, Herbert Yee's Hand Laundry, and Pino's Restaurant, as well as many other local businesses.

There were also four pages of ads purchased by various student groups and teachers. Mr. Herreid and Mrs. Barter bought an ads. So did Homeroom 425 (above, left). Then there's this one from a group of guys (some of whom are members of the Class of 1965) calling themselves the Italian Student Council:




And that's all I have time to post right now. I'm working on some editing jobs that are due Monday, and right now they're at the top of my "to do" list.

When things calm down, I'll try to post some more of the "good stuff" I've been amassing, as well as answer e-mail sent to the blog. In the meantime, grab your dictionary and read Madison Guy's latest post on Thomas Pynchon's new novel, "Against the Day." It's definitely a good way to add some new words to your vocabulary. If you'd rather look at pictures than read, click on this link to the Wisconsin Historical Society's online gallery of photos by Angus McVicar and George Stein. McVicar took many photographs for the Tychoberahn, and several of his children attended Madison Central High School. Although I haven't yet tracked down when he graduated, I'm fairly certain Stein is a Central alumnus.