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.

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