History

Take a fascinating peek into Madison’s past and explore the haunting story of Lake Forest — Madison’s “Lost City” — when you participate in the most unusual walk in the UW-Madison Arboretum repertoire. The free “Tour of the Lost City” is only offered once a year, usually around Halloween. Join this year’s “Lost City” tour […]

A slightly different version of this post was originally published on the Madison Central High School History blog on January 1, 2008. It is a slightly longer version of a page-one feature story I wrote for The Wisconsin State Journal that was published on October 31, 2007 (with different photos). Despite the upbeat tone of […]

The truth is simply this: I have no memories of the Sterling Hall bombing. I’d worked until late that night and I slept soundly. Although I lived only a few blocks away, the sound of the explosion did not awaken me, nor did the subsequent wail of police and emergency vehicle sirens. My most vivid […]

There are lots of names listed in my 1969 engagement calendar, but Bob Dylan isn’t one of them. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t hanging around the Mifflin Street Coop on the 4th of July, but I can’t tell you where I was that day — and I won’t tell you who I was with, either. […]

Today is Armistice Day. In this country we call it Veterans Day. In the British Commonwealth it’s called Remembrance Day. But whatever it may be called today, this holiday has its roots in Armistice Day, a commemoration of the symbolic end of World War I – the war that dramatically changed the face of Europe; […]

“THRILLS TO MARK STATE ST. LIGHTING JUBILEE THURSDAY!” shouts the full-page announcement in the Tuesday, June 2, 1931 edition of The Wisconsin State Journal. Thursday was the day “a flood of midnight sun would literally bathe State and Fairchild streets” as the new “State Street Bright-Way” was turned on. Up and down State Street’s eight […]

Note: The 2017 Avenue of Flags Memorial Day will take place at 2 p.m. on Monday, May 29th. A ceramic ashtray filled with spent shell casings rests atop my desk. My maternal grandfather bought the ashtray at Galleries Aux Lafayette in Paris in 1938. Sixty years later, a member of the veteran’s firing squad that […]

Decades ago, I did a series of black and white photographs of people sitting on benches on Madison’s Capitol Square. They were part of a photography exhibit that never happened. One day, perhaps, I’ll find the time and money to digitize them because they’re remarkable images of a bygone era. Monday afternoon, I stopped to […]

Ogg Hall has never played a very significant role in my personal history, so when I heard it was going to be torn down as part of the Campus Master Plan that aims to change the face of the UW-Madison, I was not overcome with grief and angst. I did not mourn its passing. It […]

It was a dark and stormy afternoon. In the midst of the seemingly endless days of August rain, for some reason I no longer remember, I decided it was imperative that I drive to Downtown Madison to pick up my mail at the post office. That’s how I happened to find myself creeping along a […]