Armistice Day — and a play that recognizes two Wisconsin soldiers killed during combat operations in Iraq

November 11, 2008

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; […]

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A load of coal and a slice of hot apple pie with cinnamon ice cream at Manchester’s: Historic tidbits about shopping in Downtown Madison

Thumbnail image for A load of coal and a slice of hot apple pie with cinnamon ice cream at Manchester’s: Historic tidbits about shopping in Downtown Madison November 10, 2008

“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 […]

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Attending the annual Memorial Day Avenue of Flags ceremony at Sunset Memory Gardens

May 27, 2008

Note: The 2015 Avenue of Flags Memorial Day will take place at 2 p.m. on Monday, May 25th. 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 […]

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Fedoras, benches, cars, and community: Perambulating around the Capitol Square and through some memory banks

Thumbnail image for Fedoras, benches, cars, and community: Perambulating around the Capitol Square and through some memory banks May 6, 2008

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 […]

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Remembering John Bardeen, a Madison native whose scientific achievements affect our lives in more ways than the latest Johnny Depp movie ever will

Thumbnail image for Remembering John Bardeen, a Madison native whose scientific achievements affect our lives in more ways than the latest Johnny Depp movie ever will March 8, 2008

It’s not often a Madisonian is honored with a postage stamp, so I rather expected there to be a bit of a fuss – maybe a mayoral proclamation, a small ceremony with overly-long speeches and sheet cake. But as far as I was able to determine, there was very little local interest in the issuance […]

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Not with a bang, but a whimper: The demolition of Ogg Hall and the demise of in loco parentis at the University of Wisconsin – Madison

Thumbnail image for Not with a bang, but a whimper: The demolition of Ogg Hall and the demise of in loco parentis at the University of Wisconsin – Madison November 15, 2007

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 […]

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More than pictures at an exhibition: Reflections on "Aaron Bohrod: A Life and Still Life" at the James Watrous Gallery

Thumbnail image for More than pictures at an exhibition: Reflections on "Aaron Bohrod: A Life and Still Life" at the James Watrous Gallery November 13, 2007

There was a time during the late 1960s, when Aaron Bohrod’s trompe l’oeil painting seemed ubiquitous – at least in Madison, at least in my still-then relatively small universe. Bohrod was the University of Wisconsin’s artist-in residence from 1948 to 1973. In 1963, Bohrod painted a portrait of Conrad Elvehjem, the thirteenth president of the […]

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Art in public places: Wave sculpture adjacent to Chamberlin Hall on the UW-Madison campus

Thumbnail image for Art in public places: Wave sculpture adjacent to Chamberlin Hall on the UW-Madison campus October 19, 2007

Thousands of people walk by it every day, but few stop to take a look at “Wave,” the sculpture commissioned to celebrate the renovation of Chamberlin Hall, the new Department of Physics Home on the UW-Madison campus. Created by sculptor Peter Flanary and funded by the Wisconsin Arts Board’s Percent for Art Program, the sculpture […]

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Art in public places: Máquina fountain on the Engineering Mall of the UW-Madison Campus

Thumbnail image for Art in public places: Máquina fountain on the Engineering Mall of the UW-Madison Campus October 8, 2007

Máquina (“machine,” in Spanish), the fountain, is part of a dynamic system that uses water as a liquid, vapor and solid. Created by William Conrad Severson, it is the focal point of the Engineering Mall on The UW-Madison campus. According to information on the College of Engineering website, the fountain is interactive: Students can manipulate […]

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Exploring the history and cultural landscape of Madison, Wisconsin – Part 4: The Mifflin Street Cooperative mural

Thumbnail image for Exploring the history and cultural landscape of Madison, Wisconsin – Part 4: The Mifflin Street Cooperative mural September 21, 2007

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 […]

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