Doug Moe's Madison

  • Donna Shalala's Bucky love
    Photo by Jeanan Yasiri Moe

    Donna Shalala's Bucky love

    It was Friday morning, Dec. 29, in a large meeting room inside the Intercontinental Hotel in the Miami suburb of Doral. A Wisconsin Alumni Association tour group was enjoying a buffet breakfast. At the front of the room, seated next to one another, Donna Shalala and Barry Alvarez were telling stories. They know some good ones.

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  • Ed Gein fascinated famed filmmakers
    Graphic courtesy of Netflix

    Ed Gein fascinated famed filmmakers

    There is no way to discuss Errol Morris’s various Wisconsin ties without mentioning one that definitely falls onto the “strange” side of the Morris ledger.

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  • Andrew Maraniss book about basketball player Perry Wallace resonates
    Photo courtesy of Andrew Maraniss

    Andrew Maraniss book about basketball player Perry Wallace resonates

    "Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South” is a compelling tale and tough to read in spots. The overt racism is stunning to revisit. Fans jeered the first African American player in the conference. At the University of Mississippi, Wallace felt isolated.

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  • Emeritus professor brings Galileo to the stage
    Photo courtesy of Bela Sandor

    Emeritus professor brings Galileo to the stage

    At 7 p.m. on Dec. 18 at the Lowell Center on campus, the Madison writers group Playwrights Ink is presenting a reading of “Leo-Leo Galileo,” Sandor’s historically-inspired play that traces the scientist’s intersection with two Roman Catholic Cardinals vying to be Pope. The reading is free and open to the public, though registration—call 608-262-0641—is encouraged.

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  • Stories of success through Madison's Literacy Network
    Photo by Jeanan Yasiri Moe

    Stories of success through Madison's Literacy Network

    A Nov. 9 fundraiser was a chance to celebrate the success of some of the Literacy Network’s “learners”—the adult students who learn reading, writing, communication and computer skills, often with one-on-one tutoring, from the network’s staff and more than 900 volunteers.

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  • Richard Wiegel rides the 'Magic Wind'
    Album cover courtesy of Richard Wiegel

    Richard Wiegel rides the 'Magic Wind'

    “I think I’ve performed as many shows as any musician in Madison,” says Richard Wiegel, who played in bands such as The Bowery Boys, Clicker, The Swing Crew, Wisconsin Opry, Out of the West with Beverly Jean and, currently, The Midwesterners.

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  • What a hydrogen bomb explosion looks like
    Photo courtesy of Fred Milverstedt

    What a hydrogen bomb explosion looks like

    With North Korea threatening to set off a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean, I decided I should talk to an old friend, who, as he once put it, is “among the few folks on earth who have ever witnessed the detonation of a hydrogen bomb.”

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  • Ed Durkin's big tent
    Photo courtesy of Pat Durkin

    Ed Durkin's big tent

    Ed Durkin, who died on Oct. 27 at 88, was Madison’s fire chief from 1979 to 1985—during Tedd O’Connell’s peak years as a local TV news anchor. That they became friends is not surprising. Ed’s circle was vast and varied, and even included a Russian cosmonaut.

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  • Mystery, jazz, and Frank Morgan in Madison
    Photo courtesy of Doug Moe

    Mystery, jazz, and Frank Morgan in Madison

    Five years ago, when I asked my friend Ben Sidran about Frank Morgan, it turned out Ben not only knew of the late saxophonist, he knew him personally. They’d played together in Madison.

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  • New bartending bible authored by Paul's Club alum
    Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

    New bartending bible authored by Paul's Club alum

    PDT, the New York speakeasy Meehan cofounded, was named the world’s best bar in a 2011 poll by Drinks International magazine. The following year it won the first-ever James Beard Award for outstanding bar program. Now Meehan has the new book and a new bar, Prairie School, which opened in Chicago in September. And to think he owes it all to Paul’s Club on State Street.

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  • Banner night for Bonner
    Photo by Jeff Miller/University Communications

    Banner night for Bonner

    Paula Bonner’s retirement celebration last week—she’s leaving university service at the end of the month—capped a months-long victory lap for the popular longtime president of the Wisconsin Alumni Association.

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  • James DeVita: Seeing is believing
    Photo by Liz Lauren

    James DeVita: Seeing is believing

    American Players Theatre actor James DeVita is at the peak of his powers. No surprise, his work in “A View From the Bridge” was a revelation. Arthur Miller’s play, with immigration among its themes, still resonates. The small cast was brilliant across the board, but DeVita was first among equals. Then he smiled. “I don’t want for anything,” he said.

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  • Bob Williams, as a political player, brought ‘less heat than light'
    Photo courtesy of Faith Williams

    Bob Williams, as a political player, brought ‘less heat than light'

    Bob Williams was legend in the public relations field in Wisconsin—with clients that included Marshfield Clinic, Sentry Insurance and Parker Pen—and in his spare time helped get a friend elected governor. And late in life, when he was afflicted with post-polio syndrome, he used his PR chops to publicize the disease, increasing national awareness of the little-known but devastating condition.

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  • Chickens, hairballs and a remarkable man
    Photo by Michael Kienitz

    Chickens, hairballs and a remarkable man

    When Mark Cook died Sept. 9 from complications of cancer at the age of 61, there was a great outpouring of admiration and affection on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus and beyond.

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  • Tom Russell, one of America's greatest and most authentic voices
    Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

    Tom Russell, one of America's greatest and most authentic voices

    Tom Russell is one of America’s greatest artists: a singer, songwriter, essayist, painter and traveling troubadour; an authentic voice with a deep well of stories from a life at once roguish and rigorous in its devotion to the demands of the creative arts.

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  • Madison looks to rekindle relationship with Oslo
    Photo by Anne Lindblom

    Madison looks to rekindle relationship with Oslo

    It’s a new day. Last fall the Chicago Cubs not only got to the World Series, they won it. I raised a glass of aquavit and dispensed with my curse on Norway.

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  • Despite disability, Adam Groener moves ever forward
    Photo courtesy of Adam Groener

    Despite disability, Adam Groener moves ever forward

    Adam Groener’s latest project is a children’s book he’s written and wants to see published, because, he says, every time he reads the story to a group of kids, they cheer. It was his older son who triggered the writing of it when he said to his dad, “Let’s read a book I’ve never read before.”

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  • Laid back on the Lake Express
    Photo courtesy of Author NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

    Laid back on the Lake Express

    I’m happy to report that this summer marked the 10th anniversary of my discovery of the Lake Express, a ferry that runs between Milwaukee and Muskegon and takes Chicago completely out of the journey.

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  • World champ 'Poker Brat' Phil Hellmuth publishes memoir
    Photo courtesy of Flickr user World Poker Tour

    World champ 'Poker Brat' Phil Hellmuth publishes memoir

    Phil Hellmuth Jr.'s new autobiography "Poker Brat" should be especially interesting to Madison area readers, as Hellmuth devotes many pages to growing up in the city, where he attended Madison West High School and eventually learned, in area bars and clubs, to play the game that made him famous.

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  • Why these authors forged a friendship is no mystery
    Photo by Joanne Berg

    Why these authors forged a friendship is no mystery

    The daughter and literary agent of the late Barbara Mertz (aka Elizabeth Peters) hoped Joan Hess would finish Mertz' last Amelia Peabody mystery novel. “I said, ‘Hell, no!’” Hess recalls. It took carrot cake and vodka to change her mind.

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