Sunday, September 14, 2008

And you wonder why I love research... serendipity leads me to a copy of the newspaper article with the identities of the 1946-47 basketball team

In the process of looking for some other information, I found an online source for a copy of the page in the February 19, 1947 Wisconsin State Journal that includes the photograph of the Madison Central High School basketball team (shown in the previous post) -- and identifies all the players in the photo.

First row (left to right): Pat McCann, Al Dockery, Mel Troia, Bill Withers, Allen Sweet, Frank Fellows, and Keith Tipler

Second row (left to right): Robert Gesme, James Weaver, Robert Schaeffer, Alvin Starck, Robert Ziesch, James Wilcox, Ken Sticha, Don Gasser, and Coach Robert Alwin.

And for those of you who want even more details, I was able to download a copy of the page from the Wisconsin State Journal and save it as a PDF. If you'd like to read the whole page, you may download it by clicking on THIS LINK.

Identifying the players on the 1946-47 Madison Central High School Basketball Team

Madison Central High School 1946-47 Varsity Basketball Team: Photograph by Arthur Vinge, originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on February 19, 2008 (Image ID: WHi-45880)

The Wisconsin Historical society regularly adds photographs to its online collection of images, but sometimes the descriptions accompanying them are woefully lacking in detail. The above image of the 1946-47 Central High School is described as: "Group portrait of the Central High School basketball team and coach, including three African-American players, Al Dockery, Bill Withers, and James Weaver."

Why are the names of the other players omitted? Surely, if the photograph was published in the Wisconsin State Journal it was accompanied by a caption listing all the names. Since I don't have the time to go to the library and pull up a microfilm copy of the newspaper, I hope Central alumni (and anyone else who know's who's who) will supply the names of the players. Leave a comment or send an e-mail indicating the name of the player and the number he's wearing.

Also notice the boys peeking through the stairwell. Their names probably aren't in the newspaper caption, but it would be fun to know who they are, too.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Banister-sliding at Madison [Central] High School merits a lengthy article in The New York Times

On Saturday, August 30, 2008, Madison Central High School alumnus Monsine DiSalvo (Class of 1966) was featured in an article in The New York Times -- but that's far from the first time The New York Times took note of what was happening in Madison's oldest high school.

On March 20, 1880, a story titled "Coeducation in Madison" appeared on page 4 of The New York Times. It's opening sentence was, "The question of the coeducation of the sexes is now disturbing the people of Madison, Wis." But the focus of the article was on banister-sliding, a practice that "is the direct result of the coeducation of the sexes."

I've had a copy of this story in my files for quite a while, but until now I didn't have a really acceptable way to reproduce it -- short of retyping the whole, long story. I tried making JPG images, but the results were less than satisfactory. I've inserted a JPG image of the first part of the story here. You may enlarge that image in your browser window by clicking on it. The entire article, however, is quite long and when I tried to reproduce it as a JPG, it looked ugly on the blog page and was difficult to read. I yearned to be able to present it as a PDF, but Blogger isn't equipped to upload and store PDFs.

Now, however, I've acquired some space on a server where I can store PDFs that can be easily downloaded to your computer. Almost everyone has Adobe Reader on there computer, but if you don't you can easily download a free copy.

When you're ready to read the entire story, just click HERE to download it. Once you've downloaded it, you can use Adobe Reader to resize it if necessary. You can also print a copy for yourself.

Note the PDF is 1.8 MG so it may take a while to download if you're still using a dial-up connection to the Internet.