Pegging Around Wisconsin

We played a game on our new Wisconsin cribbage board. We made some miscounts I’m sure, but it was because we had so much fun talking. We lived in Madison for a short time many years ago and managed to see quite a few sights in the south-central region of the state. And even after we moved back to Iowa, we made return trips to visit Wisconsin because there’s a lot to do there.

Madison itself is the capital of Wisconsin. One of my first impressions is that a number of fascinating people live there. I remember we were walking west on State Street, and I saw a guy walking in the middle of the street wearing a live rattlesnake coiled on his head. Sena missed that for some reason. He was moving carefully and slowly, probably to avoid rattling his headgear.

I don’t think the sculpture of Harry Dumpty is still standing in Madison, but for several years it was a distinctive bronze sculpture in front of the Madison Municipal Building just south of the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and East Doty Street. I can’t see it on Google Maps nowadays.

I never knew the sculpture was Harry Dumpty. It sat above a large concrete wall with an inscription on it which I just assumed was connected to the sculpture and probably still sits there although we couldn’t find it in 2012 when we returned for a visit:

“David James Schaefer, 1955-2004
was a phenomenal phenomenon. Though plagued by the progressive debilities of cerebral palsy, “Schaefer” was an uncomplaining and generous friend to many. Disability Rights Specialist for the City of Madison in three different settings, his death of a heart attack in September 2004 made a hole in our community which cannot ever be filled.
Erected by the Friends of Schaefer at private expense.”

It turns out Harry Dumpty has no connection to David James Schaefer. In fact, Harry is one of several similar sculptures created by artist Brent George, who made him in 1997, saying he’s Humpty’s brother. If you look closely at the book sitting open next to Harry, it’s entitled “Harry Dumpty.” Brent George’s name is below it. Brent’s phone number is on the front of the wall. Evidently somebody called him and asked about the sculpture. Brent says there’s no connection between the sculpture and the inscription.

On the subject of art, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (on State Street) is a place to see. Although the art works are free to view on the web, they’re copyrighted and you can’t reproduce them without permission of the artists. However, at the time we were there in 2012 we saw Typewriter Eraser by Claes Oldenburg. I think it’s OK to share our picture of the giant one we saw in Washington, D.C. In 2015.

Typewriter Eraser in Washington, D.C.

One of the more relaxing times we had was having pizza for lunch at Paisan’s in Madison. We were outside and had that breathtaking view of Lake Monona, the breeze was coming off the water, cooling and refreshing—like the Moose Drool brown ale, which is not a Wisconsin brew; it’s made in Montana.

Wisconsin is known for its beer, among many other virtues. New Glarus Brewing Company is famous. I tried a few of the brews. One of them was Stone Soup. It had oil of clove in it and my lips got numb.

We took a dinner train ride at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom. It was great food and great company.

One of the more interesting stories about Monroe, Wisconsin is The Great Limburger Cheese War, which I mangled during the heat of the game. I first heard about it on a TV show; it seemed to me it was on Mysteries at the Museum, but when I googled it, I couldn’t find it.

We had a great time in Wisconsin. Maybe someday we’ll go back for a visit.

Author: James Amos

I'm a retired consult-liaison psychiatrist. I navigated the path in a phased retirement program through the hospital where I was employed. I was fully retired as of June 30, 2020. This blog chronicles my journey.

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