Madison West, Class of 1954

West High School, Madison, WI, 1954

Class Gift
Forever Eighteen67 Year Reunion
65 Year Reunion
60 Year Reunion
55 Year Reunion
50 Year Reunion
Class Night
Classmate Contacts
Deceased Classmates
Deceased Teachers
High Times, Apr. 1, 1954
High Times, Dec. 17, 1953
High Times, June 10, 1954
High Time, May 6, 1954
High Times, Nov. 19, 1953
High Times, Oct. 15, 1953
High Times, Oct. 29, 1953
High Times Staff
Old Photos
Class News, 2005-06
Class News, 2007
Class News 2008
Class News 2009
Class News, 2010
Class News, 2011
Class News, 2012
Class News, 2013
Class News, 2014
Class News, 2015
Class News, 2016
Class News, 2017, 18
The Committee
January 23, 2010

Cindy Barrett Wilson and husband Bruce are on a 70 day cruise around South America, to Antarctica, and then up the Argentine and Brazilian coasts before entering the Amazon River for about a week.  She has a blog at Cindy and Bruce blog.  Check this one out, along with an account of all their other trips. They've been pretty well around the world.  Let's hope she's back in town for the 60th reunion.  She writes well, as she should, having taken English at West High School.  Write he a comment in the space on the blog.  She has wireless internet just about all the time.

Dottie Jones King sends the class a valentine.

Happy Valentine's Day, With love, Bob and Dottie.  Hope you are well.  We are living in San Francisco for five months.  It is wonderful!  Sorry to miss the reunion.

Looks like 3 children and 8 grandchildren. Hope to see you at the next reunion, Dottie.

Rodney Kreunen is working to get high speed rail between Milwaukee and Madison, as part of the Midwest High Speed Rail Initiative, which in turn relies on federal funding from President Obama's Stimulus package.

Madison Mayor Wants 2 High-Speed Rail Stations State Getting Federal Grant For Milwaukee-Madison Rail Line MADISON, Wis. -- The Madison mayor said he will pursue approval of not one -- but two -- Madison high-speed rail stations. There's been early talk of one station the Dane County Regional Airport and one on the near East Side of the city, WISC-TV reported. But already there is some debate. At issue is where to pick up and drop off the passengers that travel in and out of Madison on a newly funded high-speed rail line. On Thursday Gov. Jim Doyle announced that $810 million in federal money has been allocated to create a Chicago-Milwaukee-Madison high-speed passenger rail line. The mayor admitted that right now there's only funding for one Madison rail station. But he still said he will pursue two with the state Department of Transportation, which has final say. "I'd like to see if there's a way to do them both. In Milwaukee there will be two stops, one at the airport and one downtown. I think it be great to have two stops here, one at the airport and one close to downtown. We can't quite get all the way into downtown for a variety of reasons," said Mayor Dave Cieslewicz. The mayor's is talking about the Yahara Station plan, which a downtown group came up with. The plan puts the high-speed rail station right on the line near East Washington Avenue and First Street. But the man who designed it, along with some commuter rail station and bus station proponents, said it would be unwise and a waste of money to build two stations. Barry Gore contends there won't be any real traveler demand for an airport rail station, and it'll end up isolated and empty. He said he believes two stations would waste both money and time. With six trains a day planned from Milwaukee to Madison, Gore said going beyond the Yahara Station to the airport would add to an extra six rail crossings and 40 miles a day. Still, there's plenty of political support for the airport station, including backing from the Dane County Executive. And Gore said if the airport station is "a must," then he is "just pleased that the mayor has taken the lead on including Yahara Station." Meanwhile, communities along the rail line are just beginning to react to the news that trains will be running through their town in as few as three years. In Sun Prairie, the high-speed line runs right through the city's old industrial section and will travel by some businesses and homes. Several rail crossings are also involved in that future high-speed line. Sun Prairie Mayor Joe Chase said the news is getting absorbed right now. "I think we feel like others -- that we really don't have say in it. We hope that all the safety measures are put into place. I had a resident come to me and say, 'My property value is going to be zero because the trains goes right next to my house,'" Chase said. The mayor said he doesn't expect communities along the line will reap a direct economic benefit, but Chase said he believe the line is good for the regional economy and communities like his will support that and the idea of connecting Milwaukee to Madison.

Here is an interesting link: Two Madison stations.  It looks like one of the stations is where the old Milwaukee Road station was on West Washington Avenue.  How's that for bringing back the past?

Margaret Jo Kincaid Culberson (she goes by Jo Culberson now) writes:

John, I just talked to Dick about some old pictures of our graduation and he suggested I contact you.  I've been going through old photos and decided not to keep most of them, and would like to offer the graduation shots for the website or however they might be of use.  Could I mail them to you?  They are only snapshots, very small, but also nice clear black & whites.

I moved to California recently to live nearer my son Michael and have just moved into my own house.  I'm attaching a picture of it (and one of Michael and me).  The house is 975 square feet, built in 1925 and just wonderful.  The inside was completely updated and I know I am going to love living here.

I 'retired' at 62 after 25 years as a paralegal in Albuquerque, New Mexico, then started another 10-year career working for a title company in Grand Junction, Colorado, where my sister Mary lives.  As soon as I get completely settled here I will be looking for something worthwhile to do, whether it's volunteer or paid.  Traveling, genealogy, cooking for Michael & Abbie, and knitting for the Guideposts Knit for Kids project still leaves time - it will be an adventure to see what will fill it!

My new contact info is

Margaret Jo Kincaid Culberson

135 Berverdor Ave

Tracy, CA 95376


Thanks for your help,


(If you want to post my note that's fine)

margaret jo kincaid's houose

Margaret Jo's house.

margaret jo kincaid and son

Margaret Jo and son Michael.

Bennett Christopherson visited George Allez in May, and George sent this picture.

Bennett Christopherson and George Allez

That's Bennett on the left, petting George's cat Sacha.  Bennett is an architect in San Francisco, and designed George's house in Middleton.

Here are the pictures from Jo Culberson.  Thanks, Jo.  See if you can identify them before looking at the captions below.  Can you tell where they were taken?

Captions for the above:

1. Al Lerner, Jerry Anderson
2. Betty Burkhart
3. Dick Kraemer, Peter Pleune
4. Janis Stockman
5. Margaret Hickey, Sue Edgerton, Dottie Jones, Alice Ragatz, Joanne Leveque, Jean Green, Marlene Bakken
6. Margaret Jo Kincaid
7. Ruth Rapoport
8. Sally Schwenker, Sue Cooper
9. Sylvia Hasler

There are more old photos on the Old Photos page.

One of our classmate authors has published another book. 

Rita Wittich Stout has just published her second book, "Daybreak in Odessa", assisted by classmate George Allez as editor, book and cover design. Published in April by Park Printing (John Bass's company), it has taken off locally and is a coming of age story or Rita's attempt to wrestle herself from the family nest which she does when she moves a year after graduating from Wisconsin to Odessa, Texas. It's an upbeat book, pretty bold and "out there." To learn more about this book visit:

where you'll find a brief description, bio and ordering information.

rita stout book

See the class news, 2005-2006 page for a description of her first book, and a story about our other authors.  Remember, these authors got their start in West High School English classes!

John here with a report on the book.  Great story; I could hardly put it down once I started reading it.  I won't tell you much about the story because I don't want to spoil the suspense for you.  Just click on the above link and you'll see a summary of the story and a way to order the book.  She says the book is the antithesis of the saying below her picture in our yearbook.  I'm not sure I agree with that, but you can form your own opinion.  See the Forever Eighteen page for her picture and caption.

I first met Rita at Dudgeon school, where she attended from grades K through part of 5th grade.  Then her family moved to Nakoma and she attended Nakoma School through 8th grade.  While at Dudgeon, Rita lived near the school, near Dick Hartwig and John Bass.  I lived in Sunset Village, north of Mineral Point Road.

I was impressed with the effort Rita put into becoming a good 5th grade teacher, and I'm sure she was a very good teacher.  It made think of my grade school teachers at Dudgeon, where I went K through 6th grade.  Here's a picture of some of them.
Dudgeon Teachers

Tribute for 20 years of service will be paid to these four teachers and the custodian of Dudgeon School at a program of the school's PTA tonight.  These five veteran servants of the city public school system are shown here looking over photographs taken of their pupils during the past two decades.  Left to right: seated Miss Elsie Rand, 6th grade, Miss Lucile Clock, principle, Miss Carrie Barton, 2nd grade; standing: Mrs. Mabel Day, 5th grade, and William Armitage, custodian.

Date is November 13, 1947.

Things I remember about my grade school teachers:

2nd grade, Miss Barton:  the classroom post office where  we could legitimately write notes to our friends.

3rd grade, Mrs. Shermerhorn:  learning to write long hand (cursive writing by today's lingo).  Remember the lined paper?
    I think we first learned multiplication and division here too.

4th grade, Miss Wilson:  I don't remember much, except that she was a good teacher.

5th grade, Mrs. Day:  the "newspaper" called The Dudgeon Bugle, although it was more like a magazine.  We were awarded stars and points during the  year, and at year end various things were "auctioned off".  I was able to purchase the April-May edition.  I still have it!

6th grade, Miss Rand: " i before e except after c, or when sounded like a as in neighbor or weigh".

Miss Clock took great pride in the grass on the front lawn of the school.  Any student who stepped foot on that grass was sent to the office for discipline by Miss Clock.  She would have been horrified to see what that lawn turned into after the school was closed and made into a day care center.

Mr. Armitage: a friendly custodian who kept the halls spotless and the blackboards clean.

The library: I can't remember the librarian's name, but I checked out books there and bought war bond stamps at 10 cents each, to collect in a book to save for a bond that would eventually be worth $25.00.  10 cents was significant then.  It would buy 2 candy bars, but I preferred the stamps.

Here is are two pictures of the Dudgeon Bugle newspaper:
dudgeon bugle cover janice tande page
The first picture is the cover of the May 14, 1947 edition, art work by Edith Finlay.  The second one is a page in that issue by Janice Tande, discussing the two most important insects in the world (the silk worm and the honey bee) and the bat ( the only flying mammal).  You can see what this budding young artist of 1947 morphed into by checking the Class News, 2009 page.

Members of  the staff for this issue:

Advisor: Mrs. Day
Editor in Chief: Janice Tande
Art Department: Edith Finlay, John Thackeray
News Section: Editor: Jim Beckman, Assistant editors: Carol Larson, Judy Bruce, also Janet Johnson, John Post, Norman Dahle.
Feature Editor: Marlene Bakken, assistant editors: Sharon Brown, John Hughes, Special Reporters: Jim Muegge, Richard Stephan, Donald Main
Business Section: John Post, Donald Main
Makeup Department: Marjorie Napper, Raymond Padfeld
Story Editor: John Snell, assistant story editors: Karen Holmgren, Paul Christianson; Special Story Writers: Ian Smith, Raymond Padfield.
Advertising Editor: Jacqueline Birch, assistant editors: Shirley Henderson, Raymond Padfield, Marjorie Napper, Terry Monson.
Contributor's Section Associate Editors: Claudia Schroeder, Bette Solheim
Office Staff Chief: Bill Sherlock, helper: Janet Johnson.

Other familiar names with contributions: William Hammill, Robert Burton, Jill Wobig, John Bass, Carl Marquardt, Jerry Smith, Dick Hartwig, Nancy Stephens, Phyllis Waddell,

There were two rooms for every grade except 6th grade, so some students had to transfer to Randall for 6th grade.  I stayed at Dudgeon.  The Dudgeon Bugle was a project of Mrs. Day's class, but Mrs. Robinson's class also contributed articles.

If any of you have pictures or memories of your grade school days, pass them on and I'll put them on here.

Well, that's enough rambling by me.  Click on and get started reading "Daybreak in Odessa".

Congratulaations are in order for Ruth Rapoport Stotter. She received the Oracle Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Storytelling Network in July. I continue to be amazed at the career that she developed in story telling. And to think that she got her start in Mrs. McCarty's speech class at West High!  Here are a few links to her work: National Story Telling Network, Working with String, Master Storyteller Series. On the Class News, 2009 page, you can read about Ruth's last trip to India, and she's thinking about another trip to India in 2011.  No sign of slowing down.   Jeanie and I have used some of her books with our grandsons.  Big hits.  Her books can be ordered on  Notice the high reviews that her books get.
Maybe you could drop Ruth a congratulatory note.  Her email address is on the Classmate Contacts page.  I'm sure she'd like to hear from you.

Helen Stuben Collins died July 12, 2010 in Tucson, AZ.  See the Deceased Classmates page for an obituary.