Let It Snow! Pizza Pit Nostalgia Returns

Famous snowstorm pizza delivery commercial producer reveals new details


During Snowmageddon 2012 last month my thoughts turned to the classic Pizza Pit commerical from 1979, which The Isthmus wrote about a few years ago, that was so low rent it became almost instantly beloved. With the recent storm in mind, the snowfall depicted in the spot is not too far from the reality we all experienced.

Maybe a day after my original post about this, Richard Zillman (he was the writer and director) wrote to me and provided some very interesting details about how the spot came together in the summer of 1979 following a record winter for snowfall.  Continue reading

Small Planes Don’t Kill People

Why Otis Redding and other beloved musicians died

Otis Redding in front of his airplane. Courtesy: Zelma Redding

A few days ago was the 45th anniversary of the crash of Otis Redding’s plane in Lake Monona as it approached Truax Field in Madison on December 10, 1967. I wouldn’t be born until six years later; but sometime in my tweens, when my parents first told me of the very famous person who crashed in little ‘ol Madison, I was immediately transfixed.

At the time I devoured information about the crash, going to the Main Library to look up old microfilm (how quaint!) of the Wisconsin State Journal and The Capital Times editions from the days after the crash. Now soooo many years later as a seasoned professional pilot, I have some educated theories as to the likely cause of the crash, and a desire to battle perceptions that general aviation aircraft (often referred to as “small planes”) are dangerous.

The truth is, and the statistics bear it out, its usually pilots that kill people, not planes.  Continue reading

Winter Solstice Celebration

The 10th anniversary of the Starkweather Solstice Bonfire is at dusk (4:30 pm) on Friday, Dec 21 at the Olbrich Park ball diamond.

This is the 21st event (twice a year).  Volunteers are welcome.  No weather postponement date. Contact John Steines is you are available to help with traffic, set up, or as a fire guard.

Winter Solstice 2009

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City Gives Tips for a Green Holiday

The City of Madison Streets Division has a new section on their website where you can find tips on how to green up your holiday and save the planet. According to Recycling Coordinator George Dreckman, we generate 25 percent more waste during the holiday season.

Among the suggestions are using more china and silverware instead of serving food on paper plates and plastic cups, giving gift certificates for local events and services, or giving the gift of your time.

“Two of my favorite gifts are cloth shopping bags and rechargeable batteries,” Dreckmann said.  “It will help your friends reduce waste all year round.”

You can view the website here

Thornton to Challenge Rummel in District 6

Two very active neighborhood leaders vie for Common Council seat

Current District 6 Alder Marsha Rummel will be challenged by former MNA Board President Scott Thornton in elections next spring.

According to filings with the City of Madison Clerk’s office, Former MNA Board President Scott B. Thornton will challenge Marsha Rummel for the District 6 Alder seat on the Madison Common Council next spring. Thornton resigned from the Marquette Neighborhood Association Board in July after four years as president; and while he never publicly signaled his intentions, it was rumored that the action was in part so he could run against Rummel.  Continue reading