Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Madison on My Mind

Grandma and Grandpa lived in Madison, Wisconsin in the 1940s. Though the 1940's Census is not public yet, I know this because they bought cemetery lots in Crystal Lake Minneapolis and the deed was posted to them at a Madison address; they had no idea at the time that a future daughter-in-law would pull them down south to end their days in Oklahoma City.

It is another address in Madison on my Dad's Army AirForce dog tags, from his service in WWII. Mom always talked about having gone to live in Madison and work at Baron's Department store when Daddy first returned from Italy. So I wanted to go see this place and get a feel for what it might have been like.

I never realised that the old part of Madison is squeezed between two lakes and I'm guessing it is because Madison is a college town that so many of the big older houses are still standing, rented out to students.

We found all the addresses I was looking for just walking around, well nearly. My favourite address was on Gorham Street and the house number fell between these two big houses, across from James Madison Park, overlooking Lake Mendota.

These were obviously several apartments rather than single family dwellings. That is likely how they will have been rented by my parents and grandparents, as neither owned a house until after the war.

Now, I have to say that Bill absolutely loves Oklahoma and wants to go there all the time. However, he kept saying he thought it was sad that Grandpa had to leave the north and go live on Pennsylvania Ave. Much as I loved their neat little house, I must admit I see what he means.

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