Having delivered us our brief moment in the national spotlight, the presidential nominating process has moved on to undoubtedly warmer climes, leaving Madisonians to re-engage life as usual, unobserved - except, perhaps, by The Weather Channel, as it documents our ever-rising snowfall record.
But just because it's "just us" again does not mean there aren't things going on worthy of recording. Sometimes it requires someone with a fresh point of view to recognize the noteworthy in our midst - and we have such a case this week with our cover story, "Madison Original." You can apply that tag to either of the story's two subjects, Fred Mohs or the Kennedy Manor, or to both. It does not define the author, however.
Ann Grauvogl is a relative newcomer to our city, and "Madison Original" is the first piece the freelance writer and editor has published in Madison since moving here last summer from South Dakota. She started out a Wisconsin girl - she grew up in Wisconsin Rapids and graduated from UW-Eau Claire. Grauvogl spent the last 24 years before her repatriation to the Badger State writing newspaper and magazine stories, books and pamphlets in the state of South Dakota. Many of her writing projects dealt with the history of South Dakota institutions. It's easy to see why she recognized the remarkable in the story of Fred Mohs and his love affair with a building.
There are a lot of Fred Mohs stories that can be told, but you won't hear them all here today. Suffice it to say that if there is anyone who still regards Madison as the town pictured in the notable 1948 Life magazine cover story, and who strives to keep it that way, it is Fred Mohs. And if there is an entity in Madison that has not changed an iota since 1948, it is Kennedy Manor.
One thing you can do while waiting out winter is Get Smarter. That happens to be the title of our continuing education special section, which accompanies your Isthmus this week. It contains articles about classes that won't necessarily get you a degree, but will teach you something to enliven your life; how to learn to teach English and see the world; places you can work that will pay you to go to school; and a class that introduces you to the world of running your own business should you decide you want to be at work every waking hour. Get Smarter also contains a list of organizations that offer continuing education classes and maps to help you find them.