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Madisonians - Where are you???

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?

Postby Madisonianne » Sat Apr 14, 2007 9:22 pm

Wow - Mr. Mephisto...haven't heard that name in forever!

Crazy T.V. Lenny was around for a long time - whatever happened to him??? Adn what about Pete Gambino, from the Appliance Mart ("...because we BUY RIGHT!")...remember him?

Has anyone mentioned Circus 3 - the local morning TV show? Vague memories of that...Marlene Cummings with her puppets...it's foggy. :)
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Postby Bwis53 » Sun Apr 15, 2007 12:17 am

Madisonianne wrote:Wow - Mr. Mephisto...haven't heard that name in forever!

Crazy T.V. Lenny was around for a long time - whatever happened to him??? Adn what about Pete Gambino, from the Appliance Mart ("...because we BUY RIGHT!")...remember him?

Has anyone mentioned Circus 3 - the local morning TV show? Vague memories of that...Marlene Cummings with her puppets...it's foggy. :)


Former Mayor Bill Dyke was once the Host of Circus 3, right around 1959-1960.
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Postby Madisonianne » Sun Apr 15, 2007 7:18 am

Former Mayor Bill Dyke was once the Host of Circus 3, right around 1959-1960.


Something before my time...yea!!! Now I can go back to feeling not quite so old! heh-heh...right after I take my Geritol and ibuprofen ;)


I have to say, this thread has turned into much more than I'd could have anticipated; I am so pleased to see so many comments...to read about what others remember about Madison! I'm pleased to see how many people love this town enough to stay here :)
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Postby Henry Vilas » Sun Apr 15, 2007 9:29 am

Madisonianne wrote: ...what about Pete Gambino, from the Appliance Mart ("...because we BUY RIGHT!")...remember him?

Pete went to that giant appliance showroom in the sky. Soon after his passing, his partner liquidated the business with a great sale. I still have the frig I bought at a deep discount. Also bought a solid oak telephone table on a whim, while waiting for a friend with a truck to tote away the frig.

After Appliance Mart went under, American TV and Main Appliance were the only players in Madison; that is, until the national chain big boxes came to town.
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Postby mrak » Sun Apr 15, 2007 10:30 am

Henry Vilas wrote:Pete went to that giant appliance showroom in the sky. Soon after his passing, his partner liquidated the business with a great sale. I still have the frig I bought at a deep discount. ... After Appliance Mart went under, American TV and Main Appliance were the only players in Madison; that is, until the national chain big boxes came to town.

That's right, I remember Appliance Mart's final TV campaign. At the time, I thought it was shameless the way they exploited "the tragic death of Pete Gambino!", but now I can only suspect Pete probably wouldn't have had it any other way.

After their liquidation, Appliance Mart sold out to American TV, and their store across from East Towne Mall became American's entry into the East Side.
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Postby Harriet The Spy » Sun Apr 15, 2007 2:35 pm

How long has it been since The Brothers Main did their own commercials? I miss them. They always looked so pleased with themselves.

Anyone remember that hokey local pizza commercial with off-key voices singing "Let It Snow" while they pulled a plastic car on a string around a model city with fake snow falling on it?
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Postby mrak » Sun Apr 15, 2007 2:50 pm

Harriet The Spy wrote:Anyone remember that hokey local pizza commercial with off-key voices singing "Let It Snow" while they pulled a plastic car on a string around a model city with fake snow falling on it?

That's Pizza Pit; the ad is consider a classic of local TV advertising. They still haul that one out every winter.

The fake snow is obviously flour, which accounts for much of the ads charm.

If you look at the moon in the little cityscape, you'll see the Pit's old "devil" logo, long since replaced by their current (and much less satanic) neon-sign spirals.
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Postby MadMind » Sun Apr 15, 2007 4:19 pm

Ummm, I remember way back in the early-mid nineties when one had to drive down to Janesville to shop at Target.
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Postby Scooterboy » Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:05 pm

I miss Mr. Mephisto's almost sexual, detailed descriptions of Sansui and Pioneer stereo recievers, with the slow, close up pans across the polished and shiny faces of the hardware. That was even better than the horror flix.

I also miss the local news sets, was it Channel 27(?), that was like a northern Wisconsin cabin with wood panelling and you could almost picture a moose or deer head above the set.

Dane County was pristine farmland and countryside, with Madison as an oasis, and it was nice that some of the bars served us at 16 yrs old. :o
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Postby Genie » Mon Apr 16, 2007 3:32 am

Madisonianne wrote:Wow - Mr. Mephisto...haven't heard that name in forever!

Crazy T.V. Lenny was around for a long time - whatever happened to him??? Adn what about Pete Gambino, from the Appliance Mart ("...because we BUY RIGHT!")...remember him?

Has anyone mentioned Circus 3 - the local morning TV show? Vague memories of that...Marlene Cummings with her puppets...it's foggy. :)

Lenny is still around. He still owns American TV. I liked his commercials better when he was in them. I remember when he gave away 10 speed bikes with every purchase.

Circus 3 was after school and had "Cowboy Eddie" (the puppet) and Howie Olson.

And Marsh Shapiro also had an afternoon kid's show - "Marshall the Marshal." I went to a birthday party at that show and won a jigsaw puzzle in a game.
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Postby Hank_Venison » Wed Apr 18, 2007 11:41 am

Henry Vilas wrote:
Madisonianne wrote: ...what about Pete Gambino, from the Appliance Mart ("...because we BUY RIGHT!")...remember him?

Pete went to that giant appliance showroom in the sky. Soon after his passing, his partner liquidated the business with a great sale. I still have the frig I bought at a deep discount. Also bought a solid oak telephone table on a whim, while waiting for a friend with a truck to tote away the frig.

After Appliance Mart went under, American TV and Main Appliance were the only players in Madison; that is, until the national chain big boxes came to town.


I remember the rumor that was going around about that,
TV Lenny was apparently with the Mafia, and had Pete Gambino "offed".
I often wondered if that were true, why wouldn't he have the Main Brothers "offed" as well?
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Postby narcoleptish » Wed Apr 18, 2007 3:37 pm

And through it all, since before all others, like a turtle among hares, Birrenkott appliance keeps going and going and going...
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Postby missmadtown » Sat Apr 28, 2007 9:56 am

Harriet The Spy wrote:I remember when Manchesters on the Square still had elevator operators and when it seemed there was a Rennebohm's drug store on every corner.


Do you remember the tearoom on Manchester's top floor? How about visiting Santa Claus on the Capitol grounds? This is WAY back ;) I think he came in on a sleigh pulled by horses.
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Postby missmadtown » Sat Apr 28, 2007 10:03 am

Bwis53 wrote:I've got photos of me and my two best friends from the Kresge photo booth! I ran elevator at Manchester's one Christmas! (Moseley's too!)


I used to work in "Blissity", downstairs in Manchester's, which then was so hip - er - cool. Didn't say "hip" much then. ;) Woolworths had a photo booth too... our moms let us take the bus downtown when we were 10! I cannot imagine that now.
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Postby missmadtown » Sat Apr 28, 2007 10:20 am

Veeder wrote: I am far from a 'native' Madisonian as I moved here very recently. I do, however, feel some disappointment with all the talk about 'how polluted the lakes have become'. As an excited new Madison resident I guess I'm just frustrated that so many people automatically slam the lakes and offer little proof. The lakes are such a huge attraction to Madison and it seems that people here almost enjoy degrading them.

If the rumors of pollution and 'danger' are true, then all of us need to work very hard to change things. But if this talk is just a knee-jerk alarmist response then everyone needs to stop worrying and start enjoying the tremendous natural resource we all have - for what it is today, not what is was 50 years ago.


We used to waterski in Brittingham Bay, right from shore--haven't been able to for 25 years or so, because the weeds are got so bad. Last time I swam there was about that long ago, and I got swimmer's itch! Yuck!

Waterskiing on Lake Mendota has deteriorated badly, too because of weeds, though there are a few remaining spots that were OK last time I went, a couple years ago...

We used to take a bus from Westmorland Park to Vilas (Lake Wingra) for swimming lessons, as part of the MAdison summer recreation program. The water was clear and clean. Now they have that turquoise bloom that has sickened people and killed animals.

We don't want to degrade them and have been begging the city FOREVER to DO something about the weeds and the polluted run off from companies such as Oscar Mayer, but haven't gotten very far. Maybe you can instigate some changes. Good luck..
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