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I grew up in Madison….climbing all over the rainbow chairs at the UW terrace (please tell me they still have those), going to the Soap Opera on state street (please tell me that’s still there), playing in the giant shoe junglegym at the zoo (that has to still be there if it’s not don’t tell me) and hitting up the DOPE Middleton pool with the awesome slides. On Sundays my dad would take me ice skating at the Shell and then on the way home we’d stop by Marshall Fields in West Towne Mall (I know that’s not still there lmao) so I could ride the escalator. I remember the university kids bookstore and how I thought it was the second coolest shop in Madison, aside from the Soap Opera. I remember screaming “THATS WHERE MY MOM GOT HER BUTTHOLE FIXED” everytime we passed the hospital (that’s a story for another time). Also thinking every state capitol had a capitol building. I remember biking around the lakes and being FREEEZING when I got the least bit wet because that water is cold and WI weather don’t fuck around (I also remember my mother giving me a hair dryer and a screw driver so I could pick the ice off the back door for fun or because I needed to get outside). I remember ice cream in the winter and cheese as a staple food. I remember SO MANY HOT AIR BALLOONS. And the Oscar Meyer mobile. Noodles and Company all the time….especially the one on Mineral Point Road with the willow tree next to it. I remember biking to Mt. Horeb to look at the gnomes. I remember the indian mounds (I did a project on that in second grade). And Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. And taking the public bus every morning with my dad, which would drop me off at Crestwood Elementary before taking him to work at the UW campus. I remember I felt so cool being dropped off at school in an adult bus. I remember my first day of school at Woodland Montessori and I remember going to Preschool of the Arts off Mineral Point road, and I remember the giant hill in the back and how sometimes they’d let us get in tires and roll us down the hill (because that was acceptable back then).
Oh, and all the tornadoes. This one storm on Gammon Road (where I lived) flooded the intersection with, I think Old Sauk Road, or Mineral Point, to the point where there was literally a beach ball floating through it. I’ll never forget that. I’ll never forget being driven down Old Sauk road and seeing the aftermath of tornadoes. I’ll never forget the way the city looked from the top of the giant hill by West Towne Mall (still Old Sauk, I think). As a kid it was one of the most glorious things I’d ever seen. I remember Woodman’s and how huge it was (can someone tell me that’s still there?!?! If not….it was a huge grocery store back in the day). I remember the Goodwill nearby with the blue roof, which is where I got my first non-disney CD. It was Backstreet Boys Millenium and when we moved, I listened to it while bawling my eyes out and waving goodbye to our apartment building.
I miss there being so much snow on the ground that I could dig a tunnel through it, but also walk on top of it. I miss it actually SNOWING most of the time in winter. Down here in MD everything is just brown and freezing and slushy for 5 months. People down here hate snow. I don’t know what winter is without it.