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Famous Madison Street Personalities

by madmax on July 15 2009

Author Description: "Madisonians love their downtown street characters. Here are ten notable ones, both past and present."

1. Scanner Dan Scanner is a fixture at the Memorial Union and State Street. While eccentrically amiable, Dan may rub the unacquainted t...
Author Comment: "Scanner Dan is a Madison institution. Anyone who's anyone has had a run-in with Scanner."
2. Piccolo Guy The infamous guy who plays his Piccolo (very well) all year round on state street and also plays in the University Bands...
Author Comment: "Whether you call him Piccolo Guy, Orange Guy, Piccolo Pete, et al--Tom Ryan is one of the most (in)famous Madisonians with his lunchtime piccolo music."
3. Art Paul Schlosser Art Paul Schlosser is a street musician who plays on State street and other places for tips.
Author Comment: "You will most certainly hear him play on State Street if you spend time downtown"
4. Segway Guy Not a professor, just an old guy who takes classes at UW. He enjoys speaking German, smoking cigarettes and cannabis, a...
Author Comment: "The Segway Guy zooms in and out of student traffic on campus. There seem to be all sorts of stories about who he is and what he's like. Find out for yourself--he apparently likes talking about his segway human transporter."
5. Snowball I grew up spending time on State Street and know that Snowball did a lot to break the racial tension in Madison that was...
Author Comment: "Beloved window washer from decades past."
6. Cosmo I knew Cosmo well. Spent time at his place and talked many hours with him. Recently died and just had gotten his first s...
7. State St. Sax Player A heavier-set, androgynous person who stands in front of Winter Silks near the Orpheum Theater on State St. She/he almo...
Author Comment: "If you go out on State Street on the weekend, you are sure to be within an ear's shot of the State Street saxophone player. Unless you live in the vicinity, you probably appreciate the late-night tunes."
8. Yeti Sighting Any sighting of the tall lanky man with long white hair and large white beard that is almost always seen running around ...
Author Comment: "This guy always seems to be running, and always seems to have a ton of hair flapping around as he sways back and forth in a slow jog."
9. Tony the Newspaper Guy Eccentric, 60 something newspaper delivery guy on State Street and campus, may be living in his car if there is room for...
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