The Story of Madge

by Gracie


Note: Madge the mannequin hasn't been active in the band for the past three years or so. Many of the newer band members have never met her. She had suffered another major waist fracture and lies in state at the home of Scott Gerving. She didn't even attend the 30th MLJ Reunion. Threats have been made, especially by the evil Joe "Band" Sambeek, to burn her at Band Camp, or saw her in half as part of a so-called "magic act." Madge is under the protection of Scott Gerving and Abe Crow, who has recently vowed to heal her with "Plaster and rebar." Let's hope Madge can come back from the "dead," and again inspire Bandos to "stay up all night." The following is the article I wrote for the MLJ newsletter in 1989, with updates. Please forward any additional photos or accounts to help make Madge's history complete!

Which Marching Lumberjack shows up early for every rehearsal, causes no trouble, offers no backtalk, likes baring her body and being tied up, and literally danced off her feet at a party?

This is a band member completely dedicated, who has stood on Lumberjack Days beer booth roofs and in the HSU library display cabinet, who spent a night in the office of the HSU library administrator, spent several nights with various band members male and female, and who, in her lurid past, gave up her limbs for the sake of a good time.

Everyone knows Madge the mannequin. She was deemed the only "passive band member," by Madge's source, Kim (aka, "Kim-Bob" or "Bernice")

"Madge is not the subject of heated discussions very often," said Kim, when asked about the mannequin.

This is to bring Madge into the spotlight and explain her fortuitous appearance and continuing existence within the "protective folds" of the Marching Lumberjacks.

Madge was found by Kim's mother, who was "driving along the east bay" when she spotted the mannequin in a dumpster behind a department store.

Kim's mother thought that the mannequin "must be good for something," because it was in "perfect shape." All the limbs were intact -- arms with hands and fingers, and the legs -- "with feet," Kim emphasized.

So Kim's mom rescued the mannequin, who was then christened "Penelope."

"My mom's a bit crazy," admitted Kim.

Penelope was brought up to Kim after she'd moved into a house in Arcata to attend school.

Dressed in what Kim referred to as "funky polyester pants" and a wig, Penelope was delivered to Kim's doorstep by her mother.

Penelope lived with Kim "like another housemate" for a year. She stood in various parts of the dining room and living room, and even graced the entryway, so that when people came in, "here was Penelope," Kim said.(Photo of Steve McHaney with Madge)


The following year, Kim felt it was the time to make it official and give Penelope a new master. So at the next awards banquet, Kim presented Steve and Dan with their "ward."

Renamed "Madge" by the two lucky men, she lived with them until the 1986-87 school year.

Madge arrived that banquet night at Steve McHaney and Dan Comden's legendary "party house" on Buttermilk Lane. Thus began Madge's position as the "eternal party animal."

Kim had heard reports that at a party she didn't attend, a drunken Dan "went after (Madge) and danced with her." Dan lost his grip, Madge was dropped, and this resulted in the loss of her only set of feet. [See photo of Dan after the event! Notice where he's holding humiliating!] (Photo of Dan Comden picking up Madge's broken feet)

Dan reports that Madge suffered these indignities at the aforementioned after-banquet party. Kim recalled differently. "Madge was intact for a while," said Kim, meaning that Madge had the look of a department store hussy. But sometime later, Madge became, after her eyes were painted, the "sultry bitch with fire in her eyes," and habitually wore a Hawaiian shirt and "hot shorts." [...and apparently smoked cigarettes...see above photo of Steve McHaney with the Party Girl herself. Note the cigarette held between her once-beautiful fingers.] Such was Madge's life when Kim was no longer the authority figure.

Eventually, Madge made her home in the Marching Lumberjacks' bandroom and has "suffered ever since" with incessant abuse.

Madge made her first appearance at Lumberjack Days in the spring of 1985, standing proudly stop the beer booth.

Late 1980s Band camp, too, was a thrill for Madge when she was suspended in roped tied between two trees.

"She was tree-climbing ... sort of," recalled Bookmark.

"I thought it was very kinky," Kim said.

So, after what Bookmark described as "general wear and tear" over the years, Madge was footless, handless, and armless, and had foiled attempts to repair her with tape and plaster of paris.

Only a faint semblance of her former youth could be obtained when she was dressed in a regulation band uniform and placed in the library's display cabinet for two weeks in the Fall of 1988.

"It was a challenging job, but someone had to do it," said then-MLJ PR person Grace.

To prepare for the display, Madge stayed three gruelling days in Grace's apartment, and startled her every time she opened the door.

"I couldn't stand the look in her eyes," Grace cringed. "I had to grab the white-out and quench that frightening fire."

So with "loving care," Madge left with green eyes, her hideous scars from the crazed dancing hidden by work boots.

Madge was admired for the first time in years as she represented a "typical" Marching Lumberjack in the library's display case.

While the display was dismantled, she was looked after by the library's then-secretary Olivia Mills for a day and a night in the administrator's office. "We were glad to have her," Olivia said with a smile.

She made yearly public re-appearances at Lumberjack Daze until one of the last LJ Daze, when beer was being sold on a tight schedule. Steve "Little Steve" Faraudo claims that Madge "tried to escape the band and beer booth" and jumped the temporary fence behind the booth. Steve recalled that she "broke an arm, her leg at the knee and had a hole in her butt. Brent (Goudreau) and I rescued her, taking her to Brent and James' place on 11th street across from the Methodist church. One weekend, Brent and I bought some fiberglass bondo and patched her up better than before. after the fiberglass hardened, Brent was observed by his landlady (who lived on the same property) belt sanding Madge's butt. We repainted her the same fleshtone that she had been, and if memory serves correctly, Bonnie Kaiser repainted her face."

The best thing about the paint job was that it completely covered the mysterious and shocking swastikas that someone had inscribed on her breasts. Her waist was repaired at least once, the only time she ever gained inches. The background information behind that injury and its repair is being investigated.

Madge was reportedly also used as a prop for a speech on hairdressing (?!) done by the perpetual Rookie, Joe Band. According to Joe, he received a top grade on the speech, and Madge, with her wig, was a great hit. It was reported that Madge was later kidnapped from Joe's dorm room.

Madge mysteriously disappeared for almost a year, rumoured to have spent time with the geology and/or oceanography departments, after which she was painted a hideous COPPER color! [We are looking into this part...Bueno may know more...stay tuned! This photo of Madge with Grace shows Madge in that very Coppertone tan. Thanks to "Wolf" for the photo!]

Madge attended the wedding of Bookmark Davis and Janna Ostoya. One question had to be posed at Bookmark, and that was whether or not he had ever made a "play" for Madge.

"Oh ... I felt her up a couple times, but that's it," Mark admitted.

Joe dressed her up in his tuxedo shirt and pants for their wedding. She stood patiently by the gift table as the afternoon reception in the Goodwin Forum raged on. Grace noticed her worn sad look, despite the formal attire. This was an opportunity for a kidnapping! (and for stealing Joe's tux shirt!)

This was for Madge's last complete face-lift, when Grace took her home (woo hooo) and painted over the hideous golden glow with leftover flesh-toned latex. [We are looking for the photo of Madge freshly painted, with absolutely NO features whatsoever] Her face was made over like a "department store" mannequin ... perhaps like the face she originally wore before her "dumpster days." She arrived at Band Camp, tied to the luggage rack of Grace's VW Bug. [We have photos of this, too....still looking] She was immediately the center of attention. Women were envious of her quiet charm. Her nipple rings on rosy pink nipples and Frederick's of Hollywood lingerie under a red union suit garnered much praise. The only complaint was over her blue eyes, from Mary, who expressed a concern over possible Anglo-Saxon white favoritism. "Why didn't you paint her eyes brown instead?" She was hoping Madge was Hispanic.

For her last major adventure, she went on the 1996 St. Patty's Parade road trip, and attended the 1996 wedding reception of Teri Lynn Parks and Greg Caughy (see
ROAD TRIP! for details) This is the last time she danced at a party. [We will contact Teri Lynn for possible photos]

Somewhere in the year after this trip, she was again majorly injured. Since then, she has been at the home of Scott Gerving. He was hoping for the time to repair her, but Stacey's Bug and building things like trailers, flatbeds and hottubs have understandably taken up his time. Abe Crow, now his roommate, has expressed a desire to bring Madge back.

Gracie's Marching Lumberjacks Page

HSU Marching Lumberjacks Alumni Association Home Page

HSU Marching Lumberjacks Official Home Page