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A Little of David's Background/History



Placement of Client's product in Fair Indigo Catalog.
Organic Dog Biscuits produced by two
Developmentally Challenged Ladies


David meeting with Dr. Henry Kissinger


David with Ozzie Davis and Ruby Dee
over a long and wonderful weekend


Off to Canada with the family




David's Winning Summer Reading Club Promotion
for the
St. Louis Public Library with the St. Louis Cardinals



A Note to David
Alex Haley


An autographed picture of Eric Morrel for a Madison Boychoir promotion co-hosted by David



An autographed photo to David from Jerry Spinelli

1990 Newberry award winning author of Maniac Magee. David spent a working weekend with the author having contracted with him for a teaching weekend for Children in St. Louis.


David flanked by Jeana Yeager (L) and noted early
WW II Aviation Flyer/Trainer
Adela Riek Scharr,
(August 10, 1907 - 1998), (R)

Jeana Yeager received the Scharr Medallion in 1991 as part of the St. Louis Public Library's Aviation History Month activities. She was honored for her accomplishments as the co-pilot of the "Voyager" aircraft. In 1986, the Voyager flew the maximum circumference of the globe, non-stop, non-refueled in nine days, three minutes and forty-four seconds. Sponsored by Ms. Scharr's Endowment to the Library and hosted by David.



David spent 10 years as a volunteer on the
City of Madison - Community Services Committee

Here is David's Exit memo and Reply





David in the Dakota's Dinosaur Hunting

70 feet up on a mound.
Found a dozen pieces that through museum restoration yielded a 4'.5" Hadrosaurid Rib












Sunday, February 3, 2013



Dinosaur Bones in the Living Room

Free Press Reporters Visit One of Madison’s Best (but little known) Museums

by Pallav Regmi, age 14


 Recently, fellow reporters Rosalinda, Patricia, Alexis, Aarushi, Claire and I visited a museum rich in ancient fossils and animal artifacts.  Unlike other museums, this one was located cozily between the kitchen and living room of David Wandel’s house. 

 David Wandel, an active member of the Madison community, has an adventurous spirit. He has a collection of many ancient fossils and dinosaur bones that he collected on his own. 

“Who doesn’t love dinosaurs?” he asked us, rhetorically.  As we sat around his kitchen table, munching on snacks his wife had graciously prepared for us, we carefully listened to the story of Wandel’s Paleontology hobby. This is one fascinating guy.

One day while driving in Chicago, he saw a logo on the side of a truck displaying a triceratops head with the words, “Paleo Prospectors” above it.  Underneath, there was a phone number.  Curious, Wandel called the number right away.  He found out that Paleo Prospectors was a company that took ordinary people to a place in the northern Great Plains to hunt dinosaur bones.  Excited about hunting bones, he decided to sign up. 

Soon, Wandel and his kids were excavating bones in South Dakota.

“You leave with a bag full of water bottles and if you’re lucky, you return with a bag of bones,” Wandel said.  

The water bottles were very important because the land they were excavating was very dry.  The temperature reached up to 110 degrees on a normal summer day and everyone bunked in the only motel in a small town near Buffalo, South Dakota.  

Wandel explained that excavation can be very hard work. The work consists of a lot of bending over and digging here and there.  The hot weather also added to the hard work and the motel wasn’t very luxurious either. 

 Because of Paleo Prospectors, M. Wandel has a big collection of dinosaur bones.  Wandel even has a rib of a triceratops that he and his kids excavated.  He also found the femur of a triceratops, which was very heavy and a lot bigger than that of a human.

 His most memorable find was when he found an articulated animal.  Typically one finds fossils of single bones, usually from different animals. But when someone finds a fossil that is connected to other bones of the same skeleton, they know they have uncovered an articulated animal.  

And if you do find an articulated animal, well, that is a big deal. Wandel explained that when this happens, you immediately stop digging and call a chaperone from the company on a radio.  All the members of the dig then arrive at the site as swiftly as possible.  If experts determine the fossil is an articulated animal, digging at the site is halted.  Certified archaeologists further investigate the site later.  In Wandel’s case, the articulated animal he discovered was a triceratops.  Listening to Wandel’s stories about his excavations was really interesting and fun.  We also learned a lot about fossils and dinosaur bones and how archaeologists dig and preserve bones without damaging them.  Even after we finished talking about fossils and bones, we were still very interested in Wandel’s other hobbies.  He has a collection of paintings and woodcarvings from all around the world and some that he constructed himself.  A very adventurous and curious collector, Wandel built a fascinating museum from scratch.

On the way back to our newsroom we talked a lot about how to write this story. Our editors often tell us to use words that are descriptive so readers get a good feel for what we’re talking about. We decided that the best word to describe Mr. Wandel is curious. And that’s why the museum he has put together is absolutely fascinating.


This is an awesome story! like seriously good job Regmi! :) – Julio Martinez, Bloit WI (2012-10-04 11:54)

                         The singer receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003.
                                                                                                    Etta James

Doug Moe: Singer Etta James lived by her own rules

January 27, 2012 6:00 am

One of the last times Etta James played Madison, maybe the last time, June 2002, she was 20 minutes late taking the stage at the Barrymore.

James, who died last Friday at 73, was a supremely talented and versatile singer who could handle blues, jazz, rock and pop with equal ease. Her New York Times obituary quoted a Times critic saying James had "one of the great voices in American popular music."

She was also a formidable presence who lived by her own rules.

On that 2002 Madison visit, James' tour bus stopped at New Orleans Take Out on Fordem Avenue. James remained on the bus, and owner John Roussos took out some food to her. She had health issues that made pralines a bad idea, but the singer wanted pralines, and Roussos brought pralines.

"I felt guilty," Roussos was saying this week. "But what are you going to say to Etta James?"

My favorite James story — it touches on timeliness and rules — comes courtesy of David Wandel, a Madison business and nonprofit consultant who in 1989 was living in St. Louis and consulting for Contemporary Productions, which produced concerts and other events out of its St. Louis office.

Wandel, 66, who is originally from Chicago, moved from Missouri to Madison with his wife, Mary, in the late 1990s.

In 1989, the couple was in St. Louis. Wandel had just begun consulting with Contemporary, which had booked Etta James into the Westport Playhouse for an Oct. 14 show.

Wandel was in the audience for the show, which began with a comedian who told jokes, got a nice round of applause and exited the stage. A few minutes later, however, he was back. He said the theater was experiencing technical difficulties, and he told more jokes.

The audience began rustling and calling for James. Wandel left his seat and sought out the woman from Contemporary Productions who was in charge of the evening.

She explained that the Contemporary vice president who was supposed to have arrived at the theater with $5,000 in cash for James and her band was nowhere to be found.

James, in a downstairs dressing room, was declining to take the stage without getting paid first.

It developed that the Contemporary man with the cash had been traveling and returned to St. Louis that day to find himself locked out of his house. The cash was inside. The man decided to try to go in a window. Instead, he fell off the sill and knocked himself unconscious.

"He turned out to be OK," Wandel noted, "with a slight concussion."

But he wasn't going to be at the Westport Playhouse with $5,000 anytime soon. Neither could anyone reach the two men who founded and owned Contemporary Productions.

Wandel made a quick visit to the dressing room, where it was confirmed that James and her band would not go on without the money up front.

Back upstairs, he asked the woman in charge if she thought the theater had $5,000 on hand from ticket and concession sales.

"I don't know," she said. "A lot of the tickets were sold in advance."

She was also not inclined to hand it over to Wandel without permission from the Contemporary owners.

Wandel recalled, "I said, 'I'll sign a note for $5,000 and give it to you.' Which is what happened. I literally wrote out an IOU."

They began to gather cash from the night's food, drink and ticket sales. When they reached $5,000 — without much to spare — Wandel stuffed it into a paper bag and went back downstairs.

Inside the dressing room, James was in full recline on a couch. The band sat on chairs. Wandel handed her the bag. "Five thousand dollars," he said.

James laughed and handed it to one of the band. "Count it," she said.

The show was already more than an hour late. Wandel reminded the singer that she had always been treated fairly by Contemporary in the past.

James said, "You are a nice white boy. I have been cheated and stiffed as a black artist so many times for so many years, I get paid up front. We will count the money."

They separated the bills in piles by denomination. It was $5,000.

"Let's play," James said.

"And she was great," Wandel recalled this week. He handed over a framed faded news clipping, a review, from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Wandel still keeps it on his desk.

"Etta James In Top Form After Getting Late Start," the headline read.

She sang well, too.

Contact Doug Moe at 608-252-6446 or dmoe@madison.com.

Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/doug_moe/doug-moe-singer-etta-james-lived-by-her-own-rules/article_6a64fa24-486e-11e1-9315-001871e3ce6c.html#ixzz2K8rNJVM0







David Wandel: Mining bill shows state’s in vortex of extremism
March 02, 2013 5:00 am

Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/opinion/mailbag/david-wandel-mining-bill-shows-state-s-in-vortex-of/article_f8e29f6c-12f6-568f-8626-8cce91a65129.html#ixzz2MlUwaj7M



Extreme mining bill invites lawsuits
March 3, 2013

Dear Editor: Wisconsin should be ashamed of itself. As a fin, feathers, camping, hiking, birding, and clean air and water state, we have tripped, stumbled and fallen into a vortex of extremism! As a state concerned about our citizens, we have failed. How in the name of good conscience can we justify ripping open the earth, removing minerals that will not benefit Wisconsinites, destroying wetlands and leaving toxic tailings behind? And then suggest that we can replace a wetland. I am a progressive but a fiscally conservative individual. Under no circumstances would I ever throw out all sanity to deplete our precious land and stretch the truth about “local” employment.

My great hope is that after the Republican-controlled Legislature passes this hideous mining bill, they are sued so badly that even our conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court will see the error in their ways. Then again, who knows. I cry a tear for anyone who lives near the site and for the rest of us to give up so much for so little. Is Wisconsin simply a Walker stepping stone?

David Wandel


past chair of Clean Wisconsin

Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/opinion/mailbag/david-wandel-mining-bill-shows-state-s-in-vortex-of/article_f8e29f6c-12f6-568f-8626-8cce91a65129.html#ixzz2MlUCpzyK



wsj header

David Wandel: Follow example of the Bostonians -- survive and go forward

Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/opinion/mailbag/david-wandel-follow-example-of-the-bostonians---/article_358ff716-8311-5de9-843f-8e32a7b1cddb.html#ixzz2QieCXWWY

Tuesday morning at our kitchen table: Birds chirp and the sun streams in. I turn to the articles on Monday’s tragedy in Boston in my State Journal and read about sideline people thrusting cell phones toward runners so they can call their families to tell them they’re OK.

Tears fall down my cheeks. I ask my wife if she read the article, and she, too, cried.

Radio coverage speaks to stories of compassion exhibited by Bostonians who are offering housing, meals, health care. More tears.

Whoever did this didn’t make their point, didn’t “win,” and didn’t soften our resolve. They did make themselves look foolish and small.

Throughout this great country we will be more vigilant, and more wary of strangers. And we will go forward, work through this tragedy and prevail, as humans do. This will be filed in our memories as another vicious incident.

Like the Bostonians, I will continue to give back to my community and care for others as a responsible human. And I can only hope others will do the same, hear the birds and bask in the beauty of the sun.

No matter how difficult life may be, we will meet the challenges, survive, grow, conquer injustice and foster peace.

-- David Wandel, Madison

Also published on line in the:




David Wandel: Keep the 'circus' in Circus World


March 20, 2013 4:30 am

Dear Editor: Circus World is unique in America. Where else can a family enjoy a blend of history and see a circus? This is a true Wisconsin gem, and the winter quarters for Ringling Circus.

As a consultant some years back, I visited and made a presentation where I suggested to staff and board members seeking an executive director that they needed to stress the circus, and underplay the “history” in order to draw people to the museum. Then, when the families arrived they would be immersed in the wonderful library, history of the circus, photograph collection, manuscripts, ads, circus wagons, circus posters and more. Use the cotton candy and show feature to lead visitors to the learning aspect. However, Historical Society representatives and some board members wanted the opposite. Education first and downplay and reduce the circus aspect. Wrong!

I am so impressed with the current leadership and especially Steve Freese, the executive director, whom I have never met. I’ll bet dollars to cotton candy that if the Historical Society takes over the circus, Circus World will change to a more staid center for education. The reality is that sweets can and will lead to education and Circus World has proven it. Do not change a winning formula — it works!

David Wandel




Madison and Dane County announce annual Martin Luther King Jr. awards

by Staff

January 16, 2013

MADISON — Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and City of Madison Mayor Paul Soglin have announced the recipients of the combined City-County Humanitarian Award honoring the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The award winners, selected by the City-County Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, are community members who reflect the values of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The City and County will present the awards at the 28h Annual City-County Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance on Monday, Jan. 21, at the Overture Center Capital Theater, 201 State Street.  The program begins at 6 p.m.

The 2012 City-County Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award recipients are: Mr. Edward Lee and Ms. Mercile Lee. The Youth Award goes to Ms. Rayanna Thigpen.  

“The Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award is a unique part of Dane County history.  It is an honor to Chair a Commission that annually honors individuals for their tireless volunteerism toward the betterment of all Dane County residents in the name of a great humanitarian,” states Humanitarian Award Chair David Wandel.

 The City-County annual award is given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions and exemplified Dr. King’s non-violent philosophy. 

“Dane County’s tradition of volunteerism, social activism and building bridges is exemplified by our two adult award winners,” said Parisi.  “For decades Ed Lee has been dedicated to uplifting all through his work with the Urban League.  Mercile Lee has been undeterred in her lifelong pursuit of quality education for all.  Steadfast in their convictions and peaceful in their interactions — they both deserve our thanks. Our youth winner — Rayanna Thigpen — has done a great job overcoming many obstacles and we look forward to her ongoing successes.”



David Wandel: Politicians just keep avoiding jobs issue

Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/opinion/mailbag/david-wandel-politicians-just-keep-avoiding-jobs-issue/article_121e60de-9b02-11e2-9e57-001a4bcf887a.html#ixzz2TBcyYTcv


April 02, 2013 4:20 am

Dear Editor: Regardless of my political beliefs I am always amazed at the temerity of our politicians. The Wisconsin State Journal headline on March 29 trumpets our failure in job creation. Wisconsin is 44th in the nation. We are hovering just above the bottom. And when confronted, the politicians immediately speak to the governor seeking his next job opportunity or the increase in state revenues. It gets old after a while. The obfuscation of issues and issue re-direction is all we get.

The problem is clear. We need more job creation. While the politicians are busy avoiding telling us how they will improve job growth statewide, they immediately direct the listener or reader to the platitudes of what they are either doing right or what they dislike about the group in power. They completely avoid/sidestep the challenging issues and blow smoke. The body politic — you — should remember this when you get into the voting booth for the next round. Get rid of those politicians from both sides who not only avoid answering the tough questions and fixing problems but direct the voter to the points they want to make — not ours!

David Wandel


Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/opinion/mailbag/david-wandel-politicians-just-keep-avoiding-jobs-issue/article_121e60de-9b02-11e2-9e57-001a4bcf887a.html#ixzz2TBdFYJNo