East Side History Madison’s Blog

By and for the East Side History Club, a project of the Goodman Community Center

New Book about Growing Up on Madison’s East Side!

Posted by eastsidehistorymadison on May 25, 2013

In Fall 2012 Madison Magazine and I (Sarah White) teamed up to offer one lucky reader the chance to see his or her life story become a book. Entrants submitted a 500-word autobiographical sketch, and a panel of judges chose winners–Ron Hoppmann, first place; Barb Kehrein, second place, and April Hoffman, third place. In May, I delivered Ron’s completed book to him. We celebrated its launch with his writing group.


Ron Hoppmann was born on Madison’s east side in 1934. He attended Marquette Elementary School and East High School. Ron spent three years active duty in the Marine Corps and went to college in Colorado.

His memoir is (in his words) “a humble jumble of scatter-brained writings” about his childhood as one of eleven children raised by a divorced mother during the Depression and World War II.

The book is for sale on Lulu.com. To purchase a copy, click here.

Ron says, “I write because I have no choice in the matter.” Now in retirement, Ron was the owner of Bord & Stol furniture in Madison. He is a father of three and grandfather of seven.

“Grandpa Ron” with grandchildren Kale, Finn, Evelyn, and August.

“Grandpa Ron” with grandchildren Kale, Finn, Evelyn, and August.

He often writes with the Meadowood Life Story Writers. Ron’s writing has been published in two anthologies published by Meadowood Life Story Writers in 2011 and 2012 and in Julien’s Journal: The Dubuque Area Lifestyle Magazine in August 2011.

Ron’s boyhood is also recalled in Crazy Cats Tear Their Skin, a series of reminiscences written by his mother Beverly Hoppmann Anderson and published serially in the East Side News several years ago. Now compiled into a book by his sister Barbara, Crazy Cats Tear Their Skin can be purchased at the Goodman Community Center.


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