Mayor Paul Soglin speaks during his election night party at the Brink Lounge in Madison.

Had lunch with former Mayor Paul Soglin this week. He's doing fine, thank you — relaxed and contemplating the state of things, the good and the bad.

He says he'll begin teaching at UW-Madison's La Follette School of Public Affairs next spring semester, where he did some teaching before he was re-elected mayor for his third incarnation in 2011.

Meanwhile, he's writing his memoir. He didn't give any specifics except to say that renowned national journalist Seymour Hersh has agreed to take a look at it before it's published. Soglin and I were both intrigued by Hersh's own memoir, "Reporter," that was published last year and told the story behind many of the worldwide scoops he broke over the past several decades.

Soglin met Hersh back in the '60s when the future Madison mayor was writing a column for the Daily Cardinal. Several of Soglin's columns focused on chemical and biological research that the UW's pharmacy and chemical departments had undertaken for the military. Hersh, who famously broke the My Lai massacre story and its cover-up that rocked the nation over the conduct of the Vietnam War, was interested in what was rumored to be a buildup of chemical and biological weapons by the Defense Department. Hersh contacted Soglin to see if there was anything else he knew. They have kept in touch since.

If Hersh can succeed in getting Soglin's memoir to read like his, we could be in for a treat.

John Matthews, the retired executive director of Madison Teachers Inc., joined us for the lunch. Matthews, too, is looking chipper, and still keeps close tabs on the state of education in Madison.

It was a treat solving the world's problems with a couple of icons who made their mark on Madison.

Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. dzweifel@madison.com608-252-6410 and on Twitter @DaveZweifel.  

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