For anyone touched by breast cancer, this (pink Clydesdale) bud’s for you.

July 11, 2013 by

This weekend is Rolfe’s (Iowa) sesquicentennial. The dates are Friday through Sunday, July 12-14, 2013.

The pink Clydesdale “world’s largest” rocking horse (in the video below) will be in the 10:30 Saturday parade. Except for during the parade (and if it “travels” anywhere temporarily) its location is just west of the water tower in Rolfe. While it beckons the public to walk over to it and take photos, it is from the heart of Dan Allen whose wife, Mary, was diagnosed — a second time — with breast cancer. Mary is a survivor!

Yesterday, the 10th, Dan and his brother Roger brought the horse from its “secret location” on the farm into town for unveiling. PLEASE watch the video. When I shared it last night there were tears in a few eyes thinking of Dan and Mary and so many others touched by breast cancer.

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There’s more you’ll see this weekend in Rolfe. On Dan and Mary’s property just west of the water tower are four very unique attractions:

1) the Freedom Rock painted in April by Ray “Bubba” Sorensen

2) the 11.5 feet-tall statue of Cy built by my dad in 1975. It stood at the north end of Iowa State University’s football field until the 1990s

3) the Bud Barn. In the Bud Barn are TONS of Budweiser paraphernalia. Even for those who don’t enjoy beer, it’s fun to take in this museum-like barn. It was originally located in Section 24 of Roosevelt Township where my dad was born. In 1982 it was moved into Dan and Mary’s. (If I find a good photo of the Bud Barn, I’ll post it.)

4) THE HORSE! (Click here to see a blog post that includes a photo of the horse, before it was painted pink.)

All four of these attractions are open to the public this weekend. The rock, statue and horse are always available for people to walk over to and take photos. No permission is needed. The barn is not always open.

In addition, this weekend in Rolfe there will be an exhibit of watercolors painted by four women in the 1940s through 1990s. Three of the artists are deceased including my mom. Many of the paintings are of local landmarks and scenes, long gone. The exhibit is at Wild Faces Gallery, one block south of the library. The hours are Friday (3:30-5:30) and Saturday (9-3, except from 10:15 until the 10:30 parade is over).

The full schedule for the sesquicentennial is here, although I’m not sure everything at the link is 100% correct. (I’ll try to scan the newspaper schedule and post it. I think it is more up-to-date.)

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(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

Sunset Across Browns Bay

June 15, 2013 by
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Shutter: 1/1,250; Aperture: f/8; ISO: 4,000; Focal Length: 80mm. Click on the image once to enlarge … twice to enlarge even more.

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This view is across the northern part of Browns Bay, part of Iowa’s West Lake Okoboji. A map of the bay in relation to the entire lake is here. The wind turbines are actually on the west side of Emersons Bay, also shown on the map.

Yessssssss, this photo is edited, but just a little. The original and another version are below.

For anyone who cares about camera settings, I don’t know what possessed me to use an ISO of 4,000 combined with such a fast shutter speed for this photo. If I had it to do again, I’d use a much lower ISO and much slower shutter speed (and maybe a smaller aperture), and hope that I like the results just as much. I don’t know, though … I sort of like that the clouds and water are a bit fuzzy or grainy, contrasted with the sharper silhouettes of the wind turbines.

Click on any of the thumbnails below to enlarge them and see them in slide show view. To enlarge them more, click on “View full size” at the lower right of the slide show screen.

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Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.

The Freedom Rock in Rolfe, Iowa: Honoring our Veterans (includes interview with Freedom Rock artist, Ray Sorensen)

May 27, 2013 by

In early April, 2013, Ray (Bubba) Sorensen of Greenfield, Iowa, painted The Freedom Rock in Rolfe, Iowa. His original and much larger Freedom Rock is located outside of Greenfield, Iowa.

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In the three video clips below, Ray explains many facets related to his Freedom Rock Tour. Eventually there will be one of Ray’s Freedom Rocks in each of Iowa’s ninety-nine counties.

The photos at the end of this post show before, during and after the painting of Rolfe’s rock.

While Rolfe’s rock is located on private property at the residence of Dan and Mary Allen, people are encouraged to stop and take a close-up view of the rock as they travel through Rolfe on Highway 15. There’s also an 11.5-foot-tall statue of Cy (Iowa State’s mascot) across the driveway from the rock. (The statue was made by my dad and stood at the north end of ISU’s football field from 1975 until the mid-’90s.) Both the rock and statue provide memorable photo-ops. And, of course, the rock conjures sobering reminders of the freedoms we enjoy due to our veterans’ noble service to our country.

 

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How to Enlarge Photos in this Post

To magnify the thumbnail images (below), click on one of them. The images may then be viewed as a slide show by clicking on the arrow to the right or left of each image.

To magnify the images even further, at the bottom of the slide show view, click on “View full size.” If your cursor is a “+” sign when over an enlarged image, you can magnify even more by clicking again on the image.

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In December, 2012, I posted about the first Freedom Rock painted by Ray Sorensen. That post is here.

The initial Freedom Rock is just outside of Greenfield, Iowa. It is quite large. Every year Ray repaints this initial Freedom Rock with different designs. More information about it and the locations of the smaller Freedom Rocks in various Iowa counties is here. Will Rolfe’s rock be in Bubba’s 2014 calendar? Time will tell!

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(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

1941: Rolfe, Iowa, School Yearbook

May 7, 2013 by

To look on this blog for Rolfe, Iowa, school yearbooks by decade, you may go to this blog’s home page. Once there, in the column at the right, click on one of the yearbook decade links (e.g., “1940s”). With time, I’ll get more yearbooks posted.

I started this blog primarily to promote prints of my mom’s (Marion Gunderson) watercolors. Because the Rolfe Public Library benefits from the sales of prints, I’m  not bashful about combining her art with the yearbooks. Typically I’ve posted Rolfe school yearbooks along with watercolors painted by Mother in the corresponding year. However, I’m not aware of any specific watercolors painted by her in 1941. That was the year she graduated with an Applied Art major from Iowa State College (now Iowa State University). It’s also the year she married my dad.

Interestingly, by looking at the upper right corner of this 1941 yearbook’s title page, I assume this yearbook (below) belonged to Don Sinek.

The thumbnail images below are all the pages from the Rolfe Community School District (or whatever it was called then) 1940-41 yearbook. Some pages are a little discolored.

If anyone has a Rolfe-related photo to be included in this post, I’d love for you to send it my way. It could be of any person or any location having to do with Rolfe and associated with this 1940-41 year. Photos from other years are very welcome, too. My email address is mariongundersonart@gmail.com .

Making the Thumbnail Images Larger

To see the thumbnail images in enlarged and slideshow view, click on one of the images. Then navigate forward or backward through the images.

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For my own reference: Desaturate the following. 2,3,4,9,10. Plus these just barely: 12,13,18,1,20 and 23, 25.

(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

Jen Bowen … a Fox (or three or four) … Rolfe’s 1960 Senior Class Play … Chicago

May 4, 2013 by

This post is a result of a communication thread on the “Rolfe Community School” Facebook page. There is a lot of educational and entertaining information on that Facebook page. If you are interested in historical tidbits (and even some current) about Rolfe, Iowa, if you have not already done so, I encourage you to join the “Rolfe Community School” Facebook group.

Earlier today there was a query on the Facebook page about Cora Lighter pans. In response to the query I posted a photo of Cora Lighter, a sister to my grandmother DeElda, who is also in the photo.

Clicking on any of the photos below will enlarge them. Clicking a second time will enlarge even further.

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This is the photo I posted earlier today in response to a query on Facebook about the history of Cora Lighter pans. Cora Lighter was my great-aunt on my dad’s side. This photo is of L to R: DeElda Lighter Gunderson (my paternal grandmother), Cora Lighter (sister to DeElda), ? , and Jen Bowen. The three named ladies were from Rolfe. The hotel, in which I assume this photo was taken, opened in 1927. Cora Lighter died in 1951. This photo was in a cardstock frame with an outer cover. That cover is shown in the next photo. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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Since this was the cover for the photo at the top of this post, I am led to think that picture of the four women was taken at The Stevens Hotel in Chicago. My oldest sister, Clara, saw the photo of the four women and commented about it on Facebook. Her comment* is immediately below. (Click on image to enlarge.)

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Clara said this about Jen’s fox stole, “When I enlarged the photo of these four women dining in Chicago, I noticed Jen Bowen was wearing her fox stole (complete with head), which she let me wear for our senior (1960) class play. I played Angela Boyd, Eve’s (Pam Jordan Wolfe) ‘domineering, wealthy aunt.’ The 1960 RAM devotes a page to this play. In one of the pictures, I’m wearing the fox stole. By the way, Jen Bowen sang in the Presbyterian church choir for many years.”

Information about the Stevens Hotel, which opened in 1927, is here.

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When Clara saw the photo at the top of this post of the four women, she realized that Jen Bowen (in that photo) was wearing a fox stole. (You have to click on that photo to enlarge it to see the stole’s furry detail.) In the lower right photo of this RHS 1960 yearbook page, you can see Clara sitting on a chair in the background. You can barely tell that she is wearing a stole … Jen Bowen’s! (Click on image twice to see to Clara.)

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In response to Clara’s FB comment, Sally (Webb) Kish commented*, “I loved Jen Bowen. She had such a happy spirit. I sang in the choir with her many times.”

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Well, lookie here! This stole includes three fox heads! And, the fox feet, as well!!!!! I just happened to have this in a closet. (Click on this photo TWICE to see the beady little eyes and toenails!)

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And, here’s the head at the end, squeezed to open the mouth so, with the stole around a woman’s neck, it could clasp to the other end of the stole so it wouldn’t slip off the woman. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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Here is the same stole as in the previous two photos, plus another stole which does not have any feet or head attached. However, it DOES have a label that says, “Stevens’ — Chas. A. Stevens & Co. . . Chicago”! (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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This is the label on the stole pictured in the previous photo … the one without the heads or feet. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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Information about the Chas. A. Stevens department stores is here.

Now, who knows if the Stevens family that owned the hotel had any connection to the Stevens family that owned the department store in Chicago. At first I was so excited because I figured they MUST be connected somehow. I mean, Jen was at the Stevens Hotel with my grandmother and great-aunt, she was wearing a Stevens stole, and I have a Stevens stole. What more proof do we need that there is a definite connection?!!!!! ; )

Sigh … Obviously we don’t know for sure if there was a connection. But, researching did help me have more insight to Chicago and the Great Depression, knowing the Stevens hotel opened in 1927 … terrible timing with the Crash of ’29 looming.

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*Sally and Clara gave permission for their comments to be included here.

(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

Crazy April weather needs a Burrometer, don’t you think?!

April 12, 2013 by

I’ve been looking through a ton of digital scan files trying to locate what seems to be a needle in a haystack. However, I did run across this gem. I think it is appropriate to post today as the midwest’s weather stays crazy-cold in April.

When Bill was a little boy, he made this (pictured below) official weather forecaster. I guess his weather-predicting talent started way back then. To this day, people from all over call him to pick his brain about short- and long-range forecasts.

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Bill made this when he was a little boy. (Click on image to enlarge.)

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On the back side of the burrometer is Bill’s signature. He must have just started learning how to write cursively!

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(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s  blog’s home page.)

Costa Rica: Crocodiles at the Tarcoles River

March 27, 2013 by

In February Peggy’s (my next-older sister) and Jeff’s older son was married in Costa Rica. Bill and I made a mini-vacation out of the trip. We were delighted with how fun and beautiful the wedding was, and with how much fun we had with family and with Manuel Cabalceta as our tour guide. Bill and I were with Manuel for three days. Peggy and Jeff spent even more days with Manuel. (Oh, yeah … and Peggy went zip-lining, which I was way too chicken to do!)

The combination of the wedding, and Manuel tailoring each day just for us, made for a very memorable and relaxing trip. We were on the move in a way I would typically not call relaxing. My style of relaxing is basically not having to exert large amounts of physical energy or brainpower! But with Manuel being sensitive to our needs and wants, each hiking, etc., day with Manuel and family put a lift in my step and in my heart.

A year ago when Bill and I traveled to St. Kitts, I published one post per each facet of the trip. I.e., one post for animal wildlife, one post for plant life, one post for lobster, etc. I’m not that organized after Costa Rica. However, I like to keep a sort of record for my own future reference. (It seems if I don’t, a year or two later when someone wants travel recommendations, the details have already faded.) So, over time I’ll add the category of “Travel – Costa Rica” to any of my posts related to Costa Rica.

Our trip was six nights/seven days. Here goes!

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Click once on this image to enlarge it … twice to enlarge even further.

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These photos, especially of the landscape, lack detail. They do show the crocodiles at one location and from one vantage point. These were taken on our shuttle about halfway between the San Jose airport and our destination, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. The river shown in the photos is the Tarcoles River. Another link for the Tarcoles River is here.

The bridge from where these photos were shot is next to a little stop that is a tourist trap if I ever saw one! But … (and it’s a big one!) there is a public restroom there for customers! In many areas of Costa Rica, public restrooms are nonexistent. And, even if there is one, in remote locations toilet paper is even more nonexistent! (I almost didn’t include that last detail, but authors of travel books are compelled to include it, so it’s here, too!)

Immediately below is a YouTube video of the same location (except actually in the river) as the photos above and also further below. The text comments on the video site include some profanity. Watching the video gives perspective as to the size and movements of the crocodiles.

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Here is a link about a man who just this month (March 2013) was photographing crocodiles in the Tarcoles River. He was so intent on his photographing that he was nearly attacked by a crocodile. The link also includes a video of the near-attack. (The video includes some profanity.)

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To enlarge the photos below, and to view them as a slideshow, simply click on one of the thumbnails.

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(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.

Icicle/Water Droplet = Inverted Image (but not spring weather in Iowa … yet!)

March 25, 2013 by

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Icicle Dripping. March 14, 2013

Icicle Dripping. March 14, 2013. Clicking on this photo will magnify the inverted image in the water droplet. (Click on image to magnify the droplet where you’ll see an inverted view of our backyard.)

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I took these photos eleven days ago on March 14. When looking at this image (above) on my computer, I was excited to see the inverted sky/treeline/snow scene in the dangling water droplet. The image was our backyard, but upside down.

This principle is explained and further illustrated (via a beautiful photograph) at this link. http://epod.usra.edu/blog/2011/12/water-drops-and-inverted-images.html

Within an hour of taking the photos, the entire icicle melted. I was excited that spring weather was just around the corner. Silly me!

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This photo was taken eight minutes prior to the photo at the top of this post. If you click on this image to magnify it, you’ll see the spiral above the water droplet as the droplet starts to separate from the icicle. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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Top photo: Shutter: 1/4000 sec.; f/4.5; ISO 800; Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

Bottom photo: Shutter: 1/1000 sec.; f/7.1; ISO 400; same lens

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(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

About Rolfe, Iowa, in 1976: “Smile (click) — the future awaits” (Part IV of IV)

March 24, 2013 by
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This 1976 Des Moines Register column by Chuck Offenburger describes the 37-years-ago Rolfe, Iowa, take-a-picture-of-(almost)-every-Rolfe-resident project. Obviously I’m extra fond of the project since my mom was the “Marion the Librarian” quoted in the article. ( Click on the article to enlarge it/the text.)

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This post is similar to the Part II and III posts. This post includes even more clippings from around the country.

Clippings about what? About Rolfe’s 1976 photograph-everybody-in-town project. (Who woulda thunk the Christian Science Monitor would have picked up the story?!)

Bittersweet is the adjective here. Bitter (or wistfully reminiscent): so many of those 1976 Rolfe residents have since passed away. Sweet: the photos are at the library and help us refresh our memories and honor those 1976 residents of Rolfe.

If you haven’t looked at Part I, Part II and Part III, I hope you will. Part I tells about the overall 1976 project. Part II, and Part III (as well as this post) include clippings and notes from around the country about the 1976 project. News of the project spread like wildfire across the United States once the Associated Press picked up the story.

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To Read these FUN Clippings …

1) Click on any thumbnail below [or in Part II and Part III] to enlarge it and to see the images in slide show view.

2) To enlarge further, once in slide show view, click on “View Full Size” at the lower right of your screen. (If nothing happens when you click on “View Full Size,” you might need to scroll down a little on your monitor so that “View Full Size” is two or three inches above the bottom of your monitor.)

3) To enlarge even more, hover the mouse over the image to see a “+” sign. When you see that plus sign, click on the image and it will magnify even further.

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(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

About Rolfe, Iowa, in 1976: “Smile (click) — the future awaits” (Part III)

February 23, 2013 by

In the January 30 post I included an explanation about the Rolfe Public Library’s 1976 project. That was the year of our country’s bicentennial. During that special year, over 1,000 photos were taken of Rolfe-area residents.

In the February 19 post:

A) I said, “That project was featured in a  1976 Des Moines Register column by Chuck Offenburger. The AP wire picked up Chuck’s article. The result was … drum roll … national recognition for the little town of Rolfe’s photo project.”

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B) I included five pages of several clippings, etc. from around the country about Rolfe’s 1976 photo project.

The remainder of the articles, clippings and notes from around the United States are below and in the next post.

To Read the Those FUN Clippings …

1) Click on any thumbnail below to enlarge it and to see the images in slide show view.

2) To enlarge further, once in slide show view, click on “View Full Size” at the lower right of your screen. (If nothing happens when you click on “View Full Size,” you might need to scroll down a little on your monitor so that “View Full Size” is two or three inches above the bottom of your monitor.)

3) To enlarge even more, hover the mouse over the image to see a “+” sign. When you see that plus sign, click on the image and it will magnify even further.

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Remember … more clippings are included in the February 19 post. More will be included in the next post. And, the original article that started all the hubbub is in the January 30 post.

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(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)