Archive for April, 2010

Picture Framing Materials: Know Your Stuff (if you don’t already) — Part II

April 30, 2010

(Click here to go to this blog’s home page. If you haven’t already, for optimum understanding, read Part I before you read this Part II post.)


This original watercolor by Mother (Marion Gunderson) is now protected by museum glass* which blocks 98% of UV rays. Notice that the glare is very minimal. Before this week, the glass used here was just regular clear, which blocks only about 47% of UV rays. With regular glass previously on this painting at this particular location, the glare prohibited anyone from seeing the detail of the painting unless the viewer was very close to the painting. Even with just a single mat, I didn't want to use regular non-glare glass (which also blocks 47% of UV rays) because I wanted brilliant color and crisp detail. Even with just one mat, that brilliance and clarity would not be as likely with the filmy look of non-glare glass in combination with a mat. The reason for that is when there is any distance between artwork and the glass, even if it is just the thickness of a mat, some of the brilliance and clarity is lost. This is even more true when a double or triple mat is involved. (Click photo to enlarge.)


Maybe two or three framers in central-Iowa just figured I already knew all about conservation clear glass and therefore never felt the need to tell me about conservation clear glass. That is understandable. But, I was a little miffed recently when I, in the spirit of shopping locally, took the original of Angel in Wine and Blue to be framed at a central-Iowa frame shop. At the same time, I asked that central-Iowa frame shop owner about museum glass for another painting. The owner pointed to a box of conservation clear glass and said that, yes, the shop carried conservation clear and that it is the same thing as museum glass.

Because of Mona Majorowicz at Wild Faces Gallery educating me, I knew this was not true. I said something else to the owner about museum glass. The owner then repeated that conservation clear is the same as museum glass.

WHEHLLL! Knowing that this was not true, I said that I wanted the UV protection benefit of conservation clear, but that I also wanted the minimal glare that is possible with museum glass. (Museum glass also provides protection against 98% of UV rays.) I got a “look” from the shop owner. She then proceeded to tell me that museum glass is so expensive (which it is) and that it would not be cost-effective to purchase it for the shop because of the expense.

Ok, so why didn’t she just tell me that in the first place? Instead, she knowingly tried to pass off the conservation clear glass that she had in stock for museum grade glass.

Back to Wild Faces Gallery…Mona typically doesn’t carry museum glass due to the expense, either; but at least she was up front in telling me that instead of trying to pull one over on me.

* * * * * * * *

If anyone asks, I’m not going to mention the name of the frame shop where I was told that conservation glass is the same as museum glass. My point is not to make a bad name for anyone. Plus, I’ve almost always been pleased with the overall look of my framing done at the shop. My point is for people to become educated about framing materials, if they aren’t already.

*Museum glass is quite expensive. The 20″ x 20″ piece of glass needed for this framed painting was about $120, including labor. Except for maybe one other piece of artwork, I probably won’t use museum glass on anything else because it is so expensive. I will use conservation clear glass on nearly everything I get framed.

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


The Way You Look Tonight

April 29, 2010

Click on the photo to see the outline of the treetops.

I know I still need to post Part II about picture framing supplies, but this photo of the moon won the spot for tonight. Actually, just previous to my taking photos, the moon was more orange-y. I know this isn’t the greatest photography, but it was great to be out in the crisp breeze and to see the moon rise above the treetops that you can barely see in the photo.

Part II about picture framing supplies will be posted by Friday.

(Click here to go to this blog’s home page.)

Picture Framing Materials: Know Your Stuff (if you don’t already) — Part I

April 27, 2010

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I’ve had a fair amount of artwork framed. Not until about a year ago had anyone at a frame shop explained to me the importance of using conservation clear glass (as opposed to regular glass) when framing Mother’s original watercolors.

About a year ago, I began having most of my artwork framed by Mona Majorowicz, owner of Wild Faces Gallery in my hometown of Rolfe, Iowa. I knew that Mona’s gallery in Rolfe existed, but I’d never stepped foot inside the gallery. I’d always had my artwork framed elsewhere, probably thinking that a framer in a little town like Rolfe just couldn’t have as much to offer as one would in a more populated area. WRONG.

Not only does Mona offer quality framing (as do many frame shops); she also provides design expertise coupled with actively listening to her customers’ framing wants/needs (more than at any other frame shop I’ve been to). In addition, she offers lower pricing than most (maybe all?) shops I’ve frequented, and Mona cares about every piece she frames.

With that care, Mona stressed to me the importance of using conservation clear glass on anything that is really important to me (especially if it would be difficult to replace if it fades) and acid-free mats. I’d heard the passing mention of acid-free mats before, but, before Mona did, no framer had ever before explained and expressed to me the importance of selecting nothing but acid-free mats.

* * * * * * * *

Part II will be posted within a day or two.

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

Breakfast with Roger Pohlman and Dave Spaulding

April 23, 2010

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Over breakfast this morning, Bill and I met with Roger Pohlman and Dave Spaulding.

Roger Pohlman and Dave Spaulding, April 23, 2010. Click on the photo to better see the glimmer in those eyes.

Roger Pohlman was Bill’s P.E. and junior high shop teacher, driver education instructor and football and track coach at Rolfe (Iowa) High School during the late ’60s and early ’70s. (He also was an assistant boys basketball coach.) In 1971, after Bill graduated, Roger became Rolfe’s high school principal. He served in that capacity during my junior and senior years and into the mid-’70s.

While both Roger and Dave are legendary as Rolfe faculty members, Dave had the longer tenure at Rolfe (from 1965 until 1983). He definitely provided more opportunity for former students to retell legends! Dave taught almost all the science classes at Rolfe High, as well as Senior Math. (When asked today if he ever coached, he said that he once was a chess coach.)

From the 1970 Rolfe (Iowa) High School yearbook: Mr. Spaulding is at the far left in the second row. Mr. Pohlman is at the far right in the 3rd row. Yes, this is the ENTIRE high school faculty! (Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

I wish I could squish into a short post some of those “do you remember when…” stories about Roger and Dave as educators, or about Rolfe High School and/or the community in general. But a short post wouldn’t do justice to the “Golden Apple” lifelong positive impact they had on Rolfe students in terms of discipline, character and thinking.

It will have to suffice to say that if you went to Rolfe High School and had one or both men for a teacher and/or administrator, you’d know that this morning we had a fun time reminiscing. Also, in your memory bank you’d probably have at least half of the yarns about Rolfe High that we chuckled about today. For example: How long girls’ skirts had to be; getting the switch during P.E. for throwing someone (a human thermometer) in the creek to check the water temperature; someone putting a car on autopilot during driver ed class; a starter’s pistol being used to wake up a student in geometry class; being awarded an F- grade (I did that once.); crawling through a car window in driver ed class after the car went into the ditch. (Who drove the car into the ditch? We don’t know.)

Roger and Dave are very, VERY interested in reconnecting with their former students and fellow staff members, too. If you want to reconnect with them, you may, of course, contact them on your own. When I mentioned this morning that I thought there would be others who’d like to get together with them, the response was, “Set it up and we’ll be there!”

If you have interest in getting together and would like me to set something up, let me know.

* * * * * * * *

Click here for previous posts about Dave Spaulding.

The newspaper article shown in the most recent post includes a photo of Roger Pohlman, Dick Barrett and the 1969 RHS football team. The photo is fairly dark, but fun to look at, nonetheless.

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

101 years (1888-1989) of Rolfe, Iowa, Newspapers Online

April 18, 2010

UPDATE July 12, 2012: The URL for the Rolfe, Iowa, newspaper archives is:

The oral history project endorsed by the Rolfe (Iowa) Public Library board is nearing completion.

The next fabulous project is that of digitizing 101 years of Rolfe newspapers so that they will be online and keyword-searchable.

The September 4, 1969, issue of The Rolfe Arrow on microfilm at the Pocahontas Public Library. (Click photo once and then again to enlarge.)

Currently those newspapers from 1888 to 1989* are on microfilm at the Pocahontas Public Library. For many of us who live at a distance, and even for those who live near Pocahontas, sometimes it is a little tricky to get to the Pocahontas library to look at that microfilm.

The Rolfe Public Library board recently endorsed the project of raising funds to digitize those 101 years of Rolfe newspapers. Once they are digitized, any computer with Internet access will be able to access those newspapers (unless the newspaper web site is blocked on a particular network).

Click here for an explanatory document about the project, including microfilm roll ID #s.** If you cannot open the explanatory document, please contact me. (Contact information is given below.) The information is also available at the Rolfe Public Library.



The first two pages of the explanatory document are informational, including the time span and ID# for each roll of microfilm. On the third page is a form to be used for donations to the project.

If you want to print just the donation form and not the rest of the information, click here for just the donation form. Directions for donating are on the form. All donation amounts are appreciated. (For the oral history project, donations ranged from $10 to several hundred dollars.)

If you have questions, please contact me for clarity and/or more information. My (Louise Gunderson Shimon) contact information is: 515-465-2746;; 14106 Green Dr., Perry, Iowa, 50220.

You may also ask at the Rolfe Public Library; however, since I know all the ins and outs of the project, it may be that you are referred to me.

If you’d like to contribute to the project but can’t right now, please give yourself a reminder.

If you think you might like to contribute but don’t currently have time or funds to do so, please write yourself some sort of reminder note or put a twist-tie around your finger!

One important detail is that all contributions should be made to the “Rolfe Public Library Trust.” The word “Trust” is important to include.

On behalf of the Rolfe Public Library board and staff, thank you for your interest in this project.

* * * * * * * *

Questions? Comments? Or, are you thinking I left out a vital piece of information? If so, please let me know.

*There may be a few issues missing.

**Roll ID #s are  provided on page 2 of the explanatory document for anyone who wishes to donate and specify sponsorship of one or more entire rolls of microfilm.

(Click here to go to this blog’s home page.)

Barndance, Ed Breen, and Jim Henry

April 17, 2010

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Mother (Marion Gunderson), me, and our television sometime between November 1955 and Feburary 1956. (Click photo to enlarge.)

Mother (Marion Gunderson), me (Louise Gunderson Shimon), and our television sometime between November 1955 and February 1956. (Click on photo to magnify the dial.)

After reading Jerry Farlow’s comments (two posts ago) about watching television in 1950 with Gary (or Greg?) Kaiser at Rickards’ store in Rolfe, Iowa, I called Gary Kaiser* and asked him, “Do you remember that?”

Gary: Oh, sure. I visually remember Rickards’ hardware store and that television sitting in the middle of the store. One channel was WOI and then they would try to get Mason City. I don’t remember the name of that station in Mason City. Those were the two stations that would come in. It was Saturday night and we would watch wrestling that was just pathetic. That’s what you watched. They would turn the dial trying to get a better picture. It was snow and then you might see visions of what it was. That‘s about all we got to see.

Gary: Here in Sioux City we have on Channel 4 a Breen. His grandfather, Ed Breen, owned the Fort Dodge TV station. Ed was a very distinguished man. I remember him as having a moustache that would look so debonair. Ed’s grandson is currently a newscaster here for Channel 4 in Sioux City.

Gary: I don’t remember when it came on the air but I remember on the Fort Dodge station they had a Barndance show. It aired on Saturday nights and it was so amateur that it was pathetic.

Louise: I remember Barndance. There was a girl a year older than I am, from Rolfe. Her name was Rania Kuchenreuther. I remember Rania singing “Tiny Bubbles” on Barndance.

Gary: There was also an elderly lady…remember this is live television. She was on on a regular basis. I don’t believe she should have been on television. It was that amateur.

Gary: I do remember Ed Breen as being so distinguished with his moustache and a blazer. And everything was live. Ed owned the station and, of course, when you owned the station I believe you were “on.” I remember him being on most of the time. This was not big production. This was, “I own, it. I’ve got to run it.”

Gary: Barndance was on Saturday nights at I think about 6:30. This would be in about 1955.

Louise: Was the Uncle Dick show on at that time?

Gary: I don’t remember that one. I do remember Jim Henry’s [Canyon Kid**] show coming in from Sioux City. The guy is still alive. He’s about 90 years old and he had cartoons every afternoon.

Louise: Are you meaning Floppy?

Gary: Oh, no. Floppy was on WHO out of Des Moines.  That gentleman is no longer living.

Gary: In Sioux City it was all local. Jim Henry’s model was…he had a vest that had every type of button you could think of on it. And that vest is in the museum here in Sioux City. That’s history of television in its earliest days.

Louise: So, when there was that television set in the middle of Rickards’ store, was that the first you had seen television?

Gary: Oh, sure.

Louise: Did you go there repeatedly?

Gary: On Saturday nights we’d go there, or Saturday afternoons. It was one of those things that…I think they had wires hanging in the store to get better reception. They kept moving the antennae trying to get better reception. It would fade in and fade out. I remember about the snow. You’d look at the picture and you could almost see something but you weren’t sure. That’s what it was at that time.

Louise: When did you get a television in your home?

Gary: Oh, I’m trying to think if it was ’53 or ’54. They were round…the picture tube was round when you looked at it.

Louise: Do you mean as round as a circle?

Gary: It was as round as a circle.** That was the picture in the tube.

* * * * * * * *

My intent is to post by tomorrow night (Sunday) about the next project endorsed by the Rolfe Public Library board.

*This transcript is posted with Gary Kaiser’s permission.

**This Canyon Kid YouTube video was produced by IPTV.

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

Round Television Picture Tubes in the 1950s

April 16, 2010

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In case you didn’t already notice, Jerry Farlow (Rolfe High School, 1955) commented on my most recent post. His comments are about watching television in 1950 with Gary Kaiser at the J.E. Rickard & Sons store in Rolfe, Iowa.

I called Gary Kaiser to ask him about that experience. I’ll include Gary’s comments in the next post. One thing about which Gary commented, which was news to me, was that the picture tubes of that era were round.

The Honeymooners television program shown in the YouTube video below did not air until later in the 1950s. However, according to this YouTube video’s information, the round-picture television sets shown in this video are from 1950.

At this link there is a photo of one of those 1950 “Porthole” televisions with a round picture.

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

“Television is Here” in 1950

April 12, 2010

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The Arrow (Rolfe, Iowa, newspaper), February 23, 1950. (Click photo to enlarge.)

This ad was published five years before I was born. I can only imagine the excitement generated from the (at that time) newfangled invention of television. If you remember anything about aspects of early televisions, television broadcasts (was the quality very good? dependable?), and/or the J.E. Rickard & Sons store, it would certainly be educational and/or fun to read your comments.

If you comment below (after clicking on the “Leave a Comment” link that is below) and it is your first time commenting on this blog, it takes a little while (sometimes minutes, sometimes hours) for the first-time comment to appear on the blog for others to read. Giving your email address is required, but I’m the only one who sees the email addresses. Giving a web site is not required.

If you do want to share your memories but don’t want to comment below, feel free to email me at .

I’ve been away from home for several days for a family wedding. When I return, I’ll get the ball rolling and in about a week I’ll fill you in about the next project endorsed by the Rolfe Public Library board.

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

Fords and Taxes in 1924

April 7, 2010

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These images from the April 3, 1924, issue of The Rolfe Arrow aren’t nearly as juicy as the 1914 Arrow ad I included in the last post. Yet, in this day and age it is hard to believe that once upon a time a brand new automobile could be purchased for $295.

Click on this photo to read who bought new Fords in 1914, and to get a glimpse of how taxes were of concern.


From the April 3, 1924, Rolfe Arrow. (Click on photo to enlarge.)


Does anyone know who owned the Rolfe Auto Co.?

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

Oh, my!!! You never know what you’ll find in a Rolfe, Iowa, newspaper!

April 3, 2010

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This past week I photographed advertisements and articles included in decades-old issues of Rolfe, Iowa, newspapers. The photos aren’t of the greatest quality, but, in my opinion, the content is priceless.

From the November 12, 1914, Plover Patriot, A Department of The Arrow. (Click photo to enlarge.)

As you can tell by the caption, this advertisement is from the Plover Patriot department of The [Rolfe] Arrow. Until recently, I had not realized that The Arrow had “department” space dedicated for news and advertisements of neighboring communities.

Because I’m still working on a project, over the course of the next two weeks I’ll post photos from those old issues of the Rolfe newspapers. Even if you might not have a Rolfe background/heritage, I think the history evidenced in the photos will have universal appeal.

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