Archive for July, 2010

Like Fawn, Like Ferdinand

July 24, 2010

Just like Ferdinand. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

I especially like the above photo. The fawn reminds me of Ferdinand, the bull in The Story of Ferdinand.

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Most mornings this summer Bill has seen a fawn and its mother come up the ravine past our house, move across the lot to the south, and disappear into the soybean field to the southwest of our house. I wonder if this fawn is the same that Bill has pointed out to me so many of those mornings. More photos…..


Deane C. Gunderson (Obituary, 1964 Fort Dodge Messenger Article, and Links to Additional Articles)

July 21, 2010

Daddy at the age of 88 in 2007. He looked just like this (including the sparkle in his eyes) until within days before he passed away on July 1st, 2010. The only difference from this photo and seeing him in “real life” was he typically had his shirt collar buttoned and was a true blue Iowa Stater wearing his self-handcrafted ISU bolo tie! (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Deane C. Gunderson, age 91, died on Thursday, July 1, 2010, at the Israel Family Hospice House in Ames.

Deane Charles Gunderson, son of John Christian Gunderson and DeElda (Lighter) Gunderson, was born on September 16, 1918, in Roosevelt Township, Pocahontas County, Iowa.  He graduated from Rolfe High School in 1935 and received B.S. degrees in Agricultural Engineering (1939) and Mechanical Engineering (1940) from Iowa State College.

On July 23, 1941, Deane Gunderson and Marion Abbott were married in Ogden, Utah.  They resided in Waterloo, Iowa, for nearly four years while Deane worked as an engineer for the John Deere Tractor Company.  In 1945 Marion and Deane moved with their three young children to the farm southwest of Rolfe where they continued to live for six decades.

Deane was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, president his senior year and president of the House Corporation for 24 years.  He was active in the Republican Party, Community Chest and Lions Club, and a Life Master in the American Contract Bridge League.

Deane was a member of the Shared Ministry of Rolfe.  He served on the Board of Directors of the Rolfe State Bank.  He was involved in public education for 25 years, having served on the Rolfe Community School District Board of Directors from 1966 to 1981, and as a Director and Treasurer of the Iowa Association of School Boards from 1971-1991.  He also served on the Board of Governors of the Iowa State University Foundation.

In 1980, Iowa State University awarded Alumni Recognition Medals to Deane and Marion.  He was an avid Cyclone fan and in 1975 created an 11½-foot, welded sculpture of Cy that stood at the north end of the ISU football stadium for many years.  In 1981 Iowa State named Deane as Cy’s Favorite Alum.

During 1975-1977, Deane wrote a weekly column, “Bubbles in the Wine,” for The Rolfe Arrow.

His interests included farming, education, mathematics, welding, land surveying and farm drainage systems.  He specialized in creating larger combinations of farm machinery* for increased production per farm worker.  He seemed to have friends wherever he went and enjoyed engaging them with his stories.  He was proud of his children and delighted in his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  He was a generous person, encouraged others in their endeavors and was noted for pointing out life’s wonders, including Sputnik, the Pythagorean theorem, bean seeds germinating, a fox den in a creek bank, and the West Bend Grotto.

Deane was preceded in death by his wife, Marion, his parents, and one son, Christian Gunderson.  He is survived by his son Charles Gunderson and wife Gloria; daughters Clara Hoover and husband Harold, Helen Gunderson, Martha Carlson and husband Michael, Margaret Moore and husband Jeffrey, and Louise Shimon and husband William; seven grandchildren: Christina Gunderson, Timothy Gunderson, Kevin Carlson, Joshua Moore, Jonathan Moore, Abigail Shimon and Kathryn (Shimon) Moon; three great-grandchildren: Michael Williams, Addison Valletta and Jackson Johnstone; and several cousins.

A memorial service will be held at the Shared Ministry of Rolfe at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 31.

In lieu of flowers, Deane requested contributions be made to the Rolfe Lions Club (P.O. Box 101, Rolfe, Iowa 50581).

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*If you have time, I hope you will click TWICE on this photo to read this 1964 Fort Dodge Messenger article about one aspect of my dad’s engineering. (With clicking on the photo just once, the text will likely be too small to read. This is posted with permission granted by The Messenger.)

Daddy’s obituary will be in today’s (July 21st) edition of the Pocahontas Record-Democrat. It will also be in this Sunday’s (July 25th) edition of the Fort Dodge Messenger, the Ames Tribune and the Des Moines Register. Sometime later I’ll post a bunch of photos of Daddy; in the same post as his obituary somehow just didn’t seem to work for me.

If you are able to attend Daddy’s service and luncheon afterward, please be sure to let me know you are there. (I felt so bad that I missed some people who were at Mother’s service.) Also, if you can’t attend the service but think you will be in Rolfe later in the day on the 31st or sometime that weekend, it would be nice if you’d email ( or call me to let me know; maybe we could work out a way to have our paths cross.

(Cy’s Favorite Alum)

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

4 Minor League Games in 4 Nights: Burlington Bees, Quad Cities River Bandits, Clinton LumberKings, and Cedar Rapids Kernels

July 19, 2010

Yesterday (Sunday) Bill and I returned from our self-proclaimed “baseball and crop tour.” The baseball part was all in eastern Iowa; the crop part extended into Illinois.

Each evening of this past Wednesday through Saturday, July 14th-17th, we attended a Class A minor league baseball game. The first three were along the Mississippi River; the fourth was in Cedar Rapids.

These were the Class A Midwest League standings prior to game time on Friday, July 16th. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

While our primary goals were to attend a baseball game each day and to check out crops, we also tried to dine at a brewpub each day. On Monday we intended to go to a brewpub in Fort Madison, only to find out it was closed that day. At the recommendation of a local, we ended up at The Drake restaurant on the riverfront in Burlington. For both Bill and me, the favorite meal of the trip was at The Drake. There I had the “Oak Grilled Salmon” which was delectably complemented with my side choice of risotto. Bill had the “Slow-Smoked Brisket.”

We weren’t all that wild about the beer at any of the brewpubs where we stopped, but we did like the Bier Stube Bar & Grill in LeClaire. The pretzels and beer were authentic enough to stir fond memories of Germany.

Our favorite ballpark ambience was at the Burlington Bees’ Community Field; its atmosphere came the closest to being pure baseball. Although there was a brick and mortar stadium, a sense of Field of Dreams entered our minds. We sat in the third row on the third base side. While players were on deck we could listen to them talk with each other and/or talk with spectators. We liked that the atmosphere wasn’t as commercialized as at the other three ball parks. The only drawback was that we weren’t in the shade; we were at the other ballparks. However, even though temperatures had been into the mid- (maybe upper?) 90s the evening we were at the Bees’ ballpark, with the sun at our backs and the game starting at 7:00 PM, we were comfortable.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Burlington Bees’ regular attendee, Dancing Bob. Bill and I got a kick out of watching Dancing Bob dance to just about every song played over the Bees’ PA system. According to the woman sitting in front of me, Dancing Bob attends every (or almost every?) game and, with his brother, after the games cleans up the stadium. The night we were there, throughout the game Dancing Bob was surrounded by children who danced the night away with him.

Our “worst” ballpark food was our brats at the Quad Cities game. However, in hindsight that might have been because their brats are probably more like authentic German brats (definite casing to chew through, which I’m not fond of), indicative of the German heritage in that area.

On Friday, we went to the German American Heritage Center in Davenport. We didn’t stay long but were glad we stopped. The center’s web site says, “The GAHC building was built in the 1860s, and was originally the Standard Hotel where thousands of German immigrants stayed in the 1800s when they arrived in the area.”

Admittedly, the following photos of Bill and me aren’t all that exciting or telling. Basically we have about one photo from each ballpark, except for at the Clinton stadium where the Klement’s Sausage mascots were just too funny. The following links provide team/stadium information.

Wednesday, July 14th: Burlington Bees

Bill and me before the Burlington Bees game, July 14th.


Thursday, July 15th: Quad Cities River Bandits

During the Quad Cities River Bandits game. In the background is the bridge over the Mississippi River.


Friday, July 16th: Clinton LumberKings

At the Clinton LumberKings game.


Late in the LumberKings' game when things were slow, the three (two seen in this photo) Klement's Sausage mascots were hilarious as they livened things up in the stands. (Click on photo to enlarge.)


Saturday, July 17th: Cedar Rapids Kernels

In the 9th inning of the Cedar Rapids Kernels game.


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

Fit for a Queen

July 14, 2010

Fairfield, Iowa, July 14th, 2010. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

This tire store is next to a mattress store in Fairfield, Iowa. In the background is the sign for “Yummy’s Gourmet Cakes.”

If you are looking for information about my dad’s service and/or obituary, click here. I’ll post more next week about my conversation with Sharon (Wickre) Rickard.

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

Until next week ….. (unless I surprise myself)

July 13, 2010

In my most recent post I had said that by the end of this week I’d post the third segment of my conversation with Sharon (Wickre) Rickard.

I have so much fun posting that I hate to say this, but I need to go back on my word. My intent is to post again by Tuesday or Wednesday, the 20th or 21st of this month (i.e., next week). Maybe I’ll surprise myself and post before then, but I doubt it.

Several people have asked when Daddy’s (Deane Gunderson) memorial service will be, and have also asked when his obituary will be in the newspapers. His obituary (ooooooohhh, it is difficult for me to use that word in reference to Daddy) is intended to be in the Pocahontas Record-Democrat on Wednesday, July 21st. It is also supposed to be in the Sunday, July 25th edition of the Ames Tribune, the Fort Dodge Messenger and the Des Moines Register.

I’ll wait until his obituary is published in the Pocahontas paper on the 21st before I post it on this blog.

His memorial service will be at the Shared Ministry in Rolfe, Iowa, at 11:00 AM on Saturday, July 31st (right before lunch on the last day of the month…if that helps you to remember). Directly afterward will be a luncheon in the church basement.

During the several years before his passing away on July 1st, Daddy had said that if people wished to provide a memorial gift, he liked the idea of it going to the Rolfe Lions Club. If you would like to do so and want to mail your contribution directly to the Rolfe Lions Club, the address is: P.O. Box 101, Rolfe, Iowa, 50581.

If you do attend the service, please (if you don’t mind) be sure to let me know you are there…even if you think I might have seen you there. A few days after Mother’s service in 2004, I became aware that I had not been aware of a long time family friend who had attended the service. I hated it that I missed the chance to talk with him.

“See” you soon with a post sometime next week.

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

Rolfe, Iowa, in the ’40s and ’50s: The Wickre Story — Part II

July 9, 2010

According to Sharon (Wickre) Rickard, this photo was taken of the feed mill in Rolfe, Iowa, "After my dad opened for business." At the beginning of the Wickre ownership of this business in 1944, it was named Climax Mill and Feed. Later it was Climax Feed and Grain. (Click on photo to enlarge.)


Click here to listen to the second of five segments of a conversation I had this spring with Sharon (Wickre) Rickard (Rolfe High School, 1960). This segment is approximately seven minutes long.

The first two segments refer mainly to Sharon’s parents’ Rolfe business shown in the photograph above. All of the five segments have to do with Sharon being raised in Rolfe, Iowa, from 1944 to 1960.

If anything Sharon said conjures up any of your memories, I hope you will email them to me ( and/or include them below in the comment area.

Sharon’s parents, Barbara and Henry Wickre, purchased Climax Mill and Feed in 1944, the same year they moved to Rolfe with Sharon and her sister Beryl. (Sharon was two years old at the time.) Because the functionality of the business changed at a later date, they changed the name to Climax Feed and Grain. That functionality change is explained in the first segment included in a previous post. That previous post shows two photos…including the “elevator” scale.

In the comment section of that previous post, my sister, Clara, asked me to tell my story about that scale. It IS a fun little story…! But, not then! You may navigate to that story by clicking on the following links.

Grain Elevators and Teenage Dating — Part I

Grain Elevators and Teenage Dating — Part II

Subsequent segments of my conversation with Sharon refer to several former and/or present landmarks in Rolfe, Iowa. I’ll most likely have the third segment posted by mid- to late- next week.

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

Help the Lions Help Others

July 7, 2010

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

Daddy is on the left with (I think) auctioneer Jay Arnold during a Lions Club auction when it used to be held at Rolfe's Post Office parking lot. The view is looking northerly. Daddy was in charge of the Lions Club auction for several years. I remember he'd contact area residents, including all of the business owners in town, for donations. (Click photo to enlarge.)

A previous post includes information about my dad’s (Deane Gunderson) “Bubbles in the Wine” weekly column that he wrote in the ’70s for The Rolfe Arrow. Below is another of his “Bubbles” columns, this time having to do with the Rolfe (Iowa) Lions Club annual auction.

This Saturday, July 10th at 11:00 AM, during Greater Rolfe Days will once again be the Lions’ annual auction. It will be held at the gazebo on Main Street. (I’ll be in the library across the street selling prints of Mother’s watercolors. The prints profits will go toward digitizing 101 years of Rolfe newspapers so they will eventually be accessible at no charge on the web.)

Before my dad passed away last week, he requested that in lieu of flowers, any memorial contributions be made to the Rolfe Lions Club (P.O. Box 101, Rolfe, Iowa 50581). He’d be just as glad if you stopped by the gazebo this coming Saturday and bought something for way more than it was worth in an effort to “Help the Lions Help Others.”

Also, at 10:00 AM on Saturday, just before the auction, will be the Greater Rolfe Days parade…with the Rolfe Lions as Grand Marshals. How fitting!


In the March 6, 1975, issue of The Rolfe Arrow

by Deane Gunderson

Elsewhere in this issue is an ad about the annual Lions Club sale which this year will be held March 8 at 1:30 p.m. The proceeds “Help The Lions Help Others.”

The Lions, officially known as Lions International, has over a million Lions club members in 147 countries. The purpose stated in the constitution is to serve others. Our club has [?] members. Roger Witt is our president; Pat Wood is our secretary and has been a Zone chairman.

The main projects of the national organization are related to serving the blind. They are:

(1) Operation of an eye bank — a storage of eyes in medical centers for the replacement of faulty eyes.

(2) Sponsoring a school for leader dogs.

(3) Collecting discarded eyeglasses which are checked and redistributed through a national center. (We’ll take yours.)

Our neighboring towns of Palmer, Gilmore City, Laurens, and West Bend have Lions Clubs. Some towns have clubs that are more for fun and the pulling of practical jokes on each other at the meetings. Our Rolfe club is a serious club and is very intent on the service angle. Proof of this is this list of local activities:

(1) Easter sunrise services.

(2) Easter Egg hunt.

(3) Scholastic banquet for honor roll students.

(4) College educational fund for two handicapped children, one now in college.

(5) Summer Little League program.

(6) Eye glasses for the needy students in Rolfe School. The students remain anonymous as far as the Lions are concerned.

(7) Christmas baskets for the elderly and/or needy.

(8) Ushering for basketball games.

(9) Installation of house numbers, street signs and sidewalk benches.

The Lions are grateful to the merchants and other people of Rolfe for their generous support of our projects. Almost every merchant will be donating some new merchandise for the sale, and other people will be donating worthwhile used items — some real goodies. Homemade baked goods will be donated. The auctioneering and clerking are donated.

We have some fun too. Several years ago we sold one bushel of competing seed corns (buyer’s choice). The price got up to $70. Les Allen and Art Sellers were bidding against each other, but Les had the advantage because he charged half to his landlord*.

So, Saturday, March 8, be in Rolfe, bring your money, take home some bargains, and “Help The Lions Help Others.”

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*Hmmm…..The inside joke is that I think that landlord just happened to be someone with the initials of D. G.! That Les was certainly a prankster.

Most likely next week I’ll include information about the Rolfe Lions Club’s current projects. My intent is to later this week post the second audio segment of my conversation with Sharon (Wickre) Rickard. I’ll wait until July 21st to post my dad’s official obituary. His memorial service will be at 11:00 AM on Saturday, July 31st at the Shared Ministry in Rolfe.

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

Rolfe, Iowa, in the ’40s and ’50s: The Wickre Story

July 4, 2010

Sharon (Wickre) Rickard said this photo is of Climax Feed and Grain, "When we bought it from Vic Shimon in 1944." (Click on photo to enlarge.)

This 2009 photo is of the same location as the photo at the top of this post. In this photo (immediately above) is the former Farmers Co-op grain elevator office and scale, used until moving to the new location to the south across Broad Street in 2002. The scale dial hung in the window and was used until the early/mid 1980's when it was replaced with a digital readout and printer system. (Click photo to enlarge.).

This post includes the first segment of a conversation I had with Sharon (Wickre) Rickard (Rolfe High School ’60) this spring. We talked a lot about the Rolfe business owned by Sharon’s parents: Climax Mill and Feed which later became Climax Feed and Grain.

To listen to the first segment (9 1/2 minutes long), click on this link: SharonWickreRickardDPart1.

Partial map of Rolfe, Iowa, including landmarks referred to by Sharon. (Click on map to enlarge.)

This map at left includes just one portion of Rolfe over a cross-section of time. (I.e., it includes a mix of former and current landmarks.) I’ve tried to include areas in Rolfe that Sharon mentioned during our conversation*.

I’ve divided Sharon’s and my conversation into five segments. I’ll include those segments in five sequential posts. However, in the string of those posts, I may intersperse additional posts about unrelated topics.

* * * * * * * *

*If you want to refer to the map while you listen to the audio recording, you may do so by opening your browser to view the map, and then by opening a second tab/window in your browser to listen to the audio.

Most likely I won’t post the second segment for another week or so, since I want to post something related to my dad. As far as my dad goes, his memorial service will be at 11:00 AM on Saturday, July 31st at the Shared Ministry in Rolfe, Iowa. Immediately after the service, there will be a luncheon in the church basement. (I.e., we will not be going to the cemetery between the service and luncheon.)

Daddy requested that, in lieu of flowers, any memorials be given to the Rolfe Lions Club. For anyone who wishes to do so, contributions may be mailed to P.O. Box 101, Rolfe, Iowa, 50581.

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

What do you use for a title on the day that your father passes away?

July 1, 2010

My dad, Deane Gunderson, passed away today.

He was (still is, in my mind…you know…the present tense) 91 years old — almost 92. He fell a second time on this year’s Father’s Day, after an initial fall two months ago. He had been hospitalized since June 20th until yesterday when he was transferred to a hospice house.

Wow, what a G-R-E-A-T guy. Always a loving (even when strict) “teacher,” always looking for the best in people and always trying to make the most of life (his own and others’).

I feel so incredibly lucky that I’ve been able to spend so much time with him these past several years (my whole life, actually), especially recently. He exemplified the “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade” philosophy.

I wanted to post maybe a couple of pictures that captured some of his unique traits. Just starting to look, I came up with 40 photos…and I knew I had even more. I want to post them ALL!

I’m pooped. So, for now I’ll post just two of my favorite “a picture tells a thousand words” images that tell about my full-of-life dad. Yes, I know…almost every dad is “great.” So, thank you for indulging me in the past, today, and in the future by letting me express my joy in relation to my dad.

From the Iowa State vs Missouri football program, Homecoming, October 17, 1981. (Click photo twice to read text.)


Daddy (Deane Gunderson) dancing with Peggy at Katie's and Joe's wedding two years ago, July 2008. At age 89 he was the life of the party. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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Click here for another post about my dad’s statue of Cy. It includes a photo of him with Cy in 1975 and another photo of him with Cy from 2007. Cy will be in Rolfe on the Karras RAGBRAI loop on Monday, July 26th.

My dad’s memorial service will be in Rolfe, Iowa, sometime on Saturday, July 31st. By next week I’ll post more details.

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