Archive for February, 2011

Iowa State’s 1981 Cy’s Favorite Alum (shhhhhh…) Attended the University of Iowa

February 27, 2011

Click on résumé to magnify detail.

In a previous post I included my father’s (Deane Gunderson) 1940 résumé. Under his sub-heading of education, my father included that he had attended one summer session/program at the University of Iowa. This newspaper article (below) tells about that session specifically geared toward high school seniors and the study of physics. By putting a few clues together, I believe this June 13, 1935, article is from a Rolfe Arrow.

Other than this particular summer session, my father’s collegiate studies were at Iowa State College. From there he received two engineering degrees: a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering in 1939, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1940.


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


Population Trends for Pocahontas County and Rolfe, Iowa

February 24, 2011

In case you didn’t see it already, published an interactive map indicating the population changes for each Iowa county  as indicated by the 2010 census. Of all 99 Iowa counties, Pocahontas County had the biggest percentage drop — minus 15.6% — in population. Rolfe, Iowa, my hometown, is in Pocahontas County.

In my dad’s 1976 Bubbles in the Wine column (below) about population trends, he referred to Pat Wood. Since Pat was a former mayor of Rolfe and longtime businessman there, I thought it would be fun to include a couple of photos of him. Pat passed away in 1987.

This photo of Pat was taken in 1976 by, I assume, my mother (Marion Gunderson). During that year of our nation's bicentennial, my mother photographed nearly every Rolfe community member. All of those photos are in albums at the Rolfe Public Library. (Click on photo to enlarge.)



Bubbles in the Wine — Rolfe [Iowa] Arrow weekly column

September 23, 1976

by Deane Gunderson

Several years ago the Register had an article on the projected population growth of different Iowa areas to the year 2020. The Skunk River valley area — Ames, Newton, etc. — was predicted to have the highest growth (0.45 percent per year). Our area, the Des Moines River valley was predicted to have an increase of 0.35 percent per year. The lowest was southwest Iowa, I believe.

I visited with Mayor [Pat] Wood a few days ago. He told me that whereas the town of Rolfe had an official census of 767 in 1970, the population, according to the count taken in February, 1976, was 838.

That’s a nice gain and it has been gratifying to see a number of your  young people come back to Rolfe as well as others that have moved into town.

Projecting from the figure of 838 at the rate of 0.35 percent per year, we come up with a figure of 976 in the year 2020. Or using the 6 year growth rate from 767 to 838 (and assuming it would continue) we would come to a figure of 1359 in the year 2020.

We would like to think that if the town did get to one of those figures it would mean that the Rolfe School would have a substantial gain in enrollment. That will probably not be the case as the percentage of old people is increasing, the young ones decreasing. That is substantiated by there having been a school enrollment drop averaging 8 per year for the last 5 years, the heaviest being the last two years — even with the town population increasing as mentioned. The 1976 census shows only 247 people age 0 to 20. The drop in farm population is no doubt a factor also.

The influx of population to Rolfe seems to be primarily retiring people  and people that are using Rolfe as a bed room town and working elsewhere. The latter is probably the greatest hope that we have to continue to grow some. It seems that we haven’t had much sound interest by anyone in locating an industry here — and apparently the same is true in other towns of our size.

It’s easy for me to understand why there hasn’t been a lot of interest in locating industries in smaller towns and why there probably won’t be in the future. This writer attended a meeting in a larger town outside the county several years ago and listened to the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce tell what all they were doing and offering to find industries that might locate there. The extent and the detail of their research amazed me. My feeling ever since that time is that with all the bird-dogging by the larger towns and cities, there would be very little chance of industries coming to the smaller towns.

This photo of Pat Wood and Tom Diggs is taken from the November 19, 1970, edition of The Rolfe Arrow.


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

Another Mystery Item: Brass and Glass (Part II)

February 22, 2011

This steam engine photo is from the October 2, 1959, Fort Dodge Messenger and Chronicle.* I don't know for sure, but assume that this steam engine is similar in concept to that of my Great-Uncle Art (mentioned below).


Click on image to enlarge.

In the previous post I included a photo of what my father  (Deane Gunderson) said is a steam engine crankshaft oiler. I don’t know if that is the official name for the item or more of a descriptive name.

On Independence Day in 2005 my dad and I were cleaning out the furnace room of the basement at Gunderland. We ran across two steam engine oilers, both of which my dad later passed along to me, including the one in the photo at the left. Below are my notes from asking Daddy questions that day about the oilers.


Daddy guesses the oilers are from the 1920s during Uncle Art Gunderson’s (Aunt Ruth’s and Grandpa John’s brother) time.

They are an oiler for an old steam engine. Daddy said, “I’ve always associated them with Uncle Art Gunderson because he owned a steam engine. You take off the cap. Pour oil in and put the cap back on. If the engine was running and you wanted to lubricate the big shaft, you would pull the lever up and the oil would drip. At night you would close (it) because the machine would not be running. Otherwise it would drip and waste.”

I asked Daddy why Uncle Art had a steam engine. Daddy said, “It went with the threshing machine. It furnished the power for the threshing machine.”


Art Gunderson is the tallest man, third from the right. L to R are my grandfather and his siblings with their parents: John Gunderson (my grandfather), Martha Gunderson Boggs, Charles Lewis (my great-grandfather), Dena (my great-grandmother), Arthur (the great-uncle who owned the steam engine), Ruth Gunderson VandeSteeg and Naomi Gunderson. About this photo my mother wrote, "Golden Wedding Anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. C.L. Gunderson in 1934."


*I’ll post the full Fort Dodge Messener and Chronicle article within the next month.

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

Another Mystery Item: Brass and Glass

February 20, 2011

I’m curious to know if you know what the item in this photograph is, and how it was used. I do know, but only because my father, Deane Gunderson, told me.

If you prefer to not comment below, but would like to email to tell me your guess, or your in-the-know answer, feel free to do so.

Clicking on this photo will magnify detail.


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

(Pretending to) Get Married in Mallard, Iowa

February 15, 2011

Tonight I was going through some super8/8mm movies that I don’t know if I’d ever even seen. I ran across this shorty (21 seconds) from my days of teaching home economics at Mallard, Iowa. The video is of the students in the senior Home Arts class as they were escorted into the home ec. room for their mock weddings.

The Home Arts curriculum was set before I started teaching at Mallard. It was geared 100% to getting married. The administration’s expectation was that I follow the curriculum of the previous home ec. teacher…probably because it had always been a popular class, and, face it, at that time, there was more focus in society on being married as opposed to not.

If I were teaching a similar class today, I’d have the students concentrate more on things like family finance, compatibility, and commitment than on choosing a wedding cake or the four Cs when shopping for a diamond.

When I started teaching at Mallard I was 20 years old; some of the seniors were just a year younger than I at the time. I might have had more growing up yet to do than many of them did!

Oh, yes…I remember the “boys” class when they cooked a turkey for Thanksgiving. They got their clean-up done awfully quickly. Sort of. I didn’t discover until the end of the year that those boys put the turkey bones way back in the corner of the lower cabinets! (How I didn’t discover those turkey bones before then, I’ll never know!)

Those same boys had a home ec. lesson in mending/patching jeans. But, the laugh was on me…or rather on Bill. The boys practiced their mending on Bill’s jeans. After I took the jeans home to Bill and he went to step into a pair, he discovered that those boys had sewn his pant legs closed!

Back to the video. After the Home Arts students graduated in the spring of ’77, Bill and I had a get-together for them at our home. (I.e., all or almost all of the students in the video showed up at our house.) We had no idea what to expect, but to cover our fannies, we made sure that the students were of legal age. (All were except for one girl.) There did end up being some “adult” beverages brought by at least one student, which made me quite nervous. But, in talking with the parents afterward, they were just glad their daughters and sons were with us instead of who knows where.

Fond memories of the days that were. Just like yesterday, today and tomorrow will one day turn into the fond memories for our futures.

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

How to Write a Résumé … in 1940

February 11, 2011

To enlarge the résumé text, click once on the image. Twice for further magnification.


The year: 1940. My father’s (Deane* Gunderson) résumé most likely played at least a small part in his landing a job with the John Deere Tractor Company in Waterloo, Iowa. He was an engineer for John Deere from 1940-1945.

Can you imagine the looks on the faces of human resources personnel if this résumé came across their desks in this day and age? Forget the looks. What about the potential law suits if in 2011 they did hire him…or if they didn’t?!!!

* * * * * * * *

*My father’s legal first name is “Deane.” For a while he dropped the last letter and went by “Dean.”

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

Red, Red, Red

February 9, 2011

The red background in the above banner is a cropping from the photo of strawberry pretzel salad in this post. The post includes a link to the salad recipe, as well. If you’re looking for a yummy salad for Valentine’s Day, or anytime, I hope you’ll try the recipe.

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

Today is to -12º F as Spring is to Bright Tulips

February 8, 2011

When I awakened this morning the thermometer read -12º F. While I know that is a heat wave for some of you, I’m staying in the house and thinking S-P-R-I-N-G!

Last April I photographed this Willis Avenue (Perry, Iowa) tulip (above). It caught my eye because it is similar to tulips in Mother’s (Marion Gunderson) Bright Tulips 1968 watercolor shown below.


The Bright Tulips original is owned by Kim Webb Toth-Tevel of California. Kim, a granddaughter of the late Jane Webb (formerly of Rolfe, Iowa, and dear friend of Mother’s), was generous to ship her painting to me so prints of it could be made.

Bright Tulips prints in three sizes* are available by contacting me directly at or by ordering online. A limited supply of Bright Tulips is available at Wild Faces Gallery (712-848-3399) in Rolfe, and the Rolfe Public Library (712-848-3143). The profits go to the Rolfe Public Library where Mother worked for thirty-five years.

*The three sizes are as follows: 10″ H x 13.3″ W (Medium $25), 13.25″ H x 17.6″ W (Standard $35…when matted, fits in standard 20″ x 24″ frame) and 16.4″ H x 22″ W (Grand $50). Larger sizes may be special ordered by contacting me or the gallery.

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

Super Bowl (or any other) Commercials and the Rule of Thirds

February 6, 2011

While watching Super Bowl commercials or any other ads (whether moving video or still photo) an interesting concept to keep in mind is the content of the following YouTube video. The narrator explains the Fibonacci Series and how it relates to the Rule of Thirds in composition.*

The video is 5 1/2 minutes in length. The first 2 minutes are about mathematical theory, including referring to The Da Vinci Code. The last 3 1/2 minutes are specifically about the Rule of Thirds.

Also interesting is analyzing how Mother (Marion Gunderson) applied the Rule of Thirds in her watercolors. At this link which of Mother’s watercolors catch your eye the most? And, do you think your preferences regarding Mother’s watercolors, or any other artwork, have anything to do with the Rule of Thirds? Is there artwork in your home that over time still keeps your interest, but other artwork you own seems blah? Do you think the Rule of Thirds has anything to do with your continued interest, or declining interest? Even if you prefer to remain private with your response,  the concept is certainly interesting to ponder.

*I understand the Fibonacci Series and I understand the Rule of Thirds. For me to understand more thoroughly how the two theories connect is going to require further study.

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

Deicing in Dallas

February 4, 2011


The aircraft in the distance is being deiced at the Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport Thursday morning. You can see the part-glycol fluid somewhat pooled on the aircraft. I took this photo from inside the aircraft that was next in line to be deiced. (Click on image to enlarge.)

Yesterday I flew from Dallas to Minneapolis to Des Moines. After boarding Delta’s Embraer 175 (twin-jet) at DFW, passengers were told that our aircraft needed to be deiced. It had picked up ice en route from Detroit to Dallas earlier yesterday.

The following is a video* of one wing being deiced. I’m wondering how many gallons of deicing fluid were needed for just this one wing, and how much fluid in total for this aircraft.

A pilot friend told me tonight that in 2001 he had a Beach King Air deiced. The King Air was an approximately 10-seat plane with a wingspan of approximately 50 feet. It had severe icing about 1/2 inch thick. In 2001 the cost for deicing the thick ice on his small aircraft was $3,000…300 gallons of deicing fluid at $10/gallon. If there had been just frost on the wings, the deicing cost would have been much less.

So…that was $3,000 in 2001 to deice a small aircraft. With deicing fluid prices being higher** a decade later in 2011, just think how astounding the cost of deicing must be on aircraft with much larger surface areas (i.e., huge jets) than the Beach King Air.

I want to get this posted tonight, so am not taking the time to research about different types of deicing fluid. However, some basic information about different types of fluids is included in this 2001 article.

*I am wondering if the drain-looking circle in the concrete at the lower right of the video is part of some sort of deicing fluid recapture system. DFW has dedicated deicing pads. The aircraft I was in departed the terminal and was deiced at one of these pads before taking off.

**according to a few online forums

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