Archive for July, 2011

1949: Marion Gunderson’s Watercolors and Rolfe, Iowa, School Yearbook

July 26, 2011

This is the first in a series of posts in which I will include from the same year:

  • images of watercolors painted by Mother (Marion A. Gunderson), and
  • the Rolfe, Iowa, school yearbook. (Scroll down quite a ways to get to the yearbook.)

To look for Rolfe yearbooks by decade, you may go to this blog’s home page and, in the column at the right, click on one of the yearbook decade links (e.g., “1940s”). So far there are only two yearbooks posted at this blog, the other one being 1966-67.

I don’t know how soon I’ll post another watercolor/yearbook combination. By the time of Rolfe’s 2013 sesquicentennial, I hope to post every Rolfe school yearbook to which I have access, at least through the ’70s. Time to scan and public interest will be telling factors.

If you know of any Rolfe school yearbook(s) looking for a home, please check with Penny at the Rolfe Public Library to see if any are needed/wanted (712-848-3143). Or check with me to see if I need any for scanning and returning … or keeping if a return is not desired (mariongundersonart@gmail.com).

On a similar note, if you or someone you know has a watercolor painted by Mother, if you’d make me aware of it, I’d appreciate it. I might ask for a snapshot, or maybe even to make prints. I never ask to keep a painting, although twice that has been offered, for which many of my family members are thrilled.

It’s no secret that I have a passion for promoting prints of Mother’s watercolors, with the profits going to the Rolfe Public Library. I also am passionate about promoting Rolfe, in general.

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The Year of Watercolors: 1949

The Rolfe School Yearbook (scroll down): 1948-1949

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You may read about Clara’s, my oldest sister, discovery of Mother’s 1949 Ear of Iowa Corn (below) in three posts: Part I, and Part II, and Part III.

Ear of Iowa Corn, watercolor by Marion Gunderson, 1949. Prints are available.

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Next is my dad’s (Deane Gunderson) bowling ball, bag and one of his shoes. He bowled in a league in Waterloo, Iowa, in the early 1940s. He continued to bowl when he and Mother moved back to the farm in 1945. While we’ve always had this 1949 Bowling watercolor, because it had been tucked away for a while, it now seems nostalgically fresh.

Bowling, watercolor by Marion Gunderson, 1949. Prints are available.

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You can read about the following two grain elevator 1949 watercolors (of the same Pocahontas, Iowa, grain elevator) here.

Grain Elevator II (Pocahontas, Iowa), watercolor by Marion Gunderson, 1949. Prints are available.

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Grain Elevator I (Pocahontas, Iowa) watercolor by Marion Gunderson, 1949. Prints are available.

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The next two images are also of watercolors Mother painted in 1949. Clicking on them will enlarge the images, as is the case for any image in this post. I think these two watercolors, especially that of the rag doll, are not typical of Mother’s style of painting.

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1949 Rolfe School Yearbook

The images (below) from the 1948-49 Rolfe school The Red and Gold yearbook are a little fuzzy. The pages are a little textured, not of glossy paper like current-day yearbooks. Still, they provide a yester-year trip back to Rolfe. Remember — clicking on the images enlarges them. Have fun!

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

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Friendly Fawn

July 25, 2011

(If you click on only one photo in this post, I suggest it be the second one. Of course, I hope you’ll click on all of them!)

This fawn was in our backyard yesterday. The lens I typically have attached to my camera for spontaneous shoots is my 24-105mm lens. How lucky I was yesterday, when Bill told me to hurry outside to see this fawn, that I already had my 135mm lens with 1.4x extender attached, ready to go.

I think I wish the wildflowers (in the first photo) in the background were a little more in focus. Or, maybe not. Either way, I love the combination of Bill’s wildflowers and this fawn.

In the second photo I like the close-up detail of the fawn’s “eyelashes.” Clicking on any of the images will magnify the detail. None of these images have been cropped.

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In the first thumbnail (below) I think the fawn is trying to use its tongue to get rid of a fly.

The fawn is to the west of our house when it is running away and has its hind legs in the air (below). The neighbor across the road had just hollered a “Hi, Bill!” without knowing I was taking photos. The fawn was startled and ran into the cornfield (in the last thumbnail) which is to the southwest of our home. This is the same cornfield I posted about on May 18, 2011, and June 29, 2011.

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Photo Shutter and Aperture Information

IMG_4434 (wildflowers) and IMG_4537 (close-up): shutter speed 1/400; aperture f/9.0

IMG_4344 (fly-tongue): shutter speed 1/500; aperture f/10.0

IMG_4586 (trotting): shutter speed 1/400, aperture f/9.0

IMG_4640 (turning back to look): shutter speed 1/500, aperture f/7.1

IMG_4674 (tail and hind legs up) and IMG_4709 (cornfield): shutter speed 1/400, aperture f/7.1

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Next up (unless something seems more pressing): Mother’s 1949 watercolors and the 1948-49 Rolfe school yearbook.

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

The Cows’ Perspective on Today’s Weather

July 17, 2011

 

This was daughter Katie's view today as she was biking on the trail between Redfield and Linden, Iowa. At almost 5:00 PM and about a half-hour's drive from these cows, Bill's and my thermometer says 96 degrees. (These cows want you to click on this image so they can see you better.)

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

Nothing newsy…just saying I’ll post soon.

July 16, 2011

I’ll get going with a new post soon after July 22nd, if not before. Bill and I have construction taking place where we live. The construction plus other commitments are requiring attention lately. Also, I’ve spent time trying to locate bread crumbs leading to more of Mother’s (Marion Gunderson) watercolors. I wonder if that process is likened to working on genealogy leads, often coming up with few results per time spent but when there are results, it’s like buried treasure was found.

Soon I want to post the Rolfe 1948-49 high school yearbook along with images of watercolors painted by Mother during that same time frame. All of those ’48-’49 watercolor images are already posted on this blog. I just think it is fun to take a look at them from a different perspective: alongside the yearbook photos from the same era.

I’ll “see” you soon with another post.

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

Dates Set for Rolfe, Iowa’s, Sesquicentennial: July 12, 13, 14, 2013

July 12, 2011

I’m excited to know of the dates for the Rolfe, Iowa, 2013 Sesquicentennial. Maybe the dates have been set for some time; today I became aware of the dates by looking at the blog of Rolfe Betterment, Inc. (RBI). Wow, the celebration begins exactly two years from today! I’m looking forward to it.

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

Using Photoshop’s High Pass Filter to Sharpen a Soft (Fuzzy) Image

July 10, 2011

The two images below are of Mother’s (Marion Gunderson) watercolor supplies. These images are derived from the same original. There is one difference between the two photos. Using Adobe Photoshop* editing software, the top photo has had the High Pass filter applied; the bottom photo has not. The High Pass filter helps to sharpen a photo that is just a tad soft/fuzzy.

I think it is difficult to isolate differences between these two images unless you enlarge them and look very closely. That’s probably good, since if any difference was blatant, that might mean one was over-edited and didn’t look natural. However, I think the top one looks a little bit sharper than the bottom one as a result of applying the High Pass filter.

Before I learned about the High Pass filter, I tried applying Photoshop’s Sharpen filter but didn’t think the results were worth the edit. (Maybe part of it was because I didn’t really know what I was doing.) Then I ran across Duane’s (at Christian Photo) explanation of when and how to use Photoshop’s High Pass filter to sharpen photos. Here are Duane’s illustrated instructions. More thorough instructions of how to use the High Pass filter are at this YouTube 6-minute video. Another explanation (my least favorite but still helpful) of the High Pass filter mentions a step of adjusting the hue/saturation so as to avoid color fringing.

I know there are varying opinions about editing photos. Most definitely, every time an image is resaved as a JPEG, some image information is lost. However, if an image is edited in PhotoShop, and resaved as the same PhotoShop file keeping the edit history in tact, my understanding is that information is not lost.

Of course, the ultimate goal is to get the perfect shot and not have to do any editing. When that doesn’t happen, I’m thankful for Photoshop.

The High Pass filter was applied to this photo of Mother's watercolor supplies. I believe the High Pass radius I used was around 2.0. If I were to do it again, maybe I would use a higher radius number.

At a glance, it was difficult for me to isolate any differences between these two images. Even so, I think the top one looks sharper. One area I see that difference is in the area of bright yellow paint in the middle of the images. When I click on each photo to enlarge it, I see that in the top photo (with the High Pass filter applied) the tiny dark dimples are more crisp “dots” than in the bottom photo.

In this image, the High Pass filter was not applied.

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*My Adobe PhotoShop version is CS4 Extended.

By the way, in the watercolor-supplies-banner that is seen today at the top of this blog (but sometime will be replaced with a different banner image), the High Pass filter has not been applied.

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

1956 Des Moines Township Boys’ Basketball and the Hum-Po Conference

July 8, 2011

In a previous post I wrote about the first time I remember setting eyes on eighth-grader Bill (to whom I’ve now been married for almost 36 years). The year was 1967. The setting was the Des Moines Township school gym.

Loel Diggs graduated from DMT in 1956. Around the time of my post, Loel sent to me the first three images below, all relating to DMT.

In the title of the first image, “Hum-Po” refers to Humboldt County and Pocahontas County.

The second photo is of Loel’s DMT letter. The third is of a sew-on patch Loel received.

Loel is sixth from the left and was the starting center for the team. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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Loel received this letter while attending high school at the Des Moines Township school.

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This is a sew-on patch Loel received while in high school.

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The following article* is from the February 5, 1955, Laurens Sun. 1955 was the year Loel was a junior in high school at DMT, so a year before the article at the top of this post was published. According to the two articles, Loel’s team’s conference record went from 7-7 in 1955 to a perfect 10-0 in 1956. Loel and I are wondering if perhaps between the 1955 season and 1956 season there became fewer teams in the conference, resulting in fewer conference games.

This article is from the February 5, 1955, Laurens Sun. The listing of teams indicates that there were eight teams in the Hum-Po Conference in 1955. From the article at the top of this post, it appears that, with a DMT 1956 conference champion record of 10-0, there might have been fewer (six) teams in the conference in 1956. (Click on image to enlarge text.)

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*I found this article online via the Laurens (Iowa) Public Library’s web site. The Laurens library had the Laurens newspapers digitized in the same manner in which the Rolfe library is having 101 years of Rolfe newspapers digitized. The multi-step process of digitizing the Rolfe newspapers and getting them online is moving s-l-o-w-l-y. I guess the saying “A watched pot never boils,” is fitting here. One thing for sure…the wait will be worth it.

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

July 4th and the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave

July 4, 2011

These photos were taken at Memorial Day services at Clinton-Garfield Cemetery in Rolfe, Iowa, on May 31, 2010. While a different holiday, the flags show the patriotic sentiment of today, July 4th. Tonight I’ll watch fireworks and think of Francis Scott Key’s “Star-Spangled Banner” lyrics* including the following, hoping that for generations to come the answer to the third and fourth lines remains, “Yes.”

And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

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Memorial Day services at Rolfe, Iowa's, Clinton-Garfield Cemetery, 2010. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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The monument at the right honors the nurses. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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*Francis Scott Key’s manuscript for the “Star-Spangled Banner” is here.

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

Mother’s (Marion Gunderson) Watercolor Supplies

July 2, 2011

The banner photo* across the top of this blog is of one tray of Mother’s (Marion Gunderson) watercolors, a few of her paintbrushes, and her ink pen. Mother’s talent combined with these watercolor supplies has resulted in nearly $3,500 being donated so far to the Rolfe (Iowa) Public Library. Mother worked there for 35 years.

The banner is a portion of the  photo that is immediately below.

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Pictured is one of Mother's watercolor trays and other supplies she used to create approximately 150 paintings. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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In this next photo, Mother is with two of her grandchildren, Kevin and Abby, in Mother’s cottage on West Lake Okoboji. Mother was always a great one for bringing out her paints or other media for her grandchildren and inspiring their creativity. This (below) painting session took place in September 1981 when our family was at the lake celebrating Mother’s and Daddy’s (Deane Gunderson) 40th wedding anniversary.

Mother is pictured in 1981 with two of her grandchildren, Kevin and Abby. Notice that on the table is one of Mother's two watercolor trays...perhaps the same tray as in the first photo. Mother passed away in 2004 but her watercolor supplies remain dear possessions of four of her daughters. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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The impetus for this blog was provided by Mother’s watercolors. She painted watercolors as early as 1933 and as recently as 2000. She passed away in 2004. In 2009 while I had three of Mother’s watercolors at Wild Faces Gallery in Rolfe, Iowa, to be framed, another gallery patron, Ruth Simonson**, saw the watercolors and requested to purchase prints of them.

As a result of Ruth’s request, various members of my Gunderson family funded the availability of prints of 28 of Mother’s watercolors. Images of notecards and 27 watercolors/prints as well as ordering information are available here. There is also a limited supply of most of the prints at the Rolfe Public Library and Wild Faces Gallery in Rolfe.

The content of the watercolors/prints varies. Prints are of grain elevators (in Rolfe, Pocahontas and Gilmore City), several florals, train depots, the Iowa State University heating plant, pumpkins, an angel and more.

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*The watercolor supplies banner is seen today, July 2, 2011. At some point it will be replaced with another image.

**Click here to read how Ruth Simonson first learned about Mother before Ruth became a member of the Barr Art Association with Mother.

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

A Year Ago Today

July 1, 2011

A year ago today my dad, Deane Gunderson, passed away.

Since on this anniversary date, I’ve got that “splooshing and rejoicing” feeling that I had a year ago, and since so many of you miss your own dad, I’ll not say much publicly today.

Instead, I’m including a photo that I took on October 31, 2008. The setting was harvest. Daddy and I slowly scurried to pick a few ears of corn before the combine finished with this particular field.

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My dad’s obituary, including links to other interesting tidbits about him (like his tandem tractors, his 11 1/2 ft. tall metal statue of Cy, etc.), is here.

Other posts about him are at the link in the first sentence.

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