Archive for October, 2011

Roller Derby in Rolfe, Iowa (a.k.a. A Nightmare on Oak Street) — Part II

October 31, 2011

Here are pics from the “A Night on Oak Street” roller derby bout in Rolfe, Iowa, two nights ago…October 29, 2011. A few details of the bout are in the previous post which also includes video of this bout.

The details of the camera settings I used are at the bottom of this post. The lighting in the venue was not all that bright so I struggled some with camera settings. Even so, I’m pleased with the photos. Plus, since people were in costume, a little bit of a “dark” side seems to work!

CLICK once on the photos to ENLARGE them. Twice to enlarge even more.

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The 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th photos were taken with a Canon 135mm f/2L lens. Shutter: 1/1250; aperture: 2.0; ISO: 6400.

The 2nd photo was taken with a Canon 50 mm f/1.4 lens. Shutter: 1/1600; aperture: 1.4; ISO: 6400.

The 3rd photo was taken with the same Canon 50mm lens. Shutter: 1/1600; aperture: 1.6; ISO: 6400.

The 8th photo was taken with a Canon 135mm f/2L lens. Shutter: 1/1000; aperture: 2.0; ISO: 6400.

The levels in a few of the photos are adjusted in Photoshop ever-so-slightly.

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

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Roller Derby in Rolfe, Iowa (a.k.a. A Nightmare on Oak Street)

October 31, 2011

Please scroll down to view video of a roller derby bout that took place in the RAMS Event Center.

Saturday night sister Peggy and I sat on the stage of the RAMS Event Center…the same venue where we played basketball in high school in (Peggy) the late ’60s and (me) the early ’70s. As we watched the roller derby bout taking place on the gym floor, we mused, “Who would have ever thought when we played basketball in high school that one day there’d be a roller derby bout in that same gym?!”

Saturday night, October 29, 2011, the RAMS Event Center (formerly the Rolfe School District’s gym) in Rolfe, Iowa, hosted the Dakota City (Iowa) Demolition Crew and the River City (Mason City, Iowa) Dames of Anarchy. With Halloween only two days away and the Oak Street location of the bout, the bout was billed as “A Nightmare on Oak Street.”

Not including the derby teams, officials, vendors, etc., I’m guessing there were somewhere between 140 and 175 in attendance. The admission fee* was $10 and well worth it for a night out with family.

Photos from the bout are here.

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This late 1960s photo is taken from almost the same vantage point as Peggy’s and mine when we watched the roller derby bout Saturday night.( I.e., almost the same vantage point as the video above.) As the clipping caption says, Peggy is at the far right shooting a free throw. I assume the year is either 1967-68 or 1968-69. Does anyone know who the other white-uniformed player is? (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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*The admission fee was charged by the home team…Dakota City Demolition Crew. The same team paid a flat rental fee for use of the RAMS Event Center.

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

October 23: Last Day for Taco House this Season

October 20, 2011

Many people have wondered when the Taco House at Okoboji*, Iowa, will close for the 2011 season. The last day of the Taco House’s 2011 season will be Sunday, October 23.

*Technically the Taco House has an Arnolds Park address.

Good Morning! — October 20, 2011

October 20, 2011

Sunrise, October 20, 2011; Section 13, Roosevelt Township, Pocahontas County, Iowa; looking south/southeast. I hope you can see the wagons in the foreground and the headlights in the distance. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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In a December 2010 post I included this 1970s photo (at left). It is of a Christmas tree my dad secured to the top of the brick corn crib (shown above and below) at Gunderland, the farm where I was raised. In that post I also included video of the process my dad and Johnny Zeman followed annually to get a tree hoisted to the top of the crib. That little video is v-e-r-y interesting! The tree hoisting/top-of-crib concept is absurd…but fun.

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More than thirty years later, it is still here! Shown in this 10-20-11 photo is the coiled tree stand that held secure those Christmas trees hoisted to the top of this crib in the 1970s. The ladder is still on the dome, too. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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

Repotting Plants: Coffee Filters and Roughing-Up Roots

October 10, 2011

To prevent dirt flow through the hole in this pot, I flattened this coffee filter and placed it over the hole. For one pot that had four holes in the bottom, I used two coffee filters to cover the four holes. (Click on image to enlarge.)

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Maybe this is something everyone and his/her dog already knows. However, I didn’t know it. Last week I stopped at Ferguson’s Garden Center at Okoboji (technically on Hwy 71 in Spirit Lake, Iowa) to get supplies for repotting plants. Two ladies there generously spent about twenty minutes helping me with pot sizes and my potting questions. One thing I learned was, to keep dirt from leaving the pot via the hole in the bottom, put a coffee filter over the hole. What a common sense thing to do.

This weekend I repotted four plants and have two yet to go. I used the coffee filter idea for each plant. I also followed the advice of one of the ladies to “rough up” the roots of the plants a fair amount. Of Bill’s and my plants, her exception was the Norfolk pine. With the pine, she advised me to “rough up” the roots just a tad but not much.

The “rough up” idea was, I think, to prevent the roots (in rootbound plants) from continuing their circular growth, and, therefore, to make the roots branch out more into the added/new potting mix.

If all the plants die, I’ll post about it later. I hope that won’t be the case!

When I took this plant out of the pot, the roots hadn't developed into too much of a circular pattern. Even so, I followed the Ferguson Garden Center lady's advice and "roughed up" the roots before repotting this plant. The only plant I didn't do this with very much was the Norfolk pine. With the Norfolk pine, I did just a little. (Click on image to enlarge.)

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

The Hazards of Harvest

October 7, 2011

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I have no idea whose wagon this is or what caused it to tip over spilling grain into the ditch. Nor do I know what happened to this wagon’s wheels. What I do know is that it has been windy and extremely dry in northwest Iowa. There have been many spontaneous fires burning fields, and concern of even more if there isn’t rainfall soon.

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

2011 Soybean Harvest (Pocahontas County, Iowa)

October 7, 2011

Except for this post’s last photo, these photos and video are of Section 24, Roosevelt Township, Pocahontas County, Iowa. This section is about halfway between Rolfe and Pocahontas.

Click on any of the photos to enlarge them, and/or view the video in full screen mode.

In this photo I'm in the cab of the John Deere 9660 combine. I'm looking down on the bean head as it draws in the mature soybean plants. Video of this process is at the end of this post.

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From this combine auger, soybeans are transferred to a wagon moving alongside the combine, i.e., dumping on-the-go. (This on-the-go dumping in Section 24 is shown in the video below.) Again, I took the photo from inside the combine cab.

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This photo including farmstead and lighted combine was taken two or three hours after the previous photos. At this point, I wanted to get from here (Section 24) to Gunderland (now the only farmstead in Section 13, which is where I was raised) quickly before they started dumping soybeans there to be stored in grain bins. (Until this point in the evening, the soybeans had been dumped at a farm 1/2 mile away where my dad was raised.) Here, I had just gotten out of the combine so I could drive to Gunderland, a little over two miles away. Where you see the silhouettes of the grain bins is the same farmstead where my dad (Deane Gunderson) was born in an upstairs room in 1918. (The house is no longer there.) This farmstead is also the former location of the "Bud Barn" which is now in Rolfe and owned by Roger and Dan Allen who are operating the tractor and combine seen in this post.

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I love the hum of the grain drier and the hubbub when grain is dumped at this farmstead where I was raised in Section 13. Almost obstructed from view, on the far side of the larger wagon is a tractor. This tractor and wagon just arrived from Section 24 (the location of the photos above) about 2 1/2 miles away. If you click on the photo and look closely you'll can see the soybeans spewing from the auger (attached to the larger wagon) into the smaller wagon. From the smaller wagon they are transferred to a long auger which transports them to the top of the grain bin in which they will be stored. (The tractor at the far left is used to power the long auger.)

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The following video was taken from inside the combine cab, with dust flying around outside. The location is the southwest field in Section 24, Roosevelt Township, Pocahontas County, Iowa. The video includes dumping on–the-go. It was so dusty and bumpy, and the video reflects that. Still, I’m glad to have it, if for no one reason than for grandson Jackson to see it. He loves combines and harvest, and he is fond of Rog and Dan Allen, the two guys running this operation. Rog and Dan were very close to my dad; they were integral in making it possible for my dad to continue living on the farm until just before he passed away in mid-2010.

If the video play is jerky at all, let it play through once while you do something else. Then watch it when it plays a second time. That might allow it to play more smoothly. Also, to view it in full screen mode, after starting the video click on the lower right corner of the video rectangle.

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

Art Education — Part II

October 5, 2011

Written by Clara Gunderson Hoover

(To view Part I, also written by Clara, click here.)

Clara in 1966 with a painting she created. (Click on image to enlarge.)

I was in 4-H for nine years.  The focus changed every year: food and nutrition, clothing, and home furnishings, and then the cycle repeated.  The home furnishings year included a picture study.  In 1952/53, I scored 70% in the picture study contest.  In 1955/56 I gave a picture study on Pileated Woodpecker, by John James Audubon, participated in the picture study contest and wrote that my favorite picture was The Dancers (painting and artist unknown to me now).  My  4-H Record Book contains a certificate for having participated in the 1959 Picture Memory Contest.  Clippings in my Record Book report the Garfield Gleaners visiting art museums in Cherokee and Des Moines. In addition, I wrote that my favorite paintings were Blue Boy (Thomas Gainsborough) and Pinkie (Thomas Lawrence).  I have no idea if they were part of that year’s picture study but recall seeing them at the Huntington Art Gallery in San Marino, California, when we went to the 1959 Rose Bowl.  One year we studied Grant Wood’s Stone City.  What a treat to see the original at the Joslyn Art Museum after my husband and I moved to Omaha.  I believe Grandpa’s (John Gunderson) favorite, The Horse Fair, by Rosa Bonheur, was also one of the 4-H paintings.

For many years, the Rolfe Public Library had a collection of art reproductions people could check out to display in their homes.  Mother took us to the Blanden Art Museum in Fort Dodge.  She exhibited there and participated in some of the museum’s activities.  Later Mother attended art exhibits in cities throughout the country, sometimes with Rolfe friends and other times with her life-long friend, Betty Dix Kirley.  During a 1991 trip to Minneapolis, Mother, Betty Dix and I visited the Walker Art Gallery and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

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On the left side of this 1953 Rolfe Arrow page is a write-up about one of the art exhibits in which Mother (Marion Gunderson) participated. (Click once or twice to magnify the image/text.)

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Mother had taken classes from Richard Leet, then director of the MacNider Art Museum in Mason City.  During summer 1967, my husband and I lived in Charles City, so I drove the 30 miles to Mason City to take painting lessons from Richard Leet.  I learned the importance of white in paintings.  In summer 1973, I was required to take two courses to obtain a Nebraska teaching certificate.  I chose an art history course and absolutely loved it.

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Pictured here is Mother's framed print of Flower Vendor by Diego Rivera. If you click on this image, you'll see Mother's handwriting explaining that this painting was her lasting favorite and why. Her note is not dated.

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Throughout her life, Mother introduced us to art and artists, including Christian Petersen, the Iowa State sculptor who had been one of her instructors at Iowa State; Diego Rivera, whose The Flower Vendor was one of Mother’s all-time favorites; Dale Chihuly and his colorful blown glass sculptures (even at the Joslyn in Omaha); and R.C. Gorman, whose Su-Sho-Ba hung above the dining table in our farm house for as long as I can remember.  How thrilled I was to suddenly see Picasso’s powerful Guernica at the top of the stairs in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.  What fun to see real Calder mobiles in downtown Chicago and at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.  One of my most memorable art experiences with Mother was in spring 1988 when we met in Chicago to see the huge, retrospective exhibit of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago.  O’Keeffe had long been one of Mother’s favorite artists.  When I discovered the O’Keeffe exhibit was going to be in Chicago, I called Mother to ask if she’d like to meet me there.  The paintings were truly amazing.

Indeed, although I had no art classes in grades K-12, we had many opportunities to learn about art (at least art appreciation, if not production) in a variety of ways and from several people.  It’s been fun to recall those experiences.

Thanks to my siblings for sharing their recollections.  Thank you, also, to Penny Tilden, Rolfe Public Library librarian, and Lola DeWall, Pocahontas Public Library librarian, for their research.

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

Good Morning, October

October 1, 2011

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This was my vantage point every morning growing up at Gunderland (near Rolfe, Iowa), as it was this morning. Until several years ago, this view included a large red corn crib, a tiny red chicken house, and fewer round grain bins.

Later this morning, soybean harvest will resume here.

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