Archive for June, 2012

1956: The Race (that was lost) Against Taxes

June 30, 2012

In response to my last post, my oldest sister Clara commented, “I’m surprised Mother’s [1956] journal didn’t contain an entry for the reception Mother and Daddy hosted for Gov. Hoegh at our house in April or early May. Daddy was an advisor for Gov. Hoegh’s unsuccessful re-election campaign. Pam [Jordan] and I were allowed to wear hose and  heels (generally reserved for eighth grade graduation) for the first time because we helped collect plates and glasses from people attending the reception.”

Clara’s comments prompted me to include in this post:

  • a photo and two articles regarding my dad’s (Deane Gunderson) involvement with Iowa Governor Leo Hoegh’s campaign in 1956,
  • more of my mom’s journal entries* from 1956, and
  • a February 1981 audio clip of my dad describing some of his involvement in the Republican party.

In the articles, notice 1956’s 2 1/2 % sales tax in Iowa compared to today’s 6% (and in some Iowa areas 7%).


1956. Publication: Unknown. (Click on image once or twice to enlarge.)


The following are more of my mom’s 1956 journal entries:

1956. Publication: Unknown. (Click on image once or twice to enlarge.)

Apr. 9: Oleriches over in P.M. to pick names for Hoegh coffee.

Apr. 16: Ike vetoed Farm Bill.

April 18: Entertained at coffee for Governor Hoegh. Very successful. To Cattle Feeders banquet and to Webbs’ after.

Sept. 17: Hoegh talked to Deane with Proposition. Art Ass’n met here. (Deane later accepted job as campaign manager for Gov. Hoegh.)

Sept. 18: Deane to Des Moines for dinner and meeting with Hoegh.

Sept. 25: Deane to D.M. for Hoegh.

Oct. 9: Deane in Des Moines for $100 a plate dinner.

Oct. 12: [Marion and Deane] Still in D.M. Met Emily Haverkamp and she recorded for Radio for the Gov.

Oct. 4: Oleriches over in P.M. to discuss Governor’s being behind and the dissention with ___. [Since I don’t know if this is a local person or not, I am not including the name here.]

Oct. 17: John Christian Gunderson (Deane’s father) passed away at the age of  67, of Cerebral Thrombosis.

Oct. 19: Continued busy with friends, etc. Flowers (glads and bronze mums) from Gov. Hoegh.

Oct. 30: To Hoegh coffee at Bette Brinkman’s and Lois Hodoway helped.

Nov. 1: Gave program on Politics at Sorosis at Darlene Brinkman’s. To Olerichs’ in P.M. — They planning Garfield Twp. campaign tactics.

Nov. 2: I gave talks at “Coffees for Leo” at Hazel Streit and Maude Mather.

Nov. 4: Quite rainy Sunday. Deane out on Every Member Canvas.

Nov. 5: Gave talk at “Coffee for Leo” at Betty Kloster’s.

Nov. 6: Eisenhower – Nixon re-elected. Hoegh lost. Hickenlooper and Erbe won. Doliver lost. To Olerichs’ to watch returns with Percy VanAlstine, Bob Franken and Bill Shannon.

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*Other 1956 journal entries were included in the most recent post which also included images of Mother’s watercolors painted in 1956 and the Rolfe school’s 1956 yearbook.

BTW, tomorrow, July 1, 2012, marks two years since my dad passed away. Here’s to you, Daddy!

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


1956: Marion Gunderson’s Watercolors and Rolfe, Iowa, School Yearbook

June 22, 2012


This photo was taken on my* first birthday, which was in 1956. We are in the basement of the new house that we started moving into on Jan. 23, 1956. Clockwise, starting at the left, is oldest-sister Clara, Mother, Peggy (partially obscured, sitting on the couch), Charles (helping to open my gift), me (partially obscured), Helen (in dark clothing), and Marti (back to camera). I assume my dad took this photo. With us six children under foot, I wonder how Mother EVER had time to paint! I imagine my dad being supportive was a very important factor. (Click on photo to enlarge.)



In the gallery of thumbnail images in this post are images of nine watercolors by Mother (Marion Gunderson). Eight were definitely painted in 1956; I believe the ninth (Holy Family**) was, as well. In Mother’s 1956 journal***, there are twelve or thirteen dates for which she has entries indicating she painted on those dates.

Also in the gallery below are images of the 1956 yearbook of the Rolfe, Iowa, school district. Links to other Rolfe yearbooks are in the “Categories” column at this blog’s homepage. More yearbooks will be added periodically.

If you are wondering why it is a big deal to me to include Mother’s watercolors, a lot of it has to do with profits from prints of the watercolors being donated to the Rolfe Public Library. So far over $4,000 has been donated, much of it going to this project. If you have questions about the prints, you may contact me at You may also ask at the library or at Wild Faces Gallery (where the prints are made) in Rolfe. (BTW, for the library and for purchasers, everyone comes out better financially if prints are purchased in person — when possible — as opposed to online.)


Making the Thumbnail Images Larger

1) To see the thumbnail images in slideshow view, click on one of the images. Then navigate forward or backward through the images.

2) To magnify the images even more, once in slideshow view, click on the “Permalink” or “View Full Size” hyperlink.

3) After clicking on the “Permalink”  or “View Full Size” hyperlink, if you want to enlarge further, hover your mouse cursor over the image. As you move the cursor over the image, if you see a moving “+” sign, it means you can enlarge the image even further by clicking on it. (A “-” sign means you can’t enlarge it further.)



*Louise Gunderson Shimon  (youngest daughter of Marion)

**Holy Family — see December 1 entry toward the bottom of this post.

****Prints are available.

*** Entries from Mother’s 1956 journal include:

Jan. 2: 1st meal in basement [of new house]

Jan 16: Louise started on Pablum.

Jan. 23: Started moving to new house.

Jan. 30: Clara’s first high heels — for school concert and then 8th grade graduation. Art Ass’n meeting at Lena Vaughn’s in afternoon.

Feb. 6: Johnson Bros. of Ruthven started moving old house.

Feb. 9: Rolfe band had thrill of a concert with Rafael Mendez, trumpeter. Clara wore formal for the first time.

Feb. 20: Deane sold 25 cattle.

Feb. 22: Deane to Sioux City with 19 cattle brought 19¢ a lb.

Mar. 1: Johnny Zeman started working for us.

Mar. 5: Painted with Art Ass’n at Maud Herrick’s. [Does anyone know how I might contact Maud — if still living — or Maud’s family? I believe Mother gave or sold a painting to Maud. If so, I’d like to try to track down an image of it.]

Mar. 6: Painted horse picture.

Mar. 20: Dial telephones installed.

Mar. 25: Louise baptized. She behaved perfectly.

Mar. 30: Oat seeding started.

May 18: Deane to W’loo [Waterloo] to get 70D J.D. tractor that he is to run on experimental basis.

June 18: I painted with art ass’n at Lena Vaughn’s. [In this link’s photo, Lena is “Lena Wiegman.”]

July 10:  Oat combining started.

July 23: I painted Lenox bird picture this afternoon.

July 30: Painted with Art Ass’n at Agnes Neal’s.

Sept. 12: I painted picture of a Bull.

Sept. 24: John Young [2011 photo] took over Bill Brinkman’s Standard Service Station.

Sept. 27: Art Ass’n met here.

Sept. 21: I painted zinnia picture.

Oct. 18: Painted Sculptured Head with ass’n at Myrtle Sabo’s.

October 29: Painted with Art Ass’n at Bertha Van Alstine’s barn in Gilmore — did corn picture.

Nov. 10 and 11: John Deere pheasant hunters here and Evelyn Jirsa [wife of Emil Jirsa]. Poorest hunting yet.

Nov. 19: Sorosis [women’s book review/social club] at Lucerne’s [Hunter, I assume]. Marie  [Hauck?] reviewed Virgil Hancher’s travel diary. [Virgil Hancher graduated in Rolfe’s class of 1914. Before July 2013 I’ll post the 1913 Rolfe yearbook which includes several photos of Virgil.]

Nov. 21: Report cards. _____ had F in deportment. [May or may not be a family member.]

**Dec. 1: Busy — worked on Christmas picture for living room. [I believe this is the Holy Family painting, where Mother also used a cutwork technique. I have one of her paintings of a young woman where she used a similar dark wash and the same cutwork technique to create the outlines. My painting is dated 1958.)

Dec. 10: Painted with Art. Ass’n at F. Beneke’s.


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Photo collection sources may be furnished upon request.

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

Wildflower Friend or Foe?!

June 7, 2012

Last night in our yard I saw this worm on this wildflower. Tonight I wondered if it might still be there…and it was! Between last night and tonight, I took probably 100 photos of this worm/flower. Not until I looked at the photos on my monitor did I notice there was this one photo (just one out of all of them) where this worm’s head was visible, as opposed to buried in the flower. I kinda like this photo. (But, Bill says these worms bite.)

To distinguish the worm’s eyes, click on the photo at least once, and maybe twice.



* * * * * * * *

I know I’ve not posted a lot recently. However, I have been scanning some more Rolfe, Iowa, school yearbooks. I’ve also been gleaning interesting information from Rolfe’s newspaper archives. Once we hit July 12, 2012 (one year before the beginning of Rolfe’s sesquicentennial celebration), I’ll start posting more over the next twelve months about Rolfe and Rolfe’s history.

I’ll post before July 12, but wanted to give a heads-up on what I’ve been doing and what is upcoming.

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