Archive for May, 2013

The Freedom Rock in Rolfe, Iowa: Honoring our Veterans (includes interview with Freedom Rock artist, Ray Sorensen)

May 27, 2013

In early April, 2013, Ray (Bubba) Sorensen of Greenfield, Iowa, painted The Freedom Rock in Rolfe, Iowa. His original and much larger Freedom Rock is located outside of Greenfield, Iowa.

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In the three video clips below, Ray explains many facets related to his Freedom Rock Tour. Eventually there will be one of Ray’s Freedom Rocks in each of Iowa’s ninety-nine counties.

The photos at the end of this post show before, during and after the painting of Rolfe’s rock.

While Rolfe’s rock is located on private property at the residence of Dan and Mary Allen, people are encouraged to stop and take a close-up view of the rock as they travel through Rolfe on Highway 15. There’s also an 11.5-foot-tall statue of Cy (Iowa State’s mascot) across the driveway from the rock. (The statue was made by my dad and stood at the north end of ISU’s football field from 1975 until the mid-’90s.) Both the rock and statue provide memorable photo-ops. And, of course, the rock conjures sobering reminders of the freedoms we enjoy due to our veterans’ noble service to our country.

 

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How to Enlarge Photos in this Post

To magnify the thumbnail images (below), click on one of them. The images may then be viewed as a slide show by clicking on the arrow to the right or left of each image.

To magnify the images even further, at the bottom of the slide show view, click on “View full size.” If your cursor is a “+” sign when over an enlarged image, you can magnify even more by clicking again on the image.

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In December, 2012, I posted about the first Freedom Rock painted by Ray Sorensen. That post is here.

The initial Freedom Rock is just outside of Greenfield, Iowa. It is quite large. Every year Ray repaints this initial Freedom Rock with different designs. More information about it and the locations of the smaller Freedom Rocks in various Iowa counties is here. Will Rolfe’s rock be in Bubba’s 2014 calendar? Time will tell!

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

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1941: Rolfe, Iowa, School Yearbook

May 7, 2013

To look on this blog for Rolfe, Iowa, school yearbooks by decade, you may go to this blog’s home page. Once there, in the column at the right, click on one of the yearbook decade links (e.g., “1940s”). With time, I’ll get more yearbooks posted.

I started this blog primarily to promote prints of my mom’s (Marion Gunderson) watercolors. Because the Rolfe Public Library benefits from the sales of prints, I’m  not bashful about combining her art with the yearbooks. Typically I’ve posted Rolfe school yearbooks along with watercolors painted by Mother in the corresponding year. However, I’m not aware of any specific watercolors painted by her in 1941. That was the year she graduated with an Applied Art major from Iowa State College (now Iowa State University). It’s also the year she married my dad.

Interestingly, by looking at the upper right corner of this 1941 yearbook’s title page, I assume this yearbook (below) belonged to Don Sinek.

The thumbnail images below are all the pages from the Rolfe Community School District (or whatever it was called then) 1940-41 yearbook. Some pages are a little discolored.

If anyone has a Rolfe-related photo to be included in this post, I’d love for you to send it my way. It could be of any person or any location having to do with Rolfe and associated with this 1940-41 year. Photos from other years are very welcome, too. My email address is mariongundersonart@gmail.com .

Making the Thumbnail Images Larger

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

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For my own reference: Desaturate the following. 2,3,4,9,10. Plus these just barely: 12,13,18,1,20 and 23, 25.

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

Jen Bowen … a Fox (or three or four) … Rolfe’s 1960 Senior Class Play … Chicago

May 4, 2013

This post is a result of a communication thread on the “Rolfe Community School” Facebook page. There is a lot of educational and entertaining information on that Facebook page. If you are interested in historical tidbits (and even some current) about Rolfe, Iowa, if you have not already done so, I encourage you to join the “Rolfe Community School” Facebook group.

Earlier today there was a query on the Facebook page about Cora Lighter pans. In response to the query I posted a photo of Cora Lighter, a sister to my grandmother DeElda, who is also in the photo.

Clicking on any of the photos below will enlarge them. Clicking a second time will enlarge even further.

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This is the photo I posted earlier today in response to a query on Facebook about the history of Cora Lighter pans. Cora Lighter was my great-aunt on my dad’s side. This photo is of L to R: DeElda Lighter Gunderson (my paternal grandmother), Cora Lighter (sister to DeElda), ? , and Jen Bowen. The three named ladies were from Rolfe. The hotel, in which I assume this photo was taken, opened in 1927. Cora Lighter died in 1951. This photo was in a cardstock frame with an outer cover. That cover is shown in the next photo. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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Since this was the cover for the photo at the top of this post, I am led to think that picture of the four women was taken at The Stevens Hotel in Chicago. My oldest sister, Clara, saw the photo of the four women and commented about it on Facebook. Her comment* is immediately below. (Click on image to enlarge.)

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Clara said this about Jen’s fox stole, “When I enlarged the photo of these four women dining in Chicago, I noticed Jen Bowen was wearing her fox stole (complete with head), which she let me wear for our senior (1960) class play. I played Angela Boyd, Eve’s (Pam Jordan Wolfe) ‘domineering, wealthy aunt.’ The 1960 RAM devotes a page to this play. In one of the pictures, I’m wearing the fox stole. By the way, Jen Bowen sang in the Presbyterian church choir for many years.”

Information about the Stevens Hotel, which opened in 1927, is here.

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When Clara saw the photo at the top of this post of the four women, she realized that Jen Bowen (in that photo) was wearing a fox stole. (You have to click on that photo to enlarge it to see the stole’s furry detail.) In the lower right photo of this RHS 1960 yearbook page, you can see Clara sitting on a chair in the background. You can barely tell that she is wearing a stole … Jen Bowen’s! (Click on image twice to see to Clara.)

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In response to Clara’s FB comment, Sally (Webb) Kish commented*, “I loved Jen Bowen. She had such a happy spirit. I sang in the choir with her many times.”

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Well, lookie here! This stole includes three fox heads! And, the fox feet, as well!!!!! I just happened to have this in a closet. (Click on this photo TWICE to see the beady little eyes and toenails!)

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And, here’s the head at the end, squeezed to open the mouth so, with the stole around a woman’s neck, it could clasp to the other end of the stole so it wouldn’t slip off the woman. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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Here is the same stole as in the previous two photos, plus another stole which does not have any feet or head attached. However, it DOES have a label that says, “Stevens’ — Chas. A. Stevens & Co. . . Chicago”! (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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This is the label on the stole pictured in the previous photo … the one without the heads or feet. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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Information about the Chas. A. Stevens department stores is here.

Now, who knows if the Stevens family that owned the hotel had any connection to the Stevens family that owned the department store in Chicago. At first I was so excited because I figured they MUST be connected somehow. I mean, Jen was at the Stevens Hotel with my grandmother and great-aunt, she was wearing a Stevens stole, and I have a Stevens stole. What more proof do we need that there is a definite connection?!!!!! ; )

Sigh … Obviously we don’t know for sure if there was a connection. But, researching did help me have more insight to Chicago and the Great Depression, knowing the Stevens hotel opened in 1927 … terrible timing with the Crash of ’29 looming.

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*Sally and Clara gave permission for their comments to be included here.

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