Saturday, August 30, 2014

Lots of Activity

     The Board of Supervisors has held the first public hearing on the Redeker Furniture request. One attendee who lives in the area of the proposed project was worried about how the traffic situation would be affected in that area. The Board approved a move to the second hearing which will be held on Wednesday. If a third hearing is needed, it would be held on September 10.
     We mentioned in an earlier edition that Walter-Schroeder Funeral Home had been sold. The new owner is Aaron Schroeder and the firm will now be called, simply, Schroeder Funeral Home, not to be confused with Schroeder Memorial Chapel. Aaron Schroeder comes from Jefferson and is not related to the Boone Schroeder's. Aaron Schroeder also owns Slininger-Rossow Funeral Home in Jefferson.
     The proposed three-day Farm Progress Show just east of town came to an abrupt halt on the third day (Thursday) due to heavy rain and lightning. It is estimated that some 150,000 people from all over the U.S., as well as international guests, normally attend with many flying into the Boone airport.
     Now, thousands more "outsiders" will be pouring in this week for the Grand National Races which always draws drivers and fans from California, New York and Texas as well as the midwest states.
     And, finally, it is Pufferbilly time and that will be held from next Thursday to Sunday.
     A busy time in our little "burg."
     Quite some time ago, the Iowa boy, former Des Moines Register columnist Chuck Offenburger, sent me a copy of  a book he had written titled, "Gary Thompson, All American." It's all about the former Roland/Iowa State basketball standout of the 1950's. I've just started reading it and right away, in chapter seven, is some material that definitely caught my eye.
     Gary's romance with his wife, Janet, began at a popular Ames institution, Skateland, a roller skating establishment. Gary was from Roland and his wife grew up in Huxley. They got acquainted at Skateland and spent many, many hours the same time......believe it or not. As time passed, their devotion grew.
     But, there's more local interest to the story. Talking about Skateland, Offenburger wrote, "they installed an organ and hired Noni Mylenbusch of Boone as their fulltime organist, having her play whenever the rink was open for public skating."
     Floyd Penkhus, the Skateland owner, was quoted as saying, "that was kind of unusual then, for a skating rink to have it's own organist. Noni was just great. She could play almost anything, everything from things like 'Chattanooga Choo-Choo' to World War II two-step stuff to whatever songs were popular at the moment." Offenburger added, "Her husband Don Mylenbusch was also an organist who played around the area. After his death years later, Noni married again...........she's Noni Decker now and lives in West Branson, Missouri."
     We tipped our viewers off about the fact that Jamie Kelley was about to announce an upcoming Boone appearance. We have more details now. He will have a show at the Boone High auditorium on November 15 and the show will also feature the Keith Sisters, Hillary and Holly from Branson, and, of course, the Heart and Soul Band. Fan Club members can get the best seats, right up front, but there is a limited number at $30. All other seating is first come-first serve at $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Ticket sales to the general public will start the week of September 11th. 515-432-4332.
     Quickies: That annual Iowa By the Sea Picnic that was held in California on the pier next to the Battleship Iowa drew 215 attendees, ages from two to 97. It was the 114th annual event and plans are being made for another event next year.
     In reply to our recent mention of school enrollment figures in Iowa, John Kueck sent some interesting info from Minnesota High Schools. They have some schools with many, many more students that in any of our Iowa schools. He also sent a copy of their pre-season high school all-state teams. Lots of giant sized young men.
     Boone Area Deaths: Margaret Smith, 95, Boone. BSH-36. Taught in various parochial elementary schools. Eventually lived in Madrid before moving to the Eastern Star Home in Boone. Boone area survivors include a sister, Rose, a sister-in-law, Mary Smith, and a niece Donna Johnson all of Boone. .............Arnold (Smoke) Brogden, 86, Boone. BHS-46. Worked as a Boone firefighter from 1951-84. Boone area survivors include a son Dan............Dahrl Wright, 95, Boone. BHS grad. Worked for Fort Dodge Des Moines and Southern Railway and the Iowa DOT. Boone area survivors include a brother Bill of Story City and a sister-in-law, Pat Smith of Boone...........James Lukawski, 73, Boone. Worked for ISU security and the Boone Sheriff's Department. Boone area survivors include his wife, Bertha, and brother Ray of Boone...........Char Wilkening, 68, Boone. Worked at the Boone County Hospital from 1970 to 2011. Boone area survivors include her husband, Larry, daughters Julie Wilber and Jenifer Thilges and her mother, Charlotte Laughlin all of Boone.............Ben Parsons, 52, Boone.
     Worldwide Korner headquarters are located at 710 Aldrich, Boone, Iowa 50036-4703. Phone number is 515-432-1530. To email your stories/memories/comments.........


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Football Time

     Apparently, Walter-Schroeder Funeral Home has been sold to an out-of-town buyer. A new sign is already in place and would you believe, instead of Walter-Schroeder, it is again just.....Schroeder. I understand the family is from the Jefferson area but no relation to the Schroeder's we know or have known.
     Football season has arrived or, at least, will this weekend with the opening high school games Friday night and the start of college games on Saturday.
     Here's the 2014 Boone High School schedule so you oldtimers can compare these opponents to the ones you were facing in your day on the gridiron. A game with Ballard is followed by games with Gilbert, Humboldt, Perry, Dallas Center-Grimes, Carroll, Algona, Greene County (Jefferson-Scranton) and Webster City.
     All enrollment figures mentioned are those from grades 9-11 in the previous school year.
     Boone High School is the 52nd largest high school in the state with 548 students. Their football opponents enrollment ranges from Greene County with just 300 students to 564 at Dallas Center-Grimes. DC-G is the 50th largest school in the state, just two notches ahead of BHS.
     Statewide, West Des Moines Valley, who's residents refuse to give up half of those students for a second high school, is far and away the largest school in Iowa with 2,140 students compared to the paltry 1,691 at Des Moines East, the second largest. So Valley has a 419 enrollment advantage over the second largest and even more over other opponents. The Kornerman says with that much of an advantage, any of the Valley coaches/activity directors etc. who don't guide their "teams" into serious state championship contention should be seriously re-evaluated.
     If Ankeny had continued with just one high school, they would have been the second largest at 1,914. However, they now do have two high schools. Ankeny Centennial is 28th at 988 and Ankeny High is 34th at 926.
     You might be interested in a few more school enrollments. Waukee is now the fourth largest school in Iowa with 1,518 students, Johnston is seventh with 1,491. How about the old Central Iowa Conference schools? Marshalltown is 22nd at 1,066, Ames 32nd at 932, Newton 47th at 639, Oskaloosa 53rd at 540 and Grinnell 82nd at 367.
     Back to football a minute. Boone's Chad Rinehart, 6-5 and 321 pounds, is the starting left guard for the San Diego Chargers of the NFL. He was with that team a year ago but was on just a one year contract. He is now beginning a new two-year deal that will pay $1,750,000 this year and $3,350,000 next year. After those two years, he again becomes a free agent.
     Ann Onymous writes, "anyone remember the "Sock Hop" at the Memorial Park tennis courts? Did Betty Lou from WOI-TV emcee them?"
     Words of praise for the Ericson Library from Rae Ann Clark who writes, "this week, the Boone Library put on a Resource Fair. I believe this is the brain child of the children's librarian, Mr. Z. He did a great job of getting together representatives from various resource places that would be of use to any parent with an emphasis on children 0-5 years of age. Boone has an outstanding children's library. Since I work with families that have children under five, I often encourage them to visit the library or will even set up my visits with them there so they can experience how great our library is. When I'm there, I often find myself reminiscing of coming to that same basement when I was a child and Helen Stevens was the children's librarian. She had such a love for her work with the kids and she loved to do the story times or encourage kids in finding books to read. Boone has a great library and I am partial to the children's area but it is something to brag about. The building has been well maintained and even with the updates, if you visited the basement as a child, you could still visit today, close your eyes and remember Helen doing her story times in front of the fireplace which is still there, as well as the windows that look out to the street. The upstairs level continues to carry the nostalgia too with the fireplace room and the many windows and entrance to the building all being retained to reminisce the library many of us grew up with in Boone. It is really nice to have your blog to check every week to see what is happening in Boone or to reminisce about our time of growing up."
     Boone Area Deaths: Edith Sonksen, 91, Boone and formerly of Stratford. Stratford High-41. She and her husband farmed and Edith also worked as an LPN. Boone area survivors include her son, Dannie of Stratford, daughters Dallas Sonksen and Dawn Wentworth of Boone and sister-in-laws Betty Silvey and Maxine Silvey of Stratford..............Leo Ott, 93, Boxholm. Boxholm-40. Farmed. Boone area survivors include his wife, Ruth, of Boone and daughter Veva Teeters of Ogden................
Margaret Smith, 95, Boone...........Dahrl Wright, 95, Boone................Arnold Brogden, 86, Boone
     Worldwide Korner headquarters are located at 710 Aldrich, Boone, Iowa 50036-4703. Phone number is 515-432-1530. To email your stories/memories/comments.............


Friday, August 22, 2014

More "Y" Musings

     Courtesy of California's Max Moore, BHS-46, the Korner is obtaining an even deeper history of the old Boone "Y." For the benefit of some of our younger viewers we should point out that yes, there was a Boone "Y" prior to the current edition at Seventh and Carroll. The Kornerman recalls "Y" and railroad mentioned in the same "breath" way back when. So, I assume the old "Y" received some type of sponsorship from the Chicago and Northwestern and, in fact, that building, perhaps, was constructed by the railroad. Anyway, the old "Y" was located in the same area currently occupied by O'Reilly's Auto Parts store on the north side of Eighth Street just West of HyVee.
     Here's that earlier history as provided by Max Moore. He wrote, "In the 40's, Bud Watkins managed the "Y." He was a great individual and was very good with youngsters. He had us playing basketball all day long and would play right along with us. He had a remarkable two hand shot. We also played ping pong, checkers, and other games. It was a great place if you could afford the $5.00 membership and it kept us kids from getting into trouble. Most of us had sponsors for the $5.00 fee. Anybody know what happened to Bud? You're doing a super job with your blog. Keep it up Mo, we enjoy and look forward to Wednesday's and Saturday's."
     From Edwards, WA., Ron Hopkins wrote, "I remember the "Y" just as you described. Several of us from Sacred Heart also spent many hours there during my high school years, 1955-59. In my case, the gym was the main attraction since we had none at Sacred Heart. The cement floor resulted not only in grimy hands and knees but a broken wrist. I also remember enjoying a variation on ping pong with two tables pushed end-to-end, net in the middle for more aggressive swatting."
     Dick Longworth wrote, "thanks for the memories of the old "Y." It wasn't elegant but it was a lot of fun. Director Al Jaggard was a great guy, very enthusiastic. We didn't care what the place looked like, just so long as we could hang out there. The main draw for me was the ping pong tables. As I recall, they had wooden nets or maybe my memory is confusing them with tables elsewhere. These nets, being unforgiving, were good practice. If you could get a hard topspin shot over those nets, the usual fabric nets were no challenge at all. Also, the paddles in those days  were covered with a variety of sandpaper, not the padded or pimpled paddles that came in later. As a result, our game was mostly power, you couldn't get much spin off a hard sandpaper paddle. As to the pool, again my memory is  playing tricks, but I recall that it was non-existent for much of the time or rather, it existed but was covered over and closed. The story, perhaps a legend, was that someone in previous years had snuck into the "Y" at night to have a swim. Although it was dark, he dived in, not realizing the pool was empty and with predicable results. As a result, the pool was covered over. I have no idea if this is true. Do you?"
     Ann Coe wrote, "Oh yes, the old "Y" was quite a place and Al Jaggard was a great guy. Don't forget his wife, Anita, who worked with Girl Scouts and Brownies and helped with about everything at the old Lincoln Grade School. We should all remember that it was actually the YWCA that pulled the YMCA out of all the financial difficulties and the current "Y" building was built on old YWCA ground. It's the women who don't write you that forget how chauvinistic Boone guys could be. Glad that's all behind us too. Guess I sound a bit chauvinistic myself.'s a generational thing. You sure have a fantastic memory and it's great that you share it with us. Thanks again for your efforts."
   Regarding the Redeker saga: As we reported earlier, the Boone County Zoning Commission has approved the transfer of 57.7 acres of land in Colfax Township east of town from A-1, Agricultural Conservation, to C-1, Commercial. That is an early required step for Redekers in their attempt to build a new store in that east of town area. Now, the Board of Supervisors will hold a series of public hearings on this matter to give members of the public an opportunity to hear the plans and express opinions or ask questions about the proposed project. The first hearing is set for next Wednesday, followed by a second hearing on September 3 and a third hearing, if needed, on September 10.
     Boone Area Deaths: Dr. James Fitzgerald, 86, Whittier, CA. Attended Sacred Heart elementary and graduated from BHS. Practiced in Whitter beginning in 1956...........William McHugh, 66, Long Beach, CA. Services to be held in Boone.
     Fast pitch softball followers may remember Ray Nissly of the Dallas Center area. He was an outstanding pitcher and, in fact, joined the roster of Boone teams on occasion, as an additional pitcher, particularly at post state tournament time. He was 85.
     Worldwide Korner headquarters are located at 710 Aldrich, Boone, Iowa 50036-4703. Phone number is 515-432-1530. To email your stories/memories/comments.......

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

More About Grid and the Old "Y"

     Right from Barry's mouth the Korner has additional information on the Grid dances. After all, he was a guy "on site" working at the old "Y" from 1958-62. Barry Wills wrote, "the first Grid was held after every home football game, except Homecoming. Grid was short for gridiron since the dances followed the football games. It was just for Senior High students. The kids wanted more so we started doing it from football time to early Spring while school was in session. Junior High kids wanted Grid too so we started dances for them around 1959. Those dances always were from  7 p.m. to 9 p.m.. Those were fun, trouble-free dances and the kids were great. We did lots of ladies choice dances in the Junior High Grid as the girls seemed to be not as shy. Between the "Y" and the summer recreation playground programs, I was fortunate to know hundreds of neat kids. Sure look forward to the Korner each week."
     The Kornerman says that there were Grid dances before Barry's time because the old Kornerman and others from that period of time, the early 50's, attended them. It would be interesting to know how many real romances, you know, ones that developed into lifetime relationships, were forged at the Grid. I'll bet there were some.
     These remembrances have really got the Kornerman's head in a tizzy. Even moreso than usual. It's not so much the Grid dances which have awakened a passel of memories, it's the old "Y" itself. My heavens, lots of guys in my period of time spent hour after hour at that place. Many of us practically "lived" there, morning till night. We had no cars but lots of pent up energy and it was our "home base," despite it's lack of grandeur.
     There was checkers and chess and ping pong but the gym, that was the main attraction. Dirty and dungy would be an apt description. I recall water constantly dripping down the brick walls and that cement floor guaranteed hands and arms were subject to a layer of grime after each game of basketball.
    Then, of course, there was the pool.......about the size of a large bathtub.
     Who could forget the entrance to the gym? A membership to the "Y" was, of course, required and the entrance door to the stairs leading to the gym was manned by the person at the desk who would push a button to "trigger"  the door for those eligible to enter.
     Let's close with some "name" memories. Who remembers the "Y"directors at that time? How about Al Jaggard and Carl Saubert. We used to call the arena the "Al Jaggard gym." There were some rooms for rent upstairs and the occupants I remember were Leo Hall and Red Ritchie.
     Three quickies.
     Mark Campbell wrote to tell us that a reception honoring Duane "Fred" Friedrich, a former BHS math teacher, is set for Thursday, September 11, at 6 p.m. at the former Tic Toc (now Calmer Company). Former friends, students and teachers are encouraged to attend.
     Larry Kelley wrote, "Teaser time. Coming soon. A November big show date announcement in Iowa and Jamie's (Jamie Kelley's) hometown. Dates will be coming soon and there may be two shows so I'm letting everyone know so they are aware well in advance. Ticket information later as well. The band, the Keith Sisters (backup group), and a few other surprises."
     We had mentioned in an earlier Korner the appearance of former Major League catcher Mickey Owen in Boone when the Kornerman was 12 years old or so. But, I recalled that I had interviewed Owen on one occasion and, in fact, was all dressed up and appeared to be considerably older than 12 when a picture was taken of us.
     Mike Loehrer may have provided the answer to this mystery. He wrote, "Mickey Owen came to Boone around 1955 when I was nine and put on a clinic at the old Armory next to the "Y." It was quite exciting for a little kid to see a former major leaguer. Now that I think about it, the man might have been Mickey Cochrane. This is so frustrating. It's heck getting old. Anyway, either of the two were at the Armory in '55."
     I'm going to assume it was Owen's second trip to Boone and that was when I would have been 20 so I'm proclaiming the mystery is solved.
     As I reread this edition, I'm wondering if I was unduly hard on the old "Y," specificially the old gym. How about it????
     Boone Area Deaths: Dean Ober, 87, Dayton. Worked 50 years at Lehigh Sewer Pipe and Tile. Boone area survivors include daughter Cindy Matthies and brother David Hickle both of Boone..........
Sheila Malone, 65, Boone. Granger High-67. Was a dental hygienist and later worked at Boone stores, Pumpkin Patch, Different Drummer and Memory Lane, before stints as a claims processor, food service worker and Administrative Assistant at a care center. Boone area survivor is daughter Marci Lindahl of Boone.
     Worldwide Korner headquarters are located at 710 Aldrich, Boone, Iowa 50036-4703. Phone number is 515-432-1530. To email your stories/memories/comments..........  

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Some This and That Historical Views

     One of our viewers didn't play on any BHS sports team but "I did enjoy BHS Competition Day and won a couple of blue ribbons. That was when an actual light blue, one-inch, satin ribbon was inserted in a typewriter and the event typed on it. Yes, they had second and third place winners too."
     She also recalled some girls basketball history. She wrote, "the girl's basketball team consisted of six players on the floor at the same time. No full court stuff, three played on a half and three on the other half. Some small towns were going to full court, five players, but the BHS principal, at that time, thought it was too tough for girls. This was in the early 40's and Mr. Grimes had daughters so he thought he really knew about girls. Many of the girls who wanted to play thought it best to go full court and didn't even turn out for the team. Not much team sportsmanship you say? No, it just wasn't much fun or even interesting for the few spectators. Sad, wasn't it? So much for discrimination. So glad to know Boone schools finally grew up enough to realize a change was needed. Back in the 60's when the term "You've come a long way baby!" became popular, a good many gals realized what a looong way that had been."
     She concluded, "Keep up the interesting and newsy items......even the baseball and softball league stuff! Thanks for all your efforts. We look forward to each one."
     Larry Kelley said there's been a discussion on Facebook, on the "I grew up in Boone" page, asking what the term Grid stood for. Anyone from the 50's-60's era knows that the weekly dance at the "Y," usually on Friday night after the games, was the Grid dance. Did that name have something to do with the gridiron, a term used in describing a football field? One of the Kornerman's dictionaries reads, "a framework of metal bars or wires for broiling or anything resembling this, as a football field."
     Maybe none of this deserves any attention. We all went to the Grid and enjoyed it.
     Larry wrote, "Several on the page have been enjoying audio tracks of songs recorded by a band I had back in the 70's and 80's by the name Sweettooth. Then, members were myself, Art Stevens, Steve Whiting and Brad Kahler. Three of the four have passed away. I have tape recordings of several bands, including Boone's very first combo at Boone High, the Mystics. Then there was the Tel-Stars, followed by the Wild Prophets with a first, a girl drummer, Jacque Fullerton, then my eight piece group named Arlington Mass and finally, Sweettooth. I recently discovered an eight track recording of Sweettooth and have been sharing some of those songs with the Facebook page. It sure brings back memories of that night in Boone at the Trestle Lounge, December 19, 1981. I guess, in a way, I have some very rare musical history of five of the top bands in this area from 1961 to 1993. Great and precious memories."
     It was great to hear from Tom Rinker, an old baseball teammate (Boone Junior Legion - 1952),  this week. Tom lives in Ankeny and admits he is slow in accepting all the current electronic advances. As a result, he took the time to write out and mail (what?)  a full page bit of info that is very interesting.
     The Kornerman can't reprint the entire item but I can disclose some highlights. First of all, thanks to Tom for a correction. In the last edition, I mentioned that Mickey Owen was a baseball catcher for the New York Yankees. Tom points out he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1941 World Series, not the Yankees.
     Owen, in an instant, became infamous due to a passed ball in a crucial part of that series. It led to a Yankee rally to win game four and spurred them on to the series victory. It's one of those pieces of baseball history that dogged Owen for the rest of his life and is still mentioned as one of the most famous series gaffes.
     In 1946, Owen was one of several major leaguers who formed a "no-no" Players Union and all of those instigators were then "blackballed" by the big league clubs. As a result, Owen used his "celebrity" to "barnstorm," or travel the countryside to various small towns and cities for paid exhibition appearances with "locals." That's how he happened to come to Boone in the 1947-48 period for a game or two at the old C&NW park in the 10th and Tama area.
    The Kornerman had mentioned in an earlier edition that, at age 12 or so, I was there for that appearance. Tom remembers he was also in attendance there at age nine or ten.
     Tom concluded, "I was especially proud to be there because my dad, John Rinker, actually pitched an inning or two to Mickey Owen that night, the first Major Leaguer I had ever seen in action."
     Great info Tom, thanks a lot.
     P.S. Now, another mystery. The Kornerman had mentioned in an earlier edition that I have a picture of me interviewing Mickey Owen. I recall I'm sitting, very well dressed with pen in hand shooting questions at him. BUT, as was recalled, it was the 1947-48 era when he appeared here. I would have been just 12 or 13 at the time. Doesn't seem to add up. I'm wondering if Owen came back to Boone a few years later for another appearance?????
     Boone Area Deaths: Dean Ober, 87, Dayton..........Ronald and Marie Hooker, Webster City (both killed in an auto mishap east of Boone). Boone area survivors include Marie's siblings, Robert and Charles Rentschler, Patricia Elliott, Linda Smith and Steven Rentschler all of Boone............................
Linda Steward, 60, Boone. Stratford High-71. Worked at Iowa High School Athletic Association for 17 years and at Target in Ames eight years. Boone area survivors include a son, Erik Murken of Boone and a daughter, Jennifer Arneson of Marshalltown.........Marge Legg, 66, Ames, formerly of Boone. Worked at Boone Community schools as a teacher/coach for 31 years. Her husband, Bud Legg of Ames, who works at the Iowa High School Athletic Association in Boone, is an area survivor.
     Worldwide Korner headquarters are located at 710 Aldrich, Boone, Iowa 50036-4703. Phone number is 515-432-1530. To email your stories/memories/comments......  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Summer Rec Mention Evokes Memories

     John Kueck wrote, "your summer rec mention brought back great memories of the program at Lowell. I attended almost every day. It was my summer highlight. It was where I first gained by love for softball. I pitched and loved it. It was also my first experience of getting hit in the face with a bat. Although I played Babe Ruth and high school baseball, I never quite gave up softball and played in summer leagues in Boone during college and then coed kitten ball in Minneapolis until my mid-forties. Slow pitch has certain restrictions on the arc of the pitch. My summer rec days of pitching carried through to where I was able to place the ball better than most while maintaining the maximum, but legal arc and I often struck out opponents, even in a slow pitch game."
     John added, "Rich Byerly and either Sonja or Elna Reedholm were the counselors at summer rec I remember most. I idolized Rich who was a big football star in my mind. This was circa 1955. When were you there? Another great rec memory was the craft activity to make lanyards. There were multiple colors of the plastic lacing cord that you wove together with a box stitch at the end where the clip went. With all the comments about ball, I was wondering if Boone has developed a Little league softball division for young girls? Thanks so much for bringing back my Boone memories."
    The Kornerman replies, "I was a summer rec counselor in the early 50's........probably about 1950. And yes, Boone has, for quite some time, had equal opportunity for Little League girls softball and, in fact, the girls have successfully held their own with the boys regarding all-star tournament play."
     In reply to Dick Longworth who wondered recently why there was such a dearth of Boone baseball activity in the 40's, Janelle Henry came through our haze with a terrific thought. Janelle wrote, "It was probably because in the mid to late 40's we were at war or just ending the war. Most young men were either serving overseas or working in some industry related to the war. Not many men around to coach the teams. Then, they came home, started families, and by the early 50's, started the ball teams up again. Just a thought."
     And a brilliant one, the Kornerman would say. Thanks Janelle for opening our eyes a bit with a simple but very incisive answer.
     It seemed about time for Vern Modeland to "kick in." Vern wrote, "Okay, so Richard Longworth knows and remembers a heck of a lot more sports than I do. I was one of those dragged to football, basketball and such. My interests in competition had wheels under them or wings on them (Iowa spawned some remarkable race plane designers among its crafty farmers.) But local baseball, I will never forget. Beverly Myers Modeland shared life-long memories here in the OK Rubber Welders softball league, circa the 1940's. I recall it as a statewide circuit. Anybody refresh my memory? And all of us Myers extended clan showed up when Alan or Denny Wilson were playing slow pitch at McHose Park. Or else what? Two big uncles and the boys cheerleading mother (and major league cook), Helen, could be a very effective plan-changer. Don't you wish it still could be that kind of a world?"
     The Kornerman remembers the Wilson boys from Babe Ruth baseball. At least one of them was a star pitcher on one of my teams........I think it was Denny.
     That feisty BHS 1944 class that refuses to bow to their age, is getting quite a schedule together for their reunion  in late September. It would be their 70TH reunion, which is believed to be a first time fete for a Boone class and, perhaps, other classes statewide. In fact, its known that some state news outlets are planning some coverage. We'll provide more details as the time arrives.
     The 1951 class has a reunion September 20  and the 1959 class October 18, tentatively, and those two along with the '44 class September 26-28 will wrap up such gatherings for another year.
     Boone Area Deaths: Marilyn Coffman, 82, Boone. Formerly of Ogden. OHS-50. Worked at the Boone County Courthouse from 1967 to retirement in 1994. Boone area survivors include her husband, Roy and son Curt of Boone and sisters Rosella Morgan and Rosalie of Ogden................
Stephen Seeman, 65, Van Wert, IA.............Charles Stumpenhorst, 90, Nebraska and formerly of Ogden. Moved to Ogden in 1946. Farmed until 1953 and then moved to Colorado. Boone area survivors include his sister, Eldora Heineman of Ogden, brother Marvin of Boone, brothers-in-law Dean Youngren of Ogden and Ed Heldt of Boone.........Linda Steward, 60, Boone................Arthur Buechler, 89, Boone. BHS-43. Longtime and very successful Boone County farmer. Boone area survivor is his wife, Martha, and foster children Eugene and Ruth Merrill all of Boone...........Marie Crandell, 94, Ames but formerly of Boone. BHS-38. Graduate of nurses school, was a military nurse and then a longtime Boone County nurse serving Drs. Puntenny, Neil Johnson and John Wall. Boone area survivors include son Steve of Ames.
     Worldwide Korner headquarters are located at 710 Aldrich, Boone, Iowa 50036-4703. Phone number is 515-432-1530. To email your stories/memories/comments.......

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Who Remembers the Summer Rec Program?

     The Kornerman drove by the old Lowell school site recently and, by the way, it looks very nice.........grassy and green. The property has been sold by the school district but, as of now, it's completely clear. No indication of any traffic. Probably a future site for some homes.
     I never attended Lowell but the site, nevertheless, brought back some Korner memories of the Boone Summer Recreation program. At each elementary school site, the doors, at least in the gym, were open and various items of play were distributed on the playgrounds so youngsters could gather on summer afternoons for recreational purposes. As I recall, there was even some softball, etc. competition between the various schools.
     Howard Stutzman, the Boone High School Athletic Director, was the director of the program and he hired me and various other BHS students, a boy and a girl at each, to "work" the various sites. We would gather up and distribute the "play things," organize games etc.. I vividly recall a ball diamond in the northeast corner of the block and my attempts to hit, with great power, a softball on to the roof of the Lowell building. It was just part of my job.......
     More baseball talk - Curtis Dale Cox Jr. wrote, "I remember growing up across from Memorial Park and watching games there in the early 50's. I wasn't a big baseball fan but the diamond was on the west side of the park and all I had to do to watch was cross the street. I remember watching the Legion teams on Sunday. Toward the end of the 50's came Babe Ruth and there were some real rivalries between teams AND SPECTATORS (but the editor says, "we won't get into that".) I remember going to McHose Park to watch the Boone Merchants play the Boxholm Swedes. My late brother, Pinky Clifton, played for the Merchants, coached by Ev Long. Those, to me, were the good old days. Keep up the great job you do. I'm like everyone else, I totally enjoy your Korner every Wednesday and Saturday."
     Dick Longworth, BHS-53, had a bit of a different take. He wrote, "why didn't we have more baseball in those early years? You recall playing Legion ball in 1948 but most of your correspondents say there wasn't much organized baseball in Boone until the mid-50's. I don't remember playing  anything but softball. Basically, baseball doesn't seem to have been a Boone thing. As you wrote, BHS had a team but it was dropped in the mid 40's. We played other high school sports, why not baseball?"
     He continued, "It's odd. Baseball is as big in Iowa as anywhere, it's produced tons of major leaguers, all the way from Cap Anson to Dazzy Vance and Bob Feller. Ronald Reagan got his start broadcasting the Cubs over WHO radio and Field of Dreams is an Iowa story. None of this seems to have made much of an impact on Boone. Some quick googling shows that Boone has produced two major leaguers. The first was Buster Brown, who played for the Cardinals and Boston Braves from 1905-13. The other is Jerry McNertney, a catcher from 1964-73 with the White Sox and Cards and later, a coach for the Yankees. According to Wikipedia, Jerry was born in Boone but went to high school in Gilbert."
     The Kornerman says, "we really haven't mentioned that in those days when there was no high school, Little League, Babe Ruth in Boone, there was lots of "town team" ball. I recall at least two Boone teams, the VFW and, I believe, the Odd Fellows had teams that had a spirited rivalry with each other and also with outside competition. I remember games played at the site at 10th and Tama, prior to the arrival of Little League there. In the eyes of a "youngster" which I was at the time, that was a "huge" park with excellent lighting and home plate was closer to the viaduct than to the grain elevators. In other words, home plate, for a park much bigger than Jimmy Archer Field, was located at the south east end of the area.
     Two more things I recall about those days. I remember when an "older" Bob Reedholm, now deceased, who was a heck of a good pitcher, actually broke his arm pitching. Spectators said you could hear it crack. The second major memory I have is that fabled former New York Yankee star catcher Mickey Owen came to town one time as an "added attraction." At the time, I was a very young reporter but I remember interviewing him. At one time, I had a picture of the two of us. It may still be here in the basement somewhere.
     P.S. Anybody else remember Gib Thompson? Another pretty good pitcher in those days.
     Boone Area Deaths: Viola Johnson, 100, Boone. Attended St. Paul's parochial school until eighth grade. Was a farm wife. Boone area survivors include sons, Richard and Thomas Johnson, a daughter-in-law, Mary Johnson and grandchildren and great grandchildren of Boone..........George Stewart. Jr., 89, Dover, DE and formerly of Boone. Thirty-year Navy vet. Services and burial in Boone...........Violet Scofield, 90, Boone. Lived in Nebraska before moving to Boone. Was a self-employed seamstress. Boone area survivors include a daughter Sandi Myers and a sister, Harriett Thede of Boone and a sister, Bette McCoy of Beaver............Virginia Fontanini, 93, Boone. Was a saleswoman at Holiday House Gift Shop. Boone area survivor is son, Rick of Boone. Sons Dennis Ellenwood and Joe Fontanini and daughter-in-law, Carol Fontanini reside out of state.
     Worldwide Korner headquarters are located at 710 Aldrich, Boone, Iowa 50036-4703. Phone number is 515-432-1530. To email your stories/memories/comments....

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Baseball, the Flavor of the Week

     Sorry again non-baseball fans. That subject seems to be the favored "flavor of the week" with responses from Riverside and San Diego, CA, and the states of Florida, Washington and Minnesota. Again, as I have mentioned before, we go with the material received. If you have a favorite memory or story, get it submitted and we'll follow your direction.
     Larry Paulsen of Riverside, CA., BHS-61, sent a great summation of the various Boone baseball progams. He wrote, "I was 12 years old in 1955 and played in the first season of Little League. Those first games were played in McHose Park. I caught a game for the Cubs and John Malcom threw a no-hitter. Cecil Malcom and Mac McGriff were our coaches. Later, the games were played at a diamond north of the swimming pool. That was prior to moving downtown off of 10th street by the grain elevators."
     Larry went on to say that 12 year olds then went on to Babe Ruth at Memorial Park when home plate was closer to Greene Street than Boone Street. In 1959, Larry was 16 and started playing high school baseball. He remembers that about that same time the "new" diamond with "dugouts and all" was built.......with home plate then closer to Boone Street than Greene Street.
     One of the things Larry remembers most about high school ball was that the first uniforms they had were donated by a Boone High alum who worked in the movie industry. Those uniforms were worn by those portraying the St. Louis Cardinal players in the movie, "The Pride of St. Louis." Larry wrote, "those uniforms were wool. Can you imagine playing baseball in an Iowa summer in a wool uniform? We did and we were proud of them."
     Larry also mentioned that there was American Legion baseball in Boone in the 1950's and 60's. He wrote, "I remember that my dad drove players to games around Iowa before I was eligible to play. Many of us, also eventually did play Legion ball and the coach at that time was, guess who, Bill Sapp."
     John Kueck reported in from Big Kandiyohi Lake in Minnesota, "Don't forget Legion baseball. It preceeded Little League and Babe Ruth. I remember the Barry boys playing and they must have been pretty good since I think they traveled to Philly once to play in a tournament."
     From Florida, Al Roeder wrote, "Babe Ruth baseball started in the mid-50's because I remember playing on a team in about 1955 or 56. We played at the park at the north end of town. I think Little League started a bit before Babe Ruth. I believe the original Little League park was just north of the railroad tracks and west of the street that went under the viaduct by the implement dealer and little shoe repair shop. Maybe Benton St.?"
     Ron Hopkins out in Washington state wrote, "I am not a baseball fan......would rather watch a hair cut. But I am confident Boone was into baseball before the 60's. My mother, Rosella, sister Linda and I  moved to Boone in 1954. That year, or no later than the next, there was a very nice Little League field at about 11th and Tama where we spent many summer evenings watching Little League baseball. When our family moved to 1622 Greene in April of 1956, not far from Memorial Park, it seemed that Babe Ruth and American Legion baseball were already well established. I did enjoy fast-pitch softball in McHose Park, particularly the superb pitcher in those years from Boxholm. The memories are great."
     Tom Peterson said when he turned eight, in July of 1957, he played for the Braves under coach John Morton and had already played in previous years for the minor T-shirt Cubs. He wrote, "So, I was playing when I was six or seven and that was in 1956."
     Talk about memories. All this baseball talk brings back a ton of them for the old Kornerman. Just a couple quick things that haven't been mentioned. I, and those of my era, actually played Legion ball when we were 13-18 years of age which would have been from 1948 on until the other programs were started. And, repeating that Boone High did have some baseball in the 40's until the program was halted, only to be revived in 1959.
     Who remembers the old Kornerman broadcasting play-by-play on KWBG.......I believe it was the Little League Game of the old Jimmy Archer Field? Another Archer Field memory that pops up was when a tournament was being hosted there and I even remember the name........Jim Dunegan of Burlington who later played minor league ball.........hit a huge home run clear across 11th Street, banging against a house. Wow! Don't get me started......memories, memories of those great days.
     Boone Area Deaths: Virginia Fontanini, 93, Boone............Peggy Golding Lynn, 61, Formerly of Boone. BHS-grad and ISU-grad. Her father, Philip Golding, husband Edward Lynn and three children are among the survivors..............Lyle Wahman, 88, Webster City, formerly of Stratford. Stratford High grad. Worked in Hamilton County and then in New Mexico for the Atomic Energy Commission. Returned to Stratford in 1986.
     Worldwide Korner Headquarters are located at 710 Aldrich, Boone, Iowa 50036-4703. Phone number is 515-432-1530. To email your stories/memories/comments.........

Saturday, August 2, 2014


     If you don't care at all about baseball, you're out of luck this time........and it's YOUR fault because you didn't contribute any stories or memories about anything you care about. Shame on you. When is the last time you contributed to this column???? Well then, quit your whining.
     Almost all of this week's contributors are into baseball so........
     Mark Tompkins wrote, "Every time I see something in the Korner about Boone baseball, it triggers questions as I have no recollection of anything other than town team baseball in Boone in the 50's. I don't think there was any Little League, Babe Ruth or Boone High School baseball until later. When? Sometime in the 60's? Scroll yearbooks don't show any BHS teams in the 50's. When did you start coaching? As for the town teams, who coached and sponsored them in the 50's."
     The Kornerman is going via memory which, granted, ain't what it used to be. Seems to me that Little League and Babe Ruth came into play in the late 50's, kind of in conjunction with BHS baseball that I believe was revived in about 1959. Bill Sapp came over from teaching and coaching at Grand Junction, I believe, and he was such a baseball backer, he agreed to coach a BHS team if the sport was revitalized here. There had been high school baseball in the 40's but it had been dropped and remained absent until coach Sapp's arrival here.
     Mike Jacobs, a former minor league player, came to Boone as a railroad executive in the late 50's and got semi-pro or town team baseball going here on into the 60's. Anybody remember the Boone Falcons? They imported some good players from around the state to go with any Boone athletes, entered a league and had some very good teams for a period of time.
     In answer to Mark's final question, I coached youth baseball for 25 years, some Little League but mostly in the Babe Ruth league. That started in about 1958 when I came home from service.
     Mike Loehrer provided a nice offer this week. He wrote, "If anyone wants team Little League pictures, 1955-58, I have them all. In addition, I have most of the Babe Ruth stuff plus a picture of Patty Jensen, Iowa and Boone's very own Teen Queen. If anyone is interested, my address is 5769 Strathmore Lane, Dublin, OH 43017."
     In explanation, I, the Kornerman, coached a Ruth all-star team that finished second in the state, by the way, somewhere around 1960 and each team in the state field was to submit their own Teen Queen candidate and ours was Patty Jensen. She accompanied the team to Sioux City where the tournament was held and I believe she was named the Teen Queen of the state meet.
     Willie lives in San Diego and laments the fact that the San Diego Padres "will never be a winner." He wrote, "When I moved to San Diego in 1959, an older gent I worked with said that and so far, it's been true. This ain't Green Bay, too many pleasant distractions and dishonest politic-pro sport connections. Like many other cities, we build a playpen for the Padres under the delusion of becoming a contender, dream on. I, personally, have never been in favor of public support for pro teams. When the Padres got their gift, San Diego Chargers (NFL) owner Alex Spanos immediately says, "What do I get?""
     The Kornerman understands there will be another of those Honor Flights that gives veterans an opportunity to participate in a one-day flight to Washington D.C. to view the various memorials. This one is scheduled for September 6 and will leave out of the Fort Dodge Airport. Boone's Erling Larson will be one of the veterans going on the trip.
     Boone Area Deaths: Marshall King, 83, Boone. BHS-48. Longtime grain farmer and commercial cattle feed lot operator. Boone area survivors include his wife, Jean and son Jon of Boone and sister Audrienne Swedlund of Stratford. He is also survived by another son and three daughters....................
Robert Miller, 50, Boone. Attended Boone schools. Worked at Sunoco for 23 years. Boone area survivors include his wife, Kim, daughter Katlyn Miller, sisters Rita Miller and Rose Warrick, brother Wade Lewis, mother-in-law Marilee Taylor, brother-in-law Chad Taylor and sister-in-law Tawnya Sullivan all of Boone.
     Worldwide Korner headquarters are located at 710 Aldrich, Boone, Iowa 50036-4703. Phone number is 515-432-1530. To email your stories/memories/comments....