Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Remembering Telephone Operators

     Anybody remember telephone operator days and............
     At a recent family reunion, the subject of telephone operators came up AND when/how a business transaction suddenly became much more personal.
     Example: Jo said that one time she attempted to call a girlfriend time after time but continued getting a "busy" signal. Finally, the operator chimed in, "Jo, your girlfriend lives just up the street, why don't you just walk up there."
     Then too, it was mentioned that one individual called a couple of different people seeking a certain relative but with no luck. Finally, again, an operator spoke up telling her the exact location she could find the person she was looking for........."no, no, she's not there or there, she's at so and so's house," the caller was told.
     How about it! Anybody out there got any other telephone operator stories?
     Those of you who are historically minded, particularly regarding Boone County happenings, may find this interesting. The Kornerman was unaware and, perhaps, you are too.
     It comes courtesy of former residents Gene Keys and his wife Karen (Helm) who reside in Loveland, CO. The former owners of the Ogden roller rink, Warren and Ruth Christensen, who also now live in Loveland, asked that Gene and Karen do some investigative work while in Boone for Pufferbilly. Specifically, they were asked to find and get some pictures of a monument dedicated to the crash of an Air Force B-24 bomber that had gone down about 10 miles southeast of Boone. Warren had been interested in erecting a monument honoring the crew of that plane and, in fact, put up his own money to have such a project completed. He and some Ogden friends cared for it and the surrounding area but he never took a picture of it before moving west.
     Gene said the Boone County Historical Society was checked but had no knowledge of the monument so he and Karen started their own search. He wrote, "we started west bound on E57 south of Boone and across the river. We met several "dead ends" but finally found a farmer that told us exactly where it was located."
    "The monument is located on "K" Avenue, a mile south of E57 on the east side of the road. On E57, there is a green marker before you get to "K," indicating with an arrow pointing south, "Historical Marker 1 Mile." The site can also be reached from Highway 169 south of Ogden and turning east on E57.
     Editor's Note: It sounds as if the monument may be 10 miles southwest of Boone rather than southeast as Gene had written.
     A picture was taken, then at the Ericson Public Library, the couple found a BNR article describing the crash. On July 31, 1943, the plane was on a training mission from Topeka, KS to Duluth, MN when it encountered a severe storm and crashed. Witnesses said it went down in a "ball of flames" and there were no survivors.
     Due to the work of Gene and Karen, the Christensen's received a picture of the monument and a copy of the newspaper story and they were " very happy to receive them." Pam Schwartz, Executive Director of the Boone Historical Society, was also provided with the info and said she plans to do more research on the site so they can add it to their historical attractions map contained in the brochure they provide visitors.
     Happy to hear from Tom Burke who has been missing from the Korner for a time. Tom wrote, " It's been my fault. I have been overly busy on several fronts and have, consequently, been a bit remiss in some of my communication. We had an issue in town here that split residents into two camps regarding some of the rebuilding after the hurricane Sandy. Not being shy, I got myself in the middle of the issue which led to a referendum and special election which the side I was supporting won. That was intertwined with some minor, yet significant, issues I have been having physically."
     Tom also explained he had to get a new computer and lost some email addresses during the transition, including that of the Korner.
     One of Tom's buddies, John Kueck, informed us of a web link that proved interesting. It was a pictorial tour of all of major league baseball's parks. John said he and wife, Sue, live just a few blocks, walking distance, from Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins and when he was a kid, the family went to Milwaukee and Wrigley Field for games.
     A couple of people who were important to our community have passed recently. Rev. Thomas Geelan, 78, who served Boone Sacred Heart for several years, died in Ruthven, IA and his services were held there.
     James Henry Andrew of Jefferson, 93, passed away and services will be held Thursday in Jefferson. Andrew is the gentleman who had some 5,000 railroad items that he donated to the James H. Andrew Railroad Museum here at the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad site in 2012. He was also a main financial contributor to the Museum.
     Worldwide Korner headquarters are located at 710 Aldrich, Boone, Iowa 50036-4703. Phone number is 515-432-1530. To email your stories/memories/comments/support.........

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Teammates, but A Long Time Ago

     Keep in mind, they were teammates a long time ago, like maybe 60 years ago. But much more recently than that, the two had a business transaction not realizing they were teammate members of one of Boone High's best two-mile relay teams.
     Willie explained, "yes, that was Miller Drug that sat across from the Citizens National Bank and sitting in my living room is one of the two National Cash Registers from that store. While in Ogden a few years ago, Barbara's brother (Barbara is the former Barbara Rodgers, Willie's wife) Tom Rodgers, had a similar machine that was not in good condition. Tom said he knew someone who had a register that might be better. I talked to the guy on the phone and offered to come and look at it. This didn't seem like a good idea to the fellow who said he would bring it over to me with the caveat that I would buy it if it was in good condition. I agreed. The machine didn't have any serious problems so I forked over the money and took possession. The fellow's name was Joe and his wife was Andrea. I was able to restore the machine to it's original operable condition. Several years later, we were in Ogden again and Barb's dad mentioned my name in a conversation about the cash register with his neighbor Joe and Joe said, "I ran track with Willie." We hadn't recognized each other during that earlier transaction. The members of the two-mile relay team were Joe Smith, me, Pat Ferry and Charlie Hancock and I've always felt lucky to be a part of that,  we were the best in Iowa, failed to win just one time and that was because of an accident. I went across the street and visited with Joe."
     Editor's note: Joe Smith passed away recently. His wife Andrea, who survives, is the former Andrea Dorman, a former BHS Homecoming Queen.
     Willie said there is a picture of the Miller Drug cash register in one of those Pictorial History's of Boone County published by the Boone Today. "It's behind the counter where my sister, Helen, would take me for ice cream sodas in the 1940's."
     We heard from Mike Sundall recently that his dad, Kenny, was now residing in Cedar Rapids and we encouraged our viewers who knew Kenny to send him a card to let him know we Boone friends hadn't forgotten him. Mike wrote, "Thanks for sending my dad a card. He has it right on his dresser. He's also received other cards and calls from his Boone friends."
     Editor's Note: It's not too late to send a card......Living Center East, 1220 5th Avenue S.E., Room 113. Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52403.
     Mike added, "I have a question about the former Boone Golf and County Club that may stimulate some activity. If I remember right, the club had a pro who provided golf lessons to the youth in the late 50's or early 60's. Does anybody remember? Also, there have been many great golfers from Boone......Charlie Updegraff, Max Hall, Bob Fisher, Wayne Harrell, Jim Curell etc. Are there others I am missing? The Boone Amateur tournament used to draw top golfers from the region."
     Editor's note: Amy Updegraff deserves lots of credit for those golf opportunities for young people back in the 50's and 60's. She was resolute in organizing golf days, golf lessons and tournaments which really spurred much interest among youths about the sport.
     Mike mentioned some of the great group of golfers this community has produced but I'll add a few more that come to mind.......Dick Schultz, Bill Modeland, Dick Anderson, Brad Post and I'm, no doubt,  missing others who deserve mention.
     Boone Area Deaths: Leona Clark, 85, Boone. Luther High grad. Worked at Spurgeon's, Cardinal Cleaners and tailored clothing for Dad and Lad. Boone area survivors include sons Brad and Breck Clark and daughter Brenda Haglund all of Boone...........Margaret Gauger, 90, Boone. Pilot Mound grad-42. Worked in food service for Boone Community schools and was a volunteer at the Boone Hospital gift shop. Boone area survivors include her daughter, Jean Torkildson of Boone.........Carroll Anderson, 79, Boone. Worked with his father and brother in a heating/air conditioning business and then worked at Percival Company. Boone area survivors include his wife, Martha, and son, Greg, and brother, Duane, all of Boone.
     Loren Frazier, BHS-58, informs us of two deaths that effect members of the '58 BHS class.
     Joy Pollard White's husband, Bill, 81, passed away recently in Odessa, TX. and the wife of Loren Vogler, Eleanore Vogler, 73, passed away in Elk River.
     Worldwide Korner headquarters are located at 710 Aldrich, Boone, Iowa 50036-4703. Phone number is 515-432-1530. To email your stories/memories/comments/support........

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fun Memories

     Area business news: The Korner's Ames informant tells us that the popular restaurant, Crackerbarrel, is slated for a location east of Ames proper near the new location of Deery Brothers and that Popeye's Chicken will replace the area formerly occupied by Long John Silver's. That's across the street north of Village Inn in downtown Ames.
     Pat Ahlstrom and Jim Harken have saved the Korner from an absence this day.
     Pat wrote from Colorado, "I just caught up with a number of the Korner man's fabulous blogs and am inspired by the good memories of the elevator in the Citizen's Bank. I recall a nice person operating it for my mother and me on our way to Dr. Longworth's office. If you were brave for your shot or stitches you got a certificate for an ice cream cone at the drug store/soda counter across the street. What drug store was that....Keck's maybe? (Miller Drug?). The Y? I loved the Y. Carl Saubert was the Director when I spent many days there in that concrete gym and at the well worn ping pong table. Barry Wills was a young man who worked there and gave us good guidance. Junior High Grid and High School Grid were boy/girl social events. I don't remember trouble of any kind, just kids having fun....no alcohol and we never even heard of drugs. Baseball memories...my brother Mike played the first year of Little League which I'm nearly certain was 1955. Dale Ray was his coach on the Elks Club Cardinals. Then, I played 1956-58 on the Lions Club Cubs and after that, the Kiwanis Tigers in the Babe Ruth league. With Mo Kelley as all-star coach, we finished second at the state championship tournament held in the former minor league park in Sioux City. Then, I played high school ball under Bill Sapp three years, plus American Legion ball, followed by stints with the Boone Falcons so called semi-pro team. There were a lot of good players in the 50's and 60's out of Boone. We were very competitive playing against larger schools and towns."
     Jim wrote, "I've been thinking a lot about Boone. This morning, I had a little memory bring a smile to my face. There is the company called CDS Global that has an office in the Boone business park just south of Highway 30 south of where Moffitt's Ford is located. Part of their global business is being the service company for magazine subscriptions across the country. One day when I was working at the Arizona Game and Fish Department, I heard the woman who oversaw the department magazine subscriptions telling someone on the phone that they needed to send their information to CDS in Boone, Iowa, 50036. Of course, hearing Boone and the zip code, my ears perked right up. I jumped out of my chair and ran to the other cubicle asking why our magazine was sending someone to Boone, Iowa? It turned out that CDS was the service company that managed the subscriptions for Arizona Wildlife Views, the department's official magazine. We all had a good laugh when I told them Boone was my hometown! They thought that was pretty cool and later I helped some folks that had questions about subscriptions and was able to give them the Boone info as well. Pretty cool that a company in my hometown was helping people from all over the country and around the world!"
     Jim added, "I also had a buddy who recently sent me a photo message on my phone of a Fareway truck on the interstate somewhere between Phoenix, Ariz. and Los Angeles, Calif. He was on his way back to Phoenix and there had been an accident on the freeway tying up traffic. Traffic was backed up so much so that people were out of their cars and walking around. He said he was about two cars behind a Fareway truck. When he saw Boone, Iowa on the mud flaps, he thought of me and took a photo.He didn't have a chance to speak to the driver, but he had a good smile thinking about ol' jimbo back in Iowa."
     Will be have any more "fun" or other kind of memories for a Saturday edition or will be draw a blank again??
     Boone Area Deaths: Laberta Paslay, 89, Topeka, KS. and formerly of Boone. Her late husband was a Boone pastor............Donna Kluckman, 92, San Antonio, TX. and formerly of Boone.................
Betty Ruth Hoyt Benson, 90, Ames and formerly of Boone. BHS-42. Served as a secretary for the Iowa DOT and for WOI radio/television.............Lois Walters, 84, Lakewood, CO. and formerly of  Boone. Pilot Mound High grad. Worked at Bourns, ISU and Bryant School food service. Boone area survivors include her daughter, Charisse Cook of Boone and her brother, James Phipps of Pilot Mound.............H. Marian Carter, 100, Boone. Worked at Bourns. Boone area survivors include a daughter, Marcia Godfrey of Boone..........Phyliss McCormick, 77, Des Moines. Formerly of Boone.........Leona Clark, 85, Boone........Margaret Gauger, 90, Boone..............Anna Swanson, 88, 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/ support.........

Saturday, September 20, 2014


     No stories, no memories, no comment, no support.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

More Ups and Downs

     Great to hear from Jim Harken this week. Jim lived in Arizona for a time, suddenly had an awakening and realized Iowa was "home territory." He moved his family to Des Moines, worked there for a time and still lives there but now is working out of Ames for Iowa State Extension. He intends to eventually move his family to Ames.
     Jim wrote, "got to thinking about the ups and downs of elevators. The elevator at Citizens had been updated to push button by the time we moved to Boone. That would have been the mid-80's, making me the kid in this group. I've ridden it all the way to the top and, as a kid, that was pretty special. I had an aunt that was an elevator operator at Shrams Department Store in Burlington. It had the lever that she moved back and forth to get the car to go up and down. I remember going to see her a couple times and her taking us up and down. I think the building was five or six floors tall. She had to move the lever just right and do a little timing to line up the floor of the car with the floor of the building. It was pretty cool as a kid! She, too, knew what was on each floor. We lived in Jesup when I was a little kid and the funeral home across the street had an elevator that was moved by a rope and pulley system. It was inside the back door of the house and went from the basement all the way to the second floor. I think it was a 10 x 10 platform that was lifted by someone pulling on the ropes. It creaked and moaned and was pretty freaky for us kids, but did a good job lifting stuff. I'm told it got replaced in the late 1990's with a hydraulic number."
     Jim added, "I was in Boonetown a few weeks back and was amazed at the changes. The high school being gone was probably the most surprising. I knew it was being demolished but to see it gone..WOW! All the development on the southside. WOW! I remember talk as a kid that things would head that way, it's amazing to see it happen. I'm glad to see Boone still growing.......I guess KWBG still fits. You and Boone cross my mind a lot. Thanks Mo for all you do to promote."
     The Kornerman says, "I don't think the courthouse elevator has been mentioned. I remember years ago when the elevator there reminded me of a jail cell. As far as operating it, as Jim mentioned, I remember when you had to line up the "floor of the car with the floor of the building." If not, there was a chance for a big time stumble.
     Regarding our recent talk about collecting for papers, John Kueck wrote, "I was a Boone News Republican paperboy for more than five years. I banked at Boone State Bank. As I recall, if you had a savings account, they were more than happy to count out your change. I would take my collections to the teller window and the teller would efficiently count the money and give you your bills. Doing this weekly, 52 times a year, made you well know and the clerks would recognize you by name. It made me feel like a little business man."
     Bill Wallace wrote in from Iowa City about a new high school football rivalry. He wrote, "the Ames High Little Cyclones are going to play the Iowa City Little Hawks in their first meeting ever. HyVee has sponsored a traveling trophy for the winner of this game so it appears there will be more of these games to come. This HyVee trophy got me to thinking about "the Bell" that went to the winner of the Boone-Ames football game. When did Boone and Ames stop playing each other in football and who has "the Bell? I always read your column and enjoy the mental images of the Boone I grew up in."
     Bill followed his initial note with the information that it actually was the second time the two schools had met on the football field. The first time was in the state playoffs. But, this was the first regular season meeting. By now, the game has been played and Ames won.
     Editor's note: Boone and Ames have not played football games for quite some time now but I can't give you an exact date. The Korner, quite some time ago, had some talk about the Bell and it seems to me that Ames was the last "owner."
     From Alan Munson to Emily Munson and then to Tom Matt, the Korner received news of the BHS class of 1959 reunion. It will be held the weekend of October 17-18. This coming weekend, the class of 1969 will be gathering at the Adobe on Friday and Cedar Pointe on Saturday and then, of course, the class of 1944 will be having a 70th reunion September 26-27.
     Boone Area Deaths: Dale Bergman, 74, Stratford. Stratford High grad. Worked at Farmer's Co-op, Westrum Motors and was a farmer. Boone Area survivors include his wife, Louise, son Shawn, and daughter Jan Scheuermann all of Stratford.
     Worldwide Korner headquarters are located at 710 Aldrich, Boone, Iowa 50036-4703. Phone number is 515-432-1530. To email your stories/memories/comments/support.........

Friday, September 12, 2014

Oh Boy........A Good Look Back

     We start with some good memories from Rick Houser, now of Fairfax, VA., but with good vibes about growing up in Boonetown. He wrote, "the mention of Grid is what really got my juices flowing. If my memory is right, seventh to ninth grade Grid was held on Monday nights from 7 to 9 p.m.. Grid is where a young seventh grader like myself found my first girlfriend or, at least, thought so. That, I guess, is when boys started showing a little interest in the other half. No names to be mentioned but I also got my first real kiss at prom around the ninth grade. Oh, we were so young. After we made it to 10th grade and Friday night Grid, it was off to Boyd's, usually with your favorite gal. When we were able to drive, it was to Johnny's Drive-In on the east side. Yes, you, the Kornerman, do stir what I call the prime time of my youth and again, none of us can ever thank you enough."
     Mike Howard got some memories flowing in our last edition but we didn't have room for all of them. Let's finish them up now. Mike wrote, "I recollect lots of that time in my life........like going to Boyd's Dairy, hearing Mo Kelley announce the ballgames on Friday nights and the many clothing stores on Story Street, Meyers, Dad and Lad, Kruse and J.C. Petersen. New Highway 30 was only in somebodies mind and the road to the Ledges was steep and treacherous. It was last week that I ran into a Mrs. Thorngren and then realized it was her husband, Carl, who, so many years ago, was the one who remodeled our house on 14th Street many years before we moved into it. Western Auto, the Fancy Cue, Bide-A-Wee, Rexall Drug, the old Ben Franklin with the riding horse to the left of the entry and Riekenberg's are a few of the store fronts of my youth. I even remember buying models in the old Mondt Hotel and I do remember that hotel burning. The Lincoln, the Dairy Queen on Mamie Eisenhower and the Imperial Inn. Rotary Club met in the Hotel Holst. Many years later, I ran the hotel for a year as the owners health and business sense was being called into question. Going through that basement was quite a story in itself. Lots of old Boss Hotels memorabilia. I was on the roof when the tornado ripped through Jordan. It truly was a half-mile wide. I saw it. I guess all these memories make me old, just not as old as the Kornerman. I mean't to include the Chick-A-Dine and the horse was actually to the right of the doorway as I reread what I wrote."
     Willie wrote from San Diego, "I remember the Citizen's elevator and I think there were more but I must not have been impressed. Younkers in Des Moines had a nice one but wait, I was on the fourth floor of a building in San Leandro, one of my work for fun jobs, and I had to step aside to let a pickup go by. There were cars and trucks on every floor, this place had serious elevators. The first floor was special because it had an amazing aroma, real strong but not offensive; full of big sacks of coffee. I still have an empty bag from Brazil. This was a factory where military tanks were built in World War II."
     Willie added, "Boone News paperboys brought the money they collected on Saturdays to the Citizens National where you were provided with a cupcake pan to divide the coins and I think the teller would give you folding money which you paid to Mr. Garvey. The remainder was your profit for the week which probably would be reasonable except for the numerous customers who claimed they didn't have 25-cents."
     Boone Area Deaths: Rosamond Kemmerer, 100, Boone. Taught at Boone elementary school for 31 years before retiring in 1979.............Lorraine Blomgren Van Dolah, 89, Wichita, KS, formerly of Boone. Luther High grad. Worked in insurance and was a longtime elementary school secretary. Boone area survivors include her sister Marian Bauman of Boone and her brother Donald Blomgren of Ames.
     Worldwide Korner headquarters are located at 710 Aldrich, Boone, Iowa 50036-4703. Phone number is 515-432-1530 (Yes, quit laughing....we still have a land line). To email your stories, memories, comments, support...........

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Skateland and Elevators

     After a period of "sleeping in" or, perhaps, with all the recent activities, a lack of sleep was the problem, our viewers have suddenly awoken. Yes, the Kornerman knows awoken does not sound right but I checked with a good friend, Dick Shenary, and he says that's alright.
     Regarding Skateland, classmate Tom Canfield wrote, "if you really want the scoop on Skateland during our "early years" you should talk to Gary Weston (another classmate). I think he spent more time there than in school. He has mentioned Gary Thompson and his wife, Janet, as being big on skating, skate dance competitions and so forth. I don't remember much about the Boone elevators but I do remember the first escalators at Younkers in Des Moines."
     John Kueck added, "I was an ice skater, not a roller skater. I did roller skate on the streets and sidewalks, but never at a Boone or Ames roller rink. However, as I recall, there was a roller rink that was not far from the Boone YMCA on a space that was later replaced by a bowling alley. You also mentioned the Mylenbush's playing the organ. As I recall, Jim Mylenbush played the organ at the Boone Roller Rink. It might have been called Skater's Paradise at one time. As always, the best to you, and your column is always high on my weekly highlights."
     Editor's note: Anybody remember when Swede Carlson was the organist at the Boone rink?
     Regarding elevators, one that the Kornerman should have remembered and didn't mention was in the Lippert Building. The elevator was at the back of the building right next to the alley by Cardinal Cleaners. I used that several times when visiting my doctor at the time, Dr. John Wall.
     Several viewers mentioned that "forgotten" elevator. Mike Howard wrote, "you forgot one. And boy did that stir a number of memories for me. There is an elevator boarded up now in the Lippert Building. You had to ring a bell to get an operator. I remember the first guy who operated it was Joe, followed later by Otis. To my recollection, both smoked cigars and both spent many an hour sitting on a chair on the third floor just outside the elevator. Nice old guys who always had a smile and a joke for whoever was riding. My dad's office was on the third floor just off the elevator and Dr. Wall's office was at the end of the hallway. I also remember that "Tom the Barber" was down the steps on the outside of the building where I got some of my first haircuts. Mr. Lauritsen had an office on the second floor and Bowman's Shoe Store was the store on the street."
     Mike included some other great recollections that we will submit in a future edition.
     Tom Peterson wrote, "maybe the lack of conversation about the elevator in the bank is due to a negative experience I had.......riding up to see my dentist, Dr. Tucker, who I believe did not believe in using novacaine. That was a very unpleasant experience for this youngster back in that day. Regardless, the elevator operator there and at Younkers in Des Moines were very skilled at their craft."
     Mike Sundall wrote, "I distinctly remember the elevator in the Citizen's Bank Building. In fact, I believe my wife's aunt, Donna Moorman, was one of the elevator operators. We would park our bikes downtown and go ride the elevator."
     P.S. Editor's Note: Many of you know or remember "good guy" Kenny Sundall who was very much involved in our community for a long time. His son, Mike, added, "my dad, Kenneth Sundall, is now residing at the Living Center East, 1220 5th Avenue S.E., Room 113. Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52403. His friends may not know."
     Now you Korner viewers do know and I, for one, am preparing a card to send to Kenny just to let him know we still remember him and wish him the best. I'm sure he'd love to hear from many of his old Boone friends.
     A couple quick notes: Don't forget the reception honoring Duane "Fred" Friedrich, a former math teacher at Boone High. It's tommorrow, Thursday, September 11, at 6 p.m. at the Tic Toc (now Calmer and Company). Former friends, students, teachers are urged to attend.
     Then too, Davi Mondt Lowman reminds Korner viewers that the BHS class of 1969 reunion is coming up September 19-20 at Cedar Pointe.
     Of course, later in the month, the class of 1944 will have a 70th reunion. That is September 26-28.
     Boone Area Deaths: John Kelley, Boone. Was Assistant Superintendent of Schools at BHS from 1976 to 2001. John's wife, Annette, is a Boone survivor..........Douglas Blomgren, 55, Ankeny/Boone. Built a seed business in the area. Boone area survivors include wife, Christine of Ankeny, sons, Sean, Josh and James all of Boone, daughters Jennifer Ciha of Ankeny, Sarah of Boone and Stephanie of Illinois. Also surviving is his mother, June Blomgren, his brother Richard and sister Cathy Smith all of Boone.............June Galeazzi, 86, Boone. BHS-47. Was a medical insurance clerk in Davenport and the Boone County Hospital, for Rolfes Co. and Drs. Anderson and Rouse. Later, had her own insurance claim service. Boone area survivors include a son, Greg, and a daughter LuAnn Adams 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/support........



Friday, September 5, 2014

Back to our Original Purpose

     Oh yes, the Kornerman knows that there are many bloggers who use their forum for a personal discussion of whatever comes to mind.
     Although, on occasion, viewers of the Korner have suggested that the Kornerman should provide such personal comment/opinion on a regular basis, that has never been our intent. As we have mentioned before, our goal was to have complete "outside" participation with the Kornerman simply being the column organizer. You send, we receive and prepare for distribution. That's it, except an occasion or two when we might add some material to what you have submitted.
     With limited participation this week, the Kornerman saw an opportunity to do what some had suggested. So, without any outside help, and rather than simply closing things down, we pilfered some material from Chuck Offenburger's book on Gary Thompson and wrote about Skateland and a Boone connection and followed that up with some thoughts on elevators in Boone at the time when they were guided by elevator operators.
      The Kornerman really thought those two items "fit," the Korner demographics very well. They were prominent when a majority of our viewers would have possibly been affected by them and folks would surely have some great memories to share. It didn't happen. None. Zero. Zilch. Not a single reply. One of the few times when the Korner has been completely shut out.
     So, the experiment is over and, with our viewers help, we go back to our original purpose. Hopefully, our little slump can be blamed on the busyness associated with the Labor Day weekend and the quickly changing weather from summer to fall and all the things that entails. Locally, of course, it's been a busy time with the Farm Progress Show, followed by the Grand National Racing program and the Pufferbilly celebration.
     All of those "excuses" are or will soon be over so it's back to where we belong. We'll look forward to your stories/memories/comments in the coming weeks?/months?/years? or how ever long you are willing to hang with us or the Kornerman, himself, is able to hang on.
     P.S. We heard this week that some 900 race cars came to Boone for those championship races and every U.S. state........that's every state except, it was either Idaho or Utah, has at least one car in the competition. Amazing.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


     If, in Boone, you haven't figured out how to operate an elevator, you're out of luck, at least until you study a copy of "How to Operate an Elevator for Dummies."
     The coffee group got into the subject of elevators recently and leaned toward those housed in two Boone buildings, the Boone National Building and the Citizens National Bank Building, now, the U.S. West Bank Building.
     Remember when they were operated by PEOPLE, folks just like you and I?
     I have no idea what those folks were called other than elevator operators or, maybe, assistants or associates.......which seems to be the more stylish current vogue. But the point is the elevators were hand operated by individuals who stood/sat in them during the busiest of times, asked passengers for a destination and delivered them to their destination. There was probably some conversation between floors. Usually obvious in the elevator were a chair,  books and maybe even a sandwich or sack lunch. Perhaps even a radio.There was no charge for the ride........it was just a provided service.
     Going a step further, who remembers the elevator service at the old Younkers Building in Des Moines? Now that was clearly first class. The operators wore white gloves and spoke out when arriving at each floor with an audio index of what was available on that floor.
     Anybody remember anything else about this service. How about the folks who operated the Boone elevators? Any other memories?
     The Kornerman is absolutely astonished that no information was received this week regarding our comments on Skateland in the last edition. Surely, some of our viewers attended that popular Ames venue which opened in the Fall of 1949.
     Entertainment was much more limited then in comparison to today so the Skateland opening and a new 20th Century Bowling Alley next door drew attendees from all around the area. The Penkhus brothers brought the facilities to Ames after enjoying much similar success in Colorado.
     Skateland was a 100 by 150-foot building with a solid maple floor and, of course as mentioned last time, with Boone's Noni Mylenbusch playing the organ. There were strict rules. Blue jeans for skating were only allowed on Wednesday nights. For other sessions, girls were required to wear dresses or skirts. The boys had to wear slacks. There were no T-shirts allowed, the boys shirts had to have collars and belts were required. On occasion, some boys would even wear jackets and ties. Needless to say, outstanding behavior was always required.
     Regular skating prices were 60-cents, 30-cents to rent skates and 30-cents to just watch. Weeknights and Sundays, skating was from 7 to 10:30 p.m.. Fridays and Saturdays there was a second session from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.. There was a Sunday matinee also. Pop, candy bars and popcorn were available for purchase but no gum. I'm sure you know why.
    Damage from a tornado plus new entertainment opportunities helped rush Skateland to it's demise in 1960. The bowling alley survived for many years beyond that.
    This begs a question. Would such an offering with all those rules survive today?
     None of you ever went to Skateland? Well, I admit it.........I didn't either.
     Boone Area Deaths: Ben Parsons, 52, Boone. Ogden Hi-1980. Several jobs with his latest an  11-year stint as an early morning announcer on KWBG radio. Boone area survivors include his wife, Anna, his son, Adam Smith, and daughter, Elaina Gibbs, his mother and stepfather Betty and John Nelson all of Boone and his mother-in-law Edith Schroeder of Pilot Mound...........Clarence (Bud) Rice, 93, Fort Dodge and formerly of Boone. Owned and managed Otis Lumber Company in Boone for 17 years and was employed by Iowa State University Extension Service for 20 years prior to retirement.
     Worldwide Korner Headquarters are located at 710 Aldrich, Boone, Iowa 50036-4703. Phone number is 515-432-1530. To email your stories/memories/comments/support..........