Along Our Way
For the 20th year, a group of us continued a Holy Week tradition of meeting at the YMCA Camp northwest of Boone, sharing lunch, then climbing up a towering bluff there to Chapel Point, which overlooks the Des Moines River valley. Up at the top, there are a few reflections, a few stories, we sing ''This Is My Father's World'' and then Stan Moffitt of Boone plays taps on his bugle.
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with the Offenburgers
Chuck Offenburger was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins follicular lymphoma cancer on July 10, 2009, had six months of chemotherapy & started a maintenance program. Carla Offenburger underwent surgery on April 26, 2010, for removal of a jaw tumor which was found to contain adenoid cystic carcinoma cancer. She underwent six weeks of follow-up radiation in June and July, 2010. Since then she has returned to good health, but she continues to have close medical observation. Two days after Carla finished radiation, Chuck noticed a pain in his left hip, and within days, a small mass near his tailbone was diagnosed as more aggressive large-cell lymphoma. In the fall of 2010, he underwent intensive chemotherapy, and had a stem cells transplant in November, with follow-up radiation in January, 2011. Since then he's been doing well, too, but continues to have regular check-ups. We post updates frequently here, including brief insights from Chuck, Carla and at least one of you readers.
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Recently on Facebook, we posted this photo and asked, ''What do this 1960s bicycle, 2002 Chrysler and 1900 barn all have in common, besides being at our farm in west central Iowa?'' People had some interesting and fun guesses and comments.
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latest book on sports
legend Gary Thompson
''GARY THOMPSON: All-American'' is the new, 352-page biography of one of the state's genuine sports icons. From 1950-'53 Gary Thompson led the Roland Rockets to high school sports glory in basketball and baseball, giant-killers from one of Iowa's small schools. Then he led the Cyclones at Iowa State from 1953-'57, becoming the college's first two-sport All-American. He's had major success in broadcasting and business, from his home base in Ames. And he and his wife Janet have a family as solid as they come. "I'm the luckiest guy around," Thompson says.
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Along Our Way
A school girl's account of what it was like in little Fonda, Iowa, the day World War I ended in Europe -- 85 years ago -- or, as she titled it back then, ''How I celebrated Peace Day''
Talk about an unusual view into history! Rosie Carr Meysenburg was recently going through old files in her home in Dallas, Texas, when she came across a fascinating essay her mother Evangeline Mullen Carr had written in 1918 as a sophomore at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic High School in Fonda, Iowa. It recounts what the celebration was like in that small northwest Iowa town on November 11 of that year, when word arrived that the fighting had ceased in Europe and World War I was over. Meysenburg shared the essay with her sister Mary Jean Carr Offenburger, who is married to my brother Dan Offenburger in Shenandoah, Iowa. The Carr sisters agreed to let me share the essay with you. “I just found this to be a great piece giving us a sense of the spirit at the end of WWI,” my brother Dan said in an e-mail. “They were apparently able to organize quickly for community celebrations. Of course, they were tough, as evidenced by their attitude about the Kaiser.” You’ll also see mention of the local men having “a sheet parade.” It’s possible that might have been a Ku Klux Klan event, since the Klan was active in many Iowa towns in that period. Fonda was and is heavily Catholic, but the Klan – now generally thought to be as anti-Catholic as it was anti-black and anti-Jew – didn’t always play all of its cards every place it organized. Regardless, the spontaneous eruption of joy and relief in Fonda that day is something that all who were involved undoubtedly talked about their rest of their lives. Chuck Offenburger
By Evangeline Mullen
Monday morning, when I was coming home from Mass, I met my sister and she told me that Central had called up and said that peace was declared, that the Germans had stopped fighting and the Kaiser had fled to Holland. I immediately went downtown and there were very many in town already ringing bells and shooting torpedoes. I met two or three of the school children and we went up to the school where we met Father Heelan. He told us that there would not be any school that day so we went downtown again and by that time the streets were crowded.
We then had a parade, everybody carrying flags, drums, tin cans and boilers – anything that would make noise. After marching up and down the street a few times, we stopped at the main square and sang several patriotic songs. Then Rev. Clements introduced Rev. Bond from Fort Dodge who had spoken at the Methodist Church the night before. He gave a very interesting talk.
|Evangeline Mullen, riding a horse tended by her friend Helen|
Then the Kaiser was burned in effigy.
All the people went down to meet the 9:20 train. After the train had pulled out, several of the Catholic girls went up to the Chapel and sang two or three hymns of Thanksgiving and also said the rosary. When we were coming out of the Church, Father Heelan asked me if we would play the band downtown at 12:30. We asked Sister Alberta and she said that we could. Father said he would arrange for the cars and then we went downtown to find Harold and Francis.
About 12:00 we went over to the sisters to get the music and violins and had a terrible time getting a piano but we finally got one and had it put on the dray. The dray was all decorated with flags. We got in and went over to Father Heelan and played a piece for him and then went back over to the sisters and played a piece for them. We then went downtown and played five or six pieces, after which we were told to stop playing and to come back at 4:30.
Helen, Irene and I then went to the show. Mr. Van Hoosier, the show manager, gave a free show It was “Selfish Yates” featuring Wm. S. Hart.
After we came back out, we met Father Heelan and he gave us a box of candy for the band. At 4:30 we paraded the streets for about an hour and a half. There were two soldiers and a sailor on our truck. After we played and the public school glee club sang, the sailor gave a little talk.
After the celebration we went up to the hall where the ladies served sandwiches, cookies and hot coffee, free of charge. After supper we serenaded Father Heelan, Rev. DeBest and Rev. Clements. Then we went downtown to the bonfire and sang and played about twenty pieces, after which we went up to the dance and played until about 10:30. The men had a sheet parade about 9 o'clock. The people were still celebrating when we finally left the dance hall.
Evangeline Mullen, who was called “Van” by her friends all her life, was one of 11 children of John P. and Rose Mullen of Fonda, Iowa. After graduation from OLGC Catholic High School, she attended Fonda Public High School for one year, which was required then of any OLGC graduates who wanted to go on to college because OLGC wasn't yet accredited. Van then spent two years at Rosary College, a Catholic girls’ school in Chicago. She then moved to Des Moines and worked in various offices in the State Capitol. In 1935, she married John Carr. They lived in Des Moines and Rock Island, Ill., before moving in 1950 to Fonda, where John had an insurance claims business. He died in 1969, and Van lived in Fonda until her death in 1977 at age 72. Want to share your thoughts with Van Mullen Carr’s daughters? They are Mary Jean Carr Offenburger at firstname.lastname@example.org and Rosie Carr Meysenburg at email@example.com
|Evangeline Mullen as a young woman in Fonda, Iowa. |
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