MAY - JUNE 2012
LIVE LIFE LOCAL
Imagine a community center unlike any you’ve seen before. A center with accessible space for lifelong learning, networking, wellness, arts, culture and recreation. A place where organizations work together to make our community a better place to live, work and play. Imagine a “neighborhood for the community” in the heart of downtown Beaver Dam connecting the city and surrounding areas as the gathering point for multi-generational activities and events; serving as a focal point for delivery of services and programs. Now imagine that this dream of a community center has come true. Welcome to
Be a part of this great project by giving your support and leading by example and by telling others about The Watermark, its programs and benefits. Every tax deductible gift is precious to the campaign and the community. Thank you, from The FRIENDS of the Beaver Dam Community Center. Save The Date: June 25th Official Campaign Kick-Off Watch on Youtube The Watermark - Promo Video Find us on facebook.com/TheWatermarkBD
VOLUME ONE - ISSUE THREE
FEATURE MEET LIMPY
6 Feature Artist E M I LY
She moves full-throttle from chaotic lines to beauty and intensity as one-dimensional features bloom in seconds.
8 CHELLI BRI
MAY - JUNE 2012
You couldn’t miss Kenny. It was the way he walked. Because of that, most people called him Limpy instead of Kenny. That nickname stuck with him for the rest of his life. This is his story.
15 COMMUNITY B D L A K E D AY S
LEGEND & LORE
THIS & THAT
Cletus G. Willihnganz shares the legend of the American Legion Band of Beaver Dam.
The 19th Lake Days takes place July 12-15. This family friendly festival celebrates Beaver Dam Lake and its community.
THE WANDERING MAN
Dave Edwards will invite you into the viewfinder on a tour of our national parks.
S I NG Y OU R H E A RT OU T
Her strong soprano voice rang through the gymnasium clearly. It was the beginning of something very special.
10 BASEBALL LEGACY P I N K H AW L E Y & A D D I E J O S S
Now the accomplishments of Hawley & Joss will be known as long as fans come by those curious little markers.
Small insights and thoughts that life sends our way. “Daydream Believer”
The story of Crystal Lake Beach. This is a history about some local visionaries.
Musings and Meanderings in the everyday life. “Patient with Hell”
Bringing attention to things important to each of us, before they are lost.
CONTRIBUTORS Donald Zelle Donald Zelle moved to Beaver Dam with his wife Velma in 1999, following retirement as a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. He has published poems, articles for religious books, church curriculum, a book of sermons. and has recently begun a series of children’s books known as “Barnyard Tales” in which he shares experiences from growing up near the small town of Waverly, Iowa.
Karla Jensen Karla Jensen, Executive Director of the Beaver Dam Area Arts Association, has been a freelance writer for 23 years. She is a published playwright with her husband Mark. She teaches writing at the Seippel Center and serves as writers group leader at the Beaver Dam Community Activities and Services. Karla’s background includes radio, television, magazine publishing, tourism, and real estate, not to mention Danish Dancing.
Marcia Paul Marcia Paul is in her 25th year teaching vocal music for the Beaver Dam Unified School District. Her responsibilities include teaching the Bel Canto, Treble and Concert Choirs, as well as directing the co-curricular vocal jazz group, BD SWAZZ. She has been actively involved with the WI School Music Association’s State Honors Project for the past ten years. She and her husband live in Beaver Dam and have two adult children.
Kris Boucher Kris washed out of baseball after a “cup of coffee” in Little League. When his sons, Steve and Mike, started playing baseball in the Beaver Dam Athletic Club, Kris ended up with the scorebook, had to be near the dugout and began to re-learn the game from coaches like Jim Roedl, Terry Kieffer, Jim Braemer, Jeff Linde, Jim Lunde, Jan Czarneski and Dan Keel. Kris still tends to watch any ballgame holding a scorebook, still learning this great game.
Cover Image: Frank Mittelstadt Used with the artist’s permission.
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the E d itor
I truly enjoy having the opportunity to share with you all the wonderful people I get to meet while I put together each issue of LocaLeben. I was lucky to see Meghan grow up as a young actress in the Tell-ATale performances at BDACT where I was a student director. It makes me feel old to see her move on to college - but even more excited for the great future she has ahead of her. Here Meghan Turner shares her parting thoughts as she prepares to graduate from Wayland Academy:
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As many people will attest, the closer you get to your high school graduation, the more you start to reminisce on how your last four years lined up with the goals and aspirations of your freshman self. Looking back, my years at Wayland have been both everything and nothing that I expected. I have discovered new passions here, learned invaluable life skills, and been pushed to challenge myself academically. I have come to realize, however, that these experiences would mean nothing if it were not for the people with whom I have shared them. We often refer to our school as the Wayland Community, and although it sounds cliche, community is the only word I can think of to describe this place. Here, the meaning of that word goes far beyond just a group of people who spend a great deal of time together; Wayland is our second home and the people we share this home with become almost another, albeit sometimes slightly dysfunctional, family. As a day student, I found teachers who took time out of their day to help me with class work and encourage me to join extracurricular activities that were out of my comfort zone, and I found friends who were willing to drop everything to be there for me when I needed it most. Moving into the dorms my junior year opened my eyes to yet another wonderful aspect of this community; marshmallow fights, late night movie marathons, borrowed clothing, and hilariously random conversations have all played a part in making my last two years particularly memorable. I never want to forget the people who have made this place my second home. - Meghan
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MAKING IT HAPPEN NATIONWIDE
RIGHT HERE IN BEAVER DAM
LocaLeben is Local Life. We invite you to share your stories in LocaLeben. They bring meaning to our lives together. Help us restore our town back to the vibrant community it longs to be. Give me a call at (920) 306-1189 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The MAGAZINE PROUD PRINTER OF
EDITOR Erik Dittmann
PUBLISHER Jim Dittmann
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR Ben Dittmann
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Preston Bowman
LocaLeben The Magazine is published in Beaver Dam, WI by LocaLeben LLC. PHONE: 920 306 1189 EMAIL email@example.com WEB localeben.com LocaLeben The Magazine is mailed bi-monthly to all homes and businesses in the 53916 zip code. All rights reserved. The entire contents of LocaLeben The Magazine is Copyright (c) 2011. No portion may be reproduced in whole or in part by any means, including electronic retrieval systems with the expressed, written consent of LocaLeben LLC. LocaLeben The Magazine reserves the right to refuse to publish any advertisement deemed detrimental to the best interests of the community or that is in questionable taste. Editorial content does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher of this magazine. Editorial or advertising does not constitute advice but is considered informative.
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FEATURE ARTIST E M I LY
mily McKnight’s hushed voice is the voice of an introvert, an observer, and an artist. To catch Emily’s subtle Scottish brogue, I had to close my eyes and listen to hear it, like a siren in the distance. America hasn’t entirely erased evidence of growing up in Scotland and Wales, but her travels and experiences have exposed her to people of many nationalities, which manifests in her extraordinary work. Much like her voice sets her apart, Emily’s artwork does the same. At seventeen years of age, she’s articulate and an accomplished pencil artist. When I met Emily three years ago, she was a locked safe, reluctant to open herself to others. Her mother, Meg McKnight, hadn’t quite convinced her daughter that her talent was truly remarkable. Afraid to open up, she mostly kept her artwork to herself. Now, however, as a soon-to-be eleventh grader searching for a career path and college that will cultivate her love for art, Emily is confident and more mature. When we met to discuss Emily’s involvement this summer at Artdrenoline Youth Art and Sport Camp, I felt like someone had cracked the code to that safe. I even caught that twinkle in her eye that translated she might be coming around to believe in her rare abilities. “Close that book, those are old. I’ve drawn better,” insisted Emily to her mother as we sorted through piles of souvenir sketchbooks from Emily’s childhood and youth. Meg agreed that Emily has progressed in her abilities, but began as a three-year little Leonardo, foregoing stick figures for advanced facial features, silhouettes and posed bodies. Emily could dress a window with her artwork, as precise and animated as her figures appear on paper, many looking as if they’d walk right off the page if you let them. With thirteen years of drawing behind her, Emily is that skeptical lottery winner told she is rich but unable to comprehend the wealth she holds. She is hesitant to fully embrace her talent. When Emily merges what’s in her soul with the art and science and I call it that because of how she studies and formulates with exactness - of drawing on paper, deep rich hues and hints of what can only be stated as black and white color materializes. Emily uses the entire blank canvas like a hunter uses every part of the animal so nothing goes to waste.
She moves full-throttle from chaotic lines to beauty and intensity. Otherwise one-dimensional features bloom in seconds into haunting cheekbones, the noticeable cleft of a dimple, the plump curve of a lip or the striking angle of a brow. Mysteriously, the subtle shading at the turn of a pencil can make all the difference between a beautiful oriental, an exquisite African American or a stylish Anglo Saxon. I never knew until I met Emily that a pencil might know its way around the globe. Emily decided early on that she would select pencil as her weapon of choice to depict facial features and profiles since no crayon or marker could get as detailed as she wished.
Her constant companion, this friendly worldly pencil accompanied her from England, Scotland to Wales and back to Scotland, then to America and Wisconsin. Totally self-taught, her parents encouraged her talent with all sorts of books on drawing. “I have always tried to reproduce the human face, and I’m not sure what compels me to draw them. I just do.” While everyone else cringes at their flat stick figures, Emily brings a face to life with ease. Bright cheeks, distinctive eyebrows, thin lips, wide lips, noses longer than ski slopes, petite barely-there noses, nuances that create a real person lifts the spirit of her drawing from the page and encourages me to say, “I’d like to meet that person.” I weighed the pros and cons of how Emily and I differ in meeting people. I like to feel the grip of a tight handshake and catch the bouquet of someone’s presence next to me, hear the lilt of a voice, delight in his or her sense of humor. Emily, however, prefers to get acquainted on the page silently, sensing the curvature of someone’s face and personality from the end of her pencil, and of course, seeing a person through the windows of her soul as eyes reflect her acquaintances. Although Emily has dabbled in colored pencils and paints, she still prefers the No. 2 pencil. I imagine her room at home wallpapered with her own unique work, maybe an extra large pencil sharpener holding her desk down with gigantic heaps of pencil shavings that have met so many people in Emily’s past, in her future, in her present. Emily has won art awards at the Middle School level and participated more recently in BDAAA’s Annual Area High School Art Exhibit. Emily has wowed family members in drawing on her iPod touch and Wacom tablet. She has settled for the sturdier and less wieldy finger for those adventures. Simply changing the settings to affect shading and falling in love with the “blending tool” allows that safe to open a crack open wider. “I just have my own shading technique,” she tells me. I asked Emily in one of my romantic hair-brained moods that if other people, let’s say me for example, were to learn how to draw people so exquisitely like she does, what would I have to do? Buy $100 pencils from the art store downtown? Go undercover at a graphite factory? “You just have to observe people, walk around and notice faces, look through magazines or watch TV. They are all over. And you have to get the proportions right first; then, the entire body will come. And you don’t really have to get the face perfect either,” Emily corrected. “Faces aren’t perfect.” I suddenly felt better about not only my questionable doodle faces, but about my own mug as well. As a creative person, I know that none of our insecurities vanish entirely, but I feel Emily is in the midst of embracing her talent, between the dark locked safe of her youth and the exposed riches she has inherited. Interviewing Emily, I realized that she is naturally inquisitive and observant, a guardian in a virtual depository of art and culture, where she will surely find the niche to compound her talent and make it even more valuable.
CHELLI BRI SING YOUR HEART OUT MARCIA PAUL
t all started on Grandma’s lap. She held the youngest child while she played, and the other grandchildren gathered around the piano. Christmas carols, school songs, hymns, it didn’t matter as long as everyone got to sing. It was the highlight of each visit and kept everyone looking forward to the next one. That was twenty years ago and how Chelli Wuesthoff fondly remembers her first singing experience. “It was a family thing. My older sister and brothers all sang, and I couldn’t wait to do what they were doing. I would learn every song they were singing at school until I knew it even better than they did.” Her first public performance was in 6th grade. She was cast as Miss Hannigan’s brother’s girlfriend - maybe an insignificant character, but it afforded her an impressive solo of “Easy Street” that made people sit up and take notice. Her strong soprano voice rang through St. Stephen’s gymnasium clearly. It seemed effortless. It was the beginning of something very special. Singing continued to be an integral part of the family. Siblings Chloe, Adam, and Broc moved on to the high school and all became members of the high school vocal jazz choir. Naturally, this also became Chelli’s goal. She worked hard at her skills so that she may become the fourth Wuesthoff to join the ranks of SWAZZ. Indeed she did. As a sophomore she auditioned into the group and attained her goal. She spent the next three years learning various styles of popular music, as well as important performance skills. Through the years not only did her singing skills improve, but her confidence level grew as well. Chelli recalls her mom saying to her before each performance, “Sing your heart out, girl.” And she did, with fire and passion. Photo: Gary Haas
Photo: Lisa Scholz
Cancer became an unwanted intruder into the family. Mom courageously rode the roller coaster that disease can force upon a family. Singing then took on new meaning for Chelli. It became an avenue for her to bring pleasure and happiness when such things were sometimes hard to find. Mom’s dream was to see her children perform together. At the 2006 SWAZZ concert, Mom got to see her dream come true when all four siblings “sang their hearts out” in a poignant performance of Bridge Over Troubled Waters, dedicated to their biggest fan. A year later, Chelli created a lasting memory with her solo performance of Angel, chosen because of its significance to her family. She had never sung so beautifully. Although Chelli had long known that she wanted singing as a career, her mom’s passing prompted her to pursue it. Since country music
seemed to be a natural fit for her voice, she entered the Cowboy Troy and A Star Promotion Karaoke Contest sponsored by WBEV/WXRO in May of 2010. Contestants were judged on vocals, stage presence, appearance, and audience reaction. Chelli sang through the rounds until she was named the top female winner in our area. This made her eligible to sing at the final competition held at Log Jam Festival held in Phillips, WI. Over the course of two days, she advanced to the final round, which was performed on the main stage with a live band. Before a cheering crowd, she gave a shivering performance of Miranda Lambert’s Gunpowder and Lead, complete with an unexpected a cappella ending. It was no surprise that she won the title of America’s Next Top Country Star, awarding her $1,000 and a one-year performance contract. Her singing career was on its way. Over the next year, she performed at various venues in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Tennessee. The next step was forming her own band: The Band Chelli. It included local talent Emily Kern on violin, Adam Beyer on guitar, and brother Broc Wuesthoff on backup vocals. Their repertoire consisted of current country hits and even some classic rock. One of their first performances was in familiar territory - back on the stage of Beaver Dam High School, where they graciously donated the concert proceeds to the vocal music program. In June of 2011, dreams came true. The first big event happened in Nashville, where they performed at the Country Music Association Festival, a coveted gig for any country musician. This festival annually draws in the likes of Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban and more. The second big event was performing at Milwaukee’s Summerfest , Wisconsin’s largest annual music festival. It was an exciting experience. In glowing yellow t-shirts, two busloads of family and friends cheered as The Band Chelli took the Harley Davidson stage for a powerful and memorable concert performance. It was a proud day for everyone. Chelli and her band continue to perform. With an expanded repertoire and a few band member adjustments, they will be performing several times locally this summer: May 27
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The family is still their source of inspiration. Grandma and Grandpa are always at every performance. Dad can always be seen videotaping. A swarm of relatives are always cheering. Chelli and Broc are always singing together with the beautiful blend that only siblings can attain. Their ritual before every performance is saying to each other, “Let’s do this for Mom.” They then go out and sing their hearts out. After all these years, singing is still a family thing.
Community based, focused, and strong since 1891.
Photo: Lisa Scholz
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t’s been said that Wisconsin has some of the smartest baseball people in the country because we have all winter to read and study the game. In spite of that winter weather, or maybe because of it, baseball is important to Dodge County and Beaver Dam; like all the US, this area loves “America’s Pastime.” Youth programs (2 in Beaver Dam), high school ball, American Legion teams, even the long-running Rock River League for postsecondary amateur players keep local ball diamonds busy from late March into September, often developing players who go onto college, sometimes even professional teams. Many people probably do not realize how many fine players have developed from our region, especially notable players from the earlier days of the game. David Stalker of Watertown is very aware of those players and what they did for the great game. Stalker is a baseball fan and historian; his writing is often posted on seamheads.com. With Archie Monuments, David has undertaken an effort to permanently recognize (especially Midwestern) players of the “dead ball” era, when the strategy of “Get ‘em on, get ‘em over, get ‘em in” involved more bunts, stolen bases, hit-and-run plays or “the Baltimore Chop” than the home runs relied on in modern baseball. David and the craftsmen at Archie Monuments developed a simple, dignified and distinctive design for their markers: A square block of granite topped by a granite baseball, standing about 3 feet tall with an image of the player and summary of his life inscribed on the stone. Fred Merkle (Watertown), Davy Nelson (Cambria), Pete Husting (Mayville) and Adrian Joss (Juneau/Woodland) are some of the first players for whom David was able to place markers. In the spring of 2009, Nancy and I were on our way into Miller Park. As we neared the home plate entrance, we noticed something new, something that looked like a piece of stone topped by a granite baseball. It turned out to be recognition of the first Major League Milwaukee Brewers. The curious monument summarizes the 1901 season on one side (not very successful - the club moved to St. Louis to become the American League’s St. Louis Browns in 1902); on the other side is that Brewer roster, one that includes Nelson, Husting and Beaver Dam’s own Emerson “Pink” Hawley.
In August of 2009, I noticed a front-page article in the Daily Citizen that included a picture of that Brewers marker and reported that Mr. Stalker had approached the City of Beaver Dam about placing a marker for Pink Hawley in one of the city’s parks. The article pointed out that Hawley, who had been a very fine ball player in Beaver Dam and at Wayland Academy, went on to play Major League baseball. His first big league appearance was on August 13, 1892, at age 19, for the St. Louis Browns of the National League (an organization which would eventually be known as the Cardinals). Pink also played for Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and the New York Giants before closing his major league career with the 1901 Brewers. Hawley was a fine pitcher and a well-regarded hitter too. His best season was 1895 with Pittsburgh, when he pitched for 31 wins and hit for a .308 average! A dapper dresser, the fans came to call Hawley “The Duke of Pittsburgh.” Pink spent several years helping build minor league baseball programs before returning to Beaver Dam “full-time” to take over the family business. In spite of such a notable career for a local “kid,” the Citizen article related it did not seem like the city could offer a place for one of Mr. Stalker’s little monuments. I got to thinking: Since Hawley was a Wayland graduate (class of 1891), would The Academy be interested in having such a curious thing on its campus? How would Mr. Stalker take to the idea? I wrote and asked, and David replied right away that he thought it was an excellent idea. Realizing that placing such a marker on campus would involve seeking funds to pay the cost, I approached Wayland’s Vice President of Development at that time, Trent Jackson, who would oversee all fund-raising efforts for the school. Trent, too, liked the idea very much, and he proposed it to the Academy’s administration. The ideas came to completion on October 8, 2011, during Wayland’s annual Alumni Weekend. During the two years between the first conversations about recognizing Pink Hawley and the ceremony, there were a lot of e-mails, phone calls and delays. I found it pretty amazing how complex it can be to pull together several entities to accomplish something everyone thought was a neat idea. Also during that time, a bit of a wrinkle to recognizing Pink Hawley happened when I asked David Stalker if he realized Addie Joss had also played at Wayland Academy; that was a surprise to David. Pink Hawley was an established big league star by the time Joss enrolled into Wayland in 1897. Joss’s coach was E.P. Brown, who had been a teammate of Pink’s and returned to teach English at the Academy. Joss had a “brilliant season” for Big Red in 1898 and was 22 when he pitched his first big league game for the Cleveland “Naps” (later the Indians); he threw a one-hitter!
Pink Hawley, 1891 Granite Monument
Addie Joss, 1898 Granite Monument
BASEBALL LEGACY P I N K H AW L E Y & A D D I E J O S S KRIS BOUCHER
1898 Wayland Baseball Team (Addie Joss, Center) Photo: Wayland Archives
Joss became a huge star in the American League. He had four consecutive seasons with at least 20 wins. He pitched two no-hitters, one in 1908 facing Chicago White Sox “ace” Big Ed Walsh; Joss threw a perfect game. In the 1911 spring training, Joss took ill and returned home (then Toledo, Ohio). On April 14, 1911, just two days after turning 31, Addie Joss died of tubercular meningitis. Joss was so admired by his peers that they organized an “all-star” game (maybe the first ever) as a benefit for Joss’s widow and children. The game raised more than $12,900.00, more than $325,820.00 in today’s money. In the “Baseball” documentary by Ken Burns, several minutes are given to the Joss story. In spite of not playing the minimum 10 years in the Major Leagues, Joss was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY in August 1978. A Hall of Famer - We started to think that certainly deserved its own monument, so
1900 New York Giants (Pink Hawley, Top Row, Third from Left) Photo: Dodge County Historical Society
“the hit-and-run” was on to recognize these two Wayland alumni who left such notable legacies. A beautiful autumn day set the stage for the little ceremony attended by David Stalker; Ms. Susan Peterson, Wayland’s Chair of the Board of Trustees; several other trustees; Tom Forrester `76, a descendent of Hawley’s; and several other alumni and friends. Two markers are indeed in place behind the backstop of Wayland’s current ball field (not where Hawley and Joss played) and a short walk from the Hawley home at 310 Washington Street. Two years passed to pull the idea together and have that 12-minute ceremony, but now the accomplishments of Hawley and Joss will be known for as long as fans come by those curious little markers. Play ball!
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“No one knew what it was or what caused it. Some children while walking or playing, felt as if something was grabbing the back of their legs or that the leg was stuck in mud and had to be pulled out.”
FEATURE MEET LIMPY DONALD ZELLE
(This short story, though fictional, is filled with facts, recollections and experiences that I, Donald Zelle, had as a young boy in the mid to late 1950s. I was 16 to 18 years old.)
enneth Lamprey was his name, but almost no one called him that. O, his schoolteacher did. When she took roll every morning in school, she called “Kenneth Lamprey,” and he would answer. Now and then, when he spoke too softly or misbehaved, our teacher would call out more loudly “Kenny!” but usually it was Kenneth. You couldn’t miss Kenneth. It was the way he walked. When he stepped down on his right foot, it was the front of the foot that met the floor first, not the heel. The foot was also turned inward a bit and this is why he limped with his right leg. Because of that, most people called him Limpy instead of Kenny. That nickname stuck with him for the rest of his life. This is his story. Kenneth Lamprey was born in a small mid-western town. He was the second of three children. He had an older brother Ervin and a younger sister Susan. O yes, there were his parents, of course, Eldor and Rachel Lamprey. They owned a house at the edge of town that had a small farm behind it that stretched out toward a large woods to the north. Besides the usual crops, Mr. Lamprey grew all sorts of vegetables - corn, squash, cabbage, tomatoes - produce that could be sold at their vegetable stand in front of their house on West Road. The whole family helped with the work, both in the field and at the roadside vegetable stand. In the winter, when there was less regular work to do, Mr. Lamprey was employed at the
Cumber Lumber Company on the east side of town. Eldor Lamprey depended on his boys to do the preparation of the ground, the planting, seeding and weeding, under the supervision of their mother. For the most part, they were willing to do it, but the older boy Ervin was the first to show that he was not so much interested in a vegetable farm. That’s when more of the work fell to Kenneth. He was about fifteen years old when, all through America, young people mostly, but also older folk, were getting sick from a strange disease. No one knew what it was or what caused it. Some children while walking or playing, felt as if something was grabbing the back of their legs or that the leg was stuck in mud and had to be pulled out. In others, an arm became stiff and difficult to move. Still other people had an ache in the stomach and felt nauseous. It seemed that the illness increased among children in the spring of the year and was the worst during the summer. Throughout America, the problem increased for several summers. Doctors and hospitals took care of these patients but didn’t really know what to do for them. Many people, boys and girls also, began wearing facemasks for protection. Others stayed home from school at the first sign of a symptom, and in the summer, swimming pools were almost always vacant, because parents did not want their children in public and possibly have them exposed to the disease. Well, despite all the precautions, it still happened. It started first in Kenny’s right leg. There was a feeling of tightness and a little pain. When he tried to run, he could only go a few steps. His family knew
right away what it was. It was the disease that was being called “Infantile Paralysis.” Anyway, that’s what the doctors and nurses called it, and the newspapers. Some people went so far as to use the official medical term: Poliomyelitis. Most people just said “polio,” and most everyone was afraid of it. Kenneth was afraid too, and what his parents had him do, upset him even more. Not only did they take him to a doctor, but they also had their own ideas of how to care for him. They had him sleep upstairs in a room by himself. In fact, much of the day he was in that room alone. When the family came to see him and bring him food, they wore masks over their mouths and noses so that as they talked with him, they sounded strange. His mother thought he would be better in a dark room, so she pulled down the green shades over the two windows in the room, one on the south wall and the other on the east. Then, because the shades did not quite reach to the bottoms of the windows, she taped newspaper over the glass to keep the sunlight out. He was quarantined! Kenny spent most of the summer break from school that year in that upstairs hot bedroom. Except for grocery shopping, the family pretty much stayed home. Other families too, only went out to shop or to work. There was no going to visit cousins or grandparents or even attend church. No one came to visit either, and there were no ballgames in the backyard. It was a hard summer. Kenny was not getting better. Because polio put pressure on the spine, he could not bring his right leg forward in the normal way. The muscles would not respond, and he developed the problem that caused others to call him “Limpy.” When September came and school began again, Limpy attended but he could not run well and usually stood to the side during recess. He could participate in almost no sports and even found it hard to help his father with chores and the vegetable farm. Yet Limpy was good-natured. He did not get angry when he was teased. He especially made friends with
other young people who were suffering the effects of polio. There were a few girls who enjoyed being with him because he was funny sometimes. Though they were occasionally embarrassed about it, they got used to having him put his hand on their shoulder while walking with them or trying to run. Sometimes when asked how he was doing, he would answer, “Well, I’m still limping along,” and they would both smile. During that school year, the city, county, state and national health departments were trying to figure out how to help people who had polio and how to stop the disease. Someone had invented what was known as an “iron lung.” It looked like a large barrel in which a person could lay with only their head exposed. The movement of air in the iron lung helped the person to breathe. That invention saved many people during the time their chest muscles were not strong enough to draw air. By this time citizens of the United States had learned that even President Roosevelt had suffered from polio, although those close around him tried not to make it obvious. Whenever the president made a speech, he was seated at a podium, in his wheelchair, and only his face and upper body were pictured in newspapers. Limpy was aware that in this way he was very much like the President of the United States! To give the people of the nation an opportunity to address this health crisis, President Roosevelt had asked that a collection be taken all through the country and that the money go for research on this terrible disease. It was not long after the great recession, and people did not have all that much money, but he asked for only a little. “Let dimes be collected,” he said, and so began the March of Dimes! The March of Dimes began as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis and funded research to fight polio. Medical schools were working on vaccines in their laboratories. Some declared that everyone should be vaccinated to prevent catching the disease. There were others, however, “Iron Lung” used at Union Hospital, Terre Haute, Indiana Indiana State Museum - Special Thanks to Anita Streich
Vaccine Card 1956 - 1959 Issued to Donald Zelle
who did not trust the serum. Parents had to make a choice whether their children would be given the vaccine. Many feared that inserting the germ that was in the serum, whether a dead germ or alive, would only spread the disease. In that small town there was a children’s home that a Lutheran church had begun. It was a home for children who were left orphaned by the loss of their parents or who were in need of help in growing up. The administration of that children’s home decided that all of the children in their care would be inoculated. All had to participate. In other cities, those who were in charge of other people’s children did the same. This vaccination of children on a large scale encouraged parents to have it done for their own children. The vaccine was named after its maker Dr. Jonas Salk. Not all went well, however, because a large supply of the serum became tainted while being produced. Those who received it became very ill. Only after the problem was discovered and corrected did the large-scale vaccination of children continue. Everything seemed to improve that winter. Most children were in school. Attendance at social events in the community and at church A Poliomyelitis patient in an iron lung, 1949 National Library of Medicine - Special Thanks to Anita Streich
improved. Yet many were concerned that the warming temperatures in the spring would bring another outbreak. Spring came and the mayor could not decide whether the swimming pool should be opened or remain closed. People spoke for it and against it. The letters to the editor of the local newspaper were evenly divided on the subject. Then something happened that determined it for everyone. The summer began very warm, and already in early June, there were new cases of polio. There were children who became ill and also some adults. One of them was the mayor’s son. The pool would be closed! It was too late for some, of course. Before July 4th of that hot summer, several families had children come down with the cramps and muscle weakness. There was shock through the whole town when the Shultheiss family, living on the east side of town, had their two children in the hospital and their mother as well! The father was almost beside himself. He was sure their whole house was infected with the polio germ. He would no longer live there, he said. He moved some belongings out of the house and asked the fire department to come and burn down his house! It happened on a sunny Monday at the end of July. There was a large fire just east of the Cumber Lumber Company. While the house burned, many people stood at a distance to watch. Some just shook their heads and walked away. Some cried. The newspaper didn’t make much of it. It just described it as a “controlled burn” and did not even show a picture of the house. For Limpy, the worst was yet to come. He survived the illness. Ervin and Susan, his brother and sister, did not catch it nor did his father. But then there was his mother. It happened quickly. It was early August, and she had been in the vegetable field, but came home late in the morning with a headache and stomach cramps. She did not make a meal that noon nor did she say much to anyone in the family. She went straight to an upstairs bedroom, pulled the shades and opened a window for a little breeze. “I’ll just take a good, long rest,” she told herself. She knew what was to come. She called for her husband Eldor, and he gave her a sponge bath to cool and refresh her body. But her breathing was labored and she felt stiff all over. She rested that day and through the night. Early the next morning, she died in bed. Limpy and his family were struck dumb! Wasn’t it enough that one of them should carry the marks of polio for the rest of his life? Wasn’t it enough that children all through the town were suffering? Why should mothers now catch the disease also? There were not many at the funeral. They were afraid of the disease. When Limpy made his way to his mother’s casket and stood there, he was determined! He was determined that he was not going to let any little germ of a disease ruin his life forever. He was determined that he was not going to feel sorry for himself. He was determined to do the work around the house that his mother had done and care for the kitchen. His determination encouraged the rest of the family and it made life bearable for him. Kenny graduated from high school that coming spring. He had started dating a girl who was also in the senior class. She was one of those who did not mind when he put his arm on her shoulder. They laughed about it now. They were married. Kenny also found work outside the farm and vegetable garden. He applied for a position as a custodian at a small bank in town. Before long he was doing similar work at another bank on the far end of Main Street. He was not fast in his work, but he was careful. His mother had taught him that. Everyone appreciated his thoroughness. When they entered the banks to do business, people of the town who knew him looked for him. “How are you doing?” they would often ask. As usual, he would answer with a smile, “I’m still limping along!” Kenneth and his wife raised a family there in that small town, two girls and a boy. He worked as a bank custodian until he was 64. When the local newspaper, some years later, gave the notice of his death, the heading said more than many would ever know. It read, “Kenneth (Limpy) Lamprey, age 75.”
COMMUNITY B D
L A K E
D AY S
Dick McMillan (left) Sarah Ferree Miss BD Lake 1996 (right)
t was 1993 and our family was starting our third year in the marine business. D&D Bay Marina on Beaver Dam Lake was in our growing stage. Jan and I, and our son Dan, were always interested in boating and Beaver Dam Lake since we moved here in 1963. In 1991, we joined the Beaver Dam Lake Property Owners, the predecessor of the Beaver Dam Lake Improvement Association. What was missing, however, was a festival celebrating Beaver Dam Lake. Beaver Fest had come and gone. Earlier, I had been a big part of the Beaver Dam Jaycees Sports ‘N’ Fun Festival. These festivals from the 60s to the 90s, for various reasons, long-standing as they were, both died. In 1993, I put together several ideas for a new community festival. I met with Mark Hayes, the community promoter for tourism for Campus Inn. Eventually, Mark and I had a meeting with Diane Rosenmeier at Walker’s Restaurant, and we convinced her to be the chairperson for the first Beaver Dam Lake Days in 1994. (Diane was a promoter and “community organizer” in her own right, especially in racing and bowling.) It was almost called Lake Fest, but we finally settled on Lake Days. The early festivals started with a number of dignitaries riding on a large pontoon boat from D&D Bay Marina to Tahoe Park for the Friday p.m. opening ceremonies. In the early years, Lake Days was 3 days long and featured some bands, boat rides, kid’s activities, and of course, food and drink. We had canoe, sailboat and paddle boat races the first year and we also had the Jaycees’ Fish Boil, bullhead’ skinning contests, and a fishing contest for kids. We did have a water ski show the first two years before the Must-Skis performances. The Shermalot Water Ski Show Team from the Wisconsin Rapids area was hired to perform. An outstanding Beaver Dam skier Kristine Foulkes was a member of that northern team. The first few years, we had the festival at both Tahoe and Waterworks Parks to promote Beaver Dam Lake and the two parks on the lake. The committee felt that Lake Days should emphasize the history of the lake and was to be a free family-oriented festival with charges only for food and drink. It is still amazing to me that we put on that first festival with 15 committee members together and help from the City of Beaver Dam departments. Now days we have 15 to 20 organizations with dozens of workers. The first Lake Days did not feature any fireworks, no carnival, no church service, no teen dance, no Must Skis learn to ski clinic, no pancake-egg breakfast, no free bus shuttle, no boat parade and no petting zoo. All these features and a lot more have been added to Lake Days over the years. Besides Diane Rosenmeier, I want to recognize and congratulate the other chairpersons of Lake Days for the first 18 years. Bob and Linda Burton, Carrie Sackett, Jason White, Aaron Holbrook, Lisa Tesch, and the present chairperson Bill Dorn. Dozens of dedicated and faithful committee members have been involved as we move into the 19th annual Lake Days festival. I want to give a huge thank you to all the steering committee members, all the workers and all the businesses that supported Beaver Dam Lake Days over the years. Special thanks go to the City of Beaver Dam Public Works, Police and Fire Departments, and all the mayors and city councils since 1994. I want the community to know that Beaver Dam Lake Days has given back to the area from the profits made. Some years we lose money, but when the Beaverland area supports our festival activities (and the weather is good), we can make a profit. Lake Days was the sponsor to purchase the hovercraft for the Beaver Dam Fire Department to the tune of $36,000.00. Lake Days has paid over $20,000.00 for numerous improvements to Tahoe Park including the large addition to the shelter (together with the Must-Skis). In summary, well over $100,000.00 has been paid out to help the Fire Department, the city park and dozens of charities. That’s a lot of “barley pop” and hamburgers! We have made an impact on our community. In addition, four local agencies have received thousands of dollars from the collections at the ecumenical church services. Those agencies are PAVE, Clothes for Kids, Church Health Services and the New Beginnings Homeless Shelter. Many local citizens have helped out these worthwhile programs. Thank you! The 19th Annual Lake Days takes place July 12-15, 2012, at Tahoe Park. This family friendly festival celebrates Beaver Dam Lake and its community.
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LEGEND & LORE S T OR I E S T OL D & U N T OL D JIM DITTMANN
“Now presenting the American Legion Band of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin” - Cletus G. Willihnganz shares the legend of the American Legion Band.
ur story begins in November of 1918. The Armistice ended the First World War, what was to be called the Great War. Early the next spring, members of the American Expeditionary Force, still in Europe as part of the Armistice provisions, met in Paris for the first gathering of a new organization, one that would adopt “American Legion” as the organization’s official name. In Minneapolis, on the first anniversary of the Armistice, the Legion’s Founding Convention was held and the Legion was born. Clete Willihnganz, a lifetime Beaver Dam resident, his eyes beginning to swell with memories, very quietly comments; “This was started from the heart, there is so much these guys endured - no one should forget what they did.” In 1921, the John E. Miller Post 146 received its charter. It was named for the first Beaver Dam resident killed in the Great War. The Beaver Dam American Legion Band was formed that same year and was directed by Prof. J.O. Franks of the Oshkosh Normal School. His services were made available through a provision of the Soldiers Bonus Law. The band progressed rapidly and performed its first concert at the Davidson Theatre just a month later. The band kept a very busy schedule with concerts at Swan Park, church socials, basketball games and the Dodge County fair. The band attended the 1921 American Legion National Convention in Kansas City - plus other gatherings. This first year established a precedent that would define the band for the next 30 years. Clete was born in Beaver Dam on August 3, 1925, and has lived here ever since. In 1934, Clete Willihnganz at home when Clete was in the 112 Beaver Street - 1942 5th grade at St. Peter’s school, Richard Harder one of the five legendary “Harder Boys” inspired him to play the trombone. With the country in the depths of the Great Depression, his parents somehow found a way to buy him a trombone (made in Milwaukee); the cost was $25. A star was born. Clete was “drafted” into the Legion Band in 1941, when he was just 16 years old. He was working at the local J.C. Penney store and had to decide if he wanted to travel with the band or work at the store - for
Clete & Betty - Mt. Rushmore - August 1950
Clete, an energetic young man, passionate on the trombone, the choice was simple, what 16 year-old wouldn’t jump at the chance to travel with the Legion Band to Yellowstone National Park and points west including Salt Lake City, Colorado Springs, Denver and Omaha. Little did he know that this decision would be life changing. While boarding the train in downtown Beaver Dam - Clete’s dad shouted out to band member Barney Belling, “Hey Barney, keep a good eye on my kid - he’s only 16, same as your daughter.” On route, Clete learned that the trip was not to be all fun and games as the band members all took turns with chores and KP. Young Clete was cleaning up the oven roaster pans with the custom being to toss the wash water overboard. Picture this - the train is rumbling through the mountains at a high rate of speed - the boxcar door slides open, and a 90 lb. Clete wrestles this huge, metal roasting pan up to throw the water into the abyss. Suddenly, the wind catches the pan and Clete is wrestling with a sail that attempts to take him with the water! (Huge roaster pan - 90 lb. kid - moving train.) “Next thing I remember is this big hand grabbing me by the collar. - He saved my life!” Clete snickers. When the train pulled back into Beaver Dam, Mr. Willihnganz is trackside. “Well Barney, how’d my kid behave?” “A perfect gentleman,” Barney reported. The year 1941 also marked the Legion Band’s 20th anniversary, and Beaver Dam celebrated its centennial. Clete notes, “An invitation was extended for all current and former members to march in the centennial parade. A band of approximately 100 men turned out in white shirts, dark trousers and ties - with the drum major Charlie Yauman to lead the parade.” In September of 1941, the band attended the American Legion National Convention in Milwaukee. Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox addressed the crowd: “The Legion was born immediately following the last war and is made up exclusively of men who served in that war. And we
meet here in Milwaukee in the third year of another great war.” The United States would soon be fully engaged in the Second World War. The war years found the band being called for extra parades and concerts in support of bond drives and patriotic events, as well as losing members to the armed forces. In 1943, Clete was 18 years old and enlisted in the Navy. After the war, he returned to Beaver Dam and the American Legion Band. The final tour of the “Official” Legion Band departed in August 1950 for the Black Hills of South Dakota with stops in Austin, MN; Mitchell, SD; Rapid City, SD; and the Minnesota State Fair. Clete and his wife Betty “chaperoned” the tour with 45 other musicians, family and friends; the ensemble traveled in two air-conditioned buses. The band featured Marcella Noerz - clarinet soloist and the only woman to play with the band. Ray Herr was the drum major - Cheryl Mack was the featured twirler. Fredrick Parfrey was the conductor and Clete was the president. Fred Parfrey kept a detailed journal of the trip: Sunday August 20th - Worthington, MN. “It was cold as cold could be but in spite of this we had a crowd of about 4,000 people who stayed for the entire program.” - “I can truthfully say that the band we have on this trip is the finest I have ever conducted of my own.” The band toured the Black Hills of South Dakota. “We are beginning to believe that the beauties and wonders of the Black Hills never are exhausted.” From Rapid City, a day trip included Mount Rushmore. “Words cannot describe this spectacle” - “Although the mountain goats are numerous there, one is rarely seen. Apparently they too knew we were coming, for the herd sent a representative out to the top of the memorial to greet us.” Later that evening, back in Rapid City, the band performed for a crowd of 10,000 people. “We were forced to play one encore after another. One of the park officials said that this was the largest crowd they had ever had for a band concert. This, of course, made us very happy.” One of the band’s favorite marches was titled “The Legion Band of Beaver Dam” written by D.C. Burkholder, the Legion Band’s and the Beaver Dam School district’s first full-time music director. Clete also sings, and along with Jack Witney, Keith Pettack and Ray Herr, the quartet performed “When day is done.” The Beaver Dam American Legion Band played Tuesday night concerts in Swan Park for 30 years and traveled extensively representing American Legion Post 146 and the city of Beaver Dam to thousands of people in parades and concerts throughout the United States, five provinces of Canada and Mexico. This single article cannot begin to describe the impact this group has had on our community and perhaps in future articles we will explore more of the band’s many accomplishments. Clete and his wife Betty live in Beaver Dam and are active in the community. Last month at the Beaver Dam Area Orchestra’s spring concert, while the orchestra performed a wonderful Miss Saigon (Medley), I happened to glance toward Clete - his toes were a tappin’ and his fingers a snappin’ - it’s the music…
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Original Legion Band National Convention Flagpole
VIEWFINDER DAVE EDWARDS
“A photograph is usually looked at, but seldom looked into.” - Ansel Adams
ave Edwards considers himself a lifelong student of the art and science of photography. He views photography as the study of light, its quality, direction, and how it interacts with the subject. Dave uses his images to convey to the viewer his appreciation for the environment, to promote our national parks, and to encourage others to use photography in their daily lives. He knows by experience the higher quality the image, the more impact it achieves. Ansel Adams stated, “A photograph is usually looked at, but seldom looked into.” Dave’s goal is to create images that invite the viewer into the photograph.
Arch within an Arch Turret Arch framed by Window Arch, Arches National Park, Utah Entering Arches National Park is as close as one can get to landing on another planet. Wind and rain carved sandstone creates unworldly landscapes. A photographer needs to know if a particular arch is best photographed in the early morning or evening. Turret and Window arches are definitely morning arches. First light is a great time to be photographing Arches National Park. To experience that perfect light, the photographer must research weather conditions, sunrise times, travel times to the site, and setup times.
Peyto Lake Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Peyto Lake is a glacier-fed lake with significant amounts of glacier rock flour flowing into the lake during the summer months giving the lake a bright turquoise color. Banff National Park consists of 6,641 square kilometers. This is a place I hope to spend more time in the future.
Self Portrait: Dave Edwards
Monarch of the Sonoran Desert Saguaro Cactus, Saguaro National Park, Arizona The saguaro cactus can reach 80 feet in height, weigh several thousand pounds, and live up to 200 years. The cactus grows only a couple inches a year for its first 8 years. Arms begin to appear at age 75. A trip to the Phoenix area is not complete without a visit to Saguaro National Park near Tucson. The first time I visited the park, it was classified as a national monument. The park was elevated to national park status in 1994.
Trail of the Mist Yosemite National Park, California Trail of the Mist is Yosemite’s signature hike. Spring and early summer snow melt feeds Nevada Falls and Vernal Falls (pictured). Because of the large quantity of mist from the waterfalls, raingear is a must. A hike from the trailhead to the top of Nevada Falls is challenging due to slippery rocks and a significant change in elevation. To me, nothing compares to hiking in our national parks.
Dave enjoys teaching photography by leading workshops, hosting field trips, and through discussions at a Lightcatchers Photography Club meeting where he and Beaver Dam Area Arts Association President Tom Helfert are founding members. He takes great pride in seeing fellow photography club members submit their work to contests or publications, and he challenges his fellow photographers to convey meaning with every image. Ansel Adams stated, “A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words.” If asked to explain the purpose of a particular photograph, Dave responds by giving Gary Larson’s The Far Side defense: “If I have to explain it to you, you wouldn’t understand.” He typically photographs landscapes during the magic hours at sunrise and sunset when the winds are calmer, sunlight casts a warming hue, and long deep shadows create dramatic images. The challenge then becomes capturing his vision on the camera’s sensor. Another passion of Dave’s is hiking, particularly in national parks. Combining hiking and photography is a proven method of exploring and photographing the natural world. The Horicon National Wildlife Refuge will be exhibiting Dave’s work in October through mid-November of this year. He will also have a major exhibit at the Schauer Art Center in Hartford in the spring of 2013. During his 28-year career with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), Dave photo-documented hundreds of pollution cases. He served as the WDNR’s evidence photography instructor from 1993 until his retirement in 2008. Dave lives in Beaver Dam with his wife and trail companion Diane.
THIS & THAT “ D AY D R E A M B E L I E V E R” DAVE BOWMAN
here are moments in life that make you stop in your tracks and reflect. Recently one of those moments came upon me when I heard that Davy Jones of The Monkees had died. Although this may not be on the iconic scale of Buddy Holly or Elvis Presley leaving this world, it still had the capacity to kick my memories into daydreaming about an era that seemed simpler and yet was complex at the same time. As the James Earl Jones character related in the classic movie “Field of Dreams,” something like this makes the memories come back “so thick that you have to swat them away like flies.” My family moved to Beaver Dam in 1965 when my dad was transferred to the Green Giant canning factory on the north end of town. Entering the town was the ultimate welcome sign worthy of a spot on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno - “Beaver Dam-Home of 14,000 Busy Beavers.” We knew this was going to be an interesting place indeed. Settling in, we began to enjoy and experience the many different facets of life that make this town so special. My dad regaling us with stories of his culinary adventures at Bud’s Cozy Counter, as well as more upscale dining at the Pyramid Supper Club, a large wooden Lazy Susan at each dining table replete with packaged bread sticks, pickled herring, liver pate, celery sticks and Wisconsin cheese spread. And a stroll through downtown would provide more dining choices at City Lunch and Chili John’s, which is still there today. As kids, we had different options to keep us entertained. Comic
books and records could be purchased at Schultz Brothers or Drennan’s Dime Store. The Wisconsin Theatre and Beaver Outdoor Theatre offered cinema choices galore. In the summer, there would be swimming in the cement bowl pool at Swan City Park or walking ALL the way out to Crystal Lake Beach if you wanted to experience “sand and surf.” And if the swimming didn’t do it, then you could wait patiently for Band Concert nights, when the mosquito population got theirs! While the mid 1960’s were known as the beginning of the “Space Age” and the enlightening “Age of Aquarius,” the war with the mosquitos was still a primal battle. Like a knight going to do battle for the kingdom, city municipal workers would mount their “steeds” (or trucks, if you will) and drive through the streets spewing a cloud meant to decimate and dissipate the mosquito hoard. As kids on our bicycles, we were drawn to that cloud like moths to a light, riding in and out of it imagining we were on daring missions over Germany in World War II or just basking in the contentment of mosquito carnage. To look back is to wax nostalgic about what now would be referred to as “the olden days.” The dawn of “Beatlemania,” which my grandfather often bemoaned “all they say is yea, yea, yea,” and television breakthroughs such as Laugh-In or that very special Brady Bunch episode where Davy Jones takes Marcia Brady to the prom making the cover of the next issue of Tiger Beat magazine. The world has certainly changed a lot, but it does one good to be a “Daydream Believer” once in awhile.
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W W W . B E AV E R D A M . K 12. W I . U S
THE WANDERING MAN PAT I E N T W I T H H E L L TAMON MARK UTTECH
ast Saturday I drove three hours up to Merrill, Wisconsin for an aikido seminar and I had a very good time reconnecting with aikido friends and teachers from the Midwest. But the lesson that stays with me is how I got lost on East Main Street while looking for a West Main Street address. You would think it would be easy; the direct opposite of East is West, right? But, no. First, I just drove on East Main Street hoping it would ‘become’ West Main Street if I went far enough, but it only turned into a dead end. Next, I simply turned around and drove in the other direction on East Main Street, but ‘East Main Street’ disappeared altogether after just a few blocks.
“West Main Street?” said the gas station attendant, “See, it’s the 3-way intersections that throw you off…” Here in the Western world, we’re used to either this or that. Throw in a 3rd option and we’re at the damn trinity mystery again: “There’s three in one, but there’s four directions…” There may be some love in the mix, but you can’t always tell where it is. Or where the spirit is, or where East turns into West. At the end of the book The Empty Mirror by Janwillem van de Wetering, a prospective western zen student likened a zen monastery in Japan to Hell. He wrote, “A good zen student knows how to make himself comfortable, even in Hell.”
I stopped at a local restaurant to ask for directions.
“West Main Street? Beats me,” said the cashier at the restaurant. So I left the restaurant and did the dead end and no end thing again and then stopped at a gas station for directions.
We can heat and cool anything.
Then he turned his back on the monastery and walked across the street for a cold beer. And that was just the beginning.
We’ll Work. You Play.
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PARADISE LANDSCAPE 21
Minne-Wonka Beach - Beaver Dam, WI Sponsored & Built by Beaver Dam Kiwanis Club Photo: Dodge County Historical Society
Lights were added and the beach remained open 24-7 during a very hot and dry summer. Fundraisers were held periodically to help retire the debt. Sand and trees were added later, and by the time it was largely completed, the community had about $25,000 invested, a princely sum for the time THE CRYSTAL LAKE STORY and about equal to what was spent to build the Williams Free Library. A contest was held to name the newly developed beach; the winning entry penned by one Marguerite Dunlap, a student at Hillcrest School. JACK HANKES Her submission was Minne Wonka or place of happiness and contentment istorians and visionaries differ primarily in the direction of their gaze beside the waters (coincidentally a suitable depiction of this writer’s golf and the degree of certainty surrounding their work. Historians work experience - save the happiness and contentment parts). with facts (or they should), while visionaries massage ideas; so this is a For the next eleven years the Kiwanis Club and others continued history about some local visionaries. to make improvements at the beach and raise additional funds to retire In about 1846, David Drake established both a sawmill and a gristthe debt. In 1942, the American Legion contributed a final amount sufmill on the site of what is now Crystal Lake, cleverly naming it Drake’s ficient to pay off the debt. Having then grown to some 43 acres, it was Mill. Records imply that it was located south of what is now Highway 33. deeded to the City of Beaver Dam on January 6, 1942, the same day Drake’s Mill was a flourishing business for a number of years, at least to President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered a State of the Union address in the extent one could flourish in the grist business in those days. which he proposed massive spending to battle the nation’s deepening eco Dr. George Swan bought property on the east edge of the pond nomic depression. in 1889, establishing a resort, which he named Crystal Lake. The resort Use of the beach and bathhouse was free to children, and the included a pavilion, walking trails, refreshment stands and good fishing, the work of many area citizens and organizations made that possible. Twentylatter no doubt a stocked contrivance to attract guests. Men were certainly seven more years passed without major improvements, and in 1969, the drawn to women who appeared to enjoy fishing, and those equipped with City of Beaver Dam invested in some major improvements to the facilities, a boat were no doubt the most attractive. including a new beach house, parking lot lights and landscaping. The resort did well for several decades. Over time local demand My siblings and I learned to swim at that beach, spending many grew for a community swimming pool. Early in 1930 the Beaver Dam an early June morning with a cohort of similarly skinny rascals, feigning a Kiwanis Club, then four years old, began gathering support for a pool talent for swimming and wondering if the water would ever warm up. We from area individuals, businesses and organizations. Support was sufficient did note, albeit discreetly, that the instructor wore a sweatshirt or two and for the Kiwanis Club to take an drank hot coffee from her perch on Crystal Lake Beach - 1931 Photo: Dodge County Historical Society option on 18 acres and later form the pier. Ah, back in the day. the Crystal Lake Recreation Com Importantly, this story isn’t pany, its principal members includabout a beach. It’s much bigger than ing E.C. Dowe, C.A. Starkweather, that. It’s about the power of vision A.A.Volkman, L.E.Martin, Cecil and an ability to marshal forces to White, A.H.Luedke and Edward Jamake good things happen. It’s about cobs. In August they exercised the understanding that when it comes to option and bought the land from community, the whole can be greater the Crystal Lake Ice Company for than the sum of its parts. It’s about $5,250 or roughly $69,000 today. believing in the possible rather than During the depression, fretting the seemingly impossible. In labor was readily available, thus the midst of the Great Depression, a number of area unemployed big thinkers stood up and made very worked to develop the beach area good things happen. That thinking in the spring of 1931, opening on got us here, and similar thinking June 21. will shape our future.
PARTING THOUGHTS JIM DITTMANN
Well here we are: Parting thoughts Volume 1 Issue 3
kitchen table startup of just a few months ago - sweet dreams can come true…Few days go by that one of you doesn’t stop me to say, “Hey I like your kid’s new magazine” - I say, “Well thank you very much” (proud parental moment). LocaLeben appreciates your support - your enthusiasm - and your help! Compiling her pages has produced many unexpected but magnificent consequences. Many new friends are being introduced - people have been very generous in sharing their experiences while we learn and grow to appreciate the culture and the history of our little community. A very special thank you to Clete & Betty Willihnganz for sharing. The Legion Band story allowed me to spend hours with them. They are the passionate keepers of volumes of material illustrating the band’s many accomplishments - its connection to the community and the many lives it touched. Look for future articles as we explore the legacy of the “The American Legion Band of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.” Studying the past always brings me back to the thought of community and the interdependence of it all. Being aware that our everyday choices dramatically affect our local economy and those choices will help us to sustain our own place. Given today’s political and economic climate now is the perfect time to think Local. Pause to consider the tremendous benefits from keeping our money in our own community. Shop at your
neighbor’s store - we all benefit from the economic multipliers created when more dollars are re-circulated at the local level. More of our tax dollars circulate right here and that helps schools - parks - police - fire and a whole lot more. Some say local goods are more expensive - not always - gather the information - check it out - you may be surprised. Embracing the local economy and supporting neighborhood business keeps the community original and ensures our uniqueness. Locally owned businesses give more to local non-profit organizations and they create good places to work. Local businesses are better for the environment as well - we live here… As we revitalize our downtown - a perfect opportunity to build on the character that is Beaver Dam awaits us - let’s make and keep it unique - we owe it to those who came before us and to the next. Choose to participate and enjoy the many things that can be. LocaLeben is a source to improve community awareness - showcasing activities and projects - which improve the physical and social fabric of our hometown. We look forward to hearing from many of you soon - please write to us with thoughts and suggestions… Meanwhile, take time to view the original art of James Milton Smith. His one-man show, “Unveiling the Unexpected” is at the Seippel Arts Center only through May 20. Memorial day is a few weeks away - buy a poppy - shake a veteran’s hand and say thanks. The “Wandering Man” stopped by this afternoon. He wonders why people don’t stop at stop signs anymore. He concludes that it must be because there are just too many of them - they’re everywhere. “Ever go through a strip mall? - There’s a stop sign every 50 feet so everyone rolls through them - have we lost all the respect and discipline we were taught?” “And why do we need to make all the roads so large?” “Are the cars that much bigger?” Cheers -
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Turn of the Century - April Evening When you view a Frank Mittelstadt painting, you’d better slip your boots on. No stocking feet allowed. It’s as if you’ve stepped outside into the dewy morning mist on the marsh or found yourself romping around the back forty acres of your favorite farm or glen. You can barely keep yourself from reaching out to the object of Frank’s artwork, since its likeness is so vibrant and real. You expect that pond to ripple or that cloud to move at any moment. Artist and Beaver Dam native Frank Mittelstadt’s subtle sense of humor and textbook talent allows him to be the admired master of his own kingdom, beloved by many. At any given time, he is as versatile and diligent as a considerable company – a test design engineer one day (he paints on cabinet doors and drawer faces), division manager the next and quality control director beyond that. His mild mannered persona can suddenly merge from application coordinator (selector of brushes and tools) to lead architect (planning on how to build his masterpieces) in a matter of moments or days. His reputation for bold lighting and meticulous details has won him a remarkable list of awards. He is known statewide for his paintings and Wisconsin Waterfowl (Duck) stamps. The award-winning artist graduated from Madison Area Technical College in 1978 with an associate degree in Commercial Art and his work can be found in numerous private and corporate collections throughout America, as well as on many series of collector plates by the Bradford Exchange. Most recently, Frank has been chosen by The MPTV Friends, Inc. as the “Century Artist” for the Channel 10 Great TV Auction for 2012. To view a gallery of Frank’s works, visit his website at www.mittelstadtart.com. Mittelstadt Nature Art” on Facebook.
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About the cover: “Turn of the Century - April Evening” is the fifth and last in the Turn of the Century series commissioned by the Beaver Dam Knights of Columbus.