Muscatine Magazine, Spring 2021

Page 1

ISSN 2475-7128 April 2021

Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry

UnityPoint Health – Trinity Muscatine is a

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Editor’s Corner

Spring has Sprung! In this issue Butterworth Clocks. . . . . . . . 2 Art Center: Good Tmes. . . . . 5 City Administrator. . . . . . . . . 8 Programming for All Ages . . 11 For Pet’s Sake. . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Sister Cities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Community Foundation . . 18 Art Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Spring weather is my favorite. The feeling of emerging outside after one of the first heavy storms of the season, soaking in the fresh air, and spotting a rainbow is one of my top reasons. Spring also brings new beginnings and life to otherwise seemingly dead landscapes. For me, I seem to notice this imagery and symbolism this year more than ever before. The picture on the cover is a beau- Rebecca Paulsen, Editor of tiful reminder of the power of nature, the darkness of a storm, and Muscatine Magazine how blue the skies are when that storm passes. As the storm that was Covid-19 begins to clear, our fresh air will be the handshakes, hugs, gatherings, laughter, and smiles that we soak in. My hope for you is that you savor these moments as they come and never take them for granted.

— Rebecca Paulsen, Editor

On the Cover Local photographer Mark Washburn captured this dramatic image of a spring storm over Muscatine’s iconic rverfront.

Muscatine MAGAZINE Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry 100 W. 2nd St. • Muscatine, Iowa 52761-4027 563-263-8895 Muscatine Magazine is published quarterly by: Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry 100 W. 2nd St. • Muscatine, Iowa 52761-4027 Email:

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ISSN 2475-7128 Editor: Rebecca Paulsen, GMCCI Creative Director: Mike Shield, Shield Design Contributors: Rebecca Paulsen, Mike Shield, GMCCI, Mark Washburn, Jessica Hubbard, Virginia Cooper, Misty Urban, P.M. Cantrell

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For advertising info: Contact Rebecca Paulsen at (563) 263-8895 or Muscatine Magazine is a quarterly publication focused on Muscatine, Iowa, and the surrounding area. The publisher reserves the right to refuse and/or edit any materials submitted for publication. Published articles and advertising do not constitute endorsement. ©2021 Minimum opening deposit $25; no minimum balance requirement thereafter, and no monthly fees. See bank for details.

Muscatine Magazine • Spring 2021 1

A Tim

Trad By Jessica Hubbard

As I step inside,

afternoon light is spilling

in through the office windows of Butterworth Clocks, Inc. Hanging on the walls and standing upright are clocks of all shapes and sizes softly ticking away the seconds. Mark Butterworth, owner of Butterworth Clocks, Inc., invites me to sit down next to a sturdy, well-worn desk, a desk that has seen the clockwork repair of several generations. We slide easily into conversation as Mark shows me an old newspaper clipping of his grandfather and father hanging above the centuries old desk. Tracing his lineage back to Rochdale, England Mark tells me, “The Butterworths have been in the business of clocks since 1725.” 2 Muscatine Magazine • Spring 2021

me Honored


With humble beginnings, Mark learned the tradework of clocks from his grandfather, Frank Butterworth, and his father, Marvin Butterworth. Eventually the torch was passed on to him, and Mark set up shop in the Butterworth home that he shared with his beloved, late wife, Sharon, and their two children, Lyne and James. He continued to carry on the tradition of repairing clocks and eventually supplying parts for clocks around the world. Business was booming. So much so that Mark had to make the difficult decision to either leave his position as a physics teacher at Muscatine High School or let go of the family business of clock repair. With the support of his wife and children, Mark left his twenty year teaching career to focus full time on the Butterworth business. In 1990 Butterworth Clocks, Inc. began to focus more on the wholesale side of clocks. Soon, space for parts started to become an issue. Initially using their garage as a staging area for clock parts, Mark realized something needed to change. He relocated his supply to storage units and eventually a warehouse.

Mark Butterworth carrying on a family tradition of clock repair.

As Mark’s family dynamics shifted, and his children began their own lives, he felt the need to bring in additional help. Hiring Andy Trosen as his assistant, Mark began teaching him the trade of clock repair and wholesale. Eventually Andy would come to manage the office as well as work in the warehouse, preparing orders for customers around the globe. I inquire as to how long Andy has been a part of the operation. Mark smiles and says, “Oh, around five years or so.” He offers to double check with Andy. He opens the window of the office that connects to the warehouse and asks Andy to remind him how long he’s been with the business. Andy replies, “Twenty four years.” Mark says he’s told me five years. Andy just smiles and shakes his head. It’s clear there is an easy going rapport between them making for a productive work environment that runs like a well-oiled machine.

— Continued on next page

Muscatine Magazine • Spring 2021 3

Continued from previous page —

We walk back to the warehouse where parts upon parts are stacked from the ground up. In 2001 Mark made the decision to move the operation to a warehouse with office space included. Butterworth Clocks, Inc. is now housed out of a 10,000 square foot metal pole building; 1000 square feet for office space and 9000 square feet for parts and packaging prep. Mark gives me a tour showing me everything from bushings to movements to anything else imaginable that keeps clocks in proper working order. They even have a machine that creates packing paper and bubble wrap. Mark explains they ship parts all over the world including far away places such as Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. While the repair side of Butterworth Clocks, Inc. has slowed some, Andy continues to offer clock repair work in the

4 Muscatine Magazine • Spring 2021

Muscatine and surrounding areas. The wholesale business though is the heart of the day to day operation. Mark and Andy both agree they have no problem keeping busy. Mark imagines at some point retirement won’t be too far down the road for him. He’d like to get back to traveling and spending time with his adult children, handing over the reins to Andy in order to keep Butterworth Clocks, Inc. running. Mark comments, “The business has definitely evolved over the years, and even when I retire, I imagine myself to always be a part of it in some way.” n Butterworth Clocks, Inc. is located at 5300 59th Ave W, Muscatine, IA and is open Monday - Friday from 8:00am - 5:00pm. They can also be found on Facebook at Butterworth Clocks, Inc.





Good Times The Muscatine Art Center’s permanent collection includes over 70 clocks, watches and other timepieces, tools, instruments, advertising and related archival photographs. From small mechanisms with precision engineering to large-scale timepieces, all ‘clock related’ items in the collection have a connection to the community. Clocks require a high level of maintenance and care, and over the years, many of our clocks have received routine conservation from Mark Butterworth. The museum continues to add unique ‘timepiece’ items to enhance this collection, with the most recent addition being the Time Clock from a Muscatine button company, which is on display through September 19, 2021. A. Floor Model Time Clock made by the International Time Recording Company. The top section of the two-piece oak case houses the mechanism attached to the 27” iron wheel with moveable punch lever. The lever lines up with the employee’s time clock number inside the case, where the accurate time is punched onto a printed, paper roll documenting the time the employee ‘clocked’ in or out of work. This time clock was used at the Roach and Musser Sash & Door Company, circa 1910, in south Muscatine. 5 Muscatine Magazine • Spring 2021

B. “KTNT” (“Know the Naked Truth” – slogan used by Norman Baker) advertising alarm clock, sold by Baker Enterprises, Muscatine, Iowa. The circa 1930 clock features a top bell and five different time zones. “Time to order from KTNT, Muscatine, Iowa.” Gift of Max and Cathy Churchill C. ‘Mission Style’, Muscatine Journal Marketing Incentive Wall Clock Made by E. Ingraham Company, Connecticut, c1920. This clock was offered to Muscatine


Journal newspaper carriers as an incentive to sell ‘life subscriptions’ of the newspaper for ten dollars. Gift of Gwen Sywassink D. “KWPC.860” Radio Station Clock with neon tube and reverse-glass painted case cover, c1946. Gift of DeWayne Hopkins (KWPC Radio Station) E. Decorative Heart Clock, unknown maker, in metal heart-shaped case with cupids and rhinestone details, c1920. Gift of Mrs. Waldo H. (Sylvia) Plotts F. Muscatine Button Company Time Clock, circa 1910, features a paper face, silver dial and pendulum housed in an oak case. Lower portion of the case houses the mechanism indicating the day of the week and the employee’s shift, with a slot to insert a paper time card. A large silver knob is then pushed downward to ‘punch the time card.” Gift of Brian and Kay Walter

Muscatine Magazine • Spring 2021 5

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Carol Webb C I T Y A D M I N I S T R ATO R Native Iowan, Carol Webb, returned to her midwestern roots in 2020 to begin her new role as Muscatine’s City Administrator. As an integral part of the City of Muscatine, and with an interesting career from Chemist to City Administrator, we think she is Someone You Should Know. Tell us a little bit about you! I am a native Iowan - born and raised on a small family farm just outside of Ottumwa, Iowa. I have two sisters and I followed one to Colorado in 1997 and stayed for 23 years. I am married to an art teacher and I have one daughter Matilda - who is 12 years old. We are pet lovers and we have one dog - Cosmo and one cat - Pita. We love to camp, bike, fish, hike, and play fetch with Fido. I love to cook but I hate to clean, so my significant other takes care of that for 8 Muscatine Magazine • Spring 2021

me. I don’t have an artistic bone in my body, but my husband and daughter have loads of talent so I spend time being inspired by their creativity. I play a little guitar but only for my pets and I usually sing along… and my family goes to another room :-) Describe your journey/career path from a Chemist to City Administrator? I started working for the City of Fort Collins in a water quality laboratory and

was promoted into a supervisor position and then a middle management position focused on environmental services. I was bit by the bug of local government and benefited from a tuition reimbursement program offered by the City. I received a certification in public management and then pursued a masters of public administration. Fort Collins was a wonderful place that invested in their employees and now I have an opportunity to share that investment with Muscatine. What drew you to Muscatine? The opportunity of course, to serve as a City Administrator. I also have family near here (a sister and her family near Iowa City), and I still have relatives in the Ottumwa area. It felt like I had roots of sorts in the area which made such a move alot easier.

What has been your favorite part of living in Muscatine so far? The City Council has been incredibly gracious and welcoming to me which has really eased my transition. The staff has been very supportive as well and I feel like I was able to dive right in and get to work which was great. I met with many community leaders in my first months here and I continue to do so with durable partners (e.g. MPW, Community Foundation, MCSD, GMCCI, etc.). Everyone is really aligned and doing great things to support all community members so that everyone thrives. It really is a unique thing to have so many in the community investing their time and resources locally. For amenities - I love the riverfront and the parks. We have really great parks! We take our dog down to the Dog Park regularly and we take walks at Deep Lakes and in Discovery Park. The downtown is pretty cool with some neat shops - I’m a frequent flyer at Tree Hall Boutique and Flipped Out Furniture. I am in LOVE with the Merrill and even though I only live five minutes away I try to come up with excuses to stay there. I like that I can get just about anywhere in town in ten or so minutes. If I want to go big there are plenty of larger cities nearby. As the City Administrator, what would you like people to know about your role in the community? • I oversee daily operations of the City. • I am accountable for the enforcement of laws and regulations as adopted by

the City Council. • I administer all of City Council’s policies and directives. • I keep the Council informed of the City’s activities. • I prepare and administer the City’s annual budget. • I collaborate with other entities within the City (those partners listed above) • I also serve as the City Clerk (manages Council agendas, public records, open meetings, etc.) Of course I don’t do any of these things alone. I have a team of people that do this work and in large part I guide the work, communicate to the City Council, and offer recommendations based on my best professional judgment. What is the relationship between the City Administrator and the City Council/Mayor? These roles are best described in the City’s Code - Title 1 regarding administration. The short description is that the Mayor is the Chief Executive Officer of the City, the City Administrator is the Chief Administrative Office, and the Council enacts City legislation, approves the budget and major purchases, and approves public improvements via its voting power. The City Administrator serves at the pleasure of the Council - essentially they can hire me and terminate me if they see fit. Formal roles aside - I work closely with the Mayor and Councilmembers on all

of my duties listed above. They provide me with information they receive from their constituents (concerns, suggestions, needs) and together we craft policies, laws, budgets, etc. that we think best serve our community members. Essentially I report to the Council and it’s my obligation to support them in developing and enforcing good policy and ensuring that our local government is efficient, effective, and responsive to our community. What are some things you hope to accomplish in the next few years? Well initially I’m learning about the city’s operations, the community, and the City’s partners. Together with the Council and the Department Directors, we developed a City strategic plan and we just started a City Administrator Monthly Report. Both of these documents are accessible here: www.muscatineiowa. gov/15/City-Administrator. We also just completed development of the City’s 2021/2022 annual budget. The next year will be focused on operationalizing the strategic plan and executing on the implementation of activities funded in the budget process. Is there anything else you think people would want to know about you or your role in the community? Just that I am very open to questions and feedback and would be open to any invitations to visit with individual community members and/or groups. n

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P R O G R A M M I N G Due to Covid-19, please check with the individual organizations for the most up to date details on programming


We are so excited to be able to offer in person day camp opportunities for the summer of 2021. We are in the process of finalizing the schedules, so please be on the lookout for more information to be released early April 2021. You can check our Facebook pages, website and information delivered through the school systems in Muscatine County. Also should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Dana Allen at 563-263-5701 or

Gardening to Give Gardening to Give is an interactive, educational program that is open to ALL Iowans. The program will run for 8 months beginning March 15th and wrap up in October. Monthly

themes complete with lessons, activities, garden journaling, chats with experts, and produce features are items you can expect to see in a weekly email. Feed your community, country, and world with hands-on and research-based challenges and learning opportunities focused on gardening and growing, designed for all ages and abilities. By working together across the state to grow gardens, we can not only provide food for our loved ones, but we can donate our harvest to food pantries while engaging in the gardening experience. Register at. gardening-to-give.

Master Gardener

The application window is opening for this year’s Master Gardener training, which will be offered 100% online in the fall. Iowa State has offered Master Gardener training for over 40 years, engaging more than 15,000 people in learning about gardening best practices. This year, the course is being offered online via Canvas.

background check to participate. After completing the Master Gardener Training, participants have 13 months to complete 40 volunteer hours. There is one openbook test at the end of the course that participants will need to pass to complete the course and receive their certificate. To apply and for more information go to this link master-gardener-training-2021-be-offeredonline

Health & Wellness Resources

Looking for healthy, simple and budget friendly recipes? Check out the Spend Smart. Eat Smart website or mobile app! www.spendsmart.

Connect with Us!

Facebook: MuscatineExtension Web: muscatine. Call: 563-263-5701 Visit our office: 1601 Plaza Place, Muscatine

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All Programming is Virtual O Baby Lapsit Circle time and social time for the very youngest, ages birth to three plus parent or caregiver. Meet for songs, fingerplays, and stories, then adjourn to the children’s department for play and social time. Sparkplugs Aimed at 4 through 8-year-old’s, but

10 Muscatine Magazine • Spring 2021

everyone in the family is welcome to attend and participate. We start each program with a big, healthy snack. Adult Book Club Join your fellow book lovers for a book discussion of our monthly read. New titles are chosen every



AG E S !

MUSCATINE ART CENTER Family Fun at Home! Stop by the Muscatine Art Center during open hours and grab a “Take & Make” kit. Each bag contains a project you can complete at home with just a few additional supplies. These bags are free to pick up while supplies last. Pick up an Earth Day project April 9th - 24th, a Mother’s Day project April 30th - May 9th, and a Father’s Day project June 5th - June 20th.

Nature in the Garden In partnership with the Muscatine County Conservation Board, join us in the Japanese Garden at the Muscatine Art Center to learn about some animals with conservationist Michelle Berns! Kids will get to see live animals and learn about them. Then, make a craft inspired by that animal to take home! The program is

month ranging from local authors and best- sellers all from different genres. Tai Chi Practiced as a graceful form of exercise involving a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing.

free of charge, but pre-registration is required. In case of inclement weather, activities will be held in the Muscatine Art Center’s studio.

Summer Workshops Fourth graders and older can learn about the period when the Musser-McColm home was built and create art projects in the Art Nouveau style, including faux stained glass and woodblock prints. This workshop is supported by Quad City Arts through the Arts Dollars re-granting program. Visit to learn about additional kids’ workshops.

We can serve you multiple ways during Covid: In person check outs, curbside pick up, and remote delivery. Study and meeting rooms are gradually reopening, contact library for details. New Extended Hours: • Monday-Thursday 10am-9pm • Friday 10am-6pm, • Saturday 10am-2pm • Sunday 1pm-3pm.

Family Picnic This June 18th, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., gather your family and some snacks and join us for a family picnic! Families are encouraged to spread out on the Muscatine Art Center lawn while enjoying calliope music, free ice cream, window painting, and “Take & Make” projects to complete at home.

For the most up to date information: Check our Facebook page and message us on Facebook. Call us at (563) 263-3065 to talk to the children’s department or reference desk Visit us on the web at

Muscatine Magazine • Spring 2021 11

Beth Van Zandt, co-owner of Happy Tails Pet Resort & Kennel, and her rescue dog, Indy, sit among the many pet supplies gathered through her nonprofit, For Pets’ Sake, for The Pet Food Pantry of Muscatine.

Critical Care for Comrades of the

Four-Legged Variety By P.M. Cantrell

One woman’s love for animals with a commitment to community has found a way to mesh passion with purpose. Beth Van Zandt, lifelong animal lover and co-owner of Happy Tails Pet Resort & Kennel, started her non-profit organization For Pets’ Sake following a conversation with Ardyth Slight, Chief Deputy with the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Department (ret.). “She told me that in many cases, victims of domestic violence will stay with their abusers because of their pets. Dogs are often used as leverage used to keep control

12 Muscatine Magazine • Spring 2021

over victims.” Van Zandt says after that conversation she was bitten by the need to help. “I took that as a tap on the shoulder, a message that said, ‘you need to do something.’” For Pets’ Sake provides foster care to animals that would otherwise be forfeited to the Muscatine Humane Society. Pet parents benefitting from Van Zandt’s services include those fleeing domestic violence relationships, the homeless, and others who have temporarily fallen on hard times. Van Zandt remembers a family that she was able to help. “There were three kids.

The parents had their issues. These kids lost their house, their parents, and toys. Had I not taken their dog it would have been surrendered. The look on those kids’ faces when I returned their dog was amazing.” Since its start in February of 2017, For Pets’ Sake has fostered 43 dogs and cats, with 30 returning home and 13 that have been placed in new homes, possibly preventing euthanization. Since September of 2018, For Pets’ Sake has added pet food pantry supplies. “Older people will take care of a dog before themselves,” Van Zandt

Pet parents needing pet supplies can find VanZandt in the parking lot at the corner of Fourth and Sycamore Streets the third Thursday of every month from 8 - 10 a.m. She is contacted by case workers through the homeless and domestic shelters for pet fostering. explains. “With the pantry they don’t need to choose between groceries or medication.” Financial help is also provided for pet vaccinations and spay or neutering as well. The Pet Food Pantry of Muscatine has provided over eight thousand pounds of pet food and litter to 48 cats and 51 dogs for 31 pet parents on average per month over the past three years. Those in need are also given gloves in the winter and socks year round. Even though Van Zandt forged For Pets’ Sake and the Pet Food Pantry she couldn’t do it alone. GPC/Kent Feeds of Muscatine supplies her pantry with cat litter and Purina of Davenport supplies her with cat and dog food, making it a self-sustaining operation. Community members also make donations for medical care and improvements to the program through her website: and others drop off gently used pet supplies at Happy Tails, 720 Clay St., Muscatine.

hard times. I do it because there might be an elderly person whose family doesn’t visit often enough and that little dog or cat may be all they have.” She adds that it’s always worth it to help someone. There are some rules to receiving pantry assistance. Families are only allowed to seek assistance for current companions and not use the assistance to add additional pets. Sometimes her pet projects have taken her outside city limits. Following the Aug. 10, 2020 Derecho in Cedar Rapids, friends and customers of Happy Tails and Becky’s Bow Wow Boutique donated 4,700 pounds of litter and food to fur babies affected by the unprecedented storm. Van Zandt and friends loaded the supplies into two trucks, an SUV, a minivan and a bus and

set up shop at a Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids, with the plan to hand out food and supplies from 1 to 3 p.m. “We ran out of food at 2:45 with the last person. It was pretty freaky. We had no more food, but no more people in line.” Van Zandt doesn’t take these signs lightly. “ I couldn’t imagine losing everything and then losing my pets too. I’d sleep in my car before that, but I’ve been blessed.” It’s her shared love of community and companions of the four-legged variety that pushes Van Zandt to help. She has plans to expand in the future. Since the onset of COVID and subsequent job losses and budget constraints, Van Zandt noticed a greater need for assistance and a need to go mobile. Future growth to the pantry includes a bus that Van Zandt can take to Fruitland, Wilton, and West Liberty in order to expand services throughout the county. She’d also like to build a kennel on her property so that she could foster and care for more dogs. n

Although providing care to pets is generally considered a positive, Van Zandt says she has her critics who say that people shouldn’t own pets if they can’t afford them. “Everybody falls on

Muscatine Magazine • Spring 2021 13 Muscatine Magazine • Spring 2021 13









Did you know that Muscatine has siblings? Nine sisters, in fact, located in Argentina, Africa, Europe, Palestine, Ukraine, Russia, China, and Japan. The relationships are an outgrowth of Sister Cities International, a nonprofit organization that works to “promote peace through people.” In 1956, the United States had emerged from the Korean War into the Cold War, and President Eisenhower advocated a movement of citizen diplomacy based on people-to-people, community-tocommunity relationships that could promote cultural awareness and understanding. Today, over 500 U.S. cities have more than 1800 siblings in 138 countries around the world. Muscatine is unusual in having nine, and the many signs on the post at International Friendship Park, located at the corner of Cedar and 8th Streets, testify to Muscatine’s friendly spirit and global reach. 14 Muscatine Magazine • Spring 2021

Now celebrating 35 years, Muscatine Sister Cities can boast of some long, deep relationships abroad as well as exciting new developments. The ink is drying on a sister cities agreement between Muscatine and Banh City, Liberia, which only awaits a lifting of travel restrictions due to COVID-19 to be signed by both cities’ mayors. While these formal agreements contain standard language, each sibling relationship is unique and based on the members communities’ character, interests, and needs. Sister city relationships are nourished by volunteer members and citizen delegates who exchange information, travel abroad, and host international visitors, welcoming into their homes newcomers who then become friends.

Muscatine’s relationship with Liberia extends back to 1890, when Muscatine resident Alexander G. Clark was the U.S. ambassador there. (Susan Clark Middle School is named for the daughter for whom Clark brought, and won, a

case before the Iowa Supreme Court to integrate Muscatine schools well before Brown v. Board of Ed.) Stanley Consultants did work in Liberia in the 1970s, and families in Muscatine found homes for refugees fleeing Liberia’s devastating civil war. Now the sister city agreement puts a formal seal on a vibrant relationship that provides opportunities for learning and exchange on both sides.

Some of Muscatine’s siblings came about through efforts undertaken by the Iowa Sister States organization, whose mission is to “build sustainable international partnerships that connect Iowans to the world community.” Iowa’s first formal relationship began in 1960 with Yamanashi Prefecture in Japan, after the infamous Iowa Hog Lift provided pigs and corn to help people impacted by a typhoon. Muscatine’s connection with Ichikawamisato, Japan, evolved from this sister state relationship.

In 1984, Iowa governor Terry Branstad signed a sister state agreement with Hebei Province in China. The young official who stayed with the Landes during a resulting agricultural visit to Muscatine was Xi Jinping, now the president of China. Muscatine’s sister city relationship with Zhengding, China, cements this agreement to share knowledge, friendship, and culture, one benefit of which has been the special visits of the Chinese National Symphony Orchestra to Muscatine. Muscatine resident Joni Axel was part of the Iowa Sister States delegation that traveled to Stavropol Krai, Russia, in the 1980s, when it was still part of the Soviet Union, to explore mutual farming and manufacturing interests. Muscatine’s sister city relationship with Kislovodsk followed from this, as did many mutual visits, including student exchanges. Other relationships develop when residents reach out on behalf of Muscatine to establish connections abroad. Muscatine’s sister city relationship with Drogobych came about through Muscatine resident Walter Conlon’s relatives there. Now residents of Drogobych visit Iowa as seasonal workers, most recently at an apple orchard near Iowa City, exchanging agricultural and cultural knowledge. Muscatine’s relationships with Paraná and Crespo, Argentina, were initiated by Coca Page, who was born in Paraná and organized several educational exchanges between the cities, including a visit of Argentinian nurses to the Muscatine hospital. Lomza, Poland, became a Muscatine sister city after Muscatine

businessman Marion Nowysz invited some partners from his native country to learn about Muscatine’s exports. Ingrid Rowe, who was born in what was then East Germany, initiated Muscatine’ sister city relationship with Ludwigslust, a town in Mecklenburg, Germany, first designed as a ducal retreat. It turns out that many Iowans have roots in the Mecklenburg area. Muscatine schoolteacher Kristine Conlon, on one of her many exchanges through the sister cities, visited the nearby town where her great-great-grandfather was born. John Dabeet, the current president of Muscatine Sister Cities, established

sister city relationships. He’s also helped Muscatine inspire sister relationships elsewhere, such as facilitating a relationship between Bethlehem with our sister city of Lomza. “These connections increase the ways we can work together worldwide,” Dabeet notes, and that is the goal of Sister Cities everywhere. “Promoting understanding,” Dabeet confirms, “one person at a time. Promoting peace, one person, one nation at a time. That’s an amazing thing.” Ask anyone who’s involved in Muscatine Sister Cities and they’ll agree: the relationships are the best part. “Over many years, I’ve learned from individual I met, from whatever country,” Dabeet says. “If I were asked to put a value on what I’ve learned being involved with Sister Cities, I honestly couldn’t. Every project is unique. It’s a significant learning experience for all.”

PROMOTING PEACE, ONE PERSON, ONE NATION AT A TIME. Muscatine’s sister city agreement ten years ago with this hometown of Ramallah, Palestine. One subsequent exchange included a delegation of Palestinian teachers who came to Muscatine to learn about our special education programs and help build similar programs back in Ramallah. In his role on the board of Sister Cities International, Dabeet advocates for further relationships with Palestine and helps other U.S. and Iowa cities establish

Dan Clark, long an active member of Sister Cities, agrees that relationships with local members and international visitors are the highlights. “Opportunities for travel, sharing experiences, and discovering new ‘neighbors’ across the planet” are all benefits of involvement. “And opportunities for gaining broader perspectives without the need for travel,” Clark adds, since COVID-19 restrictions have disrupted many travel plans in the past year. The perk of traveling through Sister Cities is that you only need to pay for — Continued on page 12

CONNECT Family memberships in Muscatine Sister Cities are $45 for a year. Single memberships are $35. Anyone wishing for more information can contact John Dabeet at or (563) 554-1353. Facebook page: Website: Other websites: and Muscatine Magazine • Spring 2021 15

SISTER CITIES Continued from page 9 —

your plane ticket. Once you arrive, hosts provide everything else: transportation, meals, tours around the city, Englishspeaking guides, and warm hospitality. “And we do the same when they come here,” says Micki Tripp, vice president of Muscatine Sister Cities, who has traveled abroad and hosted visitors many times. “We’ve never had a bad experience. It’s been wonderful.” Anyone interested in building bridges of peace and understanding, one person and one nation at a time, can join the Muscatine Sister Cities Facebook group or sign up for the newsletter via the website. Both sites provide information about the special events Muscatine Sister Cities is holding each month to celebrate its 35 years. A dedicated display case on the third floor of Musser Public Library showcases pictures, artifacts, and information about our sister cities as well. Why become a member? “I don’t know why everyone isn’t already!” exclaims Kristine Conlon, secretary of Muscatine Sister Cities. “We travel, we eat good food, we meet new people—what’s not to like? The people make it what it is,” Conlon adds. “You get to know real people and see what their lives are like. It’s completely different from the kind of tour you would take staying at a hotel with an air-conditioned bus. It’s a special kind of trip.” “We’ve met good friends that we never would have know n otherwise,” agrees Tripp. “It really is people-to-people, which is completely different than government to government.” Axel concurs. “It’s really a nice exchange. Relationships are based on hospitality, education, cultural exchanges, learning new things. It’s a friendship organization. It’s not geopolitical in any way; no one’s trying to convert or proselytize. It’s about friendships, and those stand the test of time.” “In the end, we’re all human; we’re all created equal,” Dabeet concludes. “It’s important to spread that message.” n 16 Muscatine Magazine • Spring 2021

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208 West 2nd Street, Muscatine, Iowa •

Woman who led Air Force legal team leaves Muscatine a lasting gift Ann C. Petersen, a 1969 MHS graduate took what was considered an unlikely career path for females in the 1980s: Petersen – who served as general counsel to the U.S. Air Force under President George H.W. Bush, practiced law privately in Chicago on both ends of this tenure, served as a Chicago ward committeewoman and an elder to the Fourth Presbyterian Church there – ultimately showed her love for Muscatine by setting up a sizable unrestricted fund through her will with the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine.

“My experience with the State Department Library enabled me to get a job with the University of Michigan Law Library, which helped me pay for law school and provided excellent preparation for practice,” Petersen told the Muscatine Journal in 2006. She went on to study law at the University of Michigan, earning her Juris Doctor in 1976 and passing the Illinois State Bar in the same year. She joined the Chicago firm of Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon, working there as an associate, then a partner, until 1989.

“This unrestricted endowment will provide flexibility to meet the community’s changing needs. Ann understood that we can’t foresee what the future holds, thus she directed this gift to establish her legacy to enable the Community Foundation to be nimble, responsive, and impactful during ordinary and unusual times, this year and every year in the future”, Charla Schafer, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine, said.

That same year, President George H.W. Bush nominated her and the U.S. Senate confirmed her nomination to head the U.S. Air Force’s legal department. This position put her in charge of 1,600 attorneys and gave her final authority on all matters except for military justice. During her tenure, she advised the Air Force Secretary on issues related to Operation Desert Storm, base closures, military and civilian personnel, and defense contracts. She traveled to Air Force installations worldwide.

Petersen was the daughter of Robert C. and Twyla S. (Schreurs) Petersen. She graduated from Muscatine High School in 1969 and earned her bachelor’s degree in political science at the University of Iowa in 1973. During the summers of her college years, she worked for the State Department library in Washington D.C. There, her two female supervisors encouraged her to become a lawyer.

Petersen moved back to Chicago after her tenure with the Air Force. She was the general counsel to and worth Chambers LLC, providing legal research services. She also served on the advisory board to Air University, the U.S. Air Force’s center for professional education.

18 Muscatine Magazine • Spring 2021

Ann Petersen, 1969 (left), and 1992 (right).

In 1991, the University of Iowa Alumni Association presented her with the Distinguished Alumni Award, citing her impressive career, especially her work with the Air Force, and her many volunteer activities. Petersen came home to live in Muscatine for the last five years, residing in her childhood home on Leroy Street. Ann passed away too early, at the age of 68, in October of 2019. Through her wisdom and planning her positive impact and legacy will be remembered forever. n

The Community Foundation works with individuals, businesses and organizations to help meet their charitable goals by forming, managing and administering funds. These funds directly impact area residents by addressing important needs and/or enhancing the quality of life in Muscatine County.

The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Details about programs and exhibitions are posted on Visitors to the Muscatine Art Center are asked to wear a mask, sanitize their hands upon entering the building (hand sanitizer is provided), and maintain six feet of distance. Current hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.


Tailored Solutions to Climate Change May 29 – October 31, 2021 The exhibition, Alterations: tailored solutions to climate change, features 15 sculptures created by artist and environmental educator Nancy Judd. Judd plays with the juxtaposition between fashion and trash by creating sculptures that appear to be high-fashion couture garments but that are made from items thrown in the garbage, the recycling bin, littered on the side of the road, or found in nature. Each of her sculptures takes between 100-650 hours to create, and her goal is that they will last for 100 years. Judd loves the challenge of making garbage elegant and inspiring people to consider how we use our limited resources by looking differently at waste. In the exhibition, each sculpture is paired with a science-based solution for reducing carbon in the atmosphere.


The exhibition premiered at the Atlanta International Airport in 2020-2021 and will travel to museums and art centers throughout the United States with a goal of exposing 11+ million people to Drawdown Ecochallenge, an environmental and social change digital platform. Judd’s distinctive, uplifting, and creative approach to environmental education has touched millions of people around the world since 1998. One of her pieces, the Obamanos Coat, is in Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture’s permanent collection.

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Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray May 29 – August 22, 2021 Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray, an exhibition of photographic portraits of Frida Kahlo, provides an intimate look at Mexico’s most prolific and well-known female artist. In May 1931 photographer Nickolas Muray (18921965) traveled to Mexico on vacation where he met Frida Kahlo (1907-1954), a woman he would never forget. The two started a romance that continued on and off for the next ten years and a friendship that lasted until her death in 1954. Approximately forty photographic portraits taken by Muray of Kahlo comprise the exhibition. The photographs, dating from 1937 to 1946, explore Muray’s unique perspective; as Kahlo’s friend, lover, and confidant, Muray’s photographs bring to light Kahlo’s deep interest in her Mexican heritage, her life

and the people with whom she shared a close friendship. Born in Hungary, Muray became a successful New York fashion and commercial photographer known for his portraits of celebrities, politicians, socialites, and artists. Having experimented with color in his work from early on, he found his most colorful model Kahlo. Kahlo was born in Coyocoán, Mexico City, Mexico and began painting after she was severely injured in a bus accident. She became politically active and married fellow communist artist Diego Rivera. This traveling exhibition has been organized by the Nickolas Muray Photo Archives and is circulated through GuestCurator Traveling Exhibitions. n Muscatine Magazine • Spring 2021 19


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