The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on August 20, 1989 · Page 16
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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 16

Des Moines, Iowa
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 20, 1989
Page 16
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y rrr ry Ti'Trrt''yyiyrr "rv w r w w www w 2B DES MOINES SUNDAY REGISTER tJ August 20. 1989 IOWA JOURNAL IMAGES OF IOWA NEWSMAKER Thanks from grateful grad VI" WFK . John Pappajohn just wanU to say thanks - and I week be did so to the tune of 13 million. The Dei Moines businessman donated the money to University Hospitals for completion of an eight-level, $52 million medical building that will be known as the John Pappajohn Pavilion. He and his wife, Mary, also will donate money to create two endowment funds. "It s payback," said Pappajohn, 61. a 1952 Iowa graduate. "I grew up here. I did well here. My family is here ... I think it's a great cause." The gift from the Mason City native, the son of Creek immigrants, is the largest ever to University Hospitals. ft -m PAPPAJOHN QUOTE ? T "r Ml J ' e; 0v ' W V.--- . r , 1 wain I 1 V.'- - - . ' - ' ' ' ! mi.i hi .I, . . . - m Jmmm taut -. .. j - ''mi nrM m in jui win m l. ru i 4 1 Getting his goat ribbon Ryaa Robinson, 12, of Atlantic, keeps his eyes fixed on the Judge as be Fair lait week. Ryan'i concentration during hit turn In the ring was thoi hit goat Penelope In the junior doe goat clau at the Iowa Sjate good enough to win him a blue ribbon. Cil was just wishing they'd found him dead J 9 Bernadtnt Cornilsen. about her brother. Wdbert Eickert, who wom charg u-ith killing htsifauohteT and injuring thret others in Clinton. ( ., FOLLOWUP 7- CHINA On its way from China A new steam locomotive ordered by the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad has made its way across China to the port of Qing Dao and should be loaded onto a ship soon, railroad president George Eckstein says. Delivery of the $360,000 engine had been in question since the Chinese government crushed a pro-democracy movement in Beijing. The locomoi J ..... u-J... i.i . fj:i: . CL.,.. .IA live nau vi iravci iiuuun dcijihk w ci iu mc pui v, i.uicin miu. The locomotive is the last steam engine produced by a plant In Datong,' about 300 miles west of Beijing. "You can't buy a new steam locomotive' anywhere else in the world," Eckstein said. DATELINE IOWA Firt destroys vacant buildings on main street in Council Bluffs TIM $rt m Mwt Sarvm COUNCIL BLUFFS. IA. - Three firefighters were injured and a cluster of vacant buildings destroyed in a fire Saturday afternoon. The vacant J.C. Penney build- - - .4 A. . fc. . . . 1 . i. Li .L I . . i. n j tvftt.MoiNE 51 oiocA-iong iirricn oi oroaaway k& a rt . i p. i ii i Avenue, uninru diui is main e "TssV street, still were smoldering Sat- 0 mm tOt Il, Ul umj infill fliici 111 Cllgllicis c - tinguistied the Maze, which started about 3 p.m. Neither the fire's cause nor the extent of damage had been determined. Two eirefighters. one suffering beat exhaustion and another with back pain, were admitted to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs. A third firefighter was treated for a knee injury and released. Their names were not available. Boy climbing tree in Charles City burned when he touches power lint TM hlliw'l Wwt Not tank CHARLES CITY. IA. A Charles City boy was . in serious condition Saturday after be touched a high-voltage power line while climbing a tree In his front yard Friday. Mitchell Engelhardt.9. touched the wire with his hand and was burned through an arm, l anil fAnl HirlMril fwiliM ' ""- " said. Firefighters had to remove the boy from the tree. After being taken to a local hospital, he was transferred to St Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minn., an affiliate of the Mayo Ginic. Engelhardt's neighbor, Dustin Obermeier, 5, also was climbing the tree at the time. He suffered slight burns but was not hospitalized, police said. Iowa Public Service, the utility Involved, was Investigating the incident , , his I S-y leg! Thrown from 4-wheel drive vehicle, Li Mars man dies at the scene tUin v ' 1 V 60 1 LE MARS. IA ALe Mars man died late Friday after being thrown from his four-wheel-drive vehicle as it rolled several times into a ditch, the Iowa State Patrol said. Richard Mark Bntnken, who would have been 34 today, was driving south on Iowa Highway All ilvuit lhr mil ffinnh nf f aoo t Kfar ihr-tli7 hff nr miflniffh! when his 1971 CMC ran off the road. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Elsewhere: A rural Scranton man died at 1 30 p m Friday when his pickup veered off the roadway Into a ditch seven miles west of Churdan. a Greene County Sherif fs Department deputy said. Todd William Mount 27. was pronounced dead upon arrival at a hospital in Jefferson. Johnson County attorney decides to prosecute 138 protesters IOWA CITY. IA. Johnson County Attorney J. Patrick White has decided to prosecute 131 anti-abortion protesters even though a jury found II other protesters innocent In a tri- i oiner prowsiers I t v. a! last spring. WtJ'vMSj troubled by peopl - Ucnally cooduct t be seriously r people who inten tionally conduct themselves in a way that would be described as civil disobedience but arent willing to accept the consequences of that" White said, adding that be believed the first verdicts to beet i uoeous. A total of 1 53 protesters, including one juvenile, were arrested Jan. 2( after they sat down in front of the University of Iowa Special Gynecology Clinic. Several protesters said they wanted to be arrested in order to bring a ttenuoo to abortions conducted at the clinic OUR TOWNS Colorful piece of Great Lakes history for sale After growing from a grocery store to a noted restaurant, an Iowa Great Lakes landmark is on the market. By CHARLES BIXLARD JEFF WAGNf Soc to Tit )'' WEST OKOBOJI. IA. - Vern and Colla's Hub - a favorite of generations of visitors to the Iowa Great Lakes is on the auction block. When it sells, a colorful era that included a crowd-pleasing stripper, casino-style slot machines and illegal liquor plus fine steaks, bridge luncheons and melt-ln-your-mouth onion rings will end. The oldest restaurant in the Iowa Great Lakes, Vern and Coila's Club traces its beginnings to a humble grocery store built on Dan Jeppeson's dairy farm on the shores of West Lake Okobojl in 1936 during the Great Depression. Jeppeson cajoled his daughter Coila into cooking pan-fried chicken and baking homemade pies and added a five-table addition to the grocery store in 1938 to serve the hearty fare. Sat on Pop Cases Coila's chicken and pies proved so popular that customers often had to sit on pop cases because the tables were full. . Today, Vern and Coila's is one of the largest restaurants in northwest Iowa. "It's a landmark," said Herman Rich-ter, co-owner of the Three Sons Gothing store in nearby Milford. But it's a family business and no one In the family wants to run it any more. Coila Titterington died last March at age 13 and her husband. Vern, has been dead since 1941. Their daughter, Marcia Whitney, and Marcia s husband, Daryl, operated Vern and Coila's since Coila suffered a stroke in 1978. But Daryl Whitney died of cancer on July 2 and Marcia, 57, says she can't manage the huge operation alone. "Without my husband, it's too difficult to run by myself," she said. Her four children all have their own careers and none wants to move back to West Okobojl to Uke over the family business so the club is for sale. There is no family left to run it," she said. The asking price for the two-story. a, . at M V . ... aW..- 4 Marcia Whitney and a portrait of her mother, Coilat Vera and Coila's Cub. I 440-seat restaurant and night club and 21 acres of wooded grounds containing dozens of mature oak trees is 3440,000. Checkered Past Marcia Whitney and her daughter, Mary Kay Whitney, 29, a banker from Scottsdale, Ariz., who returned home last September to help when her father's cancer was diagnosed as terminal, reminisced last week about the club's checkered past They remembered the summer in the early ,'S0s when Coila hired an emcee from Kansas City to introduce the Triads, four freshly-scrubbed college-age singing waitresses. The emcee's wife a dancer, Coila was told was part of the package. "When the girls are done singing, be introduces his wife and she comes out to dance and she takes off all ber clothes," Marcia Whitney recalled. "My mother and I just nearly die. We can't believe it. That's before anyone did anything like that in Iowa. "We went downstairs and mother said. That's the worst thing I've ever seen in my life.' We didn't know what we were going to do because we'd signed the contract. But the nest night business was better and by the end of the week, they were standing in line to get Into our place. "So my mother said, 'Well, maybe it's not too bad. People seem to like it' "About three weeks went by and the sheriff called and be said, "Coila, what In the world have you got going on down there? She said. 'Oh, just a little dancing.' So the sheriff said we had to stop it" Slot Machine Coila and the Dickinson County sheriff weren't always at odds. With the sheriffs blessing. Coila and other Dickinson County restaurateurs openly defied state authorities by operating slot machines in the 1940s and '50s. "We had them In every room In the building." said Whitney. "Every place bad them. "The state would have to come up and raid every so often and the sheriff would call an the operators and say, "Get shut down, they're going to come for a raid.' So we'd have to haul all the slot machines out In the middle of the cornfield." In return, the operators bought the sheriff a new car every year, she said. Whitney said the slot machines helped ber mother retire the huge mortgage on the club after Vern died at age Sl.leaving ber with two children and no life insurance. Two years before, Vern and Coila had borrowed heavily to build their dream restaurant at the end of World Warn. "That's bow we got the place paid for." said Whitney. "We never would have got It paid for if it hadn't been for the slot machines." Gambling wasn't the only vice that the sheriff ignored. Long before liquor by the drink was legalized In 1963, thirsty customers could get an Illegal cocktail at Vern and Coila's. "The bartenders carried the liquor In their pocket." Whitney recalled. "You were supposed to bring your own bottle but if you didn't have one, be'd Just pour you a drink and charge you." Today, Vera and Coila's is as prim and proper as It was wild and wooly. Every Wednesday and Friday afternoon, elderly ladies shuffle Into the club for light lunch and an afternoon of bridge by the sunny windows. . The Kuhlmann Sisters entertain night- . .. ly In the second floor nightclub. Moms . and Dads can bring junior and sis because the vocal and instrumental trio from Dea ,,. Moines is rated G. The three sisters keep their clothes on. Steaks, SwordfUh . And vacationers wbo want a respite -from hamburgers and pizza will find It at Vern and Coila's. From mouth-watering steaks to swordfish cajun style and from-' Canadian walleye pike to African lobster: tall, the club is justly famous for Its con- ' sistenlly high-quality menu offerings. And that, Whitney said, is the secret to .' Vern and Coila's longevity. Whitney fives ,.' much of the credit to her late husband, J who cut, aged and broiled the restau-" rant's renowned steaks. Said their daughter, Mary Kajr -He' never cut down on the quality. When beef , skyrocketed in the early 70s, he still -bought the top choicest meat Our prices :-were a lot higher than anyone else on the ' lake but be couldn't eat a lower grade of meat himself so be didst serve it to his" customers." The loyalty of their customers was , demonstrated In 1966 when a tornado T ripped the second story off the club, Ev-eryone escaped Injury by huddling la the. walk-in coolers In the basement while the ; twister demolished the top floor. "This happened on Thursday night and we reopened for business on Monday."-Marcia Whitney recalled. "There must " have been ISO to 200 people who came ' and worked." OUR PEOPLE Patriotic Red Oak barn makes cows sit up and salute When John and Tim McCarthy heard about a barn painted like Soviet flag, they provided a patriotic counterpoint By PATRICK BEACH John and Tun McCarthy are patriots. To the point that tbey are willing to hang out of windows on ropes to snow their national pride. The result, and the fruit of their patrio-. turn, is their bam, which they've made into a national symbol, the same symbol that was at the center of a recent controversial Supreme Court decision. Namely, the flag The two brothers, wbo farm together Just east of Red Oak, were in the process of painting a few buildings on their farm four years ago. The SO something year-old barn was next and after a television show broadcast pictures of a barn in central Nebraska decked out to look Lke the Soviet flag, an idea took root "I suppose they were with the Socialist Party." said John McCarthy. 30. "Not that we're putting them down, but if they could be proud of what they believe in. we could also be proud of what we believe in." So tbey got to work. The bulk of the barn is red-and-white diagonal stripes, and the cupola is stars fewer than the post-Hawaii flag because they ran out of room - on a blue background. "My brother made a pattern of a star and we took a spray gun and put the stars on," John recalled. "We had to hang out the window on a rope, had to hang onto the safety rope and whatnot It was quite a Job -But in four or five days, it was finished and m on its way to becoming a small tourist attraction. Its appeal as a perennial draw remains undiminiibed. "We still have people stop at the house that want to Uke pictures of It" said John "It just happened last Sunday. Some people from Illinois stopped and ajtedtotakeaptctreof it" ft And when the paint fades, the brothers said they would be hanging Mt of J wuiwwi m rapes again. "The neighbors wool let as back off an.' as far that Supreme Conrt decision the one la which Rag burning waa rwled to be a protected form of free speech and wtuca has tooched off talk of Irrtala'Joa and constitutional amendments u ston "t'l swea desecration John Is not withowt an opinion. "People can hart the riM to bum the flag as long as tbey have the right to oe-" land H tk mmm wv " Sofca ul VaiX better be able to defend U as well as- - abuse it" --K

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