The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on August 31, 1975 · Page 25
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August 31, 1975

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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 25

Des Moines, Iowa
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 31, 1975
Page 25
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Memories of lowa are preserved in book gy DIANE K.DRT1NA Wane Drtina fc a/ree-lance iprttef/rom fotixXCtty. «vtr wlsh«d you'd written 4own elderly friends' rnemoriet of the food old L Recent Pttt" is a book you nwywinttoretd. "Conversation*" contains interviews with lowans about the days of horses and buggies, waterwheel-powered milling and handmade entertainment. The book came out of a project started by Dr. Luis Torrei, assistant professor in at Luther College In bhlan project During i one-month inter- 1m, the oral history "project began," Torres said. "I read 'Foxfire,' the Georgia Ap-' palachian high school project which recorded the old- timers', recollect ioni before they were lost forever, and decided to do that with Iowa folklore. "So I formed a course entitled 'Winneshlek County Foxfire,' 25 students enrolled, and we were on our way." The class first went to the' Francis Sexton farm near Decorah. Sexton still farms with has ta^ pered off and admits to horses being a "hobby" now. The class then was divided into groups of two and three students, and, armed with the names of four or five people, a cassette tape recorder and blank tapes, they were given the assignment to "go out and get an interview," Torres said. Shy of recorder In three weeks the students interviewed SO people. "Few were reticent about being in the limelight," said Torres. Only ' four refused. "The problem the students had was that at first the people were shy of the tape recorder." But as memories came back, the recorders were forgotten. Torres asked the students to write up their best interviews for publication. Eleven were printed in the campus newspaper Chips. . Farmer Sexton talked about horses in his interview.* "I've heard of horses being pulled blind. They used to have horses that had blind staggers. They'd go crasy when they'd get a little ex- 'cited ... most farms did not have extra teams, so the same team often had to pull • plow all day. "Horses would be pounded on into a Job to beat the upcoming rain that would surely stop work for three days ... after a hot day of work a horse would develop the 'heavies.' The horse would breathe so hard that Its sides would almost make • popping noise from moving in and out so fast Dirty hay was said tor be the cause." Dormitory conditions Dormitory living conditions in 1923 might leave a few people wondering how good the "good old days" really were. According to the Rev. Oscar Engebretson of Decorah, "We slept on theiourth floor, which was unheated. There were about 20 beds in a room. In order to get air all .the windows had to be left open and you'd get snow blowing in. "One thing you did was put a lot of newspapers between the spring and the mattress and then no cold came up. On a real cold night when it got down below zero, you'd take and rub the mattress before you crawled in to "warm it up." The old-timers remembered towns that have disappeared, homemade skiis, traveling 20 hours to get 40 miles, basket socials, taking in homeless children when you had nine of your own, singing societies. Jigsaw puzzlo "Like a jigsaw puzzle, each new bit of information, each new insight, gives a better view of the whole," said Torres. Willard Torgrim recalled that threshing bees were common in the old days. "The rigs were rented by the farmers of the community," he said. "Steam en- Tginet provided the power for .such macbmtp, and it took a tot of wood to keep them go- Ing. It took about 16 men (to thre,sh . . . stacking the train was quite an art. If a stack drew water, why, it was misery, of course. If the •operator we* a good stacker, he had beautiful grain, shed water beautifully. They had these round stacks, you know. They'd (the stacks) come up from the bo'ttom with a bulge and when the water came, it'd shed down to the earth instead of to the bottom of the stack." The students were so enthusiastic about the project they decided to continue the course into the regular semester. Bicentennial grant "But we needed money," said Torres, "so we applied to the State Bicentennial Commission for a grant, received $1,200 and were endorsed as a state Bicentennial project, the 'Northeast Iowa Oral History Project.'" Torres, originally from Puerto Rico, studied at Muhlenberg College at Allentown, Pa., and at the University of Minnesota. His position at Luther had been terminated recently because the department is overstaffed; however, his contract recently was extended one year on a part-time basis. "I've always been inter-' ested in folklore and folk music - the things that have been gathered orally through the years," Torres said. "And K was impressed with the local traditions I learned of when talking with lowans. Circular sent "We sent a circular to the faculty and administrative staff at Luther and to ministerial ' groups and rest homes around Decorah asking for names of elderly people with interesting stories to tell. We received about 50; or 60 names." Ages of those interviewed ranged from 65 to 85. Before the students went out jor interviews, Torres spent a week with them discussing oralrhistory, reading Francis Sexton one of the "Foxfire" books, practicing techniques of Interviewing and talking with librarians about the resources. "Luther College has archive materials which are open for use by students," said Torres. "We proposed to Diiane Fenstermann, who is in charge of the Winneshiek County Historical Society, that if he would furnish us with blank cassettes, raw film and developing, we would deposit our results in the collection at the archives. "We had thought of putting out pamphlets of the interviews, then decided on a book," said Torres. '"Luther College agreed to supplement $300 for publication, so 'Conversations' came out as a Luther College Press Publication in July." "Conversations with the Recent Past" contains 15 shorter articles (ll~from Chips) plus four articles of about 50 or 60 pages each. The book is available by mail from the Luther College book shop in Decorah'. Story City post elects commander TJtt Rtttatar'l Iowa N*WI Strvlc* STORY CITY, IA. - Story City American Legion Post 59 elected Leslie Vangness commander for the coming year. PICK NATIONAL WINNER JULY 27,1975 TERESA TRETTIN of Clear Lake, Iowa, is the winner of the national grand prize in the Cappy Dick coloring contest in the Sunday Register's comic section on July 27. Teresa is 12 years old. For her winning efforts, she will receive an electronic table tennis game, plus the miniature wood bird house offered as a local prize. Congratulations, Teresa. LOCAL WINNERS - JULY 13 Jaci Berg Rockwell City Joleen Cooling Des Moines Anna Dimants ;... Des Moines Shelley Harter • Des Moines Neal Mackey Mason City MikeMeshek Carroll Billy Monahan Des Moines Janet Schwarz Ankeny Sandra Willis „.. Knoxville Angela Winters ..Des Moines LOCAL WINNERS - JULY 20 Patty Bellis Des Moines Amy Engelbert New Sharon Paula Ethrington... Estherville Gary Hamilton Des Moines Susan Luchtel Milford Colleen Marlett... Keokuk Terri Peters Winfield Kirk Ringgerberg Newton Debbie Sackett Des Moinei Sandy Vaske Dyersville LOCAL WINNERS - JULY 27 Marty Anderson Des Moines Anita Gutz Storm Lake Kathy Lee Mason City Marilyn Lee Clear Lake MikeMeshek Carroll Darcy Schuldt Fort Madison Angle Sutter Manson Scott Towers .Carroll Teresa Trettin Clear Lake ' Jenny Yerkes lowa City LOCAL WINNERS - AUGUST 3 David Deutsch.. Ellsworth, Minn. Teresa Diebel Des Moines Colleen Ebeling Des Moines Bonita Eden Wesley LuAnn Gray Revere, Mo. Kim Jones Earlham Kim Kleemeyer Fairfield Sheri Neal Winterset Renee Ramsey Des Moines Kathy Zierke Des Moines Prizes Will Be Com my I o All Wmnet b I M Several Weeks ENJOY CAPPY DICK EVERY SUNDAY IN THE REGISTER )e bun day h Of Other Wi jfr Ml TflPMAft D. NICHOLSON ^W^^rW* NMMM iMBMlm W MMffH fffBtwrr Sept M: Saturn is becoming very easy to find at a morning star, rising about four hours before the ran, well up in the east by dawn. It is In Cancer, just below and in line with the bright Man of Gemini, Pollux and Cancer. Sept S: The moon is at perigee (nearest to earth) today, less than 10 hours after the new moon. The effect of per- Igw will strengthen the normally strong spring tides that^ accompany the new moon. Look for exceptionally high tides tomorrow. ' Sept I: Again the moon .passes close to Spica, the ' bright star of Virgo. They wen closest at daylight this morning, and again the moon covered Spica in southern hemisphere skies. Tonight, you will find Sptea close to the moon, but to its right and below it Clotalo horizon Sept. IS: Mercury Is at its greatest dtitance to the left (east) of the sun (easterly elongation). This should place it In its most prominent position as an evening star, but this is an especially unfavorable elongation. The planet is quite close to the horizon even at sundown, and it • sets soon after. Sept. 16: Venus, after passing between earth and the sun last month, now is moving swiftly to the right of the sun. The motion of the planet through the stars has been to the right, or' westerly, in retrograde motion. Today the .planet becomes stationary relative to the stars and resumes its normal easterly movement, but more slowly than the sun, so the two continue to separate. This will bring the planet into greater prominence as a morning star. Sept. 20: The moon is at apogee, farthest from earth. This is the date of the full moon and, coming nearest to the date of the Autumnal Equinox, the Harvest Moon. The effect that makes .the Harvest Moon exceptional is that, for several nights in a row, the 'full or nearly full moon seems to rise about the same time, close to the- time of sunset. . At other times, moonrise may occur later from, night to night by more than an hour and a quarter, the average is about 50 minutes. For the Harvest Full Moon, it can be less than 20 minutes. Bright object Sept. 22: The bright object rising in the east just before the moon is Jupiter. The two rise close to one another shortly after sunset, and by dark they an well up in the east. Jupiter probably will be the only star-like object you will see In the glare-filled sky close to the nearly full moon. . Sept. 23: The sun arrives at the Autumnal Equinox; summer ends and autumn begins in the northern hemisphere at 10:55 a.m. This is the day that the. sun is directly overhead at the equator, after having spent the last six months over the northern Tin September Sky Chart, Isdesigned to correspond to the sky at 11 p.m. the first of the month; 10 p.m. tte jnMdle oj the month, and 9 p.m. the end of the month. they'are above the horizon 'wVe the/horizon at sun- only during, daylight, Hut «**• It basnet risen yet. The today'and last Wednesday,' , planet then is said to be to hemisphere, somewhere between the equator v and the Tropic of Cancer^ V And this is the time of year when the sun is changing its position southerly most rapidly, causing the most rapid change in the times of sunrise and sunset, and shortening the duration of daylight. Day and night become equal in duration on Sept. 26, and thereafter the sun will be above the horizon less than 12 hours daily. Sept. 26: Mercury becomes stationary among the stars and begins to shift westward (its retrograde motion) before moving in between sun and earth. Sept. 26-27: '.The moon is nelriMars on both evenings. On the night of Sept. 26, the moon will be between Mars (to its right) and Aldebaran, the bright red star in Taurus (to its right). By the night of Sept. 27, the moon will have passed Mars, and both the planet and the star will be to the right of the moon. You may notice that Mars, which resembled Aldebaran in brightness and color last month, is now noticeably brighter, than the star. And the difference will increase dramatically through the rest of this year, The motion of Mars around the sun now is taking it rapidly closer to earth, causing it to brighten very rapidly. Within the next ; month, the planet will more : than double in brightness. Double conjunction Sept.' 28: You will not have been able to see the events, because the objects involved .are so close to the sun that Mercury passed the bright star Spica'twice (a double conjunction). On Wednesday, Mercury, still moving to the east, passed Spica; then halted on Friday, began moving ,to the west, and passed Spica again today. No wonder the ancients were puzzled to see a planet pass the same bright star twice within a few days and then, as Mercury will do in late October, pass it once again. Sept 30. The crescent moon passes below Saturn and the twin stars of Gemini again this morning, as It did earls,' • - - '• •>- ' $y All Month: Mercury is the only evening star among the planets this month. All the rest are morning stars. Yet, you can't see Mercury in the evening (it sets too soon after the sun), and you will see two very bright planets, Jupiter and Mars, in the sky before midnight. This brings us to an explanation of evening and morning star. First of all, a planet isn't a star, although it is star-like in appearance. And secondly, whether we call it an evening or morning object depends not on when we can see it but on its position relative to the sun. If a planet is to the left (east) of the sun, it remains above the horizon after sunset, and it is called an evening star, even when it is almost halfway around the,sky to the left of the sun. But if it is more than halfway around to the left, then it is not the right of the sun; it is •above the horizon at sunrise, and it is called. a morning •star. . ' .. , ~ : Morning stars Thus it is that Jupiter, Mars, Saturn and Venus are called morning stars this month. Jupiter, almost halfway around to the right of the sun, rises first, actually only a short time after sunset. You will see it easily in the eastern-sky—*t-dusk. Mars, about a quarter way around to the right of the sun, rises next, shortly before midnight. Saturn, less than A. quarter way around to the right of the sun, rises next, shortly before 1 midnight, and then Venus rises about an hour or so before the Sun. The result: When the sky grows.dark at night, you won't see Mercury, the only evening star, because it already willThavirset. But you will see Jupiter, a morning star, well above the eastern horizon and quite bright. At midnight, you will see Jupiter, high and bright in the south, and Mars, also very bright, low in the east (don't confuse it with Aldebaran, which is higher and not so .bright). And at daybreak, you will Md Jupiter low in the west, Mars high up in the south, Saturn up in the southeast near Pollux and Castor, and Venus shining brilliantly low in the east. Moon phases New moon Sept. 5; first quarter Sept. 12; full moon Sept. 20; last quarter Sept. 28. :t M*nH*r Ntwi Swvlco Credit earnings to beneficiary HEARTLINE Heartline is a service of The Des Moines Sunday Register for senior citizens, its purpose is to answer questions — fast. Send your questions to HEARTLINE, 8514 N. Main St., Dayton, Ohio 45415. Senior citizens will receive prompt replies. The most useful replies will be printed in this column, which appears in The Sunday Register and Monday's and Thursday's daily Register. To Heartline: I have been receiving Social Security retirement benefits, but this year I returned to work. I will not work after December. My earnings will be considerable and I would like to know if my benefits will increase. - T. R. Answer: Earnings credited to a Social Security benefi-' ciary after he retires are reviewed each year. Any benefit increase due because of additional earnings is processed automatically after the year of earnings. For example, 1975 earnings would be reviewed in 1976 after the employer reports are processed, and any increase would be fully retroactive to January, 1976. Social Security bill To Heartline: Has a bill been introduced to provide for a .cost of living raise every six months instead of once a year? -Mrs-P.L. Answer: Yes. H. R. 3138 was introduced by Representative Robert Trailer (Dem., Mich.) to amend the Social Security Act so the automatic cost of living increase in Social Security benefits could be made on a semi-annual basis, rather . than the present annual basis. Medicare guide available To Heartline: Could you tell me about your guide to Medicare? — Mr. J. J. Answer: Headline's Guide to Medicare covers the entire Medicare program in an easily understood question-answer form and uses easy-to-read large print. It is unconditionally guaranteed. Although Heartline charges 11.50 for the guide, Des Moines Sunday Register readers may obtain the guide for $1.25 because/as a service to our readers, The Sunday Register will pay the 25-cent handling charges. Send $1.25 to Heartline's Guide to Medicare, 8514 N. Main St., Dayton, Ohio 45415. help from ttilt •nd* ftdtnf oNic*l In ilp codti *nd Itttphont numptri of the Help for lowans Cwlrcl tow* rttMnrit c*n obttln Hwlr *r«*. HOT v* ilrwl •Mrnm, most brMdlv taMd MIMIM:. SOCIAL ucwmr ADMINISTRATION diitnci »mf branch OHICII. Amu - Sixth tod MtaM Strwta MOIO. Pfton* (S15) 213-24*4.- I - 2IJ N. EIm SI. SMI. MIM (US) M2-2114. OM «Wm - 210 Wlfeuf St. SON. PIMM (SIS) 214-4500 P*f« DM** - JI2 F**r«l luUdfe* fOSOt. Phon* (515) 174-5115. Mjng»l»ll - M4 N. CMl*r SI. Ml*. Phon* (SIS) 7sS-4J74. M*M* CNV - 124 W. Slil* SI. 54401. PhOfW (SIS) 421-4325. i - Ml High Avt. f. S2577. Phom (515) 471-M1. IOWA COMMISSION ON A«IN6 StoMWltf* MvmtltaM *lH rM*rr«l ttrvkt - Toll-lrtt Phont (HO) 342-21W (I «.m. IB 430 p.m. Mondtv through Frid«y.) ARIA AOiMClIS ON A«M6 Dm MMMI - 104 '/* E. First ind Locust Strttl* 503W. Prior* (515) 244-3257. Fvt 0*4to* - 330 Av*. M 50501. Phont (511) 574-7201. MlM* CUV - 500 Collt** Drivt 50401. Phon* (515) 423-1244. Ofhmwi) - Indian Hlllt Community CoMM 52501. Phon* (515) M2-U61. IOWA DIPT. OF SOCIAL flftVKiS dlllricl oHIcti (includfi Midiciid.) Crmtw - 425 W. T.vtor SI. 50*01. Phont (515) 712-1502. DM flUll - Ml* V> Doucbl Avt. M310. Phont (515) 211-5511. Ftrt Ml* - 1210 Cintril Avt. 5050). Phon* (SIS) 574-31*3. fiillllHHHwn - 113 E. Main St. 5015*. Phon* (SIS) 752-444*.. MMM OH - 1S11 S. Monro* SI. 50401. Phon* (SIS) 424-1437. ONwnw* - 2*4t N. Court Ro*d 52501. Phon* (SIS) 4*4-4439. UNITIO WAV *f Or**l*r Dti Mttati MtfintHM M* RtttTTM Ctrttr - 700 Sixth AVI. 50304. Phont (515) 244-1*44 (24 hour» • d»v). 2 pastors are installed Tht •••tiMr'i Itwi Mtwi Strvlct LAKE MILLS -r The Rev. D. A. Anderson- of Dows, dean of the Mason City Conference, Iowa District, An»eri- .can Lutheran Ckurcb, re- jcently officiated at the installation of two pastor* at Salem Lutheran Church here to fill recent vacancies. Installed were the Rev. Duwayne Dalen, former pastor at Lakefield, Minn., and the Rev. Wesley Mathre, former pastor at St. James, Minn. t,

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