Bob and Karen Stewart of Johnston and family enjoyed their annual family reunion last week. They were grateful to be happy, healthy and together, and enjoyed boating, biking, Arnolds Park, and of course, the every afternoon Nutty Bar Stand stop. As you can see by the photo, they had a good time together.
We Midwesterners are, by and large, resourceful people who like to recycle or repurpose when we can. There was a couple living in Milford who exemplified that to major proportions. Dean and Cecelia Barber and their four children took apart the old Milford train depot and a cottage at Orr’s Campground in Arnolds Park to create their family home at 1008 9th Street in Milford. Sons Dennis, Douglas and Ricky plus daughter Vickie would get home from school and recyle lumber, scrub bricks, scrape paint, etc.
Vickie Barber Ressler now lives in St. Louis. She was in Milford this past week cleaning out the family home. Her mother passed away in March so the family has the task of clearing out the home for sale. With tears in her eyes, Vickie talked about all those beautiful bricks and how they worked so hard to build their home.
"There was a church next door (to the west) and there must have been a parsonage here," she told me. "All we had was a hole in the ground with a furnace so we hand dug the full basement and then built the house."
There are four fireplaces, including one in the garage, made from the old depot bricks. Beautifully restored tongue-in-groove wood lines some of the walls. House siding from the Arnolds Park cottage and the pretty red depot bricks are visible to passersby as you can see by the photo. The siblings are also in the process of getting rid of reclaimed house and barn wood that was stored in the garage.
While none of the siblings will be living here as the house will get new owners, they will have forever memories of a house built with love, sweat and probably tears. And as we drive by, we will see historic evidence that recycling and repurposing can accomplish lasting things.
Friday night the Live on Lake Street show and dance will feature Richie Lee from Des Moines. In addition to playing here often during his extensive career, Richie has local ties to this area of Iowa. His mother, Nancy, graduated from Spencer High School. His grandmother Edie sang in the Sweet Adelines Chorus from Spencer alongside my mother many years ago. I am guessing he must get his vast musical talent from the maternal side of the family. Edie was a good singer. I look forward to seeing Richie and his family again.
Just like most everything else, the Dickinson County Fair won’t be the same this year. I am so glad the kids will get to show their livestock after putting so much time into raising and nurturing the critters of various kinds. I am sorry that I won't be able to watch my grandson and the others do their thing. Good luck to all those 4-H and FFA young people this year!
If you have a reunion, family party or special event coming up this summer, let me know. Email the information to firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 712-320-2850.
Have a great week and be safe this weekend. We will chat again next week!