Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Chevrolet Accessories in 1952

Elaine got into some old Scrap Books today and among other interesting things, found an Accessories booklet that came with our new 1952 Chevrolet. Many things that are "standard equipment" today are listed in the booklet. Perhaps the most striking is this attachment to provide "Turn Signals". Also included are: "Outside Rear View Mirrors", "Windshield Washers", "Electric Clock", "Door Arm Rest", "Recirculating Heater and Defroster" and, "Deluxe Radio". I'm sure our '52 Chevy had a heater but not a very fancy one but we didn't have any version of these other "special" items. Also included in the booklet are: "Seat Covers", "Tissue Dispenser", "Illuminated Cigarette Lighter", "Tool Kit", "White Sidewall Rims", "Rear Fender Panels", Spot Lights" and some other things that we wouldn't even want today. Our '52 Chevy was a good little car but by 1956 we had 4 kids so traded it in on a new Pontiac Station Wagon. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

1985 Journal Summary

We completed the narrative summary of my 1985 Journal (Diary) today. I finished the writing of 12,334 words and Elaine did the editing. '85 was a busy year in our lives. We maintained our farm home as well as our house in town. Carolyn and Julie were living with us until August when they moved into a house of their own and Carolyn began her teaching career and Julie started to school. I was working at the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission on a State Soil Conservation Strategy, on various projects with the NRD's, Bureau of Reclamation, The Soil Conservation Society, and active with the Church, Isaac Walton League, Masonic Lodge, Grange and other organizations. My job involved extensive travel throughout the State and the attendance of many meetings. Though we had the farmland rented out, the farmstead still demanded a lot of our time. We did an extensive Motor Home trip to North Carolina and points east and attended Soil Conservation District as well as SCS Anniversaries. We visited all 3 boys and their families along the way. We had a major Family Reunion at the Farm over the 4th of July week and went on several short camping trips with friends and family. In August we drove the Motor Home and towed the VW to the SCSA Annual Meeting in St. Louis stopping on the way to visit relatives in Herman, MO, and came home through Bronson. We helped my Folks celebrate their 65th Wedding Anniversary in October. We shared Nebraska football tickets with Elaine's brother and saw Dale Klein kick 7 consecutive field goals and beat Missouri 28-20. It was a busy year.  

Monday, July 29, 2013

Family Reunion in 1985

This picture was taken out at our farm east of Seward in the summer of  1985. It was the year that the folks, Tony and Florence, celebrated their 65th Wedding Anniversary. They are seated in front of us 5 siblings. Janice, Jerry, Don, me holding Heather and Vivian. The folks had 17 Grandchildren all of whom were on the picture. Jerry's Tanya is the youngest of the cousins. There are several Great Grandchildren included  on the picture. People came from as far away as California and Virginia. The people at the top of the picture are standing in an old lumber wagon that we had bought on an auction down at Syracuse, NE. We don't remember ever using the wagon for anything other than as a "prop" for this picture. We sold it on or farm sale. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Nebraska #34 Highway

State Highway #34 is being resurfaced this summer between Seward and the #79 junction near Woodlawn on the outskirts of Lincoln. The State has also let a contract for improvements on the Highway as it passes through Seward with construction underway. Nebraska #15 from Seward to I-80 has received a new coating this summer and resurfacing is underway on #15 from Seward north to the County line. We are pleased to see all the improvements in our streets and highways but have to plan on extra time to make the trip to Lincoln. My interest in #34 between Seward and Lincoln goes back a long way. My Dad worked for the State and maintained the graveled highway between Seward and the Lancaster Co line at the time I was born. I got my Social Security Card following my 16th birthday and  a job helping to do  the initial paving on the Highway between Seward and Lincoln. Over the years the Highway has been widened, and reconditioned many times. But the old concrete that we laid down back in the summer of 1941 still serves as the base for all the improvements. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Nebraska Natural Resource Districts

Natural Resource Districts have been operational in Nebraska since July 1, 1972. The 24 NRDs combined Soil Conservation Districts along with over 100 other special use Districts authorized by State law. After over 40 years of successful operation, an effort is being made to prepare an Oral History of their Development. I was in the  Washington Office of the USDA Soil Conservation Service (SCS) at the time the consolidation took place. The Agency  had enjoyed some 30 years of success by the application of Soil Conservation practices on private land through Soil Conservation Districts. The SCD's were authorized under State Law throughout the United States, adopted generally on a County wide basis and governed by a board of 5 locally elected supervisors under a State level Soil Conservation Commission. While the Agency took no official position on the Nebraska change, there were individuals in SCS that felt the Agency's success in the application of Conservation farming practices could be diminished by the consolidation into the larger multipurpose districts. The NRD boundaries are based principally on a watershed basis, have taxing authority, and their Board of Directors selected at general elections. While it was a controversial conversion, after 40 years NRD's are widely accepted and recognized as successful. Interestingly, only a few states have seriously considered the Nebraska "Model". But, Nebraska is also unique with our non-partisan, Unicameral Legislature. I enjoyed my interview by Jim Barr for the Oral History.

Friday, July 26, 2013


This was a beautiful 80 degree day in Seward, NE and I got out to the golf course with old friends. It was only the 2nd time I'd golfed this summer but felt I needed the practice before our Kiwanis Golf meet Monday evening. The course is in  excellent shape and I enjoyed seeing all the trees, shrubs, flowers, birds, etc as much as I enjoyed the golf. I putted as well as I ever had but my play off the greens leaves a lot to be desired. I didn't hit it as far as I did last year so I tried to swing harder which lead to trouble. I really need to go to the driving range and work the "kinks" out of my swing. I just don't know whether the passion for the game will come back and motivate me to work  at it. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Home Delivered Meals

Elaine and I did "Home Delivered Meals" Today. The meals are prepared at the hospital, put in Styrofoam boxes and placed in the insulated box that I'm carrying. The bread and dessert are in a separate container which Elaine is holding. We normally just take what is needed for individual "customers" but the picture was taken down at the "Manor" where we deliver 3 meals. Our Kiwanis Club does this each week day but we are only involved one day a Month.  It is  often on the day that the Senior Center has their Monthly Potato Bake. Since the Manor uses the same parking lot as the Center, it is very convenient for us to go there for lunch. We get a big baked potato with all the trimmings, pie and drinks for a suggested donation of $6.00. They often serve up to200 people. It is as much a social event as a meal, and a great community event. Another one of the things that makes Seward special. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dr. Don Henslee, My Urologist

This morning I met with my Urologist, Dr. Don Henslee who comes out from Lincoln to Seward's Specialty Clinic once a month. I have been seeing him every 6 months since soon after my Prostate surgery in 1992. Dr. Bromfield did the surgery and retired soon after. Dr Henslee replaced him at the Urology Center. We have gotten to know each other very well over the years. He is the type of Doctor (person) that you feel very comfortable talking with about very personal things. This morning we talked about his spending some extra time with a patient which made him late getting to me. It was apparent that his compassion for patients far exceeds his need to watch the clock to time appointments. He gave me a prescription this morning to hopefully help a minor problem and during the past year he has recommended some significant scans, but at many of the appointments we just visit. I have always come home  feeling better about my condition than when I go. This morning he indicated the ultimate in optimism by suggesting I might share my 100th birthday celebration with his retirement party. How's that for optimism in looking ahead.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Proposed Wellness & Technology Center for Seward

I had my interview this afternoon with a representative of Lukas Partners of Omaha who have been hired by the City of Seward to determine the support for a Wellness & Technology Center. As proposed it would be a 57,000 sq.ft. facility built on the old Middle School property at a cost of some $22 million dollars. We went through an outline of questions which basically were structured to get my opinion of Community support and willingness to finance construction and operation. Reflecting on my experience on the Library Foundation 10 years ago when we raised some $3.25 mm  for our Library  construction, my years of experience on the City Council, and knowledge of the community in general, I questioned the ability to raise the money for construction and to find support for operating and maintenance expense. I acknowledge that it was just my perspective and would be most interested in their final report. I did suggest that if they didn't find support for this proposal, the City may wish to go back to the drawing board and see what might be possible by utilizing some of the existing facilities and reducing the cost considerably.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Seward Girls in Lincoln

Marv Taylor picked me up early this evening to go to North Star HS in Lincoln to see the State All Star Girls basket ball game. Two Seward girls that graduated last spring from HS were involved. Kourteney Zadina will be going to Northern Colorado this fall made the first basket for the Red team. Hannah Tvrdy whose Grandfather has joined our Kiwanis Club, gave us the tickets to get in. She was on the starting Blue team and has a UN-L basketball scholarship. She played well and the Blue Team won 98-49. It was probably the last time we will see Zadina play but hopefully, Hanna will make a contribution on the Nebraska team. She will join 3rd year starter, Emily Cady on the Nebraska Varsity team. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Old Friends

Norm and Sylvia Kempf celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary with a reception at their Church in Lincoln this afternoon. We went down to congratulate them and also to visit with many other old SCS/NRCS friends, some of whom we hadn't seen for some time.  Shown here are Jim Carr, Bob Koerner and Joe Kuenning. Jim and his wife are Seward Natives. Jim's Father was an MD who delivered all 4 of our children. So while we have had a special relationship with Jim, there is a special camaraderie among people who worked for the Agency. Norm and Sylvia were from South Dakota where he began his career. They spent some years in the Washington, D.C. Office before coming back to Lincoln.  Many family members were with them today and a large crowd of friends.  

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Nebraska Soil and Water Symposium

This is the cover of the pamphlet containing the program, registration form and information on our Soil and Water Conservation Symposium. It was held at the Peter Kiewit Conference Center in Omaha, NE on February 19-20, 1985. The Symposium was brought to light by my writing a narrative of our 1985 activities. As a part of my Autobiography, I had written up all my years prior to '85 and have also written most of the past 20 years but there is a gap which I am filling. I'm going back and reading my Journal, looking at pictures and making reference to other file material such as this pamphlet. I was working for the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission as Chief of Planning at the time, and this event was an early effort of gaining information and support for a State Soil Conservation Strategy. The one and a half day event included some 200 of the "movers and shakers" in the conservation field from throughout the State as well as National representatives. Nebraska Governor Robert Kerrey was very supportive of the effort as evidenced by his   concluding Luncheon address which was delivered by his brother Bill. I had worked with Bill while planning the Symposium. Bill served the Governor as his Natural Resources assistant so I worked closely with him on numerous occasions during the Kerrey years as Governor.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Lawn Sprinkler Head

A Rain-Bird underground lawn sprinkler system was installed in our yard when the house was built 44 years ago. The sprinkler heads were all brass and have held up very well for the most part. They have required a certain amount of maintenance which I was usually able to take care of. When there were problems with some of the heads in the past, I was able to get replacements locally at Orschlens. The head closest to the house, in the lawn corner between the driveway and sidewalk has given us problems. It seems to be plugged and produces a couple faint streams instead of a nice fine spray. We have tried everything to get it open but to no avail. We went to Orschelns and they don't carry them anymore. Rumery's has replacements but there was question if they would work for us. Merle's  man was not going to be back in till Monday so we did the next best thing. I got on the Internet and was able to find the one pictured on eBay, it should arrive Wednesday. Meanwhile, we continue to "tinker" with the old one by soaking, probing, blowing and whatever, trying to get it cleaned out. Any ideas would be appreciated

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A High Wheeler

This  is Loren Wehling of Juanita, NE who was named "Best of Show"in the Seward 4th of July Parade. He was certainly a great attraction. The Parade begins a short distance before passing our house so we were able to see him get started. There is a "foot step" about half way up the pipe from the seat to the small wheel. He mounts the bicycle by putting one foot on the step and then the other foot on  one of the pedals that has been positioned to immediately put him in motion. His swinging on up to the seat was just part of a very athletic motion. He confided to a few of the folks that this may be his last year to ride in parades. It seems  he is having a milestone birthday this year and may decide it's time to give it up. He indicated that this bicycle was something like 120 years old. This may have been the only chance some of the youngsters shown on the picture, will ever see a live performance of this kind. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


We went down to Walmart this morning to check on having 35mm negatives put on CD's and find  they can do it for a very reasonable cost. The "filing system" we have used over the years was very simple. We just left the prints and the negatives in the envelope they came back in and then noted the dates and subject matter involved. It now appears that getting many family pictures on CD's that can be easily duplicated, would be appropriate. We will be working on that project. 
It was by coincidence that we met Julie and Sadie shopping in the store. This was the first time we had seen them out shopping, and it helped us realize that here was a young Mother and Daughter picking up their items of need, like many others in the store. Sadie recognized us as soon as we were in sight. They made us proud Great-Grandparents.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sadie and The All-Star Game

We got out to visit Julie and Sadie this afternoon. They and we have both had colds during the past week so we hadn't seen them for a few days. This was the first time we saw her stand by herself and she even took a step or two during our visit. Grandma has a very protective hand ready to provide whatever support may be necessary. We also saw her drink some milk with a straw. I don't know anything about sign language but they have been teaching her to bring her two hands together to indicate she wants "more". Some of us think she is pretty special but we could be biased. 
I know I'm biased when it comes to singing the Star Spangled Banner. There was a definite "disconnect" in my opinion between the Color Guard of military men standing at attention for the National Anthem and the vocalist doing her rendition ahead of tonight's All Star baseball game. I'm not ready to recommend that a recording of the U.S. Navy Band's version be played before games, but it would certainly be more dignified.  People can show patriotism and respect for the flag is many ways, but "defacing" the National Anthem isn't one of them. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Rock

As we grow older it becomes more difficult to accept change.  Maybe it's because we have seen too many examples where change isn't always for the better. Yet we accept the fact that it is a changing world and we cope with much of it. However, there is some comfort in having a few "benchmarks" that remain constant. One such item is this gray, glacial boulder in the pasture of the farm in the Bohemian Alps where I grew up.  A few years ago my brother Don and our wives had the opportunity to visit the old pasture where this picture was taken. The rock is located about 100' up a steep hill from the pasture gate and was always on the route to find the cattle. As a youngster, I would set  down on it and rest a while before continuing my chore. Dad had taught me that cattle like to graze into the wind in the summer time. But they could be out of sight to the east or west from this rock. While the distances seem to have shrunk over the years and even the rock isn't as large as I remembered, I know that it has not changed. Everything else about it has, including me, but the rock has remained the same: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. It's well to be able to "count on" a few things like that. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Challenged Cousins

My Vrana cousins have continued to get together at least once a year for as long as most of us can remember. This was the group that met in the summer of 2005 at the Villager in Lincoln, NE. The event was planned by Ted & Muffy and was one of our special reunions. The quilt partially shown as a backdrop was a joint project that depicted family history. Muffy and Bobbie provided the leadership and labor in putting it all together. As cousins, we all shared some common Genes, but Grandma Antonio Vrana had more influence on each of us than we suspected at the time. When we were growing up, she always told us of what great things each of our cousins was doing. We didn't think she ever "bragged" on us. It wasn't until one of these Cousins reunions after she had passed on, when we learned that she told all the other cousins of the great things we did. She challenged each of us, and we "turned out" better because of it. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

3 Kids in the 30's

This picture was taken in about 1934. It is apparent that the drought and depression of the '30's was underway. Vivian would have been 10, Donnie going on 5 and I was nearly 9. My overalls were bought large enough to last me through a couple years of growth. It is apparent by the adjustment of the suspenders and the big cuffs. Vivian and I were about the same size before her "growth spurt". Donnie's appearance speaks for itself. He was a cute little kid and has retained that personality to this day. Old pictures bring back many memories, not only of the subject(s) being photographed but also of what shows up in the background. We are standing in front of a fence that kept the "free range" chickens out of the garden. The old tree behind us was near a cave where we stored potatoes. My Diary (1940-1945) tells of harvesting as many as 100 bushels of potatoes and putting them in the cave. It was a crude cave but provided adequate storage that they would keep throughout the winter and spring. It was always a challenge to have new potatoes for my June 25th birthday. Donnie brought some he had raised to us this year for my birthday last month which we enjoyed and kept the tradition in tact.  

Friday, July 12, 2013

Coon Creek Watershed in Wisconsin

I am reading Aldo Leopold's "Sand County Almanac where the Coon Creek Watershed project is mentioned. It took me back to our visits to the Coon Valley community while on our way to visit family at Tomah. Here is the message on this landmark:

First Watershed Project
This point is near the center of the 90,000 acre Coon Creek Watershed, the nation’s first large scale demonstration of soil and water conservation. The area was selected for this purpose by the U. S. Soil Conservation Service, then the Soil Erosion Service in October 1935. Technicians of the S.C.S. and the University of Wisconsin pooled their knowledge with experiences of local farm leaders to establish a pattern of land use now prevalent throughout the midwest. Planned practices in affect include improvement of woodlands, wildlife habitat and pastures, better rotations and fertilization, strip cropping, terracing, and gully and stream bank erosion control. The outcome is a tribute to the wisdom, courage, and foresight of the farm families who adopted the modern methods of conservation farming illustrated here."

It was a real pleasure to see Coon Creek running with clear water near the bottom of the Watershed the last time we visited the area. It is a tribute to the early conservation leaders and farmers who have adopted soil and water conservation practices. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Roller Skating in Seward, Nebraska

This picture was taken last month showing the demolition of the old "Rol Mor" roller skating rink in conjunction with the remodeling of the Jones National Bank & Trust. The "demise" of the old skating rink building prompted me to do a bit of "research" on the history of skating facilities  here in Seward. We, like most communities, have not had a skating facility for a number of years. (I'm working on when this one shut down).  During my late teens and early 20's, roller skating was one of the most important social activities. I had learned to ice skate as a youngster but never roller skated until early 1941 when Rolfsmeier's opened a rink on the second floor of their building. The space was available after Company M of the Nebraska National Guard had been "called up". 
There was skating during the winter in the '46-'47 time frame at the Dance Pavilion in the Seward Moffitt Park. By 1947, Bud and Bubbles Anderson opened their skating rink in their area of the Park. Budd Davisson opened his Bowling Alley in September 1952 and in 1954 added an adjoining skating rink building. The local ASCS Office moved to the space in 1961.  In his "Seward 1974" publication,  Davisson included a picture of the "Rol Mor" rink and wrote, "After operating a skating rink for Davisson for several years, Homer Houdersheldt went out on his own, building a fine rink...". We had little reason to patronize the rink after our moving back to Seward in 1980; however, we did participate in a Church Skating Party there in May of 1987. Our old skates went to the Et-Cetera store a few years ago; but when Carolyn found out, she went down to buy them back. Mine were already sold, but she got Elaine's white one's to add to her memorabilia. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Norm Schulz at 90

Norm Schulz will be Honored this Saturday at the Seward Senior Center on the occasion of his 90th birthday. He stood and saluted on the 4th of July as the Kiwanis Kitones sang Anchors Away at the Civic Center. Norm learned the Building trade at the Milford Trade School after returning home from Naval service during WWII. He built a bathroom addition on our first little house back in 1952. We have been good friends over the years and drank a lot of coffee together during the "Little Herrods" days. We are still both in the Kiwanis Club of Seward. He more than anyone else was instrumental in my taking up the game of golf.  He sold me a set of Calaway Clubs and let me use his cart. Norm built our house that we have had for the past 30 years. He built it for an aging window and included many features that we are appreciating more as we grow older. Norm has had a positive influence on our lives and many others in the community. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sadie Welcoming US

Sadie greeted us at the front door when we stopped by to visit she and Julie recently. She does everything but walk by herself. Her little push toy is all she needs to give her the support to walk behind it all over the house. She will let go of what she is holding on to with one hand as she reaches for something with her other one. The flu bug seems to have hit them  the past couple days which  has slowed down her progress. But she is doing real well. 
I'm watching a "Nature" program on PBS showing the fledgling of young Bald Eagles. There is some interesting comparisons with birds leaning to fly and babies learning to walk. We are so enjoying being able to see Sadie's progress in everything she does. We were so busy when our own kids were in that early development stage that we took so much for granted. Plus we had so many demands on our time that we didn't realize how quickly they pass through each stage. The fact that all 4 of ours were so close together was also a factor.

Monday, July 8, 2013


Though an occasional error slips through on some of my blog pages, this is the reason they are not more. Little has been said about Elaine's help in "publishing" the number of pages we have over the past 2-3 years, but she has been of great assistance. She not only does the final editing but is usually available to help me with spelling and in helping  remember the names of people, places and things. We do these blogs primarily for the benefit of family and friends. Many of us wish we would have taken advantage of visiting with our grandparents while they were with us and learning more about their lives and times. We hope these pictures and thoughts will help provide some of that kind of information. While most of the "hits" on the site come from the United States and Canada, what is surprising is the number  that come from China and Manchuria. I rationalize it with the Orientals learning the English language and using these  pages as an example of "common expression". 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Rev. Dale Lambert

Rev. Dale Lambert was welcomed this morning to serve as the Pastor of the Seward United Methodist Church. He and his wife Rev. Nancy who is part of the Conference Office in Lincoln, have come to us from Holdrege, NE. We look forward to his service among us. During the past couple weeks "Meet and Greet" informal gatherings have been held of small groups in private homes with an opportunity to become acquainted. It would have taken him a long time to learn as much about the congregation as what he was provided in these meetings. Likewise, he was able to pass on to us information about his background and experience. We are enthusiastic about his appointment and look forward to his Service to the Congregation and the larger community. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Model A Ford

This is a '29 Model A Ford Cabriolet Roadster in the Seward 4th of July Parade. It was one of my favorite entries since a '29 Model A Ford was what I learned to drive. My folks bought a new '29,  2-door Coach Model which was our family car until we traded it in on a '37 Chevy in 1940. 
Prices for the Model A ranged from $385 for a roadster to $1400 for the top-of-the-line town car. Dad said ours cost $500. The engine was a water-cooled L-head 4 cylinder with a displacement of 201 cu in. This engine provided 40 hp. The gas tank was located just in front of the dash and gravity took the fuel to the carburetor. Top speed was around 65 mph. I remember Dad getting ours up to 60 on one occasion. The Model A had a 103.5 in wheelbase. The transmission was a conventional 3-speed sliding gear manual unsynchronised unit with a single speed reverse. The Model A had 4-wheel mechanical drum brakes. They were a great improvement over the Model T Ford but were "left in the dust" when Ford came out with a V8 engine in 1933. I appreciate  that some people have the "where-with-all" to restore and show them so that others of us can enjoy them. Thanks.

Friday, July 5, 2013

1936 Oliver Hart-Parr

This 1936 Oliver Hart-Parr was among the antique tractors I enjoyed seeing as I walked home from our Kitone concert at the Civic Center yesterday.  Wagenknechts bought one like this just about the same year as this one. I even remember the little "Lister shaped" radiator cap on theirs. Fritz, the oldest son would drive the tractor past our place as they lived just an eighth of a mile east of us and had another farm just that same distance west of us. Their tractor had skeleton hind wheels and cast iron front wheels. The front wheels were shaped so they could be turned and would stay on listed corn ridges for the first cultivating. They had 6-cylinder engines and ran quietly compared to a John Deere, Case or International. We bought our first Oliver 70 in 1945 which Brother Don drove while I operated a Model A JD. Gnats, bees and other insects seemed to be attracted to Don on the "purring" Oliver more than me on the "popping" JD. We never learned whether it was the sound of the engine, smell of the tractor, or whatever. There were Oliver's in the family till Dad retired from farming in 1973. I had a little Oliver 60 back in the late '50's that I used in converting an eroded 160 acre "row-crop" farm to grassland. They were great tractors. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Big Celebration in a Small Town

There is nothing quite like the 4th of July in Seward. The parade had just started when this picture was taken as the Color Guard was approaching. It was Sadie's first 4th of July parade and she seemed to enjoy it here with Dad, Mother, Grandma, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and Great Grandparents close by. Carolyn took me down to the Civic Center where our Kitone group sang at 12:00noon. I walked home stopping to enjoy the antique tractors, City Band Concert, Pole Vaulting, etc. Since the parade goes past our house, it is always a popular place for friends to gather. We have several "long time" guest which we welcome each year. It will  be interesting to see what the "crowd size estimators" come up with but I believe this was the largest crowd I've ever seen here for the 4th. It's a far cry from my earliest memory of this celebration. I was no more than 5 years old when Grandma Turner and her family came to our house, parked facing the Fairgrounds and put the top down on their old Model T Ford so they could watch the fireworks setting in their car. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Cattle Bank 140 Year Anniversary

We enjoyed the Cattle National Bank and Trust 140 year Anniversary picnic dinner this evening. Seward Street was blocked off with tables set up in the street as well as the parking lot north of the bank. Serving tables were set up in the alley where pulled pork sandwiches were served with barbecue sauce, chips, cookies and drinks (water). The "Firehouse Five +2" provided "Dinner music" that included Polkas and other great tunes. The Seward Community has been well served by the CNB over the years and is the 2nd oldest bank in the State. It was where I opened my first bank account back in 1948 when I went to work for USDA Soil Conservation Service. Prior to that I just kept my money in a Calumet Baking Powder Can and kept it hidden.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Stella de Oro Day Lilies

This is one of our Stella de Oro Day Lilies. We had not heard about this variety until a mass planting of them was made at the Seward Library when it was landscaped 11 years ago. Ours have not done as well as many others we have seen around town. Julie and John have a planting of them in front of their house which are very nice. The foliage makes a nice cover even when they are not in bloom. Seward is already in a Holiday Mode for the big 4th of July celebration.  The carnival is set up, decorations have gone up on businesses as well as residences. Many yards along the parade route are "reserved" with little fences and in some cases, blankets already down on the grass. There are several events scheduled for tomorrow, (the 3rd) including a 140 year anniversary celebration of the Cattle National Bank and Trust. We hope our exceptionally nice weather continues for the next couple days. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Seward City Band Concert

We enjoyed another City Band Concert last evening at the Band Shell. Julie and John are very much a part of the band's Alto Saxophone section. Julie shows on the picture just to the left of the "N" flagpole & John is next to her. John Jurchen was featured leading the singing of the National Anthem and also in playing his Trumpet. He is very professional. Andrew Schultz does an excellent job leading the Band, he is a Music Professor at Concordia. They played some John Phillip Sousa marches which were most enjoyable. During our early years in Washington, D.C. we seldom missed a Watergate Concert with the Marine Band on the Potomac River. They were great but disrupted every few minutes with flights coming in to National (at that time) Airport.On a scale of 1-10, the Marine Band would rate 10 but I would give our City Band an 8. To many of us, we can hardly detect the difference between the two. It is great to have such entertainment available to the public at no charge and only 4 blocks from our house.