Rolfe High School Alumni Web Site: Graphic by Wendy Bennett

What's New 2007
A chronological listing of postings to this site.

What's New
Time Capsules
Essay Section
Rolfe Alumni Reunion 2013
Last Graduation 1990
Where Are They Now
Memorial Board
Memorabilia for Sale
Web Financial Support
Project Credits

A boxed audio cassette recorded in 1968 at a reunion of the RHS Class of 1928 was part of the time capsule that the class left in a brick pillar south of the main entrance to the high school. We have digitized the materials from that capsule and another from the class of 1917 and posted them on this site.

December 22, 2007

December 15, 2007

  We are entering the last phase of posting material from the Rolfe High School time capsules removed from the old part of the building when it was razed in 2006. Posting of the 1917 time capsule materials was completed months ago. The most recent items posted from the Class of 1928 capsule include: some class snapshots, including one of Miss Edna M. Marcum, the high school principal, in a fashionable 1920s dress; miscellaneous family photos; and items from the 1968 class reunion. Most remarkable is an audio recording from the 1968 reunion, when each class member who was present, and even Miss Marcum, made a few remarks(use RealAudio software)
  The cassette tape was in remarkably good shape after being in a time capsule in the brick pillar near the sidewalk on the south side of the high school with exposure to extreme temperatures for so many years. However, there is some distortion in the tape. Also, the class was not the most experienced at running a tape recorder. Jim Wilson, the emcee, kept hitting the pause button, apparently trying to conserve tape so that all the class members gathered at the reunion would get a chance to record their thoughts. But all together, it's a fun tape with a few poignant moments, especially if you know some of the cast of characters.

It appears that the only items left to post are some newspaper articles and other materials from the Class of 1928 reunion held in 1978.

December 13, 2007

December 12, 2007

December 10, 2007

  • We have heard that Harrison Roberts died yesterday evening. He resided in Rolfe with his wife Mary Joy, had been a school bus driver for the Des Moines Township and Rolfe schools, and had worked for the Farmers Coop (now known as the Pro Coop) in Rolfe.

December 9, 2007

  • We've posted an obituary for Betty Orth, a Plover/Rolfe resident.

December 8, 2007

December 5, 2007

  On the 2004 page of Rolfe news, we reported that Dorothy (Farlow) Gravlund had published two books. She was the single mom of three RHS graduates: Barbara (1952), Jerry (1955), and Richard (1963) Farlow. Dorothy operated a beauty shop in her white, two story, frame house south of the main entrance of the school. She eventually remarried and moved to Ayrshire. Jerry helped her publish the books. The first, Did I Tell You Spot Likes to Run, tells about an Iowa childhood from the 1920s and 30s.
  The second, Just What Does Go on in the Beauty Shop, tells about her experiences as a beauty operator in Rolfe during the 1950s and 60s. The books originally could be accessed by downloading PDF files from Jerry's web site. With new technologies and a new Internet publishing service, bound copies with colorful covers can be purchased on-line. Go to and type "Dorothy Gravlund" in the search tool. Have fun. cover of beauty shop book

December 2, 2007

November 24, 2007

November 23, 2007

  • We have added a few more thoughts and photos to the page that introduces the RAGBRAI video clip that we posted yesterday.

November 20, 2007

  • We are experimenting and have posted an eight-minute video clip that RHS web site editor, Helen Gunderson, edited today. It is of footage that she shot when the Des Moines Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa went through Rolfe on July 23.

November 18, 2007

  • We have been catching up on obituaries contributed and gathered from local news sources. Please see the Recent Deaths page for this information.

November 16, 2007

  • We have heard of the deaths of several Rolfe High School alumni and other Rolfe people. We extend our sympathy to their families and other loved ones. Please let us know if there are other deaths that we should be posting. Thank you.

Bill Kemna was a member of the RHS class of 1955, hosting his classmates for their 50th anniversary reunion in 2005 at his farm northeast of Rolfe where he and his wife, Peggy, lived. Bill died at the age of 70 on November 13 at the Humboldt Care Center South. obituary in Fort Dodge Messenger
Jackie Hughes was also a member of the RHS class of 1955. He resided at the Opportunity Village in Clear Lake and died at the age of 70 on October 31 at Mercy Medical Center in Mason City. obituary in Fort Dodge Messenger
Augusta Marie Miller graduated in 1921 from the Des Moines Township High School. She lived away from Rolfe for several years but moved back to Rolfe in 1969 after her husband Robert died and she retired from the phone company. Marie died at the age of 106 on November 1 at the Rolfe Care Center. obituary in Fort Dodge Messenger
Art Erickson graduated in 1932 from Thompson High School. He and his wife Beryl moved to Rolfe in 1940 where Art constructed homes and other buildings in the area. He died at the age of 94 on November 6 at the Rolfe Care Center. obituary in Fort Dodge Messenger
  Kenneth Zeman was born in 1925 near Pocahontas and graduated from the Des Moines Township High School. He married Geraldine Johnson in 1946, and the couple made their home in Rolfe. Kenneth worked for the Rolfe locker plant for 20 years, then worked for Pocahontas County as a maintainer operator until he retired in 1987. He died at the age of 82 on September 27 at his home in Rolfe. obituary in Fort Dodge Messenger
  Lola L Peterson, age 97, of Rolfe died on September 28 at the Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls. obituary in Fort Dodge Messenger
  Marian Bennett Johnson graduated in 1938 from the Des Moines Township High School. Her name was Marian Madeline Ryen. In 1942, she married Bill Bennett and the couple settled on the family farm south of West Bend. Marian remained on the farm after Bill died in 1997. In 2001, she moved to Arlington Place in Pocahontas, and in 2002, she married Bernard Johnson. She died at the age of 86 on September 20 at the Pocahontas Community Hospital. obituary in Fort Dodge Messenger

November 11, 2007

  • Posted additional materials from the Class of 1928 time capsule, including a letter to classmates by J. Russell Smith written in 1948 and photos and documents from the 1948 class reunion. It appears that all we have left to post from the two RHS time capsules opened in 2006 is the whole body of material from the Class of 1928 reunion in 1968. It includes an audio recording by class members with a cameo appearance by Miss Edna M. Marcum (principal, Latin and literature teacher for about 60 years in the Rolfe schools). And there are a few remnants of the 1978 reunion yet to post.

September 25, 2007

  • Slightly updated the listing of Rolfe businesses to include the 10th Hole (a restaurant and bar) and Nails by Becky operated by Becky Ives, a licensed nail technician/manicurist.

September 4, 2007

  • We have heard of the deaths of Henrietta Allen several weeks ago and her husband Bill Allen more recently. The couple had farmed southwest of Rolfe before moving to town. We have also heard of the death of Dorothy Robinson. Her husband Spike had the John Deere store in Rolfe several decades ago. We hope to get their obituaries posted.

  • Velma Shaw Johnson emailed us today to say that the class of 1958 will celebrate its 50-year reunion in conjunction with the Greater Rolfe Days celebration during the weekend of July 11 to 13th, 2008. The committee has reserved the Rolfe Golf Club for a catered dinner and evening on Saturday. Addresses from the 2005 all-school reunion will be used to mail more information to each class member. If people have changed addresses since that time, please notify one of the committee members::

  Susan Johnson
403 1st St
Rolfe, Ia 50581

Janice (Lanus) Young
403 Oak St.
Rolfe, Ia 50581
Velma (Shaw) Johnson
1103 Grand Ave.
Emmetsburg, Ia 50536
712 852-3031

August 23, 2007


The 2007 crop-growing season in Iowa began with too much rain, then there was the threat of a drought through much of July. But every day this past week, there have been heavy rains, and Iowa is soaked—especially the northern part of the state. An article today in the Des Moines Register says, "The entire northern half of the state remained under flash flood watches."
  The weather has dealt worse blows to other towns, but Rolfe does have its share of woes. There have been electrical outages, flooding, wet basements, fallen corn stalks, soybean plants that will die if flooded for three days, the potential for plant disease, and a tornado that hit John and Doris Nielson's farm north of Rolfe.
  The Ames Tribune reports in an article today that Pocahontas County is one of several counties that have been declared as a disaster area. Another Tribune article says:
  Harry Hillaker, state climatologist at Iowa State University, said the culprit in this weather machine is a weak stationary front stretched across northern Iowa, and a pair of high pressure areas over the Deep South and Texas.

"It creates a low-level jet stream that brings an incredible amount of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico," he said. As soon as that moist air collides with the front, it turns to rain, especially at night, when cooler temperatures create conditions ideal for thunderstorms to form along the front.

The results: Humboldt, just north of Fort Dodge, has picked up 2 to 5 inches of rain each night since Saturday, Hillaker said.

Doug Cooper of ISU Market News says the storms are remnants of Hurricane Erin that hit Texas a few weeks ago. According to Cooper, hurricanes that hit Texas send storm weather north to Iowa; whereas, hurricanes that hit Florida do not. He warns that Hurricane Dean could bring more rain to Iowa.

On WOI Radio's noon program today, ISU extension climatologist Elwynn Taylor said that the factors that steer tropical storms to Texas and Mexico steer remnants of those storms to the western corn belt and high plains. He pointed to the weather picture around the Artic Circle and said it was an indication that Iowa would have the weather the state experiencing. Taylor also explained that just prior to last Christmas, there was talk of a weather cycle consisting of six weeks of dry, then six weeks of wet conditions. However, no one knew if the cycle would continue. But he said, "This one, once started, is six wet and six dry" and "this kind of thing happens occasionally."

Denny Flaherty, a farmer from south of Rolfe, claims that this is one of the strangest years of weather that he has ever seen. He gave the example of a portion of gravel road that was covered with water that he had never witnessed before. He also said that his area had gotten 18 inches of rain since August 1. Drainage ditches have been filled for several days with water backing up in farm tile lines and domestic life difficult with the drains not working but water seeping into his home. The tiles have started to open, and his family can again use their sinks and toilets. Denny is washing tomatoes at the kitchen sink so that when his wife Jan returns home from Pocahontas, they will be ready to make and can salsa.

Apparently, the rain cycle is supposed to last two more days, then there will be partly cloudy skies. Here is to sunny skies, clear roads, dry homes, tornado recovery, a good agricultural harvest, and plenty of lush-red tomatoes and great salsa on the shelves for winter.


From Weather Underground.


July 25, 2007

  • RAGBRAI (the week-long, annual bicycle ride across Iowa sponsored by the Des Moines Register) went through Rolfe on July 23. RHS alumni web site editor, Helen Gunderson, was in Rolfe for the event and captured some photo and video images. Helen still plans to post some of her photos and video images of RAGBRAI but has been too busy gardening at the home she moved to in Ames last fall where there is a big yard, and she has been doing lots of canning.

July 20, 2007

  • We have posted information that the Rolfe RAGBRAI committee sent us regarding events and other arrangements for July 23 when the bicycle ride comes through Rolfe.

July 17, 2007

  • We have heard that Robert Tjaden (class of 1967) died in a truck accident on July 16. His funeral is scheduled for Thursday morning, July 19, at Faith Lutheran Church of Palmer. The church is three miles south of the "six-mile corner" which is the intersection of U.S. Highway 3 and Iowa Highway 15.

Ivan Mortensen and Virginia Dornath at the 1958 RHS prom.

June 1, 2007
RHS web site editor, Helen Gunderson (class of 1963), worked in sports information at North Dakota State University in the 1970s and continues to get the NDSU magazine. The spring edition has an article called "Prom Confessions" with a report of research that Debra Pankow, a NDSU assistant professor of child development and family life, is conducting on the cost of the modern day prom. The piece should be of interest to older folks who want to reminisce and to today's students and their families who might wish to make frugal plans for upcoming proms. We got permission to link to the story on the NDSU web site. Below is an excerpt from the article.
"What happens with most people, it might start with the dress. And then they might have to have the perfect shoes. And then it's the perfect jewelry. And then it's the hairdo. They might want to have a pre-prom hairdo just to make sure it looks how they want it to on the big night. And then they have to get tan. And then they have to have the tanning package and the tanning lotion. Then the manicure," Pankow says. Girls can need money for: a dress, boutonniere, shoes, purse, jewelry, shawl or wrap, undergarments, garter and grooming costs such as hair styling, manicure/pedicure, tanning, waxing, tweezing and makeup. Typical prom costs for boys can include: tuxedo, accessories, shoes, vests, ties, hair, prom tickets or dinner, corsage, photographs and transportation.

No wonder the retail industry loves prom. "It's just like holiday season on a smaller scale," Pankow says. People are going to spend a lot of money and there are a lot of different industries that are affected -- the floral industry and the clothing industry and the tux rental industry and the limo industry. There are a lot of people who are depending on prom business from the retail end."

Retailers send the message to teens that if they end up spending more than expected, that is okay, because it will be worth it. That type of phrase is like waving a red flag in front of Pankow, who also surveys college students about their high school prom experiences. "So many of them say 'I can't believe I spent this much money. It wasn't worth it.' There shouldn't be a school memory that isn't worth it. I don't think the amount of satisfaction and the amount of money they spend are related."

May 30, 2007

  • The 2007 RHS Alumni Scholarship has been awarded to Michael Miller, Elissa Ripperger, and Kyle Woiwood.

  • We have received word of the death of Ruth May Wood and will eventually post her obituary. In a report about the 2000 all-class reunion, we wrote:

The oldest alum at the reunion was Ruth May (Dickey) Wood (class of 1926), who was married to Bloy Wood who died in 1992. Ruth was escorted by daughter Barb Wood Visner (class of 1960), Barb's husband, Norman, and their daughter, Linda. In the afternoon, Ruth (age 94) and Linda (age 35) went to the gathering at the golf course while Barb and Norman were at the Lutheran Church. Then in the evening, they all went to the program at the gym. Barb said her mom liked talking to the people she knew and really enjoyed the nostalgic songs the chorus sang. Ruth lives in Humboldt, Barb and Norman in Hudson, Wisconsin, and Linda in St. Paul, Minnesota.

May 25, 2007

  • Memorial Day thoughts by RHS alumni web site editor, Helen D. Gunderson (class of 1963).

  • Andy and Teresa Wilson, co-publishers of the Lake Mills Graphic, recently sent us a PDF file with text and photographs about their first-hand encounter with the tornado that skirted Rolfe then slammed Bradgate on May 21, 2004. Thanks, Andy and Teresa.

  high resolution 12 MB low resolution 374 KB

April 21, 2007

  • Lois Shimon, who is married to Dennis Shimon (RHS 1954), sent us the name and web site address of their son Randy Shimon (RHS 1986) to add to our list of prominent and/or highly successful Rolfe people. Thanks Lois.

April 16, 2007

  • We have made a correction to our list of prominent Rolfe people. We had said that Curt Pederson (RHS 1973) of Ohio had won a national ballroom competition. However, Curt wrote us today to say that it was his brother Troy of the class of 1980 who won the ballroom dance honors. According to the footer on his email message, Curt has both an MBA and PHR and is the Assistant to the Chair and Director of Student Affairs in the Department of Psychology at Wright State University. Thanks for the note, Curt.

April 10, 2007

  • We have updated the "About Rolfe" page and our list of prominent Rolfe people.

  • We highly recommend listening to an interview on the National Public Radio program Fresh Air in which host Terry Gross interviews Harvard Law School Professor Elizabeth Warren about the credit card industry. Warren is an expert on bankruptcy and is an outspoken critic of consumer lenders. Recently she appeared before the Senate Banking Committee to discuss the abusive lending practices by credit card companies. She considers the interest charges and late fees imposed by credit card companies to a "hidden tax" on cardholders. Warren is also the author of The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke. You can listen to the interview directly from the web site or download a podcast.

March 12, 2007

  • The town of Rolfe has a job opening for a clerk/administrator. The position had been open last summer when the city council terminated its relationship with Lana Pratt, who held the job. Also, last summer, the council sought a new deputy clerk after Janice Lanus Young (RHS 1958) retired. The council filled both positions; hiring two women who moved to Rolfe from other states. However, the new deputy clerk recently resigned. A few days later, the council terminated its relationship with the new clerk/administrator. Council member Gloria Gunderson asked that we post the job advertisement, and we took the following material from the Iowa League of Cities web site.

City Clerk/Administrator. The City of Rolfe, IA (population 675) is accepting applications for the position of City Clerk/Administrator. Responsible for A/R and A/P, all financial reports including reports for state and federal agencies, council meeting minutes, budget preparation and management, ordinances, resolutions and general office management. Must be able to work with the public. Strong organizational, communication and computer skills are necessary. Salary DOQ. Applications accepted until March 31st. Submit a resume and cover letter to Al Kuchenreuther, Mayor and City Council members, City Hall, 319 Garfield Street, Rolfe, IA 50581. EOE

March 6, 2007

  • We have heard that the memorial service for Ray Smith will be at 10 am Saturday, March 10, at what used to be the Methodist Church and is now the Shared Ministries of Rolfe.

March 1, 2007

  • We have received news that Ray Smith, age 83, died yesterday at the Rolfe Care Center. Ray grew up in the Rolfe area and attended the Rolfe schools through to about his sophomore year. He and his wife Frances farmed west of Rolfe then retired in town. They are the parents of: Kaye Calligan (RHS 1964), Judy Wayne (1966), Diana Sandvig (1970), and Becky McMullin (1974).

February 27, 2007

  • Finished posting the collection of round robin letters that the RHS Class of 1928 wrote to each other in the 1940s and that were found in the Class of 1928 time capsule. (Click on photos for a larger view.)

Arlo Ives (RHS 1928) went to the University of Iowa with the dream of becoming a doctor. He soon returned to the Rolfe area where he and his siblings helped their father and mother (Morris and Hattie Ives) save the family farm. It was located southwest of Rolfe and was nearly lost during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Arlo met Mildred Taylor, a Rolfe school teacher who grew up in Wall Lake.
They were married in 1936 and farmed on the place where Arlo had grown up. They had three children: the late Carolyn Ives (RHS 1956), Sally Quigley (1958), and Dallas Ives (1963).

Arlo wrote letters in both 1941 (previously posted) and circa 1948. The latter shows a little flavor of high school life in the 1928. A person wonders if Arlo ever told his children some of his tales.

Writing this letter reminds me of the good old Senior days. Remember the first time you and Leona drug me to a dance. Havelock was the place. Boy, did we ever go. Then also remember those water fights we had occasionally and how the wall paper looked afterwards.
That entry is a reminder of the antics that Russel Ives (another member of the RHS class of 1928 and one of Arlo's many cousins) wrote about in a letter dated 1941 and that was also found in the time capsule.
I believe our class was the last to undergo hazing by the sophomores. I was in town one Saturday night just before school started in the fall. Mutt Larson and, I don't remember who else, led Lawrence Q. and me through the cemetery blindfolded and left us in a cornfield ...

And then there was the senior revolt that first year against the new Superintendent Setzie. He kept everyone after school for an hour or more for shooting bean guns.

Jim (Norris Aubrey)Wilson (RHS 1928) attended the American Institute of Business in Des Moines then moved to D.C. and was employed by the IRS. He returned to Rolfe and worked for Standard Oil then became a farm manager and insurance agent and influential civic leader.
In 1939, Jim married Lillyan Nelson of Red Oak. They had two children: Janis Sue Cerasani (RHS 1958) and Jimmy Wilson (1961). Lillyan died in 1946. A few years later, when Jim was president of the Rolfe school board, he fell in love with Rolfe's new music teacher, Esther Moss from Hull. Jim and Esther were married in 1950. Esther is currently a resident of the Rolfe Care Center.

Jim wrote one round robin letter to his classmates circa 1941 and another circa 1944. In the latter, he says:

Maybe when 1948 rolls around, I won't be the wealthiest man in the class, if measured in dollars and cents, but of the things that really count in life, I believe I already have as much as it's possible for a man to have.

I wish it were possible for me to be there and personally greet all of you again and especially to show you this young lady. Heely LaMarr, Norma Shearer, Carole Lombard—you'd throw them all in the ash can if you could only see Janis Sue.

I remember our last meeting in school, in Miss Marcum's room. I made the statement that in 1948 I would be president, but my family means so much more to me now that I don't think I'll even consider the job—anyway, who wants to be a Democrat?

Even if Betty was the valedictorian, Janis Sue will always think her Daddy could have been if he'd wanted to. Same old line—eh?

Jim Wilson's obituary.

February 21, 2007

  • Help wanted with finding interesting information about Rolfe for the Des Moines Register's publicity about RAGBRAI.

The Des Moines Register has announced that RAGBRAI (the Register's annual great bicycle ride across Iowaa weeklong event) will go through Rolfe on July 23 with Humboldt as the final resting place for the day.

The Register has sent each town along the route a form for submitting information about the community for publication. The Register apparently wants to know the history of each place, eerie or unusual events, and famous and infamous people connected to the berg. And like many projects of this nature, the deadline for collecting and submitting the information is a short one compared to the length of time it could take to do an in depth, thorough, and fair job. more

February 17, 2007

  • Posted the obituary of Brenda Ann Lanus McIlheran this evening.

  • We have received news that Brenda Lanus McIlheran died Thursday evening. Brenda graduated from Rolfe in 1986 and was married to Gary Miller prior to marrying Mike McIlheran a couple of years ago. Brenda and Mike lived in Rolfe. She was the activities director at the Rolfe Care Center. Her parents are Sharalyn Hansen (RHS class of 1963) and Jim Hansen (DMT class of 1956).

February 13, 2007

  • Added an obituary for Delores Wagner, local Rolfe area resident.

  • We need help finding more information on the passing of a couple of other people, Vernon Harmon (RHS 1935, Spencer, Iowa) and Franklin DeVaul (RHS 1952 or 1953, Spokane, Washington).

February 11, 2007

  • Posted three undated letters from the packet of round robin correspondence in the RHS Class of 1928 time capsule. One was written by Dorothy Bower of Buckeye, Arizona, in the early 1940s.

For some time I did private duty in Phoenix and last October, I came to Buckeye (32 miles north of Phoenix) to work for the Agricultural Workers Health and Medical Association—a federal project, which cares for agricultural workers in Arizona and California.

These people travel from New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma to Arizona and California and back following the local crops. The crops consist of lettuce, carrots, fruits, and mainly the cotton crop.

The ranches have very poor tents (and I do mean tents, with only Mother Earth as floors) on their land—without conveniences. Here the people come—bringing their mattresses, stove and just a few necessities. In case the camps are full, some camp along the roadside (Maybe this is where the word “squatters” originated) which you can realize is not conducive to health.

They pick cotton for 75¢ and 85¢ a hundred pounds which is not sufficient to feed them—and certainly not enough to pay medical bills. (Let me say here that from 150–200 pounds of cotton is all that can be picked in one days—and with families of 7 or 8—their diets are not adequate.) links to the letter

Another letter was written in the early 1940s by Wavi Roberts Tonderum, who lived on a farm near Bode. She talks about her husband Joe’s surgery at Rochester for an ulceration and the prospects of whether they can stay on the farm.

However, we still have a lot to be thankful for yet. Joe’s health will be improved and we are assured that he has no malignancy in the affected part.

We can still enjoy a long life together and raise our little girl. She is to us the sweetest child imaginable. She has always looked like a doll but now we know she has a very decided mind of her own. My one aim is to see to it that she is not kicked around from one place to another as I was and that she has the advantages she wants for education [and successful] living. I [want] her to be all I would have liked to have been and could not be. I suppose every parent wishes the best for their children but you of my class know better than most of my friends why I want these things for Doris Lurain.

I am sorry to stick the sour note into this series of letters but I felt I must explain why I can not attend the meeting when its held so close to where I live.  links to the letter

A third letter was written in the 1940s by Daisie Lee Holt who talks about her life in Mason City as a telephone operator.

I am now employed with the Black Hawk Hotel Corporation and at the present writing am working here at the Hotel Hanford in Mason City as telephone operator.

We’ve been under difficult labor situation here the past week as about three-fourths of the employees went on a strike and at present are really “picketing” the place. I haven’t even been outside the building for a week. I’m living here and have a room on the third floor with a Western View.

Last month we had almost a hundred young men housed here in the hotel that had enlisted for Army service. They were here about three weeks waiting their call to go to Camp Claiborne Louisiana. The night they left here, I was invited to go to the train to see them leave with Captain Shaffer, who is a prominent attorney here, and his wife and daughter.

There was staged a complete riot, women crying and shrieking, men elbowing their way through the thousands of people gathered there, unmindful of the hundreds of children underfoot. I came out with a black eye, a bruised ankle, and a cut lip—not to mention the fact that a man beside me had a violent heart attack and died before they could get him out of the crowd. I hope never to go through such an experience again.

I was just mentally contrasting the difference in the behavior of the “mob” when two years ago, the Crown Prince of Denmark and his beautiful wife were passing through. Of course, “we Danes” were granted the privilege of a front row view and I had the opportunity of being close enough to shake hands with her and noted that she was the most exquisite woman I have ever seen. links to the letter

Daisie ended her letter by talking about her interest in music—both performing and listening to accomplished musicians at fine concerts. In a previously-posted letter from her, dated June 1948, she was living in Memphis with her husband who had started the LaSalle Brass Rail Restaurant. Both of her letters were hand-written on fine letterhead—that of the Hanford Hotel in Mason City and the Brass Rail Restaurant in Memphis.

January 21, 2007

  • Posted four more letters from the packet of round robin correspondence in the RHS Class of 1928 time capsule. Again, there are many interesting nuggets, including the following remarks written by Daisie Lee Holt LaSalle on stationery from the LaSalle Brass Rail Restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee.

In the summer of 1943 we came to Memphis, Mr. LaSalle to become chef at the Claridge Hotel. In 1944 we opened our first restaurant. Dec 1943 Our son Wally Jr. (“Stinky”) was born. He is a very brilliant child but somewhat difficult to manage. He is a Comic Book fan, and his idea of a grand vacation is to come to Iowa on a Greyhound Bus and eat Iowa “Corn on the Cob.” He is very proud of Iowa as we all are.  links to the letter

January 20, 2007

  • Posted six more letters from the packet of round robin correspondence in the RHS Class of 1928 time capsule. There certainly are some nuggets in the letters. In one notecard, Mary McEwen Nelson (married to the late LeRoy Nelson of the class of 1927 and a resident at the Rolfe Care Center for the past several years) said:

I want you all to know I enjoyed your letters and the pictures of children. You all have mighty fine children, I am sure. I am not going to tell anything about mine as those of you who attend the reunions see them every year and know right well that they are little devils.

Those are pretty spunky words for a woman who many people revered as being a gracious and nurturing person. But she did have a sense of humor and twinkle in her eyes. As for the children Mary refers to, they are: Mary Le Clark (RHS 1954), Mac (1959), and Jeanie Stowell (1962).   notecard cover     inside of notecard

Of course, there are other interesting tidbits in the letters that reveal a little about the individual class members, their cohesiveness, and what was happening in various parts of the nation.

  • The Rolfe gym is up and running again. The boiler that provided heat for the building was located in the basement of the main section of the school that has been razed. But there is a new source of heat for the gym, and the Pocahontas Area Community School District has been using it for basketball practices. There have also been some Sunday afternoon open gym times for students, and adults can arrange other hours to use the place. The City of Rolfe owns the building after the PAC school board decided in 2006 that the town would be the best proprietor of the place. As the town web site says:

The Rolfe Gym is available for walkers, ballplayers, and others. RBI and the City of Rolfe are accepting donations to help with utilities and upkeep of the gym. Please contact Rolfe City Hall to make arrangements for potential use or to donate.

January 6, 2007

  • Posted more items from the Class of 1928 time capsule. There is a typewritten speech titled "Lincoln: A Man Called of God" with enunciation and other markings—some by Miss Edna M. Marcum. There are also round robin letters that classmates sent each other in the 1940s. So far, we have posted seven letters and are hoping to post the remaining 14 letters soon.

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