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Archive - Oct 2015

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October 14th

Our Lord’s Church to host Fall Festival Saturday, Oct. 17

SOLON– Our Lord’s Church will hold its 11th annual Fall Festival Saturday, Oct. 17, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the church, located at 131 N. Market St.
The soup luncheon will feature homemade chili, chicken noodle and chicken tortilla soup, along with hot dogs, chili dogs and drinks. The bake sale will include fresh farm eggs, bread from the Sykora Bakery and other member specialties.
The church will again be selling Dutch Letters, a pastry from Pella, crafts and other items.

Solon Trapshooting Team can collection Saturday, Oct. 17

SOLON– Solon Trapshooting Team will be collecting cans on Saturday, Oct. 17, from 8-11 a.m., at the Solon Fire Station to raise funds for the program. For questions regarding the can drive, contact Kris McAtee at 319-325-3438.

Honor, bravery and appreciation

Local fabricator says “thank you” in a big way

SOLON— There are many traditions in the fire service, including the Maltese Cross, the time-honored symbol of firefighters. The Maltese Cross is considered a badge of honor and a symbol of protection displayed by American firefighters.
In Solon, it’s also a sign of gratitude and appreciation.
Bill Frees, owner of Newport Fab and Machine, Inc., recently fabricated and donated a Maltese Cross emblem to the Solon Fire Department.

Domestic violence awareness is prevention

Solon joins other cities in proclaiming October Domestic Violence Awareness Month

SOLON– Along with cities and counties across the country, the Solon City Council declared October Domestic Violence Awareness Month at its Oct. 7 meeting.

Another one bites the dust

Hawk Talk

What do you do when your starting right tackle goes down and you have to replace him with a true freshman?
Also, Drew Ott, who was on his way to All-Big Ten honors at defensive end, gets hurt and is possibly lost for the season.
I’ll tell you what the Hawkeyes did, they gave the ball to Jordan Canzeri… 43 times, and beat Illinois 29-20 last Saturday at Kinnick Stadium!
Iowa has been playing football since 1889 and no one has carried the ball that many times.

Barbara Gromke Stephens

Barbara Gromke Stephens, 77, of Solon, died Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. A Celebration of Life service was held Monday, Oct. 5, at Danforth Chapel on the University of Iowa campus. Brosh Chapel in Solon is assisting the family.
Barbara was born on July 25, 1938, in Oak Park, Ill. She was the daughter of Paul and Ethel Gromke. She met her husband and life partner Ralph Ivan Stephens in 1955 and they were married Jan. 25, 1958. They moved to Iowa City in 1965.

Rhonda Lincoln-Sanders

Rhonda Lincoln-Sanders passed away Friday, Oct. 9, 2015, at Mercy Hospice in Johnston. She was 58.
A visitation with family present was held Tuesday, Oct. 13, at Ochiltree Funeral Service in Winterset. Funeral services were held Wednesday, Oct. 14, at Ochiltree’s, with burial in the Union Chapel Cemetery, near St. Charles. Memorials to her family, for a later designation and online condolences may be left at ochiltree.com.
Rhonda May Lincoln was born March 11, 1957, in Des Moines, to Robert and Betty (Bishop) Lincoln.

Saying goodbye to my old best friend

Ger Wood was my best, and closest, friend for three years starting in 1976. We were assigned to the Warner Kaserne, a U.S. military community of 10,000 in Bamberg, Germany. I was in charge of the post’s newspaper and Ger was the coordinator for Kontakt, a German/American friendship club sponsored by the military to promote better relations between Americans and Germans. It was the perfect job for Ger. Besides being charismatic and gregarious, he was fluent in five languages: English, Spanish, German, French and Turkish. And I mean fluent: when he talked with people in their native tongue, they assumed he was from their native country. Beside those five, he was also partially fluent in several other languages. Everyone loved Ger because his personality and ability to speak their language made them feel at home. As the editor of the post’s newspaper, we worked together many times. At the time, video recording equipment was just coming online and we talked the post’s commander into authorizing us to make a welcome video to be shown to new personnel assigned to the post. Ger and I schlepped all over the place with a couple of hundred pounds of video equipment in the back of a sedan. We wanted to get some good footage of Bamberg’s impressive ancient city center. To get a good vantage point for filming, Ger talked the foreman of a construction crew, working on a thousand-year-old cathedral, into letting us climb a half dozen stories up the scaffolding set up beside the church. Another time, we were having a beer and we struck up a conversation with an elderly German man who was impressed with Ger’s German. He invited us to his club room which turned out to be a fraternity of German soldiers that dated back centuries. On the walls were souvenirs and medals from battles dating back into antiquity. There were maces, battle axes, Luger pistols, Iron Crosses and even Swastikas. We were also together after work. Ger and his spouse Rosa lived on the first floor of a three-level flat of apartments about a mile from post. Rosa was from Turkey. The third floor of the building Ger and Rosa lived in was rented by Memmet and Iten and their two sons. They were also Turk, part of the immigrant population in Germany at the time that performed the low-skill labor jobs, much like how Mexicans work in our country today. When the middle level apartment opened, Ger helped my spouse and I rent it. We all lived together, for the next two years, in a setting much like a commune. We shared child-rearing chores and ate many meals together. He had my back, more than a few times, and I his. At the end of Ramadan one year, the Turks brought home a lamb which they kept in the basement for the traditional feast held at the end of the holiday. The Turkish men butchered the lamb in the basement and used my Weber grill to cook it. At the end of the feast, they put the skull of the lamb on the grill for slow roasting, the cooking of a delicacy: lamb brains. An image I’ll take to my grave is the children, my 3-year-old daughter included, taking great delight in sticking their fingers through the eye sockets and scooping out brains for tasting. There was a small courtyard outside the building where we spent many a night staying up late, drinking beer and enjoying each other’s company. Ger and I also shared a love of beer and The Beatles. We’d often meet outside, after the wives and kids were asleep, and polish off a case of beer while listening to the radio. While this pastime was so much fun, I’m afraid it didn’t do either of us much good. Besides being a good friend and translator, Ger was an excellent storyteller and he could keep me, and company, enthralled for hours. Like all great story tellers, he managed to weave truth with fiction to come up with the most fantastic tales. His father was an intelligence agent with the British army, who was dropped behind German lines during WWII. His mother was in the French Resistance. Ger was born a multi-national with citizenship nowhere and everywhere. Once, he disappeared, after a late night bout of drinking, and reappeared a day later, hung over, and telling a tale of being kidnapped by Russian intelligence agents out to settle some old score with his parents. The story almost convinced me, but it didn’t fly with Rosa and he spent the next week in the dog house. It was hard to stay mad at Ger long, and Rosa, a good-hearted woman in love with a good timing man, eventually forgave him. I transferred from Bamber to Fort Knox in 1979. Ger stayed on in Germany for many more years, first as a soldier and later as a DA civilian. We met up again in the mid-1980s when the National Guard unit I was serving in was sent to Graffenwoehr for the annual war games called Reforger. I had only 72 hours, but we spent the three days pretty much without sleeping, visiting the friends and places we knew from earlier days. He visited me once in Solon during Beef Days. Sabra and I stopped and visited him in his home near Cincinnati once but all in all we sort of drifted apart. While my health stayed good (knock on wood), Ger’s declined as he suffered a stroke and heart ailments. On Oct. 6, he suffered one last massive and fatal heart attack. In the morning I’ll drive to Ohio to participate in a celebration of life. If you happen to be having a glass of beer sometime, please offer a toast to my old Army buddy, Ger.

Ger Wood was my best, and closest, friend for three years starting in 1976.
We were assigned to the Warner Kaserne, a U.S. military community of 10,000 in Bamberg, Germany.
I was in charge of the post’s newspaper and Ger was the coordinator for Kontakt, a German/American friendship club sponsored by the military to promote better relations between Americans and Germans.

Two-way traffic

Food For Thought

At least three mornings every month, I have 9 a.m. meetings in Iowa City and I head in that direction during the same time many people are trying to get to their jobs on time. Some days I wonder if everybody in Iowa City has a job in Cedar Rapids and everybody in Cedar Rapids works in Iowa City, for there is a steady stream of traffic going in both directions on Highway 1 during that half hour, or so, each weekday morning. I sometimes have to wait 10 minutes or more before I can turn off my road and join the parade into town.

October 7th

Hunters encouraged to focus on tree stand safety

DES MOINES– Tree stand accidents can happen to deer hunters of all skill levels and result in serious injury or death. In Iowa last year, four hunters fell from tree stands, resulting in personal injury.
To help prevent injuries, the Iowa DNR is offering the following safety tips:
• Always wear a safety harness when in a tree stand and when climbing into or out of a tree stand.
• A safety strap should be attached to the tree to prevent falling more than 12 inches.
• Always inspect the safety harness for signs of wear or damage before each use.