Nichols, Iowa Centennial Book
Nichols - Our Town - 1984

Nichols, Iowa Centennial Book 1884-1984, page 101

Nichols Day Program, Saturday, June 25, 1983
Event to be: * downtown - ** at new park

7:30 a.m. “Run for Fun” Marathon Registration *
8:00 a.m. Mixed Slo-pitch Tournaments (at the school)
9:00 a.m. “Run for Fun” Marathon *
         Hot Dog stand at Casey’s General Store *
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Arts & Crafts Show *
9:30 a.m. Ping Pong Ball Drop **
         Horseshoe Tournament **
10:00 a.m. St. Mary’s Food Stand (at grain bins)
         Food Stand at Beer Tent *
10:00- 11:00 a.m. Adult & Kids Games **
11:00 a.m. Beer Tent *
         Methodist Church Lemonade Stand * (next to fire station)
12:00 noon Parade Line-up at Bins with Judging complete by 12:30
1:00 p.m. Parade Begins
2:00 p.m. Bingo (at the fire station) *
2:00-4:00 p.m. Cake walk *
2:00-6:00 p.m. Volleyball **
2:30 p.m. Big Wheel Races for kids at bank *
4:30 p.m. Bed races *
6:00 p.m. Music in Band Shell *
9:00 p.m.-1:00 1.m. FREE Street Dance * with “Country Illusions”
10:30 p.m. NCDC Raffle Drawing *

The Nichols Day 1983 Theme . . .
People Serving People
Nichols, Iowa Centennial Book 1884-1984, page 101-103
By Loretta MacKenzie

         The first line of that old song, “There’ll be a hot time in the ol’ town…” pretty well sums up Saturday, June 25, 1983, Nichols Day.
         With the sun beating down, the temperature flirting with the 100 degree mark by mid-afternoon and only an occasional light breeze, it was a hot day in the literal sense of the word. A variety of activities went on all day and a lot of fun was had to carry out the implied meaning in the line of that old song.
         The mixed slo-pitch single elimination tournament got underway at 8:00 a.m. at the school grounds and continued all day. The winner of the tournament was Kile’s Nichols and second place went to Smith Well Drillers, West Liberty.
         Participants in the “Run for Fun” marathon assembled early, some were taking practice runs or doing warming-up exercises, even at that early hour in the morning they were glistening with perspiration. Nick Carter fired the starting shot from the old “Muzzle Loader” that had belonged to his father, Burt Carter. This has become the traditional starting gun. However, it can become a bit temperamental and refuse to fire, but all went well this year and promptly at 9:00 a.m. the 113 runners were off on the 6.2 mile run. The winner, Robert Cline, was back at the finish line within 33.28 minutes. In the women’s division Diane Passgno had the best time of 38.29. In the meantime I had walked to the new park to observe the ping pong ball drop sponsored by the Community Club. Brian Connell piloted the plane and hit the target perfectly when he released the ping pong balls especially marked so the children turning those in would receive $5. Only four of those were turned in. Two of the $5 winners: S. Snyder, Muscatine and Somchan Cavan, Nichols.
         Brian Fuhrmeister hurt his leg on the merry-go-round at the park and the First Responders were called. It was later learned that Brian had a badly bruised leg, not broken as first had been feared.
         The Apropos sponsored kids’ games were held at the park following the ping pong ball drop.
         I was thirsty and hoped to get a lemonade at the United Methodist Church Stand that was located near the park but they were not open yet, so I hurried back uptown wondering why on earth anyone would be out running a marathon or playing softball in this heat. Quite a few of the runners were back. I saw Madeleo Blake, 69, Letts, and Lyle Ball, now of Des Moines, formerly the Nichols United Methodist Church minister, but I didn’t get a chance to talk to either of them. I wanted to talk with some of the women that had run. The first one I approached was obviously in pain with leg cramps, so I didn‘t bother her. I spied three young women that looked pretty relaxed, so I talked with them for a few minutes. They were Ann Kohler, with a time of 55:30, Cindy Garvin, 55:40, and Diana Cole, 61:00, all of Muscatine. They were sponsored by Happy Joe’s, Monsanto, and coder Real Estate. They do a lot of running but said this was the warmest day they had run and that it had been pretty grueling. They felt the fourth and fifth mile had been the hardest, and as one expressed it, “As you neared the finish line, you felt like it was a mirage; that it would just recede, never quite within reach.” There had been water stations along the way, and I showed my ignorance. One of the girls hesitated and then said, usually we just rinse out our mouth and spit it out or what we usually do is dump it over our head.” I congratulated them for the stamina to participate in this event on such a hot day, thanked them and moved on. I spoke to two youngsters, red of face and dripping with perspiration, who had just finished the run in about 63 minutes. They were Mark and Jeff Walken, ages 13 and 11, of Iowa City. This was the hottest day they had participated in a run and said it was miserable. I think Jeff probably voiced the thought of most of the runners when he said, “You just couldn’t go as fast as you wanted to.”
         By now the arts and crafts show set up at the downtown park was drawing a lot of attention. Many of the stands that were serving cold drinks were doing a good business. The Pike Grange dunking booth offered a quick way to cool off if you volunteered to be dunked. I stopped to have plate of home grown strawberries with shortcake from Helen Salemink’s stand. Helene, assisted by her daughters, Renetta and Regina, also had homemade kolaches to sell. I overheard one couple comment about the kolaches they had just eaten. “Just like the ones you get in Cedar Rapids,” which I thought was the ultimate compliment.
         It was then down to the grain bin area where the parade line up was in progress. St. Mary’s had a lunch stand there. They had it set up under the shade trees in Leo Truesdale’s yard. How thankful we all ere for those trees that provided some relief from the heat. Hub Elder directed the parade line up and judges were Margaret Scoles, Lewis Petersen, Don Hanks, Bob Smith, Tim Keiser, Rusty Bigger, Raymond Kile, Mike Young, Diana Krueger, Dick Wallrab, Bob Menzer, Sue Menzer, Sulie Buline, Marvn Wilson, Kathy Gingerich, Bernie Oostendorp, Roy Bieri, Charlene Hixon and Bob Gillum. If Mr. Gillum seemed a bit sleepy it is certainly understandable as his wife had presented him with his second daughter the night before. Mr. Gillum is the Nichols School principal.
         The First Responder’s vehicle led off the parade followed by the color guard. Next was the Nichols/Atalissa Official Almost Marching Band. This was one of the BAMM award winners. Apropos Club gives he BAMM award (Bands Are Marvelous Music) and each BAMM winner received a ceramic plaque made by Crafts and Ceramics, Unlimited. Another BAMM winner was a big empty flatbed truck with a sign West Liberty Marching Band and a smaller sign, “Your Tax Dollars at Work,” driven by Bob Brooke.
         Next came the convertible driven by Vic Mills carrying the Grand Marshals, Marie Kaalberg and Loretta Hahn. Kory Kaalberg, son of Mr. and Mrs. Gayle Kaalberg, was in a second convertible. Kory had submitted the winning entry for the Nichols Day theme, “People Serving People.”
         Many surrounding communities were represented with entries from Lone Tree, Atalissa, Conesville, West Liberty, Iowa City, Salem and Kalona. The Bull Towne Pub, Inc. sponsored the float from Kalona. The sign on it said “Cows may come and cows may go, but the Bull goes on forever.” Nothing like a little culture in the parade!
         Another entry that caught my interest was the small wagon pulled by an old Farmall tractor with two big, old five gallon cream cans pained white and a small farm implement and the sign said, Progress of Yesterday. The car representing L & M rodeo had a couple of horse collars on it, apparently depicting horsepower; also a miniature windmill on one fender. I’m not sure what that stood for – pollution free energy, maybe. The L&L Ranch of Iowa City entered a small cart pulled by two little ponies with a tiny colt following right along side of its mother. That one drew some ohs and ahs and how cute! Donald Carter had fixed up a cart drawn by a donkey and the sign on the cart said West Liberty Marching Band, a BAMM winner.
         The Shriners had their funny cars there – they always liven up the proceedings. Another BAMM award winner was a band, really, truly a band made up of community talent, and sponsored by the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Lone Tree and Nichols. They paused for a short time to continue playing at the downtown park.

         Parade Winners
Over all winner was the Apropos Club float “A decade of service” to the community and depicting story hour for the children, Bingo for the Senior Citizens and other services they have done for the community.
Float – Commercial: 1. Apropos Club, Nichols; 2. Pike Plucky Pikers 4-H Club, Nichols; 3. Lions, West Liberty.
Float – Religious: 1. St. Mary’s, Nichols; 2. Nichols Christian Church, Nichols.
Miniature Floats: 1. Nichols Community Club, Nichols; 2. Kile’s Feed and Grain, Nichols.
Clowns and Costumes: 1. Gulf Oil, Bernice Schmitt, Nichols and her grandchildren from Port Arthur, Texas; 2. Mary Carter, Nichols, representing the Centennial Book Committee.
Horses – Mounted Groups: 1. Barnharts, Nichols; 2. Randy Smith and Lynette Lawson.
Individual Mounts: 1.Nina Abel; 2. Karen Conaway.
Light Horse Hitches: 1. Don Carter; 2. Maron Howell.
Team Hitches: 1. Red Viner, Nichols; 2. Rod Marolf; 3. Cliff Neipert.
Multiple Hitches: 1. Merle Nebergal, Atalissa.
Cars to 1950: 1. 1933 Chevrolet, Dr. Keith Mills, Lone Tree; 2. 1930 Ford A, Vic Mills; 3. 1930 Ford A, John Pretz, Columbus Junction; 4. 1941 Cadillac, Vic Mills, Nichols.
Cars 1950-1960: 1. 1957 Chevrolet, Gene Walker, Nichols; 2. 1957 Chevrolet, Vic Mills, Nichols; 3. 1954 Chevrolet, Lloyd Paulson, Iowa City; 4. 1955 Chevrolet, Gene Walker, Nichols.
Cars 1960 and up: 1. 1966 Olds Cutlass, Gene Walker, Nichols; 2. Corvette 1969, Saba Ruiz, West Liberty.
Antique Machinery: 1. Cinda Welk, West Liberty; 2. Vernon Welk, West Liberty; 3. Kirt Campion, West Liberty.
Antique and Classic, Pickups and Light Trucks: 1. Conesville Fire Department; 2. Lone Tree Fire Department; 3. DeeDee Meacham and Charlene Hixon, Nichols and Iowa City.
Bikes: 1. Jenny Hillyer, Nichols; 2. Brian Shields, Nichols; 3. Roxane Menzer, Nichols; Connels, Nichols.
Mini Bikes, MoPeds, 3 Wheelers: 1. Mitch McAtee, Nichols; 2. Shawn Connelly, Muscatine; 3. Mitch Hollenbeck, Muscatine; 4. Scott Rohr, Nichols.
Miscellaneous: 1. Marching Band Almost, Nichols/Atalissa; 2. Dachshund-look motorcycle (7 man), West Liberty; 3. Cement mixer (miniature), Glen Dotson, Atalissa; 4. John Mullink, Special, West Liberty.
         “Run for Fun” Maraton Winners
Ages 16 and under: 1. Tom Penngroth; 2. Joe Bowman. 1. Michele Hiker; 2. Mary Sue Turner.
Ages 17-29: 1. Robert Cline; 2. Tim Kline. 1. Diane Pessagno; 2. Linda Post.
Ages 30-39: 1. Dan Case; 2. Lorin Moes. 1. Laura Van Dyke; 2. Jane Jostenkerr.
Ages 40 and over: 1. Terry Kline; 2. Robert Carmichael; 1. Del Wright.

         After the parade I had to hurry to help with a cakewalk sponsored by the Nichols Christian Church. It took most of the afternoon to get the 70 cakes “walked” which meant I had to miss most of the afternoon activities. St. Mary’s had bingo at the fire station. There were Community Club’s sponsored Big Wheel races for kids ages 2 to 7 held on the bank driveway. There was a single elimination volleyball tournament going on at the new park. Prybil’s team from Lone Tree was the winner and received $60, second place receiving $40 went to Graham’s team. Sixteen teams were entered.
         Horseshoe tournament was being held at the new park. First, second and third place went to Jim Steele, Terri Steele, his daughter, and Kitty Steele, his wife, of Letts, obviously a horseshoe pitching family. Joe Holmes of Muscatine took fourth place. Some would-be participants had to be turned away as there was only room for 10.
         The Cake Walk was over just in time for me to see the last of the bed races. This was open competition with four men’s teams entered, two women’s teams and two junior teams.
         Alberta Kelly, now living at Simpson Home, West Liberty, was at her Nichols home for the afternoon and enjoyed visiting with friends. I stopped to chat with her and then went back to the downtown park to see if there was any entertainment going on at the band shell. The park seemed very subdued after the bustling activity of the day. The arts and crafts exhibits were all taken down, small groups of people were simply sitting around visiting. The sun, now far to the west, was somewhat obscured by a hazy sky and the intense heat of the day had lifted.
         Several young people were throwing a Frisbee, the most interesting occurance was the Frisbee getting caught high in the branches of a pine tree. A couple of security officers were at one end of the park, so one of the young men asked if they could borrow a billy club to toss up and hit the branch in an effort to dislodge the Frisbee. This was done, and the billy club became caught in the branches, which caused some consternation to all concerned. It was decided to sacrifice the other officer’s club, and this time they were successful in getting all the equipment to the ground.
         “Country Illusions” played for the evening street dance. Money donated by Casey’s, Burt’s, Ma and Pa’s, and the Volunteer Firemen was used to pay for the band. During the intermission the NCDC raffle drawing was held for the china cabinet made by Keven Chown. Mrs. Thelma Mills of Lone Tree is now deciding where she will put this lovely piece of furniture she won.
         Thanks to Steve Salemink, chairman, and Judy Costas, secretary and treasurer and the entire NCDC committee for another successful Nichols Day. And now onward to planning for the Centennial Nichols Day in 1984.

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