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Columns

  • Montgomery County History Center | Dave McFarland

    The fountain in the center of Fountain Square Park is dedicated to the men from Montgomery County who fell in World War I. It might seem strange to say, but it is not a public monument. Rather, it is a private one, built by the families of the men lost in that horrific war. Time seems to have made it somewhat abstract; few will remember the names and faces. Time has taken it toll, but every once in a while, something will ring it back into the present.

  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

    There seems to be an increasing number of news items about middle-aged women, often school teachers, broadening the educational experience of teen-aged boys.

    These headlines bring to mind young Charlie Bates of Villisca.

    Charles was born in that town in 1896, son of a high school music teacher. He attended school in Villisca until his father passed away and his mother moved to Des Moines. Charles would go to high school at Des Moines West.

  • Mud Fence Creations | Conni Delinger

    Many people believe that, if they make a claim on their insurance, the company will either cancel the policy or the rates will go up. My fear is that my agent will block my phone number and not take my calls! Prior to 10 years ago, I had never made a claim on any insurance except medical. That has changed, and the claims department is now practically on my speed dial.

  • On the Side| Brad Hicks

    So, the wait is over and The Red Oak Express has a beneficiary of the proceeds of its annual Barb Gray Chili Cook-Off.

  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

    How would this state’s fastest corn pickers, the ones sent to represent Iowa in the national finals, do against farmers of 80 years ago?

    The question arose during a weekend that was a dandy for anyone with an interest in local history. We watched the state husking competition at Indian Creek Museum on Saturday, made a stop on the art tour, then went to the old tractor show in Red Oak Sunday afternoon.

  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

    Did Frank “Hop” Kenworthy really use a baseball bat to make his own peg-leg? A reader of last month’s article about his grandson asked the question.

    I wasn’t there and don’t know, but the story is a good one.

  • Montgomery County History Center | David McFarland

    History is a fleeting thing that is spurred on by time and change. I would like to introduce you to Laura, a long-time resident of Red Oak.

    Laura left us in July of 1963. She had seven children, 14 grandchildren, and 29 great-grandchildren. But, I doubt many of us would recognize who Laura was and what a great courage she possessed.

  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

    A recent column included reference to George Plimpton and an April Fools’ hoax some rate as one of the best ever. The article prompted a call from an old friend, and we shared a laugh about events that had me telling a media outlet Plimpton was a bad influence on children.

  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

    For Christmas, my brother-in-law gave his wife a ring. I haven’t seen it, but hear it’s platinum with the centerpiece a heart-shaped ruby flanked by little diamonds. On the band is engraved the date of their marriage. The gift wasn’t in a stocking hanging from the mantle. No, he took her on a tour of Europe and made a champagne presentation on Christmas Eve while in a suite overlooking the Arch de Triomphe.

  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

    Dr. B.J. England’s memorial service, held last week, concluded with the family band playing “When the Saints go Marching In,” a song they said he’d taught them as soon as they learned which end of a horn to blow into.

    The tribute, depicting his zest for life and family, his music and profession, was fitting and well done, conducted with the good humor Doc was noted for. There’s little to add other than a word from a patient’s perspective.