Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tribute to Helen Boettcher

I saw the other day that Helen Boettcher had passed away. Helen was born on August 13,1915 and passed away on January 22, 2011. She was a wonderful lady and someone who I have very fond memories of as she was the true matriarch of the Fonda Golf Course.

I first met Helen in 1964. She was the club house manager at the golf course and was always there. Helen was a very good player in her own right and so was her husband Kelly and son Gary.

Helen was totally committed to the golf course and in my opinion it was a very large part of her life. She put on the tournaments, help start the junior golf program as was always there to encourage you and congratulate you when you had a good round.

Helen was also a very good bridge player as she was given the "Life Master" award as well as being someone who enjoyed crafts and spending time at the Sunrise Tavern that she and Kelly owned for 40 years.

Thank you Helen from all of us. You made our lives much better and you will be missed.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Moving Blog

I am in the process of moving my blog to:

I have much more opportunity to add pictures and have a better site than what google is able to do...I hopefully will have it up in the next week to 10 days.

You can also join more easily and follow the Blog as well as send comments and correspond with me.

I hope you will continue to follow and enjoy.



Tuesday, January 25, 2011

People you never forget from Fonda High School

I thought the summer baseball info I had in here was in 1966 however, my good friend Doug Evans advised me it was 1967 so it is out of sequence but still worth reading. It led me to think about talking about people in Fonda High School that you never forget.

I think one of the first people was Charley Alpers. Charley was the school custodian and beloved by all. Always had a smile on his face, loved the kids and they loved him. I think Charlie's last year was 1966 and he was replaced by Mick Wycoff.

Another person I always remember was Lynn Hersom. Lynn seemed to always drive the bus on most of our trips and always wore what I would call a train engineers hat. I don't remember much about Lynn's driving ability, know he would always grind the gears when he shifted and someone would always yell " Grind another pound off for me Lynn." I do know we always got there and the bus was always warm after the games.

The school cafetieria cooks. Nancy Hersom, Helen Hersom and Alberta Baker were three of my favorites. They always gave me extra food during lunch time. Sometimes in the mornings you would come to school and couldn't wait for lunch as you could smell the cinnamon roles baking. The food honestly was the best, just like eating at home. I doubt the kids today get as good of food as we did with the Government Food Nazis that exist today.

Michael O'Brien- History teacher. Excellent teacher, very bright, wonderful sense of humor and you looked forward to his class. Mr. O'Brien allowed good debates on subjects, was interested in the kids and their well being. Mr. O'Brien took the time to get involved and wanted you to be successful. Mr. O'Brien and I went to Des Moines to listen to Ronald Reagan make a speech in the fall of 1967. Was a wonderful trip to make with him and I learned so much from him and about him. Mr O'Brien also got it arranged so we could participate in the Model United Nations at the University of Northern Iowa. Our senior year we were Australia. The meetings with the other countries and the involvement with the other students was great and alot of the credit goes to Mr. O'Brien for getting us the opportunity to go. Mr. O'Brien now lives in Boone and was in the Iowa Legistaure at one time. Even though he ran and won as a Democrat, he still ranks very high in my book. lol

Lee Hurlburt- Science Teacher- Girls Coach. Mr. Hurlburt was an excellent teacher and I remember him having two little girls who would always sit with me during the girls game. Mr. Hurlburt had a 1963 Black Chevy SuperSport with a 409 engine in it. One day Dennis Stafford, Nick Baskerville and myself had to go somewhere to get something for school. Mr. Hurlburt allowed us to use his car. Dennis Stafford had his license and was going to show us his driving skills so out we go. Dennis punched it as we would say, shifted into second gear, the car is now flying, went to shift into third gear and threw it back into first gear. He blew out the clutch plates I know for sure. We limped the car back to school. Funny thing, next day Mr. Hurlburt just couldn't quite figure out why his car was acting right. Mr Hurlburt passed away several years ago and will be missed.

Janice Hughes- Vocal Music. I thought the world of Mrs. Hughes, she loved her music so much and got alot out of us. We always did well at contest and she would work endlessly with you on your own individual solo's. She was a wonderful teacher.

Michael Becker- Guidance Counselor. Mr. Becker seemed to run interference for everyone. If you had an problem, you could go to Mr. Becker. A wonderful man, very positive in his approach, always trying to help you in anyway that he could. Mr. Becker passed away several years ago after a lengthy illness. He will be missed by all of us.

Jim Weber and Leland Weiner- Mathmatics- Both were excellent teachers and both knew math. Unfortunately for them they had a very hard time passing on their knowledge to me. Mr. Weber was also the golf coach and drove a beautiful 1964 Chevy Supersport, Dark Blue, white bucket seats. Very fast. I have lost track of Mr. Weber and unfortunately for us no one seems to be able to find him. Mr. Weiner attended some of our class reunions and last I knew he had retired from being a math teacher and was last at Iowa Central Community College. I remember our 25th reunion. Mr. Weiner came to it, he asked me what I was doing. I told him I was the President of a manufacturing company. He looked at me and said " how can that be, you were so bad in math." I looked back at him and told him that " I could now hire people who were good at math, I didn't need to be." End of conversation...

Rhonda Johnson- Instrumental music. Very good teacher, horrible trumpet player. I enjoyed being in her class and learned alot from her though I am sure she would tell you how frustrated she would get with me and rightfully so. At a pre-contest concert at the school my Jr. year she decided that we would play Bugler's Holiday at the concert. Sheral Adams, myself and Mrs. Johnson played the piece. We got through it but both Mrs. Johnson and Sheral had problems hitting the higher notes. It was fun and I believe that everyone who attended enjoyed our efforts.

Wally Parman- Commercial and Boys Athletics- Mr. Parman was the business instructor and typing teacher and helped with the annual. Mr. Parman liked to go around the room with his pointer while you were typing and bop you on the head if you moved your head to look at the keys. I'm surprised Nick Baskerville and myself don't have permanent damage from all of the hits we took. We learned on the old manual typewriters and then one day the brought in an electric. We all got to use it, it was incredible how lightly you had to touch the keys unlike the manual ones where you had to really exert some pressure to type. Amazing how much technology has changed in 43 years. Mr. Parman was an excellent coach and motivator, however, he did have a tendency to start to write off the seniors as the season got closer to the end. I really only have one instance where I thought he was totally wrong and that was not starting Chuck Orr in the sectionals against Alta. It bothered Chuck so much I think he was 1 for 12 from the field in shooting and just didn't play his game. We have always wondered why you would take someone out of your lineup who was scoring 16.2 points a game and put someone in to replace him who barely played. We also have always wondered why Coach Parman never took Chuck aside and advised him of the change. Mr. Parman went on to be an administrator, coached basketball with Mr. Skinner in Palmer when they won all of their state championships and now is back in Missouri.

Tom Adams- Principal. Mr. Adams was the first person in the Fonda School I met. In my opinion an excellent Principal who didn't put up with any nonsense. In those days you just didn't mess around like they do today. I remember Dennis Stafford popped off in study hall and got his face slapped. I remember Verylyn Myer shoving Bob Gehrig into the locker and advising him that he best cease and desist, which he did. Today, the kids would sue you, or go get a gun and shoot you. We wonder why things are they way they are, look first at the homes these kids come out of, then look at the schools and then finally our government and then you know who really is in control. It very many times is not the adults.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Basketball 1966/67

Fresh off of our football season where we enjoyed alot of success, we would see if that would carry over to the basketball season. Coach Parman would be coaching us and a new system and philosophy would obviously be needed as both the girls and the boys teams were each on a 19 game losing streak. The teams the previous year were so bad that the scores were not even put in the annual, both teams were that lousy.

The girls would be coached again by Lee Hurlburt. The forwards would be led by Karen Schoon, Jane Hatteberg and Jane Stauter and freshmen Nancy Seagren would see some playing time. The guard court would be led by Jeanne Hatteberg, Sheral Adams, Linda Seagren and Carolotta Delano would also get ample playing time. The girls team would go 10 and 8 over the season and would be 9 and 1 in conference games and win the conference. They will lose to Gilmore City 66 to 65 in the sectional tournament.

We still had Homecoming during basketball this year and Jeanne Hatteberg and Darwin Samuelson were the King and Queen. Queen candidates were Sis Withers, Karen Schoon and Judy Smith. King candidates were Roger Hatteberg, Terry Cole and Larry Murphy.

The boys team would have some returning players this year. Pat Murphy had been the leading scorer as a sophomore for us. We would also have Darvin Dirks, Gerald Johnson, Darwin Samuelson, myself and newcomer Chuck Orr. Chuck Orr would have a very positive and lasting affect on any success we have over the next two years. Chuck had transferred in the fall, had played football, however, his love and passion was for basketball. Chuck had played a lot his sophomore year at Northeast Hamilton and was a contributor on the team. I have to also give Chuck credit for me ending up as good a player as I think I was. It was because of his presence and good play on the team that pushed me to improve my game and get better as a player.

I remember the first game we played as juniors, we went up to Rembrandt. I had already sized up the team for the year and figured I would be the best player and would lead the team in most categories. What a rude surprise I was about to get. I had a terrible game against Rembrandt up there and we got beat 64 to 44. I think I had 6 points and was lousy on both ends of the court. Interestingly enough, Chuck Orr had 21 points I believe and led the team in most categories. Our next game was against Palmer and we lost again 72 to 60 and again, I stunk and my frustration level was getting higher. Chuck Orr and Pat Murphy were leading the team. Coach Parman took me aside after a practice and took me up to his room. He told me I was trying too hard and not playing smart. I told him I thought I was going to quit as I didn't feel I was contributing to the team. He told me he wanted me to play one more game and all he wanted me to do was go out, enjoy the game, try my best and then after the game do the mirror test. I asked him what the mirror test was, he told me that after the game if I could go look in the mirror and tell myself I had played the best I could, then to be happy with it, if I could not do that, then I would have to make adjustments and learn from my mistakes. I told him I would try. Fortunately for me, it worked, I played well against Havelock-Plover, we won the game 69 to 60 ending a 21 game losing streak and the rest is history as they say. We ended up the year with 7 wins 10 losses but were a much better team overall. We lost to Storm Lake St. Mary's 64 to 54 in the sectionals, however, we were in the game the whole way. I ended up making second team all-conference and did end up leading the team in scoring and most categories.

As I look back over that season, it was rewarding in many ways. We grew together as a team, we matured as a team, we played well together after about the first month of learning from a new coach and the outlook was much brighter than the year before. Honestly though, if it weren't for Chuck Orr coming to Fonda and being a part of the team, pushing us all to be better as players and teammates, then I am not sure how the season would have gone. I believe a large part of the success we enjoyed as a team was due to Chuck. He helped us get over the hump and for that we should all thank him.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Football continues, Fall of 1966

We had won the very first game we had ever played in. The whole community was a buzz about the game and how we had played. I worked at the grocery store at nights and all day on Saturday's, all anyone wanted to talk about was the game. What a fun time.

Our next scheduled game was against Crestland of Early and their "B" team in Early. It was on a Monday night and quite cold if I remember. It was on October 10th.

We played ok, not alot that stands out in my mind about the game. I know that Doug Kructhen scored on a 3 yard touchdown run right before halftime. We had alot of penalites, 110 yards worth and stopped Crestland inside our own 10 yard line in the third quarter. We did move the ball to the 1 yard line late in the fourth quarter but the clock ran out before we scored. We could have scored if we had wanted too, we just let the clock run out. We had 278 yards of offense, I was 2 for 4 in passing, both to Dennis Stafford for 24 yards. We played ok, just alot of dumb penalties that every time we got something going we would stop ourselves. A win is a win and now were had won 2 in a row.

Our next game was with the Newell "B" team on October 17th. It was a much better night to play football and again our defense carried the day for us. We won the game 12 to 0. We had 220 yards of rushing offense and 40 yards of passing offense. I do remember that I had a 60 yard touchdown run off of the option and threw a 38 yard touchdown pass to Dennis Stafford to quote the Fonda Times " The pass to Stafford was a perfect strike that he took in full stride and out ran two Newell defenders to the goal line." I had 100 yards of rushing offense on 4 carries so all in all a good night. Gerald Johnson had 9 tackles, Doug Kruchten had 8 tackles and Dennis Smith continued to dominate on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Defense continued to carry our team. We seemed to have a nose for the ball and ran to the ball well. We had some very tough people up front who just didn't know that we weren't supposed to be this good yet.

Our first "A" game of the year was scheduled against Lawton-Bronson, they had just started football as well so we would be playing someone just like us for the first time. The game was scheduled in Fonda for October 24th and I do remember is was a very nice evening again.

Lawton-Bronson was huge compared to us, outweighing us 10 to 15 pounds per man on the line. What they didn't measure was the heart of our linemen and how hard they would play. Lawton took the opening kick off and moved right down the field throwing alot of short passes to take a 6 to 0 lead in the first quarter. We moved the ball some however, were forced to punt and Lawton took over on their own 20. The Lawton quarterback went back to pass and was hit by 2 of our linemen, knocking the ball lose. Don Smith picked up the ball and ran it in from 8 yards out to tie the score at 6 to 6. Neither team did much after that with it being a very defensive game again. Midway through the 4th quarter we would get lucky again. Lawton had the ball on our 30 yard line after a partially blocked punt, our line broke through on several occasions to sack their quarterback and with the penalties they were assessed, we had them 4th and 65. The punted to midfield where we took over the ball and started our winning drive. We got the ball down to the 13 where I handed the ball to Pat Murphy who got to the 11, two more running plays by Doug Krutchen got us to 6 yard line making it 4th and 3. I ran the quarterback option and pitched the ball to Dennis Stafford who did get the first down. Doug Krutchen ran it over on the next play to put us ahead 12 to 6. The game ended that way. For the evening we only had 150 yards in total offense of which 45 yards came from passing. Chuck Orr caught two passes and Alan Goetchius caught the other. Doug Kruchten had 41 yards of rushing, Pat Murphy had 26 yards in rushing and Dennis Stafford had 31 yards of rushing. We were now 4 and 0 and had one varsity win under our belts. It was incredible to just keep winning, the whole community was really behind us now and we had one more game to play to complete the season. Our final game was a rematch with Newell to play their "B" team again. Unfortunately, the night of the game the weather was terrible, so cold and windy that the game was cancelled due to inclement conditions. I remember being really disappointed as a TV station out of Sioux City was coming over to report on the game, I thought it would be a good way for my friends in Sioux City to see me play, unfortunately, didn't happen.

Our season was perfect, no one got hurt, we learned alot about football, life's lessons, learned that you never give up and that you support each other. You play for each other and that you are there to win the game.

At the end of the season we had a football banquet at the Checkerboard cafe. Was nicely attended. Coach Parman had very nice things to say about everyone and was especially nice to me, commenting on how I had to learn the plays, call the plays and how I had lead the team. Was very nice of him to say those things and very much appreciated still to this day.

Now on to basketball and see if we can get this team on the right track as remember we had lost 19 games in a row and with a new coach it would be interesting to see just how well we would do.

Hello to Helen Tiedeman

The very first post I did I got a nice note from Helen Tiedeman, OLGC class of 1970. When we first moved to Fonda we were neighbors to Helen and her family. She thanked me for talking about my time in Fonda as well as telling me how important her times were as well. Helen also mentioned to me that her daughter Ann and son-in-law Zach Lee live in Red Oak and if I was to ever see them, I should say hi.

Well, Helen, I did meet Zach a couple of weeks ago at the country club. We were having dinner and he came out to pick up his food to go. When he mentioned to the waittress that he was Zach Lee I told him that I knew who he was. A very strange expression came over his face until I told him that we were neighbors in Fonda many years ago and I knew you and your family. Funny thing about being from Fonda, everywhere I go, I always run into someone who knows someone from Fonda.

I just wanted you to know that I had met him and all is well.

My best to you and your family Helen.


Monday, October 25, 2010

The First Game, September 27, 1966

Our first football game is scheduled for September 27, 1966 on a Tuesday night. Seeing as we could not get a varsity game lined up for most of the year we would be playing the "B" teams from other schools. Our first game would be against the Pomeroy "B" team at 7:30 PM.

Monday's practice was set for a Monday evening to go over final preparations for the game and to get us under the lights so we had an idea of what it would be like to be to actually play football in those conditions. Our practice was no longer than an hour.

I remember finding it very difficult to sleep the night before the game. So many thoughts going through your mind, so much to remember, so much to consider, yet, so anxious for the game to actually be played.

Monday at school was a very exciting day, lots of anticpation, lots of people who had never even seen a football game in person would be attending their first game. There was an article in the local paper about the game and how it would be nice if the community could come out and support the team win or lose.

As hard as our coaches and players had been practicing, you also now had the band who would do something at the game and you now had to have cheerleaders as well. All of the cheerleaders that had cheered for Fonda all had been basketball oriented. You can't yell, R E B O U N D very well for football so obviously new cheers had to be learned. The cheerleaders for the 1966-67 football team were, Bonnie Dusing, Darlene Hunter, Sheral Adams, Jane Stauter, Judy Smith and Vicki Burditt.

There were no dressing rooms at the baseball park so we had to dress at the school and then be bussed to the games. We got to the field about 6:30 and did our warm ups, it was a beautiful fall night, crisp yet not too cold. I remember the sky was full of stars, it was a wonderful night. As we warmed up the crowd started to show up as well, more and more people kept coming and soon the field on both sides was surrounded by locals who wanted to see the game. My best estimate is that there were at least 750 people for the game.

We lost the toss and kicked off to Pomeroy and forced them to punt. The snap back to the punter went over his head and by the time he retrieved it and punted it we had the ball at the Pomeroy 18 yard line. On the first play of the game for us offensively Doug Krutchen skirted the left end to the 4 yard line and scored on the next play. We were ahead!!!!! Pomeroy then took the kickoff and drove down to our 15 yard line where we stopped them and took over on downs. We drove the ball out to midfield and then I pitched the ball to Doug Kruchten again and he went 56 yards for another touchdown. We were now ahead 12 to 0.

Pomeroy would rally and tie us at 12 to 12 in the third quarter. One play that still stands out to me today is a play made by Dennis Smith in the third quarter. We set up a return on a punt. Don Darling and myself were the return men. The ball was kicked to Don and down the sideline he went, the wall was perfectly set up for him to score. I was trailing the play and saw that all Don had to do was beat one man and he was gone. The Pomeroy player had a good angle on Don, yet, he never saw Dennis Smith. Dennis had a better angle on him and put a block on him that was so devastating that he knocked the helmet off of the player as well as knocked him out of his high top shoes. I remember watching the player fly through the air and he landed and didn't move. It absolutely was the best block I have ever seen. Unfortunately Don got tangled up with Dennis Stafford and tripped over him and didn't score, but 44 years later, I still remember that block.

The game has now moved to the fourth quarter and we are still tied. We have been stopped twice, once on the eleven yard line and then again to the two yard line losing the ball on downs both times. Pomeroy tried to run a reverse on the eleven and Dennis Smith recovered a fumble and now with just minutes to go in the game we have a chance to score and win.

We ran two plays for no gain and then Pomeroy had a five yard penalty, we are on the six yard line. I gave the ball to Pat Murphy on a fullback dive and he got to the three yard line and then I ran a quarterback sneak to get the first down. There was less than a minute to go in the game. There was no scoreboard so the time was kept on the field. I ran another quarterback sneak and got just short of the goal line and then handed the ball off to Pat Murphy who scored with less than thirty seconds to go in the game, we didn't make the extra point so we now led 18 to 12.
We kicked off, Pomeroy tried a double reverse on the kick off, we tackled the runner and one play later the game was over, we had won!!!!! We had won the very first game we had ever played in. The crowd was crazy the players were just as excited. I remember getting on the bus and the bus went all over town as we were yelling, " We're Number One" over and over, honestly, it was incredible the amount of excitement and fulfillment we all had in that moment. We went back to the gym, showered, the kids were all at the school yelling and wanting to just touch us and be a part of the experience.

Statistically the team had a good night with Doug Kruchten being the leading runner, I did have a 42 yard pass to Dennis Stafford that helped our cause. The most important thing though was that we had won. There will be more games to be played and other memories yet, this one I will never forget. 20 kids and coaches can come together in August and in 6 weeks win a game they had never played before. To me, it talks well about the coaches, the team, the school and the community.