In the neighborhod

May 11, 2020

It’s unfortunate our libraries continue to be closed, but an example of the somewhat hidden volumes on our own shelves is shared by a longtime user and supporter of the libraries in the communities she lived in, including being a librarian at some time in those moves she made.

As Nancy Hanaman pointed out, shelves in a section of our library are reserved for local and Iowa History. Some are factual and some are written by folks who are remembering their own experiences, growing up on farms or in a small town.

As Rippey folks are planning their 150th celebration, many memories have been shared and others, especially our “older folks” are willing to share what the rest will never experience.

When I was librarian in the late 1990s, a really good day was when Lee Dorris and Don Anschutz would come in at the same time, sit at the front table and visit about the old days. If Jim and Marge Benshoof would happen to come in that day, it was an added bonus. These folks could tell you which houses came from Angus, who was related, and remember what it was like growing up and living in and around Rippey.

I wish I had thought about writing their stories down, or at least recording them as they were visiting. Always, there was laughter! Sometimes, I would have to remind them it was closing time. They were all good supporters of the library.

Somewhere, in a deep place of my home, I have a video of Bernice (States) Cain giving a talk about her memories at a Lions Club meeting. I wonder how long it will take me to dig that deep! She was a great one to talk about her life. I also have a good article that her sister Ferne Holmes wrote about her life when she celebrated her 80th birthday. Ferne was a longtime reporter for the Rippey News.

Nancy’s Book Discoveries

Interesting Sights in Iowa – An interesting book for these current days is Oddball Iowa: A Guide to Some Really Strange Places. You can begin to think about where you would like to go when that is possible.

Matchstick Marvels Museum has a local connection with Pat Acton’s replica of the U.S. Capitol constructed of 478,000 matchsticks and many more creations. Close to this part of the state, near Adair, is a large iron wheel marking the site of the “World’s First Moving Train Robbery” where the James-Younger Gang pioneered a whole new way to commit grand larceny.

On a more positive note, near Moingona and Boone, is the location where 15-year-old Kate Shelley risked her life in stormy weather to prevent a train collision. You can venture to the Kate Shelley High Bridge and later to the museum, 1198 232nd Street, usually open from June-September (515-432-1907.)

You can check with the Rippey Public Library when it reopens, for a copy of this book.

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