Enjoy a walk around Iowa Falls, IA, the setting of To Dance with Fireflieswith Stephen Grant and his “Audie.” Enjoy the Scenic City and always dance with fireflies in your heart.
Eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York’s Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897.
May you all enjoy a wonderful and safe holiday celebration with your family and friends. This is about our nation ~ pulling together our past and our future.
LET FREEDOM RING!
On the date of his birth, February 18, the international community honors this man
who contributed so much to the field of Autism Spectrum Disorders.
(From Wikipedia) Asperger died before his identification of this pattern of behaviour became widely recognized because his work was mostly in German and little-translated. The first person to use the term “Asperger’s Syndrome” in a paper was British researcher Lorna Wing. Her paper, Asperger’s syndrome: a clinical account, was published in 1981 and challenged the previously accepted model of autism presented by Leo Kanner in 1943. It was not until 1989 that his reports were translated into English. Unlike Kanner, Hans Asperger’s findings were ignored and disregarded in the English-speaking world in his lifetime. Finally, from the early 1990s, his findings began to gain notice, and nowadays Asperger syndromeis recognized as a diagnosis in many countries of the world.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY HANS ASPERGER ~ HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!
It doesn’t get more American than the history of the Fourth of July.
Independence Day is celebrated on July 4 because that is the day when the Continental Congress adopted the final draft of the Declaration of Independence. From July 8, 1776, until the next month, the document was read publicly and people celebrated whenever they heard it. The next year, in Philadelphia, bells rang and ships fired guns, candles and firecrackers were lighted. But the War of Independence dragged on until 1783, and in that year, Independence Day was made an official holiday. 1941 Congress declared 4th of July a federal holiday.
A Green River at the Princess Cafe in Iowa Falls, Ia is like a holiday to me. The green liquid bubbles shimmer in the fountain-style glass as it’s placed on the jet black countertop. I love it and the memories it evokes soak my mind.
The Princess–Sweet Shop is an outstanding example of Art Deco design from 1935. The Carrara glass façade, and streamlined woodwork are typical of Art Deco design of the 1920s and 1930s, but a rarity in a small town in Iowa. This building replaced a brick building, which burned on Christmas day 1934. The owners displayed a great deal of faith in the architect, and in the people of Iowa Falls too. The community was somewhat surprised when a drawing of the new façade was released to the newspaper. Not only was the design modern, both inside and out, but the equipment was utmost in efficiency and convenience. It was the first building in town to be air-conditioned. Gas ranges replaced the old wood and coal stoves that had been used before the fire, and gas water heaters provided sufficient water for the washing and sterilizing of the dishes. The total cost for the building and equipment of the Princess was approximately $30,000, a surprising amount during the years of the Great Depression. (read more and see the pictures right here)
If your travels take you to Iowa Falls, you must visit the Princess. Don’t go there without ordering a Green River, however. And when you do, dedicate one sip to me, then enjoy the rest all by yourself.
National Day of Prayer is coming up on May 5. Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued throughout history, including President Lincoln’s proclamation of a day of prayer in 1863. In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, declared an annual, national day of prayer. In 1988,the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May.
We certainly have a great deal to pray about for the world, our nation, and in our personal lives.
May the Lord always watch over you.
Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta is brave. He is humble. He is from Iowa. He is the first living service member from the wars on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq to receive the Medal of Honor. Seven previous medals during these wars were awarded posthumously.
Twenty-five-year-old Giunta is from Hiawatha, Iowa. He enlisted in the Army after graduating from Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and received his Basic and Infantry training at Fort Benning, Ga. Sgt. Giunta is currently stationed at Camp Ederle in Vicenza, Italy.
As a fellow Iowan, I salute you, Sgt. Giunta.
You went above and beyond the call of duty for your country,
for your fellow soldiers, for yourself, and for your God.
Your are a HERO from Iowa!
Front page of the Iowa Falls Times Citizen, by Eric Mandel, September 8, 2010
Be sure to visit On the Road with Humpty Dumpty
On what have been my dad’s 89th birthday, I sent this to the Hamilton County Genealogy Society. This will be the first narrative post on their website, Iowa Gravestones. This is a site for Iowa history to be saved. My dad would have approved.
Arild Vernon Kepler was born in Stanhope, Iowa to Mable and Vernon Kepler. Raised in Webster City, IA, he married Mary Jane Higbee of Webster City on November 21, 1943. They raised four children: Julie May Kepler Richey (deceased), Kathleen Ann Kepler Harrington, Cynthia Kay Kepler Leitner, and David Vernon Kepler.
The following is a revision of the eulogy I presented for my dad on October 21, 1998 at his funeral.
For My Dad
Arild Vernon “Kep” Kepler
August 22, 1921 ~ October 13, 1998
Interment: Graceland Cemetery Webster City, IA
When I was a little girl, we went on a trip to California in a 1956 red and black Ford. From the moment we rolled out of our driveway in the middle of Iowa until we reached the parking lot of Disneyland, I’d ask my dad the same question, “How much further, daddy?”
My dad, with is patience and wisdom, would always reply in the same manner, “Oh not far, Kathie, it’s just over the hill and around the corner.”
After many hills and many corners, my dad was right; we arrived at Disneyland.
* * * * *
Every member of our family wants to thank you for being here today. We appreciate so very much your compassion and your warmth. We acknowledge your part in making my father’s life a reason to find celebration and joy in our time of sorrow. In the future, when our minds drift back upon happier days, it will not be about my dad’s death that we reminisce but rather about his life. He was happiest as a poet, a storyteller and a Thespian and his love of music provided harmony throughout his years.
Many of you knew my dad when he had black hair. I didn’t. It was always gray and then white for me. Many of you knew my dad when he was young and vital and had a vision for the future that was intense. To me, my dad will always be young and vital. Many of you knew my dad before he had a handlebar mustache. I remember buying him mustache wax. I think that all of you knew my dad as “Kep” but to me, he was my dad.
Many of the people of Iowa Falls and Webster City ate my dad’s cooking at the Red Rooster Grill. It was there he taught me to cook, do dishes, run a business, and make coffee. It was there he taught me dedication, responsibility, work ethics, and the importance of wearing a smile in order to make another person’s day a little brighter.
When my dad went from selling food to selling cars many of you were there.You were there when the good times rolled and you were there when they rolled back the other way. We know you were there, not because you had to be, but because you choose to be.
My dad, loved living. He was a generous and loving husband for over 50 years to our mother. Together, they weathered life’s storms and found rainbows. Together, they built bridges and covered them with love. And together, they walked through each moment of each day as he so eloquently portrayed in his poem, “Life’s Partner.”
You might have known “Kep” as the one who told the best joke at a party or the one who loved to play solitaire on the hoods of cars, tell World War II stories, or look in wonder and curiosity as new technology became a part of our every day lives. You might have known “Kep” as the one who loved John Phillip Sousa Marches or recall his recitations from John Adams to “Jo-Jo the Dog Faced Boy.” However, it was my dad who drove my older sister to Fort Dodge and back every two weeks for seven years when she had braces on her teeth. It was my dad who took me to every Audie Murphy and cowboy movie ever made. That was our Friday night date at the Met Theater. It was my dad who started a citywide collection for new high school band uniforms. It was my dad who went on a letter writing campaign to state and national politicians for “notch babies.” As far as I know, Uncle Sam is still beating the “babies.” It was my dad who searched for the innocents of the fifties in the nineties. It was my dad who instilled in my children the importance of history and the lessons worth learning. It was my dad, whose advice I sought, and whose courage I clinged to. It was my dad who opened my eyes, as a mother, to the acceptance of a child whose dreams were without wings. It was my dad who just two weeks ago bought a new video for his youngest grandchild. He wanted her to learn the most valuable lessons in the world from those who had taught him, the lessons from “The Three Little Pigs.” It was my dad who wrote poetry by finding humor in his ever-aging, ever-handicapping world.
My dad believed in heaven and in a loving God who would remove the pain of the world we know. He believed in the quality of life, not the quantity. My dad had no fear of death. He knew that his time was near and he knew where he was going as he penned in one of his poems, “The Setting Sun.
Each one of us knows people because our lives have sung in harmony somewhere along life’s way. We know that person for the shared experiences we have. I want you to know my dad because he was more than “Kep.” He was more than that sailor, veteran, grocery, restaurant, and dealership owner. My dad had a good life and in that, I find reason to celebrate. You see, my dad may be gone but he’ll always be close to all of the people he loved because he’s in a good place. After all, he’s just over the hill and around the corner.