A former newspaper reporter who has lived in Franklin for more than 40 years, Marjorie is active in several Franklin and Hales Corners organizations.
Just as September signals the start of a new school year, the month usually marks the beginning of a new club year as well. Hales Corners Woman’s Club, which begins its 55th year in the community, is one of those groups that will be welcoming members back in September and announcing the line-up of programs and fundraising efforts.
At the first meeting on Friday, September 9, club members will learn how to protect themselves against Identity Theft. Hales Corners Police Sergeant Kent Schoonover will give the program at the Village Hall at 1 p.m. Guests and prospective members may wish to join the women for refreshments and hospitality at noon.
Other programs for the coming months include “History and Beauty” of the Boerner Botanical Gardens, by Monica Jeske, on Oct. 14, and “Looking Younger” by Jennie Schellinger of Merle Norman cosmetics on Nov. 4. The December 2nd meeting will be a holidiay lunch and program held at Tuckaway Country Club.
Fundraising projects for the remainder of 2011 include a rummage sale on October 7 and 8; Wisconsin theme basket raffle in December, along with the annual bake sale held in conjunction with the Whitnall Rotary Craft Fair; and a poinsettia sale. Details will be shared at the September 9th meeting and publicized to the community.
Other programs in 2012 will be: “Lewis and Clark Expedition” by Rev. Fred Boettcher (Feb. 3); “The Wool Lady” (Marilyn Jacobson) demonstrating the art of spinning on her loom (March 2); and “The Magic of Butterflies” – presented by Betty Braun. The May 4 meeting will be the club’s traditional spring luncheon where scholarships and other awards to community organizations are presented.
Within the club, groups of women meet for book discussions, golf, bridge and sheepshead. There is also a popular “Unique Antiques” group. One community service project in October will be to help the Visiting Nurse Association with Shoo the Flu clinics.
Those wanting more information about membership or club activities may call Mary Kipfer, 414-425-7547, Vicki Wenke, 414-329-3242, or Kathy Zellmer, 414-529-3175.
"Do I have a story for you!" my Scherrei Drive neighbor Phil Nickerson told me last week. A lot of people I know still think I work for the Hub, and that I can get feature stories published at will. Thank goodness for the Franklin Now -- a place for me to share Phil's story.
Phil's story is actually the story of another Scherrei Drive man -- Edwin Vesbach, age 90, now of Mukwonago. Ed and his wife Mildred were among the first people to build their home on Scherrei Drive when it was a new developing neighborhood in Franklin. By the time my husband and I moved here in 1968, they had four growing children -- Beverly, Jim, Joan and Brian. They also had a nursery, selling trees to home builders in the area. Today the nursery acreage has been replaced by four residential homes.
Ed Vesbach is the kind of loyal employee any business owner would be happy to have. For the past 60 years he has worked as a technician for Joe Wilde Company of Waukesha, specializing in the installation and repair of overhead garage doors. Brian works for Joe Wilde Company now too; he's been there for over 30 years. This month Ed received the top award, Technician of the Year, by the International Door Association (IDA) in Indianapolis. In the June issue of International Door & Operator Industry, Writer Todd W. Thomas wrote a 5-page article about Ed and his long service to the Wilde company. It's very well written, with color photos, and will give you a good idea of Ed's intelligence, work ethic, and sense of humor.
One of Ed's proudest achievements is inventing a hydraulic garage door opener, which he named Hercules. His invention was patented in 1978. Before that, Ed recalled, the most common problem with overhead doors was broken springs. He is currently working on an updated model of his invention, using modern technology. He will call it Hercules II.
These days Ed works one day a week at Wilde Company. He has his own office with a testing laboratory which he designed himself. There he can "test and repair virtually any operator or component ever made" (quoted from Thomas's article.)
Ed was originally hired by Joe Wilde, Sr. the company founder, and then worked for Joe's eldest son Don, later for Joe Wilde, Jr. Today he works with the third generation of Wildes -- Chris Teifke, granddaughter of Joe Sr. Ms. Teifke had many words of praise and appreciation for Edwin Vesbach. "Ed has one of the sharpest minds you'll ever encounter," she told Todd W. Thomas. "He has more knowledge about this industry than anyone you'll ever meet, and he can remember every detail about things that happened 50 years ago. He's got an amazing mind, which we've been fortunate to employ."
Congratulations Ed Vesbach! Your Franklin neighbors are proud of you.
Back in the 1980s, when I wrote feature stories for Community Newspapers, I remember interviewing Jan Krueger, who lived next door to the Southwest YWCA (now Hartson Funeral Home.) When Jan and her husband Hal purchased their home, they also acquired the W. Ben Hunt log cabin.
While it was an honor to be owners of the historic log cabin, there were a few challenges as well – such as keeping the woodchucks and other wild animals from moving in.
Since 1987 the cabin has been owned and maintained by the Hales Corners Historical Society. Local historian Bette Arey posted on the NOW site that the cabin will be open to visitors on June 4, from 1 to 3 p.m. The cabin will be open the first Saturday of every month at those times until November and occasionally at other special events.
For more information about the cabin, call Bob Zeit at (414) 425-6040.
While people in Hales Corners generally refer to him as “Ben Hunt,” his given name was Walter Bernard Hunt; he was born March 13, 1888 in the rural town of Greenfield. He attended South Division High School but dropped out to work as a lithographic engraver (now graphics designer) at the Bruce Publishing Company.
In 1920 Hunt and his wife Laura moved to Hales Corners; in 1924, with the help of his father-in-law and brother, Edwin Hunt, he built the log cabin behind his home. Made of tamarack logs, it was 16 by 28 feet and the subject of his first published article, “How We Built Our Log Cabin.”
Hunt became very interested in Native American culture and developed many personal acquaintances with Indian artists and leaders. He wrote prolifically about their crafts and customs for Boy’s Life magazine and served on staff of the National Boy Scout Jamboree.
Pictures of Hunt and other information about him and his work can be found at www.historichalescorners.org.
Ready for some “Razzle – Dazzle”? The Community Chorus promises just that tonight and tomorrow night at Emanuel United Church of Christ, Hales Corners, 10627 W. Forest Home Ave. The public concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. both nights. Price of admission is $10 – but get there early as there’s a limited number of at-the-door tickets left for sale.
The Community Chorus, under the direction of Jerry Jenkins, has been “on the road” these first three weeks of May, taking their 2011 Spring Concert to half a dozen retirement homes in the area: Sisters of St. Francis, Clement Manor, Brenwood Park, Tudor Oaks, the Milwaukee Catholic Home, and San Camillo. With each sing-out, they have polished and perfected the seventeen numbers which comprise the one and one-half hour performance.
Following the “Razzle Dazzle” opener, the 75-member chorus offers a diverse program of show tunes and popular music, along with ballads, gospel songs and patriotic numbers. Many of the selections feature soloists and small ensembles or special instrumental accompaniment. Here’s the line-up of titles:
Almost Like Being in Love,
West Side Story Medley,
Think of Me,
Get Me to the Church on Time,
New York, New York,
Alexander’s Ragtime Band,
Bridge Over Troubled Waters,
Standin’ in the Need of Prayer,
You Are Mine,
Joy in the Morning,
How Great Thou Art,
This is My Country,
Isle of Hope,
I Hear America Singing.
Jerry Jenkins and the entire chorus invite you to join them afterward for homemade cookies and other free refreshments.
It has been 150 years since the start of the Civil War, and many events are planned all across the nation to mark the sesquicentennial. On Saturday, February 26, the Franklin Historical Society will present a free musical program remembering the Civil War years at the Franklin Public Library. The program, which is open to the public and appropriate for all ages, will begin at 1:30 p.m.
Dale Pforr, a musician and longtime Franklin resident, has created the musical production. His purpose, he said, was to present a musical overview of the emotions experienced by the country in the 1860s. From the start of the war to its end, there was a wide range of emotions -- from exuberance and determination to grief and despair. Pforr has created a narrated script which ties the musical program together.
Pforr, a retired music teacher, is choir director at Heritage Presbyterian Church, Hales Corners, and a member of the Milwaukee Symphony Choir. He and his wife, Barbara, have assembled a group of local musicians, dressed in period costume, to perform the dozen or so songs included in the production. The audience will be invited to sing along for some of the numbers.
Following the program, members of the Franklin Historical Society will serve refreshments.
For further information, call Dale or Barbara Pforr, 414-425-0244.