Echoes of the Past: Local doctor suffers attack at hospital

By Roz Weis,

EIGHTY YEARS AGO: A heart spell hit Decorah’s leading physician when he was on duty at the hospital the other morning. Dr. T. Stabo suffered the heart attack at about 8:15 in the morning, as he was reporting to a surgical suite at the hospital – preparing to perform an operation. The operation was performed by another doctor in attendance. The wartime strain finally caught up to him, according to one hospital spokesman. Dr. Stabo has been working for a long time under the added strain of the wartime conditions, with a shortage of doctors adding to abnormal demands. He has suffered from over-exertion in the past, but this was his first heart attack. His condition is improving.

…Thirty-five area men have departed Winneshiek County for active service induction in Des Moines this week. Physical examinations will be given immediately. In other selective service news – the Winneshiek County office has sent out a notice of delinquency in regards to local men who have not reported as required. These certain men have failed to perform the duty imposed upon them under the selective service law. 

…The official temperature here in town the other day was 37 degrees. Seriously. Just five degrees from freezing.

…Ownership of the CCC Camp buildings at the local fairgrounds have officially been transferred to county fair administrators.

…The shoe ration coupons are now valid through October. The gasoline rations are only good through the end of this month (good for four gallons of gasoline).

…Two divorces were granted in the county clerk’s office last week.

…Decorah Lutheran Church is hosting its second annual church picnic next Sunday afternoon.

…Now on sale for the summertime – straw hats. 59 cents each at Larsen’s in Decorah.

SEVENTY YEARS AGO: The Decorah Kilties Drum and Bugle Corps will make the big trip of the year next week. They will travel to perform at the annual national cherry festival in Traverse City, Michigan.

…Dedication was July 12, 1953, at the Pine Bluff 4-H Camp. Local 4-H members and adults presented a short outdoor program, and a potluck dinner was held.

…James Martinek and Arlaine Roney are tending to a garden behind the Goetsch home on North Mill Street. It is reportedly to be a 4-acre vegetable garden.

…The fair next month will feature a mule race. The Fair Board agreed on holding the race after debate during a recent meeting.

…Free orchids will be given to the first 300 ladies who attend the Frigidaire sale at Buckton Furniture on Water Street. The flowers are being flown in directly from Hawaii.

…Word has been received from 15 of the 18 grocery stores in Decorah – there is little or no great demand for that new yellow-colored margarine since the law permitting the sale of it on July 4, 1953.

SIXTY YEARS AGO: Iowa’s new liquor-by-the-drink law got off to a slow start here, with only about a dozen operators in the county indicating a desire to take out an application for the new liquor licenses. The Cliff House has completed an application so far.

…Now on sale at Fareway – rib-eye steaks, 69 cents per pound; pure ground beef, 3 pounds for $1.

…Now showing at The Grand Theatre – Tammy and the Doctor” starring Peter Fonda and Sandra Dee.

…Six new teachers have been hired for the upcoming school year in Decorah: Dennis Olejniczak, John Werner, Arden Sollien, Homer Hjerleid, Leslie Drafft and Mrs. Merle Cronin.

FIFTY YEARS AGO: Dale Nimrod, chemistry professor of Luther College, has been named the director of the Northeast Iowa Computer Network System.

…Chuck Lynch, son of Tom and Dolores Lynch of Decorah, hit the only home run in a recent Loras College baseball game. Loras defeated Graceland in a playoff game held in Grinnell. A pre-med student at Loras. Decorah’s Lynch has a 3.096 grade point average in his chosen major of chemistry at Loras.

…Rhonda Kittleson, 18-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Carleton Kittleson, plays clarinet with an ensemble touring Europe this summer.

…This year’s Nordic Fest will feature something new – a folk costume show. Mrs. A.R. Rikansrud is organizing the new show.

FORTY YEARS AGO: Mark Pinter (a/k/a Mark Pint of Decorah), the star of CBS soap opera “The Guiding Light” turned up in Decorah last week to attend his 15-year high school class reunion. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Pint of Decorah. He participated in a new program called “Meet the Artist” presented by the local New Minowa Players community theater troupe here in town.

…Debate over the situation at the Decorah swimming pool continues. A complete renovation proposal is being considered, along with a brand-new construction proposal.

…A class of 40 graduated from North Winneshiek High School last spring. Valedictorian was Linda Korsness. Salutatorians were Shelly Kingsley and Joanne Stoen.

…The Great Ping Pong Drop is a new promotion to be a part of this year’s Ridiculous Day promotion here.

THIRTY YEARS AGO: RAGBRAI is coming to Decorah for an overnight stay July 29. Preparations are in full swing for the thousands of bicyclists and onlookers expected here.

…The film “Sleepless in Seattle” is now showing at the Viking Theatre.

…The seven girls are up for the title of 1993 Winneshiek County Fair Queen are Dawn Svenson, Shelly Hove, Nicole Headington, Julie Cotton, Michelle Wilkes, Jaqueline Wenthold and Michelle Berge.

TWENTY YEARS AGO: This year’s baseball season marks the 40th season for head baseball coach Dennis Olejniczak.

…Dedication ceremonies at the new indoor batting facility here are planned later this month.

…Jessica Anderson is the new 2003 Winneshiek County Fair Queen. Elizabeth Kuhn is Fair Princess.

…Decorah’s historic East Side School will be featured on the television network History Channel’s special titled “America’s Most Endangered” as a structure currently named on the list of 11 most endangered places for 2003. The list was compiled by the National Trust on a list for historic preservation.

…A 3-on-3 basketball tourney will be part of this year’s Nordic Fest celebration.

TEN YEARS AGO: O’Reilly Auto Parts is building a new store in Decorah. Decorah’s Planning and Zoning Commission is considering a site plan proposal for a 6,600-square foot building near Walmart off of Old Stage Road.

…Decorah’s Don Johnson recently won $2 million in the Iowa Lottery.

…Decorah native John Anderson has joined the Anderson, Wilmarth, Van Der Maaten, Belay and Fretheim firm here.

…The upcoming Nordic Fest will feature “Holly the Trolley” rides for the first time. The trolley will offer pick-up locations throughout the downtown area, and drivers will run a continuous loop. Free will donations are accepted.

…Design Alliance of Waukee has been hired by the City of Decorah to complete a feasibility study and conceptual work plan for a proposed community recreation and wellness center for the City. The firm is charging a $14,500 fee, which is being paid from the Park-Rec Board’s memorial fund. Seven potential sites are currently being considered, including the Army Reserve Center, the vacant Wapsie Produce property on East Water Street and others.

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