by Helen Nolden
The following article was written by Helen Rice Nolden for The Valley Star, Velva
June 22, 1998
Our big centennial celebration is now part of Anamoose history. It doesn’t seem possible that our quiet city, today, was such a bustling place over the Fourth of July weekend.
Some claim the day after the party there was a strong wind blowing in from the northwest. I don’t think so! I believe it was all of the committee people taking a deep sigh of relief for a job well done.
We planned, worked, practiced, rehearsed, argued, frowned, and did a lot of strange things to get everything to fall into place. A week before our birthday, some of us had doubts, others were thinking of running away. Some had the jitters but, then, the thought of our pioneer legacy kicked in, and we did it!
From my point of view, we had a great three days. So many people from far away thanked everyone, old and young and those in-between. Even the weather was great for our parade.
Comments like, “Do you remember when?” and “Were you there when?” were heard over and over on Main Street or in the business places. Another was “I hope my mother doesn’t hear about that escapade.”
A lot of sun-burned faces came back from the demolition derby. The parade was fantastic. Alyce Heer, centennial chair, was in the parade. She tossed a Tootsie Roll to me as she called out my name. I went to pick it up. Another woman headed toward it, too. I told her it was mine as it had my name on it. She looked me in the eye and asked, “Your name is Tootsie Roll?” I said, but , course.
My sister Minnie and I had a photo shop in the old post office building. Nearly 500 people stopped in to view our memorabilia. It was fun to reminisce with all of our many old friends. Hugs from Helen Hublou, Laura Winterfeld, the Fiest family, the Kummers, and a firm handshake from Erich Albrecht to name but a few. Things like that really made my day.
It always amazes me that so many young people are curious about “old Anamoose.” So interested about the city as it used to be. They asked a lot of questions. I like that.
The programs at the school auditorium were great. Those Spice Girls were wild. I can’t believe they did that! I had said before we weren’t out for Academy Awards but I would have given Oscars to quite a few people on stage Friday and Saturday night.
I was one of the cheerleaders. My younger compatriots really got into the swing of things. Leone kept telling me with one of the yells, “Helen, its heel, toe, kick; heel, toe, kick.” For some reason it was all strange to me. I was asked to jump higher, but that was out of the question. At 74, I didn’t want to close our act by falling off the stage. Someone asked if we needed a microphone. I thought not! Yelling loud is a job I do very well, thank you. I couldn’t remember the words or the melody of two of the school songs so I mimicked it. I enjoyed every minute. It took me back to 1942-43.
All in all, our 100 year party was great. As I walked down the streets, in my mind, I could picture Martin Hublou, Bill and John Chapek, Frank, Albert and Bill Glotzbach, Fred and Louie Albrecht, Jacob Heringer, Sr., Ferdinand Wehr, Gust Winterfeld, the Hellers, the Rudnicks, Frankhausers, Wilkie Tinker, Henry, Fred and Adam Wohl, Ernest Schwarze, Bartz, Zimmermans and ever so many more who were here in the early years building our community. So many of the early settlers, in spirit, will always be here in our city. I can’t mention Anamoose without thinking of the pioneers who came here to build this little town that has stood the test. We’re here!
The celebration closed with the All Faith Services in the park, followed by a pot-luck lunch. We were tired but happy. It was great how it all fit together like a giant jigsaw puzzle with a beautiful picture at t he end. Centennial committees take a bow!!!