Former WBHS teacher Ralph Mundinger on Saturday’s Honor Flight
Korean War veteran Ralph Mundinger, 86, of West Bend is one of five veterans from Washington County who will be traveling Saturday to Washington D.C. on the Stars & Stripes Honor Flight.
Mundinger enlisted in the Air Force in 1950 when he was 19 years old. “I was cut from the Chicago Cubs baseball team and I decided I was going to go in the service,” he said.
At 6-foot-3 Mundinger was an intimidating left-handed pitcher with great control and a wicked curve ball. An all star at College High in Whitewater, Mundinger tried out for the Cubs in 1948 but got cut.
“I had a bad arm for a while and I was supposed to go to Janesville on the Cubs team and when I didn’t make it I enlisted,” he said.
In service Mundinger completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio and then moved along and studied radio surveillance at Scott Air Force Base in St. Louis before he was sent to Gibelstaudt, Germany with the 603rd A.C. Squadron.
While in the military Mundinger played basketball and baseball for the military base. “The colonel picked me out,” said Mundinger. While playing ball was familiar, some of the habits among the troops were new to the rookie from Whitewater.
“We’d be marching in St. Louis and when they stopped us they’d say ‘light ‘um if you got ‘um,’” said Mundinger. “I really didn’t know what that meant but the other fellas were smoking so I thought I’d give it a try.”
Lucky Strike was the popular flavor among his peers and 10-cents a pack was the going rate.
A thick scrapbook of black-and-white photographs shows Mundinger with a bat in his hand and a grit dangling from the corner of his mouth. “I remember I coughed a bit,” he said with a laugh. “We used them as barter with the Germans … along with coffee.”
Mundinger spent much of his time traveling to other Air Force bases. “We went all over Germany. The teams we had the most trouble with were in Berlin,” he said. “I was the best hitter on the team with an average pretty close to .400.”
A left-handed hitter, Mundinger could really pull the ball.
In 1952 Mundinger’s tour of duty was extended a year because of a threat from Russia. Discharged as a Sergeant in Feb. 19, 1953, Mundinger enrolled at UW-Whitewater and became a business education teacher in the West Bend School District from 1961- 1992.
“I was also the first girls softball coach,” he said. “I also coached boys golf, football, and I was the assistant basketball coach.” Mundinger has been to Washington D.C. before, but that was only to get on a ship and make his way to Germany. Mundinger’s son Mark will be his guardian for Saturday’s tour.
Other veterans from Washington County participating in Saturday’s Honor Flight include Korean War veterans Wally Hauser of Germantown, Bill Maiers of West Bend, Willard Wolff of Jackson, and WWII veteran Howard Hart of West Bend.
Traffic backup for annual We Energies Cookie Book
The We Energies cookie book was distributed Thursday on Sand Drive in West Bend and police were called to the scene. Traffic control was needed as the line of cars ran from Jeff’s Spirits on Main, up Decorah Road four blocks and then south along Sand Drive. The hot-ticket item was the 27-page spiral recipe book.
“Merry Christmas everybody,” yelled one We Energies employee. Dressed in florescent lime green vests the staff from We Energies directed traffic into two lines as others doled out the paperback books that were stacked 2-feet high on metal carts.
“Can we have three,” asked one elderly woman who drove up, carpool style, with two of her friends. “We only allow two books per car,” said the We Energies staffer … and then in stealth fashion she slipped one more book through the driver’s side window. “Merry Christmas,” she said.
Traffic for the annual cookie book distribution started lining up around 8:20 a.m. even though the distribution didn’t get underway until 11 a.m. This year’s book is unique as local celebrities have shared their recipes. Actor John McGivern, the host of Around the Corner, submitted Jelly Sandwich Cookies which are featured on Page 16. “I was the son of an Irish woman who boiled everything,” said McGivern.
He breaks the mold by rolling out some a batch of sugar cookies made with love. Olympic speed skater Bonnie Blair, a supporter of Alzheimer’s research, also contributed a recipe for Killer Brownies and Lemon Shortbread Cookies were shared by Archbishop Jerome Listecki.
New leadership at WB Moose Lodge
Some change in management at the West Bend Moose Lodge as an effort is underway to fix the building, grow membership and get on a solid financial path.
Lodge Treasurer Al Bath of Kewaskum is the new administrator taking over for Curtis Carter. “Curt stepped down,” said Bath. “This will give me a position to help the lodge grow.”
Bath has been a member of the Moose Lodge for four years. Another appointment includes Steve Rohde as the new kitchen manager. “He was unanimously voted in and a great asset to the lodge,” said Bath.
Rohde, who just retired from a career in law enforcement, said he always felt comfortable in the kitchen and behind the grill. The Moose Lodge is already rolling out some new menus on taco Tuesday, burger night and Friday fish fries. Bath said there may be some minor changes in the price of the food but the quality will go up. He said other changes will happen “little by little.”
The West Bend Moose Lodge was founded in 1911. The lodge is committed to community, to Mooseheart in Illinois, and Moosehaven in Florida. The organizations are designed to take care of the children and seniors of Moose members.
Thank you Carter family
Neighbors hearing news the West Bend Moose Lodge is under new direction are taking a moment to say thanks to Curt Carter and his family for all they did over the years.
“Every organization needs somebody to step up when no one is willing to do it and that person has been Curtis and the entire Carter family,” said Mayor Kraig Sadownikow.
Curt Carter and his family started at the Moose Lodge June 11, 2011. Over the years the family organized a free Easter dinner for folks who so no one would have to spend Easter Sunday alone. The Carters also hosted the Kids Christmas Party and Shop with a Cop.
The Carters hosted celebrities at the Moose Lodge including lawmakers State Senator Duey Stroebel, Congressman Glenn Grothman, Mayor Sadownikow, and they received a resolution from Gov. Scott Walker when the Moose Lodge turned 100 years old.
The Moose could easily turn green and gold as it hosted Green Bay Packers LeRoy Butler, Paul Horning and Dorsey Levens. “He did a lot and he spent more hours here getting things done; what needed to be done,” said Ellie Muraski, a Moose member since 1974.
The Carter family is still members of the Moose Lodge and they’re hoping to be part of its future success.
Special ceremony for cremated remains
A very special ceremony this past week on All Souls Day, Tuesday, Nov. 1, as members of St. Mary’s Parish and St. Frances Cabrini gathered to bury the cremated remains of their loved ones.
“This was something very special and unique,” said Rev. Nathan Reesman. “All who participated by bringing the remains of their loved ones to be buried found a real sense of peace and closure in the ritual, and in the act of observing our ancient Christian practices.”
Rev. Reesman said he was “so grateful for everyone’s participation and for their sincere care they showed their loved ones by burying their remains.”
Woman rescued from fire doing better
There’s a picture of a smiling Lydia Craig on WashingtonCountyInsider.com this week. It’s been more than a month since an early-morning fire raced through the Craig home on Sept. 26. The 18-year-old was rescued from the lower level of her family’s home. Craig suffered carbon monoxide poisoning. Firefighters Alan Hefter and
This week’s Veterans Day ceremonies
Thursday, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day and there are several local ceremonies on tap.
-The Student Veterans of America Club at UW-Washington County (UW-WC) are commemorating Veterans Day on Friday, Nov. 11, with a ceremony at noon in the campus theatre. All area veterans and their families as well as the general public are welcome to attend.
-West Bend Veterans will be involved in a number of programs on Veterans Day. On Friday, Nov. 11 at 9 a.m. the Color Guard will be at the Lighthouse in West Bend for a brief ceremony. At 11 a.m. there is the traditional Veterans Day Service on the Veterans Plaza at the Old Court House and then the Color Guard will be at UW-WC for its ceremony at noon.
Election Day is Tuesday
Polls open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8 for the General Election. Locally there are two referendums on the ballot. Germantown School District has a referendum for $84 million. Add on the interest and that brings the total cost to about $114 million according to Superintendent Jeff Holmes. In the Kewaskum School District a $28.4 million referendum. The total cost with interest according to Superintendent Jim Smasal is close to $40 million.
UW-WC volleyball players honored
Wisconsin Collegiate Conference named its All-Conference volleyball team and UW-Washington County took the top honors in all three possible categories. Amber Herbst was named Player of the Year, Marisa Moser – Defensive Player of the Year, Atira Boyce – Setter of the Year, and Courtney Peter – Second Team All-Conference. “We are so proud to be able to have four players on the All-Conference team,” said coach Deb Butschlick. “What an awesome way to end the season to have coaches recognize these players for their outstanding talents.”
New health and nutrition store opens in West Bend
Nov. 3, 2016 – West Bend, WI – B & F Health and Nutrition has opened in West Bend. The store has made its home in the cream city brick building at 139 S. Sixth Avenue.
Frank Balderston, 28, from Horicon said he has been in the health food industry for about eight years. “I’m an Army veteran and I used this product from GNC while I was in the service,” he said. “The health food industry is huge right now and we thought we could help by offering lower prices and being local.
“We carry workout supplements and protein powders and just about every vitamin under the sun.”
Balderston, who is in business with his wife Magen along with Kristine and Christopher Fallin, will also be offering coffee and smoothies. “We’re going to start with Colombian coffee but if it goes well we’ll bring in Black Rifle Coffee,” he said. “All our smoothies will include protein powder and we’ll only use real fruit.”
B & F Health and Nutrition is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday and 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Saturday. Balderston said he has the entire first floor of the building and the remodel should be completed within the next week.
“We’re using some of the repurposed wood from the trees cut down in the community because of the emerald ash borer,” he said. “We got about 90 percent of the items we’re using from Habitat for Humanity.”
B & F Health and Nutrition is located in the building that’s formerly home to gift boutique Season 2 Season and later The Nail Artist owned by Daryl Feucht. The building dates to 1845 and used to be home horse dealers Dave and Ben Present. Gone is the huge red barn behind the building and the yard on the south side for grazing.
Aside from the brick exterior and an old six-panel door with a church-key lock in the basement most of the history and the hidden character is buried in the building.
Years ago during an extensive remodel the Feuchts found five different wallpapers including designs featuring cats with teapots. The interior still features a large photo of a white orchid behind the front counter.
Updates & tidbits
–The funeral for Rev. Rick Wendell’s mother is Saturday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Milwaukee. Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki will preside over the Mass for Patricia Ann Wendell who died Oct. 24, 2016.
-Daylight Saving comes to an end this weekend and neighbors remember to turn clocks back an hour.
–A sticky mess for crews with West Bend Public Works as there was an unusual spill of 50 gallons of liquid caramel in the roundabout at River Road and Paradise Drive. The driver must have thought the same thing and didn’t think about stopping. The assumption was it was a bear hunter using it as bait.
– The 8th annual Women of Christ Conference at the Washington County Fair Park is Saturday, Nov. 5. This is a chance for women to become inspired by their Catholic faith and feel God’s grace.
– Winners of the Harvest Moon Celebration Pie Contest at St. Mary’s in Barton included Marlene Bechler, Joan Hetzel, Joan Casseta, and Dick Rowley. Raffle winners included Kay Holbrook, Jay Pruett and Andy Klefsted.
-There was an official ribbon cutting this week as West Bend welcomed Kwik Trip to the community. The new gas station/convenience store opened on Silverbrook. As part of the ceremony Kwik Trip donated $1,000 to the West Bend Police Department and $1,000 to the West Bend Fire Department. The WBFD will buy protective ballistic vests for the firefighters to wear in hostile situations.
-Tommy Schwai’s moment in the spotlight will be extended next week when “Real Milwaukee” comes to his Cedarburg store on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
– Kewaskum’s Kayla Bastian has set a personal record of 1,000 kills as a member of the Truman University volleyball team. Bastian is a 2012 graduate of Kewaskum High School.
– The Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) kicks off the holiday season with Bloomin’ Holidaze on Nov. 11 and 12. The annual two-day event features lush florals throughout the galleries.
-There are job openings for a sidewalk crew and plow drivers at Extra Mile Snow Specialists in West Bend. Pay is $20 per hour. Applications at extramilesnow.com or call 262-334-3011.
-November 12 is Autumn Night Out at St. Frances Cabrini. A night of music, dancing, hearty appetizers and fellowship for $25 per person. Tickets at parish office or 262-338-2366.
-Stop in All in Books, 136 N. Main Street, in West Bend to sign Christmas cards for our military personnel. One card for someone in each branch of the U.S. Military. Also one special card will be given to a Gold Star family. Signing will be hosted through Nov. 12.
-West Bend Park, Recreation and Forestry director Craig Hoeppner has received the “Professional Award of Merit,” the highest award given by the Wisconsin Park & Recreation Association to a park and recreation professional in the State of Wisconsin.
– Help is available to families in Washington County that need assistance with winter heating bills. Contact Kay Lucas with the Washington County Human Services Department which oversees the Energy Assistance Program. The number is 262-335-4677.
-There’s free mulch at the Public Works yard, 251 Municipal Drive, in West Bend. No drop-off sticker is required. Mulch available normal business hours and Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
-The 17th annual Taste of Washington County is Nov. 30 at Washington County Fair Park Pavilion. Live auction items include 4 tickets US Open Golf Package Erin Hills June 16, 2017.
–Pizza Hut will open hopefully before the end of the year at 1460 S. Main Street, West Bend. A build out of the interior is underway although plans have yet to be disclosed.
-Final weeks for Pat’s Jiffy Stop, 111 E. Decorah Road, as one of the last corner groceries in West Bend is closing. Pat LaBuda has been part of the fabric of the community since 1982. “November 18 is going to be my last day,” she said. Retiring at age 66, LaBuda said the Jiffy Stop space will be leased to the karate business next door.
– Enchantment in the Park powered by Westbury kicks off Friday, Nov. 25 at Regner Park. This year’s event features brilliant holiday lights, a Christmas village, and a volunteer spirit.