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0920, 21 Oct 17

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Mother’s Day Restaurant closes

There was little notice, but the doors were locked Tuesday at Mother’s Day Restaurant, 501 Wildwood Road in West Bend. Now comes word Sam Fejzuli has closed the business.

It wasn’t a hard decision according to Fejzuli. He said he had trouble getting employees and it was also difficult to “keep everybody happy.”

Fejzuli purchased the property in May 2015 for $260,000.  It was previously a Dairy Queen; the property had been in foreclosure since January 2014, and was listed at $390,000.

Originally from Macedonia, Fejzuli has been in the U.S. for 29 years. Fejzuli owned the Mother’s Day Restaurant in Horicon. Questioned whether the closure was temporary, whether Fejzuli would open elsewhere or sell the property, he said, “You ask me questions I don’t have the answers to.”

Second Kwik Trip approved in West Bend

The West Bend Common Council approved development of a second Kwik Trip in the city. This one will be in the former Walgreens building, 806 S. Main Street. “Congratulations Kwik Trip and thanks for choosing to do business in West Bend,” said Mayor Kraig Sadownikow.

On Oct. 4 the West Bend Plan Commission voted in favor of the development, however it charged Kwik Trip with completing a traffic study.

As part of the development Kwik Trip will tear down the old Walgreens building. Construction is expected to start in summer 2018. The first Kwik Trip in West Bend opened on Silverbrook Drive just north of Paradise Drive on Oct. 22, 2016.

New stores coming to town

The new strip mall just south of Pick ‘n Save south is taking shape. Larry Sajdak, Executive Vice President – Leasing at Inland Commercial Real Estate Services, said the 7,200-square-foot addition is being built by American Construction Services Inc. of West Bend.

A couple new businesses moving in include ATI Physical Therapy, Cricket Wireless (which is currently located inside GameStop on Paradise Drive), and a nail salon. Sajdak said they are also in talks with Firehouse Subs and they should lock in that deal shortly.

“These businesses will really help drive a lot of business to the area,” he said. “The stores are necessity based and Internet resilient.”

Sajdak said they are currently in discussion with Kroger regarding the former Grimm’s Dollar Express on the north side of the grocery store. Sajdak mentioned a “fuel pad” but said it’s “very early in the conversation.”

Saying thanks to a local hero

A special honor for Nick Busalacchi of West Bend who was recognized by the West Bend Common Council for helping save people following an apartment fire at the Wayne Road Apartments.

According to Fire Chief Gerald Kudek, “on June 1, 2017, Nick Busalacchi smelled smoke in his Wayne Road Apartment. Nick went into the hallway to investigate and found smoke coming from around the doorway of a downstairs apartment. He went outside and noted heavy fire coming from the patio doors of the apartment. Nick knew there were residents still in the apartment so he began to pound on the windows to alert them. He looked into a bedroom window and saw an occupant and he advised her to get out immediately. The occupant then climbed out of the bedroom window.

Once all occupants were accounted for Nick jumped into action and used a garden hose in attempts to control the fire until the Fire Department arrived. Mr. Busalacchi’s quick actions at great risk to his personal safety, saved lives and limited damage.”

Make plans to attend Veterans Day program

A note from VFW Commander John Kleinmaus regarding the upcoming Veterans Day program in West Bend. Despite the fact Veterans Day is on a Saturday this year the traditional Veterans Day program will still be held “at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.”  On Saturday Nov. 11, area veterans will gather at 10:45 a.m. at Veterans Plaza on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Poplar Street in West Bend.

At 10:55 a.m., a brief statement will be read followed by a moment of silence. At 11 a.m., the siren will sound and the West Bend Veterans Color Guard will fire the traditional three-round volley followed by the playing of Taps.

Each year the number of citizens attending this brief service has increased and we hope this trend continues this year. We are inviting all citizens of Washington County to stand with us as we remember our veterans.

Man who founded Jam for Kids has died

Robert “Bob” E. Cross, age 73, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at the Lawliss Family Hospice in Mequon.  Bob had a place in his heart for the Special Olympics, donating his time and being the Founder of Jam For Kids.

Through his efforts, thousands of dollars were raised for the Special Olympics of West Bend.  Bob also had a passion for art, creating all the different logos of Jammin’ Sam and sharing his work with others. A Celebration of Life will be 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23 at the Phillip Funeral Home Chapel in West Bend with Pastor Roger Knowlton presiding

Update & tidbits

– Weasler Engineering on Highway 45 just north of County Highway D in West Bend has a number of job openings. Mark your calendar for Tuesday, Oct. 24 from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. for the Weasler Career Fair. Jobs include benefits, health care, and shift premiums.

– AT&T in West Bend has relocated from 1442 W. Washington Street to 1606 S. Main Street. The location in the strip mall on W. Washington Street is now for lease.

– ‘Welcome Naskull Fans!’ to this year’s Holy Hill Halloween display presented by Jimmy Zamzow. The rowdy crowd of skeletons is highlighted in a NASCAR theme. The helmets to prevent head injuries are rather hilarious. The display is on Highway 167 as you make your way west to Holy Hill.

– The first Family Fun Day of this season is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at the West Bend Community Memorial Library. Themed with the upcoming symphony concert program, these Saturday morning programs usually feature a book, a craft or other hands-on project, and musical listening which combine to show the connection between literature, music and the arts. This is a joint venture between the Kettle Moraine Symphony and the library. The program is geared for ages 4-12, but all ages (including adults) are welcome.

– There will be a reunion Wednesday, Nov. 8 for the former employees of the old St. Joseph’s Hospital in West Bend. “The Best of St. Joe’s” are having another get together, according to Carol Ann Daniels. The gathering will begin with a social hour at 11 a.m. at the Top of the Ridge at Cedar Ridge in West Bend, 113 Cedar Ridge Drive. If you plan on joining us, please contact Carol Daniels, 262-689-1089 for further information. Reservations must be received no later than Oct. 25, 2017.

– The Richfield Historical Society is hosting an event: “Wisconsin Petroglyphs” by Dale Van Holten, on Thursday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m., at the Richfield Fire Hall, 2008 State Road 175. This presentation will introduce you to petroglyphs discovered in Waterloo, Wisconsin. Admission is free and open to the Richfield Historical Society Members and the general public.

– Fillmore Fire & Rescue is hosting a fish fry on Friday, Nov. 3 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Bring a non-perishable food item and get a free dessert.

– The annual VFW Essay contest is underway. The Patriot’s Pen Contest is for all 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.  The theme is “America’s Gift to My Generation.” The Grand Prize is $5,000.  The Voice of Democracy Contest is for all high school students.  The theme is “American History: Our Hope for the Future.” The Grand Prize is a $30,000 scholarship.

– The West Bend Theatre Company is moving this year’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol” to the Silver Lining Arts Center at the West Bend High School. Production manager Nancy Storrs said the West Bend Theatre Company will share proceeds with the High School choir programs and they plan on sharing with a different nonprofit organization for each show they produce. Next year the donation will be to the Historic Downtown West Bend Theatre.

Trick or treat times and locations

Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year; Oct. 31 but quite a few neighbors in Washington County are holding trick or treat on the weekend.

Barton, West Bend and Trenton will have trick or treat Saturday, Oct. 28 from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.  Newburg and Richfield are also Saturday but from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. and Town of Farmington is Saturday, Oct. 28 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. and Village of Kewaskum is from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

In the Village of Jackson the Jackson Area Community Center will host Ghoul Gala on Sunday, Oct. 29 from 3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. and then trick or treat is 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

The Village of Slinger will hold trick or treat Saturday, Oct. 28 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Families are welcome to a free event after as Spooky Slinger will be held from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Slinger Community Park with music, pumpkin carving contest, costume contest, and refreshments.

Allenton and Addison trick or treat is Sunday, Oct. 29 from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.   Hartford is also Sunday from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Germantown celebrates Halloween on Tuesday, Oct. 31 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Hilda Rasmussen from West Bend completes Stars & Stripes Honor Flight

Korean War veteran Hilda Rasmussen of West Bend was one of 11 veterans from Washington County that took part in last Saturday’s Stars & Stripes Honor Flight to Washington D.C.

Rasmussen was 20 years old when she enlisted in the Army. A southerner who grew up in North Carolina and Virginia, Rasmussen was working at Rose’s Five and Dime when a friend whose sister was in the Army suggested she join so she could finish school.

“I enlisted against my parents’ wishes,” said Rasmussen. “My mom had breast cancer and there just wasn’t any money for school. It was hard to get jobs because there were so many wives from the Navy base looking to get jobs.”

Rasmussen said she and her friend were going to go into the service on the Buddy Plan, which meant if two people went in together the military kept them together during service.

“I came home and told my parents and that didn’t go well,” said Rasmussen. Adopting a stern voice she mimicked her mother’s response. “No you’re not,” she barked. “That’s not something a young lady does.”

Rasmussen was upset and later that night had a change of heart when she heard her mother crying. “The next morning at breakfast I told them I prayed about it and didn’t want them to be disappointed in me and said I wasn’t going,” she said.

Rasmussen’s mother had a change of heart too and gave her daughter the OK. “We’re not going to have it said we wouldn’t let you do what you wanted so you’re going,” Rasmussen recalled.

A graduate of Deep Creek High School in Deep Creek, Virginia a young Rasmussen left the cotton and tobacco fields and headed to basic training at Fort McClellan in Anniston, Alabama.

With a goal to continue her education, Rasmussen attended correspondence school at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. She worked in courts and boards and eventually ended up in food service.

A petite soldier who “didn’t even wear a size one dress” Rasmussen was known to colleagues as ‘Danni.’

“It was short for Daniel Boone,” said Rasmussen. “I did pretty well on the rifle range as a sharpshooter.”

Rasmussen pulls out a small, narrow white box full of medals labeled sharpshooter and marksmen; these were post Army service and something she earned when she joined the NRA.

“I had boys after the service and I didn’t want to stay home,” she said. “I went to NRA classes so I could go hunting with them.”

Rasmussen picked up her military story with details on her years in food service and how on Sundays the stewards from various mess halls would invite her over to eat. “They had linen table cloths and real china and they made special desserts for me,” she said laughing. “I had some of the most luscious desserts you ever tasted.”

Following on Sunday feast at the Air Force mess hall, Rasmussen was challenged to leave like everyone leaves in the Air Force. “They made me jump out of a tower,” she said.

Hooked up to a harness with a parachute Rasmussen was fearless. “The only thing was I came in uniform that day and I was wearing a skirt,” she said. “I had two pins in my purse and I pinned my skirt like culottes. I think every man in that mess hall stayed that day to see me jump.”

Rasmussen relays her stories while perched on the edge of her living room couch. Her memories are detailed and her speech pattern is a bit rushed with excitement.

Rasmussen spent her entire military career stateside at Fort Belvoir. She met her husband, who was also stationed at the base. They married March 17 so the military wouldn’t send her overseas to Germany.

After her discharge on July 12, 1956, Rasmussen worked for specifications at Fort Belvoir and later spent nearly five years just outside Washington D.C. as military air-transport service for the plane for the President of the United States.

“I really liked that job,” she said. “There were four girls in the office and 12 men. The building was basically a Quonset hut,” laughed Rasmussen.

In 1960, Rasmussen and her husband moved to the Campbellsport area. “I started my first job at Local Loan Finance Company in Milwaukee. I worked at 21st and North Avenue and I was there 15 years and we were robbed five times,” she said.

As years past Rasmussen’s life changed. Her first husband died and she later remarried. She had two sons and one was killed in a traffic accident in California.

Rasmussen lives with her other son Kevin Nelson. He was her guardian on the Honor Flight.

This was the 42nd “mission” for the Honor Flight since 2008.  There were 90 Korean War vets on the flight along with 10 WWII and 50 Vietnam War veterans.


0920, 21 October 2017


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