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1039, 29 Oct 17

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

St. Frances Cabrini School to celebrate 60 years                                By Ann Marie Craig

There is going to be a party in West Bend on Oct. 29 and it will include a trip down memory lane for former and present students, parents, teachers, and administrators of St. Frances Cabrini School.

Sixty years of education is an accomplishment. SFC Alumni & Development Coordinator Kristin Bayer described the purpose of the anniversary celebration. “We’re excited to share where the school is today, while remembering all those who helped get it to this point over the past 60 years. It’s a great chance for our parishioners, families, and the community to come together and see how far we’ve come.”

The celebration will begin at 10 a.m. with a Mass celebrated by former pastor Bishop Jeffrey Haines. Visiting guests include former principals Sr. Jean Hasenberg and Janice Stauske, former and current teachers, including Sr. Jolene Heiden and Sr. MaryAnn Kempa.

At 2 p.m. the Memory Quilt created by school and parish families will be revealed and the first-ever Alumni Awards will be presented. Everyone is invited and welcome.

The old Otten’s Food Market is for sale in Barton

The old Otten’s Food Market, 1805 Barton Avenue is for sale. The building also includes residential units at 1803 and 1807 Barton Avenue. The property has had many lives; the most notable is when Gene and Susie ran it as Otten’s Food Market. That business was an institution in Barton…. as was Gene’s black “discount” pen.

Gene Otten was a God-fearing man and had a long history of helping his neighbors. Gene owned and operated Otten’s Food Market for over 50 years, serving customers in the Barton area. He loved his work and always made sure the people of Barton were taken care of.

The building is for sale by owner. The property includes the retail/office space and a couple of separate apartments. The property is assessed at $151,000.  The asking price is $139,000.

Call or text Henry for more information at 414-eight 81-908 six.

On a history note: Gene Otten died June 11, 2016. Below is a note from Jay Stone, which was posted following the news of Gene’s death on

Mr. Eugene Otten, a true Barton Icon. Growing up in Barton felt like a privilege to me as a young man. Barton was a family, Gene was like the father. I worked for Gene and Suzie stocking shelves, shaking rugs, delivering groceries and fetching his nightly drink from the Long. Branch. “Amen Brother” was very common to hear from Gene’s mouth a man who cared more about his friends and customers I’ve never met! He marked down the price of every item purchased, always made me laugh thinking why he’d have me price as i stocked the shelves.

Gene had a drawer with cards, every card in that drawer was a credit extended to his customers. Not only would he give out his groceries on credit he would have Cora deliver them for free.

I know that man had a HEART of GOLD !!!

All in fun but us kids would stack the milk crates as high as we could behind the building then knock them over knowing Suzie would come out yelling at us damn kids. Jake , Mark or myself would have to restack them before we left work.

I had the pleasure of growing up living next to one of the most incredibly caring man I’ve known. Gene spoke at my father Max Stone’s funeral, he spoke well of my father and declared him a man of service. I guess this is my chance to recognize and thank Mr. Eugene Otten for all he unknowingly taught me as a unruly teenager. Genie was truly a blessing and a man of service to all who were lucky enough to have known him. Thank you Mr. Otton for the memories brother may you walk the streets of gold nobody’s more deserving than you my friend ! R.I.P Gene til we meet again Jay Stone

Veterans Tribute at Moraine Park Technical College

Common Sense Citizens of Washington County is organizing a Veterans Tribute on Monday, Nov. 6 at Moraine Park Technical College. The event will pay tribute to all veterans but special recognition will be given to all women who served and continue to serve. The event is free and open to the public. It will be held in the cafeteria at MPTC beginning at 6:30 p.m.

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.

New bike racks in West Bend a cooperative-educational effort

A collaborative educational effort between local businesses, Bike Friendly West Bend and students at Moraine Park Technical College came to fruition today with the installation of the first student-created bicycle rack in West Bend.

“The idea was to have technical college students gather requirements, design some custom racks and then fabricate the racks,” said Jeff Puetz from Bike Friendly West Bend. “The skill set MPTC to their students is very marketable in the current economy.”

Jeff Szukalski from Jeff’s Spirits on Main hosted a check donation and unveiling Monday morning in front of his store, 821 S. Main Street.

“This means I can ride my bike to Jeff’s and I don’t have to lock it to the mailbox,” said Andrew Schumacher from Bike Friendly West Bend.

Moraine Park Technical College received donated materials from Willard Tool and Mercury Marine. “Gene Wendorff from Hartford Finishing Inc. donated the powder coating and now every bike rack will be sold for $200 – $250 and all that money will go to a scholarship foundation for MPTC,” said Szukalski.

There are three different bicycle rack designs including a tree, a bicycle and a simple round frame with legs.

Cards for Veterans at West Bend Memorial Library

The American Legion Post 36 of West Bend will again sponsor the “Cards for Veterans” program at the West Bend Memorial Library. From Monday, Nov. 20 through Friday, Dec. 15, patrons visiting the library will find a display of Christmas and holiday cards.

All are encouraged to select a card, write a message to a veteran, and place the sealed cards in the box provided.  There is no cost for this service.

On Dec. 15, the cards will be distributed to veterans living in the West Bend area.

Donations of cards would be greatly appreciated. We wish to thank all of those who participated in this project in previous years.

Update & tidbits

-– “Brass, Wood, Voice” the setting is magnificent, the colors are gorgeous, the music is beautiful, and the Packers have a bye that day. The Nordic Brass, the Hesternus Early Music Consort, and the Jubilate Chorale will present a collaborative concert on Sunday, Oct. 29 at 4:30 pm in the Basilica at Holy Hill. The concert is open to the public, and a free-will offering will benefit the Basilica. The address of the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians at Holy Hill is 1525 Carmel Road in Hubertus.

-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.

– Buy your ticket today from the West Bend Sunrise Rotary and have a chance at a $5,000 grand prize. Drawing is Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. at Enchantment in the Park. Tickets available at Jeff’s Spirits on Main, Pleasant Valley Tennis & Fitness and any Sunrise Rotary member.

– Awakening Healing & Yoga is opening in the Slinger Centre, 413 E. Washington Street. It’s going into the location formerly home to Romualda Photography. . Yoga studio owner Traci Eberly hopes to open Nov. 4.   By Ruth Marks

– 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.

– 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.

– UW-Washington County Volleyball player Courtney Peters made the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference All-Tournament Volleyball team. There were 12 teams that participated in the State Tournament and only six players were voted to the All –Tournament team.

– This November, Salon Effervescence in Hartford is moving to a new location. Established for six years at 211 Main Street the salon will be relocating to 55 East Sumner.  By Samantha Sali

– 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.

Halloween memories across Washington County

Costumes have changed but many Halloween traditions have stayed the same. Below are local memories from Halloweens past including embarrassingly-treasured homemade outfits and candy swapping on the kitchen floor.

Paula Anderson, Hubertus – “Since we had a very large family and it was the 70s and money was tight, we generally all had to share two hard plastic face masks. You know the ones, where a skinny elastic band was connected to the mask with mini-staples which would catch your hair and leave little bald patches on the side of your head.

The mask only had a slit for you to breathe and you could stick your tongue through, thereby slicing your tongue and having it hurt for a week. We would make the rest of the costume; we had lots and lots of hobos which included old flannel shirts rolled up at the sleeves, dirt smeared on our cheeks, and a stick with a bandana tied around.

There was the hobo clown, which was the old flannel shirt rolled up, pants cuffed, along with two different socks and two different shoes, and the face painted with a red lipstick.  The lucky ones with the masks would have the old flannel shirts rolled up and some sort of bottoms.

Lastly, and I think this was just for laughs, the parents would take the youngest girl and put her in mom’s dresses and underwear and pack it full of pillows to look like a big fat old lady. We would find a wig (who knows where that came from) and some red lipstick to complete the outfit.

Back in those days money was tight so there was no driving around to houses, and there weren’t a lot of subdivisions, so we could only trick or treat on our road which consisted of about five houses.

Now, five houses isn’t going to give you nearly enough candy to last four days or even two days, so once we hit the five houses we would go home and the ones with the plastic masks would trade off and give them to the ones that didn’t have them, and then paint their faces and we would hit all the same houses!  As if the neighbors couldn’t figure out our scam.

The candy we would bring home and dump on the floor and sort it by suckers, hard candy, chocolate, and nasty chewy stuff.

There would be sub-categories like good suckers (anything cherry) and bad suckers, good hard candy and bad hard candy (candy cigarettes and bottle caps ROCKED!!), good chocolate (Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were AWESOME AND STILL ARE), and bad chocolate, which was anything with coconut.

Once each person’s candy was sorted, the wheeling and dealing started. Almost always the older kids said, “I will trade you two of these for one of those.” Being a smaller kid, you thought you were really getting a deal if you got two for one so I would always say “sure”…and there went my only Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup for two icky salt water taffy blobs.”

Kathy Lofy of West Bend.  When she was growing up her family got plastic masks (a mousey gerbil thing and clown face) from Schultz Brothers in downtown West Bend. The masks were nothing but a hot mess. “You never wore those masks that long because your face would be dripping from the sweat just from breathing in it. All you had was a tiny slit in the lips and two little nostril holes, like that was supposed to help. And it was never quite the size of your face, it was an abnormal oval. Whose face was ever shaped like a big oval? Everybody ended up wearing the mask pushed up on top of their head because nobody could stand wearing it on their face.”

Shelly Kehoe of West Bend – “We’d spread all our candy around on the floor. We had so much I just felt like rolling in it, like we were filthy rich in candy. I loved it.”

JB Anon of West Bend – “I don’t think any of my friends had store-bought outfits.  That almost seemed too fake.  I remember a witch, which was a hat made out of black construction paper, black clothes, and the black nylon cape that my mom put around us when she cut our hair. A paper bag was always the candy catcher and candy bars were the favorite.  Circus peanuts were the worst.”

Jacci Gambucci of West Bend – “Halloween was in the dark. Our parents did not come along and had no way of knowing where we were. We had no cell phones, they just trusted we would land safely back on our own doorstep.  A pillowcase was the container of choice – large, strong, easy to carry.  We made a beeline to the “pillar house” on Spring Street because they gave full size boxes of Cracker Jack.  Worst treats were popcorn ball and candy corn. Costumes were definitely homemade, with the exception of perhaps a store-bought witches’ hat.”

Lori Lynn-Radloff of West Bend – “I remember going into Kliner’s Club, I lived down the street across the bar on Park Ave by Regner. When a group of kids walked in he would throw a handful of “full size” candy bars (those “big” candy bars were a big deal) on the floor and we would dive to get them. Sometimes people would give us pennies or apples. I do remember we never worried about what was in our bag. I don’t remember our parents checking our candy at the end of the night.”


1039, 29 October 2017

1 Comment

  1. jsr

    I remember trick or treating at night until nearly 10:00 and being almost a mile away from home.  ‘Course, this was before Halloween died.

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