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Westbrook, Minnesota
October 24, 1990     Sentinel Tribune
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October 24, 1990

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Illl Ill II F , Serving: Walnut Grove, Westbrook, Dovray, and Revere areas IIII I II II Volume No. 7 dnesday, Oct. 24, 1990 Issue No. 5 article was sent to the tel/Tribune by Author, Mowery, for publication. published articles in ~s newspapers, poetry and books, and is the of many awards. She readers would be !sted in her story about Burkhiser's efforts to on students the difficult pioneers had on the #ty Chezum Mowery t . ancient oak spreads ve branches over the little Inside butter is soap made and Laura helps Ma dip wicks wax to make candles. ara lngalls Wilder and the F the family exist here in this built structure, located te golf course, in Rock only through the and role playing of the of H~len Burkhiser's fHouse on the Prairie classes. a session portions of the House books, previously class members, are members of the group. Helen move about the stone house instructing her and see her in authentic dress is like moving back A love and respect for and her pioneer life and are apparent as Helen of her as she would a own family. was born in 1919 in and grew up on a acre farm with three and her mother who was before Helen was two. very much paralleled s, with her mother making soap and g on the wash board. As in day, church and school ~tp~l of Helen's one of the enjoy doing the Little is because of the of heritage my in me." Helen was old enough to on a career, she chose and at that time didn't a college degree, rather a Teachers Exam enabled her a profession she soon her first teaching - 1938, was in the same she had attended as a child. was doing a unit on m 1963 while teaching at in Moline, Illinois a fellow teacher saying, you don't read those . Wilder books to the L." After a trip to the library she had to find out this girl and her life. new found fascination only pleasure to something loved, children and Her fourth grade SOon acquired a pioneer as Helen taught her to pull taffy, churn butter, candles and how to serve a on stew dinner at time. Before long the school about in Helen I. to Helen as she rein teaching after thirty- three years, because of arthritis and the need to care for her mother. Soon after she retired in 1982, Helen was asked to present a program at Riverdale School, Port Bryon, Illinois the following year and it was stressed, "please do something with the Laura Books." This was the beginning of another career for Helen. She soon began sharing Laura's life and her pioneer family with people at nursing homes, schools, clubs and organizations. She missed the classroom and her students. While presenting the class on Laura at Riverdale School in 1983, an idea of how to continue teaching came to her. It was then she decided to create a pioneer setting in her own basement using all of the prairie living items she had collected over the years. Helen set to work transforming the basement into a scene from the past. One side for the children where they could move around and handle any of the pioneer objects. The other half for adults where it was more of a look and learn section. Helen was excited as she considered the possibilities. She would teach again, watch young faces light up with learning, only this time it wouldn't be the three "R's", instead the children would read Little House books and actually learn about the pioneer life by role playing parts of the book and actually doing all of the projects depicted, such as making apple butter and maple sugar candy. From then on things began mushrooming for Helen. The classes in her home led to teaching 'courses at Black Hawk College in Moline, Illinois as well as the little stone house on Saukie golf course. The classes were successful and Helen feels people need what the Little House classes and books offer, because "people going through difficult times can gain courage and inspiration by learning what difficulties the pioneers endured." She said, "Laura's message throughout the books was one of hope, security and family devotion." The little stone house is a perfect setting for the classes, because as Helen said, "That's the kind of home these people lived in and this gives the students a real good idea of how small their Harvest nearly complete in the area Virtually all of the beans are in but some corn remains although with a good forecast through the end of the week the majority of what is left should be harvested by the weekend. Yield reports have been good with some very good bean yields reported. ST Photo. coming to Walnut It's harvest time, when farmers are gathering the fruits of their spring and summer planting. At the same time, the Red Cross bloodmobile is here at the Walnut Grove Community Center October 29 from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. to do some gathering for the benefit of hospital patients. This bloodmobile is particularly important, because the shelves at Red Cross are barer than usual. Walnut Grove has the chance to help us turn the situation around and help us shore up our inventory of blood and blood products for the late fall and early winter. case they need itl But this sometimes means giving during times that are less convenient than others. The seasons and the weather can have a tremendous effect on the turnout at our bloodmobile. But the need for blood knows no season. It's essential that people here realize that their donation is needed now more than ever. Giving blood takes very little time, and appointments are made for each donor to minimize the wait. On arrival, donors simply register, fill out a brief health history form and have a brief physical exam. The actual donation lasts only five to ten minutes. Then, donors are free to enjoy refreshments and to go back to their farming chores or other Ill WG firemen assist houses were." The little stone structm is used only for the children's classes. Helen also teaches an adult class which is an indepth study of the books, looking at them through the eyes of adults. She said, "We compare life today with life 100 years ago." Helen has moved onward from her basement classroom and The bloodmobile is just as vital to the health of the community as a plentiful harvest. Everyone roenefits, from having a plentiful supply of blood on hand just in Tracy Fire Department WALNUT GROVE -- The Walnut Grove Fire Department was called out at approximately 6 p.m. on Friday, October 19th to assist the Tracy Fire Department at a fire at the Charles Carter farm southwest of Walnut Grove. A small shed had caught on fire and the Walnut Grove Fire Department assisted with water supply from the city's tanker trucks. I1 WWG Middle School parents meetings scheduled WALNUT GROVE -- The WWG Middle School has scheduled meetings for parents of middle school students. Parents of students in fifth and sixth grades are urged to attend a meeting on Monday, October 29, in the Walnut Grove School small gym at 7:00 p.m. Fifth and sixth grade instructors will be introduced and the beyond the little stone house to curriculum will be reviewed. leading tours for anyone intetcsled Parents will be given an Halloween Party in Little House books and/or opportmaity to participate in small WALNUT GROVE---Amicus pioneer life. The tours include Laura's homes at Burr Oak in northern Iowa, De Smet, South Dakota, Walnut Grove, Minnesota, and Mansfield, Missouri. During a 1985 trip to Mansfield Helen was thrilled to ncet and talk with Laura's close friend, Neta Seal. The result of their meeting was a book authored by Helen about Ncta and her fa'ieadship with Laura. It was nice being able to hear first hand accounts of her favorite person from Neta, Through Ne, ta, Helen has reached out and touched Laura. But Helen group discussions. There will be Study Club will sponsor a consideration given to establishing a Middle School Parent Organization. A similar meeting will be held on November 5 in the small gym at the Walnut Grove School at 7:00 p.m. for parents of seventh and eighth grade students. Halloween Party for pre-school through Grade 6 on Wednesday, October 31, from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. at the Community Center. Children need not come in costume. Halloween Parade WESTBROOK -- G.F.W.C. Damascus Club is sponsoring a Halloween Parade down Main Street Wednesday, October 31. Children ( thru 4th grade) meet in the city park at 4:30 p.m. fdla 11. Parents be at the park at 5 p.m. to pick up children. regrets she never met Laura who died in 1957. But through study, exploring and a true love of Laura Ingalls Wilder, she will always remain close and alive to Helen. As Helen Burkhiser and her young oh.aries get ready to set down to their Thanksgiving feast of venison stew at the little stone house, perhaps in Helen's mind " come the happy sounds of Ma and Laura's voice or the strains of Pa's fiddle on the light fall breezes. Daylight savings time ends this Sunday morning at 2:00 A.M. Set your clocks one hour. activities. As one harvest provides for many people, so does each unit of blood. About 95 percent of donated blood is broken into its parts, or components, such as platelets, plasma and red cells. So each single donation of blood goes a long way because it is distributed to not just one, but several patients. Only through the continuing donations of healthy members of the community, however, can these patients receive the blood products they need. To make an appointment to give blood at the upcoming bloodmobile, call Vicki Van Gelderen at 274-6312. li II I I II J IIII Zoomobile at WG t. School, Thursday WALNUT GROVE -- The Minnesota Zoomobile will be at the Walnut Grove Grade School and the WWG Middle School on Thursday, October 25. A program will be given at 1:00 p.m. Student pictures WALNUT GROVE .- Independent student pictures will be taken at the Walnut Grove Elementary and WWG Middle School on Wednesday, October 31. Football fans: Section liB Football tickets will be available for all playoff game, s WWG/SJ Chargers are competing in. Tickets are available at the high school office from 7:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m Monday through Friday. Admission: adults - $3.00, students - $2.00. WWG/SJ season tickets not honored at sectional or state playoff games.' We encourage you to purchase advance tickets to speed up the gate admission lines. . ,3 ~ Thursday night was parents night After having the game between the Chargers and Tracy-MIIroy cancelled due to snow parents of the team showed up the following night and were Introduced prior to the game. ST Photo.