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Light and Shadow in Siouxland, Yankton, SD

10 Jun

The Mead Cultural Education Center, a former mental institution for women, now houses the Dakota Territorial Museum under the auspices of the Yankton County Historical Society in Yankton, SD Saturday, April 6, 2019.(Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I always enjoy a good light and shadow display no matter how fleeting or seemingly impossible it might appear to be. The interplay and ying and yang of the two opposites can create interesting images and on especially sunny days, the possibilities are endless.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Mead Cultural Education Center is undergoing a restoration before competing exhibits of the Dakota Territorial Museum and other historical artifacts under the auspices of the Yankton County Historical Society in Yankton, SD Saturday, April 6, 2019.(Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The exterior of the Mead Cultural Education Center is graced with many columns that adorned architecture of the period. It formerly was a mental institution for women and now houses area historical content and the Dakota Territorial Museum under the auspices of the Yankton County Historical Society in Yankton, SD Saturday, April 6, 2019.(Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating Dutch Heritage in Siouxland, Orange City

4 Jun

A young boy rests in his father’s arms as his mom explains he needs a nap during the Orange City, Iowa Tulip Festival, Thursday, May 16 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Catching every corner of the street these two ladies leave no inch untouched during the street scrubbing at the Orange City, Iowa Tulip Festival, Thursday, May 16 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The annual Siouxland Tulip Festival recently once again allowed the community of Orange City to exhibit its Dutch roots and heritage and program a nice day for those attending for a pleasant day trip and a community celebrating. There are some tasty treats both in seeing costumes depicting various regions of the Netherlands as well as food items. Many people participating in the festivities have been doing so for years, maybe decades, beginning when they were students in the schools and later as adults.

There is always time during the Straat Feest to take time and say hello to friends as participants “model” authentic, distinct and varied Dutch attire from the Netherlands during the Orange City, Iowa Tulip Festival, Thursday, May 16 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Local high school students perform traditional Dutch dances at the Orange City, Iowa Tulip Festival, Thursday, May 16 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Civilians “hoof it” across the street as local high school students hoof it as they perform traditional Dutch dances during the Orange City, Iowa Tulip Festival, Thursday, May 16 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I always fascinated watching people and while it shouldn’t I am still surprised  that with so much activity going on around one that some folk, while possibly sharing the day, seem more likely disconnected from what is actually happening.

With a lot of Tulip Festival activity going on around them, two young ladies still find time to possibly do social media while in Orange City, Iowa, Thursday, May 16 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But it’s fun to see folk sharing their heritage and for some school children, especially those involved in the street cleaning, there may be a little more going on. One young man this year seemed to get caught between his many friends while preparing the streets for the parade.

Participants chat as they await the start of the the Straat Feest where they “model” authentic, distinct and varied Dutch attire from the Netherlands during the Orange City, Iowa Tulip Festival, Thursday, May 16 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The amount of fun that school children (boys) have when cleaning the “dirty” streets is not lost on them, especially on a warm day during the Orange City, Iowa Tulip Festival, Thursday, May 16 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The amount of fun that school children (boys) have when cleaning the “dirty” streets is not lost on them, especially on a warm day during the Orange City, Iowa Tulip Festival, Thursday, May 16 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The amount of fun that school children (boys) have when cleaning the “dirty” streets is not lost on them, especially on a warm day during the Orange City, Iowa Tulip Festival, Thursday, May 16 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Ah, what are friends for anyway but to share experiences they can look back on in years to come. And possibly have families that remain in the area and see their children partaking of the same experiences and making their own memories with their friends and sharing a pride of community and heritage that defines a special time and place.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The bristles on the broom look well worn away as a mother also pulls a wagon with her daughters “resting” during the Orange City, Iowa Tulip Festival, Thursday, May 16 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A display of wooden shoes at the Orange City, Iowa Tulip Festival, Thursday, May 16 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

History Around Siouxland, the Squirrel Cage Jail, Council Bluffs

31 May

The former jail for Pottawatamie County and now a museum in Council Bluffs, Iowa Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Unique history tidbits can be found in Council Bluffs, Iowa Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There are always bits of oddities of sorts in history. And probably more that will become history as today fades into yesterday. But in Siouxland one such interesting footnote is a former jail in Council Bluffs. The Squirrel Cage Jail. It is found in a small museum in the downtown area and it was only one of 18 ever built and only three now remain, all museums. I have never timed my excursion to that community allowing me an opportunity to take a look inside, but I feel I need to. The jail cells revolved and allowed the insertion and extraction of prisoners from one point of entry and the cells revolved like using a “lazy Susan” situated on a kitchen table.

A horse statue recalling law enforcement history sits near the old county jail in downtown Council Bluffs, Iowa Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The downtown area is an interesting site to visit and also contains a nice park downtown and is a pleasant walk with various restaurants tucked away. The community in its early days also had its own Hay Market used by local farmers and ranchers. Not far from the downtown area and the jail museum is the Dodge House, a museum of one General Grenville M. Dodge who served the Union Army during the Civil War and later became a builder of railroad lines heading West.

A walkway leading to General Dodge’ House museum near the downtown area in Council Bluffs, Iowa Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It is situated in a historic district that still retains brick stone streets and many flowering trees along the boulevards. a very pleasant walk on a spring day or any day unless the temps are soaring into the 90’s with 80% humidity. But then that is just an excuse to find an ice cream shop and cool off and enjoy the day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Trees are blossoming during a spring day in a historic district near downtown Council Bluffs, Iowa Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Honoring Veterans in Siouxland, Winnebago, NE

29 May

During morning rain showers, veterans of the Winnebago Tribe and members of American Legion Post 363 La Mere Greencrow Rice, JACK LAMERE (Coast Guard) center left,JERRY LAMERE (Navy) second from left, RANDY DE CORA (Air Force) third from left and TAYLOR BASS (Army) right, stand at attention for Taps played by sstudent and tribe member ALEXANDER FLANDERS as they make up an Honor Guard to commemorate other tribal members during Memorial Day services at area cemeteries that included two family cemeteries, the Winnebago Cemetery and the St. Augustine Mission Cemetery, Monday May 27, 2019 near Winnebago, NE (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

I had the privilege on Memorial Day of spending time with veterans of the Winnebago Tribe from Winnebago, NE as they visited four cemeteries to honor other tribal members who served their country. It was a very wet and soggy day, but these four men and others were not bothered by the inclement weather. And the settings of the cemeteries was very bucolic adding to the atmosphere of the overcast and solemn occasion.

During morning rain showers, veterans of the Winnebago Tribe and members of American Legion Post 363 La Mere Greencrow Rice, JACK LAMERE (Coast Guard) left , JERRY LAMERE (Navy) center, TAYLOR BASS (Army) right and Randy De Cora (Air Force) not seen, make up an Honor Guard to commemorate other tribal members during Memorial Day services at area cemeteries that included two family cemeteries, the Winnebago Cemetery and the St. Augustine Mission Cemetery, Monday May 27, 2019 near Winnebago, NE (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

 

During morning rain showers, local college student Winnebago Tribe member ALEXANDER FLANDERS plays taps while JAMES FRENCHMAN holds an umbrella as veterans of the Winnebago Tribe and members of American Legion Post 363 La Mere Greencrow Rice, commemorate other tribal members during Memorial Day services at area cemeteries, Monday May 27, 2019 near Winnebago, NE (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

A number of other area remembrances were moved indoors for these ceremonies. Bad weather does deter people from attending, but standing in the rain and watching and listening as these men and others remembered their fellow tribal members it became apparent that the outdoor ceremony was all the more important. Man of these remembered had made the ultimate sacrifice and inclement weather was of little consequence to those attending for what they celebrated.

Grave sties of the St. Augustine Mission Cemetery where veterans of the Winnebago Tribe served as an Honor Guard to celebrate other tribal members during Memorial Day services at area cemeteries, Monday May 27, 2019 near Winnebago, NE (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

On such solemn occasions as this and others that America holds to celebrate past achievements and sacrifices it seems that more Americans should not mind spending a few minutes in quiet contemplation of what others have done so they can enjoy living and working in a place that holds promise. And with each passing rain storm, a little light does appear brightening the day and giving a little credence to that promise of a better tomorrow.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The sun finally shines through the clouds as veterans of the Winnebago Tribe and members of American Legion Post 363 La Mere Greencrow Rice, JERRY LAMERE (Navy) left, JACK LAMERE (Coast Guard) second from left, TAYLOR BASS (Army) and RANDY DE CORA (Air Force), make up an Honor Guard to commemorate other tribal members during Memorial Day services at area cemeteries that included two family cemeteries, the Winnebago Cemetery and the St. Augustine Mission Cemetery, Monday May 27, 2019 near Winnebago, NE (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

Learning more about the Loess Hills in Siouxland, Pisgah

27 May

 

The Loess Hills State Forest Visitors center gives people a background about the Loess Hills is found in Pisgah, Iowa. (Jerry L Mennenga©)

Part of Siouxland is comprised of the Loess Hills which begins just south of Sioux City and runs down into Missouri. A Loess Hills State Forest Visitors Center is located in the small community of Pisgah and gives a great background about the surrounding area and information about the Loess Hills.

A scale model of Preparation Canyon State Park is found in the Loess Hills State Forest Visitors center in Pisgah, Iowa. (Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Visitors can learn more about the Loess Hills at the Loess Hills Sate Forest Visitors Center in Pisgah, Iowa. (Jerry L Mennenga©)

Within the state park there is a camp ground and an overlook not that far away. And trails can lead visitors through the area to enjoy the outdoors and experience a phenomenon that is only found in Iowa and a part of China. Plus getting the chance to enjoy the outdoors on a nice day by yourself or with friends and communing with nature, which is something we all should probably embrace.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Loess Hills State Forest Visitors Center gives a background about the Loess Hills is found in Pisgah, Iowa. (Jerry L Mennenga©)

Livin’ the Dream in Siouxland, Beresford, SD

25 May

A room full of tempting items are seen in the Remember When …. Antiques business during the Lifelong Learning Photo Safari class in Beresford, SD Saturday, April 27, 2019. (Jerry L Mennenga©)

Siouxland covers a region in western Iowa, southeastern South Dakota and northeast Nebraska. A variety of people with a variety of reasons call the area home. The area was traversed decades ago by the members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition exploring the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase, and later settlers began arriving to create a new home for themselves. And is some ways, calling the area home hasn’t changed. And one man or woman’s treasure is another’s junk.

Sue and Allen Smith moved to the Beresford area in South Dakota after retiring from jobs out west in a warmer climate. This area of the midwest is not for the faint of heart. The open prairie can be brutally cold during the winter months with 30-40 mph wind gusts and temps reaching well below a -15 degrees. And storms come through in the spring and summer months. Fall can be nice though.

The couple opened an antique store, Remember When …. Antiques, and they have a plethora of items for folk to look at. And they genuinely like the area, not to mention that they can find a lot of items for their store within an easy commute of where they live and work.

Sue Smith, foreground, and husband Allen prepare for another day at their antique and treasures “Remember When….Antiques” business seen during the Lifelong Learning Photo Safari class in Beresford, SD Saturday, April 27, 2019. (Jerry L Mennenga©)

The two seemed undaunted by the weather and invited some cold pedestrians visiting their small community into their store for a cup of coffee and a little warm up on a cold, snowy and blustery day in late April. Winter had not yet departed and clung to the area like a wet blanket leaving an adventurous class outing a bit more chilled than anticipated. Walking through the store was like walking back in time. Seeing items that I remember as a child growing up and seen in grandparents’ homes.

A room full of tempting items are seen in the Remember When …. Antiques business during the Lifelong Learning Photo Safari class in Beresford, SD Saturday, April 27, 2019. (Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s fascinating to look at items see a progression through the decades of what came before compared to what is available now. it helps give one a perspective and a bit of a history lesson if one takes the time to look at the items and ask questions and find that life in some ways is really not so bad after all these days.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A wedding gown and the bride’s photograph attached in a room full of tempting items seen in the Remember When …. Antiques business during the Lifelong Learning Photo Safari class in Beresford, SD Saturday, April 27, 2019. (Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sunrise at a Monument in Siouxland, Sioux City

23 May

Sgt. Floyd Monument during sunrise Monday, May 13, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

While out early recently I drove by the Floyd Monument located in Sioux City, dedicated to Sgt. Charles Floyd, the only member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition to explore the Louisiana Purchase done by President Thomas Jefferson. The light was peeking through clouds and created a nice scene at the monument in Siouxland. I’m a sucker when it comes to light and shade. My only regret was not leaving earlier when the rising sun was creating “golden” outlines around some of the clouds. And my only excuse is that the coffee was still percolating.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

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