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Exploring a Siouxland Community, Hartington, NE

26 May

Driving about in Siouxland one comes across many small communities. If time permits and sometimes I schedule my day in a way to spend a little time exploring a place like Hartington, NE. The small community is the country seat of Cedar County and a courthouse plaque gives some background and history.

A plaque commemorating the history of Cedar County, NE on display in front of the Cedar County Courthouse in downtown Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Cedar County Courthouse in downtown Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It was fun to see some still Christmas decorations on one of the courthouse trees. Either a reminder or a promise of what is to come again.

Christmas decorations still hang in a tree in front of the Cedar County Courthouse in downtown Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A well kept small town, there was some renovation as a former hotel that appears to be once again reinventing itself as a destination to stay during a visit.

Restoration of a former hotel is underway in downtown Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Restoration of a former hotel is underway in downtown Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

All smaller communities in America share that quiet place except for special events which makes visiting them a chance to slow down, take a casual stroll about and enjoy a less hectic or frenzied moment while still enjoying the day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Restoration of a former hotel is underway in downtown Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The main street in downtown Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The local countryside is seen from the top of a street in downtown Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Restored downtown buildings, including a former department store owned by the Globe family in Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

World Music in Siouxland, National Music Museum in Vermillion, SD

24 May

 

The Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan ensemble which plays Javenese music is part of the National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD Friday April 27, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

On a recent visit to the National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD I and others enjoyed a Javenese music presentation by a local gamelan ensemble that performed in the small space at the museum. I enjoy a variety of music in general although I lean more toward jazz, classical and some world music. So it was a delight to hear this local group perform and share their  passion and delight.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan ensemble plays Javenese music at the National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD Friday April 27, 2018. Members include Deborah Check Reeves, Rebekah McLaughlin, Julie Besenbruch, Jing Williams, Risa Hanson, Caleb Hanson, Carter Hanson, Faythe Weber, Deanne Archer, Toben Archer , Tucker Lutter, ZeHui Ng, Solveig Korte and Tom Quinn. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan ensemble plays Javenese music at the National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD Friday April 27, 2018. Members include Deborah Check Reeves, Rebekah McLaughlin, Julie Besenbruch, Jing Williams, Risa Hanson, Caleb Hanson, Carter Hanson, Faythe Weber, Deanne Archer, Toben Archer , Tucker Lutter, ZeHui Ng, Solveig Korte and Tom Quinn. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan ensemble plays Javenese music at the National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD Friday April 27, 2018. Members include Deborah Check Reeves, Rebekah McLaughlin, Julie Besenbruch, Jing Williams, Risa Hanson, Caleb Hanson, Carter Hanson, Faythe Weber, Deanne Archer, Toben Archer , Tucker Lutter, ZeHui Ng, Solveig Korte and Tom Quinn. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Angles and lines in Siouxland, Sioux City Art Center

22 May

I like visiting art museums. Everyone of them offers something to a person, at different times, depending on the current exhibit. And there are a few throughout Siouxland. The Sioux City Art Center like many of its counter parts also provide a visual feast if a person takes the time to enjoy the surroundings as well as the art within the facility. And it’s probably with purpose that many museums are built, to reflect a community or vision of the founding personages responsible for the push to include an art center within a community. Although the history and initial reason for a particular design may get overlooked or even forgotten after a few decades as people come and go, including museum personnel. But the visual eye candy is still apparent and changes daily, especially if the play of light and the sun is involved.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Seeing shapes and patterns during on a sunny day at the Sioux City Art Center Wednesday, April 25, in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Seeing shapes and patterns on a sunny day at the Sioux City Art Center Wednesday, April 25, in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Shapes and patterns during a sunny day inside the Sioux City Art Center Wednesday, April 25, in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Shapes and patterns during a sunny day inside the Sioux City Art Center Wednesday, April 25, in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Supporting Agriculture in Siouxland, Dordt College in Sioux Center

20 May

Every spring Dordt College in Sioux Center hosts an Ag Day, which coincides with part of its educational mission in helping sustain agriculture in Siouxland and in general. There are at times a variety of equipment parked on campus, new stuff and old stuff.

Some older tractors were on display during Ag Day at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa Friday, April 27. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A large 24 row planter pulled by an equally large tractor which contrasts with older equipment also on display during Ag Day at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa Friday, April 27. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

What caught my eye walking about this particular day was remnants of a recent spring snow and the ever remaining low temperatures that made winter reluctant to cede to the coming spring.

A pile of snow from a late snow storm is still melting during Ag Day at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa Friday, April 27. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

This particular day I arrived early in the day as I had an appointment elsewhere and saw a large number of elementary students roaming campus, looking at a variety of exhibits, maybe sparking an interest in some form of agriculture or related field as they grow and sharing a love of a land that encompasses Siouxland.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Children check out goats during Ag Day at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa Friday, April 27. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A young boy shows off a pet goat during Ag Day at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa Friday, April 27. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Chiuldren “play” on older farm equipment on display during Ag Day at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa Friday, April 27. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Seeing Spring in Siouxland, Sioux City

18 May

There are days when I put on a lot of miles looking for images and just exploring Siouxland in general. Always wanting to see what is over the next hill and dale. But sometimes seeing just requires that. And pleasant surprises can even be found in one’s backyard, even one only takes the time to stop and smell the “tulips”, or in this case tulip.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Enjoying a backyard tulip in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday May 15, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Enjoying a backyard tulip in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday May 15, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Singer Andy Williams born in Siouxland, Wall Lake

16 May

 

I am always somewhat amazed but also delighted when I find a bit of nostalgia and history tidbits as I drive about Siouxland. One of those tidbits is the fact that the singer and entertainer Andy Williams was born in the small community of Wall Lake, roughly about 800 people. His birthplace and home for the first eight years of his life is now a restored show place in the community and maintained by the Wall Lake Historical Society.

An autographed photo of himself, Andy Williams, sits on an end table at the singer Andy Williams’ birthplace in Wall Lake, Iowa, Sunday July 16, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Members of the Wall Lake, IA, Historical Society Esther Bielema, seated, and Janice Determann, standing at the singer Andy Williams’ birthplace in Wall Lake, Iowa, Sunday July 16, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The day I visited the home I was greeted by a couple of enthusiastic members of the society and fans of Mr. Williams, Esther Bielema and Janice Determann. While the home is not filled from floor to ceiling with memorabilia, it is full of all sorts of historical items about the singer and his family and basically a shrine to a small town boy who made it big.

The birthplace of singer Andy Williams sits atop a hill overlooking downtown Wall Lake, Iowa, Friday, April 18, 2014. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Singer Andy Williams, left, with his parents Jay and Florence Williams appearing in one of his Christmas TV Specials on display at the singer’s birthplace in Wall Lake, Iowa, Sunday July 16, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Various photographs of singer Andy Williams adorn the walls of his birthplace in Wall Lake, Iowa, Sunday July 16, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The downstairs bedroom where Wall Lake Historical Society member Esther Bielema and others believe that singer Andy Williams was born in 1934 at his birthplace home in Wall Lake, Iowa, Sunday July 16, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I can remember growing up that my parents watched the Andy Williams’ Christmas Specials on TV and while I don’t believe they had any of his records, the songs he sang are well known and include such hits as “Moon River”, “Abraham, Martin and John”, “Days of Wine and Roses”, “Dear Heart”, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and “Born Free”.

While there a woman from Des Moines stopped in and walked about the home in awe. For Bielema and Determann the joy of the grand opening when Williams and his wife attended along with other family must have been a thrill they still feel today. History comes alive in places like this mostly because of those who help visitors enjoy it. And one never knows where other historical facts may pop up, but it’s nice to know such gems are still around to find.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

No sunny skies in Siouxland as spring showers continue, Woodbury County

14 May

This particular spring in Siouxland has seen a continuation of rainy days. While not unusual in itself, but it follows what seems a long feeling of winter into spring with snow showers and cold temps into April. So sunny skies such as these are not that common yet.

Older barns with newer accommodations in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Wednesday Sept. 27, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Traveling a gravel road in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Wednesday Sept. 27, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And I am sure there are many of those days that will grace the Siouxland region in the weeks to come, but photographically speaking, it’s a bit of dreary weather. But sometimes one must be patient for that sunshine to appear and nurse those flower seedlings and grass to green up the hillsides and provide a bit of color. And when it does appear, all of this waiting will be forgotten.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Early fall days in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Wednesday Sept. 27, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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