Friday, September 24, 2010

Who Stole the Falls Out of Rib Falls?

Four-plus inches of rain on Thursday, Sept. 23 . . . lots of areas had it worse than us, but water levels are the highest we've seen.  Below is left side of the falls at Rib Falls -- water must be two - three feet over the highest rocks.

And the right side of the falls . . .   not much rock showing.
Then the downstream side of the bridge:

Oh, oh, hope they don't have an open house scheduled here.  Normally the Big Rib River is not visible and is 1/4 mile south of this driveway.  Located north of Hwy 29 and west of Hwy O, 1 mile, on Dahlke Rd.

The last two photos are along the Little Rib River:  the tipped pine tree is in Town of Berlin on Lincoln Drive 1/2 mile west of Hwy O.  The brush heap is at the bridge on Hwy O and Woodland Drive in Town of Stettin.  (Woodland Drive itself was under water just west of Hwy O.)
Did not get photos of the flood at the bridge in Marathon City -- WSAW Channel 7 TV was filming there when we went by this morning.  Some 6 or 7 houses had to be evacuated there.  That will be on tonite's news.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Another Expedition into History

Sept. 21 the Pommerscher Verein (Pomeranian People) were invited to participate in the Diversity Day event in the park at the High Ground  War Memorial at Neillsville.  About 120 students, from grades 5 through 10, came through in 6 waves, 20 or so at a time, to learn about Pomeranian ancestors, the Platt Deutsch language and tracht, reasons for leaving the old country, and ways of travel to the new country. 

Interesting bits: 
One of the 6th graders studied the Kleinschmidt family’s 100th-year poster and noticed the great-grandson’s picture in the lower right corner.  “That is my cousin,” he said.  It’s a small world, even in Wisconsin.

No, our ancestors did not get from southeast Wisconsin to central Wisconsin by airplane, car,  tractor, nor by submarine!  Sorry kids, but they didn’t have those machines “way back when.”  Those were some of the wild guesses.   But nearly every group had someone who came up with “walking” as a way to get to central Wisconsin.  Right on.

We shared some songs in Platt Deutsch:  Op Wisconsin, Du Bist Mien Suhnsheen, and Prost, Prost, Prost.  We also had copies of some German word puzzles and mazes, and had “German” candy (Gummi Bears) to hand out.

Bonnie and David Radtke anchored the Pomeranian display . . .
Literally anchored it, because David engineered the rope and clamp arrangement that kept our posters and easels from blowing over.  The best thing one could say about the weather is that it kept improving throughout the day, from foggy rain to sunshine.  It did not affect the children, who were enthusiastic and attentive.

Besides our Pomeranian display, there was also a couple representing Slovenia, wearing beautiful tracht, and a lady demonstrating Native American musical instruments.  Those were the two whom we saw; we missed seeing several other groups.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

An Expedition in Marathon County History

'Twas wet and windy with temps only mid-fifties, but two busloads of Marathon Junior High School students did a two-mile (or more!) hike around downtown Wausau this morning.  They were given GPS points and clues to about nine specific historical markers (or buildings).   As each small group reached their first destination they needed to learn about the significance of that marker and answer a couple thought-provoking questions before getting coordinates and clue for the next site.  Of course, we "docents" at each site tried to add more to the students' information.  The docents also learned new, neat stuff too!

The kids did very well.  There was no grumbling about the weather; they were focused on solving their questions.  Perhaps the hiking helped warm them up.  (And there was hot pizza at the end of the trip.)
World War I memorial:  the kids are too young to know that the "backpack" hanging on the soldier's chest has a gas mask hanging out of it.

Punching in GPS coordinates --  a couple units didn't work, but the word clues and adult guides got the place figured out.  Here the WW II (and Korean war and Vietnam war) markers commemorate the Marathon County soldiers who gave their lives to the cause.  The question here was:  how many women are named on these markers?  [Ans:  none.]  And why?  [Ans:  Because women were not allowed in combat then.  I think the 1990's, the Gulf War, is when women first went into combat.]

At the Battle of the Bulge marker:  the docent had an uncle who fought in that battle.  The kids knew who Winston Churchill was (he is quoted on the marker), and they knew it was in WW II.

These kids will be following the theme of war and peace for several weeks after this -- most of their school lessons will involve the theme.  I believe they will finish up with a public display of what they've learned.