Blackstone Grill/Griddle and handmade quilt being raffled off at the American Legion Car Show on Sept. 30
Montezuma High School wrestlers from the years 1980 – 1994 held a reunion to honor their coach, Gary Strobel, and reconnect. During Strobel’s rein, nine wrestlers qualified for state. Six of the nine where present with two unable to attend and one now deceased. Pictured are, from left: Wes Paregeon, Kirk Bond, Travis Johannes, Coach Gary Strobel, Don LaGarage, Jimmy Fisk and Mark Bond.
By J.O. Parker
A reunion gathering of Montezuma High School wrestling alum from 1980 – 1994 was held on Saturday, Sept. 9 in Montezuma.
The event, which was spearheaded by Daryl Pargeon, a 1993 Montezuma graduate and prep wrestler, with the help of his brother, Wes, and Travis Johannes, who were part of the wrestling program.
There were 30 people with ties to the Montezuma wrestling program during that time frame that attended the reunion.
This included 25 wrestlers, two cheerleaders, two referees along with former Coach Gary Strobel and his wife, Sherrill.
Strobel of New Sharon led the Montezuma wrestling program during that time frame. He was the first coach to lead the program at Montezuma.
The event was held at the Pargeon Farm west of Montezuma and included a potluck meal and several hours spent reflecting and telling stories from back in the day.
“Everyone told a story of how Coach Strobel impacted their lives,” said Pargeon. “He taught us more than how to wrestle, he taught us a solid work ethic and how to be great young men.”
Under Strobel’s rein, nine Montezuma wrestlers qualified for state with three finishing as runner ups. Six of the nine were present at the event. Two where not present and one is now deceased.
The late Mike Pargeon, the first state qualifier from Montezuma (1985).
Jimmy Fisk, state qualifier (1986)
Kirk Bond, state qualifier who finished third his first trip (1988)
Jon Dawley, state qualifier (1988)
Wes Pargeon, state qualifier with a state runner up finish in his first trip to state (1989)
Mark Bond, a three-time state qualifier, who finished fifth his first trip and third the last year (1989 – 1991)
Travis Johannes, a two-time state qualifier, who finished runner up is second year at state (1991 – 1992)
Aaron Barfels, state qualifier (1992)
Don LaGrange, a three-time state qualifier, who finished as a runner up in final year at state (1992 – 1994)
Pargeon said the Montezuma wrestling program is a close-knit group of young men who often talk, but until this year’s reunion there had not been any type of gathering or homecoming for the group. One wrestler traveled to Montezuma from Texas.
“We started planning in June,” said Pargeon. “We wanted to show Coach Strobel how much he meant to everyone.”
Pargeon said that Strobel mentioned the impact the cheerleaders and managers played in the program during his tenure. He also mentioned the parents and families who sacrificed time to get their kids to practice, attend meets and support the program.
“When Daryl asked me about it, I was little surprised,” said Strobel. “Sherrill and I went up and were really surprised to see so many people there and those who could not be there called. I couldn’t have asked for a better day to get everyone together. Everyone had stories on me and I had stories on them. We had a lot of fun. It was a great day and a nice event.”
“The event lasted a lot longer than we expected,” said Pargeon. “All-in-all, it was a great turnout and afternoon.”
A Montezuma High School wrestlers reunion for years 1980 – 1994 was held at the Pargeon farm on Sept. 9 in Montezuma. The gathering drew 25 wrestlers, two cheerleaders, two referees and Coach Gary Strobel and his wife, Sherrill. The wrestlers spent the day reconnecting, sharing stories of the impact that Coach Strobel had on their lives and enjoying a potluck meal.
By Ron Hensel
Sons of the American Legion (aka) "SAL" Montezuma Squadron 169 voted at their Sept. 7 meeting to bring back the program, "Wreaths Across America.” The program was held previously for two years in the Montezuma area by the brother's Russ and Roger Cox along with the late Don Young.
“It was suspended during COVID and now the local and newly developed Sons of the American Legion Squadron 169 of Montezuma feel very strongly that it needs to be brought back beginning this year,” noted Montezuma American Legion Commander Ron Hensel.
"Wreath Across America" is a nationwide program in which families of veterans can purchase a wreath to be laid upon their loved one’s grave.
“Wreaths are purchased locally through the Sons of the American Legion Squadron and veterans’ families are given the option of placing the wreath on their departed loved ones (Veteran only) grave or give information to the SAL membership and they will do it for you,” said Hensel. “The SAL will only lay wreaths in the Masonic/Jackson Cemetery here in Montezuma.”
Hensel noted that if you have a deceased veteran at another location such as the Ewart Cemetery or Golden Rod Cemetery in Deep River, veterans’ families are welcome to purchase a wreath for that location for the family to place the wreath.
There will be much more on this to follow in your local newspaper and on social media. Application forms will be appearing real soon with the expected cut-off date being Nov. 20.
Montezuma's Sydnee Burgess, middle, celebrates after making a play during a volleyball match against neighboring BGM at Montezuma on Thursday, Sept. 14. Montezuma fought hard, but couldn't overcome a tough BGM team who won the match, 3 - 1.
Attendees at the 2022 Montezuma American Legion Car/Truck Show checkout the more than 100 entries, including this red Chevelle SS convertible owned by Raymond Thompson of Montezuma. The second annual Montezuma American Legion Car/Truck Show is slated from Saturday, Sept. 30 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. in and around the Poweshiek County Courthouse Square. A Blackstone Grill/Griddle will be raffled off along with a quilt and various items donated by local and area businesses.
By J.O. Parker
The second annual Montezuma American Legion Post 169 Car/Truck Show is just around the corner and organizers are expecting a great turnout.
Slated for Saturday, Sept. 30, owners of classic, muscle, antique, custom and newer cars and pickups are invited to showcase their vehicles on the Montezuma Square from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on that day.
The family-friendly event is a fundraiser for the new American Legion Building in Montezuma.
The first 50 entries will receive goody bags and 30 trophies will be given to the top judged 30 vehicles.
Trophies will be handed out for the following areas:
American Legion’s Choice
American Legion Auxiliary’s Choice
Sons of American Legion Choice
Best of Show
Door prizes will be drawn throughout the day. There will be a 50-50 drawing and as last year, a quilt will be raffled off.
Also being raffled off is the grand prize of a Blackstone propane grill/griddle, courtesy of Hometown Hardware and fellow veteran Darrell Eichenberger.
Tickets for the grill are $5 and are now available at Hometown Hardware or Ron’s Barbershop in Montezuma. Tickets for both the quilt and grill/griddle will be available the day of the show.
Dennis and Ann Snook of Grinnell have put together a beautiful hot rod picture puzzle that is framed for hanging that will also be raffled off.
The public is encouraged to vote for their favorite and the People’s Choice Award.
Pastor Ted Morelock and his friend, Buford, will be on hand to entertain.
The Methodist Church ladies will have a bake sale ongoing and many Montezuma businesses will be open and anxious to meet the car show people.
Last year, 115 vehicles were on display and the hope is that more will be on hand for the second annual show.
“This year, we could equal that or surpass it,” said Ron Hensel, American Legion Commander and show organizer.
Food vendors include Fire on Wheels Pizza, Yolanda’s Mexican Restaurant, Star Lanes Bowling Alley and hopefully, Sauced will be open.
Co-sponsors this year include: K&M Enterprise, County Bank, Hicks Heating/Cooling and Plumbing, Mick Gable Sawmill, Brooklyn Community Estates, Star Lanes, AE Realty, Meyer Seed, Three Sisters Fabric and Fashion, Vannoy Chevrolet, Sutfin Auto Shine, Fire on Wheels Pizza, Tim Coleman Electric, Freedom Firearms, LLC, and Montezuma Floral and More.
Registration will begin at approximately 9 a.m. with the car show coming to conclusion at 3 p.m. There is a $15 entry fee for car and pickup owners to display their vehicles. There is no charge to attend the show.
Everyone is welcome to attend to see some of the most beautiful cars in East Central Iowa.
All proceeds again this year will go toward the new Montezuma American Legion Building to be built at 803 E. Jefferson St., on property that was donated in 2021 by the grandchildren of Mr. and Mrs. Cloyd Carl.
“We hope to have plans for the new Legion Hall on hand for public viewing that day,” said Hensel.
The City of Montezuma or the Montezuma American Legion will not be responsible for accidents or injuries.
Contact person is Ron Hensel, 515-979-2705.
Members of the Montezuma Fire Department along with volunteers from other departments and community members joined forces on Monday, Sept. 11 to remember the 343 firefighters who died in the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on this day.
The firefighters, all wearing their turnout gear, and others walked 3.43 miles around Montezuma in honor of their fallen comrades who died on that fateful day.
The public is invited to meet the new owners of Monte Tractor Repair (formerly Glen’s Tractor Repair), 705 S. Front St., Montezuma on Friday, Sept. 22 from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
The menu includes: burgers, brats and beans.
Come meet new owners, John and Camarie Roorda. The Roorda’s recently purchased the business from Glen Fynaardt, who opened the tractor repair business in 1986. He moved into the new building and current location in January 1988.
“While John and myself are not mechanics, we both believe in small towns, keeping businesses alive and providing opportunities so our rural communities can continue thriving for generations to come,” said Camarie. We’re excited to have Glen staying onboard and our two new mechanics making things happen.”
Members of the 2023 Montezuma Homecoming Court are, front row, from left: Ashlee Eilander, Makenna Johannes, Madison VanZee, Camryn Brennan and Alivia Cline. Back row: Alex Black, Garrett Watts, Jayden Ross, Kaya Latcham and Tod Geiger. The King and Queen Crowning will take place during Braves Night on Thursday, Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. A pep rally is slated for 2:15 in the north gym followed by a parade at 2:45 p.m. The Braves take on neighboring BGM Bears at 7 p.m. on Badger-Gabriel Field.