You won't want to miss this show featuring some of the best singers in Poweshiek County. We will be welcoming Tyler Richton, Blake Jack, Jake Simon, and Cody Hicks to the stage on Saturday, May 21 at 7 pm. Tickets for this event are general admission and sold first-come, first-served. Tickets are $45 and are available through the Brooklyn Opera House Facebook page.
Opening soon, a new exhibit of astrophotography by Dr. JR Paulson in Stewart Gallery at the Grinnell Arts Center. The exhibit will run March 31 to April 23.
Dr. JR Paulson will present his photographs of the universe. Dr. Paulson is a Grinnell physician and longtime amateur astronomer who built his own observatory about five miles east of Grinnell. He has become very interested in astrophotography and has more than 50 photos permanently on display at the Science Center of Iowa.
Join us for the opening reception on March 31 from 5:30 – 7 p.m. Dr. Paulson will give an artist talk at 6 p.m.
Regular gallery hours are Wednesdays through Fridays, 11a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
The Grinnell Arts Council presents, “Frozen Jr.,” April 6, 7, 8 & 9 at 7 p.m. and April 9 & 10 at 2 p.m. in The Loft Theatre, 926 Broad St.
More than 30 talented area youngsters have been working hard to bring you this spectacular 60-minute musical stage adaptation of the animated film, Frozen. Join Anna, Elsa, and all of your favorite characters as they embark on an epic, ice-filled journey of self-discovery, camaraderie and the real meaning of true love.
Tickets are now on sale and available on the Grinnell Arts Center website (www.grinnellarts.org) or in person at the Arts Center, 926 Broad St., between 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students.
Cpl. Harold “Pie” Keller, right, of Brooklyn, shakes hands with Sgt. Howard Snyder, left, as they stand on the rim of Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima between the first and second flag raising on Feb. 23, 1945. (Official U.S. Army photo, courtesy Pfc. George Burns, George Burns Collection, U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center).
By Carol Carpenter Hanson
A lot of parades have marched down the Main Street of this small Iowa town, but not many with the national and historic significance as the one to be held this year on June 11.
That’s when townspeople will celebrate a World War II veteran who just two years ago was identified as one of the flag raisers in the iconic photograph taken by Associated Press Combat Photographer Joe Rosenthal on Feb. 23, 1945.
Since the discovery of Cpl. Harold “Pie” Keller’s role in the flag raising, townspeople have raised funds to honor his memory with a bronze statue at the town’s colorful, permanent flag display of 63 different flags, including a 20- by 38-foot American Flag on an 80-foot pole. Keller and three other local men who served at Iwo Jima will be remembered at Brooklyn’s Flag Festival, held June 11.
The Iowa National Guard 34th Army Band will send an ensemble to perform at the Saturday-noon celebration that follows the parade. The ceremony includes the unveiling and dedication of the life-sized statue, a posting of colors and a rifle salute by American Legion groups at the Avenue of Flags on Jackson Street.
A group of five reenactors and historians from Omaha, “World War II Guys,” will attend, dressed authentically in WWII US Marine uniforms to represent the flag-raising servicemen.
More than 2,000 chocolate-covered nougat candy bars will be made and distributed to visitors, using the exact recipe that a Brooklyn woman used during the war years, when she mailed 30,000 bars overseas to servicemen. On the wrapper of each “Serve-a-Son” bar was a prayer for that soldier.
Other events during the weekend of activities include a car show, Figure 8 Races at the Brooklyn Raceway, a street dance, water fights and kids’ races and a three-day carnival. Some class reunions from BGM High School are scheduled to meet, as many of their members remember Keller and his family. The Class of 1962 will mark their 60th anniversary, and members of the Class of 1970 will celebrate their 70thbirthdays, since the 2020 pandemic cancelled their 50th reunion.
The Brooklyn Museum/William Manatt House will be open to view a display on Keller and three other Brooklyn men who served at Iwo Jima. Keller was a silent hero who rarely talked about his service in the Marines, but in 2019 Brent Westemeyer of Johnston, an amateur historian and avid reader of military and historical books, determined that Keller was one of six men photographed as they raised the American flag over the tiny island in the Pacific. The picture became one of the most recognized images of World War II.
Keller might have shared this secret with his wife, their daughter believes, but never told his descendants about his role at Iwo Jima; following his discharge in 1946, he simply wanted to return to his family and a normal life in his hometown. Which he did – finding comradery with his friends at the fire department, serving as the town’s fire chief and helping with his sons’ Boy Scout Troop. He died of a heart attack in 1979 at the age of 58.
According to Rusty Clayton of the Brooklyn Ruritan Club, interest in honoring Keller evolved after the announcement was officially made of Keller’s part in the flag raising. Ruritan members spoke with members of Brooklyn’s Francis Gallagher American Legion Post 294, and together they developed plans for a memorial statue of Keller, with an initial goal of $75,000.
Although it was common knowledge to townspeople that Keller was nearby when the flag-raising image was photographed by Rosenthal, the recent discovery was a pleasant surprise to his family and Brooklynites. But the fact was that Keller always gave credit to his fellow soldiers for the successful conquering of Mount Suribachi, where the photograph was taken.
“Dad always replied, ‘We ALL raised the flag’ when people questioned where he was during the flag raising,” Kay Keller Maurer said of her father.
Of the six men now finally identified as the flag raisers, three died in the following weeks of the five week-long Battle of Iwo Jima.
The June 11 event at Brooklyn will honor all local men and women who served in WWII, including 12 men who died during the war. Special invitations were sent to family members of three deceased area men who also served in the Battle of Iwo Jima: Don Ent; Byard Braley; and Dr. Robert Dappen, later of Story City.
For questions about the Flag Festival celebration at Brooklyn, contact Rusty Clayton, 641-990-4304.
Carol Carpenter Hanson is the author of “Brooklyn, Iowa: The first 150 years.”
Sen. Annette Sweeney, R-Alden, is shown with Iowa Secretary of State Paul D. Pate after filling her re-election papers earlier this month. Sen. Sweeney is running in the newly formed Senate District 27, which will include Hardin, Grundy and Poweshiek counties, and parts of Tama and Black Hawk counties beginning Jan. 1, 2023.
Sen. Annette Sweeney, R-Alden, recently filed election nomination papers at the Iowa State Capitol.
“I am proud to announce that I filed my official re-election papers in the Secretary of State’s Office,” Sen. Sweeney said. “I am running for re-election to continue my work on supporting agricultural production, improving healthcare legislation, and protecting our children.”
Sen. Sweeney said she has fought hard to make sure agricultural producers and rural Iowans have a voice at the Capitol.
“I have been proud to support historic tax relief, letting families keep more of their hard-earned money, as well as supported measures to protect the agricultural industry,” said Sen. Sweeney. “My work in the Iowa Senate is not done, and I am eager to continue serving rural Iowa.”
Sen. Sweeney was first elected to the Iowa Legislature in 2008, serving in House District 44 for four years. She has served in the Iowa Senate since 2017. She serves as the Chair of the Natural Resources and Environment committee and Vice-Chair of the Agriculture committee. She also sits on the Education, Human Resources, and Ways and Means committees, as well as the Education Appropriations Subcommittee. After the passage of the new redistricting maps and effective with elections in 2022, Senate District 27 will include Hardin, Grundy and Poweshiek counties, and parts of Tama and Black Hawk counties.
Sen. Sweeney and her husband, Dave, are the proud parents to two boys, Joe and Jim. Jim and his wife, Rachel, have one son, Thomas. She has deep connections to Iowa’s agricultural community and joins her husband in operating the family farm. She is also a former middle school teacher.
Sen. Sweeney has served in numerous professional and community leadership positions with various organizations, including the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance, Iowa Women in Agriculture, Hardin County Assessor Board and Review, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Iowa 4-H and Iowa Angus Association.
Grinnell Interim Police Sergeant Ben Smith, back left, Grinnell Police Chief Michael McClelland, back right, and Officer Jon Soubayi, front left, pose with the participates of the first ever Student Police Academy at the Grinnell Police Department. Seven area high school students participated and graduated from the eight-week course.
By J.O. Parker
Seven area high school students recently participated and graduated from the first ever Student Police Academy at the Grinnell Police Department.
Grinnell Interim Police Sergeant Ben Smith led the eight-week course with Grinnell Police Chief Michael McClelland and Officer Jon Soubayi.
“We held this to give high school students an opportunity to see what police work was all about,” said Sergeant Smith. “The students not only learned about what we do as police officers, but also received hands-on training and learned about the ups and downs of a career in police work.”
Topics covered were: drug investigations, firearms - shoot/don't shoot scenarios, uniforms and equipment, use of force/less/lethal, operating while intoxicated/field sobriety, traffic stop scenarios, criminal law/testifying in court and criminal investigations.
Guest Speakers were: Grinnell Fireman Todd Zell, Poweshiek County Deputy - K-9 Handler Matt Maschmann, Poweshiek County Attorney Bart Klaver, Sergeant Smith, Sergeants Dan Johnson and Matthew Moore, Officers Nathan Anderson, Holly Coogler, Heath Jepsen, Zachary Sittig, Jon Soubayi and Chief McClelland.
GPD had held citizen’s police academies in past years and Sergeant Smith said the department was looking for a way to get more youth involved in police work.
“We are adding this as a new program and possibly alternating it with a citizen’s police academy,” said Sergeant Smith.
Sergeant Smith added that the academy was very successful overall.
“The students got to see a lot of different aspects of being a police officer,” noted Sergeant Smith. “And we had a good turnout with kids being so busy these days.”
In addition to the police academies, the GPD sponsors Shop with a Cop and National Night Out in connection with the Grinnell Optimist Club.
Any high school student interested in attending the next Student Police Academy should contact Sergeant Smith at 641-236-2670.
Grinnell Interim Police Sergeant Ben Smith, right, looks on as participates in the Grinnell Police Department first ever Student Police Academy learn about crime scene investigations and dusting for fingerprints during a recent class. Seven area high school students took the eight-week course.
By J.O. Parker
Six Grinnell Lady Tigers basketball players were recognized with Little Hawkeye All-Conference honors following the 2021-22 season.
Grinnell’s Ivey Schmidt, a senior, and Haidyn Hull, a junior, received first team all-conference honors while Meredith McKnight, a senior, and Leah Harris, a junior, received second-team all-conference honors.
Grinnell’s Lauren Pease, a senior, and Sydney Kenkel, a senior, received honorable mention honors.
First Team All-Conference (** denotes unanimous)
**Ivey Schmidt, Senior, Grinnell
Haidyn Hull, Junior, Grinnell
**Emma Miner, Junior, Dallas Center-Grimes
** Vanessa Bickford, Sophomore, Dallas Center-Grimes
**Lauren Blake, Senior, Indianola
Emily Naughton, Junior, Indianola
**Jocelyn Bice, Senior, Norwalk
Anna VanderWaal, Senior, Pella
Second Team All-Conference
Ella Lampe, Senior, Dallas Center-Grimes
Avery Korsching, Senior, Dallas Center-Grimes
Mara Bishop, Senior, Indianola
Meredith McKnight, Senior, Grinnell
Leah Harris, Junior, Grinnell
Ava Johnson, Sophomore, Norwalk
Jocelyn Terpstra, Junior, Pella Christian
Presley Blommers, Junior, Oskaloosa
Honorable Mention All-Conference
Finley Fitzgerald, Junior, and Elle Nelson, Senior - Dallas Center-Grimes
Brynn Ortlund, Junior, and Kinzey Johnston, Senior - Indianola
Lauren Pease, Senior, and Sydney Kenkel, Senior - Grinnell
Bailey Brimingham, Freshman, and Anna Larson - Sophomore - Norwalk
Mia Warner, Junior, and Reagan Van Wyk, Senior - Pella
Faith Kacmarynski, Freshman, and Karlie Anderson, Junior - Pella Christian
Addison Carter, Senior, and Aubree Blanco, Senior - Oskaloosa
Aurora Nehring, Senior, and Audrey Rausch, Junior - Newton
By J.O. Parker
Three Grinnell Tigers boys’ basketball players have received Little Hawkeye All-Conference honors following the 2021-22 basketball season.
Grinnell’s Calvin Jaworski, a senior, was named to the Little Hawkeye All-Conference second team while Aaron Campbell and Dylan McIlrath, both Grinnell seniors, received honorable mention honors.
1st Team All-Conference (** Unanimous Selection)
**Cole Glasgow, Senior, Dallas Center-Grimes
**Jacob Runyan, Senior, Dallas Center-Grimes
**Drew Kingery, Junior, Indianola
Brayden Drea, Junior, Indianola
**Karl Miller, Senior, Pella
Noah Allen, Senior, Pella
**Eric Mulder, Senior, Pella Christian
Levi Schelhaas, Senior, Pella Christian
2nd Team All-Conference
Adam Mattes, Senior, Newton
Redek Born, Sophomore, Norwalk
Keaton Flaherty, Senior, Oskaloosa
Bo Huston, Senior, Dallas Center-Grimes
Parker Elder, Senior, Pella
Braeden Carlson, Junior, Norwalk
Cooper Nailor, Senior, Indianola
Calvin Jaworski, Senior, Grinnell
Honorable Mention All-Conference
Jackson Jones, Senior, and Blake Perrin, Senior - Dallas Center-Grimes
Keegan Hansen, Senior, and Preston Rowe, Senior - Pella
Charlie Willmott, Junior, and Casey Glascock, Junior - Indianola
Jaedon Huisman, Senior, and Niko Schirz, Senior - Pella Christian
Jake Ingle, Junior, and Cole Plowman, Junior - Newton
Vinny Mauro, Senior, and Aiden Harder, Sophomore - Norwalk
Waylon Bolibaugh, Junior, and Carson Genskow, Senior - Oskaloosa
Aaron Campbell, Senior, and Dylan McIIrath, Senior - Grinnell
Cameron and Ren Fisher, owners of the Poweshiek Trading Post at 829 Main St., Grinnell, specialize in vintage wear and antiques. The couple opened the store in August 2021 and take great pride in offering a wide array of items for the collector and those looking for something unique and different. “We hope people will come check us out,” said Cameron.
By J.O. Parker
Poweshiek Trading Post could best be described as a mixture of Americana, history, heritage, vintage and rust.
Tucked away in a small space next door to the Frontier Café at 829 Main St., Grinnell, the business is stocked with vintage clothing for children and adults, antiques, new and old jewelry, artwork and much more.
Cameron and Ren Fisher, owners of the business, take great pride in offering a wide array of items for the collector and those looking for something unique and different.
The business carries a large selection of pre-90s vintage wear, including denim, military wear dating back to World War II, overalls and work wear, dresses, shirts, blouses, old boots and a few things in between. They specialize in the 1940s – 1970s vintage wear timeframe.
And that is not all.
The store also offers antiques from gas and oil memorabilia to tobacco tins and boxes and vintage paintings and artwork. There’s also a selection of vintage camping gear, seed corn and feed sacks, limited antique toys, old cameras, baseball caps, vinyl records, 8 track tapes, books, Boy Scout items, old advertising signs and even an Elvis tapestry.
The store also offers vintage turquoise and native American jewelry and beaded Meskwaki earrings by Josie AnnMarie Beads in Tama.
There is also a line of apothecary skin care items, candles and soaps available.
“They are from small sustainable companies,” said Ren of the above mentioned products.
“With the clothing and antiques, we are definitely an Americana vintage store,” added Ren.
The couple, who met in Des Moines, opened the business in August last year. Ren, who grew up in Grinnell, had previously managed a vintage store and worked as a home stylist (home décor) in the Des Moines area.
She started selling on-line in the summer of 2020 and also setting up displays, which she referred to as pop-ups, at other businesses and selling her wares.
“It grew so fast that we decided to jump on a retail space that opened in Grinnell,” said Ren.
Cameron and Ren enjoy going antiquing, but they also buy and trade for vintage wear and antiques from people who come to the store. They said community involvement has really helped them plant roots in Grinnell.
“You can count on seeing the classics and things you’ve never seen before,” said Cameron of customers who step inside the store for the first time. “It’s like a trip down memory lane.”
“We get to meet a lot of people through what we do,” said Ren.
“People who stop by always have a story or memory to share,” added Cameron.
The business is open from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Tuesday – Saturday.
For more information, the business can be reached via email at email@example.com or on Instagram and Facebook. You can also check out the store’s many offerings at www.etsy.com/shop/poweshiektradingpost.
“We hope people will come check us out,” said Cameron.
By J.O. Parker
The Brooklyn Community Theater presents, The Day the Internet Died, a one-act comedy by Ian McWethy and Jason Pizzarello slated for Saturday, April 2 at 7 p.m. in the BGM Auditorium.
The production centers around a small town like Brooklyn who has to adapt after the Internet goes down for a whole week.
“They (the town) are used to having Internet and they find themselves having to deal with no Internet with a hilarious outcome,” noted Josh Gerard, Brooklyn Librarian and play director.
The production features a cast of about 25.
Gerard, who has acted in several community productions at the Brooklyn Opera House and also directed the community play, Princess Party Smackdown, last summer at Landes Park, said a group of young people approached him last November about putting together a kid-friendly community production.
“I approached the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and they gave the OK to sponsor the production,” said Gerard.
The production is a fundraiser for the chamber.
Gerard said the production has a powerful ending.
“With no internet, the town learns how plugged in they are and how they are a slave to technology,” said Gerard.
Advance tickets are $8 and can be purchased at the Brooklyn Library until the day of the show. Tickets are $10 at the door.