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Society news

Brownsdale Study Club

The Brownsdale Study Club met at the home of Fern Paschke on June 21.

Joyce Juhnke called the meeting to order with club members reading the collect.

The minutes of the last meeting and treasurer’s reports were read and approved. Roll call was answered with a homophone; a word which consists of any of two or more letters which have a sound in common such as see or sea and hair or hare.

There was no old or new business. We sang “Happy Birthday” to four members who had June birthdays — Leone Peters, Hazel Schlichting, Joyce and Jane Harrison.

Motion was made by Leone and seconded by Beryl Sprung to adjourn the meeting

Jane Hartson will be hostess in July.

Fern gave the outside reading on “The Iowa Cricket Farmer.”

Becky Herman, a Marion High School social studies teacher, is also a farmer. Her farm near Keystone, Iowa is the state’s first insect farm, growing critters for the purpose of human consumption. So far 50,000 to 60,000 crickets have been raised to be breeders. Becky expects to deliver the first batch bound for human stomachs this summer. They will be sent to Salt Lake City and ground into cricket flour for Chapel, the maker of cricket protein bars and protein powder made famous on the television show, “Shark Tank.”

Cricket diets are carefully controlled. The water they are given has been purified and temperature and humidity are closely managed. She plans to turn nearly 2 million crickets every six weeks.

They call them their miniature livestock.

The crickets are frozen for shipping then roasted and turned into flour for other foods. It takes 3,000 to 4,000 crickets for each pound of flour. Insect farming is considered more sustainable than traditional livestock. Crickets are coldblooded so are efficient at converting food into protein.

Joyce gave the main topic on “The Old Country School.”

In the early 1900s the one-room school set life’s stage for us as we began our education in a classroom with first to eighth-grades. There were no buses, until you copiloted eighth-grade and went into town to high school.

We all walked to school. The walk through the countryside was beautiful and fun for us. If we ran fast, we could play ball together before the bell rang.

During snowy days very few children had boots so they used a burlap sack from the barn. They cut it into wide strips and wrapped it around our feet to keep the snow-off our shoes.

We had some wonderful teachers at our one-room school. The teacher was up early and had the fire built and the building warm. School began at 8 or 9 a.m. and we were dismissed at 4 p.m.

Our water came from a well on the school grounds or nearby. It was drawn with a bucket and a chain. The boys liked that job every day. If it was nice weather we lined up out in front of the school and pledged allegiance to the flag. That was exciting and gave us chills.

We had one teacher who taught all eight grades. We had one long blackboard all across the front of the classroom. It was used for messages, assignments and plans for the day. Very seldom did parents come to school.

Most of the fathers were farmers and it was hard to get away. The mothers would come to help at certain times. The older children who had their studies completed would help others who had questions. The teacher had complete control in those days.

The teacher always went to the playground with the children at recess time for a wonderful 15 minutes.

Special friendships were sealed forever at the old country schoolhouse. On Friday afternoons, we had spelling bees, arithmetic matches or geographic matches. In sixth grade the teacher had us memorize the 48 states and the capitols. If teacher said you were to do something she meant for you to do it.

Christmas at school was a happy time. We began working on our program in late November and the teacher dismissed classes at 2:30 p.m. until the program date so we could practice and be ready to share it with our families and neighbors. In April we had our Last Day of School Picnic.” Mothers came with picnic bunches. It was a fun day but we were sad because we really loved school. Some of us would not see each other until school began again in August. Those were enjoyable years. How nice it would be if we could now know the real joy of country living and attend a one-room school for just one month.

Fern served a delicious pretzel raspberry desert.

Duplicate Bridge

Tuesday, June 13, seen tables played at the Mower County Senior Center. First place, Vandy Newman and Jim Fisher; second place, Lorraine Quinlivan and Barb Rofshus; third place, Judy Bungum and Dave Solomonson.; fourth place (tie), Gene Mucho and Ron Peters and Loren Cleland and Dave Ring; sixth place, John Leisen and Rick Stroup.

Wednesday, June 14, six tables played at the Mower County Senior Center. First place, Loren Cleland and Bud Higgins; second place, Dave Ring and Stan Schultz; third place, Joyce Crowe and Millie Seiver; fourth place, Vandy Newman and Ron Peters; fifth place,  Gail and Ray Schmidt; sixth place, Chuck Borneman and Harriet Oldenberg.

Players were from Austin, Albert Lea, Adams and Rose Creek. All bridge players are encouraged to join us at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and noon on Wednesdays.