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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Country Cousin

Issue Date: August 29, 2018

Hope for healing".

Even the skies were crying on Tuesday, Aug. 28 when The Wall That Heals traveled from the Michigan border in Menominee enroute to Community Veterans Park in Crivitz where it will be on solemn display from Thursday, Aug. 30 through Sunday, Sept. 2, giving the public a chance to honor servicemen and women who lost their lives in the Vietnam War and give a long overdue welcome home to those who survived.

The caravan escorting the wall on that rainy afternoon was awe inspiring. First came the semi hauling The Wall, which is a three quarter size replica of the monument in Washington, DC. It was followed by a long cavalcade that included police, fire and rescue vehicles, motorcycles and a nearly endless line of cars that seemed to have joined in as the caravan came through.

The wall was being assembled in Crivitz on Wednesday, and the war casualties whose names are engraved on it will be honored in a series of events starting on Thursday and continuing through Sunday. Staff will be on hand to help friends and family members locate names of their loved ones. A full schedule is printed elsewhere in today's paper.

KILLED IN ACTION

Personally lost some friends in the Vietnam War, and more to illnesses they contracted while fighting in those jungles. Also shared the grief of a friend and co-worker who married the love of her life just before he was shipped off to Vietnam.

Was with her when she got the tragic news that he had been killed by throwing himself over a grenade to protect some fellow soldiers. He was due to start for home on his first leave the following day.

She was very pregnant at the time, and was a widow when her child was born. And she had to endure the jeers of those demonstrating against the brave American soldiers!

So very, very sad.

THE DRAFT SAVED HIM

Not all the stories were sad. The brother of a girl friend had tried to enlist in the Air Force right out of high school He was rejected. Flat feet. Tried to enlist in the Navy. Again he was rejected because of flat feet. Then the war over there heated up, and he was drafted by the Army.They kept him, flat feet and all.

So, the day before he was to leave we were at a farewell party in the basement of their family home.

He had been working as a window washer on high rise buildings in Milwaukee before the Call to Duty arrived, using a sort of belt to hook himself to the wall on the outside of the building while he washed windows high above the pavement.

In that basement, he was going to show us how the belt worked. Hooked it up to his basement wall, just a few feet from the floor. Belt broke!

He turned the most interesting shades of pink and green!

Had he not been drafted he would have used that belt one more time. And had he done so, the belt would have broken while he was haning many stories up, and he would have likely ended up a grease spot on the sidewalk instead of a soldier heading off to war.

He came home safely when his tour of duty was done.

SCHOOL BELLS

Students who aren't already back in school will surely be there on Tuesday, Sept. 4. Wisconsin actually has a law that public school classes can't start until after labor Day without special permission from district residents.

LABOR DAY HISTORY

How did Labor Day start?

Unions were getting a strong foothold in the United States and all over the world in the late 1880s. One of our nation's first huge labor festivals was held in a New York City park on Sept. 5, 1882, and the accompanying picnic and parade were said to have attracted about 10,000 workers who listened to speeches in support of workers' rights, drank beer, danced and set off fireworks.

However, what really is believed to have caused Labor Day to be declared a national holiday started with a strike that began on May 11, 1894, in Pullman, Ill., against sleeping car manufacturer George Pullman. The community of Pullman, located near Chicago, had been built by Pullman to house his employees. They all rented homes from him, shopped in his stores, banked at his bank. Their wages went down when the economy tanked, but their rent didn't. They went on strike.

To show support for the Pullman workers, the American Railway Union, with some 150,000 members, refused to operate trains with Pullman cars. This snarled mail delivery and rioting and arson broke out. President Grover Cleveland sent federal troops to break up the strike. The entire fiasco evolved into what's now considered one of the bloodiest events in American labor history. Actual death toll has not been verified, but some reports said eight striking workers were killed.

The strike ended quickly after the violence. Pullman employees promised to never unionize again. Cleveland's popularity suffered, especially among the working-class core.

Cleveland's declaration of the new national Labor Day holiday, on the first Monday of September, 1894 came a few months later and has been described as an election-year attempt at an olive branch, although it didn't succeed in winning him a second term.

LABOR DAY FUN

During my girlhood days in Marinette the unions apparently got together to host some big Labor Day picnics in Marinette City Park. They were lots of fun, and pretty much everybody went.

The unions no longer host those big picnics, but there's still plenty of Labor fun available for anyone who cares to look.

Bars all over TIMESland are advertising bands and other entertainment. Museums are open,. Rummage sales and roadside stands are open everywhere.

From noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1 Crivitz Netzel-Zenz Post 413 of the American Legion is holding its annual Labor Day Trap Shoot at the Lake Noquebay Sportsman's Club located on N9200 Maple Beach Road, 2 blocks south of County Highway X, east of Middle Inlet. There will be turkey and ham raffles throughout the day and food and beverages will be available. Rain date is Sunday, September 2. For more information, contact Larry Lundberg at 715-854-2672.

At 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 2, there's to be a parade from the fire station to Sally and JC's Northwoods Bar, at W10707 Benson Lake Road, Athelstane, followed by the bar's 42nd annual fundraiser and auction. All money raised will go to the Athelstane Volunteer Fire Department and Silver Cliff Rescue Squad. It's a day-long event, and there should be some good bargains in addition to some good fun, since two and a half garages are full of donated items to be auctioned off. There's even to be a donated boat, motor and trailer on the auction block.

ON THE SOAP BOX

VIETNAM SCARS


Hopefully, The Wall will help heal at least some of the scars left by the shameful strife that tore this nation during the long and tragic Vietnam era. Returning veterans were spat upon, scathed and accused of being baby killers by protesters, many of whom refused to answer their country's call to duty.

Remember the Flower Children rants, "Peace at any price," "Make love, not war," and others far more offensive? They loudly proclaimed their willingness to give up the freedoms our nation enjoys rather than fight to keep them.

As a child of the Cold War era, it seems incredible that our nation subsequently elected at least two of those draft dodgers to the office of President, which brings with it the responsibility of being Commander in Chief of the United States military that they reviled. And then, in the last Presidential go-round a lot of the intellectual elitists seriously worked to get an admitted Socialist elected President.

COMMUNIST DOMINATION???

For those who didn't live through the Cold War years that followed World War II, or those who have forgotten them, there really was a Communist effort to bring the entire world under their domination.

The Vietnam protesters were taken in by the Communist rhetoric, and apparently actually either believed things weren't really that bad under Communist dictators, or that Communists were not really trying to extend their domination to the entire world.

They managed to make "capitalism" into a dirty word, when what it defines is or free world economic system - a system in which private individuals invest their personal capital - in the forms of both money and labor - to help themselves get ahead, and in doing so advance the prosperity of everyone.

By contrast, according to the "quota" Internet site, "Communism is a political and economic system in which the major productive resources in a society - such as mines, factories, and farms - are owned by the public or the state, and wealth is divided among citizens equally or according to individual need."

Sounds good, except for reality. Human nature is human nature. If everything is divided equally whether you work or not, who's going to work? If things are divided on the basis of need instead of being distributed equally, who gets to decide that they need a Rolls Royce while I need a bicycle. Who decides they need steak and lobster while I need a handful of oatmeal?

Strange. While it remains a dictatorship, Russia seems to have shifted to a somewhat more capitalistic system - in which personal investment of time and treasure is rewarded, and at the same time our nation seems headed toward burying ourselves - exactly what Nikita Kruschev predicted when he pounded his shoe on the table during those conferences with the late, great President John Kennedy.

OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE WALL

Remember Ronald Reagan's demand: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall?"

Lest we forget, the wall that the Communists built in Berlin was to keep people in, under Communist control. Countless thousands were killed trying to escape.

Purpose of that wall was the exact opposite of what many of us want of a wall on the United States border with Mexico. They were trying to keep citizens in as prisoners. We are trying to keep people out until and unless they can come in legally and become citizens.

NOT LOVED

In the years immediately following World War II East Germany was occupied by the Russian communists, who had been our allies in the war, and West Germany was occupied by Americans and British.

Crivitz, Germany, was in East Germany, occupied by Communists, and some of our friends there had sad and angry stories to tell about that time of occupation, which ended no that long before we visited there.

Saw the bleak rows of drab, gray apartment buildings that had been the homes of Russians during their occupation of Germany. Was told the Germans so hated the Russians who lived there that no one would move into those apartments when the Russians moved out. Saw a highly placed official from the Crivitz in Germany shake his fist and snarl, "Ruskis!" every time we walked past them.

Learned that East Germans, at least in Crivitz, could study Russian, Korean or Chinese, but were forbidden to speak or learn English, lest they listen to Radio Free Europe.

Also learned that many of them, as soon as their Russian oppressors were gone, did begin learning English just as fast as they could.

COOKIN' TIME

So many great things are on the roadside stand markets right now that it's hard to decide what to buy and serve. Preserve some of the locally grown goodness for the cold months ahead. You can't eat it all at once anyway.

LATTICE CORN PIE

1 cup diced peeled potatoes

1/3 cup milk

2 eggs

2 cups fresh or frozen corn, thawed

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 package (15 ounces) refrigerated pie pastry

Place potatoes in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 6-8 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside. In a blender, combine the milk, eggs, corn, sugar and salt; cover and process until blended. Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom pastry; trim pastry even with edge of plate. Spoon potatoes into crust; top with corn mixture (crust will be full). Roll out remaining pastry; make a lattice crust. Steal and flute edges. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.

PESTO AND BLACK BEAN SALSA

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups fresh corn, cut from cob (or use frozen kernels)

5 plum tomatoes, chopped

1 large sweet red pepper, chopped

1 small green pepper, chopped

1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 jar (16 ounces) salsa

Tortilla chips

In a large bowl combine the beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers, chilies, onion, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, sugar, salt and cumin. Stir in salsa until blended. Serve with chips.

MILD TOMATO SALSA

36 medium tomatoes, peeled and quartered

4 medium green peppers, chopped

3 large onions, chopped

2 cans (12 ounces each) tomato paste

1-3/4 cups white vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped

1 celery rib, chopped

15 garlic cloves, minced

4 to 5 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

1/4 cup canning salt

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

In a large kettle, cook tomatoes, uncovered, over medium heat for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 cups liquid. Return tomatoes to the kettle. Stir in the green peppers, onions, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, red pepper, celery, garlic, jalapeños, canning salt, hot pepper sauce and reserved tomato liquid. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour, stirring frequently. Ladle hot mixture into hot jars, leaving them 1/4-in. headspace. Adjust caps. Process for 20 minutes in a boiling-water bath. Once the jars are cool wipe them down with damp cloth before putting them on the shelves.

COPPER PENNIES

These carrots make a nice relish-tye dish with almost anything, and are another way to get vegies into your kids' tummies. Grownups usually like them even better.

6 cups carrots, thinly sliced, partially cooked

1 cup green pepper, chopped

1/2 cup celery, chopped (optional)

1 medium onion, diced or in rings

Sauce: (use either recipe)

Mix in blender:

3/4 cup vinegar

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup oil

1 can tomato soup

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon salt

OR

Bring to boil

1/2 cup vinegar

1 can tomato soup

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Pour sauce over carrots, peppers, onions and celery. Marinate overnight. Keeps in refrigerator for several days.

PEPPER PLEASERS

Want to learn more about peppers - how to grow them, how to use them, how to preserve them, and which ones it's safe to eat? Go to Harmony Arboretum from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 6 for some good information and perhaps some taste testing.

The Country Cousin

Thought for the week: The joys of hard work, accomplishments and justifiable pride go hand in hand. Benjamin Franklin advised: "It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man that is the miserable man." Nearly a century later President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt said it a different way: "I don't pity any man who does hard work worth doing. I admire him. I pity the creature who does not work, at whichever end of the social scale he may regard himself as being."

(This column is written by Shirley Prudhomme of Crivitz. Views expressed are her own and are in no way intended to be an official statement of the opinions of Peshtigo Times editors and publishers. She may be contacted by phone at 715-291-9002 or by e-mail to shirleyprudhommechickadee@yahoo.com.)


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