I want to thank all those who sent a birthday card, verbally made nice remarks and cajoling comments regarding my high school graduation picture that was placed in the Stanley Republican on the occasion of my 80th birthday. I still have no family member owning up to that devilish action. It is amazing what 62 years of living beyond high school does to the human body!
In any case, I am blessed to still be healthy enough to enjoy life and still pen this column. In fact, the editor of this newspaper informed me, on the occasion of my birthday, that my verbal con- tract to pen this column is renewed for another five years. I am not sure I will last that long but whatever…… *** If you’re a local history fan, Tuesday, July 19, was the day you hoped would never need to come -– the day they took the Stanley Depot down. The December 15, 2021 tornado, provided a punch that took the depot building to its knees when it blew about a good third of the building totally apart, left roof pieces hanging and the rest of the structure weakened to the point where it was to costly to repair. I was told that one estimate of putting it back together was $552,000 and that included no restoration. No or- ganization, group or individual came forward with the funds for rebuilding it. So now all we have left are pictures and memories of how each of us remember how the depot looked. Stanley now has only five really historic buildings that have not been struc turally altered on the exterior – the Brethren Church, Methodist Church, Baptist Church (former Presbyterian Church), old city hall and the library. More in another column. *** This past week had a number of happening occurring that called for altering this column. Among them, on Monday, July 18, the preparation of the site for the new enlarged Wundrow Auto Repair business on Maple Street took place. Todd Wundrow’s business had been in the historic Gayle Bivan’s – Car Fail Call Gayle garage, which was purchased from Russ Paul. Wundrow’s business was also destroyed by the tornado last December.
On Tuesday, July 19, Stanley’s ABE Concrete was already on site putting in forms and before the work day was over there was concrete being poured. So after seven months of frustration, the Wundrow's are finally getting their new building started. Best wishes to Todd and Misty Wundrow and good luck with your building project.
*** Leon and Lil’s Bar in downtown Thorp was the popular place to go for many years. On Friday, August 5, from 2-4 pm, Lil and her nephew Ken Szymanski will be at the Thorp Area Historical Society, 307 Birch Street in Thorp to tell about and sell her new book “Sit Down and Stay Awhile.”
*** On Sunday, July 10 we escaped town for a visit to Rhinelander. It has been a considerable amount of time since we have visited that city. Our destination was the Pioneer Park Historical Complex and my goal was to actually see a steam log hauler up close – even though it wasn’t in running condition. Steam log haulers were built by Phoenix Steel in Eau Claire, which once had a large manufacturing plant on the site of today’s Phoenix Park. The steam log hauler revolutionized the logging industry and how logging was done. Rather than horses, or oxen, pulling one load of logs to a rail site, a steam log hauler could haul multiple loads at a time. The Northwestern Lumber Company in Stanley is reported to have purchased the first steam log hauler manufactured by Phoenix Steel. Unfortunately, the local muse um does not have that machine, but does have a replica that was constructed by Kurt Duel of Gilman, a now deceased hobbyist, who had seen them in operation when he was a youngster. An employee at the Rhinelander museum, reported to me that for $250,000, a Baraboo Company has proposed they could opera- tionalize their steam log hauler. Another area of the museum that we were drawn to was a building devoted to housing Civilian Conservation Corp records, pictures and other memorabilia. We were attracted to this site as my father-in-law worked at a CC Camp as a young man. We never learned which camp he was located at, but we came away with information on how to gain information where he was housed and worked. Finally, I will share one other interesting artifact I saw. This museum has a “bateau” on display. Bateau, is a French word for boat. These were large, flat bottomed boats used by French fur traders and later during logging drives. In all, there are six major buildings and a good number of outdoor displays. We spent better than two hours at the museum. There was no fixed admission charge but donations of course were encouraged.
*** Cody’s Classic Cars is a fairly new business on North Broadway. The business is located in the building originally built for the Plummer’s Coast-to Coast Store. The stated mission of the business is “… to provide the ultimate classic and collectible buying or selling experience!” A new business brochure, I recently came upon, indicates that since the businesses’ launch in August 2017, they have sold vehicles in 47 states and 19 foreign countries. After record sales in 2020, they saw another record year in 2021 selling over $3 million in classic vehicles world- wide. As a dealership, they are able to ouer assistance with fi nancing, shipping and more. Looking through the widows of the business indicates they have a showroom full of classic vehicles.
The business is a nice addition to Stanley’s downtown.
*** Smile time. A businessman boarded a plane to find sitting next to him an elegant woman wearing the largest, most stunning diamond ring he had ever seen. He asked her about it. “This is the Klopman diamond,” she said. “It is beautiful, but there is a terrible curse that goes with it.” “What’s the curse?” the man asked. “Mr. Klopman.” +++ The new employee stood before the paper shredder looking confused. “Need some help?” a secretary asked. “Yes,” he replied. “How does this thing work?” “Simple,” she said, taking the fat report from his hand and feeding it into the shredder. “Thanks, but where do the copies come out?”
+++ A little girl asked her father, “Daddy? Do all Fairy Tales begin with Once Upon A Time?" He replied, "No, there is a whole series of Fairy Tales that begin with “If elected I promise …” +++ Because of the dense fog, a steamboat had to stop at the mouth of the river. A passenger demanded to know the cause of the delay. “Can’t see up the river,” the harassed captain replied.
“Fog’s to thick.” “But I can see the stars overhead,” the passenger said. “Yes,” the captain growled, “but unless the engines explode we’re not going that way.” +++ If you don’t like me.. buy a map … get a car … and go to hell. +++ Life is spent between episodes of women being mad at you.
BY DAVID JANKOSKI