Sunday, October 1, 2017

Suafen und Spiel Parade - 2017

Once again we had fantastic weather for the Johnsburg Suafen und Spiel Parade on Sunday, September 10th. 

By the way, the name "Saufen und Spiel" means "drink and play". People gathered at the home of Len & Mary Keil to enjoy a light breakfast of bagels, donuts, sweet roll and the legendary Joan Schellin almond cake.

We had a variety of vehicles this year. Some of the participants had help removing their Thunderbird car tops before heading out to the Parade. The cars lined up and were led by a police car (with lights and siren) out of the exit of the Keils' subdivision and all the way to the designated line-up spot. While the cars were waiting for the Parade to start, the Parade watchers were getting bloody Marys and finding a suitable spot to view everything.

Most of the cars carried Johnsburg Village officials and displayed magnetic signs. We were given mass quantities of candy to throw along the route. All drivers agreed that this year the pace was slower than in the past. So slow, in fact, that Len Keil's car overheated and he had to pull over. The Parade ended at a field where the cars lined up for display. There were also a few Corvettes in the field. The Village treated the drivers to liquid refreshments. 

Some of us discovered the band inside the meeting hall and enjoyed a few quick dances before heading back to the Keils' for a delicious buffet lunch featuring brats and hot dogs grilled by Larry Keil. Once the Bears' game was over, people watched news of hurricane Irma in Florida and were thinking of our many members who have homes there. Finally, tops were replaced and we all headed home. An enormous thank you to Len & Mary for coordinating and hosting this event for the sixth year! 

Taking part in this year's festivities were: Dan & Karen Anderson, Bill & Jane Balogh, Pete & Lisa Ekstrom, Art Hahl, Len & Mary Keil, Larry & Karen Kelly, Ed Levin & Rose Kovalenko, Pete & Marylu Kramer, Dean & Beth Molburg, Dan Mrozek, Jerry & Pat Peterson, Lloyd & Joan Schellin, Ken & Kathy Smizinski, Len Vinyard, Liz Werth, and Jim Wilson. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017


On Sunday, August 6, Joan and Lloyd Schellin once again welcomed CTCC picnickers to their beautiful Garden Prairie farm.  The weather was ideal. Two members drove their little 'birds while others came in everyday cars as it had been pointed out that it was a picnic not a car show and that the Sunday night traffic going home might be unpleasant.

All were delighted to see Paul and Urszula Mounts and Lee and Gina Bakakos who were in town from their homes in Florida!. We also welcomed new member Sean Bickerton who brought armloads of diapers and who fried up the most delicious homemade spring rolls for us to enjoy. Thank you Sean!

Dan Mrozek, Jr. served again as chief pork chop and hamburger griller while Ken Smizinski and Bob Sroka shucked the recently picked corn. The buffet tables held beans, salads, rolls and melons. There were many dessert choices including Mary Keil's delicious coconut cake of which Paul approved!

There was a short business meeting during which Ken Smizinski thanked Lloyd and Joan for their gracious hospitality, discussed upcoming events and introduced Sean. Pete Kramer talked briefly about the Fall Tour that he and Marylu are planning. The group sang to those celebrating birthdays in August.

Some of the almost fifty attendees stayed a little later and enjoyed a fireworks display. Lots of ooohs and aaahs. Thank you, Lloyd, that was fun!

Members generously donated diapers and pull-ups for the People's Resource Center foodpantry. When they are repackaged, the diapers and pull-ups will benefit over 100 families. Thank you all for your thoughtfulness.

Many pitched in to help clean up. Thank you to Joan and Lloyd for hosting another wonderful picnic.



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

2017 Spring Tour

Galena ,Clear Lake ,Prairie Du Chien
By Melinda Pritchett

Despite questionable weather reports, we thought we might be in luck when 21 of us departed on Wednesday morning from the Belvedere Oasis.  We had a nice ride to Galena where Dan Pritchett led the group for a tour of the U.S. Grant home.  After lunching in town at Vinny Vanucchi Restaurant, the group checked out downtown Galena.

We ate dinner at our house in the Galena territory and celebrated Irene, Rose and Larrys birthdays.  Dan and I felt the weekend was off to a good start when Karen, Len Vinyard, and Kathy got into the musical mood of the trip by marching around the room singing
 Seventy-six Trombones  from the Music Man.

The birds were ready to roll at 9AM and we slowly (Ken informed Dan that he was actually traveling about 10 mph slower than he thought) set out.  After lunch, we arrived in Clear Lake and toured the Surf Ball Room.  The Surf was made famous as the last venue where Buddy Holly played, but many other famous acts have appeared there over the years.   Our hospitality room was open at 5, and we had a great dinner at the Surf District Restaurant.

By Friday morning any hopes of nice weather were gone, and we skipped the trip to the crash site and went directly to Mason City.  I think everyone enjoyed lunch at the Decker House and the subsequent tour of Meredith Wilsons childhood home and Music Man Square.  We also toured a Frank Lloyd house and had a cocktail at another Frank Lloyd Wright building, the Park Inn Hotel.  Dinner that evening was at the restaurant adjacent to the hotel, and I think everyone was glad to be out of the rain for a little while.  We retraced our route Saturday morning back to Charles City and stopped at the Floyd County Museum.  After all, what tour is complete without a visit to a Tractor Museum?  We had hoped to lunch at the Barrel Drive Inn but the rain persisted so we made alternate plans.
All visitors to Prairie du Chien stop at Villa Louis and so did we.  It was an interesting story of the Dousman family.  We checked into our hotel, had a great dinner at the Barn Restaurant and ended the night in our makeshift hospitality room.  Sunday morning everyone started off for home.

Dan and I have run several tours in the past, but it was a little worrisome since we were new members. We were very grateful for the enthusiasm of the group, and could not get over the thank you notes and kind words we received when we got home.  Rose and Ed even bought us dinner!  It was a great way for us to get involved in this fun club!!         

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Drury Lane Oak Brook

     On January 29, twenty-three people enjoyed excellent seating in the buffet room of Drury Lane Oak Brook. The many offerings of breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert items certainly satisfied every craving.  We were seated at tables of eight and enjoyed lively conversation while we stuffed ourselves. Following the meal, we made our way into the theater. After a little skillful maneuvering (thank you, Kathy!), we were all seated near each other. "Saturday Night Fever" was all it had promised to be. 

The music and dancing were outstanding! It was a thoroughly delightful outing! 

Thank you to Pete and Marylu Kramer for planning it. 

In attendance were: Gordon Gluff and Mary Ziemba, Len Keil (Mary was ill), Larry and Karen Kelly, Pete and Marylu Kramer, Ed Levin and Rose Kovalenko, Jerry and Doreen Michna, Dean and Beth Molburg, Ken and Kathy Smizinski, Bob and Barbara Sroka, Tom and Alice Wolfe, Bill and Liz Werth, and Madeline Zambon and Linda Jensen.

Monday, January 2, 2017

2016 Holiday Party

2016 Holiday Party 

This year fifty-two people attended the annual Holiday Party at Parkway Banquets in Ingleside.  We were seated at tables of eight, all with great views of the "Year In Review" showing continuously. Guests received bottles of wine and a copy of the "Year In Review" DVD produced by Pete and Steve Kramer. The tables were decorated with festive centerpieces.  At each guest's place was a cookie from "simply d'lish".

Jim and Jane Wilson arrived late as they had been rear-ended on their way. There were no injuries but their car suffered damage. We are happy that they are ok. Gina Bakakos came alone since Lee was still recovering from a nasty encounter with a kidney stone. Lee and Gina have moved to Florida as of Dec. 12.

Following the cocktail/hors d'oeuvres hour and the bountiful and delicious buffet dinner, President Ken Smizinski made a few announcements and then Ken and Kathy drew names for the door-prize raffle. Everyone went home with several gifts. In addition to lovely poinsettias donated by the Burhops (who were unable to attend the party), included in the raffle gifts were some oil filters for those who depend upon them every year!

Many thanks to Ken and Kathy Smizinski for planning the party, obtaining the wine and oil filters and many of the door prizes, to Pete Kramer and his son, Steve, for the Year-In Review show and DVDs, to Liz and Bill Werth for the cookies and to all those who donated items for the door prizes. It was a fun night in a beautiful venue with good friends.