Mark Nessen and Mendy Middlebrook. Photo by Jason Selby
MARK NESSEN, MENDY MIDDLEBROOK AND LEE PECK, AMONG OTHERS, DONATE THEIR TIME TO HELP OTHERS DURING THE HOLIDAYS
One holiday season in the 1950s, all Mark Nessen wanted for Christmas was a royal blue Schwinn bicycle. It was expensive. His family was poor. Nessen vividly recalls the disappointment on Christmas morning when that bike was not under the tree.
“Back then, Dick Willey and his dad had a place right where the Cook Insurance office is,” Nessen said. Nessen’s family lived above a pool hall, and in the same building was Willey’s automotive store, which had the bike for sale. Nov 24, 2014, 08:46
Julie Foster smiles while assisting a customer at the Corydon Post Office. She is retiring Dec. 1 after over 32 years. Photo by Jason Selby
RETIREMENT PULLS LONGTIME LETTER CARRIER AWAY FROM ICE, SNOWDRIFTS, COLD WIND AND TERRITORIAL DOGS
Postal worker Julie Foster will be retiring Dec. 1. The public is invited to celebrate with her on Tues., Nov. 25 in the Corydon Post Office lobby, from 8:30 a.m. to approximately 3 p.m. There will be cake and punch served, as well as a joke or two and vigorous conversation with the gregarious Foster.
“It’s been a long run, and it’s time to move on,” Foster said, as she bustled from the front desk to her office, still in excellent mail carrying shape. Nov 17, 2014, 08:41
A few items up for raffle at this year’s bazaar. Photo by Jason Selby
Bonita Wells recently received the Shining Star award at the 2014 Iowa Hospital Association Auxiliary luncheon. It was voted upon by active members of the Wayne County Hospital Auxiliary board for her service above and beyond during the 25 years since Bonita and husband, Dr. Joel Wells, moved to Corydon. Bonita is also a trained, licensed practical nurse.
“We started this recognition about four years ago,” Bonita said. She was humbled when she found out she would receive this honor herself. “Auxiliary is an organization—one person can’t be singled out for what they do. There are a lot of different committees, and it takes a group effort to make the project successful. I’ve served on most of the committees and held every office.” Nov 10, 2014, 13:47
The grave marker of Civil War veteran from the Union Army, Hartwell Fitzgerald, and his wife, freed slave Amanda Fitzgerald, sits on the west edge of the Corydon Cemetery. Photo by Jason Selby
SON OF A SLAVE-OWNER, HARTWELL LEAVES THE SOUTH WITH AMANDA, THE BRIDE HE BOUGHT OUT OF CAPTIVITY TO SETTLE ON A FARM NEAR CORYDON
Just southeast of the small village of Corydon, Hartwell Fitzgerald and Amanda Bowen Fitzgerald brought up their family in the earliest days of Wayne County’s rise from the prairie. The creek south of town crossed their farmland. Though emerging from humble roots, the family would become respected members of the community. This was despite the fact Amanda was born a slave, and Hartwell was the son of a plantation owner who disowned him after he purchased Amanda, a woman of mixed race, before they were married. He bought the land they lived on, just southeast of what would become Walden Park, in 1856. The couple is buried together in the Corydon Cemetery. Nov 3, 2014, 08:35
Wayne graduate and cancer survivor Barry Robb flashes the thumbs up sign next to Iowa State University basketball coach Fred Hoiberg.
Earlier this year, Barry Robb was experiencing blurry vision and headaches. When he went to an optometrist, believing he might need glasses, the eye doctor told him it was something more serious. He saw retinal swelling. The week of June 13, Barry visited a specialist, who discovered Barry had a mass on his brain, later diagnosed as a cancerous brain tumor, grade three anaplastic astrocytoma. Wife Sarah was shocked, but their family did not have time to worry. They had to get organized. They had to fight.
“As much as you just to want to sit down and cry, you’ve got to keep going and figuring out what the next step is,” Sarah said.
On June 27, doctors removed a baseball-sized tumor from the right side of his brain. The surgery lasted several hours. Afterward, as they were getting him situated in his hospital room, doctors discovered Barry had experienced an aneurism. He went back in for a second surgery, which lasted another couple of hours and affected the left side of his body. Oct 27, 2014, 09:50