Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 24, 2014

United Presbyterian Home

Jul 05, 2013

The Washington Municipal Band, under the direction of Tom McNamara, played to a yard full of residents surrounding the gazebo on Thursday night. Gene and Judy Driscoll entertained neighbors on their porch which is near the gazebo. Thanks to the Washington Municipal Band for bringing the concert to the United Presbyterian Home.

Joy Bennett celebrated her birthday in the Town Center last week. How did she do it? This is the question being asked after Joy was surprised with a birthday cake baked by Carol Greiner. The cake and frosting were both decorated in abstract to copy a painting that Joy had made in UPH Art Class. People can understand the frosting, but the question is: How did Carol mix and bake the cake of multi colors? It was amazing!

Harvey Holden recently attended the Holden family reunion in Davenport near the one-time family farm along with his five remaining siblings and about 70 other relatives. Harvey comes from a family rich with longevity. His parents, Glenn and Laura, lived to be 87 and 100 years respectively. His oldest brother, Edgar, passed away in 2001 at age 87. All remaining siblings feel blessed to be able to gather and celebrate life and family on a regular basis. With this visit they celebrated Charles Holden’s 98th birthday. Charles is the oldest remaining sibling and lives in Eldridge. Harvey is 96 years old and his sister, Helen Larsen, of Minden, Neb., is 94.Ninety- year-old Brichard lives in Rolla, Mo.; Virginia Dunville is 88 and is from Salem, Va.; and Lila Shotwell is the youngest sibling at 87 and lives in Richmond, Va. All of the men in the Holden family along with their three brother-in-laws served in the military during World War II. Harvey acknowledges that his longevity comes from strong family genes and blessings from God. God willing, the family plans to meet again next year.

The United Presbyterian Home held its annual Independence Day Parade on Tuesday, July 2, with a two-block long procession of vintage cars, tractors, persons on foot, carts and cycles. Many resident veterans participated in the parade with a prestigious ride in a vintage car. Lawrence Whisler dressed in his original military uniform and rode with Mike Moore in the lead car behind the American Legion. Uncle Sam, aka Carol Ray, proudly wore the red, white and blue uniform associated with the grand uncle and carried the flag along the parade route. Dick Wehr provided his unique four-wheeled cycle and employees Pam Jackson, Maria Marin, Amanda Bausch and Edith Wellington dressed in bloomers to peddle their way along. Becca Enfield was the last parade entry, riding her bicycle with a sign on the back in Bugs Bunny fashion signaling the end, “That’s all Folks.”

Hillbilly clown and entertainer, Barnyard Billy, joined the parade in his crazy little car and wild country attire. Billy had the attention of the UP with Daycare children following the parade as he entertained them by creating balloon art and passed out numerous balloon animals and flowers. Billy also entertained residents in the Health Center making a balloon creation for each person.

Wayne Brock and his Army Band played in the gazebo as residents enjoyed a picnic lunch and keg root beer under the tent.

A patriotic sing-along was held in the Health Center in the afternoon. Mary Atwood and Connie Bauer led the group in piano music and song as they followed along. Afterward, Connie surprised Dick Quayle by singing "Happy Birthday" to him.

Classics Et Cetera for July 4 included an overture and “Rock Island” from “The Music Man” by Meredith Willson; “I Bought Me a Cat” from “Old American Songs, Set 1” by Aaron Copland; “In Old Portugal,” waltz by Karl L. King; “Old-Timers’ Night at the Pops” with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops; “Glory Hallelujah March” played by the 1st Brigade Band; Vladimir Horowitz playing his own piano arrangement of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” by Sousa; “1812 Overture” with cannons and church bells by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

Meredith Willson remembered (and is well remembered by) his hometown of Mason City (River City). He returned often, including for the world premiere of the 1962 movie version of “The Music Man,” his most popular creation, which was held in Mason City in conjunction with its annual North Iowa Band Festival. Willson, like his character Harold Hill, led the “Big Parade” through town.

From about 1948 to the end of his life, he was an active member, a deacon, of Westwood Hills Congregational Church in Los Angeles. He donated a stained glass window, known as "The Music Man Window," above the pew where he sat, which represented various musical instruments. He drove a Rolls Royce to church. He composed hymns for the church, including "Anthem of the Atomic Age" in 1953. He and the pastor, who was also from northeastern Iowa, were very close friends.

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