Jim O'Leary

Waverly Star

By Jim O'Leary

An e-mail newsletter for and about Waverly people, used with permission in the HLW Herald and on this web site.

  Nov. 3, 2003

Peace parades, basketball, and crazy squirrels

The First Armistice Day 1918 (From the Waverly Star)

"Waverly people went wild at the news. A few minutes after the news was heard a parade was formed and headed down Elm Avenue led by Jim McGuire, who commanded the celebration with a broomstick.

Local people and children quickly joined the parade with tin cans, whistles, horns and anything they could get their hands on to make noise.

A half block behind the parade came John Meehan, beating two big cans, without his coat or cap. The noise kept up all day and far into the night.

The creamery was the first to give the news. Church bells, the fire bell and the public school bell followed. As fast as steam could be raised, the flourmill whistle joined the noise.

The Montrose Waverly band played and went to the surrounding towns. Another parade was put on in the evening and the town was wild with excitement.

"While Waverly and the entire U.S.A. were celebrating the news of peace, Mrs. Rose Jaunik, of Marysville, received word that her son, Gus Ritchell, had been killed in France.

Then, on Nov. 14, news came that Arthur Beauchamp had died at Camp Shelby in Mississippi.

On Nov. 21 a telegram was received that Charles Claessens had died in France Oct. 24 of pneumonia and gun wounds."

Some weeks later The Waverly Star had a follow up story:

"The boys came home last Thursday! It was their day. They had been in France and Germany and covered a great deal of the world but they were glad to be in Waverly on home coming day, and the whole community was glad to be on deck to give them a rousing welcome to the old home town.

"The picnic grounds rang with the merry laughter of all the young people and the boys showed off with lots of French so that one thought he might be in some French hamlet."

Waverly basketball from 70 years ago:

Marks McDonnell in The Waverly Star of November 16, 1933 ran this as a front-page story:

"Well, folks, the basketball season is upon us and the boys are practicing every night in order to keep themselves in condition and to polish up on plays.

"They have been practicing under the able and competent coaching and leadership of Ches Ogle.

"He has had the boys down in the city hall for the last several weeks giving them plenty of competition by getting some of the former local stars out there on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights. These include Charles Ogle, Jerry Cullen, Ed and Sid Murray and Buck Doran.

"On Tuesday and Thursday nights he gets the Marysville A.C. Squad over and in this way he gives his quintet a thorough drill every night of the week. The "B" team and 'The Little Bear Cats' also offer competition.

"Ches expects to have some real stars by the end of the season. I have watched the boys go through their regular workouts and all indications point to some real competition for their opponents.

"When the boys let loose, let's see all of you folks out there to support the team and show them their hard work has not been in vain.

"Several games have already been scheduled. The opening of the season is Friday night, Nov. 24, at Rockford. The first home game will be played in the city hall on Friday night, December 8, against Watertown.

"The team consists of the following boys: Ray Fitzpatrick, Clifford Donney, Pauly Martinson, Phil Giblin and Bob Kugler. Ches is also giving some of the younger boys who turn out a chance to practice and in this way he is building up a team for years to come.

"The St. Mary's "B" team is composed of Dan Graham, Crete Fitzpatrick, H. Claessens, Tom Litfin, John Copeland, Hartvig Roholt, Gib Main, Tom Scott, Jackie Litfin, Herb Decker, Red Malone and Joey Kugler.

"Watch this column every week to keep up with the basketball world during the winter months."

Gone when the police got there

I swiped these items from a "Harper's Magazine" which I had swiped from a dentist's office. I just had to have it for my readers because it reminded me of the wheezers we used to tell in Waverly about the Minneapolis police force.

One story I remembered was that a hulk of a policeman in Minneapolis was called to the scene of a dead horse found on Marquette.

Since he couldn't spell Marquette, he picked up the horse over his shoulders and hauled it to First Avenue North because he knew how to make a "1" for his report.

And the following was an answer to a question on the entry exam for an application to the Minneapolis police academy. The question was "What do you do about a case of rabies?"

The applicant wrote "A rabie is a Jew priest and I would do anything I could to help him."

But, I ask you, whom would you prefer, a literate cop or a tough one when you need to call for help?

The following reports, thanks to "Harpers," are from the Amherst, Massachusetts police reports.

"12:20 p.m. A man digging up dirt and crawling on the ground near the intersection of North Pleasant and Pine streets checked out okay."

"2:19 a.m. Youth collecting rocks on North East Street were gone when police got there."

"8:41 a.m. A squirrel that was acting oddly on North East Street was gone when police got there."

"11:25 p.m. A vehicle that left Village Park at a high rate of speed was gone when police got there."

"9:15 p.m. A golden retriever by the side of Montague Road was just taking a nap and had not been hit by a vehicle.

"9:21 p.m. A person told police that a slippery substance was placed on the sidewalk near the Unitarian church. Police determined that the substance had been placed by the Department of public works to provide better traction for pedestrians."

"8:45 p.m. No trace could be found of youths reported to be playing in trees at Brandywine Apartments."

"1:08 a.m. A group of ten or twenty people wearing no clothing running around outside the Boulders Apartments were gone when police got there."

"2:47 p.m. A Village Park woman told police that she found a brownie underneath her license plate."

"5:07 p.m. A South Amherst resident receiving annoying phone calls from her mother was referred to the phone company for assistance."

"7:22 p.m. Police assisted a Hillcrest Place resident in removing a sleeping opossum from his porch."

"11:05 p.m. A frozen turkey was found in the middle of North Pleasant Street in the area of several fraternity houses.

"Fraternity members denied any knowledge of how the turkey got there. An officer moved the turkey to the side of the road."

When at times I beg forgiveness for the sins of my youth, surely among those sins were the times I conspired with others to annoy two fine men who had served as our officers in Waverly, Tom O'Connell and Dick Tuckenhagen.

They put up with more from teenagers than any police officer would tolerate nowadays, although Constable O'Connell tattled on us third graders one time for smoking Lucky Strike cigarettes in Bremers' woods. He went and told our fathers.

Until next week then, dial 911 whenever you see a suspicious squirrel acting squirrelly.

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