Newspaper Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa
November 3, 2005     The Kalona News
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November 3, 2005

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Thursday, November 3, 2005 News Page 5A Famous women at Pleasantview photo submitted by Jenni Miller :lOb Miller holds a block of cheese that was being auctioned off at the 50th ew Benefit Sale on Saturday morning. Merlin Miller and Sheryl Miller look in the crowd while Monica Miller helps Wilbur Swartzendruber auctioneer. photo submitted by Jennl Miller ladies of the Cookie Walk committee that were in charge of helping cus- cookies to fill their containers from the Cookie Walk that went from 9 - 11 Benefit Sale Saturday. Photo submitted above are the Kalona Cub Scout pack 234 and The Cub Scouts dressed up in their Halloween and took a hayrack ride around Kalona. Cub Scout 234 hayrack ride Cub Scout pack 234 and their families went on a arOund the town of Kalona Sunday night on the 29. The up in their Halloween costumes and bundled up By Jim Hussey Several months ago, Helen Olt- man had an idea--to discuss the famous women of World War II with her fellow Pleasantview res- idents. And as has been her habit for more than 100 years, on Monday, October 24, she not only talked about it, she did it, hold- ing forth on Madame Chiang Kai-shek, and with Lois Gugel and Martha Graber, on Rose Kennedy and Eleanor Roosevelt as well. "Can everyone say Generalis- simo?" asked Mrs. Oltman of 20 residents assembled for her talk. She then explained that when Soong Mei-ling married Gener- alissimo Chiang Kai-shek in 1927, she added another adven- ture an already exceptional life that had begun with her birth in China in 1897, picked up steam through her schooling in the United States, and continued decades longer as she served as her husband's translator, confi- dante and adviser--and as a leader in her own right, as Secre- tary of the Chinese Air Force. "Mei-ling went to the Wesleyan School for Girls in Macon, Geor- gia starting in 1908," recounted Oltman. "She quickly picked up English, or I should say meri- can', and spoke with a Georgia accent the rest of her life." Speaking with a clear, strong voice without notes for 20 min- utes, the 102-year-old Oltman explained how Madame Chiang helped her husband through the Chinese war with the Japanese, and then with the Chinese com- munists. "I remember that very well," said Oltman. Speaking of her late husband, she added, "We too were in China at the time. There was the Chinese-Japanese War, which became the Japanese- American War after the Japan- ese bombed Pearl Harbor." She recalled that Madame Chi- ang was the second woman and the first Chinese national to speak before a joint session of the U.S. Congress in 1943, and how Madame Chiang moved to New York upon her husband's death in 1975. She stayed in New York until she passed away in 2003 at the age of 105. Madame Chiang could easily have been Mrs. Oltman's sister, having been born just six years earlier. For most of their lives, they also shared residence in the same countries, whether it was China in the first half of the 20th century, or America in the sec- ond half. "Last month was our 75th anniversary of going to China," said Oltman of she and her hus- band, who were medical mission- aries in China with the Dutch Reformed Church. "We arrived in 1930, and I didn't come home permanently until 1950. My hus- band was held by the Commu- nists and didn't get to come home until 1951." Oltman made several trips across the Pacific, always by ship, and always with an infant Gary Fisher Judy Showalter What is Your PLAN to meet the Expenses of Long Term Health Care & Nurs/ng Home Costs? We can help you design a Plan to protect your inancial security. 514 B Avenue Re. Bo.v 390 Kalona, IA 5224 7 319.656.2262 .[isheria( St. Francis "--- 00ETERINARY CLINIC Dr. Greg S0hnoebelen D.V.M. .g 8 am - 5 pm 8 am - noon Call For An Appointment Evening Appointments  , Available Drop-offs Welcome  Boarding  Dogs, Cats and Pocket Pets , (rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters)  Candles, Cards, Florals, Wreatbs, Wall Decor, Unique Fur- niture ...and much much more/ Visit Heritage Gallery at LUMBER Hwy 1 & 92 * Washington 319-653-6676 Photo submitted Helen Oltman, center, a 102-year-old resident of Pleas- antview, leads a discussion on the "Famous Women of the 20th Century", assisted by Martha Graber, left, and Lois Gugel, right. in tow. "I brought the children home in 1941," said Oltman. "We all saw war was coming. I was at home with the children during the war for five years. Two of my children were born in China, and two were not." At the same time Oltman was traveling back and forth to China, Eleanor Roosevelt was serving as the eyes and ears of her husband Franklin, the American wartime president who had been stricken with polio while serving as governor of New York. "Eleanor was a shy, awkward child who lost her mother as a lit- tle girl, and her father two years later," said Gugel, "but she became the eyes and ears of Franklin. I really think he would have never become president had she not been there to help him." Also examined by the group was Rose Kennedy' the wife of businessman and diplomat Joseph Kennedy, the mother of World War II heroes Joseph Jr. and John (the future president), and the daughter of "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, a former Boston mayor who skirted the edges of political propriety. A half-century after pinning her daffy "to-do" list on her dress to help keep track of her nine children, Rose Kennedy remind- ed her children who had not been lost to accidents, war or assassi- nation that they were not only Kennedys, but Fitzgeralds---who had "come to America before the Kennedys, made money before the Kennedys, and been elected before the Kennedys." A devout Catholic, she attended Mass every day' and encouraged her children to learn second lan- guages so they could still pray should Americans ever become victims of religious persecution. As a former missionary in a country turned Communist, Helen Oltman understands what it means to persecuted, and the value of a second language. Fifty-five years after leaving China, Oltman gave Pleas- antview residents a brief lesson in speaking Chinese. She also expressed her wonder ht the longevity of Madame "Chiang and Rose Kennedy, both of whom lived to 105. "Madame Chiang was born in 1897, and died in 2003, so she spanned three centuries," said Oltman. "We started off calling this 'The Famous Women of World War If,' but when you look at how long they lived, we changed the name to 'The Most Famous Women of the Century.'" Oltman concluded the session by thanking her fellow presen- ters, as well as the residents who asked questions and added remembrances throughout the hour-long session. "Thank you," said the cente- narian, whose recitation of the current events of her life became a history lesson to the people in the room. "You picked up the idea and really made it come alive." NOTICE: HYDRANT FLUSHING Thursday, November 3 Starting at 8:00 A.M. The City of Kalona will be flushing fire hydrants throughout the city starting at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 3. You are urged to plan your use of water on that date accordingly as there may be some water disturbance. City of Kalona I I Have you recently lost someone close to you i in death? Or has time passed and you still : I find it difficult to cope? I I I i PY:00 7!1: u Jell r; lu n ii Presents i "Coping with the Holidays" ! i Join us for two evenings of support and receive ; information concerning issues surrounding loss. Yoder-Powell Funeral Home- Highway 22 East, Kalona November 7th and 14th 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Hosted by Cindy Nisly, M.A. - Counselor i, I I Specializing in grief and loss. I iWalk away with: i l" Handouts of information relating to your gde New insight in coping strategies. I Knowing you are not alone. ! i For more Information please call 319-656-3200 or 319-646-2122 I Everyone welcome, j L i m i m i m m m i ml m i m i m i m i m llll i m I