Again this year, we were blessed with beautiful weather for our music event at the church on September 9th. With over 60 people in attendance, the church was filled to capacity. The program began with the ringing of the church bell by my grandsons, Jonathan Kestol and Fox Bauer. This year the musicians were: The Reverend Larry Froemming who played the Estey Pump Organ and dulcimer, Dennis Brown, Abigail Brown, and Stephen Johansen who played gospel music on guitar, banjo, and cajon drum, and Lisa Bauer (my daughter) who sang and played the flute.
In his introduction, Dennis Brown mentioned that he had grown up on a farm close to the church, that a number of his family members are buried in this cemetery, and that he was happy to have the opportunity to participate in this program. All of the music was warmly appreciated by the audience.
At the end of the program there was a special surprise for me.The day of the event also happened to be Grandparents Day. My grandson, Jonathan – age 8, had memorized a poem to recite, and he wanted it to be a secret. It was a wonderful surprise, but just as he was beginning, the battery died in the camera, so it was not recorded on video. After the event, however, Jon “re-enacted” his recitation, and we used our phone to record the video. That is what you will see below.
After the program, people gathered outside to enjoy refreshments of Norwegian cookies, coffee, and apple cider. More lovely flute music was played by Lisa in the churchyard.
I am blessed to have the help of Beth Reidy, a talented artist, who is volunteering her time to work on this restoration. Her creativity and ideas have been an inspiration to me and she has contributed enormously to the beautification of the interior of the church. Throughout the summer we worked together finishing the floor, painting, and wallpapering. Beth matted and framed the portraits of the ministers and early church members. She also made souvenir plaques from the original ceiling boards imprinted with the words “Welcome” or “Velkommen,” and bookmarks which were cut from pieces of the church wallpaper. These items were sold at the event along with note cards featuring scenes of the church, Norway, and wildlife.
There are several others who I want to recognize for their service over the past year. Tony and Janet Brown spent most of the summer clearing and burning the brush from the back of the cemetery and church, and planting grass seed. Evie McIntyre has done an extensive amount of landscaping around the church and on the cemetery grounds. Tom Potrykus contributed his carpentry services inside the church. My family, Allison, Joe, Jon, and Fox painted the entire ceiling, posts, and other areas. My friend Charles Cottle made flyers for publicity and programs for the event. I thank all the people who have volunteered their time to help in the restoration. I also want to thank all the people who made donations to the restoration, The total amount received this year was $850.00.