Observations from the archivesThis week’s observation is one of bringing people together for business, community and personal growth.
By: Rachel Barduson, Columnist, Alexandria Echo Press
Editor’s note: Marge Van Gorp, a long-time writer of the history column, has decided to give someone else a turn. The newspaper thanks Marge for all of her outstanding work over the years. Rachel Barduson is the new history columnist. She was born and raised in Douglas County and has a degree in education from the University of Minnesota Mankato. She grew up with a passion for history and storytelling and plans to take readers through the decades of local history with facts, fun and humor, all found in the archives of the Echo Press.
Observations from the archives: 50, 25, 10 “and finally” 100 years ago. This week’s observation is one of bringing people together for business, community and personal growth.
1963: Matching numbers in Bingo Bonanza, Glastron Boat Company’s giveaway-game, will reward boating enthusiasts to the tune of $30,000 advised Jack Movold, manager of Alexandria Boat Works. Movold, who is the Glastron dealer in this area, said the company is giving away a total of 714 prizes, including 15 Glastron Skiflites. The Skiflites are beautiful 14-footers of quality Fiberglas construction and feature high performance, plus a soft, smooth ride.
1988: A wall that existed between the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce and the Alexandria-Douglas County Resort Association is gone, literally. As part of a remodeling project currently under way in their building on north Broadway, workers tore down the wall separating the offices of the chamber and the resort association. Tearing down the wall represents more than a building project, noted Chamber Manager Joe Egge. He said it demonstrated a new relationship, a merger, between the chamber and the resort association. The new relationship stresses working together, rather than as separate entities. When the wall came down, a feeling of positive change came with it. Egge noted that both groups unanimously approved a merger and the building renovation was approved a day later. Egge said, “It really opens up and brightens up the place. There’s a real welcome and warm feeling in here. And that reflects the warm feeling between the various business sectors in the community.” An advisory committee of 13 was formed, representing the resort association, local motels, hotels, restaurants, the chamber, and the Alexandria City Council, all vital segments of the community. “We have the same goals, to pull more people off the interstate and into town, whether for economic development or for tourism. We need both. One can’t survive without the other,” stated Resort Association president Juanita Fischer.
2003: A handful of students in the Alexandria Technical College’s Wireless Communications and Networking Specialist Program were interviewed by Andy Scott, the FBI’s Electronics Technician (ET) program manager. Scott was in town to recruit second-year students and explain the role of electronics technicians within the FBI. The FBI makes an annual recruiting trip to ATC. Electronics technicians are trained to install, modify, configure and maintain systems and networks, and perform special skills. One of their main duties for the FBI includes supporting investigative and operational activities such as security at high-profile events or investigating white-collar crimes.
1913: And finally…” the Normanna Young People’s Society in Evansville will meet at the church. A short program will be given, and all girls are requested to bring a lunch or two. Each boy will have the opportunity to get a girl and lunch for 20 cents.”
Just for fun: In 1963, the Alexandria Telephone Company announced the availability of bedroom telephones. “Confidential, convenient, comfortable. You’ll enjoy telephoning while relaxing. Bedroom telephones are available in colors that add a delightful decorative touch, in a color that pleases your fancy.”