Monday, March 4, 2013

Arizona Dale and Tales of Sturm Road

Today I am introducing Arizona Dale, the sock monkey, to the blog. Nonie Shetler from Pigeon made this monkey last summer and then he traveled, stuffed in a rollabout, to Tucson with me in January. Dale got his name from Nonie's husband, Dale, who helps Nonie with her sales table for summer craft shows where she sells adorable sock monkey dolls.

This method of naming the sock monkey comes from my friends, The Sturms of Sturm Road north of Pigeon, who would always name their current farm dog after the origin of the dog. So, for quite a few years their dog was "Ottsie," named after our south of town neighbor, Otto Voelker. I'm not sure if Otto knew that his dog was a namesake but someone will tell him when they read this, I'm sure.

Not that it is significant, but Dale and Nonie Shetler lived on Sturm Road for a great number of years before they moved to town. So Arizona Dale has some Sturm Road roots, too.

We once acquired a very large ewe from Jim Swartzendruber, also of Sturm Road fame. Jim claimed the sheep was a ewe, so we named it Suzy, but it turned out to be Sam The Ram. Needless to say, we did not name that animal after Jim who was somewhat gender challenged when it came to sheep. Sam The Ram caused multiple incidents of havoc on our fledgling sheep farm. He eventually ended up as bratwurst and soap, and we borrowed rams for breeding season from the Wheelers or Renns rather than keeping a critter with that kind of power at the farm.

The Sturm Road dairymen, brothers Wayne and Keith, and Wayne's son Randall, would call me on the morning of my birthday from the milking parlor and sing Happy Birthday over the phone. Those were the days. I miss their voices, not even church choir quality but from the heart, with the sound of the milking machines in the background.

One more Sturm Road tale to be told is about Harriett Sturm, Wayne's wife, who grew up in Indiana as Harriett Williams who lived on Williams Road. She met Wayne at a 4H gathering in Door County, Wisconsin. After they got married she became Harriett Sturm who lived on Sturm Road. Harriet has been gone a number of years, but she always loved to tell that tale with a twinkle in her eye.

Back to Arizona Dale. I sketched the monkey first and then put the red chair underneath him. That didn't work so good. Next time I will start with the chair and progress to the monkey.

Anyway, Arizona Dale says "Happy Monday to Stan in Wisconsin, and don't worry, spring will soon be here."

Copyright 2013
Wanda Hayes Eichler

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