By Frances Benell
The Daily Iowegian
---- — Author’s Note: Vicki Baty was accidentally left out of the story about Lucile West, (in October) as Vicki was the publisher of the Moravia Union. Lucile worked for Vicki for eight years along with Normagene Robertson, Vicki’s mom, who did the typesetting on computer for two years after retiring from the bank in Ottumwa. Lucile worked the longest for Vicki and Lucile always had very high regard for both Vick and Normagene. Vicki also had the press pass spoken of in the articles about Lucile. Normagene told me that she and Vicki loved Lucile very much and really miss her. I do regret not having all this in the article. It makes Lucile’s story so much more important and made two people close to her, unhappy.
Now to talk about Fiesta.
The first Fiesta was the Friday after Thanksgiving held in November 1983. How do I know? Because Wanda and Kenny Brown’s first grandson was born on the first Fiesta Day and they got him the first ornament. So we are celebrating 30 years of Fiesta on Nov. 23 this year, because Wanda has collected all the ornaments over the years and she will have 30 this year and her grandson will be 30.
I walked into the new Grace United Methodist Hall on Thursday last week and there were quite a few women busy making noodles for Fiesta noodles are special. They are made by some of the most talented noodle cooks in the area. There were floured elbows, so as not to touch the noodles in wiping flour, everywhere. Most were using rolling pins. Others were cutting noodles and yet others were spreading the cut noodles. The recipe is a secret. I couldn’t ask for it because my elbows were not covered with flour. The noodle-makers stay until every noodle is dried to perfection. That probably is a secret, but here I am telling you. They can’t throw me out of the noodle-makers guild because I’m not in it. They are very kind, however. The noodles are packaged up into sturdy plastic bags and they do take orders ahead as that helps in determining how many bags to make. To reserve your noodles, call Sharon Penfield at (641) 724-3555 and leave a message with your noodle order so she can call you if any problems come up.
That is not all I saw. There were a whole storage room full of teddy bears, one snowman was very large and had beautiful white, plush fur and his own wagon to sit it. You could feel Santa hovering over the room wagging his finger, “Don’t touch.” Big and small wreaths were there as well. One basket had handy train tickets for anyone who wanted to ride, destination, North Pole. One wreath had its own bells to ring on the front door when company’s a’comin!
The bakers and candy makers have been busy making all kinds of bakery gems and the special Christmas candy you have only at the holidays that helps bring you home for this special Fiesta.
This will be the first Fiesta to be held in the new hall, no stairs to climb, no crowding of all the sale items. It will also be the first time for a new division of Fiesta to make its first bow, jewelry will be there with lots of sparkle and panache, you will be able to see crystal at its best, winking and blinking at you when you come in the door. Five local women of the congregation, Sharon Penfield, Ginny Boblenz, Deanna Wilson, Jean Robb and instructor Frances Benell, made all of it. Susan McDanel, Sharon McKee and Virginia McDonough (before her death) all orated beads. We hope they will approve the designs. Please forgive me if I have missed anyone who gave us beads. Virginia’s were given to me with the statement, “You will find something good to do with these.” I think we did.
There will be German crystals combined with gold-filled and sterling chain necklaces, bracelets, earrings, all original jewelry you can hand down to wear at each year’s Fiesta.
The highest priced items are $30 for the gold-filled and sterling necklaces with the German crystals that are about 38 percent, sparkling quality crystal. We plan to make the jewelry division an annual event with the Fiesta each coming year. We hope you will like it.