Fotos from the Past
Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
There is a buzz in Merrill, community pride is bursting at the seams, and it seems the whole community is ready to hit the road, and it is all over a football. For the first time since 1901 the Merrill Senior High School varsity football team is 9-0 and for the first time ever they are the Wisconsin Valley Conference champions and they are headed for the state high school playoffs for the first time ever. The community spirit really began to shine when the local boys “put away” their opponent in front of nearly 4000 fans. This past Saturday the Jays did not take the visiting Rhinelander Hodags lightly especially with their defense being rated as one of the best in the state. In the end the final score was 28-0 and the Jays headed off the field with Coach R. Ira Rebella on their shoulders. They will now board the bus to Menasha to take on the 9-0 Port Washington team, ranked fourth in the state. Ten full pages are devoted to the team in this week’s paper, with over 100 businesses listed as sponsors.
Foto News Publisher Jim O’Day represented Merrill and the National Association of Advertising Publishers by attending a briefing at the White House for members of the group. The highlight of the meeting was a special briefing with U.S. Energy Secretary Charles Duncan who is pictured with O’Day on page five. The group pledged to work with government as they conserve energy and combat inflation.
A movie star visited Jefferson School this past week and even though his role was short he is still known to children around the world yet today. Wisconsin native Meinhardt Raabe grew up in Watertown, and for someone who ended up being a “midget” carnival barker, Little Oscar for the Oscar Mayer company, and the Coroner of the Wizard of Oz, one would never expect that he also holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in business administration. Raabe was hired as an accountant for Oscar Mayer but soon was doing store demonstrations and route sales, even living in Wausau for a short period. Raabe was given a one month leave of absence from the Oscar Mayer company in order to film the Wizard of Oz. He believes that due his salesman experience the producers felt he was more fit for the vocal role. Retired now, Raabe lives in Penney Farms, FL with his wife Marie. Raabe was a guest of teacher Janet Van Goethem who met him at a “Little People’s” Convention where she invited him to the school to share his life stories. The students greeted him in grand style wearing costumes from the movie and even creating a yellow brick road for Raabe to walk down as he toured the school. (He died at the ripe old age of 94 in 2010 and is buried back in his native Wisconsin)
Hats off to the members of the Merrill High School football team as they got together with their coaches and helped clean a friend’s yard and stacked the basement full of wood for the winter. It wasn’t just any friend, but rather it was the home of Coach Greg Schofield who suffered a life altering stroke during the middle of the final game of the season. Assistant Coach Dave Areneson helped organize the group; he reports Coach Schofield is improving every day and hopes to be home by Thanksgiving. Schofield’s hospital room is filled with gifts and cards including an autographed football from the entire 1989 Green Bay Packer’s team.
In local briefs: Exciting news as the new county landfill will open on Monday. A ribbon cutting (?) for the new landfill will take place at 9:00 AM. The average cost of police protection state wide is $120 per person on average for communities with a population of 3000 or more. Merrill is well under the standard at $93 per person. Sheriff Ron Krueger has been appointed to the Council on Traffic Enforcement. Governor Tommy Thompson made the announcement last week. Members of the Chamber are shown welcoming two news businesses as Cost Cutters and Classic Touch Boutique both opened their doors in the Pine Ridge Mall; Donna Hermson is the owner of the boutique.
Two members of the Lincoln County Board are asking their fellow board members to throw in the towel and dissolve the committee. In a resolution set for a vote in front of the board, Phil Cohrs and Melissa Schroeder are also asking that any contracts with consultants be canceled. The two supervisors point to what they feel is a lack of action by the group who is spending thousands yet cannot come to a consensus on any plans or location for the new jail or justice center. A vote will come next week at the monthly meeting.