7/16/2008 – News
Volume 125, Number
Maddock music teacher takes on lead role at Fort Totten Little Theatre
BY SARA J. PLUM
One of the most enjoyable scenes in this year’s production of "Hello Dolly" at the Fort Totten Little Theatre takes place in Mrs. Molloy’s Hat Shop. Cornelius Hackl and Barnaby Tucker have gone to New York unbeknownst to their employer, leaving the feed store closed for the day.
While in the hat shop Barnaby glances out the window and sees his employer coming in to the shop. What follows is pure slapstick fun. The variety of hats on display at the store could easily have been added to by the variety of hats the actors wear on a daily basis. There are pastors, construction workers, teachers, students, farmers, salespeople, parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren. And they are all wearing the "actor" hat this summer.
This is a hat that Rachel Markestad of Maddock has recently added to her collection. It joins the ones worn by all wives and mothers, plus the ones worn at her job as a music teacher and the ones worn at church. The youngest daughter of the late Alvin and Evelyn Neumann of Maddock, Rachel is married to Dean Markestad and they are the parents of three children, Evan of Devils Lake; Erin, a junior at NDSU; and Ethan, who will be a freshman at NDSU this fall. The wife and mother hats.
Rachel has a BS in music education from NDSU and started her teaching career at Leeds. In 1985 the music teacher position at Maddock opened and she has been there ever since. The student and teacher hats. She is also active in her church, playing piano and organ and singing for worship and funerals. The hats of faith, respect and musician.
Lifelong involvement in local musicals, including school shows, productions by the Maddock Prairie Players, Hometown Saturday Night and the extremely popular dinner theatre put on by the school’s junior and senior high music departments added to her collection of hats.
But as much as Rachel loves wearing those hats, there was always the desire to add the "little theatre" hat — but not the time. With the children getting older and more independent, and her husband giving his full support, the time was finally right to add that hat.
Daughter Erin was cast in the production of "The Ark" at the Dakota Prairie Regional Center for the Arts in New Rockford in 2007. She encouraged mom to join her. What a perfect way to make that first foray into theatre — with your daughter by your side. So Rachel got her hat, but picked up an illness in the process.
Oh yes, she readily admits she caught the "theatre bug" and doesn’t foresee a cure any time soon. That first production was followed by "The Christmas Survival Guide," also in New Rockford. Then came the call asking her to play the part of Mrs. Dolly Levi.
As much as she enjoyed the previous theatre shows, Rachel wondered if her limited experience qualified her to play a character also portrayed by Carol Channing and Barbara Streisand.
The "bug" gave her the courage to try, but she was not going to do this without some backup. A phone call was made and when it was answered Rachel said, "Peter Foss, I put up with you all those years on stage. Now you have to put up with me."
His high school music teacher’s commands were never forgotten, and like a good student Peter called in more backup in the form of Dusty Wolf. The stage veterans were back and ready to help.
Peter, a 1994 graduate of Maddock School, and Dusty, a 2001 graduate of Leeds School, were accompanied by director Bill Schuler, music director Stef Keller, choreographer Miki Noltimier and pianist Karen Braaten, who all donned their hats and provided encouragement and guidance.
Rachel was concerned about the amount of memorizing a lead role entails. "Some, like Peter, can memorize their lines during practice," she said. "Not me. I had to set goals for myself and used travel time to and from practice to repeatedly go over the scene we were currently working on."
With no prompter in the wings, you’re on your own in front of the audience. That’s where Rachel’s experience as a church pianist comes in handy. If you miss a note, don’t stop or you’ll lose the congregation. When she does hear herself flub, the next day is spent going over that part again.
The beauty of little theatre, according to Rachel, is the lack of "divas" and "super stars." Everyone is giving freely of their time to do something they love. And a common goal creates a family bond of helping each other that will always be there.
While talking to Rachel prior to the performance, she kept referring to all the hard work everyone has done and wanted to make sure the behind-the-scenes people get the credit they deserve. The selfless hat. Her request is honored with an insert containing the full cast of characters and the production staff.
When you watch the show you see a group of people, wearing different hats, who have donned the same hat in order to share their talent with the rest of us. And we get to wear the "appreciative audience" hat.
RACHEL STORY INSERT
Mrs. Dolly Levi and Mrs. Irene Molloy do their best to distract Mr. Horace Vandergelder so Cornelius Hackl and Barnaby Tucker can escape his notice.
Benson County actors, left to right, Dusty Wolf, Rachel Markestad and Peter Foss are enjoying performing together in "Hello Dolly." One of the dancers, Jace Riggin was not at the performance due to a prior obligation. He has a county connection through his maternal grandparents, Rae and Jean Olson of Harlow.
Horizons Program at Maddock completed
June 30 marked the official end of the 18-month Horizons Program in Maddock.
This cooperative effort in Maddock has had the effect of engendering cooperation within the community. Examples are the high school in blogging and hosting the After School Activity Program (ASAP) and the Community Development Board which consists of members of the city council, Maddock Economic Development Corporation and Horizons.
There are three major efforts resulting from the project which will continue:
1. The ASAP has received a grant from AmeriCorps and engaged a director. Kathy Daeley has put in much effort and heads up this committee.
2. The Maddock Housing Board has been formed and has the funding in place for a demand analysis which will be carried out by Minot State University in the next three to six months. Larry Summers heads up this board.
3. The Community Development Board has received six applications for the position of community development director. Funds are in place for this person and interviews will be conducted in July or August.
It is expected that this board and director will work on action items not yet addressed and carry on plans that Horizons initiated. The Maddock blog site and Web site will continue to be active in the future.
"Another result of the Horizons Program is a general, more positive attitude toward the future and possibilities within the community," said Lu Mathison, who has been active with the program.
The Maddock Community Foundation recently received $10,000 for completing the Horizons Program for Maddock. Lu Mathison of the Horizons Program, left, is shown turning over the check to Wanda Terpening who will place the money in the Maddock Community Foundation. The $10,000 will be matched with another $10,000 from the ND Community Foundation Fund.
Pierson-Kenner team takes third place in Young Angler Tournament
A total of 37 teams took part in the first Devils Lake Regional Angler Young Angler Tournament on Sunday, July 13 at the Lakewood Access Ramp on Devils Lake. Originally the tournament was scheduled for Saturday, but extreme high winds made fishing on Devils Lake hazardous for all age groups.
Organized by the Lake Region Anglers Association, the tournament was for young anglers up to 17 years in age. The youngest to compete Sunday was three years old.
Each team is comprised of two youth and one adult. The local team of Keith Pierson and Hannah of Minnewaukan and Karl Kenner of Maddock took third place with a total weight from their five walleye of 18.54 lbs. Among the prizes they received were seven days of guide service, a Berkley fishing rod with a Mitchell 310 reel and individual plaques. The rod and reel are valued at $182.
Kenner also won the largest fish contest in the boys division by landing a 5.67 lb. walleye. He received a plaque and $100.
Karl Kenner of Maddock is shown with the plaque he received for catching the largest walleye in the boys division. (Photo courtesy of Deb Pierson, Minnewaukan)
Hannah Pierson of Minnewaukan holds the plaque won by her fishing team, consisting of her father, Keith Pierson and Karl Kenner. Photo courtesy of Barb Shimmin.
The Eighth Annual Esmond Softball Tournament is in the books and for the second straight year the Esmond Jackasses have claimed the championship with an 11 to 6 victory over the Leier team. This year’s tournament had a total of five teams take part in this Esmond Alumni weekend event. Members of the Jackasses team are, left to right, back row, Wanda Bullinger, Colton Bullinger, Mickey Hoffner, Gary Halvorson and Heather (friend of Dana Roller). Front row: Terry Schwab, June Olson, Jody Schwab, Mackenzie Bullinger, Dana Roller, Travis Hoffner and Erica Kallenbach. Not pictured are Kristen Hoffner and Katie Halvorson.
The Maddock Memorial Home held a quilt show during the all-school reunion on Friday, July 4 and Saturday, July 5. Approximately 120 quilts, wall hangings, table runners, etc. were displayed during the show with many people passing through looking at the works of art.
There were vintage quilts as well as new and original designs, some hand stitched, some machine quilted. The quilts came from all areas of the state. A door prize was given to Barb Shimmin of Devils Lake and the people’s choice award went to a quilt owned by Annie Bergrud of Bismarck that her grandmother, Hazel Wililams of Maddock, quilted when she was 16 years old. The quilt was a Cathedral Window design.
Coming in a close second was a family quilt owned by the Rochus and Helen Leier Family, quilted by Dorothy Brown and Helen Leier, designed by Dorothy Brown and Nancy Roble.
Young man gets big win
Sometimes donating to a good cause does more than make you feel good on the inside. Just ask Brad Hermanson of Maddock.
He bought six tickets for the Maddock Park Board 5050 fund-raiser and got to split a pot totaling $2,472. The drawing was held at the July 5 dance in the Multi-Purpose Building in Maddock.
Many alumni take part in all-school reunion parade at Maddock July 5
The passenger in the black Corvette, Evelyn "Coco" Rice Burgess was the earliest alumnus in the parade, having graduated from Maddock High School in 1926. She was possibly the fastest, too, since two photographers for the Press, on different parts of the parade route, failed to get a picture of her.
Also in the parade, but not pictured, was the class of 1969, the first to graduate from the "new" Maddock High School.
Grand Marshal for the 2008 parade was Bob Hunter, a 1937 graduate of Maddock High School and a businessman in town for over 60 years. His nephew, Glenn Liudahl is driving a Pontiac Sunbird convertible owned by Cindy Knowlen.
This year’s color guard consisted of members from the Theo. A. Togstad American Legion Post 123 of Maddock and the Robert Tovsrud VFW Post 757 of Harlow.
The Class of 1958 had a great time catching up and was glad for the awning on their float.
Ansel Haukness, a 1929 graduate of Maddock High School, enjoyed riding in the back of this 1929 Model A.
The Maddock Memorial Home parade entry participants on Saturday, July 5 were Shelley Aabrekke, Bennie Marquart, Mike Fritel, Ruth Sorenson, Leo Marquart, Joyce Vallier, Kimberly Randle, Brent Grondahl, Orville Stadum, Margaret Jacobson, Barkley and Arlyss Bergrud.
Two members from the BCATS class of 1930 opted to ride in Roger Odden’s 1963 Chrysler 300 pace car convertible instead of the Memorial Home float. They are Mamie Johnson and Lillian Moran.
This 1935 graduate of BCATS, Claude Wold, is being chauffeured in a 1935 Ford restored by the Jones Brothers of Maddock.
Eveyone along the parade route admired Verdale Anderson’s homemade "horseless carriage."
Paul Erickson was nice enough to provide shade for his passenger on the back of his propane-operated Minneapolis Moline.
The last class to graduate from BCATS also celebrated its 40th reunion, the class of 1968.
This 1947 Ford "Tonner" was purchased new by Eddie Swanson and remains in the Swanson family.
Spectators knew when this float was coming down the street. High-pitched squeals of "SpongeBob!" from the youngsters announced its advancement.