|Howard P. Johnson, 1943|
I quote - "Howard P. Johnson, three-time graduate of Iowa State University ... and former Professor and Head of ISU’s Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department, was contacting me regarding some World War II letters that he had. Dr. Johnson explained that he grew up on a farm near Odebolt, Iowa, and in 1943 was inducted into the military like many young men at that time. .... All during his military training and his service in Europe, young Pfc. Johnson wrote to his family back home in western Iowa–often several times a week–and his family wrote back. Howard would describe his daily routine, the duties he was assigned during training, and his experiences in Europe. His parents and siblings would respond with stories of family and community events, activities on the farm, and, of course, the weather.
The Johnson family World War II letters are part of the Howard P. Johnson papers, RS 9/7/15, located in the Iowa State University Library Special Collections and University Archives. The department is open to researchers from 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday."
It would be interesting to see what was going on in Odebolt from those letters!
"The Cherry Sisters Worst Act Ever?" from the NPR History Department
"In the early 20th century, the Cherry Sisters — a family of performers from Marion, Iowa — were like a meme. Simply invoking the name — the Cherry Sisters — was shorthand for anything awful."
... they were lambasted in Odebolt. The editor of the local Chronicle (Billy Hamilton) wrote in February of 1898: "Their long skinny arms equipped with talons at the extremities, swung mechanically, and soon were waved frantically at the suffering audience. Their mouths opened like caverns, and sounds like the wailing of damned souls issued therefrom."
This last vicious appraisal was reprinted in the Des Moines Leader and the Cherry Sisters, who had exhibited litigiousness over the years, sued both newspapers for defamation. In a landmark case, the Iowa Supreme Court eventually ruled in favor of a newspaper's right to freely criticize public performances.
There are also several pages on The Odebolt History Pages devoted to the Cherry Sisters.