Walk and Talk Script: Crandon Arcade

This script was originally written for the 2018 Crandon Drama Club Walk & Talk. Historical research was conducted by members of the Crandon Area Historical Society and student researchers Nolan Wilson, Tucker Krause, and Rachelle Cappel. Joe and Dort Keller were portrayed by Rob Keller and Tia Poe.

Joe:  Good evening.  My name is Joe Keller, Jr. and this is my dear wife Dort.  We are the proud owners of the Crandon Arcade.  I actually bought the Crandon Arcade back in 1961 with my first wife Margaret Greene Keller.  Together my wife Margaret and I ran the Crandon Arcade, including the bowling alleys, bar and restaurant while at the same time raising our twin boys Bob and Bill and daughter Deb.  Unfortunately, our family suffered a tragic loss when my dear Margaret passed away in 1963. 

Dort:  Yes, that was a tragic loss for your family Joe dear.  I too had lost my first husband Archie Wickham in 1956.  We had five children:  Johann, Jim, John, Harold and Marie.    It was a sad time for our family.  Luckily I had a large family for support the years after he did. The whole Gretzinger family helped me out.  Each one of my 6 brothers and sisters helped out the years after Archie died.    Anyways…Joe and I both being widows decided to marry in 1964 and we’ve been happily married since.

Source: Forest Republican. 08 SEP 1904. p8. Retrieved from http://crandonpublicwi.advantage-preservation.com

Joe:  Honestly, part of the reason we’ve been so happy together is this here building, the Arcade.   You see, there’s not always been a lot of things to do in Crandon.  We don’t have a community band anymore, the theaters are gone and the Opera House burned in 1912.  But through all of that, Crandon people have enjoyed bowling.  Yes sir!  There have been people bowling in Crandon since 1904!  That’s even before this old courthouse was built. 

Dort:  Yes Joe, but they’ve only being bowling here at this location since about 1920.  Before that they were bowling in Jim McMillian’s bowling alley.  I think it might have been located on Lake avenue.  Frank Granger and James Duff took it over in in 1907 and added a restaurant too.    

Joe:  That’s true Dort.  But they’ve been bowling!  This building was built in about 1920 when Walt and Blanche Carter owned it. You know Walt, he’s the son of Henry and Etta Carter who live over near the Carter Garage.  They bought the Patterson building and the McClinchy building that were located right here.  Patterson was the guy who two fake legs but he managed to get around his pool hall just fine.  Walter and his wife Blanche must have turned those two buildings into this one.  That may explain why the basement of the Arcade looks like it does with tunnels and separate rooms.  The Carter’s sold the bowling alley to a German girl named Rosa Ammer, in 1947.  Oh, she was a tough one that Rosa.  High school boys would give her a hard time in her restaurant and she’d chase them out and send them packing. 

Dort:  Are you sure that was Rosa?  I recall Ula Plummer running the Arcade restaurant for awhile.  Either way, you are now the owner and while it does take up a lot of your time, you sure do enjoy spending time up here with the bowlers. 

Joe:  Yes I do enjoy it.  Even if some of those bowlers try to talk to me about City politics.  Back in 1961 when I was the Crandon City Clerk and in 1964 when I was president of the Crandon Chamber of Commerce, I had to make sure politics didn’t interfere with me running the bar. 

Dort:  You did a good job, honey. And the Arcade is more than just a bar.  According to the Green Bay paper it’s a restaurant with atmosphere!   Ernie Wilson’s giant murals painted on the alleys sure do attract tourists.  They sure do seem to like the murals that feature racoons climbing trees, deer bounding from the forest and that darn bear fighting over the beaver dam.

Joe:  Oh, dear.  Look at the time.  Its time for us to get back to our bowlers and let these fine people move along to their next stop. 

Walk and Talk Script : Dr. Rathert

This script was originally written for the 2018 Crandon Drama Club Walk & Talk. Historical research was conducted by members of the Crandon Area Historical Society and student researchers Nolan Wilson, Tucker Krause and Rachelle Cappel. Dr. Burton Rathert was portrayed by Luke Bukovic.

Good evening.  How’s everyone feeling today?  My name is Dr. Burton Rathert and I’m assuming you’re here because you’re not feeling your best.   I’ll just need you to jump up here on this kitchen table and we’ll take a look.

Oh, you’re not here for a check-up?  Well, in that case let’s just relax and I’ll tell you a little bit about my time here in Crandon.

I started my practice in Crandon right after WW2.  My father’s second wife, Dora VanDoren, had family living in Crandon while I attended medical school in the early 1920’s.  I graduated in 1926 from UW-Madison and married my first wife Phyllis in Minneapolis in 1928. Sadly that marriage was a short one and I found myself practicing medicine in Kansas in 1930’s and married my wife Susan in Kansas in 1938.  During world war II my family and I transferred to Seattle, Washington where I worked for the Boeing company.

While we were in Seattle, my wife and decided to return to Wisconsin to raise our family.  I was fortunate to be offered a position with Dr. G.W. Ison.  Dr Ison himself built this building after he moved here in 1915. His dear sister Mrs. Kendall had been very ill the summer before and was being treated by Dr. Decker and Dr. Diamond but wanted her brother to consult on the case as well.  Doc Ison was impressed by the potential he saw in Crandon and moved his family here the following year. 

Doc Ison passed away only a few years after I joined his practice. In 1952 to be exact.  I continued to see patients in the upstairs clinic while the new Dr., Dr. Moffet opened his office above the Rexall drug store. 

Source: Green Bay Press-Gazette. 12 OCT 1950. p 24. Retrieved from www.newspapers.com

The 1950’s were a busy time for a Dr. in Crandon.  Lots of babies being born, families needing doctoring and new public health laws being put in place.  Both Dr. Moffett and myself kept busy and no one seemed to complain that our offices were located up long flights of stairs.  Not even the pregnant ladies or my elderly patients.  But I myself was not getting any younger.  In 1960 Rudy Augustine added offices in the back onto the original G.W. Ison building which allowed me to see patients on the first floor.

I’ve always held a special place in my heart for the residents of Crandon.  In 1972, the community of Crandon got together and created “Dr Rathert Day”  Oh, that was a fun day.  There were Dr. Rathert day bumper stickers and “I’m a Dr. Rathert baby” buttons for sale at Harry’s Red Owl store. A photo display was put together that featured many pictures of babies that I delivered.  My good friend Ken Conway also arranged to have a recliner chair delivered to my home during the event and I recall sitting in it the first time was a treat. 

However, the best gift were the words from the Mole Lake tribe.  Charles McGeshick while presenting me with a ceremonial headdress said “I am here to speak for the people of the Mole Lake reservation.  We came here as one, to give our thanks, to a man who has devoted his life to helping people in sickness and health.  To him it has made no difference what color you were, or where you came from.  He was always there, even when you couldn’t make it to his office, he’d somehow always made it to your home, sometime staying overnight, sleeping at the foot of your bed, reassuring you you’d make it through the night, but he never complained.” 

I was so honored to accept the honoree headdress of the Chief of the Mole Lake Sokoagon Chippewa Tribe.  Mrs. Dora Ackley, the wife of the late Chief Willard Ackley,  also honored me with an Indian name Mushke – Ke – We – Neh – Nene, which means “man of medicine”.

This honor meant so much to not only me but to my whole family. I was very proud, still am proud, to be one of Crandon’s hometown Doctors.  Downtown businesses like Luigi’s, down the block, have come and gone over the years, but one thing remains true.  The people of Crandon care about each other and that’s what matters most.  Good luck with you tour.  Tell Luigi I said hello.

Walk and Talk Script : Bandstand

This script was originally written for the 2018 Crandon Drama Club Walk & Talk. Historical research was conducted by members of the Crandon Area Historical Society and student researchers Nolan Wilson, Tucker Krause, and Rachelle Cappel. Members of the Crandon Band to perform at the event were Ceara McCarthy and Allyson Stepper.

Source: The Forest Echo. 09 OCT 1906. p1. Retrieved from http://crandonpublicwi.advantage-preservation.com

The first community band in Crandon was organized in 1905 and a band stand was built the following summer in 1906 and according to the newspaper at a considerable cost.  The band stand was moved from the courthouse grounds to the fair grounds in 1910 with the Fair Board taking control of it.  In 1912, citizens proposed that the county replace the bands stand but the board rejected that proposition by unanimous vote, instead voting to put a drinking fountain for the public on this spot, as well as a water trough for horses.  Nevertheless, the Crandon Band continued to provide musical entertainment for Crandon at weddings, community celebrations and at our very own opera house.

Back before there were phonographs, radio, television, tape recorders, iphones, and streaming music, the people of Crandon listened to their Saturday night concerts from the band shell located here at the northwest corner of the courthouse square with grateful and uncritical ears. Residents spent their warm summer evenings listening to the band playing the favorite tunes of the day, undoubtedly ending with a rousing rendition of Semper Fidelis as the crowd gathered up their blankets and chairs and prepared to return down darkened streets to their homes.