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Letter to the Editor

By Staff | Jun 25, 2010

To the EDN,

First off, I want to commend Pr. Rosinger and the Calvary Gospel Assembly for making possible the “Interchange 71” for the youth of our community. It is a much-needed facility for the area teens to be able to congregate and enjoy fellowship together.

But, this is not the first youth center in Estherville. In the summer of 1962, with the backing of Dr. Wolters, Dr. Powers and John Stockdale, a youth center was located where Estherville Printing is today. My husband, John Origer, was the manager. The kids and John cleaned up the building, sanded and put sealer on the floors and painted. There was a coin-operated pool table and bumper table. They also had two ping-pong tables which John built.

There was a coin-operated sandwich machine, pop machine, and jukebox. The county loaned them six picnic tables to use.

The art instructor at the high school asked if his art students could paint murals on the walls. Permission was given and they had a contest. Several of the art students painted the murals. Cliff Schutt won the contest with a painting of the four seasons. In the summer of 1963, the building they were using was sold. The old JC Penney store on Sixth Street was available for them to use. John and the kids had to put a lot of elbow grease in getting it cleaned up. They sanded the floors and put sealer on them. Schenk Brothers furnished the sanders for them to use and all the sealer and paint. They moved the pool table, bumper pool table, and ping-pong tables, jukebox, sandwich machine, and pop machine and picnic tables to the new place.

This building was sold sometime in late 1963. There wasn’t anything else available for them to use, so it was closed.

Larry, Jim and Kenney Wee, Jerry Payne, Walt Jensen, Gary Gunderson, Rusty Reed, Karen Loeschen, Carol Ohrtman, Roger Maddux and many others came to the youth center on a regular basis. Sometimes there would be 100 kids there at the same time. Several of the kids still keep in touch with us on a regular basis.

Marian Origer