Tag Archives: Gilbertson

The Clontarf Grace Avenue Theatre Proudly Presents…

Anne Schirmer shared this gem with me on my last visit to Clontarf in April:

A Jack Langan Production.

Anne had a chat with Mary Reardon Langan, wife of play producer Jack Langan, and Mary shared some of her memories of the play…

Mary said the action of the play centered around a game of Buck Euchre, which apparently was a big part of “a typical business day in Clontarf” during the 1920s and 1930s!  The actors are listed on the left and each portrayed a Clontarf resident from back in the day.  A couple of guys (Bob Perrizo and Jim Benoit) did double-duty playing two characters.  Jack based the play on his first-hand observations of these Clontarf businessmen and card players, according to Mary.

Mary also remembered some of the special guest celebrities: Brother Bones was played by Dick Perrizo, and The Dolly Sisters were Gretchen and Robbie Apitz.  This must have been quite a production!  I bet the people of Clontarf really enjoyed themselves.  I love the idea of an old-fashioned basket social.

A couple of other notes from Mary…

  • The first actor on the list should be Jerry Goulet, not aTerry.
  • “Gus’s” Place refers to Gus Heschke’s.
  • Sis Mikkelson was responsible for creating many plays in Clontarf over the years, especially St. Patrick’s Day productions.

Anyone out there remember this play, or events like this in Clontarf?  I am not sure if Mary and Anne came up with a year for this…maybe the late 1950s?  I must say that I am impressed by Mr. Langan’s production, and I would love to know about others he presented in Clontarf over the years.  Please share any memories you have by leaving a comment.  Let me know if you have any photos from this time (school photos, baseball team, etc.) or any other momentos…it would be great to see them.

Many thanks to Anne and Mary!

Have a great weekend!

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It’s 1884 at the McDermott General Store

Judging from the records I have, business was anything but brisk in January 1884 at the McDermott General Store in Clontarf.  It stands to reason…January on the prairie could be (and is) brutal.  Most people came in to pick up the essentials: coffee, tea, oil, and tobacco.  There were a few purchases that stood out to me…

January 8th

  • James Flynn bought a buffalo robe ($4.50) and a cap ($3.30)
  • One pair overshoes ($1.75) was charged to Frank McMahon’s account by Tim. Cain

January 29th

  • Rev. Anatole Oster purchased 4# F.G. tobacco ($1.00)
  • William Purcell picked up 1 candy pail (.20)

January 31st

  • Frank McMahon parted with .60 for 1# wax candles
  • Charles Maguire purchased 1 bottle peppernuts (.25) and 1/2# tobacco (.15)

There were a couple of interesting transactions that could relate to some type of building or works project in Tara Township.  Patrick Foley, who was Tara Township clerk, was given $40.00 by a Swift County order.  On the same day, James Conaty was given $40.00 cash.  I know that Simon Conaty was responsible for building the current  St. Malachy’s in the 1890s, but I don’t know anything about James.  Any ideas?

 

On January 24th Tom and Jackie Doherty left the following comment.  I wanted to post it here to make sure everyone saw it, even if you don’t read the comments.  Enjoy!

In the 50′s and 60′s, everyone in attendance eagerly awaited the big event. It usually happened about midnight. Earl Gilbertson and Otto Sluter (sp?) would dance cheek to cheek on the dance floor. Any newcomer’s would really “gawk” at the scene. Afterwards, the two men would get lots of grins, laughs and applause. Earl’s wife was Jeannie Christopherson (Ma Pete’s daughter).
Also regarding the Clontarf Club – Before George Gilbertson sold to Lyle Kesting, there was a card room in the back part of the club. They had poker games that would last for days non stop. Some players would go for a day or two and then take a break and then come back. George was said to have played 4 straight days before he bit the dust one time.
Also – George used to tell me about the time my uncle Andy Doherty, went broke playing poker there. George then gave Andy some money to go and get him and the rest of the players something to eat. Andy took the $20.00 and drank most of the money up. He returned to the game with the food that he had enough money to buy – a box of animal crackers. George used to laugh so hard telling the story, he would be crying.

Thanks for a great story, Tom and Jackie!

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