Behind The Mic with Millie
History in a box
When I was young, history seemed like a waste of time. I didn’t want to hear about the good ol’ days or what life was like back in the day. I was living life to the fullest and making my own history. Right? Wrong, and now that I’m older and potentially wiser, I see the beauty in our past. There is a real resurgence to embrace “antiques” and even reinvent items from our yesterdays. All you have to do is turn on your TV to notice everything vintage is new again, and personally, I enjoy my surroundings evoking memories of days gone by.
I recently went to a tag sale at former Mayor Evelyn Schauland’s home. Upon entering the house, I knew it was going to be special. Her home is a monument to an era long gone, and as a testament to the quality and pride that “Made in the USA” used to stand for, everything in the house still worked, from the record player that folded out of the wall to the Nutone intercom that piped KWPC into every room of the house, and even her built-in countertop blender. It was truly a masterpiece! I purchased a piece of Muscatine history that day, a file box packed full of Evelyn’s handwritten recipes. As you can see, she would list the recipe giver in the upper right-hand corner and then seemingly rate the dish in the upper left. There are many well-known names listed on these precious cards: Mrs. Lange, Aunt May, Helen Hammer, and Mother, just to name a few.
I’ve spent many hours poring over these well-loved dishes from a lady who dedicated her life to Muscatine, and I wanted to know more. I was delighted to have the opportunity to sit down and chat with Evelyn last week. She told me stories from her 50 years of teaching and her more than 900 children, plus a few memories of being mayor, too. We were both surprised by a visit from former Mayor Dick O’Brien. While I said my goodbyes, I assured her that the recipes and memories stored within this simple metal box were safe with me for years to come.