National Geographic : 2000 Dec
Members of the Catholic War Veterans Post #1685 gather at Luethmer's Bar in St. Wendel on Memorial Day (below). They attended Mass in the morning in North Prairie, then visited five cemeteries to place flags and flowers on the graves of all veterans, say a prayer, and fire a three-round salute. Bert Schlangen, a dairy farmer from Bowlus, in the front row wearing a black tie, is the post commander. Bert: "I'm the young guy. I served in the Army in the Vietnam era. I was the eighth of 17 kids, and the five older boys all served in the Army." The Segler family (right)-Bob and Joann, their sons Danny, Justin, and Robbie, and their dog Misty waits for the volunteer fire department to set off fireworks at Bowlus Fun Days on the Fourth of July. The daylong annual celebration is a "big thing" in Bowlus, says Charlie Sobieck, who owns the local grain elevator. Charlie: "We have bingo, a snow-cone stand, cotton candy, polka bands, and a parade with floats. It's a good gathering for people to see people they haven't seen in years." Teenagers from Melrose hang out at Lake Sylvia (below right). Brianna Hill, 17, stands on the dock at far left. Brianna: "The same crowd comes here just about every afternoon, 10 or 15 people. I usually go with Briana Zenzen and Sheena Hoeschen. We're all pretty outgoing. The main hangout at night is the Conoco gas station in Melrose. We hang out and talk and figure out where the local party is. Parties go on until about one in the morning. It's cool if you're alone, and girls talk to boys whether they have a boyfriend or not. It's cool."