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Rietbrock centennial
(1880-1980)

Recreation and club organizations,   pp. 86-88


Page 86

Recreation and Club
Organizations
In the early days when the settlers were scattered
all over the woods, they had no time for recreation of
any kind. Their work was too demanding to have
much time left for any play. Rest was their best
enjoyment.
Fish and game were very plentiful in the early
days. For meat they ate mainly deer, rabbit, squirrel,
partridge, wild ducks or geese. Many lacked guns,
so they made traps. For fishing they made a hook
and line, a trap, net and spears. From deer skins,
mittens were made and usually from the bear skins
they made "lap robes" to cover up. Most of the
hunting those days was done with muzzle loader guns.
In later years, venison and other wild meats were
supplemented by other animals. Most every farm
acquired pigs for their own consumption. With the
help of a neighbor, a pig was butchered as needed.
Most of the pork was put into a salt brine and
often smoked for better taste and keeping. In those
days meat grinders were not available. Men would
kill, scald and cut up the animals, while the women
cleaned the casings for sausages, and cut up meat for
liver and blood sausages. One specialty was head-
cheese. When the meat grinders became available,
the "kielbasa" was made. Although today there
are a lot of bow and arrow hunters, hunting with a
rifle is still most popular during the week-long
season in November.
Before their children grew up, the women had to
take them out to the fields and attend to the wants and
needs of the little ones while they helped their
husbands saw down trees, cut them into logs, bum
them, help in the picking of stones, and harvest. As
the youngsters grew up, they then had to help with
these chores. The youngsters had calves, lambs,
cats and dogs for pets. Art Nowicki recalls making a
harness for his two pet dogs. Prince and Sport,
a team. They weighed 70 lbs. each. While a teacher
was boarding and rooming at his father's home during
the winter months and the roads became drifted, he
would harness the dogs to his sleigh to haul their
books and lunch to the Silver Arrow School. Art
and the teacher followed the tracks the dogs made with
the sleigh. As they arrived at the school, he un-
harnessed the dogs and covered them. At noon he
would feed them; they then waited until Art was ready
to go back home. When the roads were very good in
winter they made four miles in 25 minutes.
Those days family visits at the neighbor's home were
quite common. They would meet usually on holidays
and birthdays. Now days, many card clubs are held
in homes. The youngsters played some games while
the adults became involved in "schafskopf". Some
would be high winners, others "booby" winners.
As the years progressed, a lot of granary dances
were held, with two or three musicians. With no
halls available, the wedding receptions were held at
home. Meals were prepared and served at the
bride's home. Neighbor ladies would come and help
with the baking for days before the wedding. The
wedding dance was usually held in the barn on the
thresh floor or in the granary. It was a custom in the
early days to have a "bride's dance." The gentleman
had to drop a silver dollar on a plate, and if it
cracked or broke he could dance with the bride. Later
the custom was discontinued-either the bride or the
musicians, with the continuous dancing or playing,
were tired out, or to many plates were broken.
When the dance halls came into existence, the wedding
dances were held at the halls.
Now days, many people travel to the lakes each
weekend with their campers-or they have their own
cottages or have access to one - and spend their
recreational time fishing, swimming, boating and
water skiing.
Snowmobiling has become quite popular for all ages
in the Town of Rietbrock. The clubs have organized
and established trails in the township and adjoining
townships.
Roller skating is enjoyed by the youngsters, while
bowling is still a popular event for men, women and
couples having their leagues.
Television provides many hours of entertainment for
all ages. It has made a remarkable progress, inasmuch
as having color television is now common in most
homes; more than one TV set is found in many homes.
Greiner Bros
Orchestra
This picture was taken at the Town of Rietbrock Municipal building during a
recording session. Members include: Front row, L-R: Glenn Greiner, Ralph
Witucki, Ralph Greiner, James Pekol. Back row, L-R: James Rhyner, Harold Schultz,
John Greiner.
Ralph and Glenn Greiner formed a seven piece
Bohemian style orchestra in 1955 and rapidly became
known as one of Wisconsin's finest Ole Time bands.
The Greiner Brothers Orchestra has made many
appearances on television and radio, including a live
T.V. show on CH. 12, Rhinelander.
The band has made four albums to date, one on
Northland, one on Cuca, and two on the ever popular
Polkaland label.


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