Recreation and club organizations, pp. 86-88
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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