Hanging Out in Victoria

Despite the extreme heat, humidity, and heat index throughout July 2011, there was a lot of activity in Victoria and the editor of the Victoria Gazette was around to catch a lot of it.  Below are photos and story that consumed several pages in the July 2011 paper issue of the Gazette!  The activities centered on a St. Victoria project, a Concert in the Park, the Lions Tournament Weekend, the new Rose Street Parking Lot, and Tour de Stieger!  Enjoy this Victoria activity from the comfort of your air conditioned home!

The cemented entrance to the historic St. Victoria Catholic Church was first designed and installed over 20 years ago by Paul Vogel and Jimmy Michel of Victoria.  Today it was in need of repair and replacement, and Tony Vogel of Victoria got the bid.

“I wanted the bid because I knew the cement was tied into the outside band of aggregate and anybody else wouldn’t have known that and they would have destroyed it all,” said Tony. 

He also took care of other sidewalk replacement at the church.  Tony has four employees — Van Johnson, Tony Ryski, Justin McClay, and Chris Wood — who were all on the job when the top photos were taken on July 7th, 2011.

Tony got into business after driving ready-mix truck for businesses in Chaska and Shakopee.  “I learned by watching them and then I’d scab after hours,” he said.  Tony’s been in business for himself for over 25 years.  It’s called Vogel Masonry. 

Tony said it took a good three days to finish the church project.  Good job, Vogel Masonry!

The best evening weatherwise, so far, for a concert in the park in Victoria was Wednesday, July 13th.  The large canopy of giant oak trees in  Lions Park provided the shade plus an awesome picturesque setting for the Redpath musicians as they played a mix of country and popular music.

With the temperature below 80 degrees, it was even  a bit cool in the shade.

People are invited to bring their chairs or blankets.

Hi, Mary Moore.  Hi, Gerda and Jerry Schmieg.

Only a couple years ago, part of this lawn was consumed by old playground equipment.  Maybe a dozen years ago, there was also a horseshoe pit in this area.

Nathan Jackals and his dad Roger are part of the scout group that assists at the event as needed.

Rich Larson is a member of the Redpath musicians.  That’s his mother Ginger and his wife.

The two sisters are Lauren and Torie.  Their harmonizing was music to our ears.

There’s a concert in the park on several summer Wednesdays in Victoria.

Moisture was not only soaking the air and pouring out of pores during the Lions Tournament Weekend July 15th, 16th, and 17th.  There were puddles in some of the ballfields and also in the playground at Lions Park, since the community has been drenched with rain in addition to humidity.

But kids are attracted to puddles as well as slides and teeter totters, and they can dress down to almost nothing without looking around to see if anybody’s looking.

Bigger kids can avoid the puddles.  Little kids don’t want to avoid them.

It doesn’t matter if it’s 112 degrees and you feel like you’re getting a bath standing fully clothed in the middle of Lions Park, sans soap and shampoo, the game must go on!  The only people sweating more than the ballplayers were the Lions and their wives on kitchen duty, working near a big hot black grill and serving hamburgers.

According to Lion LeRoy Worm, longtime Treasurer of the Victoria Lions, the 2011 tournament was another success, coming within 2% of past revenues.  He estimated 1200 bottles of water were sold this tournament weekend, 400 bottles of powerade, 1300 cans of pop, and lots of beer and hard lemonade.

Some  ballplayers tossed bags between ball games in an exercise similar to horseshoes.  Notice how most of them found the shade.

Lynn Aretz, the lady of Chaska at bat, grew up in Victoria and is the granddaughter of former Mayor Jerome ‘Chub’ Aretz and his wife Celeste.

According to Victoria Lion Dennis Bjorklund, 50 teams played 95 games over the three-day weekend on six Victoria fields — four fields at Lions Park and two fields at Diethelm Park.

Lion John and Ruth Kroening worked at the south shelter of Lions Park which doesn’t have a hamburger grill but serves delicious brats and hotdogs and cold beverages.  Lion Tim Sebenaler, right, works every square inch of the tournament, ensuring supplies, coinage, and cash.

The new Rose Street Parking Lot (south end butts Hwy 5) came into existence only in recent times and includes a combined number of adjacent properties in downtown Victoria.  It was created through the joint efforts of the City of Victoria (City Administrator Don Uram), Floyd’s (Rick and Lois Plocher), Dr. David Dungey (Dental Office), and the Victoria Post Office Building  (Judy Kaaua).

The City of Victoria was able to contribute ground space to this parking lot because of the purchase of the Kirsch Building in June 2010 and its demolition in September 2010.  That building was located next to Victoria City offices and its demise immediately provided a row of parking spaces butting up to City Offices, as you can see in the photo taken June 23rd, 2011, from the top deck at Floyd’s as Mueller & Sons hauled in gravel and began grading.

Largest share of the new Rose Street Parking Lot comes from Floyd’s.  All property owners retain ownership of their land, which is not deemed to be a permanent parking lot but a wise and efficient use of space as downtown Victoria continues to grow and develop.

Cost of grading and paving was $81,000 and shared by the property owners.  Total number of public parking spaces at the Rose Street Lot now number 47 plus 2 handicapped.

You might call this photo (taken in July 2011, after completion) an aerial view, since this perspective is from the open second floor deck at Floyd’s.

Part of the festivities on Saturday, July 23rd in Victoria, was a band that looked and sounded like the famous Beatles.  The event was called Tour de Stieger, and its purpose was, at least in part, to inform people that there is a beautiful newly paved street in Victoria called Stieger Lake Lane.  When Hwy 5 through Victoria is closed next summer for major reconstruction, Stieger Lake Lane is a good detour through the central business district.

With a brief reprieve from this summer’s heat and humidity, people went outdoors, congregated on the street, and visited and danced to the music.  Left to right:  Robert Muller, Steve, Keith, and Nancy Schmieg, Margaret Muller, Peggy and Tim Kaufhold.

Craig Rackley, Roger Oas, Patricia Northrup, Mayor Mary Thun and husband Dave.

Leslie and Jeff Hartman, and Jeff’s sister Debby Wrolson.

Daryl and Trina Schmieg and their children Victoria and Brennan.

The Gazette editor also frequents most Victoria City Council meetings.  On July 25th she learned that Cara Geheren, above, Victoria city engineer with TKDA, resigned her position with TKDA and formed her own company, FOCUS Engineering, with Brian Stempski, left, and Jack Griffin, also formery with TKDA.  The City of Victoria voted to hire Cara Geheren as City Engineer with her new company.

The End of July in Victoria!