The one thing Ron Olson never expected was to be a life-long volunteer for the city of Crescent, but 30 years later, that’s exactly what he became!
In 1984, Ron realized that taxes in Crescent were half of what they were in Council Bluffs and he had an inkling to sample the small town life so he bought a place in Crescent. Little did he know after having served in the United State Army and then traveling a lot for AT&T that AT&T would offer him a chance to move to California or take a retirement buy-out. He took the buy-out in 1992 and, although he hadn’t planned on it, he found himself available during the day and the Crescent Volunteer Fire Department in need of daytime staff to go out on calls. It seemed like a perfect fit. From there, Olson got recruited to help resurrect the Crescent Planning Commission which then led to a seat on the Crescent City Council and before long, he ended up Mayor of Crescent.
While mayor, the walking track was put in at the city park, and that’s one of Ron’s favorite things he made happen (along with plenty of other helpers, he’d tell you). He said the most gratifying thing he was in on though was the building of Veteran’s Park. Greg Ferris donated the lot, but there were funds to raise, plans to lay out, and physical labor that had to be done to put in the eagle statue and the shelter. The Fall Festival was actually started to help raise money for the park and the eagle. Ron said the dedication in 2009 was a big day! Beautification of Crescent wasn’t necessarily his concern in the beginning, but he sure doesn’t regret being a part of all of it!
Of course, Ron also got in on taking care of the flowers at Vet’s Park until the West Pott. Gardening Society took over, he ended up back on the planning commission, helped with the Fire Dept. Auxiliary Pancake Breakfasts, and Ron also adopted the town sign duties of posting events and birthdays, etc. And, as Ron pointed out, once it’s your job, it’s your job for life! I think all small town volunteers understand that sentiment. Lol. It seems like there wasn’t a job in Crescent that Ron hasn’t had! But recently, Ron has had to scale back and give up his sign responsibility as the hill it’s on is not conducive to climbing when you get a little older. He was very thankful that Christina was willing to take over and that’s truly what he loves most about Crescent: it has a small town atmosphere and when something big or small needs to happen, volunteers show up!
Olson says that Crescent has grown with annexation and new commerce like the new Dollar General and the Golden Hills subdivision, plus they have great eating establishments, and there’s just a lot to be proud of! Yes, there is, Ron. Yes, there is.
So here we are heading into 2021 and Ron Olson tells me it’s time to turn the game over to the younger generation so there’s a little more time for bowling! Lol. But one of the great gifts to Pottawattamie County, is that life has a funny way of putting us where we’re needed. So Ron, you may be passing on the baton, but we want you to know that we are sure grateful that you landed in Crescent and found your way into a life of service for the Crescent community. It’s very much appreciated, Sir.
Hay bale art is alive and well in Underwood thanks to the Don Dilts family! If you haven’t made your way to Underwood yet this holiday season, be sure to make your way there! They have a whole corner lot (at the corner of 3rd Street and Railroad Hwy) devoted to a holiday display complete with a Santa and Mrs. Claus made out of hay bales!
Don told me this all started about 20 years ago when his family saw that someone had turned a hay bale into a pumpkin for Halloween. They were thinking of all the ways they could do something even better! Apparently, they are a little on the competitive side! Lol. It didn’t hurt that they started using hay bales when the girls had 4-H calves. It was the perfect excuse!
Don has a twin brother, Dale, and together, they have painted many hay bales over the years. They did a wolf for his daughter’s college softball team that they put next to the Interstate, last year’s was a teddy bear, but probably the most notable was the poodle they made for The Pink Poodle’s 75th Anniversary (in Crescent).
Don not only works with his brother on these projects but with his wife, Lorrie, and 2 daughters, Katelynn Dilts and Bobbie Sue Pruett. He said this year it was a great gift to be able to work on the hay bales and have some family bonding in the midst of the pandemic. It was just what the family needed, especially with the stress of his oldest daughter being an ER nurse at Mercy. This year’s display has gotten the most attention of any and Don firmly believes it’s just the right medicine for everyone right now.
The family spends at least 35 man hours creating the bales. He said this year’s took 7 days total, but that really didn’t include the hauling, the choosing of bales, etc. and the fact that it was all hands on deck! They paint with spray paint in a heated shop so they can control temperature and wind. Then they do touch-ups once the bales are hauled into Underwood. The transport can be hard on the bales but the Dilts family thinks it’s worth it to be able to share them with the community. The corner lot is sponsored by the Friends of Underwood and the Optimist Club of Underwood plus the town helps get everything set up and running. He also mentioned that Rief Brothers in Crescent donated the small square bales. Don says he couldn’t ask for a better community to raise his daughters in and giving back just feels right with how devoted the town is.
Don says the goal is to never do something twice, always do it better, show up for the community, and start planning for next year the day after the display goes up! From what I’ve seen, they sure know how to follow through on their goals! His love for the area is very apparent, and we are so happy the Don Dilts family calls Pott. Co. home!
Be sure to swing by! It’s perfect for pictures, and it will light up your mood! I know it did mine, as did the passion with which Don puts into it!
It’s the Pottawattamie County Christmas Selfie Tour! So I brought you a selfie tour at the beginning of COVID, and since we’re still sitting in it, we thought you needed a Christmas version! Yeah, we may not have our usual holidays but there’s still fun to be had and in a COVID-friendly way! Whether it's family photos or date night, these won't disappoint!
The logical place to start: Walnut! No other town has a Christmas tree in the center of their 4-way stop on the main street! Yes, you’ll need to be careful, but get the family loaded up and take that fam selfie with the famous Walnut Christmas tree! (And it just happens to be conveniently located next to Roberts Bakery which is definitely worth the stop, as are all the fun vintage shops!)
Next stop: Avoca Main Street! Olsen’s Auto made you the perfect spot to get a fam photo! They’ve converted an old tractor tire into a Christmas wreath, perfect for you to stick your head through and get that unique pic!
It's only a quick jaunt onto Hancock! Hancock offers a quiet main street where they left the lights on for you! That's right! There's a candle decoration front and center. Pretend you're at that concert you missed this year! Hold your lighter or your cell phone while someone else clicks the pic!
From there, head to Shelby (the bridge is open again so no problem)! Every year, they do a festival of trees down their main street. I love to see their creativity! They’ve had everything from syringes from the Shelby Vet Clinic to Menards employee badges! Never a dull one! This year they have 2 gnomes! I think you must have your photo with a Christmas gnome! Go get it!
Then, move onto Minden! Although Minden has lots of trees lit up and ready to go, including the one in the town triangle, we are sending you to Minden Bowl! Minden Bowl has a wreath hanging off their sign and decorations on all the windows! Perfect for a festive family photo!
What’s next? Crescent. The Crescent Roadhouse Bar & Grill is a red building and has an inflatable motorcyclin’ Santa that’s screaming for you to get your photo! “Rev” up and head that way! They usually have some fun going on inside, too, but mostly for adults! lol.
From Crescent, make your way to Underwood. Underwood hosts the motherlode of Christmas character! Get your pic in front of the hay bale Santa and Mrs. Claus! They have a whole corner lot (at the corner of Railroad Hwy & 3rd St.) dedicated to Christmas décor that you won’t want to miss! Have to say the hay bales are very impressive and perfect for that selfie you can’t get anywhere else!
McClelland is up! Why not get your pic under the bells at the shelter in the park (on Main Street)? You can pretend it’s mistletoe if you’re with the right person, too! Lol. They’ve got some cute presents in front, too. It’s the gift that keeps on giving this holiday season!
Trek on over to Treynor then. Treynor has 2 fabulous churches with nativity scenes that are perfect to remember the reason for the season. The easier one to hit is the nativity at Zion Congregational Church right across the street from the school. Do some praying hands next to the Baby Jesus for this photo op.
As you make your way to Macedonia, there are a couple of adorable hay bales on M16 you might want to stop by. All of Macedonia’s Main Street is decked out for the holidays complete with an upside down tree at the McCready Theatre! However, in keeping things different, I have to suggest you rally the family around one of the decorated light poles! They are adorable and bright! Just the way you want your selfie!
After Donia, it’s on to Carson. Broadway in Carson is all lit up, too, but you have to take your selfie with the poinsettia decorations in the gazebo! Nothing says small town fun like a decorated gazebo! I promise it won’t disappoint! Pack the fam in the gazebo and get that shot!
We end our tour in Oakland on Main Street which is quite the sight at night! The Nishna Heritage Museum and Gardens are decorated to the hilt, and it just so happens that they have started a wishing tree in the garden, as well! So swing by, make a wish on an ornament, hang it on the tree and get a pic with the perfect backdrop to end your tour!
These are the roadtrips your kids will remember! The 2020 moments that did rock! So take a little time to enjoy the Pott. Co. view and make some family memories! You won’t be sorry!
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Gift cards make the world go round, right? Lol. Well, here’s how you can buy those gift cards and still support local! This is my gift card mania! All price ranges, all useful, all something you may not have thought of yet! And all easy to wrap!
First up, who isn’t dreaming of summer right about now? Do mom and dad like their days on the golf course? Why not get their membership bought right now! TRA and Oakland-Riverside both offer memberships, just message them on Facebook for instant access.
Here’s one you may not have considered – what about carpet cleaning? If you’re like me with a concrete-stomping husband and a 6-year-old that leaves a trail of spaghetti, this is a great gift! L&M Carpet Cleaning in Oakland will hook you up!
Another great gift for anybody who loves their car – tokens to the local car wash! Check out Antique City Car Wash in Walnut, Riverside Auto Wash in Oakland, The Finish Line in Carson, or Rock ‘N Suds Car Wash in Treynor.
And while we are talking cars, what about auto detailing? Anderson Auto-Detailing in Shelby or Phase 3 Auto-Detailing in Oakland are ready to help you out!
Have family that visits? Why not get them a night at the AirBnB in Macedonia? The Macedonia House is ready and waiting!
Or if that family is coming to visit, it might be perfect time to get your spouse a gift card for wine! Prairie Crossing in Treynor and Breezy Hills in Minden are both known for award-winning wines!
And what goes better with wine than relaxation? Book that massage for them or get that gift card for after the holidays! Check out Ahh-spirations in Oakland, in Shelby at Bell Massage, at Massages by Monique in Treynor, or in Crescent at the Compassionate Wellness Center.
Of course, we can’t talk about massages without also discussing mani/pedis! Check out Polish’d Nail Spa in Avoca or the Polish Bar in Carson.
If you’re looking to give the gift of clothes, be sure to get a gift card to Blossoms in Oakland, Tillie’s Salon & Boutique in Avoca, or B Restored in Walnut. You can also get kids clothes at Iowa Kids Outfitter in Avoca.
Are they just in a new home? Give them the gift of furnishings! Amy’s Attic in Carson is perfect for it, so is Blossoms in Oakland, and The Granary Mall and Plum Krazy in Walnut have some fabulous stuff, as do a bunch of the places in Walnut! Décor and furniture are definitely their specialty!
Art is a great gift for the home, too. I can’t say enough good stuff about The Painted Camel in Macedonia!
Of course, you can’t go wrong with food! Gift cards to places like The Back Forty in Macedonia, Henry’s Diner in Crescent, The Dew Drop Inn in McClelland, or Garcia’s in Underwood offer a variety of options!
And speaking of food, there’s nothing better than a gift card to Minden Meat Market for some beef jerky or Hancock Meat Locker for some ribeyes or go all natural at Jon’s Naturals in McClelland! I feel like this is the perfect guy gift! (But I’d like it, too! Lol)
Then again, if we’ve learned anything this year, it’s that you always need a haircut! Support those local hair salons like Taylor’s Trims and Tans in Underwood or The Mane Attraction in Treynor!
Truthfully, there are a ton more places, too, but hopefully, this will get your started! If you have more questions, message us on Facebook! Shopping local is our forte!
Happy Shopping, Pott. Co.!