Sauk County’s 50’s Club

Screen Shot 2019-07-26 at 8.49.54 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-07-27 at 6.51.05 AM.png


Saturday, August 10th, 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Baraboo’s Ochsner Park celebrates 100 years in August and BASCO’s been invited to the celebration! BASCO will be selling Sloppy Joe’s, chips and soda to the 200- 300 expected in attendance including 50 or more members of the extended Ochsner family.

Donations needed by August 8 and include: ground beef, hamburger buns, catsup, small, sturdy paper plates, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Coke, Diet Coke, Sierra Mist and Diet Sierra Mist and water.



Screen Shot 2019-07-26 at 9.07.34 PM.png

I was born at home on May 9th, 1941 in East Moline, Illinois, preceded by a sister (3) and a brother (2). The family expanded to 7 children by 1945. By my 3rd birthday, my father had built a large home on a 2 acre lot which overlooked the Mississippi river with a grade school at the base of the hill. We thought we lived in paradise with a trickling brook, fruit trees, swings and climbing ropes, as well as chickens and a dog or cat around. There was also a large garden and an ice-man who regularly brought ice chunks for all the kids and the ice-box. I loved all animals and even bugs that could be studied for hours. My mom was a singer and musician who played many instruments by ear and an artist who loved to sew kids' clothing and make amazing crafts. My dad was an experimental engineer at International Harvester who had just left behind 10 years in the army before getting married.

We were between 2 and 9 years old when Mom was diagnosed with Tuberculosis and immediately placed in a TB Sanitarium on March 8th, 1948. Everyday life turned chaotic as Dad scurried to find housekeepers willing to take on 7 kids 5 days a week while he worked. There were 9 different housekeepers in the next 20 months who were scheduled to care for the children and a few who just quit without notice. The oldest sister at 9+ years would often stay home to take care of the youngest kids not yet in school. Finally, on June 13, 1949, we were all placed at the Bethany Home orphanage in Moline, IL. Dad spent almost every weekend helping out at the orphanage while visiting us kids. Mom died on 11/10/1949. After 11 months living at Bethany Home, I was placed with a childless foster farm family on my 9th birthday, but within 2 months had to return to the orphanage for a few weeks for rabies and tetanus shots after being bit by a feral cat. The highlight of 2 years living in the foster home was Stardust, a small horse my foster parents bought for horse-crazy me on my 10th birthday. All 3 of my sisters were also placed in foster care nearby and occasionally had a chance to play together.

In May, 1952, all 7 kids joined our father at his newly purchased 168 acre farm in Cordova, IL. The oldest girl, (14) and starting high school, took over the household chores with the help of the younger siblings. The oldest boy (13) became responsible for farm chores. Within a short time, we had acquired a couple of cows, a horse, pigs, chickens, geese, turkeys, a goat, dogs and cats that we all enjoyed raising. Dad continued his job at International Harvester until retirement at age 62.

I left for college to be a Special Education teacher. After almost 3 years working toward a teaching degree, my best friend and I switched over to nursing school in Madison, WI, graduating in June, 1963. I moved to Condon, Oregon, and worked in a 1-nurse health clinic. After a year, I switched to a pediatric research hospital in Portland, Oregon, for 2 more years of unbelievable work and fun and traveled alone to Hawaii. In 1966, I began working at Central Wisconsin Center (CWC) with pediatric residents who had severe cognitive, physical and mental developmental delays. The work was inspiring, fun and rewarded by frequent progress made by clientele. I remained dedicated to this work for 30 years, switching to various jobs within the facility about every 5 years which included teaching/training nurses at UW, Nursing Supervisor, Quality Assurance Director, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Staff training instructor, lecturer at Madison Area Technical College, Director of Development Evaluation Center, and Placement/Admissions Specialist.

In January, 1967, I married a social worker, Roy Libby and earned my B.S. in nursing. I also completed 2 research studies in 2 different areas, one that was published and attracted international attention. In 1971 and 1975, 2 daughters were born while I completed my Masters' degree in pediatric nursing and was promoted to Clinical Nurse Specialist for half of the facility's residents..

It soon became evident that my youngest daughter had autism and special programs were developed for her by age 3. In 1982, the marriage ended due to conflicting future goals. Today Katy lives in supervised living in Middleton, WI with a roommate and has a busy schedule of 2 jobs at Nutsy Mutsy and Dunkin Donuts with frequent involvement in family events. Her older sister, Becky, became a special ed teacher I married John Michael Roche in 1985. Mike had 2 girls about the same ages as my girls. Lisa earned an art degree and Kelly ended up as a social worker specializing in teens. We have 3 grandkids, Jack (12), Georgia (10) and Ashton (7) who live in Wisconsin. In July, 2000, we retired to Baraboo, Mike's hometown.

Retirement has been busier than ever for me because of all the activities I’ve been waiting to explore. I worked part time at Book World, then at Home Health, but my days were soon filled with almost every volunteer activity at Kid's Ranch, Giving Tree, SHARE food delivery, Master Gardener activities, St. Clare Hospital, tennis, line dancing, golf, reading and writing clubs, Senior Center, yoga, hospice and teaching English as a second language. Mike still has the time and energy to golf almost every nice day with friends and family and plays cards with old friends biweekly. I had knee surgery last year but am always looking for more tennis players, preferably seniors, to join at least weekly tennis games.

Screen Shot 2019-07-26 at 9.12.10 PM.png


“The Devil in the White City” Erik Larson

I would highly suggest this book if you have an interest in how the “World’s Fair” of 1893 changed the way we may have been living if this competition hadn’t taken place. This is a novelistic yet wholly factual account of the Fair and the mass murderer who lurked within it. The author struck a fine balance between the planning and execution of the vast fair and Holmes’s relentless, ghastly activities. When reading you can be thankful that Holmes’s Helper Daniel Hudson Burnham, who managed the thousands of workers and engineers who pulled the sprawling fair together on an astonishingly tight two-year schedule. Every one of us came away from the book with a much respected feeling for the people who did this work. It is meticulously recreating a rich, pre-automobile America on the cusp of modernity, in which the sale of “articulated” corpses was a semi-respectable trade. We all will look at the Ferris wheel in a different way. What an invention.

-reviews by Judy Curtin


August: “River of Doubt” Candice Millard

September: “Night” Elie Wiesel

October: “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” Neil deGrasse Tyson

Book Club will meet on Monday, August 12 at 1:30 p.m. in Room 21