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Schmidt's life from the bleachers

We got this story just in time because by the time she reads this, Delores Schmidt will be back home. She was born in Bluffton in 1922 to John and Teresa Rohr. John was a hard-working, busy man as all masons are, what with everyone needing something that only a mason could do. He worked in stone, brick and cement block.

Delores graduated in high school in Wadena and worked as a waitress in the Stone Cafe located on main street. If my good friend and resource person, Bob Zosel, were still with us I could tell you who owned the cafe, exactly where it was located, and how long it was there. I will always miss him.

In the restaurant is where Delores met her future husband, William (Bill) Schmidt. Bill was given a medical discharge from the Army. They have five children, one daughter and four sons. Sidney Schmidt Anderson is a nurse in Tri-County Hospital.

Delores likes to read and has turned out many embroidered items. There was a time scarves and doilies were used in making a house a home. Now sheets and pillowcases come in matched sets.

Bill worked as the shoe man for J.C.Penney. Then he and Delores bought the Sportman's Bar until he retired after 30 years During these years Delores was fighting diabetes and nine years ago became the possessor of an artificial leg which she manages beautifully.

Now we come to what did the Schmidt family really like to do? Delores said all five of her men were avid fisherman. But they mostly liked playing ball, that's what. She will never forget all those ball suits hanging on her clothesline Bill played both softball and baseball as well as served in the management.

We know that when a guy by the name of Greg Ogleltree penned "They who only sit and watch also serve" in 1945, it was written in wartime and he was referring to wives at home. However, Delores wonders if it just might not as well apply to the wives of ballplayers, huddled on bleachers? Bill died 14 years ago.

Delores lives in a house near the school. Did the tornado find them? Oh, yes, big time. While it did not actually blow the house away, as it did some, it wrecked the roof, blew in windows, and much more. Every tree in what had been a beautiful back yard is gone. Luckily, Delores' family helped her down to the basement.

Delores moved in with a son's family until her place was put back in shape. She said they did a good job and she is anxious to go back home, although with trees and neighbors gone it will never be the same.

The Schmidt family took interesting trips. There always seemed something to do, to look forward to. A bystander wants me to tell you Bill Schmidt turned out some of the biggest, juiciest hamburgers in all the confines of Wadena.

Now, Delores, take a minute, and think back to what would have been the most traumatic, worst time ever for your family to cope with short of death or injury?

She didn't need the whole minute to say, "If David, Douglas, Donald and Danny hadn't, for one reason or another, all turned out to be ball players, I don't think their dad could have handled it."