• Last modified 1560 days ago (March 12, 2020)


Shelter rations a holdover from Cold War

Staff writer

Fallout shelters have long outlived their Cold War heyday of the time, but traces often remain, like the many 12 pound tins of ration crackers from the early 1960s found under Cooperative Grain and Supply’s grain elevator in Marion.

“Society moved on but our forefathers were trying to protect the next generation,” said Marion city administrator Roger Holter.

Some of the darker aspects of the Cold War seem to be glossed over, Holter said, like the construction of shelters to withstand nuclear attacks.

“It’s one of those parts of history that, in my opinion, has been conveniently forgotten,” Holter said. “Even as a small child going to school we had drills for civil defense. It wasn’t tornado drills like the kids do now.”

Cooperative Grain and Supply employee Derrick Ratzloff enjoys that the space under the grain elevator was once a fallout shelter.

“It’s kind of crazy,” he said. “We still could be, just not with these supplies.”

Helping young people understand the significance of having a holdover from America’s Atomic Age in their town can be difficult because they’ve grown up without a similar threat, Holter said.

“The only reference point the younger generation has is a zombie apocalypse,” he said. “That’s the same kind of fear mongering that existed during the Cold War.”

The tins of crackers themselves maintain some historical value, even if it’s as a collector’s item.

“We were trying to figure out what they might be worth or something,” Ratzloff said.

While looking into details about the tins, he found they sold for between $9 and $50 online, with one even going for $109.

In addition to crackers, 55-gallon barrels of water were once stored in the shelter.

Similar supplies were likely housed at fallout shelters at Marion City Building and Marion High School’s Hill Building, Holter said.

The rations from Marion’s grain elevator are out of date, but the government still keeps stores of provisions, he said.

“Instead of just leaving them to sit for years like in the ’50s and ’60s, they now constantly rotate that,” he said. “That comes out and goes to distribution to help seniors through the commodities program. The government never completely abandoned all those concepts. They just aren’t as publicized.”

Putting on a show


staff photo by alexander simone

Marion high schooler Christian Albin, front left, playing the part of a soldier, bows to “Queen Elizabeth” during Friday’s performance of “Afraid of the Dark” at Marion Performing Arts Center.

Marion Senior Center

Lunch bunch welcomed at Senior center

Marion Senior Center

Marion Senior Center welcomed the monthly lunch bunch on March 3.

The center’s craft corner now has some new items — clothing, purses and fingertip kitchen towels available.

Rhonda Brenzikofer bought treats for her March 4 birthday.

Stay Strong, Stay Healthy training has been postponed until fall.

The center will host the ONE committee March 17 with Mary Rogers, chairwoman.

Marion Senior Center

Milk available with all meals. Reservations accepted until 9 a.m. daily at (620) 382-2942.

Thursday — Chili with crackers, coleslaw, peaches, cinnamon roll.

Friday — Oven-baked fish, cauliflower, green pea salad, white cake topped with fruit, whole-wheat roll.

Monday — Apple glazed pork loin, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, applesauce cake, cornbread.

Tuesday — Cheesy ham and potato soup, cucumber and tomato salad, breadsticks, strawberries and bananas.

March 18 — Roast beef, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans, pears, whole-wheat roll.

March 19 — Cheddar baked chicken, roasted cauliflower, succotash, peach crisp, whole-wheat roll.

Club notes

Happy Hustlers

Marion Happy Hustlers met March 2 at Marion Community Center with 23 members, 11 guests, 11 parents, and 5 leaders present to answer roll call by sharing the color of their toothbrushes.

Parliamentarian Alexandra Carlson led a multiple choice guessing game about 4-H meeting procedures, and extension agent Ricky Roberts spoke about a possible district merger between Marion and Dickinson Counties.

Tripp Peterson, Anna Carlson, Dylan Kraus, and Ryder Kraus presented project talks. Music leader Maria Carlson led in singing “The Wheels on the Bus,” and Noah Schmidt led members in playing Rock, Paper, Scissors.

Marsha Meyer awarded certificates and cash prizes to the club’s three most active members with Noah Schmidt winning, Tripp Peterson, second, and Jaxon Salsbury in third. Multi-County Club Days was Saturday, and horse project members attended Equifest Saturday in Salina as well.

A lock-in is scheduled March 27, and the next meeting will be April 6.

-Tripp Peterson

20th Century Club selects officers

Marion’s 20th Century Club met March 2 in Marion City Library’s Santa Fe Room with nominations made for 2020-2021 officers.

President Gayle Thomas, vice president Belinda Skiles, treasurer Jamie Mayfield, corresponding secretary Carol Laue, and recording secretary Debbie Bowman agreed to serve again.

Sixteen members attended with Feebie Meisinger and Macky Taylor serving as hostesses.


Senior citizen group to award scholarship

Senior Citizens of Marion County will award a $500 scholarship to a high school senior from Marion County pursuing a degree in an aging related field such as medicine, social work, therapy or gerontology.

Applications are available through school counselors or Marion County Department on Aging’s website.

Applications are due to SCMC by April 8 at Marion Senior Center.

Marion County Democrats
to meet Saturday

Marion County Democrats will meet 10 a.m. Saturday at the Scout House in Hillsboro.


Send upcoming community events to or call (620) 382-2165.


7 p.m. — Tabor College play “Mark Twain’s the Diaries of Adam and Eve”, Shari Flaming Center for Arts, Hillsboro.


1 to 3 p.m. — Marion Middle School talent show, Marion Middle School.


8 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Red Cross Lifeguard course, Marion Aquatics Center.

9 a.m. — Representative Stephen Owens, political forum, Hillsboro city building.


9 a.m. — Marion County commission, courthouse.


4 p.m. — Hillsboro city council, city building.

march 18

1 to 4 p.m. — Kansas Kids Outreach coordinator, Marion City Library.

Chat ’N’ Dine Club to meet Saturday

Marion County Lake Chat ’N’ Dine Club will have its first meeting of the year 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Marion County Lake South Lake Hall. Lake manager Isaac Hett will speak.

Delmar and Nadine Iseli and Jim and Karen Egts will host. The club will provide service and drinks and members are asked to bring a dish to share.

The group will meet on the first Saturday of the month until November.

601 SE 36th St.

Newton, Kansas





Furniture & Carpet






CDDO meeting scheduled

The board of directors of the Harvey-Marion County Developmental Disability Organization will hold its regular monthly meeting at 4 p.m. Monday at the HMCDDO office, 500 N. Main, Suite 204, Newton.

There will be opportunity for public forum at the beginning of the meeting.

March 11, 2020 — Page 4

CASA program
gets funding boost

The court appointed special advocate program of the 8th Judicial District, which includes Marion County, was awarded a $4,450 professional development grant from the National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad Litem Association for Children.

CASA of the 8th Judicial District recruits, trains, and supports volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children who are in the court system because of abuse or neglect.

“This funding will allow staff to receive additional training to help better serve the abused, neglected, and trafficked children who are assigned to our program,” said Lisa Hatt, executive director of CASA of the 8th Judicial District. “We will also be able to share what is learned with our volunteers and community partners.”

The grant will pay for coursework and other costs leaders would otherwise incur to develop the skills to better serve children who have an advocate.

Margaret Stroda to celebrate
90th birthday

Margaret Stroda of Ramona will celebrate her 90th birthday with an open house from 1 to 3 p.m. March 28 at Ramona City Hall on 3rd and D Sts. in Ramona.

Cards may be sent to P.O. Box 95, Ramona, KS 67475.

Business renovations


staff photo by alexander Simone

Workers install a new awning on a window above Edward Jones last week along Marion’s Main St. Over recent weeks the business had renovations to update the first floor’s stucco finish and replace the entrance to an adjacent apartment as well.

Card shower requested

Marion resident Robert “Bob” Smith, now living at St. Luke Living Center, will celebrate his 90th birthday on March 20.

The family is requesting a card shower. Cards can be sent to 230 Locust, Marion, KS 66861.


Margaret Stroda

Last modified March 12, 2020