About Our Town: Verton & Pearl Miller share peaceful hobby

By Mark Swartzendruber
Posted 7/22/99

The year was 1910 and this photo was taken and given to Emma (Swartzendruber) Hartzler (Mrs. Herb Hartzler). It is almost 90 years old. Mrs. Mike (Julie Hartzler) Zahs - Virginia Hartzler’s …

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About Our Town: Verton & Pearl Miller share peaceful hobby


The year was 1910 and this photo was taken and given to Emma (Swartzendruber) Hartzler (Mrs. Herb Hartzler). It is almost 90 years old. Mrs. Mike (Julie Hartzler) Zahs - Virginia Hartzler’s daughter - gave me this picture and Alta Kieser identified each person. So descendents of these people, take a good long look.

Front row - Helene Miller Slagel, Johnny Brenneman, Mary Miller (George P. Miller’s), Homer Brenneman;

Second row - Mary Reber, Noah Brenneman, Katie Reber Schweitzer, Alma Brenneman Horst, Anna Brenneman Erb, Alta Brenneman Keiser;

Third row - Blanche Swartzendruber Marner, Henry Brenneman, Margaret Hansen, Lydia Miller Marner, Emma Swartzendruber Hartzler, Kathryn Miller Snyder,

Fourth row, teacher Ida Dawson, horse Beauty;

On the horse - George Miller, Walter Swartzendruber, Roy Swartzendruber (Simon’s son), Leroy Brenneman, Ray Miller

The community has been saddened by the death of two young men in the last several weeks. Our sympathies go out to the Quinten Miller and Sanford Hostetler families in the death of their sons.

The birthday treats are flying around at the Coffee Club. Paul D. Miller and Henry Beachy were the lucky treaters.

Thanks to the daughter of Gary Kos who reads these lines and took them along to a class in college.

Don’t fail to go north on 3rd Street and look at that beautiful lily garden. There are many colors and varieties.

On July 10 the Townhouse closed for the wedding of Jim Shetler and Jessica Birch who tied the knot on that day. Congratulations to the couple.

Wilma and Lamont Kelly have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Congratulations. He has a lot of Hawkeye stories.

Mr. and Mrs. Darrel Hostetler were in the Townhouse this week. They came to Kalona to attend the funeral of George Miller. Darrel was a former IMS music teacher.

Did you hear about the person who was squinting from the sunshine? Then the mother gave her a baseball cap. The person put in on backward and said, “Thanks, that helps.”

If you are lucky enough to find the way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.

The Rolland Yoders and Ralph Schlaubaughs seem very happy about the birth of the twin boys born to Randy Yoders. The boys are great grandchildren. Everyone from the oldest to the youngest seem happy and doing good.

The Joetown Garage story brought back memories of about 1931. Henry Brenneman, the owner, was a friend of my dad and he purchased a radio that he had in the garage. He invited my dad and my brother down to listen to it out in the garage. Us boys thought it was magic to hear a voice not coming over a wire line.

Did you hear about the person waiting at the red light and waved to the driver beside them? The mother said, “You shouldn’t wave at strangers.”

“But, she smiled and waved first.”

Then the mother said, “If they jumped off a bridge, would you jump?”

The driver’s sister responded, “No, he’d smile and wave.”

In a trip over to Vermont, Illinois Thursday, the crops looked very good there. Their corn was tasseling and somewhat ahead of ours on that specific day.

Verton and Pearl Miller have a hobby that is soothing and peaceful. They can sit by the small fish ponds that he built. One is 7x15 and another is 5x6. He has arranged a small rock build-up where water flows down through 3 filters that helps the water stay clean. The depth is 3 1/2 feet.

This is a hobby he has had for 7 years. In this pool are 20 gold fish, some really big ones, and one beautiful Japanese Koi. The fish are in the pool all winter and if it gets to 10 below zero, he has some kind of warmer to put in.

Verton spends 1 hour a day caring for the fish and feeds them small pellets he gets from Wal-Mart. The pool has water lilies that bloom, water hyacinth, a floating plant with long roots, water cannas, water iris and water clover.

The algae grows a lot and if you put in copper sulfate, it cleans the water but also takes some of the oxygen out.

An interesting fact is that when Pearl holds some pellets in her hand, some fish will eat out of her hand.

The fish lay their eggs in the summer and Verton will have a nice new hatch. Some people will come and get the small ones. He inserted a small fountain to help keep oxygen in the water.

In the fall he puts a net over the pool so the leaves don’t fall in. Many visitors stop in and watch the fish - some of them are pretty big.

Verton has a lot of fun and a lot of people come by and are fascinated by the fish. If you see Pearl and Verton sitting out by the pool towards the close of the day, you know they are experiencing a new peaceful day, meditating, thinking of family or plain relaxing, the day has been good for them.

The word for the week is invective. The word means insulting or very harsh language. Sometimes this happens in politics, schools, churches, families, other functions. It is sad when it happens and then you are sorry afterwards. So let’s consider the word invective and try a milder tone.