Vicky Emerson at the Elmwood Auditorium sings sweetly and plays guitar on one of her many original compositions. Photo by Paul J. Seeling
Vicky Emerson at the Elmwood Auditorium sings sweetly and plays guitar on one of her many original compositions. Photo by Paul J. Seeling

SPRING VALLEY & ELMWOOD, WI – With the end of 2016, one last time, let’s take a little look back at it with Part IV, the conclusion of the year in review this week.

For Spring Valley and Elmwood and surrounding communities there were many things reported on in the 52 weeks of the Sun-Argus and MyGatewayNews.com last year.

Starting this week’s review recalling a story from the September 1, 2016 Sun-Argus about “Stockman’s celebrates 70 years” - Owner Merry Stockman Schoenke reflects on the history and legacy of her family's business, by Katie Chaffee. Stockman’s Farm Supply & More, just south of I-94 on Highway 128 in Wilson, doesn’t look much like a typical large retailer. Still, the name of Walmart founder Sam Walton comes up in stories about how Stockman’s came to be. That story, told by Merry Stockman Schoenke, who now owns and runs the business, encompasses more than 70 years of history.

Back in 1984, Merry was in high school, living on the family horse farm right where Stockman’s is now. She and her older sister Kris grew up in the house there.

Rex, the girls' father, was operating a store in Spring Valley. It had been named Stockman’s Variety after his father Harry had started it in 1951. When Rex took over from his father, he changed the name to Rex’s Big “V” and began harboring big dreams for his little store.

Merry remembers Rex as a consummate salesman, always staging events and promotions to boost sales. This high-energy approach, coupled with Rex’s commitment to quality products, was a recipe for success. The store prospered.

“My father never did anything in a small way,” Merry remembers. “I think in his younger years, he had visions of becoming another Sam Walton!”

Also in that edition of the Sun-Argus I reported that, “SV Senior Living and Health Care holds annual summer celebration.” The Spring Valley Health and Rehabilitation Center (SVHRC), Valley Villas Assisted Living, and Sunshine Child Care and Learning Center held their annual anniversary picnic last Friday, August 26 on the front lawn of the beautiful Spring Valley Senior Living and Health Care Campus. This was the 54th Annual Spring Valley Health Care Anniversary Picnic.

The weather was great, making it a perfect early evening for the 225 attendees comprised of residents, tenants, children, volunteers, current and retired staff, and their families. Guests were served a delicious meal of BBQ pork sandwiches, hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad, chips, and a big slice of watermelon (along with chilled lemonade and coffee). Serving on the buffet line were Executive Director Kevin Larson and his wife Peggy, along with members of the SVHRC staff. Music was provided by Rich Schroeder.

In the September 8 editions, I reported that, “Vicky Emerson holds Elmwood Library benefit concert” Hometown gal does good in more ways than one on 9-11 anniversary. Elmwood’s own Vicky Emerson came back to the village to share her musical talents for a cause last Sunday evening, September 11. Her solo performance for an audience of 65 fans helped raise money for the Elmwood Public Library.

That it was the 15th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks wasn’t lost on Vicky, who mentioned she had been thinking about it all day, as she drove to Elmwood from her Minneapolis home where she resides with her husband Joe and youngsters Olivia and Noah.

Susan Dzubay, Elmwood Public Library Board President, welcomed everyone to the concert, thanked them all for coming out, and introduced the hometown gal, Vicky Emerson. Dzubay also thanked Emerson for coming to perform a concert that would provide a portion of the proceeds to the library.

Vicky too thanked everyone for coming, and began the over an hour-long concert with her song “Long Ride,” from her album of the same name. From the first note people knew they were in for something special in Emerson’s rich melodic voice and silky smooth guitar playing, which also carries over to when she gets on her first instrument: the piano.

What this reporter noticed was how good Emerson sounded in the historic Elmwood Auditorium. With its wood basketball floor and wood paneled wall, the acoustics for her rich vocals and instrumentals were nearly ideal.

In the October 6, 2016 Sun-Argus, Ron Cipriano concluded his two-part article, “Bosshart inducted into WBCA Hall of Fame.” Spring Valley head basketball coach Rob Bosshart was inducted into the 2016 Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall (WBCA) of Fame on Saturday, September 24, 2016.

So many people look at the wins and losses of a program and decide that is the barometer of success. It’s all too common that, if a coach isn’t winning all the time, they aren’t doing their job.

“I think the most important decision a coach has to make is whether he/she wants to develop a program that sustains itself over the long-run or is he/she is simply trying to win the next game,” Bosshart said. “There is a huge difference between the two, and it sends a tremendous message to the athletes about whether you care about their overall development, or if you are only concerned with how they play on game night.”

So many coaches can be fire-and-brimstone types of coaches. They are fiery competitors that want to win at all costs. That is not Bosshart’s style. He spends time yelling and hollering like any coach does, but tries to avoid it most of the time.

“It loses its effectiveness and I just get a headache,” he said laughing. “Yelling and raising your voice can be appropriate at times, but it's probably not the best approach in the long-run.”

He is honest that his practices can be quite vocal.

“That is by design. I really try to put pressure on the kids in practice situations in order to prepare them for handling intense situations when the bright lights are on during a game,” the coach said. “It's hard to simulate the same intensity level in a practice as you would get in a game, so sometimes it falls on the coaches to create situations where the players have to deal with feeling uncomfortable. If we do our jobs well enough in practice to prepare the kids, then there doesn't have to be a lot of yelling during games – they are ready for what they will face.”

It was in the November 10, 2016 edition of the Sun-Argus that Dr. Dan Connors announced, “A facelift for Spring Valley Dentistry-Definitely something to smile about!” There are some big changes coming up for Spring Valley Dentistry! I have been extremely blessed by this community and surrounding communities. Our business has grown beyond what I thought we ever would, and we now need more space to accommodate that growth. 

We always try to work emergency patients into our schedule the same day; but for non-emergency care, many patients have had to wait several months to get in for appointments. I had to make a decision to either stop taking new patients, or expand our space.

I hired an architect to look at a number of different ways to add to our current building – that seemed like the easiest and most logical thing to do. I was informed that in order to bring our current building up to current code to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and to have an office layout that worked efficiently, we would need to do a complete remodel and addition that would cost slightly less than the cost of a new building. 

After I approached the Spring Valley Village Board about a move, they mentioned the old nursing home site, with hopes that it would be suitable for our new location. We have done extensive research on the area and I’m excited to say we will be building a new facility on State Road 29 (where the old nursing home was located). It should be completed by June or July of 2017. We will be using a number of local contractors for the construction.

Finally, in the December 22, 2016 Sun-Argus I had the pleasure of reporting with the help of Kathy Geraets and Missy Hubbard-Roatch:   “Elmwood 'Santa Day’ has good turnout considering weather - Community Club, Royalty, and 4-H are good helpers.” The weather outside was frightful last Saturday, December 17, 2016, when Santa Claus came to the Village of Elmwood for his annual “Santa Day” visit. There was a good turnout to visit with Santa considering how harsh the weather was with over six inches of snow overnight and some cold temperatures hovering around zero and that’s without wind-chill factored in.

Everyone came bundled up for the weather and enjoyed the cozy warm atmosphere inside the historic Elmwood Auditorium.

Part IV is the conclusion of this series, “year in review for 2016,” hopefully it has rekindled some pleasant memories for you of the last year.