Here are the five women who attended the Moose Lodge in Menomonie for the Staying Put (SVSSP) Dance Club (L to R) are: Kathy Nyeggen, Diane Huebel, Darlene Anderson, Rose Hovde, and Janice Ottman. Submitted photo
Here are the five women who attended the Moose Lodge in Menomonie for the Staying Put (SVSSP) Dance Club (L to R) are: Kathy Nyeggen, Diane Huebel, Darlene Anderson, Rose Hovde, and Janice Ottman. Submitted photo

By Kathy Nyeggen, SVSSP Volunteer Coordinator

SPRING VALLEY, WI – It was sprinkling rain on Wednesday, June 28 morning as the Jeep set out to pick up the women to go dancing at the Moose Lodge in Menomonie for the monthly Spring Valley Seniors Staying Put (SVSSP) Dance Club. Lively conversation ensued for the journey.

Once at their destination, the SVSSP Dance Club table was selected in the corner, Rose (Hovde) sat with a group at the next table.  Soon the soft country western rhythms of Jim Armstrong, accompanied by Bob Holmgren, were wafting through the air. Dancers immediately took to the floor… ladies swirling, skirts whirling, two-steps, waltzes and polkas, even the lindy, livened the room.

Our group of five, mostly danced away the afternoon, or visited, listened, watched, snapped photos. In the shake of a leg, it was over, 4:00 pm.

As everyone piled into the car for the trip home, the skies were calm and quiet. The group chattered enthusiastically about the afternoon, and all kinds of other topics. Coming into the Spring Valley area, the skies darkened. Entering town, they busted lose. Rose was the first one delivered to her home at Woodland View Apartments. The sirens were wailing, rain was falling, and winds were kicking up. The hallways at the building were filling up with anxious residents. There were still three people in the Jeep to take home plus the driver.  Discernment was made as to the next plan of action: take Janice (Ottman) up the hill to her home above the valley. The sirens had quit; the rains and winds subsided (for now anyway). 

Heading to Diane’s (Huebel) home, an ominous feeling filled the air, the skies turned gray-green, winds whipped up. We B-lined it up the hill to Diane’s place where she promptly let us into her garage. As we waited it out, Diane brought us fresh strawberries that Rich had just fetched hours earlier.

The storm passed, it was onward to Darlene’s (Anderson) home, towards El Paso. Driving down Darlene’s gravel road, the woods were torn up with split and downed trees, her property across the road was untouched. The ice-rain bucket outside was filled.

On the way home, the skies blackened again, but this time would only bring buckets more rain.

It was soon evident … we were alarmingly close to the funnel that careened west to east from Martell to Spring Valley, tearing up barns and properties in her path.

Gratefully, all were safe, and nobody else was hurt on an evening that put the village of Spring Valley on national news!

Later that night Darlene called Kathy (Nyeggen), saying “I’m sure glad I was with all you girls today, I’m afraid I’d have had another heart attack if I’d have been home during that tornado”.

(Anyone interested in joining the once a month trip to Menomonie to go dancing, call Staying Put office 715-778-5800.)