Each week we’ll take a step back into the history of Great Bend through the eyes of reporters past. We’ll reacquaint you with what went into creating the Great Bend of today, and do our best to update you on what “the rest of the story” turned out to be
This week, according to OnThisDay.com, President Eisenhower signed a bill approving Alaska statehood. While we were excited to see what the 1958 Great Bend Daily Tribune had to report about the event, we were disappointed not to find one word written about the historic occasion. However, there was plenty to report about Eisenhower’s summit with the Canadians that week, where trade imbalances and relations with the Soviet Union were the main topics of conversation. Canada was not pleased about the United States disposing of excess grain around the globe, but Eisenhower stood firm on the American practice, asserting that by not storing the grain, it kept prices higher for everyone, and by disposing of the grain to needy countries, hungry people who could not access it otherwise were fed.
It was probably a bitter pill to swallow for farmers locally, who July 3 were contending with the aftermath of flooding from rains that dumped anywhere from 3 to 7 inches statewide. Pawnee Rock flooded, and council members later that week would meet to discuss flood control for that city.
Alaska’s nearly 100 year fight to become a state was won this week, and paved the way for Hawaii to become a full-fledged state less than a year later. These two states provided two more pivotal Senate votes in favor of Civil Rights legislation.
‘Twirling’ a hit in Great Bend
Twirling was just emerging as a popular activity, (some prefer the term sport) for girls in Great Bend in 1958. The Great Bend Rec offered summer twirling classes at Morrison School. Sharon Boyle was the instructor, and a feature in the Tribune highlighting the number of activities and children taking part in them noted that Boyle had 101 students enrolled in that class.
Earlier in the week, the Tribune published a short report, ‘Name state twirl winners at Kinsley.”
“The first state baton twirling contest was held here (Kinsley) Wednesday with 40 high school girls competing.”
The Nebraska state champion twirler, Joyce Burns of Lincoln., Neb., won the highest score in twirling, but three Kansas girls won titles. Winners were eligible to go on to compete at Indian Lake, Ohio in August.
While twirling no longer receives the attention it once did, there’s still plenty of interest to be had, with several coaches to be found in Kansas through the United States Twirling Association.
It is likely Sharon Boyle taught twirling while attending Barton Community College, where she was a student before marrying Gary Applebee and working in the insurance industry here in Great Bend. She passed away in April, 2017, in Overland Park at the age of 75.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the United States National Baton Twirling Championships, which will be held in Jacksonville, Fla. July 8-14.
Heavy hitter Tiede makes good
It was this week in 1958 that a Great Bend high school graduate was signed to the major leagues. Wallace Tiede, who played with the Great Bend Bee Jays baseball team, became a potential St. Louis Cardinal.
“Wallace Tiede, a reserve outfielder for the Great Bend Beejays, was signed Friday to a pro contract by the St. Louis Cardinals,” the lede to the story, “Tiede Signs With Cardinals: Will report with Albany next season,” read.
“C.A. Marr, St. Louis scout from Grove, Okla., inked the former Great Bend High School athlete to the pact. Tiede will join Albany, Ga., of the class D Georgia-Florida League and will report for the 1959 season. Tiede will finish out his season with the Beejays.
“Tiede, 18-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Tiede, Heizer, is playing his first year of Beejay baseball. He lettered three years in baseball with Coach al Burns’ Great Bend Panthers. He also played two years of Junior American Legion baseball under Burns. The high school athlete lettered two years in football under Coach Larry Kline. Tiede attended Heizer Grade School and three years at Great Bend High.
Tiede is hitting .333 in Ban Johnson games, punching out three hits in nine trips. He hit a grand-slam game run against Odin last Wednesday night.”
Try as we might, we couldn’t find anything more about Tiede’s baseball career. We did learn that 1958 was the last year the minor league Albany Cardinals had a roster, however.
Still, what are the odds of a local boy getting signed to a pro team? Remarkable!
In June of this year, Tiede’s brother, Ray Tiede, passed away. Wallace was listed among the surviving brothers, and still resides in Great Bend.
Just for fun
Imagine finding out the money-order company made a million dollar mistake in your favor. Sounds like a dream? Well, maybe more like a nightmare. An Associated Press brief reported on one Kansas soldier.
“When Pfc. Paul Scibetta tried to cash what he thought was a $65 money order recently he got quite a jolt.
“It was an order for $1,000,065.00.
“His wife, Lucille, had sent the money order from New York and somehow a check-writing machine raised the ante a million bucks.
“So here is soldier Scibetta, needing money to rent an apartment so his wife can join him, and he can’t even get his $65. Nobody around here wants to cash a million-dollar check.
“I’m not trying to keep the million dollars, Scibetta said. “I only want what’s coming to me.”
“He has asked the Central National Bank of Junction City, Kan. to help straighten things out.”
Well, we assume the Scibetta’s got the problem handled, because the couple enjoyed a long marriage and raised a family in New Jersey following Paul’s enlistment. What a story to tell!