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The ants go marching one by one?  No way!
The ants go marching one by one? No way!
by Jeff Steinborn, May 22
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Part 31--Fourth of July, 1936:
The Community Square was a beehive early on the morning of the Fourth. A truck from Lambert lumber yard arrived and unloaded a pile of framing lumber. A group of men headed up by Elmer Tolf and "Lank" Ehlers were preparing to build a platform in front of the bandstand. A tow-headed youngster came up to Tolf and asked, "What'cha buildin'?" "A stage," Elmer replied "...there's going to be a program here this afternoon."

"What kinda program?" the kid persisted. "Well, see that young lady over there...talking to band director, George Zukeswerth?" The boy nodded. "She's going to sing today...with the town band."
Curious, the tow-head edged over toward the pretty lady and the band director. As she turned to walk away the boy asked her, "Are you a famous person?" The lady laughed, "No, not at all. I'm just someone who likes to sing. Do you like music?" she asked. "Sure do," the boy replied, "We got a player-piano at home."

"How old are you?" the pretty lady asked the tow-headed boy. "Almost 8," he answered. "Would you and your friends like to sit up front? Right by the stage?" she asked him. "Could we?" he asked bug-eyed.

She was about to ask him his name but before she could get the words out the tow-headed kid raced off to tell his friends the news.

At the 3 o'clock that afternoon the Community Square was crowded with people. The band played a number of patriotic Sousa marches; Mayor Molitor read a special Independence Day proclamation. Then band director Zukeswerth stepped forward and announced there would be a special performance "from Diva Anna Karol...star of the Metropolitan Opera. Some of you know her just as Emily Rose," Zukeswerth said, "and she is here to perform for us this afternoon."

Anna/Emily Rose walked to front-center stage and the band struck up a medley of popular George Gershwin songs. When she sang Gershwin's "Lady be Good" she waved and winked at the kids in first row in front of the stage. The audience was totally capitvated by her voice and her persona. Watching from a spot in the back of the crowd Dr. Duclos thought to himself, "This is the same little girl I first saw that night out at Devil's Jump-Off...hard to believe." Anna and the Henderson band completed the program with a rousing rendition of "America the Beautiful."

It was a Fourth of July program that would be long remembered in Henderson.

Next: Preparing for departure and some curious footnotes to the "Strange Happening out at Devil's Jump-Off."


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Part 32--July 5. 1936:
The morning following the Fourth festivities: Doc Duclos was in his office, and as he enjoyed his morning cup of coffee he mentally went back over the events of the past few days. How good it was to see the Heidelburgs again and that both, father and daughter, were doing so well. The hours spent out at Devil's Jump-Off helped erase some of the mystery of what transpired out there eighteen years. "My God," Doc thought, "eighteen years. I can't believe it!" Still, the incident as it related to Heidelburg's brother, Arnold, only served to heighten the mystery. How could a person travel across a great distance and materialize in a different place? As a man of science and medicine Duclos was inclined to write it off as pure unadulterated fiction, but he knew that August Heidelburg was an educated man, a psychologist, and he, too, was completely baffled.

At just that moment Professor Heidelburg entered Duclos office. "We're staying next door, Doctor, and I thought you might be up." Taking a chair across from Duclos he continued, "We have had such a good time here. Thank you for making us feel so much at home. I did want to tell you more about the events as they pertain to my brother. I was very secretive about all that when I left here 'way back in 1918. The reason? You see I was a young professor then, trying to establish my credentials. My specialty is in applied psychology; how, if we better understand the world around us, we can make a better life." He paused to sip on the cup of coffee Duclos had set before him. "I was returning to a new teaching position at the university, and the last thing I wanted on my resume was an incident that appeared to border on the supernatural, the occult. So I figured the less said the better." Again he savored the stout coffee Duclos had brewed. "Today I am much more comfortable with the things I do not understand; I am not threatened by the paranormal.

"You might be iterested in knowing, doctor, that my brother, Arnold, is in Canada now--Montreal, to be specific--he is teaching at what I believe is your old university there. He does not teach so much now as he is in demand to speak and lecture around Canada and America." Duclos asked, "Is he still a proponent of apparitions, out-of-body experiences?" "Very much so," Heidelburg responded. "Especially reincarnation. But as I said the other day, he is my brother and we have a good relationship inspite of our differences."

[Later that day the Heidelburg party departed from the depot in East Henderson. In their company was the Minneapolis police detective, Bill Ayers. They stopped over in Minneapolis for several days where Professor Heidelburg spoke at a psychology seminar at the University of Minnesota.]

Next: The penultimate conclusion.

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Part 32:

Afterwords: Dr. Professor August Heidelburg continued teaching at Eastern New York State University until after World War II, after which he returned to Austria for a brief time. He eventually retired to a modest home in the Catskill Mountains. Emily Rose continued her singing career under the Anna Karol stage name. She appeared in many opera productions and both on- and off-Broadway shows.

[This article appeared in the Montreal Bulletin in March 1970: "Dr. Arnold Jacob Heidelburg, an academic psychistrist and author/lecturer on the paranormal, died on February 28. Dr. Heidelburg was internationally famous for his research into what is called the survival of personality after death; and out-of-body experiences. He wrote of at least one personal experience where his body was physically transposed from one location to another some distance away. He left behind an experiment that is being closely watched. Dr. Heidelburg bought and locked a cabinet with a secret combination word-code that known only to him. He said that if found himself able he would try and communicate that code in some way to someone in a vivid dream, or some other way, so the lock could be opened."]

[From the same Montreal newspaper in November, 2006: "The locked cabinet left behind in 1970 by Dr. Arnold Jacob Heidelburg upon his death remains firmly shut."]

Next: The final installment.

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Part 33:

We've reached the end if the story. I know, we said that onced before...in the first installment which ended in October of 2005. Some stories, however, have legs. This one did.

To repeat what we said back then: Most of the people in the story are real people I knew growing up in Henderson (even the tow-headed kid); the professor and his daughter are the exceptions: fabricated, purely fictional. The events never happpened (but we suppose they could have). Loretta and Minerva Herrmann, the central personalities in this second half of the story, grew up in Henderson, became teachers, and, I believe, lived most of their adult lives in the Chicago area. I recall the Independent carried occasional articles about them, often relating to their travels. As such, it was easy to cast them in this story and have them track around Europe in pursuit of the trail of the fictional "Emily Rose" and her father. If any reader of this story know more about the lives of the Herrmann sisters I would enjoy hearing from you.

Henderson in the 1930s and 40s was a great place for a kid to grow up. The real-life people woven into in this story are remembered with great fondness. We have always tried to portait them in a dignified way.
--30--


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Don, THANKS for another GREAT story!! I was on the edge of my chair waiting and reading each new chapter/part!!
Can't wait for the next story to start!!
Lisa

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