Is Smorgasbord now a political event?



I drove over to Wilton a couple weeks ago. Occasionally, I like to pay my respects at the cemetery, then stop at the Candy Kitchen for a treat and to chat with Lynn Ochiltree to catch up with what’s going on in town. A couple weeks ago, I drove over to buy a few Wilton Smorgasbord tickets at the Candy Kitchen. I was so excited to hear of the revival of the Smorgasbord!

I have such fond memories. If my memory is right, the first Tuesday in May was Jake’s “thank you” to the community. It seemed like the whole town gathered to eat a 10-cent meal, watched Betty’s Dance Studio students perform, and just mingle with friends.

I heard that this revived Smorgasbord was to coincide with the first anniversary of the Muscatine County Freedom Rock and the new veteran pavers that had been recently installed. My family bought a brick to honor my dad and my uncle who served in the Navy.

I was anxious to read about the Smorgasbord in the paper. I have subscribed to the Wilton-Durant Advocate News for decades, and knew there would be good coverage. I must say I was disappointed in what I saw and read. I thought the veteran pavers were going to be a main feature. They were barely mentioned in the paper. Hopefully, they were mentioned more at the Smorgasbord.

The Freedom Rock was mentioned some. There were various pictures of the event. There were pictures of featured speakers, my cousins Jeff and Bobby Kaufmann, and three pictures of Mariannette Miller-Meeks. I know she is a Congresswoman but this seemed a bit much.

Were other politicians invited? I would have liked to have read about some Wilton veterans speaking on behalf of the Freedom Rock and the pavers. A veteran drawing the winning tickets would have been great. Miller-Meeks is not from Wilton, yet she had more coverage than I thought necessary.

I hope that the Wilton Smorgasbord was revived as a community celebration as it was intended, and not a political event. As I read the article and saw the pictures, it looked more like politics and less like community to me.

I bought raffle tickets as a donation to the Smorgasbord and the pavers event. My donation was not much, but I did not want it associated with any political party. If the Smorgasbord will now be intended as a political forum, it should be advertised as such.

Maybe reviving it back to the second Tuesday in May would be good like Jake Davies had it, and it would be away from election time. It would be a good time for a local dance studio’s dancers to perform too!

(I wrote a similar post on the “If You Grew Up in Wilton, IA” Facebook page a couple weeks ago and received feedback. I thought I would share my opinion in the paper.)

Kim (Duffe) Andresen

Mount Vernon


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