April 30th, 2002, 9:30 PM.
by Ben Stong, manager
The truck is in for the last time and ready to unload. We have just completed our last board meeting and I head for the creamery to participate in the final operation.
Jonathon and Jacob Wenger have come early to set up. Julia Wenger is with them... she will become the official vidcam operator. Jere Kerns, president of the board, is taking the pictures which are shown below. The rest of the board members are in the background observing. Our lawyer, Larry Woods, who has been at the board meeting, is also an observer.
This is the end of the over 100 year old existence of the Oran Creamery. Bulk tanks have taken over and cans have become a thing of the past. Our die hard Amish community near Hazleton were the last community in Iowa to yield to that bit of modernization.
I want to thank each and every person who has participated in our operation since my tenure as manager which began in 1991. Our bulk truck drivers were John Suhr and Duane Hummel. We sold our bulk truck three years ago and contracted our hauling to Ron Arp of Independence. He and his driver Scott Rawson have been with us to the end.
Our can milk haulers have been Quintin Dawson, Fred Steinbron, Ben Steinbron, Earl Steinbron, Joe Steinbron, Mark Steinbronn, David Suhr, Eric Zeiser, and Jeremy Michaels. Not counting myself, who hauled it for about three years with the help of Harley Schwartz and James Mast. There were a few other short-term haulers as well.
Plant helpers have been Susan Suhr and more recently Joan Wenger and six of her family of seven. That's Jill, Jeanette, Jessica, Julia, Jonathon, and Jacob. Joan has been indispensible. She started out as my helper, but when arthritis got the best of me, she took over the dumping with the help of her offspring... and others. She too, became laid up with a shoulder injury, but continued to schedule help. I never had to worry about someone being there!
Also Roger Dean, Kenny Westendorf, Jennifer Hunstiger, and several others pitched in when needed.
My thanks go out to all of you who have made these past 10 years most enjoyable!
And now... on with the show!
Jonathon Wenger pushes the last one out.
Jacob Wenger handles the can washer.
Julia Wenger runs the vidcam.
Larry Woods keeps it all legal!